Bear Essentials, Nov. 19, 2021

Weekly eNews for Parents and BLES Families

This link will take a visitor to the same newsletter but in Spanish

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

It's been another great week of learning at Berkeley Lake Elementary! As we prepare for the Thanksgiving Break, I want to say how thankful I am for the opportunity to serve as the Principal at BLES. It is an honor to serve the Berkeley Lake community and appreciate the trust you place in us each day with your most precious gifts...your children.

I hope that the next week brings good food, time with family, and an opportunity to slow down and reflect on what you are thankful for. Not everyone has the luxury of time off or a houseful of groceries, so I hope that you will consider helping others through the holiday season. Whether it's a donation to a food bank or an invitation to your Thanksgiving meal, every act of kindness makes us all stronger. Have a wonderful break.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

A Look Ahead...

Monday November 22 - Friday, November 26

  • Thanksgiving Break Student/Teacher Holiday

Friday, November 26

  • Native American Heritage Day

Monday, November 29

  • 3:00pm Chess Club- Media Center

Tuesday, November 30

  • 7:00am I.T. Girls meet
  • 3:00pm Soccer Club
  • 3:00 Robotics Club additional meeting

Wednesday, December 1

  • 12:30pm Play to Learn
  • 3:15pm Green Team

Thursday, December 2

  • 3:00pm Robotics Club

Friday, December 3

  • 7:15 Robotics Club additional meeting

Saturday, December 4

  • Robotics Club Team Competition @ Lanier High School
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Square 1 Art - It's Not Too Late to Order Online

Square 1 Art paper form orders were due yesterday, but it is not too late to place an order online. Search for your child's art using by clicking here, and enter state, school name, and your student's name. Your student's art and code will appear, and you may order!

Online orders can be placed any time until Nov 30th at 11:59 PM. This deadline ensures purchased products will be delivered to the school by December 13th for holiday gifting.

Please contact Mrs. Parrott with any questions over Dojo or email!

Thank you for supporting BLES Art!

Does Your Child Prefer to Be Called by a Different Name, Other Than His/Her Legal Name?

Names are important and help to tell the larger story about who we are as individuals. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) recognizes that some students would prefer to use a different name to identify themselves rather than their legal names. We see it every day in our schools as students ask to be called by a nickname, go by their middle name, or use a preferred English/Western name or one that better reflects their identity.

Beginning next week, parents will have the opportunity to enter a Preferred Name (nickname) for your child in our student information database.

If you wish for your child to be called by a “Preferred Name” other than their legal name, you will need to go into the Parent Portal to provide that information. (Please note that if you had provided a Nickname previously, you still will need to enter that name as your child’s Preferred Name.)

GCPS reserves the right to remove a “Preferred Name” if it is deemed inappropriate. Once the Preferred Name has been provided, your local school will verify the name and make the change in the system. Only families of students who prefer to go by a name other than their legal name need to make that change in the Parent Portal.

The change will not be reflected immediately and this will not change a student’s name in all of our systems. Classroom teachers (or substitute teachers) will have the student’s Preferred Name at their fingertips and can use that instead of the child’s legal name, but the child’s legal name will continue to appear on legal and official documents such as report cards, transcripts, IEPs, etc.

Note that this option to add a “Preferred Name” is available in the Parent Portal only.

How Your Child is Doing in Reading and Writing

At conference time back in October, teachers shared how your child was doing on a Reading and Writing continuum. If you would like to take another look at your child's progress in those two areas, you can do so in the Parent Portal under the Documents tab. Click here for directions.
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Special Thanks to our Amazing Custodial Staff!

We shared a special thank you with our awesome Berkeley Lake Custodial Staff this week! We are so very thankful for all that they do at our school and for your families. Pictured below are Brian, Lala, Yetsy, Jermott, Gaby, and Pauly.

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Thank You to Perimeter Church

We'd like to thank our partners at Perimeter Church for the amazing clothes donation to BLES Clinic this week!


Thank you for all the K-Kids who attended our meeting this morning! We covered the K-Kid Handbook and talked about all the great things that our club can and will do. We even shared the K-Kids official website. Feel free to visit and learn more about K-kids here:

The K-Kids will meet again: December 17, where we will make holiday cards for our senior citizens at the Parc Retirement Center in Duluth.

Yearbooks are Now on Sale

Yearbook sales are beginning now! You may order online between now and January 1, 2022 to receive the discounted price of $30.00. After January 1, 2022 the price will go up to $35.00. Orders can be placed by clicking here.

If you have any questions on this year's yearbook, please email

Turkey Trot

Get moving this Thanksgiving break and keep the tradition of Turkey Trot going. This year the race will be virtual, so you can walk wherever or whenever you want during the race period and help support our school. The race begins on Saturday, November 20 and will end on November 27. Click here to sign up.

It is still possible to support our organization through Charleston Wrap!

Now through December 3, please continue shopping online using the ID number, 11515. Click here to get started.

Positive Interventions and Behavior Support (PBIS)

Our school is a Positive Interventions and Behavior Support (PBIS) school. Each week we will spotlight a particular theme of good behavior and ask that you reinforce this theme with your child when it at home. Below you will see one of the topics we will focus on this year:
Rainbow Relaxation: Mindfulness for Children

Family Engagement Tips

Visit the BLES website and check out each day's Family Engagement tip. There is a tip for every day, Monday - Sunday, and they are offered in both English and Spanish.

T-Mobile Offering Cellular Plan for Gwinnett Families

Please note: For questions regarding the program, please contact

LeanStream support at or 833-943-4463.

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Other Advertisements:

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Gwinnett County Substitute Teacher Incentive Plan

In Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), our people are our greatest resource, including our substitute teachers and the tremendous support they provide to our students, staff members, and schools. GCPS substitutes play a critical role in our students’ education, making a difference in the lives of children every day! Click here to learn more about the GCPS substitute teaching program.

Do You Have a Young Child at Home That is Not Yet in School? If so, Get Involved With Play to Learn.

Play 2 Learn is a program for young children— ages birth to 5— offered at 42 elementary schools in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Children and parents and other adults in the family learn together through engaging lesson plans in a high-quality preschool environment for 90 minutes each week during the school year. Families are empowered to keep the learning going at home so that all children will be ready for Kindergarten! Berkeley Lake Elementary one of the county's Play to Learn Schools, so if you have a young child at home, we encourage you to consider joining the program. See the image below or click here to learn even more about the program.
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Berkeley Lake Elementary is a Georgia After School Program (GASP) School

Parents, are you tired of waiting in those long car-rider lines? Or, do you need someone to watch your student after school until you can get home from work? If so, the Georgia After School Program may be something you want to consider. The program is offered at our school and follows strict COVID protocols. If you want to learn more about the program, click here.

We Collect Box Tops (Online)

Box Tops for Education is Online: Box Tops are being collected online only. Here are instructions for how to continue to give to our school with Box Tops.

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.

Do You Have a MyPaymentsPlus Account?

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.

Did You Know BLES is on Various Social Media Apps?

Follow us on all of our social media accounts by clicking the links below:

Opportunity for Discounted Portable WiFi Hotspot for Families

The Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation is offering a discount on a portable WiFi hotspot for its families for $50/month. Data is unlimited and there is no contract required. See the image below or click here to learn more.

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!

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

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.

We Thank Our Business Partners

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Contact Us:

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514