Spring Week 16: Briarlake Blast: April

Georgia Milestones: End of Grade Testing Period Continues (4/19-5/4), PTA General Membership Meeting to elect new Officers (4/25), Parent Principal Forum (4/25), Kindergarten Roundup (4/26), Administrative Professionals Day (4/26), PreK & Kindergarten Celebrate Arbor Day (4/28)

 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. 
Today's litter pick up is canceled due to weather
Today's litter pick up is canceled due to weather! 

Tuesday (4/25): Briarlake Principal-Parent Forum & PTA General Membership Meeting at 6 pm

There will be a Principal-Parent Forum 
on Tuesday, April 25th from 6-7pm in the Briarlake cafetorium 
during which I will share what is currently going on at BES and what is coming up for the 2017-2018 school year. 

If you have any current questions, comments, or concerns to share with me, please email them to 

Thank you, and I look forward to speaking with all of you.

Jamela Lewis

Note - This forum will take place immediately after the brief PTA General Membership meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, April 25th. At this brief PTA meeting, PTA will elect new officers and amend the by-laws. 

Proposed Amendment to the Briarlake PTA By-Laws
The Briarlake Elementary School PTA proposes to amend its  by - laws  to add a Co-Secretary position and an Assistant Treasurer position to the Executive Committee. These amendments will be voted on at the April 25, 2017 General Membership Meeting starting at 6pm in the cafetorium. The Principal-Parent Forum will immediately follow the brief PTA meeting. 
Announcing our 2017-2018 PTA Nominees...Come Vote This Tuesday!
Our PTA Officer Nominees for 2017-18! Election on Tuesday, April 25th at
PTA Meeting & Principal-Parent Forum

The Briarlake PTA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the following candidates for the 2017-18 school year:

Co-President: Jen Petrich

Co-VP Fundraising: Amanda Holt

Co-VP Programs: Erica Bland

Treasurer: Alexandra Schubert

Assistant Treasurer: Lakshmi Chennareddi

Co-Secretary: Melissa Perlman

Co-Secretary (1 year) : Katie Tankersley

We sincerely appreciate these individuals for offering to serve our Briarlake community. If elected, they will serve in these roles for the next two years (unless otherwise designated). Their election is not official until a quorum of PTA members has the opportunity to vote on Tuesday, April 25th  at 6pm at our General Membership meeting so please make plans to join us.

The returning PTA officers for next year are:

Co-President: Emily Graybill

Co-VP Fundraising:  Anjevon Smith

Co-VP Programs:  Angela Barnett 

We are grateful to this year's Nominating Committee for all the hard work and time they have put into finding our PTA officers for next year. When you see them around, please take a moment to thank them for their service: Melissa McConnell (chair), Angela Barnett, Gina Benedict, Anjevon Smith, and Ansley Smith.

We are also grateful for the following individuals who have offered to serve our Briarlake community in a chairperson role.  

Fall Festival Co-Chair: Karen Hutchinson

Open House Co-Chair: Justine Lyons 

This Wednesday (4/26) is Administrative Professionals Day!
Administrative Professionals Appreciation Day is  Wednesday, April 26th. Let's thank Ms. Haratine and Ms. Hamilton for keeping the Briarlake train on the tracks! 

PTA will be purchasing and presenting them with a special gift on behalf of our school community, but please feel free to organize a class gift or to thank them individually.

Here are some Pinterest ideas to get you started
This Wednesday (4/26): Briarlake Kindergarten Round-Up at 9AM
Briarlake's kindergarten round-up has been rescheduled. The new date is  Wednesday, April 26th at 9AM. This program is for the parents and guardians of upcoming Briarlake Kindergarten students. Our goal is to give you "a peek" into the life of a kindergartner, share with you all of the great things going on at Briarlake, and to answer any questions you might have.

The morning will include a chance to meet and hear from the principal, the kindergarten teachers, and the Counseling and Gifted Departments. Parent leaders from Briarlake's PTA, Foundation, and School Council will also be on hand. The program includes time for questions and answers. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided by the Briarlake PTA. We hope to see you there!

