Mary E. Dardess ES

Kristen Reno, Principal


Last Day of School!

teachers wave to students as they leave school on the last dayAs the buses left campus with their horns blowing, on their way to carry our students home for the last time this year, all the faculty at Mary E. Dardess Elementary School were out to partake the Chatham tradition of waving goodbye and wishing the students a happy summer vacation. June 25th marked the last day of classes at Chatham for the 2014-2015 school year. Enjoy the summer and we will see you September 9th!

student meet new teacher Moving Up Day

Every year on the last day of classes, MED students "move up" the hallway to what will be their new classrooms for the coming school year. They get to meet their new teachers and talk about all the great things they will be learning when they return to MED in September. Shown here, Mrs. Robichaud introduces herself to visiting first grade students who will be her second grade class next school year.

MED's Hay Award RecipientsMED Announces Hay Award Winners

Congratulations to Katie Everett (grade 5), Emma Braley (grade 4), and Lucia Bigelow (grade 3), who were selected by the MED faculty as this year's Hay Award winners. The Hay Award recognizes students’ interest and accomplishments in the study of English and penmanship, and includes a monetary award to the student made possible through the Tom and Nancy Hay Scholarship.

Students receive certificatesFifth Grade Moving Up

To honor the 2014-2015 fifth grade class on their completion of elementary school, MED held a Moving Up Ceremony in the school's gym the morning of June 23. Principal Kristen Reno congratulated the class of 2022 on their moving on to middle school, and, in front of a crowd of friends and family, every student was called to the front to receive their Moving Up certificates and class portraits. Learn more...

Third Grade Publishes Books

students with booksThird graders at MED got to see their ideas put into print when each classroom published its very own book! The books were part of a grade level writing assignment where each student penned their own short story around a theme their classroom chose, and drew an illustration to go with it. The books arrived hot off the press this June, with every third grader getting their own copy to take home as a keepsake and each teacher receiving a copy for their classrooms. Learn more...

Kindergarten Celebration

students were sunglassesThe future was looking bright for our soon- to-be first graders during MED’s Kindergarten Celebration. The youngsters marked the completion of their kindergarten year with a performance for family and friends in the MED cafetorium. With each classroom wearing a different color of the rainbow, the students marched onstage to dance and sing songs together as a grade and as classes. The event wrapped up with a slideshow highlighting classroom activities from throughout their first year at school.

Environmental Awareness Day

studnets experiment with wind power MED's first ever Environmental Awareness Day brought issues concerning our environment to the forefront of students minds with themed projects in each grade and special presenters from the community. During this day-long, school-wide event on June 12, students learned about recycling, green architecture, environmental stewardship, and more. They also conducted experiments around solar power, wind energy, and ecosystems. Learn more...

Students Explore Rich Local History

students at Van Alen house in KinderhookFourth graders took a trip back in time this June when they explored some important historical sites in Kinderhook. As part of their study of local history, students visited the Luykas Van Alen House, a colonial Dutch farmhouse built around 1737, and the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse, built in the 1850's. Both are now museums operated by the Columbia County Historical Society. They also toured Lindenwald, the estate of 8th president of the United States, Martin Van Buren. Learn more...

MED Arbor Day Celebration Honors Judi Matthews

Mrs. Reno present plaque to Mrs. MatthewsMED honored longtime Chatham math teacher Judi Matthews at its annual Arbor Day Celebration June 5th. The event was held on the school lawn and included students, staff, and scores of community members. Fourth graders put on a play highlighting Mrs. Matthews’ life and Mrs. Reno presented Mrs. Matthews with a plaque commemorating her contributions to our school and community. The event also included songs about the environment, the fourth grade Maypole dance, and a tree planting. Learn more...

Simple Machines

students use leverStudents learned about simple machines when the Scotia-Glenville Traveling Museum visited the third grade June 2nd and 3rd. Museum teacher Rosemary Renaud discussed the properties and uses of levers, pulleys, inclined planes, wedges, screws, springs,and the wheel and axle before giving students a chance to experiment with these tools at different stations she set up around the room. They also built catapults out of spoons, popsicle sticks and rubber bands, then used the device's leverage and spring action to toss cotton balls into a can target.  

student search for wormsStudents Explore how Worms are Earth Friendly

Mrs. Hogencamp’s students got their hands dirty exploring the world of earthworms. In second grade, students are learning about life cycles, and the worms were part of a related project that the class is undertaking for MED’s upcoming Environmental Fair. The students learned how worms help improve soil and set up a worm farm to observe how they break down decaying plant matter. Learn more...

MED Students Preview Senior Expos

Senior expoMrs. Mulica’s third grade class and Mrs. Lynch’s second grade class visited Chatham High School the afternoon of June 3 to check out the Snior Expo set up in the school’s gym. The Senior Team invited the elementary students to preview the event, which is a celebration of each senior’s learning and accomplishments. Each student creates a tri-fold poster board display highlighting his or her academic, athletic, artistic, and personal accomplishments prior to graduation. Learn more...

