Spring Week 6: Briarlake Blast: February 5- February-12

This Week: RISE UP!!! (2/5) PTA General Membership Meeting 5:30pm (in media center) (2/7) and PTA Family Service Night 6pm (pizza and drinks for sale - cash only) (2/7) 
 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. 
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A Message from Superintedent R. Stephen Green
Diversity in Our Classrooms
Superintendent R. Stephen Green has issued the following statement from the DeKalb County School District about how the district will continue to support diversity in its classrooms. A video message can be viewed by clicking here:
"We are hearing a lot of conversation right now ... some of it extreme ... about how residents originally from outside our country should be treated. As your leader, I want to make sure all our principals and teachers clearly understand the position of the DeKalb County School District on this issue.
"We have 102,000 students here. They come from more than 180 countries, and they speak 140 languages. We value them, we love them, and we respect what their presence here says about the goodness and generosity of America. Our diversity is our strength.
"I want to assure each of our students that we have a deep and full commitment to be culturally responsive to them. We strongly support the diversity of our school system, and we greatly value our role in supporting our immigrant population through the benefits of quality education. This is a core belief.
"Our schools will be safe places for learning and teaching. In accordance with our Board of Education policies, we will not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination ... on or off District property ... that interferes with learning or the rights of others.
"Imagine how hard it is to come to a new country and start life over without familiar ties to family, culture, or language. DeKalb schools give an anchor to our new citizens. Our role as school leaders is to help learning in our schools to become love ... love for a new place, for our way of life and, ultimately, for one another."

PTA Share the Love Volunteers Needed - Tuesday, February 7th  
Volunteers are needed to set-up, break-down, assist and supervise each of the 5 activities that families will be given an opportunity to participate in to help others in need.  Please click  here  to volunteer for this awesome, family event. 
Compassion - Kindness - Good Citizenship
For PTA 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

Thanks to PTA VPs of Programs, Allyson Martin and Angela Barnett for coordinating this event!!
From the PTA Green Team: Georgia Arbor Day - February 17th 
Georgia Arbor Day is February 17th 

  The first Georgia Arbor Day was proclaimed by the Georgia General Assembly in December, 1890. In 1941, the General Assembly set the third Friday in February as the day of our state Arbor Day. While National Arbor Day is the third Friday in April, it is too warm at that time of the year to plant trees in Georgia. Trees should be planted between November and mid-March so they will have a better chance of becoming established before the onset of summer heat. Email if you would like a young tree to plant in your yard on Georgia Arbor Day. 
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!

3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Concert - Tuesday, February 28th 
 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will be performing a history of African American music in conjunction with Black History Month Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 pm

All 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will be participating.
Students should arrive between  5:30 and 5:45They should go to their home room classroom when they arrive.   Students have been asked to dress-up for the occasion.  The concert should last about 45 minutes.
Everyone is invited to join! 
Briarlake's 3rd Academic Challenge of the Year: Family Engineering Activity - Engineering All Around - Due March 3rd
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)

Briarlake PTA 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run, Saturday, March 4th, 8:30am
Saturday, March 4, 2017
We are less than a month away for our 9th Annual Briarlake PTA 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run.  The event will take place on  Saturday, 3/4.  This is for ALL students AND the whole family.  Don't miss out!  

5k will start at  8:30am followed by the 1 mile Fun Run at  9:30am.  T-shirts are guaranteed for registered runners and must be signed up by  Thursday, 2/16.  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!'  

FACT: Did you know we had over 250 runners/walkers last year?  
Do you want to be a sponsor??  Email:
Questions?  Email: 

See you at the start line!

Click here to view the paper registration form.

Thanks to Mami and Warren Fondu for organizing this event!!
No Place for Hate - Let's Hug Our School!
In a wonderful celebration of respect for diversity, all of our Briarlake students and teachers held hands and formed a visible ring around our entire school this past Tuesday morning, on January 31st. Afterwards they attended a brief assembly led by school counselor, Ms. Clishe Thomas, in which they discussed ways to show respect for themselves, their fellow students, their teachers, and their school. Several Briarlake parents donated their time and their drones to make sure this momentous occasion was recorded. Stay tuned to Briarlake's website, Facebook page, and future editions of the Briarlake Blast for photos from this great event. And thanks to Ms. Thomas for organizing this memorable activity for our children!
Photos Needed for the Yearbook
Yearbook Request for 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. 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! 

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!
PTA 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)

School Council Meeting Minutes 
School Council Minutes 
The CCRPI results for 2015-16 can be seen here.  

Click here for the aftercare feedback survey results.

