page contents

Friday, January 13, 2023


"Decision are made by those you show up." ~ Aaron Sorkin, "The West Wing"



Tuesday, January 10, 2023


Hello, Everyone!


Welcome back to for Part II of our educational adventures.

Ahead we have a looooooooong stretch with very little breaktime - just two and a half days, in fact. This coming weekend we have a 3-day weekend in observance of MLK day.  In February, students have 1 1/2 days days in obserance of President's day weekend. Plus they are inside for far too many days due to the weather and/or temps. That's all to say, we all need a little grace these coming three months! Be good ad kind to each other.


If you are the parents of 6th graders, let me forewarn you:  the post-NJSLA stretch to graduation is a marathon distance at a sprint pace. Buckle up! :)


The 6th Grade show, Willy Wonka, is coming up in the not-so-distant future. Please stand by for those dates!  Also, 6th grade will be running a fundraiser at Mickey's Port of Call on January 18th. Check out the flyer below.


Lastly, we are starting our mid-year check-ins and assessments. Students will continue their learning, but we are pausing here and there to administer those assessments, like the NWEA MAP testing, Achieve3000, and others. Your students may be a little extra grumpalicious for the next week or so. That patience thing I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they need that now, please and thank you!


That's it from here for now. Have a smooth 2023!


~ Mr. U




November 30, 2022


Helllo and Happy Holiday Season to you all!


Tis the season for crazy-paced living. Amid the craziness of the next month, remember to take time to celebrate and reflect on all that you've accomplished this year. From surviving unexpected hardships to celebrating births & marriages to deepening friendship through dinners, travels, and maybe even some tears. There was so much good that came out of this year even if it was tough getting there. 


Let's highlight the amazing growth of your children. Returning to school, contstant disruptions for personal & class quarantines, re-finding their school behaviors & learning rhythyms; trying to catch up on lost time and skills while moving forward with on-grade-level work. The challenges were (still are!) huge. But they've all stepped into the unknown and worked hard to conquer their fears uncertainities. They've grown in ways we never suspected they'd have to.


Take a moment to celebrate their greatness!


I probably won't have an update until sometime around the Christmas break. So, here are some important dates you may need :)


End of AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES on Thursday, December 8

End of Trimester 1 on Friday, December 9.

Start of Trimester 2 on Monday, December 12.

Report Cards posted on Friday, December 16.


Hannukkah begins on Sunday, December 18.

Qatar World Cup Final on Sunday, December 18

Winter Solstice on Wednesday, December 21

Festivus (for the Rest of Us!) on Friday, December 23

Christmas on Sunday, December 25

Kwanzaa begins on Monday, December 26.


And, if you're celebrating:

Day of the Ninja is December 5;

Gingerbread House Day is December 12;

National Cocoa Day is December 13;

Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day is December 18; 

National Short Girl Appreciation Day is December 21;

and National Bacon Day is December 30.





NOVEMBER 18, 2022


Hello, TES Families!


First, an early Happy Thanksgiving! Can we take a moment to appreciate that school hasn't been closed due to a COVID outbreak and classes haven't been quarantined due to an exposure? That's the first time since the spring of 2020 that this has happened. Let us be grateful for the little things like this. 


Second, between the last update and now we had Halloween, parent-teacher conferences, and a week long break during which I was sick. :(  That's all to say it's been another month since the last update. Wow, did that go quickly! Among the things I missed in my updates was, unfortunately, posting about our (delayed) Veteran's Day breakfast and celebration. That was today. The assembly was amazing. Mrs. Hem and the band & chorus students *really* made us proud with their skills and energy. I also missed sharing the results of our Student Council election. Congratulations to all of the students who were elected as classroom representatives. Deep bows and congratulations to Alexandra "Alex" Hewitt for being elected as President of the Student Council. 


