Ellen T. Briggs School is a successful and dynamic learning community serving a population of 292 students in grades kindergarten through second. Along with stimulating classrooms, the facility contains a fully equipped computer lab, art and music suite, all purpose room, and media center.
Our mission is to educate, challenge, and develop self-confident, resilient, and capable individuals who are empathetic, flexible, and productive citizens in an ever-changing world. Character education is emphasized by encouraging trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship on a daily basis. We are committed to providing a positive, safe environment in which each child can discover and develop his or her academic, creative, social, and emotional potential.
The programs offered at Briggs are based on continuous assessment and the belief that students should be self-motivated and be able to work both independently and cooperatively. Individuals must become life-long learners, as well as refine their decision-making, critical thinking, and social interaction skills.
Our goal is to meet the child at his or her current level of achievement, create challenges for every individual, as well as provide extra assistance when necessary. Additional support is provided through lunch/recess programs, our student assistance counselor, Intervention and Referral Services, and the district special services department. Student needs are met in heterogeneous groups, in classrooms where the instructor is supported by specialists and assistants. All teachers and staff work as a collaborative team.
Technology, as a learning tool, is an integral part of daily lessons. In addition to Smart Boards, laptop carts, iPads and several computers in each classroom, in-service training has been provided to staff. Every corner of the school is wired for Internet access and students, teachers, and parents are able to communicate through e-mail and class websites. The children learn not only basic computer skills, but also how to utilize technology to help solve curriculum-based problems.
Our rigorous yet developmentally appropriate standards-based curriculum is comprehensive and has been designed to fulfill the requirements of the Common Core State Standards and New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Core subjects such as Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies are taught in self-contained classrooms where learners at varying levels of ability meet each day. In addition, classes are offered in Physical Education, Health, Art, Computers, Library Skills, Vocal Music, Enrichment, and World Language. All children are expected to meet benchmarks based on state and national standards.
Students are encouraged to participate in an assortment of opportunities for developing their interests and leadership. These initiatives (e.g. Readers Theater, book club, physical fitness, LEGO club, technology, etc.) support our commitment to the students as they progress into academically, culturally, and athletically well-rounded children.
We employ a highly trained and dedicated staff that provides the programs essential to meeting the various learning styles and multiple intelligences of each child. This group of talented educators works tirelessly to create high quality and exciting classroom activities in a positive student-centered atmosphere.
Throughout the year, teachers are constantly involved in increasing their professional knowledge by attending graduate school courses, conferences, and in-district workshops. Recent in-service topics have included technology, integrating writing into all subject areas, hands-on activities for science and math, balanced literacy, differentiated instruction, inclusion (Collaborative Teaching), making data driven decisions, and Professional Learning Communities. Upon return, the faculty routinely shares their new ideas and strategies with colleagues.
We take pride in our school and acknowledge the significant role that parent involvement and community resources play in helping us succeed in our mission. The Parent Teacher Association provides the students with a variety of services, materials, and enrichment activities that reinforce, expand, and complement the instructional program. The children benefit greatly from the dedicated efforts of parents and their partnership with Briggs School. Only through our continued cooperation, will we be able to meet the future challenges that lie ahead.
The Ellen T. Briggs School is truly a place in which students, teachers, administrators, and parents all work together to create an environment where everyone shares in the joy of learning!
Dr. Michael Valenti