Community Meetings/Advisory Program
There are three co-educational divisions at Dwight School:
- The Early Chlidhood Division (nursery-kindergarten) is located at the Riverside Campus, which occupies three buildings on Riverside Boulevard between 66th-68th Streets.
- The rest of the lower school (grades 1-5) is located on the Main Campus and occupies a building at 17 West 88th Street and space in the new brownstone at 22 West 89th Street.
- The middle school (grades 6-8) and the upper school (grades 9-12) are also located on the Main Campus but primarily use the buildings at 18 West 89th Street and 291 Central Park West, as well as the new brownstone at 22 West 89th Street.
Within divisions, grades 1-12 are further separated into houses. Each house is a small group within the larger School community that fosters pride, responsibility, and respect for the contribution of others.
- TIMOTHY HOUSE (grades 1-5) was named after Timothy Dwight, president of Yale University, who asked the school to pioneer a math and science program to replace traditional Greek and Latin as an entrance requirement. The school was later renamed Dwight School in honor of that historic partnership.
- BENTLEY HOUSE (grades 6-8) honors the Bentley School, whose elementary and middle schools merged with Dwight in 1974.
- FRANKLIN HOUSE (grades 9-10) honors the tradition of The Franklin School, originally founded in 1872 as the Sachs Collegiate Institute.
- ANGLO HOUSE (grades 11-12) honors the Anglo-American School, which the Franklin School became in 1980. Anglo-American was the 58th school in the world to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
A dean oversees each house and helps foster a community identity through weekly meetings, class trips, and a guidance system, which allows each dean to closely know every parent and student. The House Dean is the first person to consult about personal or academic issues.
Every member of the Dwight community has a responsibility to help his/her fellow schoolmates. Classes, activities, and teams provide an opportunity to extend a hand of support or guidance. Students themselves have different resources for guidance available to them, the first of whom is their house dean (or the Associate Vice Principal in the case of the Lower School). The deans work closely with each student, leading regular community meetings and providing disciplinary guidance. The dean is the first person a parent or student should contact with pastoral, non-academic issues.
Meet the Lower School Administration
Associate Head of Lower School, PYP Coordinator
212.724.6360 ext. 295
Betsy Doss received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology and Psychology as well as her Elementary Teaching Certification from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received her master's degree in Curriculum and Teaching from the Teacher’s College, Columbia University. In addition to her formal schooling, Betsy has received training in the Slingerland method for teaching literacy, both basic and advanced. Prior to arriving at Dwight in 2007, she taught in San Francisco, CA and in London, England for an IB Candidate school. She enjoys being outdoors, photography, and reading.
Chair of Admissions & Head of Lower School
212.724.6360 ext. 220
Martha Hirschman received an B.S in Education from the University of Michigan, and an M.F.A. from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Hirschman has been teaching in independent schools in the New York and New Jersey area for several years. She is delighted to join the Dwight community where she will serve in the dual positions of Vice Principal of the Lower Division and Chair of the Admission Department.
Dean of Bentley House, Grades 6-8
212.724.6360 ext. 208
As Dean of Bentley House since 2000, I aim to complement the IB Middle Years Program's academics with a focus on Emotional Intelligence and social behavior. Responsibility, accountability, integrity, and The Golden Rule are as much a part of the students' education as the classroom experience. I created and teach a course for grades 6-8, Contemporary Civilization, that practices and promotes critical thinking and philosophical inquiry using stories and ideas that contain moral and ethical dilemmas.
Dean of Grade 9, Social Studies Teacher
212.724.6360 ext. 206
My central purpose as Dean of Ninth Grade is to facilitate our students’ transition to high school. In this challenging year, students become acclimated to a more demanding academic regimen and develop social skills by adapting to a new environment. With the right encouragement and guidance, Dwight’s ninth graders will make great strides toward adulthood as they grow in responsibility. It is my hope to be of as much assistance as I can amidst this significant transition, helping each student fulfill his or her academic potential.
Dean of Grade 10, Art Teacher
212.724.6360 ext. 228
The tenth grade is a momentous year in the Franklin House, because it is the culmination of the Middle Years Program. As the Dean of Grade Ten, my goal is to help the students to find their interests as they begin their Personal Projects and start to think about their future. In addition, I strive to help the students to make informed decisions and to be reflective, especially as they transition in to the demanding IB Diploma Program. We convene frequently in community house meetings as well as in small advisory groups, where we discuss topics that emphasize caring, responsibility, and community. By the end of the year, I hope that students are more aware of their role in the community and are eager to meet increased academic challenges.
Dean of Grade 11, English Teacher
212.724.6360 ext. 297
As the Dean of the Eleventh Grade, I aim to help my students transition into the IB Diploma and Certificate Programs. In the eleventh grade, students use what they've learned in past years to shift their focus toward college preparation. I strive to help them adapt to a new set of requirements while supporting them in their individual growth. My goal is to help students reflect on the changes they undergo in the eleventh grade in order to be fully prepared for the demands they will face in senior year and beyond.
Dean of Grade 12, Chemistry Teacher, Varsity Cross Country Coach
212.724.6360 ext. 360