Welcome to our D-E COVID-19 website, your one-stop online resource during the pandemic.

Looking for reopening plans for Fall 2020? Scroll down for our Reopening Website or click here.  

On this COVID-19 website, you'll find links to past communications from Head of School Dr. De Jarnett and our Division Principals; helpful contacts; division-specific online distance learning resources; activities, articles, and books worth exploring; service opportunities with D-E connections and opportunities to "make it better''... and more! Check out our subpages, Resources & Links, Our D-E Community, Family Activities & Fun, and past COVID-19 communications (see below), to stay connected.

To all in our D-E community: stay healthy and safe! Got something to share with us? Email share@d-e.org 

Reopening Plans & Resources Website

All D-E Lower School (LS) families are invited to click here for LS Start of School 2021 resources and links. We encourage families to visit the website periodically as more information will be added in the coming weeks and months leading up to the first day of the new 2021-2022 academic year: Thursday 9 September. See you in September!

Head of School Messages Archive

List of 4 items.

  • 7.26.2020 Update: Responsible Reopening for September 2020

    July 26, 2020
    To all D-E Parents/Guardians, Faculty and Staff,
    So, the news continues to focus on all of the issues that schools, colleges and universities around the country are facing in regards to reopening this Fall 2020.  Some of this national discussion includes information that pertains to all of us as well as other information that is very specific to a particular region and type of school.  Yes, this very public ongoing coverage and conversation will continue to raise our anxiety.  For me, I find that it provides us valuable information and insight to help us with our preparations.
    The number of cases in NJ and NY remain in the stable ranges to support our careful reopenings -- if we continue to follow guidelines for safe and healthy living.  It will take some weeks, however, to learn if the number of cases in other parts of the country will affect the progress we have made in our region.  We will also learn over the next few weeks how the relaxing of guidelines in our region will affect changes in cases in the areas from which we all commute to campus..  As we learn more, our preparations will continue for each of the three (3) scenarios I have written about in my earlier Update messages (click here for reference).  And yes, we are making very good progress in our preparations.
    We have also now confirmed all new campus signage for healthy and safe campus life, and look forward to installing these new signs. Also, this week, we hope to make our final decision on a new food service provider who will have clear guidelines for supporting a healthy ‘grab-and-go’ lunch and snack option for everyone on campus.  
    Below are additional, specific developments about which you will may of interest. 


    Ensuring our nurses have the space, equipment and time to do their work well, we have decided to add an additional nurse to our D-E Health Department team.  We are currently finalizing our decision as to the location for this additional nurse.  Moving Grades 4 and 5 into Umpleby as well as spreading Grade 6 into spaces behind and in the Imperatore Library, it became apparent that an additional nurse is needed to support these classes in particular and in a space that is in close proximity to where these classes are being held.  I’ll share more information as we make our decisions about this additional on-campus nurse.  


    Continuing our study of our HVAC systems and the current research regarding the importance of air filtration, we have made adjustments to our HVAC systems to include more fresh air into the systems as well as installing the higher quality filters current research is suggesting.  Additionally, we are working to purchase individual air filtration systems for classrooms and office spaces.  You may be interested to know that such filtration systems can be used in the future during allergy and flu seasons. 
    We have also made the decision to purchase thermal scanners that we will be installing throughout our campus.  We have tested these systems and are impressed with their speed and accuracy.  They will inform the passer-by if they are not wearing a mask as well as their temperature.  Staff members will support these scanners to ensure anyone with a high temperature will be taken to the nurses isolation rooms for nurse support.  I believe these scanners, along with a personal at-home health check each morning, will help us when we do return to campus.


    Every family enrolled in the School during the last academic year should have or soon will receive notice this week of the Goodwill Credit.  Our fiscal year ended on the last day of June at which time we were able to finally determine the savings to our operating budget due to us not being on campus in the spring.  Those savings are now being passed back to our families through this Goodwill Credit. 
    Some families have asked in advance of this goodwill credit if they might designate their credit back to the School to either Together Dwight-Englewood (our fund for COVID Hardship Relief) or to Annual Fund 2020-21.  If you would like to do this, please contact Pat Boig at boigp@d-e.org or 845-664-4866.


    I wrote about the delay to the start for fall athletics in last week’s update, but wanted to provide you a quick FYI: We have learned that the NYC Ivy Prep School league has canceled its fall season.  This is the athletic league for the NYC Independent Schools. We do not yet know how and if this may impact athletics for our own program at the School, but as I noted in my Update message last week, there will be NO practice by D-E sports teams before we come back to school on September 8.


