Updates from the Principal
Open House Updates

From the Desk of the Principal
July 2017
Summer BES Letter
Hello Briarlake Families,
I hope that you have enjoyed a restful and exciting summer with your children! Before we head back into the swing of things , starting with Open House on August 2nd and the first day of school on August 7th, I would like to share information with you regarding the upcoming year. This newsletter has important information and links to important documents, so please read it all!
What's going on at Briarlake?
As you have driven by the school this summer , you may have noticed the construction work. W e are receiving a new roof,  a new AC unit for the gym, and a new grease trap for the cafeteria.  The AC and grease trap are scheduled to be replaced prior to the start of school.  T he roofing replacement may continue into the first two weeks of school. We will share updates as we get closer to the first day of school. I am excited to share with you that the district has fixed our plumbing problems.  The plumbing team opened  the  concrete in several places to find and remove the cause of our plumbing issues.
At the close of the last academic year, some of our BES staff embarked upon new adventures and will no longer be a part of the BES staff. We wish them well and celebrate their contributions to Briarlake. We are sad to say goodbye to Ms. Spencer, Ms. Moehlich, and Ms. Law as they will continue their work at Sagamore Hills. Ms. Ward will be teaching in the private school sector as a special education teacher. Mr. Smith will assume his dream position as a coach at Dunwoody HS. Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Axson  will  pursue a corporate opportunity that she could not refuse! I was delighted to support Ms. Baerman in her request to move to 5th grade and Ms. Francis' request to move to 3rd grade.  Sadly, both   Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Conner have moved out of state, as   their husbands have new   out-of-state job opportunities. Our DHH teachers Ms. Serrano and Ms.Green will also shift. Ms. Serrano left to pursue a district closer to her mother. Ms. Green will serve as our new STEM/Tech Teacher Lead. Due to reallocation of points, Ms. Galloway will be at Henderson MS as their Instructional Support Specialist. Finally, we also wish Mr. Adams well in his upcoming endeavors.
As with all change, there is opportunity.  We have had the pleasure of interviewing great teacher applicants to fill the shoes of those moving on. We are currently fully staffed  with a diverse team of teachers who will surely prove to be wonderful assets to the Briarlake community. In addition to expan ding   our  cultural diversity, we will be adding teachers who have fantastic   skill sets .
One of these teachers is our new 2nd grade hire, who will soon be our first staff member to hold a STEM Teacher Certification. Another of these teachers is our 3rd grade new hire, who is fluent in 3 languages: Spanish, Haitian Creole, and French.
In  our desire   to continue to have a strong kindergarten team, we  now have   a Kindergarten team   with a total of 28 years of teaching experience !  Some of the teaching experiences include   previous work in the implementation of STEM.  We have also created an amazing fourth grade team that includes a teacher with a specialization in science and mathematics instruction, a   26-year veteran of the DeKalb County School District who   has  taught  4 th, 5th   and 6th   grades, and our returning teacher Mr. Echols.  I am truly excited about our new hires and  the work they will do together  to assist our students. Click here to read about our newest members of the Briarlake community.
Georgia Milestones Update
We do not yet have parent copies of test scores. The district will be sending parent copies of the test results to local schools.  Once we have the test results, they will be distributed. I will send a REMIND message when the results are ready for pick-up. Retake results are currently being uploaded into the electronic state platform. Once finalized, the retake results will be shared via phone call.  
Open House & Registration
On Wednesday, August 2nd we will hold our Open House. Open House lasts from 8:00am to 12:00pm with specific times indicated by last name (See the Open House section below these Principal Updates).  Open House is a drop-in event that will require a minimum of 30-45 minutes of your time. More details are coming soon , but the basic steps are   as follows:
1. All parents (including returning parents) must bring proof of residence. Please refer to the school's website or the PTA website for more information about what to bring to Open House. 

2. When you arrive at Open House, stop at the welcome desk under the front awning to receive your Checklist Ticket. There will be 2 sections on the Checklist Ticket :
a) Proof of Residence/Registration
b) Information stations  in the cafeteria. The cafeteria will have stations with information about parent organizations, transportation, STEM, academic clubs, after care, and spirit wear.
3. There will be a Check Point area for you to visit once finished with registration and   the information stations. Once you've completed the Checklist Ticket tasks, you will be presented with a green pass from your final Check Point area. The green pass indicates your readiness to proceed to the classrooms where you will finish the registration process and meet your child's prospective teacher! 
Please Note! 

Also, classroom change requests from parents will not be considered at this time. We were pleased to provide parents with the opportunity to ask for special considerations regarding class placement at the end of last school year. All parent and teacher input was considered prior to creating class lists.

