Fun Run and Dan Viglione Celebration!
Ninth Grade Portfolio
The weather was perfect and the day only got better from there. The atmosphere was electric, the energy was abundant, and the sense of community was warmer than the sun. The Fifth Annual RCS Fun Run was held on the Rippowam Campus track on Sunday, May 3rd. The run was a collaborative effort of the RCS Lower Campus Physical Education Department, The Office of Institutional Advancement, and the RCS Parents Association. It was designed to bring the RCS community from both the Upper and Lower campuses together and to help promote family fitness by providing a venue for parents and children to exercise together, cheer for each other, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments in an enjoyable atmosphere. There were distance appropriate races for all grades. Children and parents ran in races ranging from 100 yards for JPKers, to an open 3K race down Clinton Road and back for adults and children alike. The day was a memorable one for the more than 100 participants, and a DJ and bouncy houses provided post-race entertainment for all of the children!
The Fun Run also served as the perfect opportunity to honor beloved longtime Lower Campus physical education teacher—and founder of the Fun Run--Dan Viglione, who announced that he would be retiring this year after 32 wonderful years at RCS. Hundreds of parents, students, alumni, parents of alumni, and current and former faculty and staff members gathered to celebrate Mr. V, and several speakers paid tribute to him and thanked him for all that he has done for the School and the students. Mr. V influenced countless lives during his time at RCS, and his impact on the School community will resonate for years to come. At the celebration, Head of School Matthew Nespole announced that the Wood Gym on the Lower Campus will be named the Dan Viglione Gymnasium, in honor of Mr. V. The gymnasium will be adorned with a quote from George Bernard Shaw that Mr. V has echoed throughout the years—one that epitomizes his years at RCS and the impact he has had on so many students and families: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
What a run! What fun! What a Fun Run!
4th Graders Sing at Mets Game!
Portfolio is a ninth grade requirement and, this year, consisted of three parts: Thesis, TED talk, and Project.
The TED Talks are a new part of Portfolio this year and come out of the ninth grade TED Presentation Skills Class. When discussing the skills students need to succeed in the 21st century, educators often point to critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication as the cornerstones of these skills. At RCS, we intentionally build our students’ communication skills from the moment they arrive. Throughout the years, students take greater risks and gain more experience in learning how to share their ideas with others in a wide variety of venues.
This year, we created a new Fall Term class based loosely on the TED Talk model. The concept of TED Talks was born in 1984 as a way to bring together the best ideas in the fields of technology, entertainment, and design. Over time, the TED Conference became an annual event, and has since grown to a stunning popularity worldwide and includes scientists, philosophers, musicians, activists, business and religious leaders, philanthropists, and many others as presenters.
The presenters of TED Talks are without question passionate about their topic. In bringing this concept to Rippowam Cisqua, we asked our ninth graders to research a topic they were passionate or excited about, and create a TED Talk based on one of many models used throughout the world. For example, our outline typically consisted of a core message, power phrase, opening, body structure, and compelling visuals along with a variety of delivery techniques. At the end of the Fall Term, the students presented their talk (it was also filmed) to the entire ninth grade. Subsequent to this, they then worked with their facilitator to deliver their final talk (also filmed) to a range of audiences, which included Parents Association, the entire Upper Campus, select grades, certain classes, etc. We are very proud of our students’ ability to connect their interests and passion with this unique approach to public speaking. A one-minute highlight from each of the students’ TED talk presentations was shown on computer screens.
Here are some of the highlights of the projects our ninth graders did for their portfolio projects:
- dance performance of Blue Bird from Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by George Balanchine and composed by Maja Stojakov
- creation of a new nonprofit organization that focuses on getting critical clean water to the poor rural communities in southern Vietnam
- a production of two experimental films showing my artistic rendering of "Experimental"
- three paintings on canvas; they all had to do with music, which is a large component of the student's life
- a collection of writing including poems, published short stories, and an excerpt from an unfinished longer piece. Also collaborated with another student to present some of the books we have read in a book club that we co-run for 7th-9th graders.
- gave a concert at school and also described personal history with music
- paintings related to the Lakota Sioux Tribe
- on the Junior Board of Directors for an organization that allows kids with disabilities to play sports they otherwise would not be able to play
- created video game characters using various art supplies such as clay, plaster, and wire
- volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club
- pursued a leadership role on the Midnight Run and wrote for and edited the school newspaper Ripped Pages
- took photos around the Upper Campus of many students at different times then took these photos and put them into the shape of the letters 'RCS'
- volunteered for the Neighbors Link Organization and also the Mount Kisco Elementary school with a program called Learning Links
The ninth grade year is
On Wednesday, April 22nd, the Rippowam Cisqua 4th grade students had the opportunity of a lifetime -- they got to sing the National Anthem at a NY Mets game at Citi Field!
RCS Students Earn National Awards for Writing
In December, the students practiced for several weeks under the guidance of music teacher Lainie Zades, and they submitted an audition tape. The NY Mets reviewed the tape, and they announced to the School that the students had passed their audition with flying colors! The students rehearsed during the weeks and months leading up to the game, and on the big day itself, they performed beautifully! Ms. Zades directed the students, and they were joined by Lower Campus teachers Penny Cataldo and Kimberly Fox. What an incredible experience for all involved! Hundreds of Rippowam Cisqua parents, teachers, and fellow students were there to cheer them on at the game. Special thanks to Ms. Zades for all of her direction and great work with the students -- and congratulations to all of the 4th graders! They did an amazing job!
Stay tuned for a video of the performance from the Mets!
