Mary E. Dardess ES

Kristen Reno, Principal


Longhouse Project

Devin Franklin shows students how to make cordageAs part of a multi-year collaboration between MED and the Flying Deer Nature Center of New Lebanon, fourth grade students explored Native American history and their relationship with the natural world on May 16 and 17 at our campus longhouse built by our students. Flying Deer program director Devin Franklin showed the students how to make mats out of cattails, and the students learned how the plant played an important role to both people and animals as a utility and food. Learn more...

MED to Honor Binzers at Annual Arbor Day Celebration

Pictured are Board of Education president Melony Spock, Hank and Pat Binzer, MED principal Kristen Reno, and MED assistant principal Mike BurnsMary E. Dardess (MED) Elementary School announces that Hank and Patricia Binzer will be the school’s honored guests at its 2017 Arbor Day Celebration. While the couple no longer lives in Chatham, they continue to be enthusiastic supporters of our school and our students. The school invites the public to attend this special community event, held on the school’s lawn Friday, June 9th at 9:30 a.m. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by calling 392-1530 no later than June 6th. Learn more...

Third Grader Talks Autism with Peers

Eli Schor talks to his classmates with Mrs. MorganMED student Eli Schor shed some light on autism by talking about it with all the 3rd grade classes at our school. Eli’s presentations were extra-meaningful because he has autism himself. He shared his personal experiences with his classmates to give them a better understanding of what autism is and how it affects the people who have it. He gave two presentations in total, one for half his grade, and one for the other half. School counselor Renee Morgan helped Eli organize the event.

student recieves Golden Trashcan Award from Mr. Burns & Mrs. RenoTrustworthy Assemblies

MED held character assemblies May 9th for grades Pre-k -2 and May 11th for grades 3-5. Both assemblies highlighted our theme of the month, which was “Trustworthiness." As part of the assembly, each special department (art, music, PE, Library, and cafeteria) handed out awards to the classes that showed the most trustworthiness during their time at that special.
See which classes got the awards...

I Love Reading Month

Ryan Alderdice and Curtis Buchan reading to third gradersSome of Chatham’s varsity baseball players headed up to MED during their lunch or study hall to be mystery readers for 3rd grade classes. Pictured here are junior Ryan Alderdice and sophomore Curtis Buchan reading to our students. Other readers included juniors Aidan Jackson and Caleb Doyle. The ball players joined a whole host of mystery readers from the community who have been dropping in to MED as part of the PTA’s “I Love Reading Month,” which promotes reading and literacy in many different ways throughout the month of May.  

Class Grandma's Sewing Helps Put Literacy on the Go

student head out the door with bags sewn by Mrs SmithIn Mrs. Myers’ third grade class, students have enjoyed bringing literacy home with them each week in some pretty snazzy handmade bags. Mrs. Cindy Smith (aka Jayden Valdez’s grandmother) volunteered her time to sew up a whole slew of bags for the class to use as their take-home literacy bags. Take-home literacy bags are thematic, content-related collections of fiction and non-fiction books, with accompanying activities that the students bring home and complete. Learn more...

Baby Animals

students pet goatOn May 3rd, MED’s pre-k class took a field trip to Hancock Shaker Village, a living history museum near Pittsfield, MA that has a farm and 20 authentic Shaker buildings. The class has been learning about baby animals during the springtime and Hancock Shaker Village had all kinds of newborn farm animals for the children to meet.The children also got to dress up in Shaker-style clothing, weave on a loom, and milk a life-sized replica Holstein cow. Learn more...