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!  :)
Next Week is Teacher Appreciation Week, Monday, May 1st- Friday, May 5th
Show your teachers how much you appreciate them!

It is hard to believe our year is drawing to an end! As we begin wrapping up the year, we will take the opportunity to thank our  teachers for all they do. Next week, May 1st - 5th is  Teacher  Appreciation Week!
We have come up with daily themes for you to celebrate your  teacher with! Most of these can even be done by your kiddos with a little help!
Monday, May 1: "Thanks for quenching our thirst for knowledge!" - bring favorite drink, cute cup, coffee, etc
Tuesday, May 2: "Thanks for making our world so colorful!" - anything! nail polish, socks, handmade card, whatever is colorful!
Wednesday, May 3: "Thanks for supplying us with knowledge!" - classroom supplies, check with your room parent to see what is needed
Thursday, May 4: "Thanks for being so sweet!" - anything sweet 
Friday, May 5th: "Thanks for helping us BLOOM!" - flowers, plant, etc. - picked from your garden is super cute
Even though we have these super fun and easy themes for families to participate in, PTA is going to have a daily treat for the  teachers in the lounge.  These treats will be provided by and paid for by the PTA.
Briarlake Foundation Change for Change, Monday, May 1st- Friday, May 5th
The Briarlake Elementary School Foundation's
Change for Change Collection
Monday May 1st - Friday May 5th

The Briarlake Elementary School Foundation BASH has become a tradition at Briarlake, an event that the children look forward to every year. 
This spring we have A LOT to celebrate: STEM certification, improved academic performance, and happy children looking forward to new heights and some well-deserved time off.
As BESF looks towards our next year goals, the students will be collecting loose change starting Monday, May 1st during morning carpoolIt has been tradition at Briarlake for the students to learn how giving money can help their education. Every penny counts! Last year we raised almost $1KLet's EXCEED it this year!
Gather up your loose change and let the children be the first to help make a change at Briarlake.
BESF thanks you for your continued support!

STEM Update: Big Thinkers is Coming to You Child's Classroom!
Big Thinkers Visit
PTA is paying for Big Thinkers to come in May to do hands-on science workshops with every class.  See the attached schedule for when they will visit your child's class. Thanks to all of you who give generously to PTA each year for making this great opportunity for our children possible!

School Council Updates - Academic Challenge is Due Friday, May 5th

Our New School Council Parent Representatives Have Been Nominated!

Congratulations to Liberty Garcia and Pamela Hege. They were Nominated to be the Parent Representatives on the School Council.  Read their statements here.

Academic Challenge

The 4th Academic Challenge is Due Friday, May 5th.  

Briarlake Fiesta Bash!

CINCO DE MAYO 6:00 - 9:00 pm 
You and your family are invited to attend the 5th annual Briarlake Foundation Bash.  This year we will FIESTA!  Please join us for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta on FRIDAY, May 5th.  This is an awesome fun FAMILY event with dinner, music, dancing and more! If you are new to Briarlake, come be part of this fun family tradition. 

Reservations are required.  Please see the attached reservation form or  order your tickets online at  before  May 1st.  There should also be a copy of the reservation form in your child's  Friday folder today.

We need many people to get this party started!  The setup and decorating can be as much fun as the Bash. Please feel free to sign up and bring your entire family. We even have afterschool volunteer opportunities for 4th and 5th graders to help create the decorations.  Please use the sign up genius to volunteer at the Bash by clicking here .

See you at the Bash!  Adios!

Share What You Do with Curious and Interested Briarlake Students!

Parent Volunteers Still Needed for Career Day on Friday, May 12th

 Click here for an electronic copy of the form to complete.  
Our Briarlake Science Olympiad Team is Going to State!

