Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - January 8, 2015

Happy New Year!

I hope 2016 is your best year ever. Holidays are a wonderful time to rest and reconnect with family and loved ones. We hope that you had a terrific time with your family. The staff was excited to welcome back our beautiful children to begin second semester.

Optional eClass Winter Break Activity

BLES had 65 students answer the discussion question in the optional eClass winter break activity. Thank you to all of those who attempted the activity - we are aware that there were some technical difficulties and have reported them to the county tech support team. Students who were able to answer the discussion question will receive a Paw Point for their efforts from Ms. Hill, our Local School Technology Coordinator.

Thank You

I would like to express my appreciation to all the parents who sent desserts for the staff holiday luncheon the week prior to the break and to the PTA for coordinating the effort. The teachers enjoyed the delicious treats. Thank you for the kindness of sharing cookies, cakes, pies and more for this special occasion. Also thank you to all for the warm holiday wishes and lovely gifts. Your thoughtfulness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Candlelight Luncheon Photos

PTA wanted me to let you know that the Candlelight Luncheon photos have been sent to printing and are expected to be sent home on Fri., Jan. 15. These pictures captured such beautiful memories for the children.

A Day of Learning for Our Teachers

Our fabulous teachers returned from winter break with a day of professional learning on Tuesday. The work day offered time to work on report cards, plan for Quarter 3, and two sessions to support writing constructive responses for math and literacy. Kindergarten through second grade teachers participated with the county math coach working through problems, defending their math thinking and discussing strategies for daily math instruction. Part of the conversation was about the importance of children understanding math vocabulary to be effective thinkers beginning in kindergarten. Third through fifth grade teachers attended a presentation by Kevin Raczynski from the Georgia Center for Assessment. He provided techniques for scoring constructed responses and instructional strategies to prepare the students for the spring Georgia Milestones Assessment and continue to develop them into lifelong learners.

New Enhanced Front Door Security

This month we will begin changes in a safety procedure when visitors enter our school. Next Monday, January 11, we will go live with a front door Buzz in System. The new system, which requires visitors to be “buzzed” into the school, is intended to enhance the safety and security of both students and staff by establishing greater door control at the primary entrance to the school. All our doors are locked each day after cars and buses arrive so visitors will need to press the “bell” button to gain entry to the school. Please see the flyer in today’s folder.

Join us for a Parent Workshop on January 14 at 6:00 PM.

The counselors, Laura Marantz and Danielle Maida, will teach strategies on test preparation. Our testing coordinator, Sophia Barton, will share information about state testing expectations. Please come learn how to help your child prepare for the upcoming Georgia Milestones in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

PTA Science Night will be Thursday, January 28, from 6:00-8:00 PM

We are excited to prepare for PTA Science Night, Thursday Jan. 28, from 6:00-8:00. There will be a parent workshop at 5:30 in the science room. This has always been one of my favorite evenings with the students and parents. PTA Chairpersons, Julie Frick and Margo Williams, are coordinating the evening with Ms. Bentley and Mr. Carter, with interesting exhibitions on astronomy, telescopes, robotics, weather, rocks, chemistry, live animals and more.

Science Fair projects are due January 22 to Ms. Bentley

We have many fabulous scientists who are conducting investigations for this engaging assignment. Projects will be on display Science Night Jan. 28 in the Media Center and the winners will participate in the Gwinnett Regional Science Exhibition. Please be sure to turn in the projects on or before Fri., Jan 22.

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Car Rider Afternoon Procedures

As you know, car rider pick-up starts at dismissal, which is 2:45pm. Our car rider procedure is working so smoothly that almost all students have been picked up by 3:00. We are asking you to please be here before 3:00pm each day to pick up your child. *If you are not here by 3:00, you will need to park your car and walk into the school (with your license or picture ID) to sign your child/children out.

Report cards are being sent home next Friday, January 15th

Please make time to review your child’s achievement with him or her. If they are doing their best, make sure they know you are proud of their work and efforts put forth. If they are struggling, work together on a plan to improve. Remember Berkeley Lake has a Parent Center full of resources that is open daily. If you need ideas on how to specifically help your child, please contact your child’s teacher. The Georgia Milestones Assessment (GMAS) Spring of 2015 Individual Student Report results will be in the report card envelops for the 4th and 5th grade students who participated. As I mentioned above, we will offer a Parent GMAS Workshop next Thur., Jan. 14, @ 6:00. Please join us for more GMAS information. The GMAS Parent Guide is designed to help you understand the Individual Score Report and can be found on the BLES website.

FREE text service for parents of 4 & 5 year olds provides literacy & math tips and resources - now available in English and Spanish.

The following was shared with the school recently and I want to send to you. FREE text service for parents of 4 & 5 year olds provides literacy & math tips and resources - now available in English and Spanish.
What: Collaborative effort between Georgia Department of Education and Stanford University to create a free text service for parents of 4 & 5 yr olds that includes tips, facts and suggestions to promote early literacy and mathematics.
When: Text messages are sent every two to three days
Text "GAready4kESP" to 313131 to join! It's Free!

Cold Weather is Here

With the cold temperatures here, please be sure to check your child before he or she leaves each day. We want all of our students wearing warm coats, hats and gloves as we go out for recess as often as the weather allows. Bundle them up to stay healthy. Also remember for up-to-date school closing or school delay information, check WSB-TV, WSB radio-AM 750 or FM 95.5, or

Stay warm and dry and have a wonderful weekend.

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

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

1/12—3-4:00 Green Team

1/13—7:15 Art Club

1/13—2:45 Strings Club

1/13—3:00 Good News Club

1/14—7:15 NO Chorus

1/14—7:30 Readers Rally

1/14—9:30-1:30 Gr 3 Field Trip

1/14—6pm Counselor’s Title Parent Workshop—Test Preparation

1/15—Report Cards Go Home

1/15—7:30 Witzzle Pro

1/15—7:45 K-Kids

1/15—9:30-1:30 Gr 3 Field Trip

1/18—MLK, Jr. Holiday

1/19—NO IT Girls

1/19—9-11:00 English Class

1/19—3-4:00 Green Team

1/19—5-9:00 PTA Spirit Night—Zaxby’s

1/20—7:15 Art Club

1/20—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

1/20—3-4:00 Good News Club

1/21—NO Chorus

1/21—7:30 Readers Rally

1/22—100th Day of School!

1/22—7:30 Witzzle Pro

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.