Third Grade Class Meets Kira the Police DogDeputy with Dog

K9 Deputy Sheriff Travis VanAlstyne and his partner Kira paid a visit to Mrs. Rossi’s and Mrs Fleck’s third grade class in May. The students had just finished reading a non-fiction book about police dogs, and Chatham’s School Resource Deputy, Todd Hyson, made arrangements for the class to meet the real deal. Deputy VanAlstyne explained that Kira is specially trained to sniff out explosives, aid police in finding missing people, and apprehend criminals. Learn more...

MED Students, School Nurse Honored for Helping Teacher Mrs. Ogulnick, the students, and Mrs. Fabiano being honoredDuring Medical Emergency

The Board of Education honored fifth graders Gabrielle Fisher, Gabrielle Morse, Giovanna Allen, and Kassidy Clanton along with school nurse Mary-Noelle Fabiano for their quick action when orchestra teacher Cynthia Ogulnick suffered a medical emergency during school in February. Board president Melony Spock and superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo presented each with a certificate commemorating their actions, and, most importantly, Mrs. Ogulnick was there to give them her thanks. Learn more...

Students Begin Building Native American Longhouse

longhouse4th graders studying Native American history and culture enjoyed building an Iroquois inspired longhouse at MED. The project is part of a multi-year collaboration between the fourth grade and the Flying Deer Nature Center. Under the guidance of Flying Deer educators, and with help from parent volunteers, students completed the first phase of the Longhouse project this May. This unique opportunity is sponsored by the Chatham Ed. Foundation and the PTA. Learn more...

BMX Team Brings Positive Character Message (and Some Cool Tricks) to MED

BMX rider pulling a no-footerThere was some high-flying action at MED when the Dialed Action Sports Team brought their BMX stunt riders and anti-bullying message to school May 18. The team set up a five-foot launch ramp and a nine-foot vertical quarter pipe on which riders Kyle Biller, Ian Bradley, and Zane Bradley pulled massive airs high over the crowd of cheering students. They even had students pick some teacher “volunteers” for Zane to bunny hop his bike over. This exciting event was sponsored by the PTA. Learn more...

Immigration Simulation

student giving presentationFifth graders undertook an “immigration simulation” as part of their study of United States immigration history. Working in groups, they researched and planned out their route to America, taking into account what modes of transportation were available at the time, how many miles they would need to cover, how much transportation and other immigration expenses would cost them, and how long their journey would take. They also planned what they would need to bring with them, such as food, useful items, passports, and reminders of home. Learn more...

MED Musical "Tales Around the Tower"

Little Red Riding Hood (Kate Everett), Granny (Abby Taylor) and the Wolf (Amanda Roberts) The MED Drama Club presented “Tales Around the Tower,” written and performed by our 4th and 5th graders in the club, on May 15 & 16 at the CMS Auditorium. On her sixteenth birthday, Rapunzel’s mother lets her leave her tower to explore the fairytale land around it. Rapunzel and her trusty maid wonder into several well-known (and much loved) fairytales –“Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Three Little Pigs,” and “Jack and Beanstalk,” – which include songs with original lyrics by the students. Learn more...

Fun Day at the Farm for Mr. Botsford's Class

Student riding horseOn a beautiful day in May, Mr. Botsford’s class visited Little Brook Farm in Old Chatham. The owner, Lynn Cross, and her friendly staff treated the children to a day of hands-on fun at the farm, which does equine rescue and rehabilitation, as well as educational and therapeutic programs. The students took a tour, rode and groomed the rescued horses, and learned how to mix feed for a variety of horses using a chart. To top things off, the children used hay bales to make a long, twisty, dark tunnel, then found their way out.

HS Baseball Players Mystery Read at MED

players reading to studentsFour Chatham Panthers varsity baseball players took time out of their busy school day to go up to MED and read to Mrs. Robichaud's first grade class. The players, Chatham High School seniors Kody Skype, Mercury Mason, Ahron Young, and Joe Williams, were participating in the school's ongoing "Mystery Readers" program where surprise readers from the community visit classrooms at MED to promote literacy.

China Celebration

Students play song during china celebration at MEDThe third grade wrapped up their learning journey through China by hosting a “China Celebration” performance for parents and family visitors. The April 27 and 28 events showcased the art, music and poetry students had created during their studies of Chinese culture. The third grade’s study of China is part of the artsVOYAGE educational partnership with the Spencertown Academy, through which students experience world cultures and social history in a rich, multifaceted way. Learn more...

Virtual Field Trip to NASA Space Center and Beyond

Students viewing neptune on monitorSecond grade teachers took their students on a virtual field trip to the NASA Space Center in Houston, TX. A space center staffer took the students on a journey through our Solar System, exploring the planets, the asteroid belt, and Pluto, which is now considered a dwarf planet. Through the eyes of NASA’s space probes, the classes learned about the similarities and differences of each planet and discovered how gravity plays an important role in forming and holding together celestial bodies.

