16 Sep

Back to School Night

We look forward to seeing parents and caregivers this evening for the Lower School Back-to-School Night.  Parents of new students are encouraged to come to the Lower School gym to meet the special area teachers from 7:00-7:30 pm.  Classroom teachers will begin their presentations at 7:30 pm.  The evening is expected to end by 8:30 pm.
In order to alleviate concerns about parking, valet parking service will be provided this evening.  Limited childcare, for school-aged children, will also be provided in the Lower School library.

All “Phased-In”!

Monday, September 15, marked the first official day when all Lower School students were in classes on campus for the full school day!

During the opening weeks of school, the students in the early childhood program participated in “Phase-In.” “Phase-In” is a process which gradually allows students to begin their acclimation to school in smaller chunks of time. 
Kindergarten teacher, Tricia Fiore, shares, “The beginning of school can be overwhelming for all students but especially our youngest students where separation may be an issue.  Each day the students stay a bit longer building their stamina for the full day.” 
This gradual introduction to the school, classroom teachers, classmates and routines, has had a very good success rate at Dwight-Englewood School.  Students become familiar with the faces and names of their classmates and the various special area teachers, which allows confidence to build.
Although it may be daunting to have families and caregivers arrange schedules to accommodate this practice, our belief is that the investment of time at the outset of the school year really helps to make the students available for learning much sooner.  The students also are witness to the partnership between home and school, which is another important element for a successful school year.

Preschool 3 teacher, Lorraine Yamin, shared the following, “Phase-in sets the year off with students having experienced feelings of success and accomplishment.” We are happy to report that all of our students are off to a great start!

Frost Valley

The fifth-grade students have returned from three wonderful days of friendship, team building, risk-taking and fun!  Last week they spent three days at the YMCA in Frost Valley, NY accompanied by many of their current and former teachers.

This trip serves as an important way of welcoming new students into the grade.  It also prepares the students to embrace their roles as student leaders in the division.  Finally, it prepares them to confidently enter the departmentalized structure of the fifth-grade program.  Although they begin and end their days in a homeroom, the core program consisting of math, literacy, science and social studies, is taught in a departmentalized structure.
The photo at the top of our blog and the pictures below tell a bit of the story of how much our students enjoyed their time away. 

We are excited about all that this group of fifth-grade students will contribute to the Lower School this year!


Change in Dismissal Times for 5th Grade Students

The school year began with the implementation of the new arrival and dismissal times. We  have been very thoughtful about observing the impact of the changes in time on classroom work and on the traffic patterns.

We are pleased with the arrival times and the earlier start of the instructional day.  The extended dismissal time has presented some challenges, not only to our 5th grade students, but also to the dismissal patterns in the other divisions.
In discussion with school administration, faculty and our transportation department we will be adjusting the dismissal times for students in grade 5.  This change will help to minimize afternoon travel time for all our children.
Students in grade 5 will now be dismissed at 3:25 pm along with students in grades 3 and 4.  They will no longer be dismissed at 3:35 pm.  This change will go into effect on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
The final carpool, Carpool #4, will be dismissed at 3:40 pm not 3:45 pm.
A new information sheet that details the full scope of the Lower School dismissal times will be made available at Back-to-School Night.
Information for ALL LS Bus Riders
In an effort to improve our dismissal procedures and minimize afternoon travel time for all of our children, the following information is important for families of ALL Student Bus Riders (K-5)
All buses will now depart school by 3:40 pm as opposed to 3:50 pm.  Please be prepared to receive students that ride the buses a few minutes earlier each day.  This change will go into effect on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

Additional information about this change will be forthcoming from Danielle Devlin, Director of Transportation.  Questions should be directed to Ms. Devlin at devlid@d-e.org.

Fall Festival Reception on October 2, 2014

Our annual Lower School reception for parents, teachers and staff is Thursday, October 2 from 6 to 8 pm at the home of Caralyn and Steven Fuld, 351 Lewelen Circle, Englewood, New Jersey. Please RSVP to Lynne Rullo at rullol@d-e.org or 201.227.3220.