    As you are hopefully already aware, we are hosting online events this week for students, families and alum to listen, learn and build on the work we are doing to provide a more inclusive and equitable program and community experience
    For the first event, on Monday evening (7/27), we are listening to the experiences of alumni and current students of color in our community. Invitations for this initial event tomorrow evening were Emailed by Dr. Mirangela Buggs, D-E Director of Diversity & Equity Engagement, to specific members of our community.
    Then, on Tuesday, 7/28, we transition from listening and learning to the more active work of improving our practice and the experiences for all community members.  All D-E Parents/guardians are invited to "tune in and listen" to this Tuesday evening Zoom event; please click here for the invitation Email, that you should have received earlier.  Much of this work will also help us become a more inclusive and equitable community for all of our diverse members as our community’s diversity is one of the great treasures of the D-E experience. Questions may be directed to Dr. Buggs via Email at: buggsm@d-e.org
    And for those families interested in moving along with us, I encourage you to watch the online video  CNN & Sesame Street Town Hall - How to Explain Racism to Kids Yes, this is directed more towards our younger students, but you might be surprised at how much of this program benefits all of us no matter our age.


    Our decision to finally hold a small graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 does not affect most of you.  But as many of you read about other schools holding such ceremonies, I thought it appropriate to let everyone know what we are doing.  We already hosted a Wave Parade ‘drive through’ ceremony for the seniors and have now decided, based on the state’s guidelines, to host a small and carefully managed ceremony on Leggett Field on Sunday 2 August beginning at 9:30 AM.
    This ceremony is limited to only the graduating senior and two guests.  We are organizing our seating under the graduation tent into groups of three chairs (for each senior and his or her two guests).  Each of these three seat pods are located six or more feet from the next pod of three chairs.  Rather than coming to the stage to receive their diploma, each senior will stand when his or her name is read.  A roaming photographer will take their picture.
    Those members of our faculty and Board of Trustees interested in attending will be seated six feet apart and under the smaller tent, or if the weather is good, around the graduation tent.   
    I hope these updates are helpful and keep us connected.  Look forward to more specific details as our preparations continue with the important decisions we will make in August as we approach our first days of school.

    Be safe.  Be healthy.  Let’s hope the rest of the country takes the steps necessary to control the COVID outbreaks in their region.  And let’s all have the “courage to meet the challenges of a changing world and make it better.”
    Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett
    Head of School
  • 7.19.2020 Update: Responsible Reopening for September 2020

    July 19, 2020
    Dear D-E Families and Faculty/Staff, 
    As always, I hope you, your family and your friends are healthy in every way (mentally, physically and emotionally).  With so much change in our lives today, I encourage you to pay attention to these three aspects of your health and well-being, as each is important.  Do not shy away from any notion, even to yourself, that you feel you are not in the ‘healthy place’ you would like to be.  With all that is going on, the strain on our personal systems is real and most everyone is struggling with one of these three; whether it is the ‘COVID 15’ (pounds) you wish you had not gained, the physical frustration of not getting out enough, or the emotional strains from just wanting to see and be with more people.  Resources are easy to find online, but talking with a close friend or family member is always a great way to start.  Please take care of yourself.
    I’ll write more in August about how we can all best prepare children for the fall.  Getting them ready physically, mentally and emotionally will take all of our efforts...working together, to help them be prepared.  We need to remember the airline safety statement that informs you to put ‘your mask on first’ so you can help your children next.  We must take care of ourselves first, if we want to take care of our children. 
    So, this is my latest Community Update, written to inform you on our preparations for the unknowns of the upcoming academic year.  I have organized this update into the following categories; ‘Let’s Take a Breath'; ‘Athletics'; ‘Some Decisions We Have Already Made'; and ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.’  Obviously, there is so much more I can write about, but I’ll spread out additional information over the next few weeks in a timely manner and as we learn more. And lastly a brief reminder that this and my other most recent Updates can be found on our COVID-19 website (click here or go to www.d-e.org/covid). Additionally, our Handbooks for students and employees are updated periodically and can be found online at www.d-e.org.


