Briarlake ES 
 Week 5: 
September 4th-10th 

Monday, 9/5: Labor Day, No School
Briarlake is a National PTA School of Excellence!!!!

We did it! Briarlake has just been named a 2016-18 National PTA School of Excellence! National PTA recognized 173 schools and PTAs representing 31 states and one Department of Defense school in Germany. Out of these 173 schools, there are 14 schools from Georgia and one from DeKalb County...our own Briarlake Elementary!

This award acknowledges our school as a "nationwide leader in developing strong family-school partnerships.  The National PTA School of Excellence designation is awarded "when a PTA and school have achieved a high level of family engagement or when a PTA and school have made substantive, positive improvement in families' perceptions by the end of the school year."
Please take a moment to watch a congratulatory video from Laura Bay, National PTA president and stay tuned for news on upcoming celebration plans once our National PTA School of Excellence banner arrives!

A Message from the Co-Presidents
Thanks, Briarlake Families, Staff, and Supporters!
  This week we are thrilled to be the recipients of the National PTA School of Excellence designation. With 12% of Briarlake parents serving in leadership positions in our PTA, School Council, and Foundation and with over 70% of our parents and families volunteering to help our school, this award represents the collective efforts of our entire community to make Briarlake a great place to learn and grow. Research shows that volunteering at your child's school not only has a positive impact on the school, but has a tremendous impact on your child's engagement and performance. So if you haven't already found a way to get involved here at Briarlake...or if you would like to do more, just let us know and we will be happy to help you find a role that feels right for you. It takes a village to raise a child and to support a school...and Briarlake is a great one! Thanks for all YOU have done to make this recognition possible for Briarlake.

Sonya Tinsley-Hook and Emily Graybill, 2016-17 PTA Co-Presidents
Monica Cowles, Immediate past PTA Co-President, 2015-16
Club Information 
Signing Choir
Signing Choir (grades 4-5) will begin  September 137:05-7:30 am  in the gym.  Please fill out the online permission slip.
Track Club
Track Club (ages 7+) will begin 
September 15, 2:30-3:30  on the Briarlake Track. Please fill out the online permission slip.
Environmental Club
Environmental Club will begin September 20, 2:30-3:15.  Please fill out the online permission slip.


Every class with 100% participation in the Boost will win a pizza party with Bucky the Beaver!



Let the competition begin! Here are the standings so far:




PK Wise


K Baerman


K McCarthy


K Tonka


1st Graham


1st Sinclair


1st Ward


2nd Coffman


2nd Law


2nd Pittman


2nd Roseberry


3rd Conner


3rd Foege


3rd Reynolds


4th Echols


4th Moehlich


4th Spencer


5th Evans


5th Foy


5th Francis





Total donations so far: $8,098 (THANK YOU!)


Help us reach our goal: $20,000 by October 22!


The Beaver Boost is the PTA's only annual fundraising effort. Half of our PTA budget is raised through the Boost and 100% of the money raised stays with the school. The suggested donation is $125 per family. Donors at this level will receive a Briarlake tote bag. Donations of ≥ $300 are entered in a raffle for an iPad! Donations from Grandparents, other relatives, and Briarlake alums are welcome and encouraged! Your donation is tax deductible (tax ID #58-6072359).

The Beaver Boost accepts donations via PayPal
undefined, check, cash, and  PT Avenue 

QUESTIONS?: Contact Ann Chahroudi or Anjevon Smith
The Odyssey of the Mind
Interest Meeting September 13th 
The Odyssey of the Mind is a student extracurricular competition which helps students develop creative thinking, problem-solving, and develop team-building skills. It involves forming teams of students who can then develop their ideas over the course of the year, depending on the schedule their team sets for themselves. Problems are STEAM oriented, with building, literary, artistic, and engineering components. There is a division for K-2nd grade and another division for 3-5th grade.
An interest meeting will be held in the BES cafeteria 6pm, September 13. Kids and parents who are interested should both attend.
Can't wait until then? Find more info at:

If you cannot make the meeting but are still interested, please contact Heather Hopper.