Summer Challenge and Activities
All students are encouraged to complete  the summer academic challenge. The activities are posted here:
Activities at the High Museum
As you know, BES partners with the High Museum and would like to share some really cool events they are promoting over the summer.   Free activities are listed on the High Museum website under events -  If families wish to vis it the Alliance Theater or Atlanta Symphony performances, they need to register at   (all events  are free on 2nd Sundays)
School Supplies
If you pre-ordered school supplies, they will be available at Open House. The deadline to pre-order school supplies has passed. The school supply lists are available here:   

If you did not pre-order school supplies, you can bring your school supplies to Open House and leave them in  your child's homeroom. It can be difficult for your child to carry in the school supplies on the first day of school!
First Week
During the first week only, parents are free to walk their children to their classes! Please note the following:
  • Do not turn left into the school driveways after 7:15am. We will have police officers stationed there periodically throughout the year to ticket drivers who violate this traffic law
  • Be prepared to wait in the carpool line during arrival and dismissal for an extended period of time
  • Prepare for extremely limited parking

  • We open the doors at 7:00am; however, teachers may not arrive until 7:30am
  • Students should be in class and seated by 7:40am
  • Once your child is dropped off, please exit the building. Teachers and staff are very busy supervising and assisting students. We need our hallways clear as quickly as possible. However, on Monday, August 7th, please swing by the cafeteria at 7:30am for coffee, donuts, and mingling at the PTA's Parent Welcome Breakfast!
I look forward to an awesome year together!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Best Regards,
Jamela Lewis, Principal

One School. One Community. One Success.
Move forward. Head northward.
Open House, Wednesday, August 2nd, 8am-12pm - Volunteers Needed to Welcome New Families
Briarlake's Open House will be on Wednesday, August 2nd from 8am-12pm. Open House  is your opportunity to see the school, visit the classrooms, meet the teachers, sign up for the PTA, support our PTA and Foundation, purchase PTA spirit wear, and volunteer! 

Your time at Open House time is determined by your child's last name. 
              • 8-10am    = Last names N-Z
              • 9-11am    = Last names H-M
              • 10-12pm  = Last names A-G

We need volunteers to help welcome new families into our community! Sign up here to volunteer! 

Be prepared!  ALL returning students must provide a current proof of residence in the Briarlake attendance area. The only acceptable proofs of residence are as follows: a current utility bill (gas, water, electricity only), a current signed lease, or current signed mortgage. We cannot accept a mortgage agreement that has not closed.

For more info on what is needed for registration, check out this page on the Briarlake PTA website: Click here

Please see t he DCSD web site at the following link for additional information about specific registration situations:  Click here

More information about Open House will be shared in the next e-blasts!

Summer PTA Potluck Meeting, Wednesday, July 26th, 6pm-7pm

Catch the Beaver Fever - Spirit Wear Store Opens August 1st!
It's not too early to start planning for the new school year!  This year Briarlake is offering online spirit wear and school supply sales.  Links below.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to show your Briarlake love!
Briarlake Spirit Store: 

The online store will be open the following dates: 

August 1st-August 13th - purchases made during this time will be available mid-September. 

Please be sure to list your child's name at the checkout screen!  
Important Dates to Remember!

Wednesday, July 26th  - Briarlake PTA Summer Potluck Meeting - 6pm, Briarlake Elementary School

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

Monday, August 7th - Parent Welcome Breakfast, 7:30am, Cafeteria

Briarlake Elementary PTA
Quick Links
     PTA Officers

Co-Presidents: Emily Graybill & Jennifer Petrich

VPs of Programs: Angela Barnett & Erica Bland

VPs of Fundraising: Anjevon Smith & Amanda Holt

Treasurer: Alexandra Schubert


Assistant Treasurer: Lakshmi Amara


Co-Secretaries: Melissa Perlman & Katie Tankersley

   School Council
Chair: Anjevon Smith

Vice Chair: Liberty Garcia


Secretary: Ellyn Cochran


Parent Representative: Pam Hege


Teacher Representatives: Ms. Wise and Ms. Baerman


Principal: Jamela Lewis

     Foundation      Board Members 
Co-Chairs: Ann Mancuso & Paul Grant

Treasurer: Vacancy

Secretary: Vacancy


Members: Sonya Tinsley-Hook, Darryl Martin, Martina Baerman, and Randy McDow



Follow Briarlake Elementary on Twitter & Facebook
Please "like" the FB page 

Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter  

Follow Briarlake Elementary School Foundation (BESF) on Facebook & Rewards with Community Partners
 Please "like" the FB page 

Like us on Facebook

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:
To unsubscribe from weekly newsletter click unsubscribe link at the bottom.