Bear Essentials

Weekly eNews from Berkeley Lake Elementary, Sept. 23, 2022

Haga clic aquí para leer este boletín en español

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

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

It's been another great week of learning at Berkeley Lake Elementary School! The Duluth Fall Festival kicks off on Saturday and we invite you to walk with us in the parade!

Please arrive at the parade line-up no later than 9:00 AM. We will be #14 in line on Main Street. Due to limited parking, it is recommended that you take a shuttle from Duluth Middle School, Mason Elementary School, or Chattahoochee Elementary School. Here is a link to more information about the shuttle and parking.

The parade committee requires that all children be able to strollers are allowed in the parade. Wear your Berkeley Lake gear and bring some wrapped candies to toss to the crowd! You can also line the streets as spectators and cheer us on.

Mark your calendars now because International Night is back! Help us celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and enjoy lots of great food and activities. International Night will be held on Friday, October 15, from 5:00-7:00.

I am so excited to share some great news from our PTO! They are hosting our first ever "Bear Scare" which will include a Trunk or Treat and Movie Night. Bear Scare will be held on Friday, October 28th! Look below for more PTO news and details.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

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Next Week's Calendar:

Saturday, September 24 & Sunday, September 25

  • Duluth Fall Festival

Monday, September 26

  • 3:00pm Chess Club
  • 3:15pm Green Team meets

Tuesday, September 27

  • 9:30am Play to Learn

Wednesday, September 28

  • Picture Day
  • 9:00am Basic English Class in the Parent Center

Thursday, September 29

  • 3:00pm Club Invention- 3rd Grade Only
  • 3:15pm Robotics Team

Friday, September 30

  • Progress reports should be sent home in Fri folders or emailed

PTO News and Updates:

Participate in the Duluth Fall Festival Parade With Us

Let's show our BLES Spirit in the Duluth Fall Festival Parade this Saturday, September 24! To participate you need to arrive before 9:00 a.m. for the parade line-up. We are parade spot 14 and will be located on Main Street at our line up location. PTO board members will be there starting at 8:30 am to meet the group. Students need a parent to walk with them through the full parade route and as Dr. Pendleton mentioned in her section above, strollers are NOT allowed. It is recommended to park and take the shuttle to Coleman Middle School and then walk to our parade number from there. Make sure to wear your BLES spirit wear or school colors (Purple, White, and Black)! Link to parking and shuttle information is here:

Charleston Wrap Sale Extended!

When sales are made turn in tickets for a chance to win the HUGE plushie Googly. The classes with the most items sold in EACH grade level will win an ice cream party!

Sale ends September 25th with catalogue orders due by September 29th. Click here to order now.

Classroom Directories

Click here to add your student's information to a classroom directory, if you are interested and have not already done so.

First Ever Annual "Bear Scare"

Join us for the first Annual "Bear Scare" on Friday, October 28th. See the image below for more details or view the flyer here.

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Field Day - Volunteers Needed for Oct. 3rd, 4th, and 5th

***Due to limited space, only parent volunteers will be admitted to field day.

The sign up for field day volunteers is now open! Click here to sign up to volunteer.

Monday, October 3rd

  • 4th Grade (8:15-10:15 AM)
  • 5th Grade: (11:45 AM-1:45 PM)

Tuesday, October 4th

  • 2nd Grade (8:15-10:15 AM)
  • 3rd Grade (11:45 AM-1:45 PM)

Wednesday, October 5th

  • Kindergarten (8:15-10:15 AM)
  • 1st Grade (11:45 AM-1:45 PM)

Happening Next Week:

Picture Day - Wednesday, Sept. 28th

Ordering information was sent home in Friday folders two weeks ago.

Order online using this link and school code B127


click here to view and print a hard copy of the order form.

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Basic English Class

Join us every Wednesday from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the Parent Center

Bring a notebook, a pen and your enthusiasm to learn!