Secondary Schools Study: Survey Due by Sept 16th!
Round 3 of the  Secondary   School  Study has begun.  Click  here   for more information and to complete the   ONLINE SURVEY  (available til  September 16th ).  

We urge you to take the time to complete the online survey after determining what you feel is best for the county and best for Briarlake.  

Option A has the greatest projected cost, but does not include split feeders.

Option B is the only option that proposes split feeder schools.  

Option C is similar to Option A with the addition of the relocation of the Chamblee Magnet programs.  

Lakeside Cluster Meeting- Sept. 13th, 6pm
Tuesday, September 13th - Briarlake Parent Input Needed for Lakeside Cluster's Formal Response to the District

Anyone form the Lakeside Cluster who is interested in working together on a cluster-wide response to the facility planning options is invited to attend a meeting on  Tuesday, September 13th at 6 pm at Lakeside High School in the media center. The District has asked for our coordinated response as a cluster by  September 16thIt will be important for Briarlake, in particular, to be well- represented in this Lakeside cluster conversation regarding the split-feeder and redistricting options that could impact our school's attendance zones.
                                       Lakeside Cluster Priorities 
Scien-terrific Salad!
Go Green with Spinach 
The Briarlake PTA Go Green Team, along with Briarlake Master Gardeners Sally Elliott and Stephanie Spencer, are collaborating on a Farm to School initiative this fall. Children in several grades will learn about planting spinach and what spinach needs to grow. The children will plant spinach seeds in Briarlake's new Tower Garden, a vertical, aeroponic growing system, the Briarlake garden, and under the grow lights inside. Then children will compare the growth of the spinach across the three growing conditions. Finally, when the spinach grows, the children will taste the spinach!

If you would like to be more involved with the Farm to School Initiative, contact parent Katy Pan. 
School Council
What is School Council
To learn more about this important group of administrators, teachers, and parents that are primarily concerned with school-wide academic issues, please read this informational handout

What can I do to challenge my student(s) academically?
Please encourage your child/children to participate in the School Council's Academic Challenges.   

There are 4 challenges per school year (and an additional Summer Challenge).  These challenges help increase academic rigor, are Stem focused, and encourage a family to work together.

Our first Academic Challenge is a Social Studies based challenge that will be tied to the PTA's International Night.
Please read more about it here
UPDATES to Briarlake Calendar 
The 2016-2017 Briarlake Elementary calendar continues to be UPDATED as new dates are added. Click here for the most recent version of  2016-2017 PTA Calendar At A Glance. Also, see important August and September dates below.
We've Got Spirit! Yes We Do!
Spirit Day Fridays
Let's make our school even more spirited by encouraging our kids to wear Briarlake Spirit Wear each Friday.  Go Beavers!
Reflections Art Contest
T heme is:  What is Your Story?

Categories are: Dance, Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts

Students may submit a project from any of these categories. Deadline for entries will be sometime in October-date to be determined. 

Any questions? Click  PTA Reflections or contact   Michelle Beule.
Fall Festival Team Members Needed
We have filled 12 of our 19 Fall Festival Team positions! Just 5 more team positions to fill and we'll be ready to hold Briarlake's most popular community-building event. We are looking for people to join the teams below:

1. Tickets/Ticket Sales - Help prepare and distribute ticket purchases


2. Festival Lead(s) - Keeper of the central checklist/ central point of contact for questions, miscellaneous decisions

3. STEM Activities - Work with the STEM committee to book and organize a few fun and engaging STEM activities during the Fall Festival. There is a plan that can be followed from last year's Festival.