Finally, as we head into the crazy holiday season, let's recognize that we all get a little excited and (often) a lot stressed. That's true for your students, too. It's very easy to forget that they get upset, distracted, and excited, too. Let's be frank about things:  their problems are tiny and generally insignifcant. Except, that's not exactly true. You see, their problems are tiny and insignificant - to US. We have different experience and knowledge and perspective that they lack. Pound-for-pound, their problems are as big to them as yours are to you. Parents and teachers have the unenviable responsible of not managing our own taxed emotions, but also being mindful that our kids need help managing theirs. They simply don't have all that experience, knowledge, and perspective we have. But their problems are, indeed and in fact, huge to them and their skillset & experience levels.


So, my hope for you all going into Thanksgiving and then right to Christmas and New Year's is that you find that little something extra that your children need from you right now, even while you are feeling depleted and stressed yourself. Maybe in helping them, you will find answers and perspective for yourself.


All the best,


   ~ Mr. U

4th-6th Grade Basic Skills ELA specialist

Just Words instructor

Socio-Emotional Learning champion







OCTOBER 19, 2022


[10/20/22 EDIT:  Oops! I forgot one! Red Ribbon Week is October 24-28. We are holding several spirit days!]


Wow! I cannot believe it's almost a month since my last update. We have a lot of upcoming events. Additionally, coming up:  NO AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES will be held from Monday, October 31 through Thursday, November 3 due to Halloween, a faculty meeting, and parent-teacher conferences. Lastly, we are closed the week following Halloween and parent-teacher conferences for our fall break / NJEA teacher convention; that's November 7-11, 2022.


Scroll to see information on each one of these:

Fall Festival, Halloween Parade at school, and Parent-Teacher Conferences.


Sunday, October 23, 2022




Monday through Friday, October 24 - 28, 2022

* Friday's "Halloween Theme" is not meant as a costume dress-up day. We will have our costume dress-up & Hallowween parade on Monday, October 31. Rather, students are encrouaged to wear black and orange or articles of clothing with halloween ideas / topics on it.





Monday, October 31, 2022





Check your child's backpack for letters coming home regarding the classroom activities and the school Hallowee costume parade. Confirm this with your teacher, but I believe the parade is at 1:15 or 1:30. We will exit out the Clay Street side of the school, walk in front of the school, loop around the playground, and re-enter the school. Message your child's teacher if you plan to sign your child out early that day!





Wednesday through Friday, November 2-4, 2022




  *  AfterCare is available on all three days.

  *  Lunch is served on all three days.

  *  No after-school activities / clubs are available.



DISMISSAL TIMES on all three days:

Preschool students dismiss at 12:15PM
Kindergarten students at 12:20PM
1st-6th students will be dismissed at 12:30PM



Wednesday, November 2nd   (evening)         6:00PM – 8:00PM
November 3rd,  (evening)                              6:00PM – 8:00PM 
Friday, November 4th   (afternoon)              12:45PM – 2:30PM










SEPTEMBER 27, 2022




That...was an abrupt transition to fal! YIKES!


At long last beginning of the year assessments are complete and we are into academics without any deviation or interruption. YAY!


As always we have a variety of community and school events that come up throughout the year. I will continue to post these here and let you know about the academic stuff as we go along. For now, have a safe fall an enjoy those upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving is one of my personal favorites!



~ Mr. U



SEPTEMBER 27, 2022


The last week of September and first week of October have a LOT going on! Yikes!

OK...Today we have an assembly. We welcome back RockRoots! Tomorrow we have ELA and Math NJSLA Start Strong testing (over the strong objections of both the NJEA and the School Boards Association). Thursday is the NJSLA, but science only, and only for 6th Grade.


Looking ahead to next week:  After-School activities are BACK and at full strength! We are so happy that we can continue moving toward a normal school year! Also next week we have our Scholastic Book Fair. Teachers will be announcing to their classes the days and times for their class visits.




But wait! There's more!



I hope you are enjoying the change of seasons!




Have a great week!


