Ellen T. Briggs

Elementary School

Falcon Pride!


  • Please be sure to log onto your Parent Portal and schedule a conference with your child's teacher.  

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Welcome to Briggs!

  • Briggs School
    Dr. Michael Valenti

    Mrs. Diane Schilling

    Mrs. Julie Tantillo
    Part-Time Secretary

    Mrs. Liz West
    Anti-Bullying Specialist

    Ms. Jennifer Walsh
    Nurse, X5317

    School Hours8:35 am - 2:55 pm


    1 Jefferson Drive
    Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849
    (973) 663-0900
    Fax (973) 663-7853

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    Spring has finally sprung!  The signs are all around:  we’ve definitely had some “April showers” bringing flowers, which are starting to emerge from their winter slumber, the air is warmer, robins have returned and that means Spring Break can’t be far behind!

    This month the children will be learning about “Mindfulness” (which translates to stress reduction or relaxation techniques).  Our guidance counselor, Mrs. West, is teaching Yoga to all of the students to provide them with strategies to use if they feel anxious.  As usual, we have samples of students’ writing on this topic on our main lobby bulletin board.

    Battle of the Books

    The Briggs second grade Drama Club, led by our Reading Specialist, Mrs. Keyser, is presenting “A Bad Case of Stripes” to the student body and parents of cast members.  The students who expressed a desire to join this club have been working very hard in various capacities (actors, set design, costumes).  They gave up some of their recess time to participate.  We are very proud of their commitment and can’t wait to see them perform! 

    The entire school is excited about the student-staff basketball game to be played before our Spring Break.  Children love to see their teachers participating in a group activity, not to mention modeling the valuable skill of teamwork.  We are planning it as a reward for the hard work our students have been doing all year and an incentive to keep it up!

    Parent-teacher conferences are being held April 19th, 20th, and 21st.  Please be sure to sign up for a time to meet with your child’s teacher through the parent portal, as communication between home and school has a positive effect on student learning.

    The month ends with the second grade Wax Museum.  If you are a parent of a second grade student, you know they have been working on their biography reports already.  The culmination of this project is when they portray the person as a “wax figure,” coming to life to tell you all about themselves.  Don’t miss it! 

    Some important reminders:

    • Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day is Thursday, April 27th. If your child will be participating in this event, fill out the form we will send home.

    • All Jefferson Township schools will be closed the week of April 10th - 14th for Spring Break. We hope all our students will participate in the Spring Reading Challenge!

    • We will dismiss early on conferences days (April 19th - 21st). Dismissal will be at 1:10 PM.

    • Check out our Student Showcase page for pictures and articles about what’s happening in our school.

    Dr. Michael Valenti

Student Showcase

  • This section will be used to showcase student accomplishments and work as the school year progresses.  Please visit frequently for more information!

    Battle of the Books

    And the WINNER in the Briggs Battle of the Books is........


    Mrs. Olsen    Mrs. Olsen

    Mrs. Olsen's kindergartners welcomed their families to school for their Super Reader Celebration!  Keep up the awesome work kindergarten.  

    Battle of the Books

    Our first round in the Briggs Battle of the Books is complete!  Check back soon to see which Dr. Seuss book wins the championship! 

    Kindergartner reading to second grade buddy    

    Mrs. Ducceschi's kindergartners showed off their reading skills to their second grade buddies!

    Battle of the Books

    March at Briggs School means the Battle of the Books!  Two at a time sixteen Dr. Seuss books will go head to head until only one champion remains.  Students and teachers were asked to make their predictions of which book they think will win.  Check back soon to see which Dr. Seuss book will win the Briggs Battle of the Books!


    Mrs. Uvino's class welcomed a class pet to their classroom!  The class wrote a convincing letter to Dr. Valenti explaining why they were responsible enough for a class pet.  Dr. Valenti agreed and Nibbles joined their second grade classroom!

    Mrs. Grady   Clifford   

    In celebration of Read Across America Week, Briggs school created and participated in a reading train.  All the students in the school formed a train in the hallways and read together.  They even had a special visitor show up!


     Taste buds  Science Fair  Rubber eggs     

    Briggs held their 1st Annual Second Grade Science Fair, with over 60 students participating and over 45 different projects!  We are so proud of the hard work our scientists put into their projects.  A special thank you to all the teachers that helped make it a success and of course to the parents for coming out to support their children.  


    Mrs. Grady's Class

    Mrs. Grady's first graders learned about the different presidents in celebration of President's Day.  They even dressed up as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in honor of their birthdays. 

    1st Grade      second grade    k

    Briggs School celebrated their 100th day of School in style.  Second grade classes did 100 Day themed activities in their classrooms, kindergarten along with a 100th Day parade practiced counting to 100 with groups of 10, and first grade students were encouraged to come to school dressed as their 100 year old self!  

     Souper Bowl   Souper Bowl

    Our Super Bowl of Caring week ended with an assembly to count the cans of soup donated by our students.  In total Briggs school collected over 500 cans of soup to be donated!  A special thank you to Mrs. West for all the planning and preparation involved and to our generous students who made it possible!

    Science Tellers   Science Teller

    Briggs school had a visit from a Science Teller!  He shared a story with science experiments to help illustrate the events.  Thank you to our PTA for providing this wonderful program!

    911   911

    Jefferson Township Police Officer Chris Fabian visited the kindergarten classrooms at Briggs school.  He taught the students how to call 911 for emergencies and gave each student the opportunity to practice the call on a special 911 phone.  Thank you to the Jefferson Township Police Department for helping keep our community safe!


    Jan.    Jan. 2    Jan. 3

    Mrs. Weaver's second graders welcomed in parent volunteers to help with educational and winter themed activities.  With the help of the parents, the students practiced fact and opinion, expanded form, making inferences, ordering pictures from brain teasers, and comparing 3-digit numbers.  A special thank you to those parents that were able to come in and help!  