4. Logistics/Venue/Set-Up/Clean-Up (tables, chairs, garbage, recycling, borrowing tents, parking) - Coordinate getting tables, chairs, etc. from Briarlake school. Coordinate set up and clean up (with the help of many volunteers)

5. Sponsorships - Reach out to last year's sponsors and coordinate sponsorships

Email Emily Graybill at or Sonya Tinsley-Hook We look forward to hearing from you!
September Important Dates to Remember
Monday, 9/5- Labor Day/No School

Tuesday, 9/6- (CANCELLED) PTA Monthly Board Meeting, 7:45 am, Briarlake cafeteria

Wednesday, 9/7- Curriculum Night, All Grades, 5:45-8:00 (Cafeteria/classrooms) 

Sunday, 9/11- Briarlake PTA Braves outing, 12:00 parade, 1:30 gametime

Tuesday, 9/13-
Signing Choir Begins, 7:05am
  Odyssey of the Mind Interest Session, 6pm
  Lakeside Cluster Secondary School Meeting- 6pm, Lakeside Media Center

Thursday, 9/15- School Picture Makeup Day
   Track Club Begins, 2:30pm
   Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night 5pm-7pm

Friday, 9/16- Secondary School Survey Completion Deadline

Tuesday, 9/20- Environmental Club Begins, 2:30pm
    Parent Teacher Conference Night
    State of the District Address, Tucker HS, 7:00-8:30

Friday, 9/23- First Academic Challenge Due

Sunday, 9/25- Go Green Team Litter Cleanup 
    Briarlake Foundation Board Meeting 7-9pm

Tuesday, 9/27- PTA General Membership Meeting 5:30-6:00pm
     PTA International Night 6-7:30pm

Friday, 9/30- STEM Day

September Breakfast                 September Lunch
Aftercare payments are going digital!  Here is the link to the Web Store.

Check out the "About us" section of the Briarlake Website so that you can keep informed about activities, fees, and schedules.

Sign up for important updates from Mrs. Hamilton through the after-care remind account.  Text the message @a8a67 to the number  81010.
Briarlake Pat on the Back
Did You Know?
Briarlake's reading bowl team finished 4 th in the county.
Dekalb Pat on the Back
Five DeKalb high schools earned ACT average scores higher than the state's overall average, according to figures released  Wednesday  by the Georgia Department of Education. Georgia's average composite score of 21.1 was higher, for the first time in state history, than the national average of 20.8. Click here for more information.
Briarlake Food Co-Op 
Briarlake Elementary Food Co-Op
Try Fresh Harvest of Georgia's convenient, customizable and local delivery of fresh and organic foods; every Thursday, Fresh Harvest delivers a box of your choice of fresh foods to Briarlake.  Not only do they offer a great selection of fruits and vegetables, you can also have dairy, effs, variety of meats, AND seafood included in the basket. 

One more great reason to try today is once we have 15 people, everyone can enjoy 10% off weekly orders.
Click here for more information.
Dismissal Procedures
BES Parents,
The dismissal process is coming together. As a reminder, we are mirroring the same safety precautions used in the carpool lane to identify students and parents. Just as parents in the carpool lane requires name tags, the parents utilizing the  walker station will need tags as well.  We issued tags yesterday, and ask that you use them daily.  Green tags are for "walkers" and yellow tags are for "carpool".  This color system is to help us serve you better. Note that you will be able to use either color. We thank you for working with us as we iron out safety procedures for dismissal.  Any changes will be communicated as they are needed.  The dismissal process is as follows:

2:20 - Afternoon Announcements
2:25 - BELL Release Daycare Buses and K-5 local bus riders
2:27 - Last call for all bus riders> K - 2nd walkers and car riders to cafeteria
2:29 - 3rd - 5th walkers and car riders to cafeteria

Car Riders = Carpool lane participants. If you park your car and walk-up, your child is no longer considered a car rider.

Walkers = Parents who choose to walk up to the back patio area for pickup. If your child's information card indicates "walkers" as a primary mode of dismissal, you will be issued a "Walker's Green Card" today 8/10/16.  This sign should be brought with you each day to the walker's dismissal station. This process mirrors the carpool lane as they have yellow cards in the front dash.  In order to walk home alone, students must be in the 3 rd grade or higher. Students in grades PreK-2 walkers must be accompanied by an adult.

