Berkeley Lake Elementary

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, October 25, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

Thank you to those who came out for parent-teacher conferences and Spirit Night this week and those of you who attended International Night and the Bear Cub Cook-out last week. Part of what makes our school great is the involvement of our families. If you ever have questions about school events or want to know how to volunteer at the school or with PTO, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Ms. Orci, in the Parent Center, is always happy to assist you as well.

Our next big event is the Turkey Trot on Saturday, November 9th! This is a super fun event for anyone who enjoys running, walking, or just being outside. It will be followed by the always-popular Pancake Breakfast, so mark your calendars! More information about Turkey Trot is available on the school website and below.

For the safety of our students, we ask that you do not send your children to school with glass containers. We've recently had two incidents of glass containers breaking in the cafeteria and it creates a safety concern. Thank you for your understanding.

Finally, I want to let you know that ice cream will again be available five days a week, beginning on November 4th. Ice cream costs $1.00 and is sold during lunch.

Enjoy the weekend.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

Thank You!

Our teachers and administrators would like to thank the parents and high school students who volunteered to help with interpretations during parent teacher conferences. We can't do it without your help so thank you again for your time and effort.

Saturday Intervention Classes

The Fall Session 2 Saturday Intervention Saturday classes begin tomorrow, October 26th. The dates for the rest of this session's classes will be as follows. This is for invited students only. Students should arrive at 8:45 AM and class will begin promptly at 9:00 AM.

October 26

November 2

November 9

Our School's Website Will Be Changing

Gwinnett County Public Schools has asked that all schools transition their websites over to a common program, and we are in the process of getting our new site ready for you. We will send the new web address out to you once the site is live but wanted to go ahead and let you know of this change that will be taking place in the next month. Our site will continue to have the same information, but the appearance will be somewhat different and the site will be better suited for accessibility for all.

Parents, We REALLY Need Your Help

This is the month of mandatory school surveys.

A paper copy of an RBES survey was sent home with your child last week. This is a Gwinnett County Public Schools survey and we hope every family will complete the survey and return it to school if you have not already.

The other survey you have been asked to take is the Georgia School Health Survey. This state survey can be taken anywhere online but so far only 40 of our parents have taken the survey. This survey is anonymous and can be taken in English or Spanish. Here is the link to the parent survey:

BLES Chorus Club Performance Tonight Has Been Cancelled Due to Weather Forecast

The BLES Chorus Club Star Spangled Banner performance at the Duluth High School Football game tonight has been cancelled due to the weather forecast.

What is a School-Family Compact?

A school-family compact is a written agreement that outlines how the school, the student, and the family will work together to ensure your student's success. The compact is available electronically through MyPaymentsPlus to all families who have an active account, on the Title I webpage of our school website, and in the Parent Center (printed copies). Please contact Sandra Orci, Parent Outreach Liaison, or Angela Schoenknecht, Assistant Principal - Title I, if you have any questions.

Click here to view this year's School-Family Compact

Thanksgiving Grocery Giveaway Will Take Place Saturday, November 23, 11:00-1:00

Many of us are facing economic hardships and may need help during holidays. A local church has a program that is a fun family event and provides help for Thanksgiving.

At the event you will receive a grocery bag of food for your family, a delicious sit-down lunch, and warming items like gloves, hats or blankets for the children! You can also have a family portrait taken by a professional photographer! All Free!!!!!!! The whole family is invited and encouraged to attend, but you must register ahead of time for the event.

To Register:

Please complete the form that came home in your student's Friday folder and return to Laura Marantz, or call her at 770-582-7522, or Sara Penland, or call her at 770-582-7523 for registration. To register in Spanish, call Sandra Orci at 678-291-4232. Spots are limited. Respond ASAP! Transportation assistance may be possible if request is made by November 8.

PTO News

Canned Food Drive Continues

We are gathering much-needed items for our BLES food pantry through Oct. 31. Thanks to those who’ve donated already. We are still extremely low on things like rice, pasta, cereal and meat. Students can bring in pantry donations to their classrooms or drop them off in the box in the front lobby. The classes that donate at least 10 items will be entered into a drawing for a doughnut party.

Items needed:

Canned meat and fish

Canned fruits and vegetables


Powdered milk

Peanut butter


Pasta and rice

Your donations go directly to the children and families of Berkeley Lake Elementary School.

Spirit Night

Thanks for coming out to Marlow’s Tavern this week. We enjoy spending Spirit Nights with our families.

Our November spirit night event will be held at Zaxby’s on Peachtree Industrial Blvd on Tuesday, November 19, from 5-9 p.m.

Our December Spirit Night will be held at Chipotle on December 9th.

Turkey Trot & K-Kids Pancake Breakfast

Register for the Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast by Oct. 25 to be guaranteed your race-day t-shirt.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, the 4-mile run will begin at 7:30 a.m. while the 1.5-mile fun run will begin at 8:15 a.m. with the pancake breakfast to follow immediately after the races. It’s a Berkeley Lake community tradition and benefits our school. Registration forms are at the school and or register at under BLES Turkey Trot.

Know of businesses that would like to sponsor? Email Also, we need volunteers to help with planning and on the day of the event.

We Need Board Members

To continue operations, the PTO needs a secretary, two vice presidents and a junior treasurer. Recently, we’ve had parents move on to other schools. Please take a look at our bylaws on our site and thoughtfully consider how you can contribute to supporting our school. We’d love to answer any questions you have. Contact us at

Positive Behavior Focus for this Week:

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Digital Learning Days

The Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) 2019-2020 school calendar includes two make-up days to address school days missed due to inclement weather. In addition to these days, GCPS also has the option of making up days missed due to inclement weather using Digital Learning Days.

A Digital Learning Day is considered a school day, so students will be accountable for completing the teacher assignments from home, just as they would do at school. The assignments will be found on the teacher’s eClass course page under the Digital Learning Day icon and will be checked by the teacher and considered in the grading process.

As our teachers begin to prepare for the possibility of Digital Learning Days this year, it is important for them to know about devices and internet available to your student at home. A letter will be sent home in Friday folders in the next week or two to gather more information on whether or not internet & devices are available to your student at home. Please complete the questions at the bottom of the letters and return to your child's teacher so we can begin to plan for the possibility of Digital Learning Days in the future.

Harvest Homecoming Free Event at McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth on Saturday, Oct. 26

12:00 noon - 4:00pm

This is a FREE event that your students are sure to enjoy as they experience a Harvest Homecoming!

Students and their families are invited to take a special trip to the farm! Everyone is sure to have fun playing family-friendly games, with face painting, farm tours, and more!

Come see our furry farm friends, take a hay ride, visit craft vendors, and sample tasty s’mores.

McDaniel Farm Park 3251 McDaniel Farm Road Duluth, GA

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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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A Look Ahead...

Friday, October 25

7:00pm BLES Chorus club performs at DHS for annual Fine Arts Night - CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

Saturday, October 26

9:00am Saturday Intervention class (students should arrive at 8:45)

Monday, October 28

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

Tuesday, October 29

7:00am IT Girls

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Robotics Club- Rescheduled from 10/31

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

Wednesday, October 30

Soccer- Last Day Semester 1

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

Thursday, October 31

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

Friday, November 1

no events

Saturday, November 2

9:00am Saturday Intervention class (students should arrive at 8:45)

Monday, November 4

7:45am K-Kids Mtg (Media Center)

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

3:15pm Student Council Meeting - Houser's Room

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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.

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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