29 Oct

October is Fire Prevention Month

On October 21, our students once again participated in an assembly led by firefighter Rocco Carbone, an Englewood, New Jersey fire official.


Several safety tips were shared such as how to properly check or “sweep” one’s bedroom door to see if it is hot; how to ‘Stay Low and Go!’ – a technique for staying below the smoke when exiting a building; and reminders on why and how to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

In the same way that fire drills are held periodically at school, families are encouraged to practice fire drills at home.  Planning the escape route and deciding on a meeting place such as a mailbox at the end of a driveway, a tree by a neighbor’s home or any other place that is away from the house or apartment, are important measures for families to discuss prior to an unforeseen fire emergency.

Music teacher, Mary Heveran, who is also our assembly coordinator, shared the following:

“This assembly is presented each year to students in grades preschool 3 through grade 5, by a fire official from the Englewood Fire Department.  It is so reassuring to see how much children remember from year to year about things like how to plan your escape, ‘Stay Low and Go!’ and ‘Stop! Drop! and Roll’.”

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to engage children in a dialogue about some of the safety tips reviewed at the assembly.  Please remember to check home smoke alarms and to devise a plan for the family to get out of the home as quickly and safely as possible in the event of a fire emergency.

29 Oct

D-E’s Got Talent: The Lower School Talent Show

Article Submitted by: Lilly Trentacosta (5th Grade)

On Friday, October 16, 2015, Dwight Englewood families packed the Schenck Auditorium to support our talented Lower School students in the annual Lower School Talent Show. Performances ranged from comedic joke telling to piano playing to singing and dancing. I sang a song from the Broadway musical, Something Rotten. I was thrilled to co-host with my brother, C.J. Trentacosta. We introduced all of the acts.




I was so happy and impressed to see preschool student, Sara Juneja, and first grade students, Audrey Son and Eleni Papageorgiou, playing the piano. It’s great that they were so brave to perform in front of an audience at such a young age! We had a lot of musicians from the third grade! Isaiah Grant, Ethan Steinmetz, and Lisa Lihanda played the piano beautifully, while Vir Juneja played the guitar perfectly. The McLain sisters, Gabby (third grade) and Madison (first grade) wowed the audience with their dance moves and Matias de Alba (third grade) tore up the house with his rendition of Up Town Funk. The dance moves of third graders, Casey Law, Melissa Kiriscioglu and Lilly Baumgarten, were spectacular! Fifth graders, Kyle Ozgun and Ben Labib, kept us laughing with their stand-up comedy routines. The talent from fifth grade was abundant! Karina Pink, Gaby Lehman and Anya Ganeshan showed off their beautiful voices, while Celine Kiriscioglu and Taryn Silver closed out the night with a final dance.

Click here to view more pictures

It takes a lot of bravery to get up on a big stage and show off your talents in front of so many people. All of us felt nervous and excited. Everyone did such a great job! It was a very successful night!

16 Oct

5th Grade Frost Valley Trip

From September 30th – October 2nd, the fifth grade visited Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, NY.  Frost Valley is a values driven organization that promotes healthy living, youth development and social responsibility.  The core values of Frost Valley, many of which are also D-E core values, include caring, community, diversity, honesty, inclusiveness, respect, responsibility and stewardship.  These values were encouraged throughout the 5th grade’s stay at Frost Valley, and the students had an exciting and educational trip.



While at Frost Valley, students were kept busy participating in such activities as hiking, canoeing and Project Adventure.  In Project Adventure, Frost Valley staff members gave the students challenges to accomplish.  To achieve the goal of the challenges, students had to communicate and collaborate with each other, thus building a sense of community among the students.  Students also took part in environmental activities, such as water ecology.  Frost Valley staff members taught the students to use nets to capture living organisms from ponds and streams and accurately identify them.


Fifth graders also learned of the history of Frost Valley YMCA through a tour of Julius Forstmann’s home.  Julius Forstmann originally owned the 2,200 acre area which was sold to Frost Valley in 1956, and his house is full of historical artifacts.  Evening programs included presentations from a herpetologist (snake and reptile specialist) and an ornithologist (bird specialist).

As Mikey Minkin, a student new to D-E this year, said, “Since I’m a new kid, bunking with people I didn’t know so well made me closer to them.  I also learned not to waste food at Frost Valley.  The staff taught us the importance of only taking on your plate what you are going to eat so that you don’t waste food.”

Lilly Trentacosta said, “What I thought was really fun was the canoeing.  It was really hard, and I knocked into things seven time, a new record, but it was still a lot of fun.  I learned to cooperate with the others in the canoe to steer.  Also, this year a lot of new kids came into the school, and I got a lot closer to them at Frost Valley.”