The Science Olympiad Team came in 3rd place at the Regional Competition and is headed to the State Competition at Kennesaw State University on May 13th!  Good luck, team!
This past Friday, our Science Olympiad team was honored for being a state qualifier and one of the top Science Olympiad programs in our county at DeKalb's Annual Torchbearers for Science awards program. Top medal-winners Aaron Gerstle and Hannah Choy accepted the award on behalf of our team. Way to go, Briarlake Science Olympians!  Thanks again to Mrs. McMillan, Head Parent Coach Debbie Martin-Gerstle, all of the parent coaches who made our success possible this year!


Save the Date: Band and Orchestra Assembly on Morning of Wednesday, May 17th
Come Hear What Our Band & Orchestra Students Have Learned This Year!
Did you know that Briarlake is one of the only elementary schools in the county where band and orchestra instruction is offered 4 times a week? We are so fortunate to have Mr. McNamara and Mr. Walden working with our children and we are so proud of what they have accomplished with our students!

On the morning of May 17th, our Band and Orchestra students will be giving a year-end performance to the entire student body. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Stay tuned for details in the weeks to come.
Help the Foundation Make Briarlake Even Better!

Important Dates to Remember in April

Sunday, April 23rd- Go Green Team Litter Clean-Up 4-5pm (CANCELLED B/C OF WEATHER)

Tuesday, April 25th- Principal-Parent Forum, PTA General Membership Meeting, Voting on New Officers, ALL Briarlake parents are welcome at this meeting! 

Wednesday, April 26th- Administrative Professionals Day, Kindergarten Round-up, Progress Reports Sent Home
Friday, April 28th - PreK and Kindergarten Celebrate Arbor Day!


May 1-5th- Teacher Appreciation Week, Change for Change Drive for BES Foundation

Thursday, May 4th- School Council Meeting 1pm

Friday, May 5th- STEM Day, Cinco de Mayo Foundation Bash 6pm, Academic Challenge Due,  Fantastic Friday

Saturday, May 6th- Signing Choir Performance at the Braves game
Tuesday, May 9th - PTA Monthly Board Meeting 7:45am (NEW DATE! LAST MEETING OF THE YEAR!)

Wednesday, May 10th- National Bike to School Day, National School Nurse Day

Friday, May 12th- Career Day 9am

Saturday, May 13th- State Science Olympiad Competition

Tuesday, May 16th- PTA Family Picnic and End of Year Celebration, 6 to 7:30 pm 

Wednesday, May 17th- Band, Orchestra, and Choral Assembly

Friday, May 19th- Field Day

Wednesday, May 24th- Awards Day for 1
& 2
8 to 9 am; 3
& 4
9:15 to 10:15 am; Jr. Beta Club Induction for 4
Grade only
10:15 to 11:00 am), Class Parties 1-2pm

Thursday, May 25th- LAST DAY OF SCHOOL for students, 5
grade End of Year Celebration & Activities

Yearbook Needs Your Photos!
Please send us your photos!  :)
Share your school event photos with the 2016-2017 yearbook editors! We're looking for your event photo submissions to add to the pages of the Briarlake Elementary yearbook. Simply email your photos to

Please include the event name. We are especially in need of pictures from Thanksgiving lunch, Family Service Night, Grandparents Day, Character Day, and Social Studies Fair, as well as any pictures of clubs or groups. You will be notified if any of your photos are selected for publication. Thanks in advance for helping us capture even more Briarlake memories for years to come!
Summer Camps
Thank you to our Camp Invention Parent, Anjevon Smith
Registration for Camp Invention is open!  Click here for more information or contact Ms. Thomas if you are interested in learning more!
Lego STEM enrichment Summer Camp 2017
Where science, technology, engineering and math meet fun! 

For more info go to:

Or contact Debbie Miller at
EcoArts Camp 2017

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Events Around Town
AINM is a large, family-friendly open-air night market featuring 200+ independent vendors selling art, food, and drink, and featuring small-scale cultural performances, all celebrating the rich cultural diversity and heritage of Atlanta.

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!