    I am sure that you, like me, are beginning to feel some growing anxiety about the fall.  And, as we would expect, the news is now focusing more of their attention on schools reopening.  All of this information may be overwhelming you.  Please know that my team and I are working hard to stay on top of these conversations; reading, attending webinars, meeting with contemporaries at other schools, meeting with our professional associations, and staying in contact with local health officials.  There is a lot of information out there, but over time, I think you’ll learn as we are that much of it is more similar than not and can be organized into a few categories that are closely related to the work we are doing at D-E preparing for our three basic scenarios I described two weeks ago.
    Personally, after working so hard and giving up so much in our region to reduce the number of COVID cases where we live, I am really frustrated to see that so much of the rest of our country did not learn from watching us.  I can only hope that the spike in cases spreading almost out of control elsewhere doesn’t ‘backfill’ into our region.  Even the CDC just said today as I write this, that if everyone wore masks we could get control of this in a few weeks.  Following the news, you’ll learn that schools in the South and West start earlier than we do; a couple of weeks before Labor Day.  And yes, much of that has to do with their football schedules.  Because they are facing spikes in the number of COVID cases now, they are faced with decisions that we might not face.  Los Angeles schools, for example, have announced that they will not open campuses until after the holidays.  Some schools' blended learning schedules only have students on campus one or two days a week. Information about colleges and universities came out earlier this summer, yet many of them are now changing their plans as the numbers of COVID cases change and as we learn more about the virus.
    My favorite statement from someone in education went viral in the news the last few days and helps me put the plans we are developing for D-E in perspective.  The superintendent of the Fairfax County Schools said that if he was to put all of his schools together, combined, they would be about the size of the Pentagon.  And we know how big the Pentagon is!  He also said that his school’s normal ‘distancing’ between students is about 18 inches.  So, for him to meet CDC guidelines, he would need to build, by September, five more Pentagons.  The challenge for schools is real, but the more we prepare, the more grateful I am for the resources, small classes and community we have.  I have no idea how Fairfax County schools are going to get through this.
    It’s still July and I ask us all to be patient.  We cannot at this time make a smart decision about how we will start school when our first day of classes is still almost two months away.  Many of the schools, colleges and universities to first lay out their plans for the fall are now making modifications or changing plans completely.   
    I still believe we are best served preparing for the three scenarios that I wrote about in my 7/5/2020 Update  and as a refresher, are as follows:
    1. We return to campus taking all necessary precautions and healthy practices but that we are not required to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing.’*
    2.  We return to campus taking all necessary precautions and healthy practices an are required to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing.’*
    3. We are required to close campus and continue with distance online learning.
    There is a lot for us to do and learn to be ready to implement any one of those three scenarios.  And we must be ready to implement anyone of them at any time during the upcoming academic year.  So again, let’s all take a deep breath and learn more.  A lot will happen over the next few weeks. 
    Review again the three scenarios if you forget the guiding principles for each.  And because there was some confusion, I remind you that we have decided to take the steps necessary to host our youngest students (Preschool through Grade 6) on campus every day for any on-campus option we will implement.  This is a luxury few schools have.  There are several current papers being published that inform schools why it is so important to do all you can to have your youngest students on campus every day.  Guidelines for in-class distancing will determine which of the two on-campus scenarios we will follow for our older students who are more capable of progressing with a blend of on-campus and distance learning.  


    The Ivy League and the Patriot League are just two examples of many college and university athletic programs that have already canceled their fall seasons.  I’ve coached for more than 30 years before coming to Dwight-Englewood, and I know firsthand, as a player and as a coach, how important athletics are to those who participate.  All of this is very sad and frustrating for our athletes, coaches and staff.
    As we look ahead to the fall, we continue to consider the possibility of having an interscholastic athletic program. At this time, the state of New Jersey believes that high schools might still be able to offer fall sports, but their final determination will not be made until the end of August.  The state has decided that any possible fall season practices will not start until Monday September 14, with games starting later.  Keep in mind that this is a very fluid situation and we will learn much more in mid- to late August.  All I can inform you about at this time is that there will be NO practice before we come back to school on September 8.  This is, I believe, a smart move by the state because it also allows students to return to school with a focus on academic orientation and transition after months away from campus.  Coaches may be working virtually with team members before we return however, and this is a nice way for teams to bond and individuals to train on their own.
    Personally, I encourage our athletes to individually train for the season as you normally would.  It is important, for many reasons, that our athletes do the physical and skills training to be ready for the fall and something, I think, you should want to be doing for yourself whether there is a fall season or not.


    ●      All of our faculty are doing summer professional development to improve the practice for online learning as well as making their programs more inclusive.
    ●      We have increased the number of buses and developed articulated healthy bus riding practices so that all students who plan on riding a bus to and from school will be able to do so.  
    ●      No large events or gatherings will take place on campus this fall.  And yes, I’ll miss all of this!  We will move the following to online Zoom or Webinar meetings:
    ○      Opening All-School Assembly
    ○      New Parent Breakfasts
    ○      Parent Grade-level forums
    ○      Parents' Association Meetings and Events, including Parent Education Programming
    ○      Board of Trustees and Board of Trustees Committee Meetings
    ○      Parent-Teacher Conferences
    ○      Back-to-School Nights
    ○      Parent Orientations
    ○      College Counseling Office (CCO) Parent/Family Meetings
    ○      CCO-sponsored College Visits
    ●      For both of our on-campus scenarios (two of the three scenarios noted above), Preschool through Grade 6 students will be on campus everyday.  We are still working on scheduling options for Grades 7 through Grade 12.
    ●      We have a solution to allow off-campus students to participate in campus classes for those ages and classes where this is most appropriate.  Again, more information will be provided as we confirm these details.
    ●      We will provide a ‘grab-and-go’ food service program in the fall and students will be eating in various locations around campus to maintain a healthy distance; under a tent on Leggett Field, in the gyms, in classrooms - actually everywhere we can to provide the necessary distancing.


