Berkeley Lake Elementary

September 17, 2021

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 BLES! Thank you to all who were able to join Coffee Talk on Thursday. For those of you who were not able to attend, here are some highlights and here is a link if you prefer to watch it at your own convenience.

Enrollment Update: our enrollment numbers are very close to the projection given to us by the district so we were able to retain all of our staff and hire an instructional clerk to support our kindergarten team.

Local School Plan for Improvement: Our implementation plan this year will focus on differentiated small group instruction and strategies to support our English-Language Learners.

COVID Update: (current as of 9/10/21) see image below.

We also discussed our DEBUG system and why we still have Digital Learning Days this year. Information about both of those topics can be found just below the COVID update.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

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Why Digital Learning Days?

This year, we have six DLD's build into the calendar; two of them are Early Release Days so that we can hold Parent-Teacher Conferences. On the other four days, teachers are able to attend training and complete work that they normally would do on their own time after school or on the weekends. So, what did we do yesterday?

  • Professional Learning (3 hours) on using affective statements to correct student behavior in a way that is respectful and positive, strategies to support EL students, and training and time to work on eCLASS pages.
  • Time to create digital lessons for students who quarantine or for inclement weather days (1-3 hours).
  • Time to collaborate with team members and plan for future lessons (1-3 hours).
  • Time for Kid Talks with AP’s to look at student data and make plans to help students who are struggling academically (1 hour).

A Look Ahead...

Saturday, September 18

  • PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser Continues

Sunday, September 19

  • PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser Continues

Monday, September 20

  • PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser Continues
  • School Store on the Job Training
  • 3:00pm Chess Club- Media Center

Tuesday, September 21

  • School Store on the Job Training
  • CogAT Testing Grades 1, 2, and 5
  • Original Last Day for PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser but has now been extended until Sept. 24th
  • 3:15pm Club Invention for 3rd Grade
  • 3:15pm School Store Training after school

Wednesday, September 22

  • PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser Continues
  • School Store on the Job Training
  • CogAT Testing Grades 1 & 2
  • 12:30pm Play to Learn
  • 3:15pm Green Team

Thursday, September 23

  • PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser Continues
  • School Store on the Job Training
  • CogAT Testing Grades 1 & 2
  • 6:00 - 8:00pm Annual Title I Parent Meeting and Parent Workshop #1: Restorative Practices (more information below)

Friday, September 24

  • School Store on the Job Training
  • New Last day for PTO Charleston Wrap Fundraiser
  • 9:15am Transportation Puppet Show

Saturday, September 25

  • Duluth Fall Festival

Sunday, September 26

  • Duluth Fall Festival

PTO News:

Fall Charleston Wrap Fundraiser End Date Has Been Extended

Time is almost up on our Fall Fundraiser but there is still time to buy. We will be awarding an ice cream party to the class with the most items sold in each grade, so make sure to get all online orders and paper order forms submitted by the new deadline of Friday, September 24th.

Need a reminder on how to order? See the flyer PDF below.

Field Day is Coming!!

This year's Field Days will be held on the following dates:

  • October 4th for grades K and 1
  • October 5th for grades 2 and 3
  • October 6th for grades 4 and 5

We need your help to make it happen. We need volunteers to help run the different Field Day stations. Please click here to sign up.

Note: If you would like to watch your student, please sign up for a shift, because spectators will be limited to volunteers only.

School News:

CogAT Testing for Students in Grades 1, 2, and 5

Students in grades 1st, 2nd, and 5th will be taking the CogAT or Cognitive Abilities Test next week on the following days:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 21st: 1st, 2nd, & 5th
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22nd: 1st & 2nd
  • Thursday, Sept. 23rd: 1st & 2nd

BLES Annual Title I Parent Meeting and Parent Workshop #1: Restorative Practices

Parents, please join us for our first Title I Parent Workshop on Thursday, September 23rd, from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The session will include an overview of the BLES Restorative Practices program and how parents can use the program at home.
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Attention 5th Grade Parents

If your child was selected for School Store, they have a required meeting on Tuesday, September 21st from dismissal to 4:15pm. We will meet you in the bus lane by the main school doors at 4:15 for pick-up.

Regular duties will start on Wednesday, September 22nd based on their assigned work day which you will receive in a note home. On their assigned work day they need to arrive in the bus lane at the main school doors between 7:25 and 7:29.

Please send in a note by Monday, September 20th stating that your child will be staying for School Store training. Please state in the note who will be picking your child up from training at 4:15. If the person is someone other than the parent/guardian, please add them to your emergency contacts and remind them to bring their photo I.D.

Duluth Youth Basketball Tryouts for 4th - 8th Grade Boys and Girls

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Gwinnett County Substitute Teacher Incentive Plan

In Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), our people are our greatest resource, including our substitute teachers and the tremendous support they provide to our students, staff members, and schools. GCPS substitutes play a critical role in our students’ education, making a difference in the lives of children every day!

With that in mind, GCPS is pleased to announce two initiatives for substitute teachers:

  • A one-time incentive payment to recognize the service of our substitute teachers.
    • Substitute Teachers who work at least 45 days between August 4, 2021, and December 17, 2021, will be eligible to receive a one-time incentive payment of $500, above and beyond the substitute's regular earned pay (attached flyer contains additional details).

  • A pay rate increase for our substitute teachers effective 9/20/2021 through the duration of the pandemic:
    • Substitute Teacher – from $108 to $130 per day
    • Extended Substitute Teacher – from $120 to $150 per day (10 or more consecutive days in the same classroom)

Please email with any questions.

Thank you!

Gwinnett County Public Schools

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Mobile Vaccine Clinic Will Be at Duluth High School on Sept. 21st and 23rd from 3:00 - 7:00 PM

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AKS at Home Family Engagement Support

If you are unable to attend the AKS at home meetings for each grade level last week, a parent tip sheet and a recording of the meetings will be available on the county website:

Family Engagement Tips

Visit the BLES website and check out each day's Family Engagement tip. There is a tip for every day, Monday - Sunday, and they are offered in both English and Spanish.

Positive Interventions and Behavior Support (PBIS)

Our school is a Positive Interventions and Behavior Support (PBIS) school. Each week we will spotlight a particular theme of good behavior and ask that you reinforce this theme with your child when it at home. Below you will see this week's focus.
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Berkeley Lake Elementary is a Georgia After School Program (GASP) School

Parents, are you tired of waiting in those long car-rider lines? Or, do you need someone to watch your student after school until you can get home from work? If so, the Georgia After School Program may be something you want to consider. The program is offered at our school and follows strict COVID protocols. If you want to learn more about the program, click here.
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Do You Have a Young Child at Home That is Not Yet in School? If so, Get Involved With Play to Learn.

Play 2 Learn is a program for young children— ages birth to 5— offered at 42 elementary schools in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Children and parents and other adults in the family learn together through engaging lesson plans in a high-quality preschool environment for 90 minutes each week during the school year. Families are empowered to keep the learning going at home so that all children will be ready for Kindergarten! Berkeley Lake Elementary one of the county's Play to Learn Schools, so if you have a young child at home, we encourage you to consider joining the program. See the image below or click here to learn even more about the program.
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From Our Counselors

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


We Collect Box Tops (Online)

Box Tops for Education is Online: Box Tops are being collected online only. Here are instructions for how to continue to give to our school with Box Tops.

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.

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.

Did You Know BLES is on Various Social Media Apps?

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

Opportunity for Discounted Portable WiFi Hotspot for Families

The Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation is offering a discount on a portable WiFi hotspot for its families for $50/month. Data is unlimited and there is no contract required. See the image below or click here to learn more.

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!

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.

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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