02 Mar

AfterCare & Enrichment (ACE) Spring Open House Events

Join us! We are hosting a series of “Open Houses” for families considering D-E 360° AfterCare & Enrichment for the Spring. Please join us for one or all of our festivities.  To register click here or go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Bjd8uF35Slj6vmD13Gm6Wf6SDZljNp-NBs7Kb5PW_vM/edit?ts=5a957419

Students who are NOT currently enrolled in ACE must be accompanied by a parent.  These events are free to everyone.

All students – current or new – must enroll for the Chess Tournament and the Pasta Dinner, simply for matters of planning.

Friday, March 2:

  • Students participate in Gym Games 3:45-4:15 (parents observe, obviously!).
  • Fencing at 4:30, parents and students can watch a class in progress.

Tuesday, March 6:

  • Family Pasta Dinner, 5:30. Prepared and served by our current Snacktivities students. Bring the whole family for a delicious, simple meal of pasta, garlic bread and a little dessert.

Wednesday, March 7

  • 3:00 Join our Animal Visiting Class in Swartley
  • 3:15-4:15 Take a peek at Homework Club in action
  • 4:30 observe Chess and Coding classes.
  • 5:00-6:15 Open Chess Tournament for All Abilities!
    • Our current Chess Team welcomes their classmates to participate in a friendly, introductory Chess tournament. I expect to see an array of talent – from serious play to very basic introductions.
    • Please stop by!
    • Chess tables will be set up for parent play, too!

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at keighs@d-e.org. Please  RSVP at THIS LINK HERE.

See you at the Clubhouse!


Sharon Keigher

ACE Director

02 Mar

Black History Month


Submitted by Mary Heveran

On Wednesday, February 21, an assembly was presented in honor of Black History Month.  The assembly was entitled “Rosa Louise McCauly Park – the Spark for the Civil Rights Movement.”

This wonderful presentation included actress/historical presenter Scottie Davis who portrayed the life of Rosa Parks from a young woman up until the days before and after the bus boycott.  Also participating were fifth grade students Rik, Brandon, Ben, Lisa, Kobi, Gabrielle, Orli, Alia, Ethan, Guy, and Kennedi.

The performance included acting and singing as well as audience participation with songs such as We Shall Overcome and Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.  We all enjoyed the assembly and were once again reminded of the struggles of the people during the Civil Rights movement as well as what courage looks like.

The assembly was part of an arts initiative with Arts Horizons, a company that strongly believes in the power of arts in education.

02 Mar

Lower School Wellness Week is All Heart!

Submitted by Kim Franco

Soon the sound of snapping ropes, stomping feet and bouncing basketballs will fill the hallways of the Lower School as we participate in our annual Jump Rope and Hoop for Heart event and fundraiser to support The American Heart Association (AHA). Over the past five years we have raised a significant amount of money thanks to the generous and thoughtful students and families of the D-E community. Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart is a fun and effective way to teach how to live a healthy lifestyle. It emphasizes the importance of physical activity, while students are doing something they enjoy.

The event will take place during the Health and Wellness Department’s Wellness Week held next week, from March 5-9, 2018. All students, from preschool through fifth grade, will participate in the program during their physical education classes. Families that choose to donate can begin raising money in a variety of ways prior to, as well as after the event. Collection envelopes will be supplied and AHA provides Dwight-Englewood with a web page for online donations. The final day donation envelopes will be collected April 6, 2018

During the event, there will be music and dancing, jump rope contests and basketball shooting competitions for the students which include the most consecutive jumps, the longest time jumping rope, jump rope tricks, foul shooting contest and hot shot contest. Students will use pedometers to track how many steps they can register during their class time. The event is going to be a BLAST!

02 Mar

Science Spotlight: Grade 1 – 4

Submitted by Beth Lemire

The science room continues to be a very busy place. While first graders have been studying animal homes to coincide with their study of human Houses and Homes in the classroom, second graders have been learning about the states of matter and molecules.  Third graders deepen their study of states of matter at this time of year.  Each grade learns songs appropriate for their studies and while learning about polymers they make “gak”, and non-newtonian fluids they experiment with “oobleck” (cornstarch and water). Finally, fun dry ice demonstrations abound in order to facilitate learning about sublimation!

