Last Week of School! Have a Wonderful Summer!

HAPPENING THIS WEEK:  Daily Special Activities for 5th Grade (Mon - Thurs),  Last Call for Box Tops (5/22), Monkey Joe's Spirit Night (5/23, 4-8pm), Awards' Day (5/24, Grades 1st-2nd- 8-9, Grades 3rd - 4th, 9:15-10:15, Jr. Beta Induction Ceremony-10:15-11), Class Parties (5/24, 1-2),
 LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony and Pool Party, PTA Receipts Due, Report Cards (5/25)

Summer Registration Opens
June 5th, Mon-Thurs 
8:30 a.m - 1:00 p.m

 Want Something Sent Out In the Weekly Briarlake PTA Blast? Email by Thursday at 8 p.m. of each week to post information in the Sunday newsletter. 
Farewell from PTA Co-President Sonya Tinsley-Hook
Without a doubt, having the opportunity to serve as one of your Briarlake PTA Co-Presidents has been the privilege of a lifetime. The magic of Briarlake PTA is that it is not at all a one-person show...or even "a few people who do everything." We could not accomplish all that we make happen each and every week without the 40+ parent volunteers who hold PTA Board and Committee Chair positions and the hundreds of you who volunteer and donate in big and small ways consistently through the year.
My faith in humanity has been constantly replenished as I have worked alongside the wonderful parents and staff in this community who give so much of their time so that Briarlake can offer so many programs, resources, and activities that would not otherwise be available for the children in this community. Our little school has accomplished some really big things together this past year (National PTA School of Excellence, AdvancED STEM certification, Top Ten finishers at State Science Olympiad just to name a few)...and I truly believe that the best is still yet to come. I'm excited to see all the wonderful things in store for Briarlake as so many seeds that we have planted together start to really take root and blossom.
I was passed this baton from a long line of outstanding PTA Co-Presidents and I am happy to now pass it on to two more amazing and dedicated women, Emily Graybill and Jennifer Petrich. In particular I would like to thank my fellow PTA Co-Presidents from the past two years, Emily Graybill for 2016-17 and Monica Cowles from 2015-16. I would also like to thank the two principals I have worked with as a PTA Co-President, Mrs Jamela Lewis and Ms. Mary Jenks. Briarlake has been fortunate to have principals who value parent involvement and appreciate what a strong PTA brings to our school.
My husband Jeep Hook and I strongly agree that the Briarlake community has been a fantastic place to raise our daughter Sophia, and we look forward to continuing to support this school as "alumni parents" and members of the larger Henderson-Lakeside community. Beavers for Life! :)
Finally, my favorite quote is from Hazrat Inayat Khan who said "Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful." It has been my goal to teach my daughter by example to live by these words and to do her best to help make any community that she finds herself in as beautiful as it can be. The beauty of Briarlake Elementary is that so many parents and staff clearly live by these words as well.

Wishing you everything good now and always--

Field Day Pictures! 
Another amazing Briarlake PTA Field Day!

Thanks to parent Dawn Taylor for coordinating all of the field day activities (for several years in a row!), Coach Cocks for co-coordinating with Dawn, Volunteer Coordinator Melissa McConnell for recruiting our volunteers, and the 81 parent volunteers who made Field Day a smashing success!

Check out these beautiful Field Day photos by parent, Randy McDow. Thanks, Randy!
This Monday, May 22nd (Tomorrow) - Box Tops are Due!
 Thank you Briarlake Families!  So far we have earned $568.90 for our school this year from clipping Box Tops! We are more than half way to our $1000 goal for the year--but it will take everyone participating to reach it.  We have to get them submitted in May because many will expire before our fall submission.   Whether you give a handful or several hundred, please clip every single one of those Box Tops  for these final weeks of the school year ! Everyone participating is so important with Box Tops because it requires an accumulation of thousands of 10-cent clips to add up.  Thank you all so much! 

Remember:  Box Tops can be submitted in baggies or pasted on collection sheets printed from Either way, drop them off in the Box Top Collection Box in the Briarlake front office whenever you are ready.  Contact me if you have questions or want to help! Your 2016-17 Box Top Coordinator: Mark Cochran

This Tuesday (5/23): Last Spirit Night of the Year at Monkey Joe's from 4-8pm!

This Thursday Morning (5/25):  Lower Grade Parents Needed to Help at 5th Grade Promotion Reception!
Looking for Lower Grade Parents to Help Serve Refreshments at 
5th Grade's Promotion Reception!

