Weekly eNews, May 12, 2023
We had an amazing week celebrating our teachers and staff. We are so appreciative of all they do for our students and community. I would like to dedicate this message to four amazing educators that have dedicated their life’s work to their students, school communities, and colleagues. After many years of service, they will be retiring at the end of this school year:
- Anne VanGalder is finishing her 24th year of education, with 19 of those years as a special education teacher at Berkeley Lake Elementary. She has been an important and well-loved part of our school community and we will miss her. She’s looking forward to spending more time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and mother. Ms. VanGalder also plans on spending her days reading lots and lots of books!
- Cyndi Houser is finishing her 22nd year teaching, with 17 years at Berkeley Lake Elementary. She has served as an amazing educator and will be greatly missed by all. She is also looking forward to spending time with her 3 grandchildren (with a fourth on the way!). When she is not with her family, Ms. Houser is looking forward to gardening, reading, cooking, walking, and completing projects around her house.
- Jane Kates is finishing her 44th year in education! After years of serving students in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, she joined the Berkeley Lake family in 2013. She has served as a dedicated advocate for all students at Berkeley Lake and will be missed. Ms. Kates plans on spending more time with friends and family, completing projects around her house, and sleeping in a little later in the morning!
- Terry Howard has spent 18 years educating the students of Berkeley Lake Elementary. She has also supported the entire district as a gifted endorsement instructor for teachers across all grades. She is loved by all and will be missed! Ms. Howard is excited to spend more time with her family (especially her grandchildren!) and dedicating more time to her love of art and the creativity that goes with it.
All four of these wonderful educators have made a positive impact on the Berkeley Lake Community and will be remembered for their love and dedication for our students and their families.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Saturday, May 13
- Duluth Youth Football and cheer registration. Click here for flyer.
Sunday, May 14
- Mother's Day
Monday, May 15
- 3:00pm Chess Club
- 3:15pm Green Team meets for the last time
- 5:30 - 6:30pm District Family and Community Engagement Plan input meeting through Zoom.
Tuesday, May 16
- 9:30am Play to Learn. Click here to learn more.
Wednesday, May 17
- Last day to vote for PTO officers for next school year. More info. below.
- 9:00am Basic English Class in the Parent Center
Thursday, May 18
- 8:45am 5th Grade Promotion - Sobh and Howard classes. 2 guests per student
- 10:30am 5th Grade Promotion - Lischer, Summers, Sportel classes. 2 guests per student.
Friday, May 19
- 8:45am 5th Grade Promotion - Owen and LaPaglia classes. 2 guests per student.
Monday, May 22
- 1:00pm 5th Grade End of Year Walk and Drumline
Tuesday, May 23
- No events
Wednesday, May 24
- Last day of school
- 8:30 - 11:00am 5th Grade fun day
Order Your School Supply Kits Now for Next Year
Order your school supply kits online now and make the start of next school year a breeze. The order deadline is July 17 and the supplies ship to the school. BLES PTO receives a percentage of sales, so you can save time and support the school all at once. Please see the image below for details or click the link here to place your order.
PTO Looking for Parent Volunteers needed for 5th grade Fun Day on May 24th!
We are so proud of our 5th graders, and we have a super fun last day of school planned! We could use some help to make it a success. Please plan to come and help make it a fun and memorable day by clicking on this link to sign up! (Make sure to be on time and bring your ID for check in.)
Thank You to All of Our Volunteers
Thank you to all of our PTO volunteers, especially our room parents, for all of your assistance and support this year. We couldn’t do it without you. We have thank you gifts in the front office if you missed the volunteer appreciation meeting last week.
PTO Honors our Cafeteria Staff and Bus Drivers
Thank you to our Cafeteria Staff and Bus Drivers for all their hard work this year. The PTO honored them with thank you gifts to show the school’s appreciation for their service.
More School News and Information
Our staff would like to thank you for all of the thoughtful gifts and treats during Teacher Appreciation Week. We felt the love and appreciation and the sweet treats that were sent in for Wednesday's staff lunch were delicious.
We also would like to thank the parents who took the time to nominate our teachers for Mathnasium's Teacher Giveaway. As a result of those votes, our staff received $100 worth of snacks for the teacher lounge!