Arav Tank said, “I learned a lot on the hike.  I learned to connect more with nature, and I challenged myself when crossing the cable bridges.  This is a once in a lifetime experience for me.”

Finally, according to Alicia Ju, “At Frost Valley, I found out that the Earth doesn’t belong to us, we belong to the Earth.  When I chose my bunkmates, at first I only chose people I was close to.  Then I changed my mind and included people I don’t know that well so I could get to know them better.”

Although the weather was a bit cold and rainy, it did not damper the 5th graders’ experience at Frost Valley, and it is sure to be, for many students, one of the highlights of the year.

-Submitted by Jessica Pomeroy

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02 Oct

Literacy Exploration and Adventure Day – Project L.E.A.D Coming Soon: October 30, 2015

In order to celebrate our division-wide LOVE of literature and the positive characters that students meet on the pages of each book, Lower School students are invited to come to school dressed as a positive character from their favorite book.

The goals of Project L.E.A.D are to:

  • *Further foster and encourage a love of reading in our students
  • *Provide an opportunity for students to engage their creativity
  • *Spark new interest in books, characters, authors and writing

In the coming weeks, teachers from each grade level will share some guidelines about how best to participate in Project L.E.A.D.  They will make recommendations about themes and characters that children may want to emulate.

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Photos from Project L.E.A.D. October 2014

02 Oct

Welcome Supernova and Kuma!

Over the course of the 2014-15 school year, Lower School students in grades K through 5 were instrumental in sharing their thoughts about ways to improve collaborative and creative play during the recess.  While many students enjoyed the swings that used to be on Rocky’s Field, they noted that four individual swings did not allow for multiple users and often did not allow time for all students to have a turn using the swings.  They also commented that as students patiently waited, they did not have anything interactive to do, which sometimes led to frustration.

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One 4th grader, Charlie Levine – currently in 5th grade, noted that cultivating patience and relaxing are important during recess.  He championed having a hammock of sorts as a part of any new design concept.  All student ideas were charted, discussed and considered.

Ms. Lewis and Ms. Abramson added their thinking to the early concept designs and planning.  They both shared how important it is for students to build their core strength while playing.  They also believed that students should have equipment that stimulates and promotes creativity and engagement.  The potential for any new equipment to be located in the shadow of the Hajjar STEM Center also added to the desire to incorporate STEM elements into play!

Kompan Playground Company is known internationally for promoting the following in communities around the world:

  • *Healthy Play,
  • *Healthy Children
  • *Healthy Environment

Ms. Lewis worked with the Kompan Company in her former schools in Philadelphia and thought Kompan would be a great fit for this new initiative.  The Recess Committee, Ms. Lewis, and Ms. Abramson met with Mr. Christian Valdez from the New Jersey regional offices of Kompan each month from January through June 2015. They brainstormed ideas, conducted lots of research, selected and tested some equipment.  Nurse Krane, Mrs. Franco, and the recess teachers, Ms. Euleta and Mr. Fay, were also included in the discussions and planning for this new play space.

These design meetings led to the selection of the new pieces called the Supernova and the Kuma.   Below are excerpts from the Kompan literature about each piece:

The Supernova:

IMG_0711“The Supernova works as a product for individual or cooperative play by harnessing the effects of gravity with our unique slanted ring configuration. When one child engages the Supernova, the product reacts to their movements and multiple games can occur, such as attempting to reach the top while the ring rotates to send you back to the bottom. Each additional child causes a change in the dynamics of the product such that children can operate the rotational speed and direction by moving relative to each other. The more children, the more fun! The combination of social interaction and movement makes the Supernova the biggest attraction on the playground.


The Kuma:

IMG_0722“The Kuma offers lots of play opportunities with varying degrees of difficulty. At either end of the structure, a curved climbing ladder and a climbing wall with cleats encourage kids to test their strength and hone gross motor skills. The overhead cable ladder, which connects these two events, provides further upper-body training. Since the cables move and are asymmetrically spaced, children must skillfully shift themselves across, using arm and leg leverage in an unaccustomed fashion. At one end of the Kuma, a gently rocking playshell seat (Charlie’s Hammock) offers a place to gather and chat. At the other, a triangular rocking frame inspires interesting balancing games.”

IMG_0744Last week, Mr. Valdez came in to share a bit about the installation process.  He also met with various grade level groups to share some important safety and play information about each piece. Thankfully, the weather held up this week allowing various grade levels time to try out both pieces.

The 2014-15 Recess committee would like to thank Dr. De Jarnett, Mr. Bruce Devlin, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Abramson, the faculty and staff for the support of their ideas!

A 2015-16 recess committee will get underway during the winter months. They will gather feedback about the new equipment and will discuss and plan for next steps – Should there be more swings? Should we consider installing a zip-line? The possibilities are endless!  We look forward to hearing their ideas!