Spring Week 4: Briarlake Blast: January 22-28 

This Week: Safe Schools Evacuation Drill (1/23), Class Picture Day (1/24), 
Safe Schools Evacuation Drill on Monday, January 23rd, 9am
We engage in ongoing conversations regarding the safety of our students and staff. We have recently updated/modified our Safe Schools Plan and noted that it would be beneficial for our students to practice a school-wide evacuation as it has been several years since previously done.

The students will participate in an evacuation drill to our secondary safe schools location site which is Briarlake Baptist Church. We will have an officer on site assisting with the safety of the students as we follow our outlined protocols.

This drill/practice is important because it allows us to:
-Properly prepare our students regarding what to do in the event of an emergency evacuation
-Properly prepare our staff of what to do in the event of an emergency evacuation and;
-Iron out logistical challenges gleaned from the experience

Please call the front office if you have any questions.

This is a great time to possibly discuss safety with your children at home centered around:
1- What to do if a stranger approaches on a walk home, in the store or while home alone for older children.
2-What to do in case of an intruder, fire at home, or if someone requires medical assistance and there is no accessible adult.
3-General situations in which they may find themselves uncomfortable or unsafe
These may be tough topics for some to consider, but we encourage our parents and community to join us in the efforts of ensuring that our children, if ever in an unsafe predicament, would have been exposed to specific strategies to apply in times most needed. 

Principal Lewis

STEM Parents Needed
We are still in need of several STEM Parents.
STEM Parents are very similar to Reader Parents.  
This is a job that can be done at home.

Please read the STEM parent description below.  If you would be able to volunteer as a STEM parent, please email Debbie Martin-Gerstle at  Thank you :)

STEM Parent Description:

The STEM parents's job is one of coordination.  They communicate with the teacher to enlist parent volunteers and request supplies for STEM days.

Before each STEM day, the class STEM parent will ask the teacher if parent assistance and/or STEM materials are needed for that particular STEM day.  If so, the STEM parent will find out what kind of help/material is needed, and what times parents should attend.  The STEM parent will then email the class parents via Sign-Up Genius (or other volunteer sign up program) and request parent assistance and supplies.  The Volunteer Sign Up will include the materials requested and the times and the activities for which help is needed.

Thank you to our current STEM Parents:

Kayoko Kato - Ms. Spencer (4)
Bret Moore - Ms. McCarthy (K) and Ms. Roseberry (2)
Kristi Martin - Ms. Ward (1) and Mr. Echols (4)
Amanda Holt - Ms. Moehlich (4)
Chase Ogletree - Ms. Axson (K)
Liz Bradley - Ms. Law (2)
Kristen Anderson - Ms. Coffman (2)
This Tuesday: Class Picture Day, January 24th
Capture These Memories!
Class Picture Day is coming up on 1/24/17.  This is a group picture that will be available as a 5 x 7 photograph.  Order information will come home with your child after picture day.
Hug Our School, January 31st, 9:30am
No Place for Hate
To help kick off our second semester activities, for No Place for Hate, we will participate in a "Hug Our School" activity.  All students and staff will go outside to join hands around Briarlake - figuratively hugging our school - to create a physical sense of: One school, One community, One success.  Creating this human chain around Briarlake will be a powerful and wonderful symbol of kindness, inclusivity, and connectedness. 

This activity will take place on January 31, 2017 at 9:30am.  Once complete, students will transition into the cafeteria for a brief discussion about what respect is and what a respectful school looks like.

Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend this highly memorable event!  

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Have a SENSATIONAL day!
Ms. Clishe' Thomas
Professional School Counselor
Briarlake PTA Used Book Sale is coming soon! 2/3/17 - 2/4/17
Needing to clean out some space after the holidays?
We want your books! The PTA Used Book Sale is a favorite fundraiser the first Friday (2/3/17) & Saturday (2/4/17) in February. Collections have begun for Briarlake's annual Used Book Sale. 

We accept all books, including adult and children's books, as well as DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. We have a particular need for books for kids in the 3-5th grade range, but will take pretty much anything that isn't falling apart or texts that are so out of date that they are unsellable. (This year we will NOT be taking VCR tapes.)