Lost and Found Items
All items in the lost and found will be donated after the last day of school. If your child is missing a lunchbox, jacket, sweatshirt, etc. we encourage you to come by the school to check and see if it is in the lost and found before the last day.
Parents, We Need You To Opt-In to Receive Our School Messages
Our school and district uses School Messenger to deliver text messages straight to your mobile phone with important information about school closings, safety alerts, events, and more. But, you have to opt in to receive these messages!
If you are not already receiving notifications from both Berkeley Lake Elementary and the district, you can sign up now by sending a text message to number 67587. In the text field area of your message, just type a "Y" or the word "Yes" and you will be opted in.
Berkeley Lake Elementary is one of 21 GCPS schools receive CS100 Award!
More than 20 Gwinnett County elementary schools have received the CS100 Award and Berkeley Lake Elementary was one of them! The honor, presented by CSisElementary and CSforAll, recognizes elementary schools that commit to teaching computer science (CS) to every K-5 student.
21 of the 160 schools recognized at the CSK5 Summit were Gwinnett County Schools. These award-winning schools have received recognition for their commitment to Computer Science for all K-5 students. “Computer science experiences build computational thinking and problem-solving skills in our students, which are critical for future-readiness. Recent studies show a positive relationship between students who participated in CS courses and problem-solving skills. We also know that students who are exposed to computer science in early grades are much more likely to choose CS and STEM courses and career opportunities later,” says Sallie Holloway, director of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.
“We believe elementary school is a great age to begin building the skills and awareness that students will need for their futures,” she adds. “GCPS is committed to providing high quality and inclusive computer science for all students. This award celebrates our teachers’ and leaders’ work to ensure that GCPS is a CS4ALL district.”
District Family and Community Engagement Plan Input Meeting
K-Kids Graduation and Induction
County-wide, negative charging has been disabled for adults and students in the cafeteria for the rest of the remaining school year. Student accounts must not be negative, so please bring cash or add money to your MyPaymentsPlus account to make sure any fees are paid and your child will have a positive balance through the remainder of the school year.
Please make sure all borrowed technology is returned to school
End of Year Book Return Due Dates
From May 1st - May 24th, all students should please return all of the Media Center books they have checked out as they become due. (This does not mean they need to return their books ON May 1st. Students should return the books as they become due.)
Students will be bringing pink notices home if they have overdue books or outstanding fines. Please remind your students to return their overdue books to the Media Center or take care of any outstanding book fines before they leave for the summer.
Beanstack Summer Reading Challenge
This summer, all Berkeley Lake Elementary students in grades K-5 are encouraged to participate in the Beanstack Summer Reading Challenge! We want to give students a summer reading experience that will help instill a love for reading among all of our students.
The Beanstack Summer Reading Challenge runs from June 1 to July 31, 2023. All students will be enrolled automatically in the challenge on our Beanstack site. We challenge our students to participate and keep track of their reading on our Beanstack site at http://gcpsk12berkeleylakees.beanstack.org/
Mrs. Norby will be monitoring the progress of BLES students who participate in the challenge and rewards will be given to those who participate! Students who participate will also be helping our school get to the top of the leaderboard! We're competing against schools and libraries across the nation for a chance to win cash prizes from Beanstack.
- Click here to log into your student Beanstack account. For student login, students should use their student number and 4-digit birthday (mmdd).
- Once students are logged in, they can access the Summer Reading Challenge, where they can log their reading and receive badges!
Through May 31: Survey Parents of Students Receiving Special Education Services
If your child is receiving special education services from GCPS, then the state is asking you to participate in a parent survey to measure parent/family perceptions of the success of parents engagement between home and local schools. The survey is now available and will run through May 31st. Click here to access the survey.
Summer Meals On-The-Go
The Gwinnett Summer Meals program will provide free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to children 18 and younger and those 19 and older with physical or mental disabilities. Meals are available from Tuesday, May 30 through Tuesday, August 1, and can be picked up Monday through Friday from 11:00am to 1:00pm (including County holidays) while supplies last. Visit GwinnettSummerMeals.com to learn more and find a complete list of meal locations.
If you're interested in volunteering for the Summer Meals program, visit VolunteerGwinnett.net.
