Berkeley Lake ES

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, November 13, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much to those of you who attended Coffee Talk this week! We had some great conversations, and I always appreciate hearing from you. One resource that I shared is a COVID case report that GCPS publishes each week. Click here to access. If you were not able to participate, but have questions, please feel free to contact me at the school. You can also watch a recorded version of the Coffee Talk by clicking here.

Several people have asked about picture make-up day. The make up dates will be

December 16th from 3:15pm-7:15pm for digital students

December 17th for In-person students

The Digital code to order pictures online is FM345732.

We will send out a sign up link for the digital picture make ups, as soon as the photography company provides us with one.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

Thank You's

Thank you, Duluth Kiwanis, for the donation of 500 student masks!
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We would also like to thank Barbara Geier and Margaret Bergeron, two Master Gardeners, who met with Kathy Bentley last week to offer their expertise and services to plan and help rebuild the pollinator garden in the back of the school. They also arranged for free mulch to be delivered and recruited many Berkeley Lake volunteers to help spread it this past weekend. Everyone worked together to move hundreds of landscaping bricks along with an arbor that were part of the Eagle Scout project that used to be where the new building now sits. Many thanks to Barbara Geier, Margaret Bergeron, Collette and Matthew Bingham, Steve and Joey Wagner, Lu Sykes, Jason and Elena Ouimette, and Lou Young for their many hours of loving labor! We know the butterflies, bees, and other pollinators will be very happy!

Attendance for In-Person Learning Students

We have learned that there is some confusion related to attendance and want to make sure everyone has the correct information. If your family has chosen in-person learning, your student will be marked absent if they do not come to school in-person. If an in-person learner stays home and attends class digitally, they will still be considered absent that day. You may not go back and forth between digital and in-person, so please make sure your in-person student comes to school every day unless they are sick. Different attendance codes will be used for students who are being asked to quarantine from school due to COVID. They will not be considered absent from school during that time.

Next Week's Specials Rotation Schedule for Digital Learners

The Specials Rotation for Digital Learners for the Week of November 16 -20 will be:

  • KG - 2nd: Science and P.E.
  • 3rd - 5th: Art and Music

Please remember that the Special Area teachers are taking grades and they do count. You can see your child's progress in your parent portal under the Grades section.

Making the Choice for Digital or In-Person Learning for Second Semester

The county has extended the deadline until November 29th for you to make your selection in the Parent Portal for whether your child will attend school in-person or digitally for Semester 2. Please note that the decision you make will be for the entire semester.

If you have already made your selection for next semester, use these directions to verify your selection in the web version of the Parent Portal or use these directions to verify your selection in the Parent Vue app.

If you do not have a parent portal account, you need one. Please click here for information or contact our front office to request one.

Book Check Outs for Digital Learners

Click on the link below to see more details about Digital Student Book Checkout Procedures.

For video instructions on how to put your books on Hold, please visit the BLES Media eClass page:

Thank You and Happy Reading!

Mrs. Norby - BLES Media Specialist

Positive Behavior and Intervention Support Theme for the Week:

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PTO News and Information:

We truly appreciate our Custodial team!

Jay Huskovic, BLES's head custodian and his team are everyday heroes. If you’re in the school, you’ll hear their names called over the walkie talkies about every 5 minutes. However, the pandemic has found us extraordinarily dependent on their expertise and care. This week our PTO membership said thank you for all they’ve done to help keep our students and staff safe on top of the incredible responsibilities they have on a daily basis.
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Join us at Satisfeed this Saturday

The organizers were very impressed with the number of volunteers representing BLES last week. Thank you! We’re distributing food again tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. We still need volunteers. Click here to sign up. Location: Life Church International- 4830 River Green Parkway, Duluth GA. There is a need for 4-5 Spanish speakers as well.

The Turkey Trot is Back in Business – Virtually!

Thanks to Michelle Hammond for seeing an opportunity, bringing it to the PTO board and chairing our virtual Turkey Trot this year. So, here’s how to join the fun:

  • Create a team of up to 8 racers for your student, company, tennis team, etc. to see who wins the prizes for raising the most funds and/or be entered for random prize drawings when your team completes the race! Invite neighbors, grandparents, babysitters, remote working team, etc.
  • It doesn't matter where a racer lives. We've got racers all over the globe!
  • Sign up at
  • Race begins Saturday, Nov. 21, at 12 a.m. Newly adjusted tracking time! We’ll be tracking time until Friday, Nov. 27, at midnight ET.
  • You can actually run the distance as portrayed on our customized BLES Turkey Trot route, run another route of your choosing or choose from a variety of activities to do anywhere you want (including cleaning house and playing on the playground!). Then log the activity each day of the week and see your team's avatar move across the route according to the miles associated with that activity. Catch a Google Street View of the new virtual locale, then cheer your real fellow racers by clicking "likes" and posting pics and comments!

