06 Apr

Dr. “G” visits the Lower School

Submitted by Jessica Pomeroy and Michael Rodenbush

On Thursday, April 5th, fourth and fifth grade students had the opportunity to attend a presentation with Dr. Deborah Gilboa.  Dr. “G.” is a well-known parenting and youth development expert, family physician, media personality, author, speaker and social influencer.  Her primary focus is character development in children ages 2-22 and helping children develop crucial life skills. Her work with 4th and 5th graders emphasized responsibility, respect and resilience.  Dr. G was received extremely well by our fourth and fifth grade students. Noelle said, “I like how she was funny, but she was also very informative at the same time.  She helped keep us engaged.” Jake, another fifth-grade student, shared that he learned skills to interact with parents and earn privileges by being responsible. Fourth grade Adina’s take away applies not only to parents but anyone you are trying to negotiate with: “When you get in an argument, make eye contact, use a quiet voice and don’t tell someone to calm down. Don’t tell them how to feel.”

Communicating styles with peers and with adults have similarities but also differences, and Dr. G helped students see the differences so they understand some of the skills involved in communicating needs and wants.  A fun, informative and very relevant presentation for our students, we are most grateful the Parents Association for sponsoring this event.

06 Apr

Lower School Students Lend A Hand To Project Cicero

Submitted by Kristin Geller

Saturday, March 17 was the first day of D-E’s Spring Break, yet the campus was full of teachers! Over 350 teachers from under-resourced school districts in New Jersey came to campus to participate in Project Cicero. Under the leadership of D-E alumni Teddi Hunter ‘87 and Jen Backer ‘87, Project Cicero Northern New Jersey organized book drives that collected and offered FREE new/gently used books to build and supplement classroom libraries in schools across northern New Jersey.

This year a group of Lower School 4th and 5th graders volunteered with Project Cicero by helping to sort and organize the thousands of books that were collected. Additionally, students from D-E’s Middle and Upper school volunteered to make this project a huge success.

Project Cicero is fueled by the prolific words of Cicero himself, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

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16 Mar

Jump Rope for Heart Reminder

Jump Rope for Hearts donation envelopes went home this week.  Donations can be made either online or return envelopes to Mrs. Franco after the spring break by Friday, April 6, 2018.  Contact Mrs. Franco at francok@d-e.org if you have any questions.  To learn more about Jump Rope for Heart please click here or go to: http://american.heart.org/jump-hoops

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

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!

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

Introducing Ms. Melissa DeJesus!

We welcome our interim art teacher, Melissa DeJesus, to the Lower School.  A native New Yorker, Ms. DeJesus studied art and animation at the School of Visual Arts. Her professional career launched in 2001 when she and a group of friends animated the cartoon segment for the live action movie Super Troopers.  She went on to publish a series of graphic novels including a short comic featured in the young adult novel, Fan Art, published by Harper Collins and was the youngest female artist to illustrate a newspaper comic strip, My Cage, for King Features Syndicate.

Ms. DeJesus has taught art in various schools throughout the boroughs of New York, including programs at LaGuardia and Hostos Community Colleges.  Her passion for teaching led her to pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Melissa is delighted to join Dwight-Englewood and looks forward to providing an experience in art that will open the minds of her students to all possibilities of expression, as well as learning and critical thinking skills that will last a lifetime.

11 Jan

Coming Soon: LS Author Visit featuring Sarah Weeks!

We are delighted to welcome prolific children’s author, Sarah Weeks, to the Lower School on Friday, February 2, 2018!

Sarah has written over 50 picture books and novels for children and young adults, including the best-selling novels, Pie, Save Me a Seat and So B. It, which is now a feature-length film. In addition to writing, Sarah is an adjunct faculty member in the Writing Program at the New School University, in New York City, and teaches a master class at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Sarah’s broad range of books and dynamic presentation style are sure to captivate and inspire our students across all grades.  She will spend time with grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-5, tailoring her program to each age group.

In anticipation of Sarah’s visit, we will share some of Sarah’s books with your children in the library and in their classrooms during the month of January.  We encourage families to visit her website at Sarahweeks.com to find out more about her and her wonderful collection of stories and books.

A book order form, featuring Sarah’s collection of books, will be sent home prior to her visit so families can place an order.  Children will receive the books after they meet with her.  We ask that all book orders be submitted by January 19, 2018 so that we can better ensure that the books are on campus by February 2, 2018.  A portion of the sales will benefit the D-E Parents’ Association. Click here to view and/or download/print the Sarah Weeks Visiting Author Book Order Form.

11 Dec

Bulldog Math Team Update

Contributed by Cecily Gottling, LS Math Specialist

D-E’s Bulldog Math Team is off to a great start again this year!  17 third graders, 17 fourth graders, and all the fifth graders are once again participating in the Continental Math League math contests.

Our 3rd and 4th grade teams meet once a week to learn problem-solving strategies and practice solving really challenging problems. Then once a month, the children try to solve 6 challenging problems in 30 minutes. Coaching sessions are designed to help students develop skills in collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.  Participating in the actual contests builds perseverance and a willingness to take a risk.  Math Team is all about working together and developing grit!

The third graders are currently practicing two important strategies—guess and check and logic—in order to solve challenging problems about sums and differences. Fourth graders are working on algebraic reasoning and understanding the nuances of divisibility.  Our fourth graders just finished their second contest and were cheered to see that everyone improved after a really tough first contest. Problem-solving strategies are a routine component of the fifth graders’ math experiences.  The fifth graders will participate in their second contest next week.

Below is a sample problem the children are working on:

Go Lower School Bulldogs!


“Math team is a bit hard because you have to think a lot. That’s a good thing because it gets your mind going.” – Adesola


“Something surprising happened to me! I was doing my contest, and it was really challenging.
I expected to get a 3 or under except
I surprisingly got a 4. I felt really good
about that.” – Ellie


“I feel good about the answers I got. I don’t feel too badly about the ones I didn’t get because there’s always room for improvement.” – Kiran