Spring Week 5: Briarlake Blast: January 29- February-4

This Week: Hug Our School (1/31), Used Book Sale (2/3-2/4), Rising 6th grade tours at HMS

 Want Something Sent Out In the Weekly Briarlake Blast? Email by Thursday at 8 p.m. of each week to post information in the Sunday newsletter. 
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This Tuesday: Hug Our School, January 31st, 9:30am
No Place for Hate - Let's Hug Our School!
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!  
Ms. Clishe' Thomas
Professional School Counselor
This Week: Briarlake PTA Used Book Sale! 2/3/17 - 2/4/17
It's the week of the Used Book Sale! Volunteers Needed!
 We still very much need volunteers to help set up books  on Thursday and work the sale on Friday and  Saturday. Please go to the sign-up genius to sign up: .

PLEASE send money with your child on Friday, since most classes will come through the book sale during class. Children's books are $.50 for paperbacks and $1 for hardbacks. The sale will be open after school until 6 and from 9 to 1  on Saturday .

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.  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for kids in the 3rd-5th grade range, but will take pretty much anything that isn't falling apart or texts that are so out of date that they are unsellable.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
Compassion - Kindness - Good Citizenship
For Family Service Night to be successful we need a few donations.  Please gather any of these items and drop off in the lobby prior to February 7th.

Project:  Project Night Night (for ages 1-5 years)
    New or like new stuff animals - small to medium in size
    New or like new children's books
     Security blankets    

Project:  IRC (International Rescue Committee)
    Ziploc sandwich bags - gallon size, Bags of rice

Project:  Community Connections (toiletries - travel or full size)
    Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Shower gel/Soap, Deodorant, Lip Balm, Nail Files, Lotion, Shampoo,     Conditioner

Project:  Valentine Cards and Placemats
    Stickers, Cards/Cardstock, Misc. card making decorations

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.

We still need STEM Parents for:
Wise (PK)
Baerman (K)
Graham (1)
Sinclair (1)
Pittman (2)
Foege (3)
Reynolds (3)
Foy (5)
Evans (5)
Francis (5)

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)
Anne Garcia- Ms. Connors (3)

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 9, 2017  --  9:30 a.m.

**All morning tours meet in the front lobby of HMS. 

                         February 2, 2017  --  6:30 p.m.-7:30***
NO SCHOOL TOUR during Orientation

**Interested parents should meet in the Media Center for the evening session.

These tours are for all parents of students that will be attending Henderson Middle School (regardless of the type of service your student may receive once enrolled at HMS). These will be the only tours available.

- 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
Until February 13th: A Honey of An Offer for You & Briarlake!



Get Some Honey for Your Honey!

Valentine's Day is around the why not get your honey some honey...and help Briarlake at the same time?
Now through February 13th, Built By Bees  , a purveyor of the finest quality natural and organic bee products, is running a generous promotion to benefit Briarlake PTA and Briarlake Foundation! When you use the code "briarlake_vday" to make a purchase at their site, 15% of the product price will be donated to help our school!
There are honeys infused with vanilla, peach, and cinnamon! There are luscious whipped honeys in delicious flavors such as lemon, blackberry, blueberry, and blood orange! There are honey lip balms, body butters, candles, soaps, bee pollen, raw honeys, and so much more! And many of the items are also on sale right now! There is something yummy and special for all of the honeys in your life!
To make a purchase, go to and enter the code "briarlake_vday" at checkout! When you use the code, 15% of the product price will be donated to PTA and Foundation to support our school! Order by noon on Friday, February 10th and your order can be shipped to Briarlake for free and picked up that same afternoon at the school! Just select the "Local Pickup" option. All other shipping is for a great flat rate of $7.95 for any-size box!
This honey of an offer won't last long so order now! "Bee sweet" to yourself, your honey(s), and Briarlake all at the same time!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day and thank you Built By Bees for supporting Briarlake Elementary!

Family Engineering Activity - Engineering All Around.
Briarlake's 3rd Academic Challenge of the year! 

Focused on Engineering through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

Family Engineering Activity - Engineering All Around.
Briarlake students and families

Families will be playing the Engineering All Around game. Game materials and instructions will be provided online (eBlast) or available at the front office.

2.) After playing the game, write one or two paragraphs about the objects that you found to    be the most interesting or what you have learned.

Writing can be submitted to the front office by  Friday, March 3rd,  2017
(Please write your full name and grade)
Students who meet the challenge will have their names posted on the Bulletin Board in the cafeteria and will receive a Certificate of Achievement!

(game instructions and materials)

Still Accepting Yearbook Orders!

There's still time to order your 2016-2017 yearbook!  Simply visit the TreeRing site and place your  pre-order  using code  101282569270782

With your yearbook purchase, you will receive two, free customizable pages to upload your child's favorite Briarlake memories. A lso, TreeRing plants a tree for every book purchased! Order today!