    In each of my last several messages and Updates, I have encouraged all of us to learn more and engage proactively in discussions at home, with family and with friends about racism in the United States.  No matter where you are in your ‘learning or experience curve,’ we must all work together and strive to learn more, listen to understand, and get involved...the improvements we are looking for will require action from all of us.
    As our Mission informs us to do, we continue to move forward in our work to support diversity, equity and inclusion.  At this time, we are focusing much of our attention to the lives of our Black and African American students, but always know that we remain very committed to supporting all of our diverse populations on campus as we continue strive for equity for all and to ensure all community members feel included in all aspects of our program and community life. 
    I shared in a previous message (click here) two Zoom meetings we are hosting in late July; the first to listen and learn more from our students, families, and alumni about their experiences here at D-E as students of color, and a second meeting to build on the foundation of our current work so that we can all embrace, in better and more proactive ways, our diversity, equity and inclusion.  Please remember that this requires action for each of us if we are to be committed to building and maintaining community.  
    I have a tradition with my administrative team to begin our meetings with a short article we all read together.  Recently, we have agreed to read, watch, or listen to something about racism in America prior to each of our weekly meetings and then discuss what we learned from doing so as part of our meeting.  With that in mind, I thought I would share with you (below) the two TED Talks we watched and discussed over the last two weeks.  Going forward, I’ll include in my weekly Updates what we are doing each week.  You might want to ‘follow along’ doing the same reading, listening, or watching that we do and then have similar discussions in your home or with your friends.
    Hear the thoughtful, moving stories of Dr. Howard Stevenson, nationally-known psychologist and the father of two African-American sons.  Howard is also the brother of Brian Stevenson the author of the book “Just Mercy,” now also a film.
    Hear this honest perspective from Dr. Ali Michael, an educator and the parent of white children, reflecting on the development of her own awareness around race.
    In preparation for this coming Wednesday’s meeting, we are reading Engaging the Racial Elephant by Sherry Coleman and Howard Stevenson | Article from Independent School Magazine. Many of us on the Administrative Team know Sherry well and want to discuss this article she wrote with Howard. 
    Please know that these resources were included in the "Resources for Families this Summer" messages sent by Dr. Mirangela Buggs, D-E Director of Diversity & Equity Engagement, to each division (Lower/Middle/Upper) a few weeks ago. Dr. Buggs' message and these same resources are also available online, within our Diversity & Equity Engagement Resource Board website (please click here to view; note that LogIn to MyD-E is required to view. For LogIn help Email help@d-e.org). I encourage you to consider, as we are, all of her resources in addition to those I’ll let you know of we discuss each week in our meetings.
    I hope these Update messages are helpful. Look forward to learning more next Sunday. Be safe. Be healthy. And let’s all have the “courage to meet the challenges of a changing world and make it better.”
    Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett
    Head of School
  • 7.12.2020 Update: Responsible Reopening; Health Office/Nurses' Message

    July 12, 2020
    To all D-E parents, faculty and staff,
    As we now enter mid-July, the efforts at school to prepare for the fall are beginning to come together.  With still much work to be accomplished, we are aware that more and more information about opening of schools this fall will permeate the news.  We also continue our efforts knowing that usable information about being safe and healthy in this environment will continue to change.  But for most part, many schools are facing the same options and we think we are still on track preparing for the three scenarios described in last Sunday’s Update (click here to view). 
    In this week’s Update, I share with you the latest information, reminders, and information from our two school nurses within our D-E Health Office, Maureen Krane (Lower School Nurse) and Allison Herriott (Middle/Upper School Nurse). In early August, I will request that each of us begin thinking more about the health of our community and the preparations each of us can take to ensure our community remains healthy if we do return to campus.
    We continue to prepare for all options for this fall.  Our faculty are enrolling in professional development opportunities for teaching online, maintaining healthy classrooms, and making their programs more inclusive.  I look forward to them sharing with each other all they are learning, thinking about and developing for their classroom practice beginning this fall.
    I do hope you will stay tuned to my Sunday Updates as we get closer to the fall as we share more specific information as we finalize the more specific details for making this work as best we can.
    Lastly if you haven't yet done so please complete our Survey (click here). We appreciate your feedback regarding reopening the School.
    Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett
    Head of School