Skits with a Purpose

Third graders put on skit for preschoolersThe first week in May, MED’s Third Grade Service Club visited our pre-kindergarten students and our kindergarten classes to help share ways to solve small problems. The third graders put on skits for the younger students that highlighted peaceful conflict management skills like talking things out, taking time to cool off, sharing, and taking turns. The skits also helped students to identify between problems that require adult intervention and those they are encouraged to solve on their own.

student write on blacktop with sidewalk chalkChalk It Up To Science

As part of thier science studies, our pre-kindergarten class recently learned about mixing colors. They learned how to make new colors by mixing paint, and how to make their own sidewalk chalk from scratch. Mrs. Aliger showed the students how to mix plaster of Paris with water and tempera paint. They spooned the mixture into molds and let it dry overnight. Then the children got to use their homemade sidewalk chalk outside during recess!

Children's Author Talks Reading, Writing, and Adventure

Nacy Castaldo holds up book for children to seeAuthor Nancy Castaldo was at MED for the day April 28 to talk with students in each grade about being a writer and what goes into publishing a book. Ms. Castaldo, who lives in the Hudson Valley, is the author of several nonfiction books for children.“All writers begin as readers,” she told the students as they gathered around her in the school library to enjoy her presentation. “Books can take you on adventures all over the place.” Her vist was sponsored by the MED PTA. Learn more...

Life Cycles and the Egg

chicks in brooderCheep, cheep! The chicks have arrived! As part of their study of life cycles, the 2nd grade has been raising chicken eggs in class. In April, Maggie Smith from Columbia-Greene 4H visited MED to talk with the 2nd graders about eggs and how they develop into chickens. She brought along eggs, incubators, and other chick-rearing equipment for each class and explained how to properly care for the eggs during their incubation period, which is approximately 21 days. The chicks’ due date was the first week in May and they began hatching right on time! Learn more...

MED Student Named Artsonia Artist of the Week

Taylor with her winning artwork Congratulations to 4th grader Taylor Van Wie, who was named Artsonia's Grade 4-6 "ARTIST OF THE WEEK" for April 23-April 29. For her win, Taylor will receive a special award plaque and a $50 gift certificate from Blick Art Materials. The MED art department will receive a $100 gift certificate to Blick Art Materials as well. Artsonia is an online museum featuring student art that MED participates in along with schools from across the nation. Taylor’s Georgia O’Keeffe-inspired flower received 1424 votes. Learn more...

5th Graders Learn Dance from Professional

Jamal Jackson leads students through dance excerciseThe Jamal Jackson Dance Company was at MED on April 10 & 11th to teach our 5th grade students about rhythm and movement. Accompanied by live drumming from Frank Malloy, IV, Mr. Jackson led students through some of his favorite dance moves and encouraged students to make up their own moves as well! This exciting program was brought to MED courtesy of Performance Spaces for the 21st Century (PS21) and was made possible by a grant from the Chatham Education Foundation.

D.A.R.E. Graduation

student shakes hands with sheriff bartlettOur fifth grade celebrated successful completion of D.A.R.E. with a graduation ceremony held April 7 in the CHS auditorium. D.A.R.E., taught by Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Wendy Guntert, kicked off at MED in October and addressed drug and tobacco use while placing a greater focus on skills students can use to make safe and responsible choices in all aspects of their lives. Along with Deputy Guntert and school officials, Sheriff David Bartlett and School Resource Deputies Todd Hyson and Toby Van Alstyne took part in the ceremony. Learn more...



    Grade 4 Concert May 23

    Our grade 4 concert is Tuesday, May 23, 7pm in the CHS auditorium.


    Pre-K Screening

The screening dates for next year’s pre-kindergarten program will take place on June 7 & 8, 2017. The program is for children with deficits in school readiness and/or family barriers that limit their access to other preschool programs. Contact Kimberly Layton, MED. secretary, at 392-1530 to schedule a screening appointment. Learn more...


1/2 Day June 23

Please mark your calendars: Friday, June 23 will be a half day at MED. Students will be dismissed at Noon.


Chatham Panthers Softball Camp June 26-30

Our softball program offers a softball summer camp for children ages 7-12. The camp will be held June 26th to June 30th, from 9am to 1pm at the Ghent Softball Fields. Sign up now! Learn more and download application...