Each year, RCS students in grades 7 through 9 are invited to submit their work to the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative students. Students in grades 7 through 12 from both private and public schools across the country submit work that is blindly judged by leaders in the visual and literary arts who look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Selections from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are published in the National Catalog and The Best Teen Writing, which are distributed free of charge to schools and libraries nationwide. Works have also appeared in Scholastic publications including The Best Young Writers & Artists in America (PUSH), Scope magazine, Junior Scholastic magazine, Scholastic Art magazine, and New York Times Upfront magazine. Writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Maya Goldberg, and Joyce Carol Oates are all national Scholastic Writing Awards alumni.
All submissions are judged and awarded regionally and all regional Gold Key winners are automatically entered into the national contest where their work is judged against other Gold Key winners from across the country. Each year, numerous RCS students are recognized at the regional level for their achievement in writing. In 2014, after being awarded a Gold Key at the regional level, RCS student Mairead Kilgallon was awarded a national Gold Medal in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category for her story, “The Ghost Singer.”
The 2015 regional Scholastic Awards were announced on February 2. In the Hudson to Housatonic writing region, which serves teens from nine suburban-NYC counties (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Ulster, and Dutchess in New York; and Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven in Connecticut), 142 Gold Keys, 208 Silver Keys, and 313 Honorable Mentions were selected from over 1500 submitted works. Twenty nine students from Rippowam Cisqua School earned awards in this region including three Gold Keys, nine Silver Keys, and seventeen Honorable Mentions. The 2015 Scholastic National Medalists will be announced on March 16.
Sarah Bonnem, 8th Grade, Gold Key in Poetry
Charlotte Maerov, 8th Grade, Gold Key in Poetry
Cameron Hackett, 7th Grade, Gold Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Mairead Kilgallon, 9th Grade, Silver Key in Poetry
Jack Kovensky, 8th Grade, Silver Key in Journalism
Jinjee Denner, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Isabella Giordano, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Ethan Karas, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Daisy Lawrence, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Morgan LeBrun, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Annabel Lee, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Sami Rifai-Loewenberg, 7th Grade, Silver Key in Personal Essay/Memoir
Foundations of Education - Thursday, January 29th
Caroline Carpenter, 9th Grade, Honorable Mention in Flash Fiction
Jake Stahl, 9th Grade, TWO Honorable Mentions in Poetry
Karina Badey, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Poetry
Nicholas Beaumont, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Short Story
Blake Cote, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Personal Essay/Memoir
Brian Fridie, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Personal Essay/Memoir
Julia Gastone, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Short Story
George Lawrence, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Science Fiction/Fantasy
Ned Mattison, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Personal Essay/Memoir
Prince Millett-Barrett, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Personal Essay/Memoir
Paige Nespole, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Poetry
Eric Oschner, 8th Grade, Honorable Mention in Short Story
RCS Builds Community this Holiday Season
Rippowam Cisqua School’s Foundations of Education Series kicks off its eighth year on Thursday, January 29 at 9:30am
with a visit from educator, author, and NY Times
columnist Jessica Lahey who will discuss The Gift of Failure: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation and Resilience in Kids. In her lecture, Jessica will explore the best ways to motivate students to own their education and develop grit and resilience, as well as share current research on autonomy-supportive parenting and teaching.
Jessica Lahey (www.jessicalahey.com
) is an educator, writer, and speaker. She has been a middle- and high school teacher of English, Latin, and writing for over a decade. She writes the bi-weekly "Parent-Teacher Conference" advice column for the New York Times
and her work appears regularly in the Atlantic
and on Vermont Public Radio. Her article, "Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail," went viral in early 2013 and became the genesis of her forthcoming book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
, which will be published in August by HarperCollins.
Rippowam Cisqua School’s critically acclaimed Foundations of Education Series is a dynamic program featuring informative lectures on how to raise successful, lifelong learners. The lectures are free and open to the public. All lectures take place on the Lower Campus, which is located at 325 West Patent Road, Mount Kisco, New York. For more information, please contact Ryan Smith at 914-244-1292 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fourth Grade Engineers Visit the Upper Campus
Service-learning activities at Rippowam Cisqua School offer our students the opportunity to consider social justice issues, to think critically about these social justice issues and, as a result, to take informed action within the School, local, and global community. This holiday season, Rippowam Cisqua’s Upper Campus students and staff collected over 1,000 nonperishable food items for Neighbors Link and the Community Center of Northern Westchester.
In addition, students and teachers brought in sets of new pajamas and raised money to purchase sleepwear. The Upper Campus community donated over 150 new pajamas to the Community Center of Northern Westchester’s Share the Warmth drive. Through these activities, students become aware of their own gifts and welcome the opportunity to share with their neighbors. Students, faculty, and staff look forward to continuing to partner with Neighbors Link and the Community Center of Northern Westchester in the future. Many thanks to all who participated in this very successful holiday drive.
