16 Sep

From Kathy Christoph, MS Principal: Back to School Night Next Week!

We have just completed our first full week of school this 2016-2017 academic year! I look forward to welcoming you to our MS Back to School Night next Thursday, September 22. Our program begins at 6:30 PM.

See the e-invite here for Back to School Night program details or you can also find it on our Middle School website at www.d-e.org/middle. If you have questions please contact your child’s HomeBase Advisor or Grade Dean:

Tasha Urbanowski, Grade 6 Dean: urbant@d-e.org
Liz Traub, Grade 7 Dean: traube@d-e.org
James Aitken, Grade 8 Dean: aitkej@d-e.org

In case you missed it, you can see photos of last week’s All-School Opening Assembly above, or click here to read more.

Hug your child, and go BULLDOGS!


Kathy Christoph

16 Sep

Grade 7 Overnight Trip to Quinipet: Update from Liz Traub

Dear Grade 7 Parents and Guardians,

This message provides information about our upcoming class overnight trip to Quinipet Retreat Center on Shelter Island, NY.

We will leave D-E on coach buses at approximately 8:30 AM on Wednesday, September 28 and return at approximately 3 PM on Friday, September 30. We will travel on the LIE then take a ferry from the north fork of Long Island to Shelter Island. This will be our seventh year taking this very outdoorsy trip, which is immensely enjoyed by our students and chaperone teachers and staff alike!

Our Grade 7 HomeBase teachers, camp facilitators, and local scientists will be working with the students at the camp and on the island. The students will be engaged in activities that include team building, problem solving, scientific study and plain old fun. Students can look forward to:

  • team building, problem solving and rock climbing
  • learning about the local marine life during a visit to the Cornell Research Center.
  • the Quogue Wildlife Preserve bringing birds of prey for us to learn from, and see up close.
  • a local deep sea diver showing artifacts from different wrecks in the Long Island Sound and challenge the students to discover the cause of a local wreck.
  • kayaking, eating s’mores and singing songs around a campfire.

Sleeping & Eating Arrangements:

We sleep and eat at Camp Quinipet. Our HomeBase teachers will make the room assignments. There are two types of “dorms”. Some of the dorms are larger stand alone houses with several bedrooms, each sleeping three to six students. The two other dorms have three large rooms with ten bunks in each room. The dorms also have common sitting areas/living rooms and shared bathrooms. Our teachers sleep in their own rooms which are located in the same houses as the students.

Food at Quinipet is served cafeteria style and features a hot and cold child-friendly menu.*For students with food concerns please see last paragraph below.

What to Bring:

You can click here to download a Packing List or find this Packing List PDF on www.d-e.org/middle. Basically, students need to dress for the weather, be ready to be outside and active, and wear clothes that can get dirty. It is a good idea to dress in layers.

Students need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow and towels. They also need to bring their own toiletries.

Students should leave all valuables at home, with the exception of a cell phone if they already have one. Jewelry is not allowed to be worn during the activities so all jewelry should be left at home as well.

Please note the following, final important considerations:

  • Please contact me if your child has food allergies or dietary restrictions. I already asked the students.
  • We will hold the students cell phones during the trip, except during the evening free time around8:30 or 9 each night. At this time, they have an hour in which they can call home, before bedtime.
  • You should have already completed and returned the Quinipet liability form. If you have not, I will give a copy to your child this week for you to fill out and return.
  • There will be a full time nurse on staff for us at Quinipet. If your child takes medication, please give me the medication in an original bottle that has the name of the medication and the dosage on the bottle. The nurse will distribute the medication as prescribed.

I am really looking forward to this trip. The students and teachers bond as a grade. We integrate new students, learn some science and have fun. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions or concerns, 201-227-3236. I will also be available at Back to School night, on Thursday, September 22nd if you want to talk to me about the trip. During a class meeting today, I will be talking to the students about the trip as well.