Please feel free to share this information with your family/friends/neighbors/
workplace/house of worship/meetup group/etc. Donations can be dropped in the school lobby. If you need help with a large donation, please email

Also, please email if you are interested in volunteering with this very fun event!  
Watch for a flyer for more details.
SAVE THE DATE - Tuesday, February 7th, 6 - 7:30pm
PTA Family Service Night
Come out 
Tuesday, February 7th from 6-7:30pm

The world is a better place when we help one another! 

At PTA Family Service Night, you and your children can take part in some fun, hands-on projects that benefit those in need in our community.

Spending time doing community service with children is a powerful way to pass on the
values of compassion, kindness, community responsibility, and good citizenship.

Look for donation and volunteer opportunities in an upcoming flyer and blast!
Briarlake Foundation Auction, February 24th, 6pm
We need your help!

  Hope you have heard!  You are invited to an adult only party and auction hosted by the Briarlake Elementary School Foundation.  All proceeds benefit Briarlake Elementary School.  The cost to attend is FREE!!!  But for us to raise funds for Briarlake, we need your help.  Do you have a service or skill you could donate to the auction?  These are the things that other Briarlake parents and friends will be bidding on to raise the money that Briarlake needs to continue to improve the environment and facilities for our students.
Need some ideas?  Here are some ideas based on previous donations:
  • Artists - Host a painting party or offer an art lesson
  • Musicians - Offer some lessons or donate a performance
  • Photographers - Donate a photo shoot or teach someone to use their camera
  • Technologists - Offer your technical skills, Create a website for a home business
  • Legal professionals - offer to write a family will
  • Home Cooks or Chefs - Donate a special meal for a family that is on the go can bid upon
  • Many, many more ideas - We all have unique skills, Be creative and think of something to donate!!!
While we are seeking services, we are also open to auctioning other unique goods that would generate interest and bids.  If you have an idea or donation, please let us know.
The Auction is
Friday, February 24th 6-8pm , but we need our auction items now, so please let us know ASAP.  Please email Amber at with your donation or ideas!

Rising 6th Grade Parent Tours at Henderson Middle School
Rising 6th Grade Parent Tours

February 2, 2017  --  9:30 a.m.

                        February 2, 2017  --  6:30 p.m.***

                        February 9, 2017  --  9:30 a.m.

Interested parents should meet in the front lobby for morning tours and the Media Center for the evening session.

- See more at:

***Rising 6th Grade Parent Orientation with Ms. Patillo and tour -Meet in the Media Center 
Thursday February 2nd - 6:30-730 pm 

Rising 6th Grade Visitation Day  - February 23rd.  Coordinated through the feeder elementary schools.

Visitas escolares para futuras familias de 6to grado en Henderson Middle
Todas las visitas en la mañana para los padres de futuros estudiantes de sexto grado se reúnen en el vestíbulo de HMS.

Martes, 17 de enero - 9: 30-10: 30 am
Jueves, 2 de febrero - 9: 30-10: 30am
Jueves, 9 de febrero - 9: 30-10: 30am

Orientación nocturna con la directora Sra. Patillo y visita para padres de futuros estudiantes de sexto grado - Reunión en el Centro de Medios:
Jueves 2 de febrero - 6: 30-730 pm
Día de visita para los futuros estudiantes de 6to grado - 23 de febrero. Esto es coordinado por las escuelas primarias
Briarlake 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, Saturday, March 4th, 8:30am

Saturday, March 4, 2017
It's time to lace up those shoe laces!  It's time to run!  Our 9th Annual Briarlake 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run will be on  Saturday, 3/4.  This is a fun event for ALL students AND the whole family.  

The 5k will start at  8:30am followed by the 1 Mile Fun Run at  9:30am.  T-shirts are guaranteed for registered runners.  Awards, snacks, music and just plain fun will be provided!

Online registration is now open at
You can also sign up through our paper forms coming home soon in the  Friday folders.

Please note: If you are part of Winter Track Club, you must register for this event!

