About D-E

Values & Vision

At Dwight-Englewood, we all come to grow. We seek growth in respect, honesty, judgment, commitment, courage and community and expect each of us to work towards living these, our shared values. We believe that the opportunity to grow is a precious gift, one that brings out our best selves. Our community aspires to meet the ideals of our Mission Statement, and our alumni endeavor to meet the principles identified in our Profile of a Graduate and Profile of a Teacher (see below). 

To learn more about our D-E Core Values and related, timely D-E community initiatives, click on the links directly below.

List of 6 items.

  • Respect

    Respect takes many forms: respect for others, respect for the environment, and respect for self. We show our respect for others by being considerate and attentive to their needs and wishes. In a diverse community such as ours, it is especially important to respect our differences and celebrate our diversity. We show respect for the environment by taking good care of the world around us. We act to preserve the beauty and resources of our campus, our community, and our planet. Finally, we show respect for ourselves by appreciating our strengths, taking care of our bodies and minds, and doing what we know to be right.
  • Honesty

    Honesty is the bedrock of knowledge, trust, and self-respect. Any community depends on honesty so that its members can trust one another. In an academic community, the role of honesty is especially critical. Without honesty, science becomes speculation; history becomes fiction. Without honesty, it is impossible to see the world clearly. Whether on the playing field or in the classroom, one can feel accomplished only when an achievement is truly one’s own, an honest effort. Honesty is a responsibility to one’s self and the world.
  • Judgment

    Judgment means making good decisions on important questions. It is called upon in a wide range of situations, from choosing friends to writing an essay, from selecting a college to voting. Judgment often involves questions of right and wrong. We form judgments about our individual actions, as well as the actions of others. Good judgment depends upon an objective, careful consideration of the facts, the ability to weigh conflicting views, and a clear sense of the standards and values that underlie our decisions. 
  • Community

    Community means not only taking responsibility for ourselves, but also caring for those around us. We build community when we show kindness and consideration for one another. We strengthen our community as we work together toward a common goal, whether in the classroom or in extracurricular activities. Finally, service to others, both on campus and off, expresses our dedication to community. Though we all have our own individual needs and wishes, we do not try to satisfy them at the expense of others. Indeed, we realize our personal dreams more fully when we all give one another strength and support. 
  • Courage

    Courage is needed to bridge the gap between knowing the right thing to do and actually doing it. In most ethical dilemmas the difficult problem is not knowing what we should do, but rather having the strength of character to follow through on our convictions. It takes courage to refrain from a wrongful action. It takes even greater courage to admit when we have done something wrong and make amends. It takes exceptional courage to stand against the harmful actions of others. 
  • Commitment

    Commitment means setting goals and striving diligently to achieve them: it also means accepting responsibility for our own progress. We show our commitment in all areas of our loves at the school: academic, athletic, and creative. Whether in a lead or a supporting role, as a star athlete or a substitute, on minor as well as major assignments, we always aim toward excellence and take pride in our achievement. Whatever our level of talent or accomplishment, we are committed to doing the best we can. 

SaL Traits


In the 2014-2015 academic year, Head of School Dr. De Jarnett introduced a new ‘traits-centered’ initiative led by each of our Division Principals in the coming months.  
 
Below is an excerpt of a letter to D-E families from Dr. De Jarnett explaining this initiative in great detail: 

.... Before sharing more specifics of this initiative, I encourage you to think for a moment about the first day that your child(ren) came into your life. I am not sure if you do this often. I do. I know, for example, when I held my firstborn, Tyler, I thought about how surprisingly small he was. And during that first day, I remember having my hopes for Tyler. When my daughter Ali was born a few years later, I remember having similar hopes for her. I wanted each to be a good person. I wanted each to be happy. I hoped each would live a fulfilled life, and would find love in life. I know that I had other hopes for them as well. I know, however, that during these important first moments and days, I did not hope for good grades, high S.A.T. scores, or acceptance to any particular college or university.
 
Over time, my hopes for Tyler and Ali became more specific. Those of you with Middle and Upper School children will likely understand these feelings in particular. I remember hoping each of my children would develop a deep love of reading, and that they would continue to improve in particular subject areas. I guess life does that to each of us. It was not as if I lost sight of those first initial hopes and dreams, it was just that the realities of the everyday began to overshadow the bigger notions I first held dear.  I had certain ideas when Tyler applied to colleges; and as Ali begins her search for the next step in her education, I am beginning for the second time to have a set of hopes that were not on my list when she was born. But have my hopes and dreams really changed that much?
 