If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Orci at


Play2Learn is a free program for younger children that encourages them and you to play, learn, and grow!

  • Who? Children ages birth to 5 years and their parents or caregivers
  • What? Learning through play
  • Where? Here at Berkeley Lake Elementary
  • When? Tuesday mornings from 9:30 - 11:00 AM
  • Why? Early learning is important. Simply put, a child's early years lay the foundation for all that is to come. In recent years, researchers have learned that the human brain develops the vast majority or its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and three years of age.

More School News:

International Heritage Night is Coming and We Need Families to Showcase Their Culture/Heritage

This year, the event will be held on Friday, October 14th from 5:00 - 7:00 PM, and we would like as many families to participate, as possible. If you are interested in participating and you have not already turned in the yellow form that was sent home, please complete this form so we can know what part of your heritage you will be sharing.

AKS at Home - It's Not Too Late

Parents, if you were not able to attend the Zoom AKS at Home sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, it's not too late for you to view and listen to the information that was shared. Each session's recording and tip sheets can be accessed using the links below:

Annual AKS Review - Parent Input is Needed

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) invites GCPS families, Gwinnett county residents, students, and GCPS staff members to participate in the school district’s review of the Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum now through October 6th. The public may review proposed standards online, offering feedback on AKS that have been developed to align the curriculum with the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) and/or Georgia Performance Standards (GPS).


Welcome to three new members to K-Kids: Jurnee, Halima and Kayllen. Our next meeting will be October 28, 2022. We will be learning all about our Kiwanis Kids Handbook and starting our new video making series for PBIS.

Free Drive Thru Food Pantry

The Norcross Cluster Drive Thru pantry is September 30. All families are welcome.
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GCPS is Hiring

Bus Drivers:

Our drivers enjoy competitive pay rates ($19.07 - $27.03 per hour), outstanding health benefits with employer contribution, and a work schedule that fits their busy lifestyle! GCPS provides 100% fully Commercial Driver’s License training – our training team is one of the best in the nation and we will make you successful. Make a difference in the life of a child today, and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with preparing the children in your community for their future. Click below to learn more about our upcoming recruiting events, and to apply today!

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School Nutrition Employees

We are looking for caring individuals who want to make a difference in our students' lives by preparing and serving nutritious meals. No experience is required and training is fully paid. GCPS provides outstanding health benefits with employer contribution for you and your family. Join the Café Gwinnett Team for a family-friendly work schedule and competitive pay.

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Other Reminders from Our School

Reminder About Afternoon Transportation Changes:

Parents, please remember that afternoon transportation changes must be made by 1:30 and there are only two ways for you to make an change for your child:

1. Use the PikMyKid app

2. Send in a signed note.

Dojos, emails, or phone calls to change afternoon transportation will not be accepted.

Thank you for helping us enforce this rule and keep our kids safe!

We Can Help

Many of us face economic hardships at various times in our lives. Due to these hardships, we may need additional help with basic needs like food. At this time, Berkeley Lake Elementary can help by providing a small amount of groceries for your family each week. They will be sent home in your child’s backpack on Fridays. The food is provided by donation. Your name and your child’s name will not be revealed to the donor. The Berkeley Lake Staff will get the food to your child in a discrete manner.

To participate, please email one of us, call either school counselor, or Mrs. Orci (Spanish speaker) to request participation.

Please call us with any questions or concerns:

Lyndsay Murphy

School Counselor

School Counselor


Laura Marantz

School Counselor


Sandra Orci (Spanish)

Parent Liaison


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COVID-19 Surveillance Testing for Students in Our Cluster

The GCPS COVID surveillance testing program is currently available to students and staff members in the Archer, Berkmar, Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Lanier, Norcross, and South Gwinnett clusters. If you have a current student in one of these clusters and are interested in participating in this pilot, click this link to sign up. Note: If you signed up for the program last year, you would not need to complete the sign-up again.

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.

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

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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