Fourth grade combines the Hudson River study with simple machines, electricity and even a little technology to create some very interesting board games! This has been an on-going endeavor that involves a lot of creative thinking, planning and small group work. While utilizing facts about the Hudson River children have used woodworking, Paper Mache and their newly honed electrical skills to create fun and informative games to play and share. In the Spring, they will re-open their Hudson River models in the outdoor garden beds that they began in the fall. Liners will be measured and secured and they will install a pump so that that it becomes a working model. Bridges and points of interest along the way will finish the project. In May, the study will culminate with a sailing trip on the Clearwater Sloop, a replica of a 19th century sloop that sailed the Hudson. You can take a look at the sloop at http://www.clearwater.org/about/the-clearwater-story/. Of course they will be planning the garden as well so it will be a busy time indeed!

02 Mar

Science Spotlight: Early Childhood

 Submitted by Julie Pugkhem

Science in early childhood offers an opportunity to focus and build on the children’s awareness of the environment around them and the compassion that they can show to one another, to animals, and to our community.  When children arrive in science, their first questions are always about the animals in our room.  They care so deeply about the fish, the rabbits, “Katherine” and “Rube”, and our hamster, Einstein.

They always ask, “Did the fish eat today?”  “Are the bunnies cold in the winter?”  “Where is Einstein?  Is he still sleeping?”  They make observations about the rabbits and show an understanding that they must be careful, calm, and quiet when they enter the room so that we do what is best for the animals.

As well as caring for the animals in our classroom, the children have been making beautiful ice ornaments that also serve to provide food for the birds outside during the winter.  The children have been enjoying watching water freeze into ice and they very carefully choose branches on which to hang each ice ornament.

On days when it is far too cold to be outdoors, the children have been exploring magnets and their properties.  Inquiry guides their experiences as they wonder and ask many questions. “Which materials stick to the magnets?”  “Do magnets stick to all metals – even aluminum foil and coins?”  “Are there materials in nature that have magnetic properties?”

The children have experimented and learned that magnets stick to paper clips, the doors around the lower school, chair legs, and even some rocks!  They also learned that magnets do not stick to wood, plastic, or coins.  They discovered that magnets have two poles, North and South, and that opposite poles attract one another and like poles repel one another.

Having some fun with magnets, the children in preschool “painted” beautiful pictures using magnet wands and magnetic items such as disc magnets, ball bearings, and latch magnets. They were very successful and were able to be creative without getting paint on their hands or on the magnet wands! The kindergarten children carefully illustrated and created their own magical magnetic flying kites!

As the school year continues, we look forward to welcoming warmer weather and the beginning of spring where we can notice all the magic of that season — flower buds sprouting out from the ground and trees beginning to grow new foliage.  The spring at D-E offers more than just a time for the children to observe growth in nature, it is also a time for the children to grow cognitively and physically, to make connections with nature and their environment, and to look forward to the prospect of new beginnings.

09 Feb

Third Graders Making a Difference: Giving of ourselves to the Bergen Family Center and St. Joseph’s School for the Blind

Contributed by Michelle Sussmann and Roni Kanter

“Last night I dreamed about helping someone,” reported one third grader on the morning of our Third Graders Making a Difference trip.  Each month third graders work on a project that is carefully chosen to help different groups of people both near and far.  Equally important, the work is done by the children so that the amount of effort they put in is a direct correlation to the amount of difference they make.  January’s project was unique in that it provided an opportunity for third graders to truly participate in every part of the process – from start to finish.

As we do each month, we kicked off this project by gathering as a grade.  Together we listened to Ben Harper’s “With My Own Two Hands.”  The song begins with “I can change the world – with my own two hands.  Make it a better place – with my own two hands.  Make a kinder place – with my own two hands.”  Students immediately got the message that they would be working with their hands.  Students then learned that this month they would be helping The Bergen Family Center, a wonderful place right here in Englewood, that helps infants through senior citizens in so many ways.

With the support of the families, students spent two weeks “working” at home, doing certain extra chores and helping their families.  The more they worked, the more they got paid.  At the end of the two weeks, they were paid their wages, then they had a week to shop for specific items that the BFC needs.  Students were encouraged to shop with their parents, giving them a sense of the cost of the items and how much their money could buy.  Next the items were brought to school.  When they arrived, one student remarked that she was surprised by how they much they had collected.  Finally, on January 29th, students loaded the bus with their items and personally delivered them to the Bergen Family Center.