I ask this question through my parental framework. As an educator, I have kept up with the most recent research on teaching, learning, and the brain, as well as the best practices in my field to ensure my students perform at the highest levels. As a new teacher in the early 1970s; I focused almost solely on improving the product my students were producing, and not enough on what was really needed for my students to produce better products. Over time, I realized that there were important characteristics or traits necessary for each student to possess if they were to perform well in school. I found that daily preparation, for example, is important for a student if he or she is to perform well in schools – and in life. Organization is another such trait that is important for students.
 
As I learned more, I realized that a happy child learns better – and that happiness really does matter. And striving to be a good person is the best way to become and remain a happy person. That was satisfying because I really wanted my children to be good people. Knowing that ‘being good’ would help them to be happy was a bonus.
 
I also learned that an unstressed brain retains more information, is more creative, and is better at problem solving than a stressed brain. Most important, I began to realize the importance of perseverance and how vital it is to help children learn how to ‘stick with it';   that success does not always come quickly.  As my personal understanding about learning became more sophisticated, I realized that in schools, engagement means everything and that learning to think critically was vital to understanding the world.
 
Such traits are critical to our children’s success if we want them to achieve those important initial hopes and dreams we had for them when they were born. So it is exciting to know that the most recent findings from research on teaching and learning supports the notions that traits such as these form the foundation for success in school and in life. 
 
These considerations and findings have all helped to drive recent discussion at D-E, about how we can continue to be as effective as possible in supporting, educating, and empowering our children. As a result of a two year faculty conversation about grading and how best to provide students and their parents with appropriate feedback, eight (8) traits have emerged that we consider vital to a child’s success, as follows:

  • Engagement; 
  • Perseverance; 
  • Risk-taking; 
  • Critical Thinking; 
  • Collaboration; 
  • Creativity; 
  • Daily Preparation; and
  • Organization.

Yes, there are other important traits we could add to our list, but we have come to decide that we would focus on these when we work with students, provide feedback to students, and discuss ways in which a student might do his or her best. These eight traits will, for example, rest at the core of student comments that D-E faculty will write to students, and which parents can read and discuss with their children.
 
As both a parent and educator, I am encouraged and excited by the possibilities of this traits-centered initiative. Over the next few months, each division principal will share their  thoughts on each of these eight traits to best prepare you for the next academic year, when our faculty will begin in earnest to incorporate comments on each trait in their feedback to students.
 
I hope that this information will help you learn more about the process our faculty has worked through to better shape our feedback,  and how comments based on these traits will be used beginning in Fall 2014. And I hope too that this initiative will engage you in terms of reflecting on your original as well as your evolving hopes and dreams for your child(ren).
 
Sincerely,
Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett
Head of School

Profile of a Graduate

These are the qualities, skills, and habits of mind and body that we strive to instill in our students.  We believe strongly that they emanate directly from the mission statement and represent worthy behaviors towards which all members of our community can and should aspire.

1.  Inspired by a rich and challenging program, our graduates will explore ideas critically, communicate effectively, and lead active intellectual lives.

2.  With the confidence fostered by their experiences here, our graduates will continue to cultivate their talents and pursue their passions.

3.  Through understanding born of a diverse and caring community, our graduates will engage creatively and compassionately in the world.
 
4. Guided by the values nurtured in their years at Dwight-Englewood School, our graduates will think clearly, decide wisely, and live honestly.

Profile of a D-E Teacher


We are here because we care for our students as learners, and as people.

We look to the School's mission for guidance in all aspects of our work. 

We guide our students in developing the skills, understanding, and habits of mind to become independent learners and transfer their learning to new and unfamiliar situations.

We engage in the full life of our school, educating, supporting, and knowing our students beyond their academic experience. 

We continue to grow as professionals, deepening our knowledge and improving our practice at a pace consistent with our changing world.

Dwight-Englewood School Diversity Values Statement

The worth and dignity of every person at all levels of work, study and play are paramount at Dwight-Englewood across any artificial lines of exclusion. We aspire to be people who make the following statements:
  • We are people of eclectic ethnic, national and religious backgrounds
  • We are people from varied family and economic structures
  • We are people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities
  • We have different abilities, learning styles, and types of intelligence
  • We are committed to embracing all of our diversity even as it evolves
Our commitment to the diversity of our student body requires a mirror image of that diversity in the composition of faculty, staff, administration, and trustees, and will likewise be reflected in our curriculum.
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.