    Dear D-E Families, 
    We hope this message finds you and your family safe, well and enjoying summer.  This has been a challenging school year, to say the least, for our community, the nation, and the world.  The coronavirus and related quaranting has forced us indoors and thrust us into online learning.  It wasn’t an easy transition for many, but we made it through, successfully. In anticipation and preparation of our return to school in September, we would like to review a few topics. 
    First, please note that all D-E families must upload their child's health information to the Magnus Health Portal. You will be receiving reminder Emails from Magnus to complete this information for your child(ren). The Magnus Health Portal is also accessible on the Parent Resource Board after you LogIn to MyD-E. Details about the Magnus Health Portal are provided below. For help with Logging-in to MyD-E, Email help@d-e.org.
    To keep us all as healthy and safe as possible, below are some reminders and updates of what to expect for the new 2020-2021 year. We have also provided a "10 Steps to a Healthy Return to School" Flyer (PDF) (click here or see below). 
    • Health forms will still be mandatory for the 2020-2021 school year, and must be completed and submitted by August 1.  Forms that do not require a physician’s signature must be submitted by July 20. 
    • Immunization requirements remain in effect for the 2020-2021 school year.  Students entering Kindergarten and 6th grade have mandatory vaccines that must be given before entering school. Kindergarteners require boosters for their DTap, IPV (Polio) and MMR by age 5 years, and six graders require Meningococcal and tdap immunizations.  Additionally, all Preschoolers age 59 months by December 31 must have their yearly influenza vaccine by years end. All students new to the school will be required to have their immunization series completed before entering.
    • As noted above, the Magnus Health Portal is where you submit all of your child’s health information to the School, online.  Please complete all sections in their entirety beginning with the Vital Health Record.  Make certain to include all health conditions and medications that pertain to your child in this section.  Forms required for your student, will be generated by Magnus according to the answers you provide in the Conditional Questions section. For example, if you answer that your child has asthma and requires an inhaler at school, the program will generate the required Asthma Action Plan forms to be completed by the pediatrician.  All forms must be completed either electronically or manually and uploaded into your student’s account on the Magnus Health Portal. No paper documentation will be accepted
    > For a Magnus tutorial video please click here. This tutorial video and other Magnus resources are also available online on the Magnus Health Portal, once you LogIn to MyD-E.
    > For additional Magnus Health Portal information including FAQs, please click here or visit www.d-e.org/nursescorner. 
    • Vision and hearing screenings, typically performed by the school nurse, will not be completed this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Please ask your pediatrician’s office to complete these screenings and document the complete results, not just pass or fail, on the NJ Pre-Participation Physical Examination Form for Middle and Upper School students, and on the Health Examination Form for the Lower School students. Students with asthma that may require nebulizer treatments, will have to obtain a prescription from the pediatrician for an inhaler with a spacer.  No nebulizer treatments will be given by the nurse in accordance with CDC guidelines.   
    • When your child arrives on campus in September, they will see many changes. These changes are being implemented to keep our community safe and protected from the virus.  Various signs will be posted all around campus with reminders that masks are required (except during lunch), to maintain social distancing, one way directional signs and more.  When it is possible, students will be grouped into cohorts while on campus. Cohorting keeps groups of students together, to minimize transmission and allow tracking to be completed more efficiently.
    • All students, faculty and staff on campus will be required to wear a mask while in school. To this end, it is advisable that students practice wearing masks for longer periods of time to increase their tolerance. This practice time is especially important for our youngest students.  Allow younger children to begin wearing masks for a short period and lengthen the time period each day.  This will allow them the time they need to acclimate.  When wearing a mask, make certain not to touch the inside, and to only remove it by the earloops.  When purchasing cloth masks for your family, make sure they consist of two layers of tightly woven, not too thick, 100% cotton fabric in a high thread count. They should not have a valve in them, as this type does not protect others. Cloth masks should not be worn by children under the age of 2, by anyone who has trouble breathing, or by anyone who is incapacitated or unable to remove it without assistance.
    • Please review proper handwashing with your family, as in addition to physical distancing and mask usage, handwashing is a key component in decreasing the spread of COVID-19. The following link is a good example in demonstrating proper handwashing technique that even our youngest can learn from:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEzJ_QKjT14
    • Each morning before school, please take your child’s temperature. If his/her temperature is at or above 99.9 F please keep your child home for monitoring.
    • If your child has any complaints of illness or signs of not feeling 100%, please keep them at home for the day. In addition to the possibility of them being contagious, their immune systems can be compromised, placing them at risk of contracting any circulating illnesses that they might normally resist. COVID-19 signs you should be monitoring for include fever, cough, difficulty breathing (shortness of breath), sore throat, congestion or runny nose, and loss of taste or smell.  Some children also experience muscle aches, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and headache. Seek emergency medical attention for trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish color noted to lips or face.  Any child with a fever should see their pediatrician to rule out Covid-19 and, if negative, remain home for 72 hours after the fever breaks, without any fever reducing medications. This is a marked change from the previous years 24 hour rule, but is the current CDC recommendation.  Please remember to obtain a note from your pediatrician to be submitted to our attention, c/o D-E Health Office,  upon your child’s return.
    Regarding Testing: It is currently undetermined as to whether testing for COVID-19 will be advisable for our return to school. We will provide you with updates as we learn more over the coming weeks and months. For now please note: 
    • For students who have COVID-19 symptoms but have not been tested, the following procedure should be followed for their return to school:
    Symptom-based strategy for students WITHOUT a COVID-19 Test
    a. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
    b. No fever for 72 hours (3 full days) without the use of fever reducing medication
    c. Other symptoms have improved such as cough and shortness of breath
    • For students who have a positive COVID-19 test, the following procedure should be followed for their return to school:
     Test-based strategy for students WITH a POSITIVE COVID-19 Test 
    a. Provision of results of two negative tests in a row, spaced at least 24 hours apart
    b. No longer has a fever without the use of fever reducing medication
    c. Must present (2) negative test results to our attention, c/o D-E Health Office
    • Siblings of a student or parent who has a documented or suspected COVID-19 illness must remain home in quarantine for 14 days from the day of their family member’s diagnosis.
    • If your child becomes sick at school, please be prepared to pick them up immediately. We require that you have several additional contact names provided within your student's Magnus Health Portal account, of alternative people who can pick-up your child in the event that you are unavailable.
    The "10 Steps to a Healthy Return to School" Flyer (see below or click here) may be helpful to review with your family. We ask for your continuing partnership as we all prepare for the new school year. Utilizing the same standards in handwashing, social distancing, facial covering and monitoring our health, both now and throughout the school year, will ensure that your child has a safe environment for learning.  
    Please enjoy your summer.  Wear plenty of sunscreen, wear your helmets when riding your bicycles, and keep your family safe and well. 
    Maureen Krane RN - Lower School Nurse (Email: kranem@d-e.org )
    Allison Herriott RN - Middle & Upper School Nurse (Email: herria@d-e.org)
  • 7.5.2020 Update: Responsible Reopening for September 2020