Sweet Reward Wraps Up MED's "Read for Ronald" Program

Addison Andrews throws pie at Mrs. RenoIt’s not every day you get to chuck a pie at your school principal, but at MED, the PTA made the old pie in the face gag a reward for students who did the most during their school's “Read for Ronald McDonald House” program. Kindergartner Jackson Carl, second grader Addison Andrews, third graders Nole and Owen Zaik, and fifth grader Anna Carrol all earned the chance to toss a pie at a staff member on April 20 after either raising the most money for charity or reading for the most minutes. Learn more...

All-County music studentsMED Students Perform in All County Music Showcase

Students from MED's 5th Grade Chorus participated in the All County Music Festival held at Chatham April 16-17. They joined together with other select music students from CMS and CHS, as well as all six Columbia County school districts to work on music and present a wonderful concert on April 17 in the Chatham High School auditorium. Learn more...

Columbia Memorial Hospital Dental Program at MED

Evelyn Russo talks to studentsDental hygienist Evelyn Russo visited 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms on March 31 to talk about healthy teeth and gums and the importance of brushing and flossing daily. Following Russo’s visit, a licensed dentist and hygienist will be coming to MED to provide dental exams, cleanings, and other preventative dentistry for third grade students. These visits come at no cost to families or our school, and are made possible through Columbia Memorial Hospital’s school-based mobile dental services.

Geogina and Dundee the SkinkDistance Learning Connects First Graders to Florida Zoo

Despite it being quite wintry in Chatham on March 26, students in first grade were able to come face to face with tropical animals thanks to a virtual field trip to the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida. The first grade has been studying animal habitats in class and this distance learning trip gave the students an opportunity to meet reptiles, mammals, and birds from diverse climates, all very different from our own. Learn more...

Southpaw "Reads for Ronald" with Students

Southpaw and Michelle read to students Tri-City ValleyCats’ mascot Southpaw stopped by MED to share his enthusiasm for reading. Because cats don’t talk, he brought along Michelle Skinner from the ValleyCats' community relations team to read to the students some of his favorite books about baseball. The March 24 visit brought fun and excitement to the Read for Ronald MacDonald House Program, which MED is participating in to encourage reading and benefit the families of critically ill children. Learn more....

Students Learn About 3-D Printing

3-d printer being demonstrated4th graders headed over to CHS this week to learn about three-dimensional electronic modeling and check out the school’s 3-D printer. MED's school media specialist, Mr. Selby, arranged to have Mr. Caldwell, the High School’s technology teacher, show the students how objects can be drafted electronically using computers and then replicated into actual three-dimensional items using the special printer. Mr. Caldwell demonstrated how the 3-D printer, which in reality is a small production robot, can “print” objects by laying down successive layers of molten plastic to gradually build them. 5th grade library classes will also be going to see the printer in action.

MED Students Showcase Artwork on Artsonia

Move over Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Picasso, Mary E. Dardess Elementary School artists are taking over the spotlight! Nancy Barth, our school's art teacher, has teamed up with Artsonia - the world's largest online children's art museum - to display the students' artwork. MED students join thousands of students from over 130 countries whose artwork is showcased on Artsonia. Visitors can browse the artwork in the school gallery by grade level, or by specific exhibits. Learn more...



Have A Great Summer!


Baseball Summer Camp
June 29 -July 3

For ages 7–12:
Learn sportsmanship, hitting, infield/outfield play, pitching, catching, form running, flexibility training, and team concepts from Chatham Panthers baseball coaches and current and ex-players. Cost: $80 before June 19th. $100 after June 19th.
Learn more...


Softball Summer Camp

June 29 - July 3

For ages 7-12:

Learn sportsmanship, hitting, infield/outfield play, pitching, catching, form running, flexibility training, and team concepts from Chatham Panthers softball coaches and current and ex-players. Cost: $80 before June 20th. $100 after June 20th.

Learn more...


Basketball Summer Camp

July 6-10

For students in grades 3-8

Learn dribbling, shooting, passing, rebounding, offensive and defensive strategies, team concepts of basketball, sportsmanship and more from Chatham's basketball coaches and players. Cost: $80 before June 19th. $100 after June 19th

Learn more...

Football Camp July 13-16

For students in grades 2-7:

Instruction in all phases of football with emphasis on individual techniques in various positions. High energy camp involving non-contact drills. Coached by CHS coaches assisted by Chatham current and former players. Cost: $30.00. Learn more...


Summer Reading Program at Chatham Public Library

Every Hero Has a Story, the 2015 Summer Reading Program at Chatham Public Library, is open to young people, preschool through young adult. Registration begins June 22 - everyone who registers receives a reading log to keep track of books read or listened to, and can earn incentives awarded at the end of the summer. The library is also offering a full slate of hero themed programs and events. Learn more....