2:31 - Car pool lane will begin and walkers will be dismissed

In ensuring, the safety of BES students, the major challenge is keeping up with the many changes presented by parents.  Our logistics are grounded around the primary mode of dismissal indicated during open house by way of the gold student information card.  To cease all confusion, parents who maintain the primary mode of dismissal will be served first followed by those with changes. For example, if a student's primary mode of dismissal has been noted as car rider and the parent decides to park and walk up to the walkers' station, they will be served after we have cleared those without changes.

If a parent does not bring their green issued walker's name card, verification of I.D. must be made in the front office. We are not able to release students to anyone other than the parent, guardian, or authorized person as indicated on the student information card or note from a parent.

If you should, need to change means of dismissal, we ask that an email is sent to the registrar, Ms. Margaret Haratine ( ) with a copy to the teacher. Ms. Haratine then creates a daily folder for changes so that we are ready.

Thank you in advance for your support.

My best,
Principal Lewis

Lakeside Stakeholders
Lakeside Survey
Lakeside High School is a Title I, Targeted Assistance school for the 2016-2017 school year.  This designation is an opportunity to provide supplemental services to students who do not meet the State academic achievement standards.  Your participation in the survey linked below (also accessible on the school website) will help Lakeside know the things that you think are important to help improve student performance at Lakeside.

Survey Link:

Thanks in advance for your participation; we appreciate your input!

State of the District Address

DeKalb Parent Councils United will host the State of the District Address w
ith Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green on Tuesday, September 20 from 7 to 8:30pm at Tucker High School.  Be sure to arrive early for networking and refreshments from 6:30 to 7:00pm.
On the Scene with Dr. Green
Looking for STEAM ideas? 
Museum of Design Atlanta
Museum of Design Atlanta is offering all children, up to age 17, free membership in its Design Club. Members will receive unlimited free admission to the museum, MODA newsletters, and invitations to special events.

Each member can bring one accompanying adult, who also gets in free.
The free membership program is funded by corporate donations, the City of Atlanta's Office of Cultural Affairs, and individual designers who made contributions at last springs HOW Design Live annual conference.

You can learn more about  Design Club membership online, but to sign up, you must visit MODA in person.

Oak Grove Consignment Sale
Oak Grove Young Children's School
1722 Oak Grove Road Decatur, GA 30033
Fall/Winter consignment sale

High Quality children's clothing (size newborn-14), shoes, Halloween costumes, toys, books, music, movies, games, nursery & baby items, strollers, car seats, swings, highchairs, gliders, play kitchens, bikes, outdoor toys, sporting goods, furniture, and more!  Sale will take place in gym and Fellowship Hall

Friday, September 23rd 9:15 am-1:30pm 
Saturday , September 24th 1/2 Price Day 9:00 am-12:30 pm 

Every Kid in a Park
Attention Fourth Grade families
You are eligible for free admission to all federal parks, historic sites and waters for a full year, starting September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017.  The pass provides free admission to all fourth graders and three accompanying family members or friends.  Visit the Every Kid In a Park website to get your pass:
Family Fun at the Woodruff Arts Center
Enjoy performances from master Jamaican musicians & storytellers, scavenger hunts with Eric Carle's famous children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, interactive musical experiences like Pop, Zing, Boom! with Dave Holland of Beatin' Path Rhythm Events and more, for FREE!

Learn more and register at   or by calling 404.733.5000.  Preregistering and bringing printed tickets allows you to access the Family Fast Line and enters you for a chance to win an Alliance Theatre Family Season Ticket Package (4-Pack). *

Explore, play, learn and create in an interactive, family-friendly environment including free activities, every Sunday from 1 - 4 pm.

Register now for the Free Family Festival.

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

Please help keep our children & families safe.

Thank you for your cooperation in following the  Carpool Safety Rules & Map

NO LEFT TURNS from Briarlake Road into the school carpool lane. Please obey the law.
NO CELL PHONESPlease do not use cell phones during car pool. 

Carpool ends at 2:50pm. If parents come to pick up children after 2:50 pm, please come inside the front office to sign out children on the computer. 

   School Council
Chair: Deborah Martin-Gerstle

Vice Chair: Anjevon Smith


Secretary: Ellyn Cochran


Parent Representative:Jared Cobb  


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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