~ Mr. U






SEPTEMBER 23, 2022




That didn't take long at all. The calendar flipped, and so did Mother Nature! But boy-o-boy, does it feel awesome out there this morning :)


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


Dear Parents & Guardians: As happens each year, it takes a couple of weeks to re-center everyone on school routines, responsibilities, & expectations; to work through the beginning-of-the-year assessments; and to work through a review of last year's skills and transition into this year's new work. 




We are there now! Let's have a hard conversation, OK?


The pandemic has set back student learning and achievement across the country. Trying to recover is a monumental task at best. This process is massively impacted by student immaturity, apathy, and dis-regulation. The greatest gift you can give a teacher - and the only one we really ask for - is that you talk with and work with you child to understand their responsibilities at school, but also at home. Help them set schedules for doing work and adhere to them. Message their teacher once in a while to do a "wellness" check on their work in school. Give them chores at home and see that they follow through with them. You'd be surprised how much these simply acts can impact their learning.


SET SCHEDULES:  builds self-control and discipline

TEACHER COMMUNICATION:  signals the partnership and ongoing dialogue between home and school

CHORES:  develops a sense of responsibility, accountability, and also self-reliance


When we work together to improve their LIFE SKILLS, their academic success will follow. Trying to forge these skills just at school or just at home creates frustration, apathy, and discord in both places. When it happens at home, you have conflict and arguments. When it happens at school, the entire learning environment is disrupted for *all students*.  Let's teach them and hold them accountable for their (age-appropriate) responsibilities both at home and at school.


Have a great First Full Day of Fall!


     ~ Mr. U






SEPTEMBER 12, 2022




1. Back to School NIght 

2. Nurtured Heart workshop









SEPTEMBER 11, 2022



#September11 #WTC #neverforget






First day back and we are announcing our first SPIRIT DAY! With the anniversary of 9-11 on Sunday, we will celebrate Patriot's Day on Friday, September 9. Wear your RED, WHITE, and BLUE!






Welcome back, T.E.S. students and families!


   September always comes too quickly. Still, we are very glad to be back with our students!


   This summer I spent a lot of time on the baseball field umpiring, even more time puttering around the house doing all manner of household projects from routine lawn mowing to putting furniture together, to wrangling with a pool that did not want to get cystal clear. (I did eventually win that battle!) I spent a lot of time trying new (to me) restaurants with a wonderful foodie. Regrettably my uncle passed in early July. The upshot of that was seeing family from around the country and even my brother who flew in from Austria. I also worked for Mr. Mathis on the custodial staff for a 2nd summer. (BTW this school is IMMACULATE!) I was finally able to host some friends now that a major renovation was completed.

   Like a good deal of life goes, there are some things I regret not doing. I only got to the beach once :(  I didn't even see a sunset this summer. This is the first time in 16 summers down here that I didn't catch at least 4 sunrises. I read, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I wrote, but also not nearly as much as I had hoped.

   Still, the summer was a good one. There was laughter and grilling and time in the pool and board games and day trips to walk around, NYC,  A.C., and Smithville and family movie nights. 


   As we welcome our students back, I invite you to take some time with them to remember the fun things you did, big and small. Make a list of the things you would have liked to have done. Hold onto to that list and make those things next summer's priority. 


    ~   Mr. U






JUNE 15, 2022


Summer Bucket List Challenge: Old School Style :)


Old-fashioned (i.e., non-electronic) fun seems to have fallen out of use. This summer I challenge my students to accomplish as many of these as possible. You will notice that several challenges will require some addult help. Please do! We want students to have fun with their friends this summer but also experience some the joy of creative alone time and the joy of low-stress fun with you, their families. 

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

~ Mr. U




JUNE 14, 2022


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students ~


We are here. This is the last week of the school year. If you think things slow down and we coast to June 22nd, you are very mistaken! As I type, I am watching the organization and last practices of "The Lion KIng". This is easily the most demanding performance I've witnessed in my 15 years here. WOW! The students have done everything from the "routine" memorizing lines and songs, to set design & building to costume design & creation. Meanwhile, throughout the building, teachers and students groove along to finish their learning.