History Bee Finals
Two Rippowam Cisqua School students have been recognized nationally by the Scholastic
Art and Writing Awards of 2015. Seventh grader Cameron Hackett and eighth grader Sarah Bonnem have been identified by panels of creative professionals as among the most talented young writers in the nation. This year, over 300,000 works of art and writing were submitted. Only the top 1% were recognized at the national level. Submissions spanned 28 categories, including flash fiction, comic art, poetry, jewelry, science fiction and fantasy, sculpture, novel writing, and video game design.
RCS 7th grader Cameron Hackett received a National Silver Medal in the Personal Essay/Memoir category for his essay, “A Window to Another World.”
RCS 8th grader Sarah Bonnem received a National Silver Medal in the Poetry category for her poem, “Cut it Out.”
The nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which administers the awards, will honor Cameron, Sarah, and other national winners at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 11.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the country’s oldest and most prestigious awards and recognition program for creative teenagers. Over the 92-year history of the program, Scholastic Awards recipients have included Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Ken Burns, Lena Dunham, Robert Redford, and Joyce Carol Oates.
On Tuesday, April 14th, our five History Bee Regional Finalists, Matthew Cooper, Margalit Patry-Martin, George Lawrence, Will Greve, and James Ernst, competed in the Regional History Bee Finals in Darien, CT. Two of our students, Margalit and Matthew, made it to the National Finals. Congratulations to our History Bee winners!
Secondary School Placement at RCS
STEAM Fair 2015!
The week before Spring Break is when our 8th and 9th grade students, who are applying to secondary schools, receive their letters of notification from where they applied over the winter.
Rippowam Cisqua students continue to find themselves in an increasingly competitive placement process. Their profiles are being evaluated against an incredibly talented pool of local applicants from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for day schools, and against a global pool for boarding schools.
While admissions officers stress that the academic preparation, confidence, intellectual curiosity, and willingness to engage in all areas of school life make RCS students stand out in the admissions process, they are also quick to point out that our children’s ability to demonstrate their capacity for leadership is a real point of difference.
Page Vincent, our Director of Placement, and Ridley Sperling, our Associate Director of Placement, the faculty, and other members of the administration work closely with families to help our students find the secondary school that will be the right fit for each child. RCS is pleased to share that the following schools have accepted members of the Classes of 2015 & 2016. An asterisk denotes that more than one student was accepted at that school.
Avon Old Farms School
Choate Rosemary Hall *
The Hotchkiss School*
The Lawrenceville School*
Miss Porter’s School*
Northfield Mount Hermon School
St. Andrew’s School* (DE)
St. George’s School*
St. Paul’s School
The Taft School*
The Thacher School (CA)
The Westminster School*
The Birch Wathen Lenox School
The Calhoun School
Convent of the Sacred Heart* (CT)
The Dwight School
Fordham Preparatory School
Greens Farms Academy*
The Harvey School*
Iona Preparatory School
The Key School*
Rye Country Day School
School of the Holy Child*
St. Luke’s School*
Congratulations are in order for the students, their teachers, and parents. It is that triangle working together which builds a child’s confidence, and prepares him or her to be a successful member of his or her new school community.
For more on secondary school placement at RCS, please click HERE
STEAM—the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math—is alive and well at Rippowam Cisqua School, and the School's annual Lower Campus Science Fair--the STEAM FAIR--on March 12th provided the students in grades 1-4 with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the concepts that they have learned this year and showcase this key tenet of 21st century learning.
RCS 6th Grader Zachary Breault Named New York State National Geographic Bee Semifinalist by National Geographic Society
Over the course of several months, the students worked together in small groups to build and test their interactive and innovative projects, engaging in problem solving along the way. Creativity was also a critical component of their work in the labs, and the Lower Campus art and science teachers worked together to help the students collaborate on their projects.
When the day of the STEAM Fair arrived, the Sky Room was filled with eager students who served as hosts and experts for their projects. As parents, faculty, staff, and other students visited each table, the student hosts happily shared their knowledge.
Project based learning is marvelously messy and complicated. It lies at the heart of RCS because it builds the habits of mind that are essential to learning. This is abundantly evident in the STEAM Fair projects. The students are given the gift of time to struggle a bit to figure things out and make them work. As they do so, they express their ideas artistically, as well as verbally and in writing; they apply scientific concepts as they build models that represent their ideas; and they negotiate leadership roles around a common goal through collaborative teamwork. Each lesson learned builds the foundation that will sustain a passion for exploration and problem solving throughout their lives.
RCS Girls Win Their 100th Basketball Game
Rippowam Cisqua School 6th Grader Zachary Breault has been named a New York State National Geographic Bee Semifinalist by the National Geographic Society. Zachary will compete in the state level competition of the National Geographic Bee which will be held on Friday, March 27 in Albany, NY. This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 27th year. Each January, Rippowam Cisqua School is one of thousands of schools in the United States that participates in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society.
Every Rippowam Cisqua School student in grades 5 through 8 participated in this year’s Geography Bee. After several rounds of competition, including a “live” finals round held in the Crosby-Fiala Playhouse on the Upper Campus on February 5th, Zachary emerged as the 2015 Rippowam Cisqua School Geography Bee champion. As a school champion, Zachary was invited to take the qualifying test to determine whether he would be invited to compete at the state level. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools, and U.S. territories to compete in the state Bees. One winner from each state and territory will advance to the national competition, which will be held May 11-13 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Good Luck Zack!!!
Over the past seven years, the RCS Girls Varsity Basketball team has a record of 100-6! They reached their 100th win today with a victory over Resurrection, and the team closed out the regular season with only one loss! Congratulations to all of the players on a great season, and also to Coach Morrissey on a great season and a tremendous milestone!