16 Feb

Nurse’s Reminder

From Sara Schulman, MS/US Nurse
Together with the US and MS Principals, I continue to notice our US students bringing unlabeled medications to school in Ziploc bags, envelopes and pill containers.  This remains of great concern and ask for your help.
Specifically:
  • Medication Authorization Forms can be completed for parents who approve of the MS/US Nurse providing medications to your child(ren).  Click here for our 2017-’18 Medication Authorization Forms, or go online to:  www.d-e.org/nursescorner.
  • Please do not send your child to school with any medications other than those for life-threatening conditions such as asthma inhalers, insulin or epipens. 
  • All other medications should be given to the MS/US Nurse along with a signed letter from your doctor, allowing medication to be given at school.
Our goal is always to keep our students safe.  Please help us do this.
Any questions, please call me at 201-227-3163.

Thank you!

– Sara Schulman
16 Feb

Thoughts on the Florida Tragedy & Connections with our Community

We stopped what we were doing yesterday morning for a moment of silence at our assembly, led by our student government president, to honor and remember victims of the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As we went through the day, we realized that there were several Dwight-Englewood connections to students and teachers in that school, as well as connections to residents of Parkland itself. These connections generated an emotional impact on the Upper School student body, and there was a palpable feeling of sadness in the division. Beyond the general horror, this incident had a direct bearing on members of the School, which also heightened some anxiety and had some students feeling a little jittery about being in school at all.

I spoke briefly to students before we held our moment of silence, and recognized the connections and the sadness, shock, and grief that was in the room. I also tried to remind everyone that we work hard on community safety, but in the end our best safety comes from community awareness and the willingness of every member of our D-E family to stay alert to issues with friends and peers, and to say something if they see something or feel that someone they know is distressed. In a community like ours I will always hope that our empathy for others will motivate any member to react if something does not feel right to them.

As students went through the day, continuing to process the events, it was fascinating and heartwarming to hear their thoughtful reflections. Older students especially were asking all the right questions about the incident, wondering about important aspects of the incident that ranged from the availability of guns to the security in the school to the horror that this young man was so public on social media. Alongside their sadness they were reflecting their critical thinking about such issues, indicating maturity and insight that was wonderful to see and encouraging to see in our future citizens and leaders of society.

It does not get easier to respond to these events of violence, in schools or elsewhere, but today we felt a closer emotional tie to the incident that will linger as community members mourn the death or trauma of friends and family.

16 Feb

Flu

To date we have not encountered a major number of cases of the flu, but that could change in a matter of days. In a couple of conversations, I have tried to impress upon students the importance of prevention (washing hands, sneezing into an elbow or tissue), and staying home until it’s safe to return. Coming back to school too early jeopardizes both the patient who may relapse or endure a longer recovery to full health, and also others who may be infected by a child who is still infectious when s/he returns. So I make the same plea to you as parents: please do not allow your child to come back to school for at least one day after a fever breaks, and more if s/he is not feeling well. It takes days for energy to return.

16 Feb

Angst

You have received information and an invitation to a screening of the film Angst, a documentary about stress and anxiety in adolescents (click here to view the invitation sent earlier this month) .

Presented in partnership with the D-E Parents’ Association, this is of course a timely film, and one that we hope to use as a springboard to conversation and perhaps behavioral change for our students. We will watch this film as an entire Upper School on Thursday March 1, during our regular assembly period, so you do not need to worry about bringing your child to the special Angst parents’/guardians’ evening screening on Wednesday, February 28.

The evening screening of Angst will take place from 7-9 PM in Hajjar Auditorium, and will be followed by discussion led by D-E US parents Trish Brown and Joey Levine.  It would be great for you to come that evening, as being able to speak with your child about issues raised in the film is important. Anxiety can be crippling, and can detract so significantly from student experience, accomplishment, and quality of life. Reducing anxiety is a task for all of us to engage, and the better we can understand this phenomenon the closer we might be to making the changes that help in the long run.

To learn more about Angst click here or go to angstmovie.com.

 

16 Feb

From Joe Algrant, US Principal

Dear Parents,

The winter is flying by, and lots goes on in school that is worthy of taking time to bring to your attention. Today I thought to write about the next major academic project that is coming up, which believe it or not is the selection of classes for next year. This is an involved process that has already begun and that will last until the middle of April. It takes a long time because there are several pieces to the process, and we sequence them in a logical order that aims to help students make well-considered choices. Because there are many options from which to choose, in the “rising” Grades 11 and 12 especially, this process requires time, attention, and self-reflection of students, and proper consultation with others at home and in school.

We will ask students first to reflect on this year as a way to initiate thinking about next year. We will take them through reflections on their courses, including volume of work, stress levels, and their thinking about next year. We will then go over the options carefully in grade level meetings.  At about the same time they will receive their academic comments from this semester, giving them important feedback about their current progress as they plan for the future. Then they will receive the faculty’s recommendations for courses in different departments, be they recommendations about honors or AP, or other directions. In a couple of situations, we have already asked students to apply for honors or AP courses before we begin the formal scheduling process. Those requests are considered carefully, alongside the departmental information, and before spring break we will produce a set of recommendations for each student.

We also will have a meeting for parents to hear from the deans about the course options and general curriculum design for the following year. Those meetings are scheduled for Monday, March 12, at 7:00 PM. The process will then include conversations between students and advisors and teachers and deans and department chairs.

Everyone goes away for spring break to think about the options, and when we return in April students will continue to meet with their advisors and come to conclusion about the best choices. The final step will be to enter them into our electronic registration program. Once all is entered, we spend the weeks until the end of the year making corrections and any alterations that are made. Final schedules are then released to students on or about August 10.

The College Counseling Office (CCO) reminds our Grades 10 and 11 families of the Colleges Tours Trip that they are offering on Friday, March 9.  The deadline for students to sign-up has now been extended to next Thursday, February 22. Click here for additional details or Email cco@d-e.org if you have any questions.

Lastly, thank you to our Chinese and Korean PA Affinity Group for hosting the delicious Lunar New Year Luncheon, and to those students from the Asian Students Affinity Group who performed during the Lunar New Year Assembly earlier today. Below are some snapshots of the assembly – and click here to view a quick video segment of the Lion Dance — hope you’ll enjoy.