We're looking for a few parents who can help volunteer at the 5th Grade Promotion ceremony on the morning of  Thursday, May 25th so that the 5th grade parents can be fully present to experience this important milestone in their children's lives. 

Come be a part of this beautiful and meaningful day at Briarlake and get a sneak peek at the special experience that's in store when it's time for your little one to leave the Beaver lodge one day!

Please use the link below to sign up to volunteer. Multiple volunteer opportunities are listed on this link so please make sure you are signing up to assist with the reception following the promotion ceremony from  9:45 am until 11 am on  Thursday, May 25th.

In gratitude for your support!

The 5th Grade Promotion Celebration Committee...and the entire Briarlake 5th Grade Class of 2017!

Reminder: Turn in PTA receipts by THIS THURSDAY, May 25th 
Turn in all PTA Receipts by the last day of school!
It's time for PTA to close the books for the fiscal year so turn in those receipts by the last day of school. PTA spends June reconciling the bank account in preparation for the rigorous annual independent financial audit PTA goes through every year. 

To turn in your reimbursement request, do the following:

1. Get those receipts (we must have receipts as part of our annual audit)

2. Get a reimbursement form (can be found on the PTA website or in the front office)

3. Complete the reimbursement form, attach your receipts, and place in the "PTA Check Request" box in the front office by the end of day (6pm) on Thursday, May 25th

Thank you for all you do for the Briarlake community!
Order Your School Supplies Kits for 2017-2018 Today - Deadline June 11th! 
Don't battle the back to school lines in August - Take care of your school supply shopping now! 
Our own Ms. Sally Elliott has created the school supply lists for the 2017-2018 academic year so that you can order your school supplies NOW and have them shipped to the school and waiting for you at Open House. 

Order forms went home in last week's Friday folders and you can order online through the link below! Take advantage of this opportunity to get your back to school shopping done early!

Customized grade specific school supplies kits are now available for purchase on-line. Each kit is tailored specifically by grade with items requested by the teachers for the upcoming school year. They will be shipped to the school just in time for Open House.  

Order Your Kits Today at:
Enter Our School ID:  BRI148

Contact Anjevon Smith or Amanda Holt (VP's of Fundraising)

Let's Get Ready for Next Year's Reading Bowl Team!
Reading Bowl Begins with Summer Reading!
This year's Briarlake Reading Bowl had an outstanding year and finished in 3rd place at the District competition! We look forward to having another great year in 2017-18 and summer reading is where it all begins! If you will be in 4th or 5th grade next year and are interested in being a part of next year's Reading Bowl team, start reading any of these books that have been selected for the elementary school competition:
PTA is working with Mr. Hardwick to make sure that these books can be made available to interested students over summer break. If you are interested in being notified when copies of the Reading Bowl books will be available for check-out over the summer , please email Anjevon Smith at
All interested 4th and 5th grade participants can participate in Reading Bowl Club which will begin in the early fall. 10 students will be selected from the Reading Bowl Club sometime in November or December to represent Briarlake at the District competition which takes place in January. #yourptadollarsatwork
School Council Updates

Answers link to Math Challenge (Challenge 4)

ALL 4  Academic Challenges.  36 students completed every Academic Challenge this school year.

New Summer STEM Challenge - All submissions DUE by Friday, August 11.
School Council Minutes and Agenda from the May 4th meeting

Here is the link to the updated/revised School Council By-Laws:

Congratulations to the 2017-2018 School Council Parent and Teacher Representatives:

Voting Members:
Ms Jamela Lewis - Principal
Anjevon Smith - Chair (1 year term remaining)
Liberty Garcia - Vice Chair (2 year term remaining)
Ellyn Cochran - Secretary (1 year term remaining)
Pamela Hege - Parent Rep (2 year term remaining)
Ms Wise - Teacher Rep (1 year term remaining)
Ms Baerman - Teacher Rep (2 year term remaining)

Non-Voting Members:
Debbie Martin-Gerstle - Mentor/ former-Chair
Tony Pan - Academic Achievement Committee Co-Chair (1 year term remaining)
Anne Garcia - Academic Achievement Committee Co-Chair (2 year term remaining)

Updated Gifted Identification Process for Dekalb County Schools (As of May 2017)

Would You Enjoy Being a Briarlake Tour Guide?
Help Welcome New Families to Our Wonderful Briarlake Community!
New families coming to our school or considering moving to this area often request tours of our wonderful school. One of the many ways our PTA supports Briarlake is by providing tours to prospective parents. If you enjoy meeting and welcoming new people, this could be the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. Tours take place during the school day, but can be arranged to accommodate your schedule. Training and tour notes provided.  If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity, contact Sonya Tinsley-Hook at

  Special note from Sonya: Giving tours to prospective Briarlake families is lots of fun and a very meaningful way to support our school and share the positive story about our community.  If my daughter was not a 5th grader, I would gladly do this particular job another year.  I promise this is not a paid endorsement!  :)
Important Dates to Remember in May...and throughout the Summer!


