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“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

― Maya Angelou


There is no doubt that the past year has changed all of us. It has changed us in ways that we recognize now and in ways that will continue to unfold for years to come. The entire Dwight-Englewood community has met this challenging year head on with great determination and resilience.  We should all feel proud of ourselves.  Not only have we not been reduced by these changes, we have become fortified while pushing ever forward.

As the 2020-2021 school year winds down, you may be looking ahead toward summer and even thinking about next school year.  We still have a good number of weeks to maximize learning during the remainder of this school year. You can help fortify that learning at home now and throughout the summer. I’d like to suggest “Three M’s” as a guide.


 The 1st “M” stands for MAXIMIZE

Let’s all be intentional about maximizing what is left of this school year and into the summer months.  In order to do this here are some practical suggestions you can implement today:

  • Keep up nightly independent reading and discuss the books with your child.
  • Utilize Raz-Kids and thoughtfully complete the quizzes at the end, rereading the text when necessary.
  • Read together and discuss as a family- pictures books, articles, information books and stories. Pick high-interest topics for the whole family.

 The 2nd “M” stands for MAINTAIN

Thinking ahead to this summer, now more than ever you’ll want to help your student hang on to the learning gains they’ve made this year so they can hit the ground running next school year.  With that in mind, pick from some of the suggestions below that make the most sense for your family and your particular learner:

  • Take a look at the “What to Expect” Documents located on the Lower School Start of School website and preview some of the topics your child will study next school year.
  • Partake in Summer Connections offerings from D-E.
  • Partake in enrichment classes outside of D-E.
  • Actively engage in one or more of the summer reading options (more to come on that soon).
  • Keep a summer journal for frequent written reflections, musings, drawings and even photographs of summer adventures.

 The 3rd and final “M” stands for ‘ME TIME’ (or self-care)

Balance is important.  While we do want to maximize and maintain learning, we should also be sure to carve out plenty of time for self-care for both adults and our students.  Disconnect to reconnect – take a break from screens to connect to:

  • Nature
  • Personal interests and hobbies
  • Imaginative Play
  • Physical Health
  • Rest and Relaxation
  • Friends and Family

 It is my hope that if we can keep the “Three M’s” in mind, we can all come back refreshed, restored and ready to take on the new school year in the fall. We will, no doubt, all have changed due to this unique and challenging year. By the same token, we have not been reduced by those changes and challenges. We may even surprise ourselves by how we’ve grown stronger and more flexible from the experience.