Bear Essentials

Weekly eNews from Berkeley Lake Elementary, August 5, 2022

Haga clic aquí para leer este boletín en español

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

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Principal's Message

Dear Parents,


Another school year is underway, and we know that this is going to be the BEST year ever at BLES!


Like last year, we are using the PikMyKid dismissal system which allows you to make your own transportation changes up until 1:30PM of the day of the change. If you use the app, there is no need to send in transportation change notes! You can find information on the teachers' Dojo and on the school website.


Also new this year, you may send in excuse notes, when your child has been absent, through Dojo. However, you still need to use the BLES note or include all the information required on the note. You can then take a picture of the completed note to the teacher, and he/she will print it and send it to the office for you. The form is linked here, as well as on the teachers' Dojo page and the school website.


As always, things are moving slower than normal during dismissal this time of year. Please be patient with us as the children learn our processes and the bus routes get up to their normal speed.


I am excited to share that we have added a new special this year called BEAR Time (Building Empathy, Awareness, & Relationships). I think we can all agree that these are skills that we value at BLES and that our children need to be happy, safe, and successful.


Most of all, I want to say once again that we are so excited about the coming school year and I look forward to seeing all the great things your children will learn and do. Please, do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything at all. Let's make it a great year of learning at BLES!




Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton


Lesley.Pendleton@gcpsk12.org

Next Week's Calendar:

Monday, August 8

  • 5th Grade Leadership Applications Available


Tuesday, August 9

  • 9:30am Play to Learn


Wednesday, August 10

  • No events


Thursday, August 11

  • no events

Friday, August 12

  • Applications for GEMS Oversight Committee due (more info. below)

Afternoon Transportation Changes for Your Child

Beginning Monday, all afternoon transportation changes going forward MUST be made through the PikMyKid app or by printing out the transportation change form that is located on the BLES website under Quicklinks > "Forms".
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Save the Date: Curriculum Nights Are Coming Up


Links will be sent out by teachers through Class Dojo closer to the event:


Thursday, August 18

  • Zoom Curriculum Night 3rd Grade 5:30pm
  • Zoom Curriculum Night 4th Grade 6:15pm
  • Zoom Curriculum Night 5th Grade 7:00pm

Thursday, August 25

  • Zoom Curriculum Night Pre-K and KG 5:30pm
  • Zoom Curriculum Night 1st Grade 6:15pm
  • Zoom Curriculum Night 2nd Grade 7:00pm

Reminder About Sending in a Note for Absences

Upon return from an absence, an excuse note must be given to the school. For an excused absence, notes are accepted up to 5 days after the absence. An excuse note must be sent, even if the student went home sick from the clinic.


Doctor/Dentist notes, handwritten note, email, Class Dojo or preferably the form that can be printed from the BLES website are all acceptable excuse notes as long as they contain ALL the following information:

  • Date

  • Child’s full name

  • Teachers name

  • Date(s) of the absence

  • Parent / Guardian full name typed (or signature if handwritten)


A quick message to inform the teacher your student is going to be absent is helpful, however, all the details noted above must be provided in writing for it to count as an excuse note when your child returns.


Coming to school everyday when your child is healthy is KEY to learning!

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FIRST Lego League Robotics Competition Team

  • Is your child in 4th or 5th grade this year?

  • Does he/she love to build with Legos?

  • Is he/she good at math and science?

  • Are they interested in coding and programming a robot?

  • Do they love a challenge?

  • Do they get along well with your peers?


Well, then the robotics club sounds like a club your child should try to join! If you are interested in applying to be on this team, then please click this link to get information about the team and to access the application. Letters are also being sent home in today's Friday folders.


Applications are due August 12th. The team only has 10 spots, so it is a very small team.


Please email Molly Stanton if you have any questions.

Have You Listened to Our Podcasts?

Sandra Orci, our parent liaison, and 5th grade teacher, Drexton Sportel, have teamed up to create short audio podcasts in both English and Spanish to offer information on a variety of topics. So far, two podcasts have been recorded, but more will be coming this year. The podcasts can be accessed from the BLES website and you can listen to them anywhere.

Belated Thank You

Last spring, we forgot to mention Monique Summerville in our thank you to everyone who helped out with Field Day. Monique worked hard to get our Field Day t-shirts out to our staff and students, so we would like to give a belated thank you now and we apologize for not recognizing Monique sooner.

PTO News:

  • Thank you!!! We appreciate everyone that came out to the Berkeley Lake Chapel in July for our first PTO "Meet and Greet" and to those who stopped by the PTO table last week during "Meet your Teacher Day." We are looking forward to a great year with lots of wonderful things to happen for our kids and school!

  • PTO Donations: If you have a student enrolled at BLES, you're automatically a voting member of our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). In lieu of a formal membership enrollment, we'd like for everyone who can to donate to the PTO, so we can continue to provide financial support to our school. We've added two options for PTO donations on MyPaymentPlus - the place where you already go to sign annual paperwork and pay for meals. Give to our general PTO fund to help pay for activities like STEM Night, cultural arts for each grade level and teacher supply reimbursements. We've also added a Helping Hands donation. Those donations go directly to buy essential items for our BLES food pantry. The suggested donation is $15.00 per family, however, we thank you for any amount you can contribute. Look for PTO in the "other payments" section. Email info@blespto.org if you have any questions.

  • Spirit Wear: More spirit wear is coming soon! We had such a great response at Meet Your Teacher Day, we are contacting our vendor for more! Be watching for the next sale to hit early this fall.

  • PTO Volunteers: We are still looking for room parents/volunteers! There is a meeting scheduled for all room volunteers on Monday, August 8th at 6:00 p.m. at the school. If you are interested in being a part of this, please email info@blespto.org. Next week, we will also be sending home about how you can get involved by volunteering with PTO. Some of the volunteer opportunities include field day volunteers, helping sell spirit wear, coordinating fall fundraisers, and many more opportunities.

Check Out General News from GCPS:

GEMS Oversight Committee is Looking for Parent Applications:

Gwinnett County Public Schools is inviting parents and guardians, community members, and school district employees to apply for the GEMS Oversight Committee, a group of community and school system representatives charged with the annual review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum standards. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 1st. After the review, the committee recommends revisions and additions to the Superintendent for adoption by the Gwinnett County Board of Education. Committee members serve three-year terms. Those interested in serving should complete the online application no later than Aug. 12.

Parks and Recs Events and Sign Ups:

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Weekly Repeats:

Did You Know BLES is on Various Social Media Apps?

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


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!

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 Collect Box Tops (Online)

Box Tops for Education is Online: Starting this year, Box Tops are being collected online only. Here are instructions for how to continue to give to our school using the new Box Tops process.

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.
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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

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