    July 5, 2020
    To all Dwight-Englewood Students, Parents/Guardians, and Faculty/Staff, 
    Beginning today I plan to provide you with a weekly Update to help you this summer prepare for the start of school in September.  
    My weekly Updates are intended to give as much information as possible as we continue to deal with a very fluid situation. As we try to understand more about this virus including best practice precautions and policies, please know that our plans may need to shift, and the information I share with you will, most likely, become more refined throughout the summer. I ask that we remain flexible in our thinking and understanding of all we need to do to return safely to the School in the fall. 
    Currently, I have narrowed the School’s focus to just three (3) scenarios:
    1. We return to campus taking all necessary precautions and healthy practices but that we are not required to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing.’*
    2.  We return to campus taking all necessary precautions and healthy practices an are required to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing.’*
    3. We are required to close campus and continue with distance online learning. 
    *I’ll explain ‘in-classroom distancing’ later in this update.
    Currently, I have several ‘fact finding’ teams working with me to gather the best information and practices available on several topics, including: making our program more inclusive, food service, nursing, campus health practices, signage, facilities, technologies, and more.  
    From time to time, I will also ask for your feedback in the form of surveys attached to my Updates.  Included in today's Update is the first of these Feedback Surveys: I HOPE YOU WILL READ THROUGH THiS ENTIRE MESSAGE, SO YOU CAN BE AS UPDATED AS POSSIBLE, BEFORE COMPLETING OUR FEEDBACK SURVEY (click here to complete). Thank you in advance for helping us with our planning by completing this and future Feedback Surveys in a timely way. 
    Finally, I apologize that today's Sunday Update will be a bit longer as I need to provide you a broad overview of some decisions we have made as well as progress we are making. 


    For those who ride a bus to campus: 

    We have been in ongoing contact with our bus company and keeping updated on all bus ridership governmental guidelines as well as the bus practices of regional schools.  It appears that we are ahead of others in our planning for busing.  And with about one-third of our students taking a bus to and from campus, we are investing the necessary funding to provide our riders additional buses so that we can provide appropriate distancing on all buses to and from campus.
    Here is our current thinking about policies for bussing to the campus: 
    • Seating will be limited to one student per seat on all of our buses with the exception of siblings who we will be asking to sit together. 
    • Students will be required to wear a facemask while entering, riding and exiting the bus. 
    • All  bus riders must wash and disinfect their hands prior to getting on the bus. 
    • Riders will load the bus starting from the back and working to the front to preserve appropriate distancing at all times.  Riders will disembark buses starting in the front and working to the back. 
    • Finally, know that each bus will be disinfected to the highest standards. Hand sanitizers and wipes will be available on all buses and buses will be cleaned and prior to morning and afternoon pickups. 

    For those who drive to campus: 

    Please know that we are researching the possibility of increasing the number of drop-off and pick-up locations as well as studying staggered drop-off and pick-up times so we do not create large groupings of students at these critical times.