Click here to access the January 19th School Council meeting minutes.    
Final Week: Rising 6th Grade Parent Tour This Thursday at Henderson Middle School
Rising 6th Grade Parent Tours

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

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

**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 Visitation Day  - February 23rd.  Coordinated through the feeder elementary schools.

Visitas escolares para futuras familias de 6to grado en Henderson Middle

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:

Día de visita para los futuros estudiantes de 6to grado - 23 de febrero. Esto es coordinado por las escuelas primarias
Important Dates to Remember in January

Sunday, 2/5 - RISE UP!!

Tuesday, 2/7 - DeKalb Cyber Safety Twitter Chat (9am)

Tuesday, 2/7 - PTA General Membership Meeting in Media Center (5:30), PTA Family Service Night (6:00-7:30) 
Thurs day, 2/16 - Grandparents Luncheon

Friday, 2/17 - Georgia Arbor Day 
Friday, 2/24 - Briarlake Foundation Auction
Tuesday, February 28 - Music Concert in honor of Black History Month for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders (6pm) 

                            February Breakfast               February Lunch
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
Six Flag Read to Succeed 6 Hr Reading Club
Dear Families,
Welcome to the Six Flags® Read to Succeed Six Hour Reading Club! Briarlake is participating in an exciting program that encourages students in grades K through 6 to read for fun. 

Read to Succeed is a free program sponsored by Six Flags Theme Parks. Every student who completes six hours of recreational reading before the school's deadline listed on the bottom of this page is eligible for a free admission ticket, valid at the participating Six Flags Theme Park that the school has selected. 

Students will develop a greater appreciation for books when they see that you think reading is important too. You are sure to have fun as you investigate the world of reading together! 

Here's what you need to know:  
  • Only students in grades K through 6 are eligible to participate.
  • Review the attached reading log. Your child should use this sheet to record what and how long he/she reads. 
  • Your child must complete 6 hours, or 360 minutes, of recreational reading. 
  • Please initial each entry and then sign the reading log to verify that the 6 hours of reading has been completed. 
  • Your child can read books, magazines, newspapers, or comic books (digital or hard copy). 
  • Reading for homework or a class assignment does NOT count. 
  • Students can read silently, aloud, or with an adult-you can read to your child, or your child can read to you. 
  •  Remind your child to return the reading log to his/her teacher by the deadline:  March 1, 2017
  • Your child's school will submit your child's information and hours read. 
Late entries will NOT be accepted. 

About the Tickets:
Tickets will be awarded to students by their teacher/school coordinator.  The ticket is valid for admission to ONE Six Flags theme park on SELECT DATES ONLY during the 2017 season. Park name and valid dates will be printed on the tickets. Please understand that the school can only select one Six Flags Theme Park. The ticket will only be valid for the park that is listed on the ticket. The valid dates will not be announced prior to the ticket award date in early May.  Tickets are valid for students in grades K-6 only and are not valid for anyone over the age of 13. No exceptions.  Each ticket is valid for one free student admission only.  A Season Pass upgrade offer will be available during the ticket valid dates. The upgrade offer information will be printed on the ticket. Tickets are NOT for resale and are nontransferable. They cannot be replaced if lost, stolen or damaged. We hope that you and your child enjoy this free program and spend time reading together. If you have any questions about the program or have ticket questions, you will need to contact your child's teacher or school before the school year is over. 

Happy Reading!

The Six Flags® Read to Succeed Team
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.

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
LHS Tennis Fundraiser, looking for players!
The tennis team is holding its annual team fundraiser Tennis Tournament at Twin Lakes Club on 
March 4th from 9-3pm.

Play is open to men/women doubles, all ages and skill levels (A, B, C). Teams get to play at least 2 matches... winners of each bracket are guaranteed prizes. There is also raffles, food and lots of fun. Free drinks and snacks for players.  100% of proceeds goes to the team to help with the season's expenses.

If you are interested in registering, email us at and tell us your name, partner's name, level. 
You will receive a Paypal invoice for your registration allowing you to pay online. 
Entry fee is $60 per doubles. $30 for singles, who will be matched with a partner.

Don't wait... register now, share with your friends, hope to see you there! Go Vikings Tennis!

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.
Go Green for Spring Break
Recycle Hard Beach Plastic during Spring Break 
Is your family headed to a beach for Spring Break? The Green Team would like to participate in a beach cleanup recycling program where you can bring back hard plastic that you find on the beach. The Green Team will then send it out to be recycled.  More information to come as Spring Break approaches.  

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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BESF is part of the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Link your Kroger card to start earning money for our school. Follow instructions  here.
Weekly Newsletter Information
Email by Thursday of each week to post information in Sunday newsletter:
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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!