Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - December 11, 2015

Special Thank You's

This is a wonderful time of the year and a giving time of the year. I am bursting to say thank you to some of our very generous benefactors. Last Friday, our Duluth Kiwanis partners, George Rhodes and Gil Gugenheimer, presented a check to BLES for over $700. In a joint effort with our K-Kids, Duluth and Meadow Creek High School Key Clubs held a Pancake Breakfast after the PTA Turkey Trot. Also an appreciation goes to our Berkeley Lake neighborhood BLOSOMS organization for their school supply contributions and monetary gifts to enhance our school programs. Thank you to all who gave of their time and donations to support our students and families.

Thank you to our recent cafeteria volunteers: Vanessa Gordon and Shailesh Jain. We are still in need of cafeteria volunteers next week and for the second semester. If you can volunteer for one hour to help monitor the cafeteria during lunch time, please sign up with Cathy Mettille at the front desk or let your child’s teacher know.

Barnes & Noble Book Fair a Success!

Tuesday evening, the Barnes and Noble Book Fair was well attended and enjoyed by all. Thank you to Ms. Page for partnering with our favorite book store to create such a great event. Storybook reading, gingerbread house craft and a singing performance with Mr. Green was a pleasure for all. Thank you parents for coming out. The program warmed our hearts. It was a fabulous holiday event and I appreciate all who attended.

Smencil Sales a Huge Hit

Thank you to all for the support for this PE fundraiser to support Ms. Birozes and the purchase of equipment and supplies.

The BLES PTA Cookie Dough Sale ends today!

There is still time to place an order—just go to All proceeds will go to the PTA, which supports such great events as the Turkey Trot, cultural arts programs and Science Night. You may also make a donation if you are not interested in purchasing cooking dough. Thank you for supporting the PTA!

PTA Candlelight Luncheons

Yesterday and today were our annual PTA Candlelight Luncheons. Ms. Shockley and her crew did an incredible job of serving over 1,000 delicious meals each day. I especially enjoyed the Duluth Middle School chorus and orchestra performances. Thank you to Mr. Lineberry, Mr. Fallis and Ms. Garrett and all the talented musicians. Kudos to our cafeteria team and our BLES monitors, Ms. Bingham and Ms. Posmer, and to the PTA volunteers who make this event such a success.

Duluth Cluster Redistricting

Duluth Cluster Redistricting information is posted on the GCPS website and at the front entrance of our school. Parents and community members have had an opportunity to summit comments on the proposed boundaries. There will be a public meeting Jan. 7 for those interested in speaking to the Board. The recommendations are reviewed Jan. 8 with final recommendations based on the input Jan. 18. There will be another public meeting and comments on Jan. 21 and the BOE votes on the redistricting.

Georgia Parent Survey

Thank you for those that have already participated in the Georgia Parent Survey. If you have not had time to complete this online confidential survey, please do. Survey responses are anonymous. Individual data results from the Georgia Parent Survey will not be available to the public and will not be posted online. The URL address for the Georgia Parent Survey: or you may go directly to the BLES website and click the button in the middle of the screen marked “Parent Survey”. Thank you in advance for your support.

Discounted UPS Shipping

If you are shipping packages this holiday season, the UPS store located at 3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd (in the Publix Shopping Center), owned by one of our families, is offering to give 5% of the shipping charge to Berkeley Lake. If you decide to send your packages from there, just remember let the store know you are from Berkeley Lake. Classes with the highest number of parents shipping packages will earn a pizza celebration!

Winter Celebrations

Winter Celebrations will be Thursday and Friday, Dec. 17 & 18. Each class has a celebration for an hour. All activities need to be completed by 1:30 each day to allow for a smooth and safe dismissal. Thank you to our PTA Room Parents for helping with these winter parties.

Lost and Found Overflowing

Our Lost and Found is overflowing with coats, jackets, sweaters and more. Please check the racks in the main hall if your child has missing items before we pack everything up and donate it Dec. 18. The cold weather is here so students need their gear to stay warm.

