Mary E. Dardess ES

Kristen Reno, Principal


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....

St. Baldrick's 2015

MED students with shaved headsMED volunteers from as young as first grade all the way up through grade five were among those who braved the shave to fight cancer and show support for children living with the disease. Chatham's annual St. Baldrick’s head shaving is organized by the CHS Community Service Club and was held this year on March 22 in the CHS gym. All together, more than 75 students, staff and community members “went bald” to raise over $16,000 for childhood cancer research. 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.

student with fluteMED Student Selected for Elementary All-County Band

Congratulations to 5th grade flute player Benjamin Halpin for being selected to be a part of the Columbia County Music Educators Association’s All-County Elementary Band. This was a very special honor for Benjamin, as he "played up" with Chatham's most talented 6th graders. Benjamin rehearsed with the 6th graders at Chatham Middle School prior to performing alongside them and other talented musicians from Columbia County in the All-County concert, held March 6 at Taconic Hills Jr/Sr High School.

Choptstick China

students using chopsticksThird graders learned how to use chopsticks during a distance learning workshop with the Discovery Center in Missouri.. A museum educator showed them how to hold and work the chopsticks, and shared proper Chinese etiquette for their use at the table. He also taught the students about important Chinese Holidays, like New Year, a week long holiday that began in February this year, or Ghost Day, on which it is believed ghosts and spirits come out from the lower realm. Students also learned how the Chinese calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, with months named after symbols from the Chinese Zodiac, such as the Dragon and Goat.

MED Reads for Ronald

Damato reads from Story WarsThroughout March, MED is participating in the Read for Ronald McDonald House Program. This service learning project raises funds to support the Albany Ronald McDonald House while promoting the value of both reading and community service. To kick off the event, MED held a school wide assembly featuring Nancy Damato from the Ronald McDonald House. Damato shared with the students how the program supports families of seriously ill children and challenged students to take on the "Story Wars" reading competition. Learn more...

Fourth Graders Take S.T.E.M. Learning to Heart

Students building stem catapultsStudents in Mrs. Lineberry, Mrs. Willimott and Ms. Feller's 4th grade class participated in a S.T.E.M. project February 13. STEM education couples rigorous interdisciplinary academic concepts with real-world lessons applying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students worked in groups of 3-4 through research, planning, trial and error, and final design of a catapult simple machine that could toss a heart candy. While researching using laptops and iPads, students learned about what would make their catapult throw their heart the furthest. The project ended in a friendly competition, with students cheering on their classmates.

fourth graders skiingWinter Means Snowy Adventures in P.E.

While some folks may think the weather outside is frightful, for MED physical education classes, it’s been delightful. On the warmer days, all that fluffy snow has made conditions perfect for snowshoeing and skiing around the school grounds. Shown here are fourth graders learning to cross country ski during class on February 12th.

TV Weatherman Bob Kovachick Visits Third Grade

Bob Kovachick at MEDWNYT chief meteorologist Bob Kovachick visited MED today to talk with the third grade about the different kinds of weather that affect our area and how meteorologists predict it. The third grade teaching staff invited Mr. Kovachick to visit because their students have been studying weather in class. Prior to his visit, the classes prepared many questions for their special guest, who graciously answered them all. He also shared what goes on behind the scenes when putting on a TV weather forecast.

Students Check Out the Sun with MHAA Astronomers

student looking through telescopeFebruary 10th had great weather for a little daytime astronomy.  Mrs. Hasbrook’s class joined amateur astronomers Willy Yee and Joe Macagne from the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association outside MED to view the sun through special telescopes. They saw sun spots, filaments and prominences. The class also discussed the Moon, got to handle some real meteorites, and took home special sun glasses for at-home solar viewing. Learn more...

Distance Learning Connects Students with West Coast Immigration History

Ranger Casey talks with students using distance learning equipmentThe fifth grade took a virtual field trip to Angel Island in California on January 23 using their school's distance learning equipment. Located 2,500 miles away in San Francisco Bay, Angel Island served as a major immigration station from 1910 to 1940 and is now a state park and museum. “We are kind of the Ellis Island of the West Coast,” explained park ranger Casey Dexter-Lee, who greeted the students from inside a dormitory were immigrants lived while being processed through the station. Learn more...

John Stiles as Mark TwainFourth Grade Biographies

A biography assignment brought Mark Twain and other famous individuals to life in Mrs. Maddalla’s fourth grade English language arts class. Students could pick one of their favorite people to read about and then were tasked with preparing a biography presentation about that person for the class. Fourth grader John Miles really got into his and came to class January 22 dressed for the part; complete with wig, mustache and bow tie.

Birds of Prey and Reptiles Visit MED

Robinson shows off turkey vultureStudents in Ms. Hasbrook’s, Mr. Botsford’s and Mrs. Maraglio’s classes got up close and personal with some fascinating animals January 16th. The students have been studying reptiles and birds of prey in science, so Ms. Hasbrook invited Bill Robinson of Wildlife Lectures to visit and share his vast knowledge of these creatures. He brought along a red tailed hawk, turkey vulture, great horned owl, falcon, king snake, even an alligator, and shared each animal's adaptations for survival and role in the ecosystem.

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...

students sing to residents at Payne homeThird Grade Makes Holiday Visit to Senior Home

Students from Mrs. Rossi’s, Mrs. Fleck’s, Mrs. Myers’, Mrs. Lynch’s, and Mrs. Mulica’s third grade classes walked from MED to the Payn Home to some holiday caroling. The Payn Home is a retirement residence in the Village of Chatham. The December 22 trip was a good time for all as everyone sang familiar tunes together. The children also created cards, drawings, and paintings to give to the seniors. 

students using ipadHour of Code

This December, students in Chatham Central Schools participated in the Hour of Code - an international effort designed to increase awareness of computer programming. Fourth and fifth grade students at MED, technology students at CMS, and computer science students at CHS all logged on to to learn about the ever increasing importance of code in our daily lives and try a little computer programming themselves. Learn more...

Architect Cues Third Graders in on Venetian Design

Stuart Narofky talks with studentsArchitect and MED parent Stuart Narofsky visited Mrs. Mulica’s third grade class to talk about the art and science behind Venetian building design. The third grade has been studying Venice, Italy over the past few weeks, and Mr. Narofsky shared quite a bit about why the city came to look the way it does. He discussed how the city’ architects looked to Gothic, Moorish, and Byzantine styles for inspiration, and explained why Venetian buildings have so many arches. Learn more....



Incoming Kindergarten Parent Night Canceled

The Incoming Kindergarten Parent Night listed on the print calendar for April 29 has been canceled.


Pre-K Screening May 4

Screening for our Pre-K program will be held May 4 by appointment. MED offers a prekindergarten program only to resident children with deficits in school readiness and/or family barriers that limit access to other preschool programs. If you believe your child may be eligible for our Pre-K program and have not yet scheduled a screening appointment, please call the MED office at 392-1530.

Kindergarten Screening May 5-7

Kindergarten screening will take place on May 5th, May 6th and 7th at MED. If you have not scheduled a screening appointment and have a child who will be entering kindergarten in September, please call the MED office at 392-1530.


Recess Day May 22

Friday, May 22nd will be converted to a “recess” day (no school) for students and staff due to an unused emergency closing day, providing we do not experience another emergency closing between now and May 22nd. 


Mrs. Reno Roundup

Mrs. Reno's Writing Round-up

View Mrs. Reno's March writing questions for grades K-5 here...