Bergen Family Center is a not-for-profit center in Englewood that serves families in need by working with people ranging in age from four months old to senior citizens. Once at the Center, third graders toured the facility so they could see first-hand where their hard-earned items would be going and exactly who they would be helping.  After completing the tour, one student said, “I thought it was amazing that they were able to grow this whole place with most people not even paying to go.”  Another student remarked, “I felt proud because we had so much to bring.”

So often when we make a donation or help a charity, our money is sent off, and we never truly get to see where it is going.  It is a rare and special opportunity when we can see, first hand, where our donation goes.  Third graders are lucky to have this opportunity twice this year.  During the month of February, not only did we take a trip to the Bergen Family Center, we also took a trip to St. Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Our students were able to tour the school and meet the amazing students of St. Joseph’s School.  They were also able to see some of the purchases that the school has been able to make thanks to our year-round “Box Tops for Education” collection.  Each experience seemed to have great impact on the students.   Several students said they want to continue to help these wonderful organizations in the future. This is precisely our goal, which is to foster a lifelong love of giving back and making a difference.

09 Feb

“Thanks for Coming Author Sarah Weeks!”

Contributed by Rachel Brainin

On Friday, February 2, 2018, author Sarah Weeks captivated the students of the D-E Lower School with presentations about her writing process, her inspirations, a writer’s life, and readings of her books.

Through stories about her childhood and her own children, pictures of her dog and observations about people and their habits, Ms. Weeks was able to reach children and adults of all ages. She tailored her presentations to each group of students, preschool through 5th grades, always with humor and wisdom from her many years as a writer. She held the children’s attention with stories of what inspires her.

She also shared the numerous revisions her work goes through, emphasizing the importance of the editing process. The children, who prepared by reading many of her books ahead of time, were excited and ready with many questions for Ms. Weeks, ranging from where she gets her ideas to whether she has goals for the future.

“Everyone related to her,” shared a second grader.

A fourth grader shared, “I liked how she told us what she heard when she was spying at Starbucks.”

A fifth-grade student remarked, “I enjoyed how she told us the process of how she writes her books and how she does the editing process. I like how she gets inspiration from the things around her…her sons, the clothes on the roof, and her pets.”

The impact of this  visit has been great. Since her visit, children have been referencing her during Writing Workshop.  Some first-grade children were overheard saying, “I am going to edit my work, just like Sarah Weeks.”

Ms. Weeks certainly left a strong impression on all of us in the Lower School, and we are so grateful to the Parents’ Association for sponsoring her visit.

09 Feb

The Lower School Celebrates Lunar New Year!

Although the actual date of Lunar New Year is on Friday, February 16, the Lower School students ushered in the “Year of the Dog” with important elders, wonderful music, and a special Lion Dance!

The Lower School students and faculty would like to thank the parents from the Asian-American Affinity group, the Chinese Affinity group, and the Korean Affinity group, for working together to plan an assembly that highlighted special traditions important during this special time of the year!

26 Jan

Community of Englewood

Contributed by Jennifer Koteles & Marina Byrne

The second graders have been learning about their community in social studies. We talked about urban, suburban and rural communities and most recently explored the suburban and urban parts of the Englewood community. We learned the history of Englewood and took a virtual tour using Google Earth, followed by a real-life tour through the town.  On our guided tour, the children noticed the residential areas of the town, as well as the commercial and recreational spaces.

Our first stop was the Englewood Florist, a local merchant and a family owned business. We learned about supply and demand and how that changes based on the seasons and holidays. Next up, we visited the Englewood Police Department. We met several detectives as well as the Chief of Police! They showed us how they help keep Englewood safe. Our last stop was Englewood Hospital. The children had the opportunity to go inside a real ambulance and hear how the EMTs help keep safe.

Second graders ended the day with a better sense of all that our Englewood community has to offer its residents and visitors.

26 Jan

Trip to Met Opera

Contributed by Mary Heveran

On Friday, January 19, our fifth-grader students attended the final dress rehearsal of Verdi’s opera IL Trovatore. It was a special student performance presented by the Metropolitan Opera. Students arrived at school dressed in their finest clothes, excited to see the opera we had been studying. Students were in awe of the opera house: the Austrian Crystal chandeliers, the plush red carpet, the gold leaf ceiling, the rosewood decor, and of course, the magnificent opera production. One of the benefits of seeing an opera at the Met is that students can witness what their individual opera jobs are like in the professional world. Students marveled at the set design, the lighting, the costumes and make-up, the musicians and singers. It was a magical experience, and one that we hope will inspire an appreciation of opera that will stay with them for a lifetime.