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Updates from Principal Lewis
Morning Arrival SAFETY
November 2017

Greetings BES Parents!
   We are seeing improvements in carpool safety. There are less reports of students being let out on Briarlake Rd to walk up the hill. Parents are being considerate of the 2 lane rotation and pulling in beyond the portico to allow for more cars! Also, more parents have refrained from getting out of the car to let children out on the left side. The challenge has been tough, but we are working to see improvements in safety and the decrease of student tardies.
   However, in meeting one goal, other concerns have developed, including parents speeding through the neighborhoods 
and continuing to make illegal left turns.

   We would hope the reasons these present a challenge would be obvious and should naturally affect change, but it has not. 
  • Just recently a parent and her daughter, along with their large dog, walking to school with a flashlight to alert oncoming drivers of their presence experienced being just a foot or so shy of being hit by a speeding white Mazda X5 driven by a Briarlake parent on Cedar Canyon. 
  • Last year a community member going for a morning run was hit when someone made an illegal left turn into BES driveway. 
   This is shared not to cause a scare, but to heighten awareness of a very serious problem. In haste, accidents happen, and no one wants to be the cause of a very serious injury.
   The goal is to be a driving force of safety that creates an environment that affords us the luxury of being able to safely enjoy walking to school. To continue in this endeavor the following is asked of our BES family community.
2.    Leave home in enough time to enter carpool by 7:15 am. Our observations are that from 7:10-7:20 carpool is almost empty! From 7:25-7:40, it resembles 285 rush hour traffic. Mondays and Wednesdays are also high traffic days. Be a part of the solution! Enter carpool by 7:15 am.
3.    Keep the flow of traffic moving by pulling in well past the portico and following the direction of staff on duty. Our efficiency resides in how quickly and effectively we can pull in as many cars as possible for drop off before having to stop traffic.
4.    Be kind. Our staff and parent volunteers are in place to keep our students safe and to assist with the flow of traffic. Please do not yell at them in moments of frustration.
BES Arrival Team will:
1.    Work to keep a hired officer on duty to monitor illegal left turns and the flow of traffic exiting to Lavista Rd.
2.    Increase efficiency by quickly and effectively pulling in as many cars as possible for drop off before having to stop traffic. We will work to pull in 6 to 8 cars for drop off before stopping for pedestrians. Staff will step out to ensure safety for pedestrians crossing while cars are stopped for drop off.
3.    Position the white A-frame out front at 7:35 to indicate we are approaching the 7:40 tardy bell.
4.    Ask DeKalb County Police Dept. to conduct a study of the current traffic realities within the Briarlake community. Are more sidewalks needed? Speed bumps? Signage? Lights?
Walkers and bikers:
1.   Wear a reflector jacket or more than one reflector/light on your body in the front and back. One flash light or reflector does not give a good sense of what is ahead. It is very scary for a driver, even traveling at appropriate speeds, to approach a person and not know it is a person until they are just within feet of them.
2.  Walkers: Walk against/facing traffic if you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks. You are less likely able to protect yourself from cars you don't see approaching from behind. However, it is safest to walk on sidewalks and crosswalks. Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks.
Bikers: Ride with traffic. Riding against traffic puts you where drivers aren't looking for you especially, the motorists entering and leaving the roadway at intersections and driveways do not expect traffic (bicycle) to approach from the wrong direction. Remember, it is always safest to do what is expected. Ride with traffic to be seen.
3.   Avoid wearing dark colors (black, blue, brown, purple etc...)
4.   If you should need to cross traffic, wait for staff to stop traffic. We understand that you are capable of crossing the traffic; however, we have 2 carpool goals that include safety and efficiency. Our efficiency resides in how quickly and effectively we can pull in as many cars as possible for drop off before having to stop traffic.
More information on safety can be found at:
If you have additional suggestions, please email our parent Safe Routes to School lead, Linda Coil at
lbcoil@att.net . We are destined for greatness and will arrive as One School. One Community. Realizing ONE SUCCESS!
Thank you for your continued support.
Principal Lewis

Briarlake CCRPI News!

Briarlake CCRPI Scores
2014- 78.9
2015- 80
    2016- 78.5
    2017- 81.6

This is our highest score since 2014! WAY TO GO BRIARLAKE!

PTA Info, Events, and more
Beaver Boost Winner!

Congratulations to Lipeng and Lizhi Zhai!  Their family won the Nintendo Switch in the Beaver Boost raffle!  Thank you to all of our families that donated.  Other prizes will be 
coming home in the following weeks.

Beaver Boost class parties will occur the week after Thanksgiving!


The Winter Concert will be  Tuesday, December 12 at 6:00 pm  in the Briarlake cafetorium.   

PreK, Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade  will perform.

All students in those grades are included. Students should arrive between  5:30 and 5:45  and go to their classroom. They will come to the stage as a group. If you arrive before  5:30 , please hold your student with you until  5:30 . We will not wear any special outfits but will dress for a dress up occasion. The concert should last about 45 minutes. If you have any questions, feel free to email Mr. Lee:  don_lee@dekalbschoolsga.org
Yearbook Sale: 5% Off Pre-sale Deadline: Nov 30

Don't miss out on this pre-sale opportunity to purchase your 2017-2018 yearbook for 5% off! Simply  visit the TreeRing site and place your pre-order by NOVEMBER 30th using the code from flyer. 