Economic Support for BLES Families in Need
Summer Camp Information
Summer Gifted Opportunities
Click here to preview summer enrichment opportunities and activities for gifted and high ability students. Students can benefit greatly by participating in summer enrichment opportunities and activities.
Repeat Reminders from BLES
- Withdrawing or Enrolling a Student? Click here to learn the steps for the process.
- Parents, please do not bring in fast food to the school cafeteria. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
- Would you like to purchase a small gift item for our PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Store)? Click here to see our Wish List.
- If your family does not have internet at home and you will need it for the various Digital Learning Days, click here to request a hotspot now. You only need to request one per family and you may keep it for the entire school year. You will need to return it at the end of the year in May.
- Reminder about sending in birthday treats for students Per the Student Handbook: Parents may provide snacks only, no drinks, favors, balloons, or flowers for the child’s birthday. Whole cakes that need to be sliced by staff are not permitted. All students should be included. Nutritious snacks are encouraged. Birthday treats should be handed out and eaten in the cafeteria during the last ten minutes of the lunch period. Please make sure that students mainstreamed in your classroom are included in the count for treats. Buying ice cream at school for each class member is encouraged. Students may not pass out invitations to parties at school unless all members of the class are invited.
- If your family needs additional support, our counselors and Care team can help with basic needs like food, clothes, personal hygiene items, etc. If you would like to access these resources please contact Lyndsay Murphy (K,2,4) Lyndsay.firstname.lastname@example.org 770-582-7523, Laura Marantz (1,3,5) Laura.email@example.com 770-582-7522, or Sandra Orci (Spanish) Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org 678-291-4232
- Afternoon Transportation Changes Parents, please remember that afternoon transportation changes must be made by 1:30 and there are only two ways for you to make an change for your child: Use the PikMyKid app or send in a signed note. Dojos, emails, or phone calls to change afternoon transportation will not be accepted. Thank you for helping us enforce this rule and keep our kids safe!
- No Student checkouts after 2:15 PM
- If your child misses school Information needed on the excuse note includes: today’s date, the child’s full name, child’s teacher, child’s grade level, date(s) of absence, reason for absence, and parent signature (typed full name if sending via email or Class Dojo).
- MyPaymentsPlus Gwinnett Public Schools uses MyPaymentsPlus as a site for school-related payments and documentation sign off. If you do not yet have an account with this site, you will need to set one up. Click here to learn more.
- We recycle: Berkeley Lake recycles aluminum cans and old clothes and shoes (in any condition) in the two bins in the upper parking lot. The Green Team receives 10¢ per pound of donations, which helps pay the fee for the weekly paper and cardboard pick-up. The aluminum cans are recycled at Progressive Recycling on Simpson Circle. Please support our Green Team by recycling these items here at Berkeley Lake. Thank you!
- We Collect Box Tops Online. Here are instructions for how to continue to give to our school using the new Box Tops process.
- Do You Have a Parent Portal Account? You may have heard about Gwinnett's Parent Portal. The Parent Portal is a website that will allow you to log in and see your child's information, such as attendance, grades, standardized test scores, etc. If you need to register with the portal, please print and complete this registration form and turn it in to the main office. Along with the completed form, you are required to show a photo I.D. for verification.
- Georgia After School Program (GASP) Click here to get more information about the Georgia After School Program.
- Our Parent Center The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is located across from the front office and it's providing services by appointment. For Parent Center support please call Ms. Sandra Orci, Parent Liaison, at 678-291-4232 or email her at Sandra.Orci@gcpsk12.org
BLES Business Partners
We'd like to thank the business partners below for sponsoring our school. 💜
- The Tutoring Center, Duluth, Ga.
- Ultra Baby LLC (Ultrasound and Photography)
- Atlanta Urgent Care - 5246 Peachtree Pkwy
- Brooks Injury Law (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- Peachtree ESQ (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- Fives Group (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- Friend of BLES (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- Georgia After School Program (GASP) (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- JR's Log House (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- Ms. Sweet - 3rd Grade (Boosterthon Business Partner)
- CAMP RISE GEORGIA (Boosterthon Business Partner)
If you would like to learn more about a business partnership with our school, click here.