Upper School

Featured US Video: A Virtual Video Yearbook 2020, by Hollis Epstein '21

Click above or here to watch the Virtual Video Yearbook 2020!

COVID-19 Messages From Joseph Algrant, Upper School (US) Principal

List of 2 items.

  • 10.3.2020 Message from Joe Algrant, US Principal

    October 3, 2020
    Dear Upper School (US) Parents/Guardians, 
    A couple of important pieces of information to share early on this weekend, regarding upcoming events and a calendar update (see below). Since I know that people are busy and without lots of time for extra reading, I will not add to that burden, but instead provide these critical bullet points about the next couple of weeks. You can also see in this message some news from each of our deans and the College Counseling Office. 
    Please enjoy the weekend. Next week I will take some space to write about our transition to a full 50% student attendance, a level I hope we continue for many weeks to come.
    Joe Algrant, US Principal 
    • Upper School Back-to-School Night, originally scheduled for next Thursday, October 8, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 14. More information on the format next week, but it will of course be a virtual event.
    • You received a Testing Registration Email earlier today from Pat Boig, about our COVID19 testing procedure for US students. You can view that email by clicking here. PLEASE be sure to register your student in time for their test next week.
    • We spotted an error in the US Cohort Calendar (PDF) last week, that some of you have written about. Please know that this calendar is now accurate with one exception:
      • On Tuesday October 13, we will be having a special half day of programming around the 2020 election as part of our series in understanding the current issues making this election so fraught. The program will take place in the morning and classes will take place in the afternoon. To make this work best, we will do the entire day online, so no Upper School students will be on campus that day. A reminder that the Schedule for your student(s) is viewable once you LogIn to MyD-E. For LogIn help, Email
    • At long last, The Coop will reopen on Monday, Oct. 5. Joan Millien sent an Email about this earlier tonight, including The Coop's schedule, ordering, and charging information; click here to view. The Coop will not be open to any students in the middle of the day. 
    Seniors (from Brendan McGrail, Dean, Class of 2021) 
    The Seniors continue to lead in positive ways both on- and off- campus as we all work to establish new routines that fit with the new realities of school during this time. With the Adding Courses deadline having passed last Friday, the Class of 2021 has now settled into their classes and adjusting to our new hybrid-learning environment.
    Many of the “Senior-only” classes (AP Psychology, AP Statistics & Issues in American Law) are having their first assessments this week. In Advisory, we are continuing our Election prep programming.
    After our first two US Assemblies (political ideology last week and free speech this week), there is a lot to debrief and our small Advisory groups provide an ideal setting to explore these challenging concepts. For Seniors, they have been together in the same small Advisory groups, with the same peers, and the same adult Advisor, for all four years of high school. The close, trusting relationships forged over this time are now paying off in the quality and depth of these difficult conversations. In the weeks to come, we look forward to having the Seniors on campus more often as our schedule shifts and the campus opens up to a greater number of students each day.
    Juniors (from Kim Lalli, Dean, Class of 2022) 
    It was so nice to see members of the Class of 2022 again this week. It's clear that even on just the second day of being on campus, they are adjusting to our new normal at school. The Juniors are learning to manage new traffic patterns and doing a nice job distancing outside of the classroom. I continue to be impressed by their growth over the past six months.
    While it's common to see major leaps in development (and height!) between 10th and 11th grade, I have been nonetheless stunned by the fact that teenagers left last spring and it seems that young adults have returned this fall. They are engaging in challenging dialogue with their peers, advocating for themselves in the classroom, and managing the multiple threads of hybrid learning beautifully. That is not to say that they aren't stressed or tired, but that they seem to be coping with the realities of our current situation with a tremendous amount of grace and maturity. I continue to enjoy connecting with members of the Class who are fully virtual and am looking forward to welcoming the rest of the Class back to campus next week. 
    Sophomores (from Shai Zacarev, Dean, Class of 2023) 
    As we close another week of school during this most unique school year it was great to be able to have the 10th graders on campus with us. This week also happened to be our first opportunity to have more than one grade at school at the same time and we have all been very impressed with how well all the students have adjusted to all the changes that have been taking place.
    The Hajjar STEM Center was opened up for students to use during their frees and so was the first floor of the library, where 19 study carrels were spaced appropriately for students to be able to do their work safely. There was a lot of laughter and happy faces over the last two days and I am looking forward to next week when the schedule opens up to allow half of each grade to come to school at the same time. 
    Freshmen (from Jeremy Meserole, Dean, Class of 2024)
    The 9th graders this week were virtual-only -- we definitely missed seeing them on campus!  I'm looking forward to seeing folks in-person again next week. This week we focused on using Advisory time as a chance to prepare for and debrief the Upper School presentation on free speech by Dr. Marcia Chatelain during our Wednesday Assembly period. We also used Advisory to continue to help students get to know one another in meaningful ways, work which will continue on campus next week.
    I've appreciated the online interactions I have had with students this week, and it will be great to meet with the students next week once again in person.  My initial impression of the grade is that they are a lively, engaged group of people who will have a lot to contribute to the Upper School, especially as they adjust and familiarize themselves with upper school life.  It's been a good start to the school year so far, and I'm excited for the students as they find a rhythm and routine in the weeks to come.  And as always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. 
    The CCO is hosting a number of events in the coming weeks that might be of interest and we warmly welcome you to attend.

