Mary E. Dardess ES

Kristen Reno, Principal


MED to Honor Corinne Summers at Arbor Day Celebration

Melony Spock, Corinne Summers, Kristen Reno MED has selected lifelong Chatham resident Corinne Summers as our 2016 Arbor Day honoree. The school invites the public to attend this special community event, held Friday, June 3rd at 9:30 a.m. on the MED lawn (MED gym in the case of rain). Students will honor Summers’ contributions to her community with a play about her life. The program will also include the traditional Maypole dance performed by the fourth grade and a tree planting ceremony. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by calling the school office at 392-1530 no later than May 31st. Learn more...

Empathy and Awareness of People With Disabilities

students write left-handedOver the course of May 12th and 13th, the third, fourth, and fifth grades participated in the Berkshire Empathy Awareness Mentoring Workshop, led by guest educators Christine Singer, Bob Dean, and Ethan Dean. This interactive program was enhanced our students’ awareness of and sensitivity to people living with disabilities and give them an understanding of the physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges many people face. Learn more...

Math Olympiads Family Night

family doing math at eventCCSD’s Math Olympiads Family Night added up to a good time for all. On April 21, students from the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades who had participated in the Math Olympiad clubs during the school year were invited to attend a math problem solving evening with their families. The event ran from 7–8:30 p.m. and included a short math group activity led by Jim Matthews of Siena College. Mr. Matthews is a professor of Math and Computer Science and is on the Board of Directors of Math Olympiads. Learn more...

Students with trach they picked upEarth Day

On Earth Day, students from MED’s Bully Free Friends group picked up litter along the wooded trails around the school campus. Earth Day 2016 was April 22. Left to right are Anna Miles, Cecelia Dohr, CC the MED therapy dog, Alex Chudy, Chris Sorokey, John Miles, Emily Mesick, Haylee Roemer, Mariah Kratt. The Bully Free Friends are advised by school counselor Renee Morgan.

Stories Under the Big Top

students on stageThe MED Drama Club presented “Stories Under the Big Top,” by Lorraine Thompson from Pioneer Drama Service on April 1 & 2 in the Middle School auditorium. This is the fourth year of the afterschool program for 4th and 5th graders. The students met for several weeks to learn performing, singing and playwriting skills. This year, 70 students involved in the program worked with a script already written, making it their own. The students changed characters and lines, and added music and dance. Learn more...

Students Explore Movement and Rhythm with Professional Dancer

Student learns dance move from Jamal JacksonThe Jamal Jackson Dance Company held an all-day residence at MED, giving our students an expanded opportunity to get involved in dance. During their regularly scheduled physical education time on March 29, students learned some African-inspired dance moves with dancer/choreographer Jamal Jackson, accompanied by live drumming from Frank Malloy, IV. This exciting artist-in-residence program was brought to MED by PS21 in Chatham and was sponsored by the MED PTA.

Columbia Memorial Hospital Dental Program at MED

Evelyn Russo talks to students about keeping thier teeth healthy Dental hygienist Evelyn Russo visited students in 2nd and 3rd grade on March 30 to talk about keeping our teeth and gums healthy with daily brushing and flossing, and regular check ups at the dentist. Following Russo’s visit, a licensed dental hygienist will be coming to MED to provide dental exams and cleanings for second and third grade students who sign up. 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.

MED Students Help Fight Cancer at St. Baldrick’s Event

med students with shaved heads\The Chatham High School Community Service Club hosted Chatham's sixth annual St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event March 20 in the school gymnasium. Participants pledge to shave their heads in recognition of child cancer patients and to raise funds to defeat this illness. Students from MED joined the over 100 participants this year, that included students from all three schools. Together they raised over $17,000, and donations are still coming in. See more bald heads...