    Healthy Practices:

    • Face coverings will be required for everyone on campus. More information about what types of face coverings we will require will be shared with everyone later in July and after we complete more research. We do encourage parents of younger children to help their children become accustomed to wearing a facemask or face shield this summer to prepare them for campus life.
    • Daily Temperature Checks: We are currently researching the technologies that will allow us to take daily and ongoing temperature checks of all students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus. In a more comprehensive message later in July, the nurses and I will provide you a more detailed listing of requirements and symptoms to be looking for in your family. We will, most likely, be asking parents to do a daily morning temperature check of their children before sending or bringing them to campus.
    • Testing: We are researching the possibility of regular virus testing for all students, faculty and staff.  As we learn more about testing, we may require a virus test before allowing faculty, staff and students on campus.  And with this in mind, we will, most likely, be much more restrictive about allowing visitors and parents onto campus.
    • Later in July, the nurses and I will share with you very specific guidelines describing the conditions when parents should keep their children at home as well as those conditions when the School will expect parents to pick up their children.
    • To reduce the number of student visits to the nurse’s offices, a box of medical supplies most often requested of our nurses will be located in every classroom under the supervision of the faculty. We are also adding isolation rooms next to each nurse’s office so that sick students can be appropriately isolated until parents can pick them up.
    • While we finalize our Nurses Team's guidelines and policies, I ask that parents complete necessary routine doctor’s visits, vaccinations, and get signed medical forms in order. More information about all of this will be forwarded to you in the coming weeks. 
    • Disinfecting and hand-washing procedures will be shared with everyone on campus. We are currently installing hand sanitizers in every room and space on campus. Nurses are finalizing language for appropriate informational signage for hand-washing and disinfecting procedures. Faculty will supervise all hand-washing for our youngest students.
    • More health information will be shared with you throughout the summer and in particular, expected behaviors for all community members in August as we get closer to the start of school.
    • The School is hiring additional day-time staff to provide ongoing cleaning and disinfecting services for high-touch surfaces as well as public spaces such as our restrooms.

    Changes in Campus Life:

    • Large group gatherings will not be scheduled on campus this fall.  This includes assemblies, division meetings, class meetings, parent gatherings, etc.   Important to the learning process for all members of our community, we will be moving most all of these important gatherings to online Zoom meetings or Webinars. More detailed information for your planning will be shared later this summer.
    • We will limit student access to shared materials. For example, shared tools and materials in the lower school and in art classes will be replaced by individual tools and materials for each student. Our most expensive tools and equipment (i.e. those used in science classes) will be disinfected between use.
    • Food Service will also be different beginning in the fall.  I will share more detailed information later this summer about changes we will implement in our food service program. For now, please know that we will only provide freshly-packaged grab-and-go options this fall, from various locations on campus. To maintain appropriate distancing, students will be spread throughout the campus for lunch to maintain appropriate distancing. Additionally, we may stagger lunch times to prevent any large lines waiting to pick-up grab-and-go options. Again, no self-service or buffets will be available, only freshly-prepackaged grab-and-go options will be available.
    • Locker rooms will, most likely, be closed. We will share later this summer our plans for health and physical education classes. Likewise, we will share information about fall athletics as soon as those decisions are available to us.
    • To preserve appropriate distancing and limit any large groupings of students, everyone should expect signage for one-way directions for hallways and building entrances and exits. Additionally, we will limit the number of students who can be in our restrooms at the same time and we are researching additional non-touch services in our restrooms.


    Note:  I use the term ‘in-classroom distancing’ to define a classroom in which all students are at least six feet apart from each other and the teacher(s).
    Providing ‘in-classroom distancing’ is every school’s, college’s and university’s most challenging problem to solve. Providing appropriate distancing on campus is more easily solved by canceling all large-group events (as noted above) and clearly defining the use of campus spaces. For classrooms, however, it is far more challenging.  All schools and campuses are built for a set number of students in each classroom based on an educational philosophy. 
    We maintain a class size, in most all cases, of no more than 16 students (with only a few exceptions). On a campus like ours, providing appropriate ‘in-classroom distancing’ implies that for most of our classrooms only one-half (50%) of the students in the class can be in the classroom at one time.
    You have or will read a lot about schools moving to different schedules to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing.’ You’ve probably heard about many of them already;  like AM and PM shifts, one week on and one week off, of an every other class day schedule; an A - B schedule, in which students are on campus every other day. For most all schools, this is the only way to provide ‘in-classroom distancing;’ by dividing their classes in half. What will vary from school to school are the expectations of students for the day they are not in the classroom.