    Senior Families Financial Aid (FAFSA)Workshop:
    Monday, October 5, 7:00 - 9:00 PM 
    Senior families are invited to join us for a step-by-step virtual workshop that focuses on filling out the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and addresses Financial Aid questions. Click here for details.  Zoom link to the event

    Intro to Access Applied:
    Monday, October 12, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
    This event provides a general overview of college financing with an introduction to Access Applied for 9th - 12th grade families. Access Applied is a free, comprehensive website that covers every topic relating to college costs, both need-based and merit-based financial aid, and strategies for paying for college. You can access the website by visiting and using the special Dwight-Englewood access code: access2college$. Zoom link to the event

    College Roundtable on Testing:
    Thursday, October 22, 7:00-9:00 PM 
    This is an event to support students and families as you navigate the PSAT, ACT, SAT and questions about standardized testing. Adam Ingersoll, Co-founder of Compass Education Group, will address parents, answer questions and provide insights on how parents can stay sane during a time of change in college admissions testing. Zoom link to the event. Passcode: 438071.

    With the first major college application deadline (Nov. 1) coming closer on the horizon, the College Counselors are focusing their time and energy on assisting seniors as they craft their essays and finalize their college lists. We encourage you, the parents/guardians of seniors, to check in with your children to see if they are on track with the different elements of their application.We welcome you to arrange for a family meeting in the next few weeks so that we can answer particular questions you may have and to provide any assistance or feedback that supports your child in crafting the strongest application possible!

    Please know that the College Counselors will be visiting their Junior Advisories in a few weeks. We will also initiate virtual office hours in the near future so that students can “drop-in” for quick questions. These hours will be communicated with Juniors through their Advisories.
  • 10.9.2020 Message from Joe Algrant, US Principal

    October 9, 2020
    Dear Upper School (US) Families,
    Hope all is well. We have made it to our full 50% capacity and day one went fairly smoothly. We had a small problem at lunchtime with some delayed meals (rough for ravenous teenagers at 1:00), but overall it was gratifying and exciting to see everyone on campus.
    I wanted tonight to provide a couple of updates/reminders for you about next week, along with one request. Starting with the request, because it attaches to our being at full capacity. Please help your student understand that the protocols that we have established are for the sole reason of keeping the community healthy and safe. If we can do that, then we have the best chance of staying open.
    You can read about schools that are having to close because of the number of positive cases they have, and those cases are often related to not following the protocols, or behaviors outside school. We really do not want to be one of those schools, and the best way to avoid that is following our compact (click here or go to  I know it’s our broken record comment, but the more we witness around us the more truthful it seems to be.
    Next week we have two big events: one for you and one for the students.
    (For Parents/Guardians, Wednesday, Oct. 14)
    Your (parent/guardian) event is our Back-to-School Night, on Wednesday, October 14. Because of the large size of the division, and the number of classes we offer, we have decided that this program will work best if we conduct most of this event using pre-recorded videos that teachers are making.
    We will begin the evening with a live Zoom at 7:00 PM ET (a link will be provided soon). Then you will be able to visit the classes of your student at your leisure over the next couple of days. We hope this method makes the event easier, and while live interaction would be preferable, these videos will best accomplish the main purposes of this event, which is for you to know what the courses are about, and to get a feel for how the teachers are working in the class. The usual opportunities for conversation will really not be possible anyway, and keeping the evening on track and on time feels chaotic, so in this unusual year we will try this system.
    You will have the chance for conversation later in the fall during our parent/guardian conferences with teachers, and of course you should always feel free to contact a teacher if you have concerns or questions.
    ELECTION REFLECTION 2020 STUDENT PROGRAMMING (For US Students, Tuesday, Oct. 13) 
    The other event, for US students (only), is our half day election programming on Tuesday, October 13. All students will be home that day, and we will send you the program so you can see what is happening that morning from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. It includes speakers from the legal world and high profile politicians, from varied political parties and beliefs. Students will then have their regular classes in the afternoon. 
    (Learning Change Requests due Wednesday, Oct. 14)
    We are now ready to ask again about students who might want to switch from virtual to hybrid for the remainder of the semester. If you are thinking about making this switch, we need to know about that by Wednesday, October 14.
    Students will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test done within one week of returning. We will then welcome your student back to school. Their Cohort will be based on the sizes of the students classes, and our classroom limitations.
    We would ideally like to know about any students who want to move from hybrid to virtual at the same time because that also impacts our numbers of students in any one classroom, so please let us know that as well by Wednesday, October 14.
    Please email your child's dean with any shift that you are going to make, and of course if you’d like to discuss a potential shift, feel free also to contact me directly as well.
    Finally, know that we will be polling students next week to see how they are doing this year, so we get a more informed sense. But for now, that’s it. As always, please write with concerns or questions.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Joseph W. Algrant
    Upper School Principal


Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome!  Our Upper School thrives on the energy and enthusiasm of our students and faculty, engaged together in the joyful pursuit of learning. Education is largely a social and interactive experience as well as an intellectual one, and through our strong student/teacher relationships we provide a vigorous and rigorous academic program. Preparing our students for their future requires our teachers to be actively looking ahead.

In the ninth and tenth grades, students study a core curriculum that solidifies skills through the analysis and appreciation of classic literature, the understanding of critical trends in world history, and process writing in both fields that enables students to make arguments and express them with coherence and grace.  In mathematics and science we strive to help students better understand the place of data and data analysis in the world. These courses ground students in basic concepts by looking at relevant uses of mathematics and a focus on experimentation and the methods of science. Offerings in foreign language study within the performing and visual arts further establish an appreciation for the rewards of learning.

After completing their two year core, students can choose from a wide array of elective courses. These courses reflect the diverse passions of our faculty and our commitment to relevant and deep learning. Offered in all departments, students are asked to create, with lots of advice, a series of courses that allows them to pursue their interests within the bounds of the best overall college preparation available. 

The academic experience, central to the purpose of the school, must be complemented by a lively, creative, and dynamic co-curricular program in order to provide a complete education. In fact, students can only work to their fullest capacity when they are allowed to pursue activity outside the classroom and stimulate other parts of their minds and souls. A healthy, positive and deep connection to their school is what maximizes their achievement, garnered by the support of the adults around them and the friendship and love of their peers.

Here in the Upper School students will find more than 20 athletic teams and other health/fitness programs; several major publications (including a foreign-language literary magazine); 40 clubs (some that have been in existence for 30 years, some that change with student interest); and myriad artistic, theatre and music opportunities that cater to the multiple talents of our students and teachers.

I hope that you will look for greater explanation of the courses and activities that we offer. I also hope that you will come and see for yourself the excitement that exists in the Upper School.

All the best,
Joseph Algrant
Upper School Principal


List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Joseph Algrant

    Mr. Joseph Algrant 

    Dwight-Englewood School
    U.S. Principal
    (201) 227-3241
  • Photo of Kimberly Lalli

    Ms. Kimberly Lalli 

    Dwight-Englewood School
    Dean, Class of 2022
    (201) 227-3245
  • Photo of Brendan McGrail

    Dr. Brendan McGrail 

    Dwight-Englewood School
    Dean, Class of 2021
    (201) 227-3248
  • Photo of Jeremy Meserole

    Jeremy Meserole 

    Dwight-Englewood School
    Dean, Class of 2020
    (201) 227-3246
  • Photo of Shai Zacaraev

    Mr. Shai Zacaraev 

    Dwight-Englewood School
    US Class Dean

Reopening Plans & Resources Website

All D-E families and faculty/staff are invited to click here to visit the online website for reopening D-E in Fall 2020 and for managing through COVID. Find the most current information on the School's plans for a healthy and safe 2020-2021 school year. Go to

Welcome to D-E Upper School! Podcast Series

Welcome to the Upper School! D-E Families who are currently in Grade 8 and all new Upper School (US) families joining us in 2020-2021 can access our Podcasts Series from US Principal Joe Algrant: click here!

Parnassus 2020

NEW! Parnassus is the foreign language literary journal of the D-E Upper School. D-E Community members can view the entire Parnassus 2020 publication online at; MyD-E LogIn is required. Need LogIn help? Email


Calliope is the literary journal of the D-E Upper School. The Calliope 2020 cover design is by Jimena Vivian '20. D-E Community members can view the entire Calliope publication online at; MyD-E LogIn is required. Need LogIn help? Email
Mailing Address: 315 East Palisade Avenue Englewood, NJ 07631
gps: 81 Lincoln Street, Englewood, NJ 07631
201-569-9500 Email:
Located in Englewood, New Jersey, Dwight-Englewood is a greater New York City area private school with a rigorous college prep curriculum for boys and girls in preschool through grade 12.