The students with whom I've worked this year in 3rd through 6th grades and in Just Words have made me laugh, reminded me why I love what I do, and - yes - occaisionally drove me a bit nuts! For their energy and effort and patience, I am grateful to have been part of their school journey, if only for a short time.


To our 6th Grade Parents & Guardians, 

You have made it! Perhaps these last few days will be bittersweet. Perhaps you are feeling drained from the school year and all it brings, too. On the other hand, maybe having the house once again full 24/7 for 10 weeks makes you twitch just a little bit. :) 

Your children have been part of an educational experience I hope they never experience it again. They have persevered in ways no T.E.S. gradauting class has been asked to persevere. I've known them since 3rd grade and I would not have trusted any other class to do what they've done with the class, dignity, and grace they've demonstrated. You have all raised magnificent young men and women.


And with that, I wish you a fantastic summer filled of laughter, memories and great food!


~ Mr. Ubelhoer



JUNE 13, 2022










MAY 20, 2022

What an awesome field day! 

We have a lot of events coming up soon at TES including the 6th Grade's performance of The Lion King June 7th and the 6th Grade Graduation on June 22nd. In between we have library walking trips, class trips, and the 6th Grade Softball Game and Picnic at Tip Seaman Park.

Hang on to your hats and hearts! The end of the year and another new group of Pinelands 7th Graders are coming soon!



MAY 11, 2022 


This Friday's rescheduled FIELD DAY is again postponed and will be held on Tuesday, May 17. This day is also a scheduled 1/2 day with a 12:30 dismissal. Lunch will be served.


MAY 3, 2022 


Psst! You know what time it is? YES!!!!!

T.E.S.'s Field Day. Friday, May 6 (rain date Friday, May 13)


This year we are PIRATE-THEMED! Woohoo :) :) :)





APRIL 28, 2022



Take Your Child To Work Day!




MARCH 14, 2022

It's time to get your Irish on! (See the flyer below the message.)


Haven't really written much beyond updating you all on Spirit Days and such. However, as we head toward Spring (next Sunday...WOOT WOOT!), it's a good time to remind everyone of the following:


1 - The school handbook outlines acceptable school clothing. Please review the guidelines. Otherwise, please don't be surprised by a phone call home asking for additional, appropriate clothing.


2 - We've been stuck inside for quite a few months, not to mention with the strains of the pandemic. As much as possible, have your children outside. It helps with their motivation, creativity, sleep, and patience.


3. We still have 4 more weeks until the Easter/spring break week. This is the longest stretch of the school year without an extended break of any kind. We had a 3-day weekend back in mid-January and another one in mid-February. Besides that, we've been grinding it out in school. Your kids are tired and worn down. You may be, as well. Let's all remember to be patient and kind to each other.


Have a great week! Enjoy those 50*+ days coming up this week. Hopefully they are here for good and only keep climbing.


~ Mr Ubelhoer (don't forget the Spirit Day announcement below!)




FEBRUARY 25, 2022


READ ACROSS AMERICA WEEK is next week, February 28 through March 4.

Here's what we're doing at T.E.S.!






FEBRUARY 22, 2022


A gentle reminder to all:






FEBRUARY 7, 2022

Please see the previous announcement below, but also this new one:



FEBRUARY 3, 2022

Well, we've made it this far. I suppose we can go a little more. Maybe we can make it all the way to March 1...then a bit more to the First Day of Spring...then maybe to the 1st Day of April...and then we can be warm again. In the meantime, we are in an ungodly long calendar stretch (January through the middle of April without much of a break). Maintaining concentration for extended periods of time is tough enough for adults. It's super challenging for our children. Patience is our watchword through the Easter/spring break. Everyone deserves a bit of PATIENCE...and GRACE.  We are all struggling in our own way.


In the meantime, T.E.S. presents our February Spirit Days!