With your yearbook purchase, you will receive two, free customizable pages to upload your child's favorite Briarlake memories. Also, TreeRing plants a tree for every book purchased! This is your last chance to order at this discount!

Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl

The Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl will be held January 27, 2018 at Arabia Mountain High School.  We are looking for avid 4th and 5th grade readers to participate  on the Briarlake Reading Bowl Team. Mr. Hardwick and parent volunteers will sponsor the team, providing opportunities for weekly practice and supervision on the day of the competition. 
Briarlake is also seeking parent volunteers to assist with student preparation on Thursdays.  Practices will be held from 2:50-4:00 on Thursdays starting November 9thDownload the Reading Bowl permission form here.  For questions about Reading Bowl, please contact parent, Anne Garcia at anne.saves@gmail.com.
For more information, check weekly folders and please visit the following website:  http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/helen-ruffin-reading-bowl/.  
Announcing the Briarlake Elementary Math Club!

Learn fun mathematics and prepare for the Sagamore Hills Math Tournament. 
Math Club will meet in Mrs. Baerman's classroom on Tuesdays, from 3:30-4:00 pm, starting October 31. 

If your child is is interested, and is in grades 3rd-5th, please, email Gregg Shapiro ( gs@shap.net) and include: Student (First/ Last Name), Grade, Parent (First/ Last Name), Parent Email.

Support the Atlanta Hawks AND the Briarlake Beavers!
FUN-omenal Fundraising Opportunity! The Hawks will donate $5 back to Briarlake for every ticket sold for the 10 games listed below by using the hawks.com/schoolassist site. Go to as many games as you like, but save the date for Saturday, December 9th to be the Briarlake Family Night! Let's Go Hawks! And Let's Go Beavers! 
Kindness Adventure Assembly on 12/15

We will have a Kindness Adventure Assembly on  December 15, 2017 from 8:30am - 9:15am for grades 1 - 5.  This assembly will be a part of our No Place for Hate Initiative. 

Click here for more information.

International Night will be held January 23rd, 2018 at 6pm and the team is in search of BES students/parents to perform.

If you or your child are interested and take part in any dance, singing, etc. with cultural/international significance, please contact Angela Barnett at angelabarnett@gmail.com and/or Erica Bland at Ericabland@gmail.com.

We currently have Japan & USA represented and would like more. Thank you!
Technology Fair
What: Technology Fair
WhenJanuary 20, 2018
Who: Grade 3-5
Teacher Sponsor: Ms. Green
Parent Sponsor: Liberty Garcia ( libaydc@gmail.com) - available to coach participants every  Friday @Innovation Lab  3:30-3:45pm

informational session slides:  http://briarlakepta.org/techfair-slides.html 
informational session PDF - attached

Co-Chair Needed for Briarlake Foundation Auction

SAVE THE DATE:  Friday 2/23/18

Are you organized? Have lots of energy? Love to party plan? Or love to seek donations? If yes to any of these items, the Briarlake Foundation needs your assistance with BESF's Annual Auction to be held  Friday 2/23/18 .  The funds raised will be used to create a magical media center for years to come. Additional funds will be used for STEM and other technology needs of our wonderful school.

Allison Bower has graciously agreed to be our Co-Chair for the event but we are seeking a second person to assist her with all the details. Please do not be deterred if the commitment of co-chairing a committee is too time intensive for your family right now. We understand that. However, Allison has lots of small tasks that can be delegated to even the busiest of parents, so please reach out to her if you're willing to help!  

You may contact Allison Bower at  allisonbower78@gmail.com  or Co- Presidents  Ann  Mancuso  annbriarlake@gmail.com  or Paul Grant at  pgrant@ggc.edu  for all the details.

As always the BES Foundation thanks you in advance for your time and effort in assisting the Foundation in providing our students with a well-rounded education.

Warm Regards,

Upcoming Dates
11/20 - 11/24.................NO SCHOOL, Thanksgiving Break
11/27 - 12/01.................Parent Teacher Conference Week

November Breakfast               November Lunch 

Don't want to miss a thing?  Sync your Google calendar automatically to the Briarlake calendar!  Head over to the PTA website and click +Google Calendar!
District News
DeKalb County School District to continue 20-minute extended-day class schedule through November 30.

DeKalb County School District (DCSD) will continue to add 20 minutes to its school day through Thursday, Nov. 30, in an effort to recapture much of the instructional time lost due to the storm known as Hurricane Irma.
Other important aspects of this plan include:
  • There will be no 20-minute extended day on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
  • DCSD schools and offices will also remain open on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 7) as the district ensures that students don't miss out on lessons vital to their academic achievement.
  • Schools will also be closed Nov. 20-24 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 
  • Winter Break will remain as originally scheduled.
In sum, these moves will allow DCSD to recover three of the four days lost to Irma. The district will waive the fourth day.