Berkeley Lake ES

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, October 16, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

We had a smooth transition to the second nine weeks of school and were excited to welcome back around 40 students to in-person instruction! If your student is one who returned this week, please remember to return any Chromebooks (including power cord) or hotspots that you might have checked out.

It is so important this year that we keep good lines of communication open, and we have so many ways to do that. As you know, we are using Dojo, school-wide, I send out this newsletter each Friday, and I also send important time-sensitive information in emails, via School Messenger. We also have the Parent Portal, which contains so much information about your child. It is critical that you sign up for a Parent Portal account, if you have not done so, and that you read all the other information that comes to you electronically or in the bookbag. If you need help with any of those communication tools, please feel free to call the front office. You will be required to select your child's instructional setting for the second semester through the Portal. There will be no survey sent by the district or by me.

I know I have asked before, but we still need folks to apply for Free/Reduced lunch, even if your child stays digital the entire year. The financial implications for our school are significant and I urge you to help us out. Here is the link in case you need it.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

Reminder - Early Release on Wednesday, October 21st, and Thursday, October 22nd

Since next week will be parent-teacher conference week, students will be released from school at noon on both Wednesday, October 21st, and Thursday, October 22nd. Please make sure you have made afternoon transportation and after-school arrangements for your child on those two days.

The button to sign up for conferences has now been removed from our website, so any further communication about conferences will need to go through your child's teacher or our parent liason, Sandra Orci. Ms. Orci can be reached by email at or by phone at 678-291-4232.

Promotion Requirements for This School Year:

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Join Us in Celebrating "Unity Week 2020," October 19th -23rd

October is National Bullying Prevention Month! Kindness ROCKS at BLES and we are celebrating by dedicating a whole week to show that we stand for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

All students may participate in the Unity Week dress-up days, but we are suggesting a $1.00 donation that will go directly to the United Way student campaign. Students should turn their money into student leaders with collection buckets in the morning or to their teacher. For your convenience and for our digital learners, please contribute your donation via the United Way contribution section on My Payments Plus.

The United Way helps non-profit organizations focus on education, financial stability and health. Half of all the money we raise in our student campaign will come right back to Berkeley Lake Elementary School.

See each day's activity for students below:

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Picture Day is Coming

Mark your Calendars!

October 28th: Picture Day for Digital Learners only 3:30-7:30 pm. This will be by appointment only. Click here to sign up for a time slot. This sign up is for digital students only.

October 29th: Picture Day for Students attending in person

See the flyer below and visit This link will allow you to sign up to receive updates via email regarding your child's school portraits. These updates include promotions, additional deals, and the ability to order more pictures at a later time. When entering student information, parents should be sure to enter the student's name as it is on file at the school.

The Book Fair is Coming

Our school's Scholastic Book Fair will be ONLINE this semester!

The dates for our school's book fair are October 26 - November 8. You will have two full weeks to shop from our Scholastic Book Fair online!

The link for our school's book fair is:

All in-person students should have received a Scholastic Book Fair Flyer to take a look at some of the books to purchase from the Book Fair online!

Digital students can pick up a Scholastic Book Fair Flyer during Digital Student Book Checkout days. Our next Digital Student Book Checkout is the week of October 19th on Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am - 2 pm.

We hope all of our in-person students, digital students and staff will be able to participate in our Online Book Fair! Please share our school's book fair link with your friends and family!

Niki Norby (Vanden Hoek)

Media Specialist

Book Check Outs for Digital Learners

The next week of Digital Student Book Check outs will be the Week of October 26th, 2020. Pick up will be every other week on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am - 12:30 pm.

Start putting your books on Hold TODAY! 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

A Big "Thank You" to Girl Scout Troop 15345

The students and staff at Berkeley Lake Elementary School would like to thank Girl Scout Troop 15345 for donating funds from their annual cookie sale to purchase 5 new large blue recycling bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans. They delivered them on Friday, September 25, and placed them upstairs and downstairs in the hallways of the new addition. Your hard work and generous donation of these bins will be a legacy that will remain for many years! Thank you, Mara Davis, Katie Maise, Carrie Maise, Kayden Dotson, Layla Randle, Nanako Evett, Shayla Solis, and Olivia Rogers (not pictured).
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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.

Join a Winning Team and Make Difference in the Lives of Students!

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hiring individuals with two or more years of college to work as part of our substitute team! Daily rates range from $98/day to $120/day. Please visit the GCPS website for more information.