Liz Traub
Grade 7 Dean

16 Sep

Project Based Learning: An Update from our Grade 7 Team

Dear Grade 7 Parents and Guardians,

We are writing to share with you an exciting group of projects that we will be completing this year in our 7th grade classes. As you may know, the D-E Middle School faculty are using a curricular design called Project Based Learning (PBL) for many of our units. In fact, most of our 7th grade curriculum has many PBL components. PBL puts the problem first and gives students the opportunity to apply the skills they learn in class to personally relevant and real-world situations. The PBL units have, at their core, intellectual and academic vigor – units that will engage your child and stretch his/her intellect and curiosity.

Please find the list of planned PBL units for the year below:

  • What’s in Your Water?
  • Are We Moving Towards a Better World?
  • Power in Poetry
  • Conservation Conversation
  • DE Green Expo
  • Writing Refugees
  • Shakespeare Reimagined

In these projects students will develop their creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and research skills. We have designed these units to better reflect the needs of our 7th graders, resulting in a more integrative experience, more student ownership, and a continual cycle of inquiry, reflection, and assessment.

Additional information or invitations for these projects will be distributed at the beginning of each unit. If you could please share any area of expertise that may help with these projects, please contact your teacher.


Team 7

Gautham Akula, Paul Jung, Maria Kaufman, Courtney MarroMatt Schade, Bill Stegmayer, Liz Traub, and Giselle Winters

09 Sep

Fall 2016 Clubs & Athletic Teams

Earlier this week our MS students learned about our activity period opportunities in clubs and athletic teams. Here is a chart with an overview of those offerings. Your child(ren) should ask their HomeBase Advisor and/or Grade Dean if they have any questions.

Click to enlarge the image.



08 Sep

Message from the D-E School Store

If you would like to return any books that were ordered from ClassBook, you may bring them to the School Store (first floor of Klein Building) by Wednesday, September 21st. I will ship them to ClassBook and a refund will be issued on your credit card. Please include the packing slip that accompanied your order. If it is not available, write your name, order number, book titles, and ISBN numbers on a piece of paper.

Contact D-E School Store Manager, Lisa Schmid at 201-227-3130 or Email Ms. Schmid at schmil@d-e.org if you have further questions.

08 Sep

From Kathy Christoph, MS Principal


We’ve got kids!

It was wonderful to fling open our school doors on Tuesday and greet the students as they came flocking in. The day was jam-packed with all sorts of orientation activities designed to establish strong relationships and feelings of comfort among the students and with the teachers.

Here are some photos from our first day of school.

To watch a video of a special performance during our Opening Assembly earlier this week, featuring some of our Middle School students dancing, click here.

Reminder from the School Nurse

Reminder, all students must complete their Health Disclosure, Authorizations & Immunizations Forms along with the State of NJ PreParticipation Physical Evaluation. If your student will be participating in a team sport more than 90 days after the physical exam, the Health Update Questionnaire must be completed before the start of practice. Forms are available at www.d-e.org/start. For more information contact Sara Schulman at 201-227-3163  or email Ms. Schulman at schuls@d-e.org if you have further questions.

Parent Volunteer Opportunities

We encourage all our parents/guardians to join the All-Volunteer Kickoff Event on Friday, September 16th. RSVP to: Nicole Ferrentino at ferren@d-e.org


You can volunteer anytime online at pa.d-e.org and click here to read and download the PDF description of our many Parent Volunteer Opportunities.

Calendar Updates:

Tuesday, September 13

  • Middle School sports begin
  • Orientation for All parents new to Middle School, 7:00-9:00 pm

Thursday, September 15

  • Middle School Photo Day. (See Start of School for Picture Form)

Monday, September 19

  •  Photo Day Make-up

Thursday, September 22

  • Back to School Night 6:30-9:50

We look forward to a great 2016 – 2017 school year with our Middle Schoolers!

Go Bulldogs,

Kathy Christoph