    Plans for Preschool - Grade 6 Students:

    • At this point, we have made decisions to provide our Preschool through Grade 6 students the ability to remain on campus every day and with appropriate ‘in-classroom distancing.’ This is an important accomplishment that our Lower School parents will want to know about.  We made this decision because we are aware that it is most challenging for our youngest students to maintain appropriate distancing and it is also most challenging to provide our very young Preschool and Kindergarten students online work at home.  We are also aware that the parents of our youngest children must be home with these youngest students if they are not on campus.
    • With that in mind, we have made the decision to move Grades 4 and 5 into Umpleby Hall  (the old Middle School building) to allow our Preschool through Grade 3 students to occupy all of Drapkin Hall with only half the normal students in each classroom. We can, therefore, provide our Preschool through Grade 3 students appropriate ‘in-classroom distancing.’ In Umpleby, we are currently removing walls to create large classroom spaces that can host a full class of 4th and 5th graders in the same room with appropriate ‘in-classroom distancing.’
    • Similarly for Grade 6, we are creating large classroom spaces behind and in the Imperatore Library to host a full class with appropriate ‘in-classroom distancing.’  These three spaces along with at least two large spaces in the new Middle School, and one in Umpleby, will provide the classroom spaces needed for Grade 6 to be on campus everyday in classrooms that provide ‘in-classroom distancing.’
    • More details about these moves for our Lower School and Grade 6 programs will be forthcoming. Again, know that with these decisions, Preschool through Grade 6 students will be able to be on campus everyday with or without an ‘in-classroom distancing’ requirement.  

    Plans for Older Students in Grade 7 through Grade 12

    • We will (if we are required to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing,’ ) likely need to move to a rotating A-B schedule in which half of the students are on campus one day with the other half on campus the next day. 
    • This is not at all what we would like to do and we can only hope that ‘in-classroom distancing’ will not be required of D-E since our classes, because of our educational philosophy, are usually no bigger than 16 or 17 students.  But if we are required to maintain a six foot distance in our classrooms, an A-B schedule may be our only choice.
    • To support this, we have researched new technologies that will allow students not on campus to participate with the students in the classroom. We will decide on which of these technologies we will invest into and begin installing this new equipment in every classroom this summer ready for operation in the fall. Again, this technology will allow a student who is not on campus, for any number of reasons, to participate with his or her fellow students in the classroom. 

    Considerations for All Students 

    • We know that some of our families not currently living in the region have asked about the possibility of remote learning even if our campus opens. These technologies will support students who are not on campus. Also, a student too sick to attend school will be able to participate at home. 
    • We are still working on possible schedules but we are learning that the A-B schedule might be our only choice. We are also still working on the possibility of hosting another full grade on campus even if required to maintain ‘in-classroom distancing.’  I will share more information about all of this as we learn more.


    • Tents: To provide additional space on campus and to allow students ways to distance themselves for lunch and during free periods, we are keeping the large and small white tents on Leggett Field that are  typically used for end-of-year events (e.g., Commencement / Reunion). These tents will be up  through the end of October.  All tents have side curtains to protect from the weather. We also have plans, if necessary, to set up tables and chairs in any or all of the three gym spaces if those spaces are needed for additional classroom spaces, for lunch or for study time during free periods.
    • Cleaning / Disinfecting Services: In addition to our day-time ongoing cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces and restrooms, we will each night complete deep cleaning and disinfection of all interior spaces. 


    To be prepared for students to learn in the best ways possible, every member of our faculty is using their time over the summer to enroll in professional development for best practices in online learning or making their curriculums more inclusive. Many members of our faculty are studying both topics as well as enrolling in multiple professional development programs.
    Understand that some decisions will be made by the School, others by our state and national governments. Please know that we are preparing for every scenario with the assumption that at any time during the upcoming academic year, we may be required to implement any of these strategies.
    Thank you for your ongoing flexibility as we continue to work to maintain our priority of keeping our community safe and healthy, and also work to provide programs that are consistent with and exemplify our Mission. 
    Finally thank you for completing our Feedback Surveyclick here

    Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett
    Head of School 



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  • 9.30.2020 Message from Jonathan Davis, Middle School Principal

    September 30, 2020
    Dear Middle School Families,
    We are looking forward to hosting you for the Middle School (MS) Back to School Night event tomorrow evening, Thursday, Oct. 1, which will be held entirely virtually via Zoom.
    Our event kicks off at 7 pm.  I have some general reminders about the school year, instructions for navigating the evening, and some pictures of the new Middle School Building.  Sadly, we were hoping to have all of you on campus in our new space for this event.  Hopefully, the pictures I share tomorrow will give you an idea of what a wonderful new space it is.
    Provided with this email is a document (click here, or see below) that has the schedule for the grade level and the relevant Zoom links. You will need to either download Zoom or borrow your student’s iPad to navigate the evening. 
    Your "homework" in advance of the evening will be to know the name of your student’s advisor, as well as the specific teachers of their classes.  You can find this out either through conversation or after you LogIn to MyD-E. (For MyD-E LogIn help, please Email help@d-e.org.)
    I’m looking forward to seeing you all online tomorrow evening. 


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  • 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 help@d-e.org
    • 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 www.accessapplied.com/user-registration 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 https://reopening.d-e.org/the-d-e-community-compact/).  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
Mailing Address: 315 East Palisade Avenue Englewood, NJ 07631
gps: 81 Lincoln Street, Englewood, NJ 07631
201-569-9500 Email: d-e@d-e.org
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.