PTO News and Information:

  • Thank you! Since we’re limited in our ability to run our typical Helping Hands food drives this year, we arranged for you to give via MyPayments Plus. And you did! Thanks to our PTO members for raising $360.63 (as of October 10) specifically for our Helping Hands program! We will be working with our counselors to purchase much-needed pantry staples for our BLES families with the donations you’ve provided. So many of our BLES families will benefit thanks to your generosity!

  • Spirit Wear: Thanks to our spirit wear co-chairs, Amy Rodriguez and Kim Sheehan, for organizing our spirit wear pick up this week. If you couldn’t come to our pick up on Oct. 14, contact us at so we can make other arrangements.

Instructional Resource Public Review

You are invited to provide input on proposed instructional resources for select courses in Language Arts, Social Studies, Career and Technical Education, and Foreign Language, conducted as a virtual review October 1st through October 31st. To begin the public review, please visit this link.

Free Groceries Available to Those In Need

During these challenging times, the Friendship Baptist Church Outreach Ministry is here to help! Drive through to get free groceries (meat, produce, dairy, and more.)

When: Fridays 3:00 - 4:00 PM and Saturdays 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Where: Friendship Baptist Church

3375 Church Lane, Duluth, GA 30096

(770) 497-8227


Pastor: Ronald L. Bowens

First Come, First Served

Weekend Food Program

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 Thursdays, or if you child is a digital learner, you can pick the food up at school during school lunch pick-up. 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, or you can pick-up the food between 10:30-12:30 each Thursday.

To participate, please email or call one of the counselors below or Mrs. Orci (Spanish speaker) to request participation.

If you would like to participate, and your child is a digital learner, but you cannot pick-up the food from school between 10:30-12:30, please let us know. We will see what other ways we can help.

Please call us with any questions or concerns.

Lyndsay Murphy
School Counselor

Laura Marantz
School Counselor

Sandra Orci (Spanish)
Parent Liaison

Positive Behavior and Intervention Support Theme for the Week:

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PBIS Team:

Hello Parents,

We wanted to make sure you knew who made up our PBIS Team. Here is our team and their roles. Please know that we will be doing all we can to ensure there is a positive behavior climate at Berkeley Lake.

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NEW: YMCA Now Offering After-School Care

As students are phasing back to in-person instruction, the YMCA has started afterschool care. The YMCA will pick up students from our school and transport them to the YMCA branch where they will serve them until 6:30 p.m. The cost is $60.00 per week for Y facility members and $80.00 per week for Y program members. We also offer different rates for part-time care and discounts for Gwinnett County educators. The YMCA has financial assistance available for families who may need additional help. Please see the flyer below for more information.

Help for the Holidays

During these difficult times, many families will need help for the holidays. We will share information as we learn of programs in this newsletter. Programs for holiday help fill up quickly and can require several steps to sign-up. The Salvation Army is currently taking applications for children and seniors to receive a gift for the holidays. Please see the attached for information on what needed to apply, and then call (770) 724-1667 or go to

Websites and Apps that Our Teachers and Students Use

Click here to see an overview of the main technology programs our students and teachers use here at Berkeley Lake. If you have any questions about our technology, you can email your child's teacher or Jessica Hill.

Need Tech Help During Digital Learning?

Please follow the steps below if your child is having technical issues during digital learning:

  1. Check the BLES website for troubleshooting guides.
  2. If you are not able to resolve your problem with the help guides, reach out to your child's teacher.
  3. If the teacher is unable to help you resolve the issue, complete the form in the Technology Help section of the website and someone in Tech Support will get back to you.

GCPS' Return to Learning Hub

Click here for information, resources, how-to’s, and more related to Gwinnett County Public Schools’ plans for Fall 2020. No matter if you are learning digitally or plan to transition to in-person... this is your go-to source.

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.

Georgia Covid19 Emotional Support Resources:

A Look Ahead...

Monday, October 19

Unity Anti-Bullying Week

Parent-Teacher Conference Week

Tuesday, October 20

Unity Anti-Bullying Week

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Wednesday, October 21

Unity Day (Wear Orange)

Unity Anti-Bullying Week

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Early Release-12:00

No Play to Learn due to conference week

Thursday, October 22

Unity Anti-Bullying Week

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Early Release-12:00

Friday, October 23

Unity Anti-Bullying Week

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Monday, October 26

Book Fair

Tuesday, October 27

Book Fair

Wednesday, October 28

Book Fair

12:30pm Play 2 Learn

3:30pm Digital Learners Picture Day- by Appt.

Thursday, October 29

Book Fair

Picture Day-In Person Students- Gym

Friday, October 30

Book Fair

Monday, November 2

Book Fair

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