Monday, May 22nd- Turn in your BOX TOPS

Tuesday, May 23rd- Monkey Joe's Spirit Night, 4-8pm

Wednesday, May 24th- Awards Day for 1st - 4th Grades
Awards Program Times: 1
& 2
8 to 9am; 3
& 4
th -
9:15 to 10:15 am;
Jr. Beta Club Induction for 4th
Grade only
10:15 to 11:00 am
Wednesday, May 24th - Class Parties, 1 to 2 pm (Special Note to 5th Grade: Please refer to information from your Room Parents and Teachers regarding your earlier start time and party location.)
Thursday, May 25th - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for students,
5th G
rade End of Year Ceremony & Celebration Activities/Reports Sent Home, PTA Receipts and Reimbursement Requests are Due


June 5th - 9th - Camp Invention at Briarlake
Sunday, June 11th - Last Day to Pre-Order School Supplies
Wednesday, June 14th - Cougar Camp for Rising 6th Graders at Henderson Middle School, 8:30 am to 1 pm
Wednesday, July 26th  - Briarlake PTA Summer Meeting - 6pm, Location TBD

Wednesday, August 2nd -  2017-18 Open House, 8am-12pm 
Monday, August 7th - First Day of School for DeKalb County School District

DCSD Offers Summer Reading Opportunities 
This summer, students can read anywhere, anytime, and virtually anything this summer, because  Get Georgia Reading partner  myON   is delivering thousands of free books   to computer and mobile devices that students can access 24 hours a day-every day-from May 3 through Aug. 31, 2017.
myON  includes:
  • More than 13,000 enhanced digital texts from Capstone and over 60 other publishers, as well as daily news articles.
  • A library searchable by genre, topic, and target Lexile┬« range to engage students with just-right texts. 
  • Picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, literary non-fiction, and informational texts that appeal to a variety of ages.
  • Flexible reading scaffolds: audio narration to model fluency, highlighted text, and embedded dictionaries.
  • Spanish and dual-language titles.
Please share the link below and the attached flyer with students and parents.  All registration and access instructions are included.
Thank you for helping to ensure that our students have access to reading materials this summer.  If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Lynn Angus Ramos, K-12 English Language Arts Coordinator, at
Summer Gifted Enrichment: Register by May 31st
Serendipity Enrichment Program
The Department of K-12 Curriculum and Instruction will offer the Serendipity Summer Enrichment Program for identified gifted and talented students in grades 1-6.  The program will be held June 12-15, 2017 at Stone Mountain Middle School from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.   The registration link is now open until May 31, 2017.  Register gifted students today through the following link:  

Camp Invention at Briarlake!
Thank you to our Camp Invention Parent, Anjevon Smith!

Thanks for stepping up to help support Camp Invention, Anjevon!

Registration for Camp Invention is open!  Click here for more information or contact Ms. Thomas if you are interested in learning more!

Briarlake Elementary PTA
Quick Links
     PTA Officers

Co-Presidents: Sonya Tinsley-Hook & Emily Graybill

VP Programs: Allyson Martin & Angela Barnett 

VP Fundraising: Ann 

Chahroudi & Anjevon Smith


Treasurer: Alexandra Schubert


Secretary: Dan Kelly

   School Council
Chair: Deborah Martin-Gerstle

Vice Chair: Anjevon Smith


Secretary: Ellyn Cochran


Parent Representative:Jennifer Petrich


Teacher Representatives: Ms. Wise and Ms. Law


Principal: Jamela Lewis

     Foundation      Board Members 
Co-Chairs: Ann Mancuso & Greg Brass

Treasurer: Amber Blanchard

Secretary: Vacancy


Members: Jacqueline Butler, Monica Cowles, Claire Foege, Paul Grant, Darryl Martin, Tim Martin, Emily Mason, Josh Newman, and Carolann Reiter



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Let's make our school even more spirited by encouraging our kids to wear Briarlake Spirit Wear each Friday.  Go Beavers!