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

January Breakfast               January Lunch
Thursday, February 2nd - Last Day for Used Book Sale donations
Friday, 2/3-2/4- Used Book Sale

Tuesday, 2/7- Family Service Night
Friday, February 10th at Noon - Last Day to Order Built By Bees products for free shipping to the school!
Thurs day, 2/16 - Grandparents Luncheon

Friday, 2/24- Briarlake Foundation Auction

                            February Breakfast               February Lunch
Beavers are Achievers!!!!
Briarlake Winners: Math Tournament Results!!!

Without any practice, our kids (total 9 participants) even participated in team competitions. 
-Gia Choy, Hannah Choy, Elise Cowles, Daniel Glonty, Lois Kwan, William Petrich, Nahom Samuel, Sam Shapiro, Ava Terrell -

Here is the individual competition result. 

5th grade Hannah Choy - 
         3rd place in Concepts & Computation
         4th place in Problem solving

4th grade Elise Cowles - 
          9th place in Concepts & Computation

3rd grade Nahom Samuel - 
           4th place in Problem solving

3rd grade Daniel Glonty - 
           9th place in Problem solving

3rd grade Sam Shapiro- 
           10th place in Problem solving

Way to go, 3rd graders! (7 participants)
Briarlake Winners: DeKalb County Technology Fair!
Dekalb County Technology Fair Winners
We want to acknowledge ALL Briarlake participants for taking the initiative and responsibility of their learning. And to the next  level, we want to acknowledge  specific student recognition at the district level. So proud of them and thankful for our parent teacher partnerships in moving STEM  (technology) integration forward at BES!

Special Congratulations to 
      1st place- Device Modification-
Elise Garcia & Grace Yu
      1st place- Video Production-
Anna Katz & Claire Van Horn

Click here for all of the County-wide winners!

The first place winners in each grade level category are on their way to the GaETC State Technology Fair held at Macon Campus of Middle Georgia State College in Macon, Georgia on March 11, 2017
Briarlake Elementary Spelling Bee
The annual Briarlake Elementary Spelling Bee was held on Friday, January 13. Congratulations to the winner,  Hannah Choy  (5th grade), and runner up,  Giovanni Silvestri  (5th grade). Hannah will represent Briarlake at the DeKalb County Spelling Bee.
17 spellers competed in the  Briarlake  Spelling Bee. These students advanced to the school spelling bee from the grade-level spelling bees held on each team in December.

Congratulations to all of the following students who competed in the school bee:  Sienna Beelner, Sarah Beule, Vivian Dolensky, Elise Garcia, Starr Haynes, Jack Hilyard, Jackson Holt, Haaven Siye, Preshika Chetri, Hannah Choy, Kamaih Dunn, Sophia Hook, Wynnton Martin, Charlotte Smith-Perry, Giovanni Silvestri, Jacob Tidwell, Sybil Thomas
Regional Social Studies Fair
Congratulations to our 5th grade Briarlake representatives who are on their way to the Regional Social Studies Fair on February 4th, 2017

Lyla Richards - "How Does Water Pollution Affect the Economy?"  (Best in Show at Dekalb County Fair)

Hannah Choy - "How Does the Internet Impact Student's Education in 3rd-5th Grades? "

Hailey James-Ricks & Sybil Thomas  - "What was Daily Life Like at Auschwitz?"
Reading Bowl
Our Briarlake kids tied for 3rd place out of 46 Reading Bowl teams in DeKalb County! Go Beavers!! And thanks to Mr. Hardwick and to all the parent volunteers who have been coaching the Reading Bowl team for months!
Help Briarlake Win the Healthy Playground Makeover!
  1. Enter the Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes today and you could win a $30,000 grant AND a new playground for your school! Anyone in the community can enter on behalf of your Pre-K through Grade 5 school. Enter today! 
  2. Learn more about the Smart from the Start Awards and how it's giving Pre-K and Head Start educators the opportunity to promote healthy habits among pre-schoolers for the chance to win up to $20,000 and a prize pack of books. Get started today!
We are here to help! Check out the Additional Information Toolkit for FAQs, rules and more. Do you have additional questions? Email our helpline at 
or give us a call at 1-800-323-9084
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.
DeKalb School of the Arts Presents: "Bailar!"
DSA- Evening of Dance
Do not miss this wonderful evening of dance - Featuring a traditional Flamenco piece set by the Flamenco group Gloria Bendi, a tap piece by Birda Ringstad set to"Andalucia", and Marci Lefkoff's fiery jazz number with Spanish influences.  Also, excerpts from the classical ballet "Raymonda"; contemporary pointe set to Claude Debussy and The Turtle Island String Quartet, and a modern piece set to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto #3.  Seniors Angeliq Brock and Morgan Burns present a contemporary piece "Comes in Waves" and a new interpretation on the classic fairy tale "The Three Little Pigs".
Show times are:
Friday, February 10 at 8PM
Saturday, February 11 at 2PM and 8PM
Sunday, February 12 at 2PM
DSA Kyle Theater  
Tickets $12 adults/$6 students at   .
More information at

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!