    DNA   DNA   DNA

    The Jefferson Township Police Department visited the kindergarten classrooms at Briggs school where they collected oral DNA samples of the students.  Thanks to the Jefferson Township Police for always keeping our children safe!

    Mrs. Duda's Class

    Mrs. Duda's class was tasked with the challenge to build the tallest structure they could using the given materials.  They students worked with a partner and put their minds to work to rise to challenge.  There next challenge will be to build a bridge strong enough to hold more than 5 chapter books!

    Just Dance Just Dance Just Dance Just Dance Just Dance

    Briggs held a Just Dance Tournament in December to honor students who have shown good character.  Students chosen by their teachers competed along with many teachers and staff members.  Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone that participated as well!

    Concert Concert Concert

    The second graders welcomed their parents to school for their annual holiday concert.  The students performed many songs about the different holidays and winter season.

    Holidays Around the World

    The second graders have been learning about different holidays celebrated around the world this time of year.  Through their travels, they visited Germany, Sweden, Australia, India, Italy, and Mexico.  

    Grandparent's Day

    The second graders welcomed their grandparents to school for a special Grandparent's Day celebration.  The second graders performed two skits, one on the history of Thanksgiving, and one on the upcoming holiday season.  The grandparents then enjoyed refreshments and a BINGO game with their grandchildren.  


    Signing in  Casting ballot

    The students at Briggs School experienced the voting process through a school wide election program run by a group of teachers.  The students attended an assembly where they met the candidates running for president of Briggs School (Clifford and Pete the Cat), listened to their platforms, and learned about the process of voting day, many classes created campaign posters to hang around the school as well.   On voting day the students took turns going to the library where they signed in and cast their ballots.  A special thank you to the teachers who organized the program as well as the parent volunteers who came in to help.


    Read for the Record

    Briggs School participated in Jumpstart's Read for the Record again this year.  This campaign encourages people all over the country to read the same book on a set date.  This year's book was The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach, which was read across the country on October 27th.  Here are two classes from Briggs School enjoying this year's read aloud!

    Read for the Record

     Pete vs. Clifford

    Here we have two students posing for a picture, with the two candidates running for president of Briggs school.  Pete the Cat is campaigning for more indoor recess equipment and Clifford the Big Red Dog is campaigning for more outdoor recess equipment.  The students voted on November 8th and in a close race CLIFFORD WON!

    Mrs. Uvino's Class

    Mrs. Uvino's second graders invited parent volunteers into the classroom to play Halloween themed math games.   We hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!


    Fire Truck

    October is Fire Safety Month.  The Jefferson fire department paid a visit to Briggs school to talk to the students about how to make an escape plan at home in case of an emergency, and how to stay safe at home in the kitchen.  The students also had a special visit from two Dalmatians.  Thank you to our wonderful volunteer fire fighters to keeping us safe and teaching us about fire safety! 

    Dogs with kids

    Pumpkin Fun

    Mrs. Weaver's second graders got together with their kindergarten buddies in Mrs. Ducceschi's class for a fall craft.  The second graders helped their buddies to trace and cut out their pumpkins, and together they planned and created a face for their pumpkin.  The second graders then helped the kindergartens count the different shapes they used and find a total number of shapes.  Everyone had a great time!


    Mrs. Weaver's second graders invited their kindergarten buddies in Mrs. Ducceschi's class to join them for reading.  The second graders modeled good reading behavior and the kindergartners enjoyed a few good stories and assisted in the reading when they could!  Both classes are looking forward to getting together next week!



    Mrs. Uvino's students

    During recess enhancement Mrs. Uvino's class learned about the parts and bones of the human body with Mrs. Grady.  


     Our wonderful PTA hosted a Book Fair the second week of October.  The students were able to explore and purchase many amazing titles.  There was even a surprise visit from Clifford The Big Red Dog!  Thank you to the PTA for their continued support and dedication!



     Briggs Shows Respect

    In honor of the Week of Respect, that is held the first week of October, Mrs. West organized various activities to teach our students about what it means and looks like to be respectful.  In addition, each teacher chose one student from their class that had demonstrated respect the previous month to be honored on a bulletin board in the main lobby, here the students wrote and drew about how they show respect.  We are proud of all of our respectful students here at Briggs School!  


    We ended the Week of Respect with a PTA sponsored Steve Max Simon Sez Assembly.  Thank you to our wonderfully supportive PTA for this fun and educational experience!  


    Mrs. Jacoby

     Students and parent, Mrs. Kathy Jacoby sign the word "Butterfly" at Mrs Grady's Monarch Butterfly display.  Mrs. Jacoby  who is an ASL teacher at Mt. Arlington School volunteered to give each of the first grade classes an introduction to American Sign Language. Students  practiced their signs and enthusiastically played Simon Says using ASL only. What a great way to end our first month in school.  Parents and teachers working together to enhance the curriculum.  Thank you Mrs. Jacoby!




     Mrs. Weaver's second graders adopted a class pet, with the help of a Pets in the Classroom  Sustaining Grant.  The  students have named her Cookie Dough and are excited to take her  home on the weekends and practice responsibility, by caring for their new friend!



    Mrs. Duda's Class

    The students of Briggs school celebrated Johnny Appleseed Day with apple themed activities (e.g. making applesauce), science experiments, and games! 

     Mrs. Bennett's Class


    Monarch Butterfly

    The first grade classes are learning about Monarch butterflies in Science.  The children had the unique opportunity to release the butterflies that hatched in their classrooms.  Special thanks to Mrs. Grady for her efforts coordinating this project for all of the students.