JANUARY 10, 2022

PLEASE NOTE ~ Spirit week JANUARY 17-21 and

Make-up pictures on JANUARY 11 









JANUARY 5, 2022



Welcome back, TES Families!


It took a couple of extra days to get here, but we are here now. Let 2022 begin!

A few brief words...


Mental Health:  The holidays are a stressful time. Each family has their own set of stressors. What stresses you may or may not stress someone else in the family. Tensions easily rise.Remember to show yourself and others some grace. "Ask instead of accuse or assume" is a good way to work.


The Kids:  They'll be alright, but they need a couple of days to back in the swing of things. Let them. We got them. We're good. We've done this rodeo before. With the midweek start it may take until next week. They'll be fine.


The Calendar:  This is Grind Time. The next 3+ months are a very long, hard stretch. We have two 3-day weekends, but that's about it. Plus, the kids are stuck inside a lot. Just be mindful of this reality. We do not have any road ahead through the start of spring.


Great to have you back!


~ Mr. U





DECEMBER 2, 2021


Parent-Teacher conferences are:

Wednesday, December 8:  6:00 - 8:00

Thursday, December 9:  12:40 - 2:30

Friday, December 10:  12:40 - 2:30


Please use this GOOGLE MEET link to connect with me that evening.






NOVEMBER 30, 2021 Breakfast with Santa





NOVEMBER 29, 2021

Welcome back from your Thanksgiving Weekend and the virual learning week. It's not easy parenting right now. We know. We are all struggling to some degree. Continue to have patience with each other and show each other grace in our interactions. 



NOVEMBER 18, 2021


OK, here we go. We are all virtual until the end of Thanksgiving Break. JUST WORDS students, please click here to join our GoogleClassroom! 


We will keep our meeting times THE SAME:

4th grade:  10:00 - 10:45

6th Grade:  10:45 - 11:30

5th Grade:  1:00 - 1:45




October 25, 2021:

Friday is Halloween Parade day! 




October 20, 2021:

Just a reminder about tomorrow's TES Spirit Day:



September 21

Good evening!

      Welcome to our Virtual, self-paced Back-to-School program. Mrs. Doran and I are excited to be back and working in our regular positions as 3rd-6th Grade Basic Skills teachers. Please use this PRESENTATION LINK to listen to and see our slideshow for this evening and this feedback form to let us know what other information you still need.

   Thank you,

      ~ Mr. Ubelhoer



August 31 

Oh, man! Teachers are back for 3 days of in-service training. You should feel the buzz and vibe in here! Sorry to see summer go, but we are definitely ready to get back to the classroom. :)

~ Mr.U


August 20




As of August 19, we are expected to be back in the classroom, full capacity. While we must wear masks, let's focus on the joy of returning with all students, teachers, and staff. Not since March 12, 2020 have we had that opportunity. I am excited and cannot wait!


I am back in my role as an ELA Basic Skills teachers. Though I have a core group to focus on throughout the year, the reality is that I will work with almost all of my 3rd through 6th graders. Why?

First, my core group of students may be lacking a couple of skills that their peers have already secured. No big deal. That's why I'm here - to help them secure those skills. Oftentimes these are skills from a previous grade level that may be building block skills for *this* year. So, to be successful this year, I need to make sure I help students secure those missing or weak skills. 

Second, not everyone in my core group has the same missing or weak skills. I don't always work with every BSI student each time I'm in the room. That said, I will check in with each of my core students each day I'm in the room. When they need help, I'll be there!

Lastly, even though some students are selected to enter the basic skills program, *all* students have missing or under-developed skills somewhere in their "ELA tookbox". When that happens, regardless of who they are, I'll be there to help them, as well! If I can help build the skills today, they won't have to worry about them tomorrow.


I've missed seeing the students. I've especially missed our conversations - short and long - that help me understand who they are and what they're all about. I've missed working with them and watching them grow up-close. I cannot wait to have them back.

See you in a couple of weeks!


~ Mr. U