Don’t want to run the race but still want to participate or sponsor a racer or team? Donate at You can also donate to a team via check (made out to BLES PTO) or cash. Label your envelope Turkey Trot and the team/runner you are sponsoring and give it to your teacher. Participants can also donate additional amounts at the time of online registration.

Even though we can’t meet at the school for the run/walk and eat pancakes, we hope you’ll join us virtually to support the teachers and students of Berkeley Lake Elementary School. The Turkey Trot has always been a great way to foster a sense of community for our school and neighbors! This year, it’ll be a great way to celebrate the week of Thanksgiving together with friends and loved ones – no matter where you are!

We won't have t-shirts available this year but share your race bib on social media! Brag about your streaks or longest mileage! Take a pic with it on at the real life location you've "run" to! Let's see who "runs" but lives the furthest away! It's great way for loved ones who live far away to feel a part of your student's world.

If you have any questions, contact us at

Use Charleston Wrap® for Your Holiday Shopping!

Share our BLES account with all your family and friends to get everyone shopping – just in time for the holidays!

Here’s how to get started:

1. Click here to register today! Use organization ID number 11515.

2. We have an email invitation tool ready as soon as you register. Send 10 unique and valid shopping email invites to your friends and family.

3. Let the shopping begin! With over 2,500 gift ideas, you can check off your holiday gift list and support BLES, too.

PRO TIP: The more email invites you send, the more supporters we’ll get! So, break out your email contact list, share on social media and help spread the word! If you have any questions or issues, customer support is available at 1-866-395-2926.

GCPS District Information:

Help Sessions for Parents - AKS at Home

The parent AKS at Home Help meetings for this Nine Weeks have already taken place, but if you would like to view a recording of the meeting, visit this page on the county website:

GCPS Virtual Substitute Job Fairs

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hiring individuals with two or more years of college to work as part of our substitute team! This involves going out to local schools and providing instruction through an in-person, digital, or hybrid format – you get to choose the assignments that you accept and determine your own schedule! Daily rates range from $98/day to $120/day.

Click here to learn more about our virtual job fair.

2020-2021 GCPS Promotion Criteria for Elementary Students:

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Other Items:

The Empty Stocking Fund Offers Help for the Holidays

Many of us are facing difficult economic times. The Empty Stocking Fund is a resource that may help. This program provides gifts for children under 12 if you are found eligible. The site is in Spanish and English. Please apply soon, as spots fill up.

Gwinnett Stripers Power of Reading Program

Earn a free ticket to a 2021 Gwinnett Stripers Baseball Game!

From now until December 31st this year, any student that reads four books and submits everything online through the link below will be eligible to receive a free ticket to a 2021 Gwinnett Stripers game. These books can be any books that the students are required to read for school or separate from their required reading at school. Once the student has completed the reading they just simply need their parents to fill out the online submission form at this link: and then email the titles and authors of the books to the email listed on the page. Once those requirements are met, the student will be eligible to receive the ticket to a 2021 Stripers game. Plus, the Stripers and Georgia Power will be honoring a Power Reader of the Month on our social media platforms that students could be eligible for as well.

Good Samaritans Clinic of Gwinnett

The Good Samaritans Clinic of Gwinnett will have a Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, November 14, from 10:00 AM until noon. See the image and flyer below for more information.
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A Look Ahead...

Saturday, November 14

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

8:30am Satisfeed Volunteer Day (see PTO's section above for more info.)

Sunday, November 15

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

Monday, November 16

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

Tuesday, November 17

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

9:00am School Council Meeting - cancelled

Wednesday, November 18

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

Progress reports sent or emailed home

Thursday, November 19

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

6:00pm PTO Executive Board Meeting

Friday, November 20

Charleston Wrap PTO Fundraiser

Extended Book Fair

Saturday, November 21

Thanksgiving Grocery Giveaway-Corners' Church

Extended Book Fair

Sunday, November 22

Last day to place online Book Fair order

Monday, November 23 - Friday November 27

Thanksgiving Break

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.

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!

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.

We Are On Twitter

Follow our school on Twitter @BerkeleyLakeES

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

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Mathnasium
  • Publix

Contact Us:

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514