Do you want to be a sponsor??  Email:
Questions?  Email: 
See you at the start line!
Important Dates to Remember in January/ February

Tuesday, 1/24- Class Picture Day

Tuesday, 1/31- Hug Our School Activity, 9:30AM

January Breakfast               January Lunch

Friday, 2/3-2/4- Used Book Sale

Tuesday, 2/7- Family Service Night
Thurs day, 2/16 - Grandparents Luncheon

Friday, 2/24- Briarlake Foundation Auction

2017-18 School Choice
Open Enrollment : January 11 - February 22, 2017 
2652 Lawrenceville Highway | Decatur, GA 30033
Office Hours: Mon -Fri , 9am-5pm | Call Center: 678.676.0050, 8am-7pm (until May 19, 2017)

Required Documents
Currently enrolled in DeKalb County School District
  • Student ID number (7 digits) - see report card
  • Parent's email address
New, Private or Home School

Click here for more information.  Click here for the online application.

Friends of Briarlake Forest Park Art Contest - Deadline 2/15/17

The purpose of the art contest is to help inspire a logo design for the Friends of Briarlake Forest Park group. The artwork must contain the words: "Friends of Briarlake Forest Park - Rooted in Community". 

Submissions can be hand drawn art, graphic designs, etc. 

Please make sure that any artwork that you draw inspiration from does NOT infringe on copyrights or trademarks. Please take care to ensure that your entries are not in any way similar to existing logos or other copyrighted images.

Email submission to  or submit original art to Grace Edwards (229-224-2096 - 3149 McCully Dr NE, Atlanta 30345). 

Deadline: 2/15/2017

The winning entry will be selected by Friends of Briarlake Forest Park executive committee in early 2017. 

Artwork cannot contain copyrighted material. Artwork must have been created and edited by the contestant(s). Artwork may not include images or licensed images that have been previously published. 

Intellectual Property:
* All submitted work must be original and not based on any pre-existing design.
* All Entries will become the sole property of Friends of Briarlake Forest Park and may be displayed publicly.
* Entrant agrees to transfer all right and title to the Entry to Friends of Briarlake Forest Park.
DeKalb School of the Arts (DSA) 2017-2018 - Upcoming Application Information Sessions!
Applicant Information Sessions (DSA Kyle Theater)
January 10, 17, & 246 p.m. 
January  14 & 2110 a.m.

Important Dates 
Application Deadline February  3, 20172:00 pm 

Mail or deliver completed application to:  DeKalb School of the Arts,  1192 Clarendon Avenue, Avondale Estates, GA, 30002

Auditions: February 21-24, 2017
Serving students in grades 8-12, DSA is one of several school choice programs in the DeKalb County School District.  Students are offered a full range of academic classes with a variety of arts programming (vocal and instrumental music, dance, drama, creative writing, media broadcast, visual arts, and technical theater).  DSA is recognized statewide and nationally as a top performing school.   Visit  for more information, including 2017-2018 application packet and admission requirements.

Druid Lakes Youth Lacrosse Association (DLYLA)
Registration closes Monday, January 23rd 
Druid Lakes Youth Lacrosse Association (DLYLA) is pleased to announce that Spring 2017 Registration is now open - go to or to register!  We will hold a parent information meeting on  Saturday, Jan 21st at the Briarcliff Wood Beach Club (1830 Morris Landers Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30345) - girls meeting and rental equipment distribution will be from  9-10 am and boys from  10-11 am.
DLYLA offers lacrosse opportunities for boys and girls grades K-8, beginners through experienced players welcome! Check out our website for more information or email us at

Key Dates:
2017 DLYLA Lacrosse Season Practices will begin the week of  Jan 23 or  Jan 30 (TBD by individual coaches).  
Games will begin weekend of  March 4 (MAYLA will not announce the schedule until mid-late February). 
Tentative practice schedule (as of 1/8/17):
Bantam Girls and Boys (K-2) - Sunday afternoons beginning in March, time/location TBD
Lightning Girls (3-5 grades) - T/Th  5:30 - 6:30 pm at Druid Hills MIDDLE
Junior Girls (6-7 grade) - M/W  5:30 - 6:30 pm at Druid Hills MIDDLE
Senior Girls (8th grade) - M/W  5:30 - 6:30 pm at Druid Hills MIDDLE
Lightning Boys (3-5 grades) - M/W  5:30 - 6:30 pm at Druid Hills HIGH
Junior Boys (6-7 grade) - M/W  5:30 - 6:30 pm at Druid Hills HIGH
Senior Boys (8th grade) - M/W  5:30 - 6:30 pm at Druid Hills HIGH
Please direct any questions to or check out our website and facebook pages. - Don't miss your chance to participate in Georgia's fastest growing sport!


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: Bret Moore


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!