Berkeley Lake Elementary

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, September 13, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

We had another fabulous week of learning at BLES!

I hope you will attend our Parent Workshop on Student Technology Use at BLES, Internet Safety for students, and the Title I meeting coming up on Thursday. In the Title I meeting, you will learn how we plan for improvement and how we use federal dollars to support teaching and learning. That meeting will be offered at 10:00 AM and repeated again at 7:00 PM, for those who cannot make day-time meetings.

I also want to remind you to join us in the Duluth Fall Festival Parade on Saturday, September 28. We will be #16 in line for the parade and will start on Main St., near Brock Road at 9:00. We would love to have our BLES families join us.

Please remember that all after school Clubs (Orchestra, Soccer, Drama, Invention, etc.) will be releasing students at the front entrance of the school at the agreed time. Parents as you line up your vehicles to pick them up, please keep the crosswalk area clear for pedestrians. Thank you.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

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Annual Title I Parent Meeting

Everyone is invited to the Annual Title I Parent Meeting on Thursday, September 26. The meeting will be offered at 10:00 am and at 7:00 pm here at Berkeley Lake. You get to choose which one you would like to attend. This is an informational meeting in which we will be reviewing our school’s Title I program, as well as ways you can get involved. We look forward to seeing you!

IOWA Assessment all Next Week for 2nd and 5th Graders

IOWA testing for students in grades 2nd & 5th will be next week, September 23 - 27. The Iowa Assessments help determine how students are performing on nationwide standards. These assessments measure achievement in several important content areas including Reading, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science (grade 5 only), and Social Studies (grade 5 only). The Iowa Assessments help teachers identify a student’s strengths and areas that may need additional emphasis. They also measure student growth and progress in the content areas assessed from year to year.

Here is what you can do to make sure your student is ready for testing:

  • Make sure that your student is in school and on time on test days.
  • Make sure your student gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.
  • Remind your student that these tests are only one measure of what he or she has learned. Emphasize that you have confidence in his or her ability to do the best job possible.
  • Remind your student to listen to the directions and read each question carefully during testing. Encourage your student to ask the teacher for help if he or she does not understand the directions.

Field Days

This year's Field Days will be:

Wednesday, October 2nd: Kindergarten and 1st grades

Thursday, October 3rd: 2nd and 3rd grades

Friday, October 4th: 4th and 5th Grades

We will need adult volunteers to help out, so please click here to sign up.

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.

Thank You to the Following Parents for Volunteering in the Lunchroom this Week:

Amanda Tokarz

Erny Linardi

Yen Kim

Jennifer Cruz

Wes Johnson

Barbara Babroff

DEBUG - What It Means to Our Students

At Berkeley Lake we use an interpersonal problem solving system call DEBUG.

The purpose of the DEBUG system is to give children a series of steps that they can use to solve problems when other children are “bugging” them. It helps children learn to be assertive and encourages them to be responsible for their own behavior and self-control. It also defines the adult’s role as one of helping children after they have tried to solve the problem.

The five steps of the DEBUG system are simple. The children have been taught that if someone is “bugging” them, they are to do the following:

Decide to ignore………… if that doesn’t work, then

Exit. Move Away……………if that doesn’t work, then

Be Friendly…………………if that doesn’t work, then

Use Firm Words………….if that doesn’t work, then

Get Adult Help…………...........................................

When a child gets to step G, we do the following:

  • Ask the child if he/she has attempted DEBUG.
  • Ask about each step of DEBUG – what did you do/say; how did it work/etc.
  • If the child has genuinely tried DEBUG, it is now the adult’s responsibility to intervene and help the child solve the problem. Even if the problem seems small, it is important for the learning of the child that the adult now intervene appropriately. The child then learns more about problem solving and that he/she can trust the adults to help them when they need it.

In the event that a child feels bullied, scared, unsafe and/or hurt, students are taught to use ONLY the following two DEBUG steps to ensure his/her safety.



We know that children feel good about themselves and have better relationships with other people when they are able to resolve conflicts and solve problems successfully and calmly.

We hope you and your children will enjoy using the DEBUG system.