The Great Leprechaun Mystery (Solved)

student with green slimeOur Pre-K class performed a science experiment to see what happens when they combine various liquids. They made green, sparkly slime to try to attract a leprechaun. The “leprechaun” managed to find some of the green slime and replaced it with pencils. The students built a trap to catch the leprechaun if he returned for the rest of the slime, but he managed to get away with the rest it. St. Patrick's Day morning, the class found a piece of “gold” on each desk with clues to where the leprechaun had hidden his treasure. Learn more...

Important Changes to School Calendar

March 21, 2016 - Due to the lack of inclement weather this winter, we have not used any snow days this school year. As a result, we’ve made some changes to the school calendar. Please be aware that this information could change in the event of snow or emergency closings late in the school year. If that is the case, please stay tuned for updates.

Monday, March 28th is converted to a District Conference Day – No Classes

Friday, April 8th is converted to a full-day District Conference Day for Sr. Exhibitions – No Classes

Friday, May 27th - The District will be closed (“give-back” day for unused snow days) – No Classes

Dental Hygienist Teaches Students about Healthy Teeth and Gums

Kaleigh shows how to brush teethOn March 1st, MED students learned how to take good care of their teeth from Kaleigh, a dental hygienist from Dr. Starkman’s office in Valatie. Mrs. Alliger, MED’s Pre-K teacher, invited Kaleigh to visit her class to share with her students and Mr. Botsford’s’ language concepts class what dentists do and show the students the proper way to brush and floss their teeth. She brought along some larger-than-life choppers for the student to practice on! Keeping teeth and gums healthy is just one subject Pre-K students have been learning about in school this year.

Chatham Students Sing at Albany Devils Game

choir in the standsOn March 13th, select students from Chatham's grade 4-12 choral program were invited to sing the United States and Canadian national anthems at the opening of the Albany Devil's game played at the TU Center in Albany. Students had a blast singing for the crowd and enjoying a close game that ended with the Devils scoring the winning goal with only one minute left on the clock. The Devils are a professional hockey team in the American Hockey League. See larger photo...

Homespun Dance Residency

circle dancing Musical, physical, social, and historical themes came alive for students K-5 when Homespun Dance held a two-day residency at MED. With live music and calling from “Peter, Paul, and George,” our students learned square, contra, and circle dances as well as a variety of other folk dances rooted in cultures around the world. The March 9th and 10th residency came about through the collaborative efforts of our music and physical education departments. Learn more...

Students' Research on Animals Includes Virtual Trip to Zoo

students view lizard The students in Miss Engel’s Language Concepts 2-3 class wrapped up their animal report projects by “virtually” visiting the Buffalo Zoo. Previously, students were able to choose their own animal, complete research using library books and Internet sites, write and edit rough drafts, then publish their final reports complete with a title page. As a class, they walked down to the High School to connect with the Buffalo Zoo via webcam to learn more about different animals. Learn more...

Pre-K Students Meet Dog With Important Job

Deputy VanAlstyne watches students pet KiraOur pre-kindergarten class has been learning about dogs with jobs, so with a little help from School Resource Deputy Todd Hyson, their teacher, Mrs. Alliger, arranged to have K9 Deputies Heath Benansky and Travis VanAlstyne of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office visit and share what police dogs do to help keep our communities safe. Deputy VanAlstyne brought along his partner, Kira, a specially trained German Shepherd who the students got to meet and pet. Learn more...  

History in Wax

students as was exhibitsWe’ve done stories here about our students going to a museum, but never one about them becoming a museum. However, that’s exactly what happened here at MED when our fourth grade classes turned themselves into the Wax Museum of New World Explorers. After choosing an important explorer from history to study and depict, each student morphed into an animatronic mannequin of their adventurer. Students' families were invited to visit school and explore the museum. Learn more...

Big Kids' Skits Show the Power of Playing Nice

students put on skitThe MED Bully Free Group visited kindergarten classes on February 8 and 11 to put on skits that showed the youngsters ways to peacefully resolve conflicts, such as by talking things out, taking time to cool off, sharing and taking turns. The skits were part of our “Kelso’s Choice” program that teaches kindergartens how to use peaceful conflict management skills in school, in the community, and at home. The performers were 5th graders who want to make a positive difference. Learn more...