Holiday Staff Luncheon

Tuesday, Dec. 15, is our staff luncheon. I have asked the PTA to request parents to provide desserts for this special occasion. Thank you in advance for donating goodies for this festive luncheon for our teachers.

Optional Online Learning Activity for Students over Break

We are offering a quick online activity for students to participate in while at home over the winter break. To see this activity, students should log into My eClass and click on the Course Pages button. The activity begins with the picture of the penguin and can be done on any smartphone, tablet or computer with internet connection. It will be available Dec. 18-Jan. 8. Students participating in the activity will receive a Paw Point the week of Jan. 11. This is practice to have the students become more familiar with eClass and is not required.

Future Events

Mark your calendar for several events in the New Year. The Science Fair is coming! Information was sent home last week in weekly folders along with forms due on or before Dec. 18. Please check out Ms. Bentley's eClass page for more information, helpful websites and planning guides. Our Science/STEM Night will be Thurs., Jan. 28, where these projects will be displayed. Secondly, our Spelling Bee will be Fri., Jan. 8, at 8:45 in the Media Center. Congratulations to the following class representatives and alternates : Gr 5 : Ben Barnhill, Lawson Luckie, Ariana Malik, Anthony Le, David Sparks, Erica Liebenberg, Charles Kim, Becca Baird, Annette Navin, Olivia Chan, Yusra Elmamoun, Renee Kramer, Jada Vernon, Briana Ham; and Gr 4 : Emily Gordon, Anthony Poulopoulos, Denny Cajo, Jan Osorio, Dominique Thomas, Rowen Black, JaeAnne Hinds, Ethan Yang, Eric Xu, Jill Baden, Megan Shih, Luke Stanley, Elijah Mallison, Meredith Santoso, Kristy Palacios, Sophia Zavala.

Enjoy the weekend. I will be baking PTA cookie dough cookies.

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

12/11—6pm Chorus “Sing for Santa” at Gwinnett Gladiators game

12/14—8:30-1:30 Gr 5 Field Trip

12/14—3-4:00 Chess Club

12/15—7:15 IT Girls Club

12/15—9-11:00 English Class

12/15—3-4:00 Green Team

12/16—7:15 Art Club

12/16—NO Good News Club

12/16—2:45-4:45 Strings

12/17—7:15 Chorus

12/17—7:30 Readers Rally

12/18—End Quarter 2

12/18—Last day for AR points

12/18—7:30 Witzzle Pro

12/21—1/5/16—Winter Break

1/6/16—Students Return

1/6/16—Begin Quarter 3

1/6—7:15 Art Club

1/6—2:45 Strings Club

1/6—NO Good News Club

1/6—3:15 Student Council

1/7—7:15 Chorus

1/7—7:30 Readers Rally

1/7—7:30 Witzzle Pro

1/8—8:45 Spelling Bee

1/8—10:00 School Tour

1/11—9:00 AR Celebration Gr 3

1/11—9:30 AR Celebration Gr 2

1/11—3:00 Chess

1/12—NO IT Girls Club

1/12—7:30 PTA Exec Bd Mtg

1/12—9:00 AR Celebration Gr 4

1/12—9:30 AR Celebration Gr 5

1/12—9:00 English Class

1/13—7:15 Art Club

1/13—2:45 Strings Club

1/13—3:00 Good News Club

1/14—7:15 Chorus

1/14—7:30 Readers Rally

1/14—6pm Counselor’s Parent Workshop

1/15—Report Cards Go Home

1/15—7:30 Witzzle Pro

1/15—7:45 K-Kids

Our Parent Center

The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is open each day from 7:30-3:30. The Parent Center is located in room 1.122 in the Media Center. Ms. Angela Schoenknecht, the Parent Instructional Coordinator (PIC), is available by appointment. Please call 678-291-4233 for Parent Center support or Ms. Sandra Orci (Parent Liaison) at 678-291-4232.

Berkeley Lake's Vision Statement

Our Vision : Berkeley Lake Elementary School 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.