Positive Behavior Focus for this Week:

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PTO News

Thanks to all who joined us for the California Pizza Kitchen spirit night. Stay tuned for our October spirit night

Final Days for Charleston Wrap Fundraiser

Thank you for supporting the BLES PTO! If you forgot to turn in your Charleston Wrap order form today or have a few more people to reach out to this weekend, please turn in all order form envelopes by Wednesday, Sept. 25. This is the PTO's biggest fundraiser of the year, so please help make it a success for the school and students. Questions? Contact Emily Shih at

Field Days

2nd, 3rd and 4th grade parents, we have a special need to fill up your volunteer spots for Field Day. Field Days are October 2, 3 and 4. We need a lot of volunteers to make this event a fun one for our students. Please click here to volunteer.

Turkey Trot:

Save the date: Our annual BLES Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast is Nov. 9. We need volunteers to keep this event going. It’s a great community tradition. Know a company that would like to sponsor? Email

If you’d like information about all things PTO, visit our site or see us at most school events. Thanks for supporting our school!

Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

The Office of Federal Programs has announced the next Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting. This is an opportunity for parents to learn about the different federal programs offered in Gwinnett County Public Schools and to provide their input on each. This meeting will take place on October 3 from 5:30-7:30 PM and will be held at Rhodes Jordan Park's Community Room. Childcare will be provided and we will have Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese interpreters present.
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Spring Milestones Schedule Released - 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Students

If your child is in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade, he/she will be taking the Georgia Milestones Assessment in the spring. Attendance is very critical during the testing window, so please note the dates below and try not to schedule any appointments or vacations during this time frame. You may also click here for a printable version of the testing schedule.
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Parents of 5th Graders

Gwinnett Basketball League (GBL) will be having girls and boys tryouts on Sunday, September 22, from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. Please note, this program is for 5th, 6th and 7th graders only. See the flyer below for more details.
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A Look Ahead...

Monday, September 23

Iowa Testing Grades 2 and 5

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

Tuesday, September 24

Iowa Testing Grades 2 and 5

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

Wednesday, September 25

Iowa Testing Grades 2 and 5

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

3:00pm Soccer Club

Thursday, September 26

Iowa Testing Grades 2 and 5

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

10:00am Annual Title 1 Meeting (this meeting will be repeated tonight from 7-8 for those who cannot attend this meeting)

3:00pm Robotics Club

3:15pm Club Invention

6:00pm Parent Workshop "Technology Resources Students Use at BLES and Can Also Use at Home" and "On-line Safety"

7:00pm Title 1 Annual Meeting (Info presented at this meeting is a repeat from this morning's mtg)

Friday, September 27

Iowa Testing Grades 2 and 5

Saturday, September 28

Duluth Fall Festival

Sunday, September 29

Duluth Fall Festival

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We Have a School Store

Berkeley Lake is proud to have our school store open daily before school starts! It is run by highly qualified 5th grade students. Each morning the school store volunteers are in charge of setting up the store, selling items, closing the store, and counting and depositing the money collected. They do all of this before 8:15 in the morning! Our store features school supplies and snacks. All profits go to our Care Team, which helps families in economic need, and the BLES School Counseling Department.

Berkeley Lake Recycles

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!

Remember to Save Those Box Tops!

One easy way to support your school is through the PTO Box Tops for Education collection. Send in Box Tops from products you purchase. To help with counting, you can download this Box Tops Collection Sheet.

Make sure to put your Box Tops on the sheet or in a bag with your name and teacher on it. Drop it into the wooden box in the main hallway near the water fountain. Doing this automatically enters you into a contest.

Each month, we’ll hold a random drawing of all students who submit Box Tops. Winners will be announced on the morning announcements at the end of each month. The prize? A coupon for a free ice cream or an item from the student store. This fundraiser has helped us earn hundreds of dollars for our school!

We Are On Twitter

Follow our school on Twitter @BerkeleyLakeES

Our Parent Center

The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is open each day from 7:30-3:30. The Parent Center is located across from the front office. For Parent Center support please call Ms. Sandra Orci, Parent Liaison, at 678-291-4232.

Our Mission

To provide learning experiences in a secure and stimulating environment where every child can develop to his/her fullest potential academically, socially, and emotionally.

Our Vision

BLES is a positive safe, nurturing environment that fosters respect among all students, teachers, parents and community members, while forwarding world-class achievement that successfully maximizes each student's individual potential through engaging instruction.

Contact Us:

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514

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