Kindergartners' Art Project Shows an Ocean of Creativity

students making sea scapesIn February, kindergarten students made mixed-media artwork inspired by the book I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean, by Kevin Sherry. During this project, students made connections between art, literature, and science. With their art teacher, Mrs. Barth, the children listened to and discussed the book as they gathered facts about fish and giant squid. Students learned and applied skill in printmaking, drawing, and watercolor painting to complete their creative ocean scenes. 

Character Ed Theme of Giving Brings 6th Graders to Kindergarten

6th grader reads to kindergartnerThe sixth grade headed over to MED the morning of December 18th to share the gift of literacy with kindergartners. Each sixth grader paired up with a kindergarten buddy to read a book together.  Afterward, they drew a picture and wrote about the story they had just experienced. This service-learning project was part of the December character education theme of giving and was a great way for students of different ages to get to know one another and share the joys that reading can bring.   

Winter Habits of Animals

Michelle Vedder-Drew talks to students about fisher and other animalsStudents in Miss Engel’s Language Concepts class enjoyed two guests from Mud Creek Environmental Learning Center; one being the program coordinator Michelle Vedder-Drew and the other being a real stuffed fisher! The students have been studying animal habits in the winter, including hibernation, migration, and adaptations. Michelle had them experiment with “animal fat,” ice water, and bear fur to see how animals keep warm during the cold months. Learn more...

Venice and The Four Seasons

Students perform Spring in The Four Season balletTo celebrate the conclusion of their study of Venice, the third grade held a special performance for parents in the MED Cafeteria. Guest educator Tom Lee, from the Spencertown Academy, gave parents an overview of the types of lessons students enjoyed over the past several weeks, where they learned about Venetian history, architecture, art, writing, music, and more. The students then put on a ballet performance of Vivaldi’s Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons). Learn more...

JA Helps Students Make “Cents” of Financial Literacy

JA Educator teaches class Over the course of five weeks, students explored the roles of local businesses, money and taxes, voting, and our government through a Junior Achievement program taught by PTA volunteers. In collaboration with the second grade teachers, the PTA made this program available to students so they could learn these important life skills from community volunteers in a fun, engaging way. The program took place during October and November, and concluded for second grade on November 20th. Learn More...



Grade 4 Concert May 25

The Grade 4 Concert is Wednesday, May 25, 7pm in the CHS auditorium.


District Closed May 27

All CCSD schools and offices will be closed Friday, May 27 due to unused snow days.


District Closed May 30

All CCSD schools and offices will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.


Humane Society Collection

Our 5th Grade Service Club is collecting donations for the Columbia-Greene Humane Society until May 30. They need clean blankets/towels, cat & dog food, cat & dog toys, cat & dog treats, paper towels, sponges & rubber gloves. Boxes for donations are in the main lobby of MED.


Pre-K Screening

Screening for next year’s pre-k program takes place June 7 & 8. The program is reserved for children with deficits in school readiness and/or family barriers that limit their access to other preschool programs. There is No Charge for this program . If you believe your child meets eligibility requirements and would benefit from our Pre-K program, please contact Kimberly Layton, MED secretary, at 392-1530 to schedule a screening appointment. Learn more...


Softball Summer Camp

For children ages 7-12. Camp runs June 27– July 1, 9am–1pm at the Ghent Softball Fields. Coaching staff will consist of Chatham Panthers coaches and players. Cost is $85.00 per player if paid by June 19th, and $100.00 if paid after June 19th. Family discounts available. Download flyer and registration form...

Mrs. Reno’s Writing Roundup Cowgirl Mrs. Reno rounding up great examples of student writing

Mrs. Reno is rustling up great writing with her monthly writing challenge for students.

View March writing topics...