RCS World Languages Department Launches iPad Pilot Program for Grades 7-9
On November 12th and December 9th, fourth grade students traveled to the Upper Campus to meet with physics teacher, Charlie Duveen, at the Rippowam Applied Physics Laboratory. Given only a few materials — a helium filled gas container (balloon), a platform (Dixie cup), shroud and tether lines (sewing thread), ballast (a lump of clay), and adhesive (masking tape) — these young engineers worked in teams to construct and test the slowest-rising launch vehicle.
As part of their math lessons on velocity, the objective for each design team was to create its own unique launch vehicle and to collect the necessary data (distance traveled and time) so that the team could calculate the vehicle's upward velocity. In his briefing to the students, Mr. Duveen told them that the key to success in meeting this challenge was to work as a team. "Good teammates," he said, "help each other to solve problems, supporting one another, even when things go wrong."
There are four reasons why this task is especially challenging. First, the vehicle must continuously rise until it reaches the ceiling; secondly, the only variable to change velocity is the amount of ballast; thirdly, in any engineering venture, stuff goes wrong. All the teams had only ten minutes to complete the build and test phases of this project while recording the time-of-flight for several test trials. Finally, it is easy to make a fast launch vehicle, but creating the slowest, continuously-rising vehicle is a real trick. This is pretty much how engineers bring applied physics and mathematics together.
This particular challenge took some real teamwork. Through thick and thin, the design teams persevered, recording data over several trials, and adjusting the ballast on successive launches to improve its performance.
As we all know too well, not every engineering project goes smoothly. Some teams lost the gas container and had penalty points to pay for getting another one to replace it. One team's launch vehicle was complete, and in testing, when the gas container exploded (popped). The team had to start all over with new materials and less time, but prevail they did, as any good team will do, in spite of the setbacks.
Since fourth graders already understood how to use area and perimeter formulas, fourth grade math teacher, Babs Johnson, created activities using the velocity formula. Children ran different distances and used a stop watch to record their times to hundredths of a second. They actually calculated their personal velocity, accurate to two decimal places. Even the concept of acceleration, a change in velocity, came up during their discussions. By the time the fourth grade engineering teams arrived at the Upper Campus to work on launch vehicles, they were experts at the mathematics involved.
Mr. Duveen ended each session with a discussion about helium and balloon safety. The dangers of balloons as a choking hazard to infants is well documented. The helium in industrial cylinders brought into the home must be supervised by adults. The helium itself is not purified for human consumption (inhalation) and the reducer valve on a tank has too much pressure if used to inhale the helium and could damage the lungs.
Babs Johnson coordinated the field trip with 4th grade teachers, Harriet Doniger, Gail Laird, Stephanie Kaplan, and assistant teachers Adrienne Adorno and Eliza Tighe. Penny Jennings, Head of the Lower Campus, came to watch her students working effectively in teams and having fun doing it.
After attending a four day summer conference in Boston on “Technology in the World Language Classroom,” RCS World Language Facilitator, Kathy Perry, returned to school with a mission: to bring iPads into our French, Spanish, and Latin classrooms. “There are so many exciting ways that iPads are being used in language classrooms across the country,” Mrs. Perry explained. “The nimbleness and flexibility of the iPad makes it a great tool for the modern world language classroom. Bringing iPads into my 7th, 8th, and 9th grade Spanish classes has allowed me to engage with students in a new and dynamic way.”
Currently, iPads are being used to enhance classroom learning at RCS in both French and Spanish. Mrs. Perry's fellow language teachers - Mrs. Pleitez, Mrs. Englis, and Mrs. Lespes - also report that integrating iPads into their classrooms has increased students’ engagement in lessons and given them a new way to interact with, and immerse themselves in, the language and culture they are studying.
A sample of the applications currently being tested as part of this pilot program include:
Kahoot! -- Kahoot! is a student response system for creating and administering unique, game-like quizzes. Questions, along with answer choices, are projected onto the classroom SmartBoard while students submit responses from an iPad. It is a compelling and easy way to engage students in pre-assessment activities that give students immediate feedback and allows the teacher to see which material requires extra review before a formal assessment. It is so motivating that students can't wait to play.
ThingLink -- ThingLink for iPad lets you create interactive images instantly. It is a great alternative method of presenting information on a topic. Students can link text, audio clips, video clips, photos, maps, and other information to a single picture, organizing their references. These “ThingLinks” can be created by the teacher ahead of time and uploaded to the homework portal as well. They can also be displayed and shown on the classroom SmartBoard.
Sphere -- Sphere allows students to look at photographs taken in a 360 degree fashion. As they turn right with the iPad, they look to the right in the photo. As they tilt it up, they see the sky. Sphere allows students to feel transported to just about anywhere in the world. Through Sphere, students can visit a street in Paris, a castle in Madrid, a sunny beach in Mexico, or a snow covered bridge in Belgium. This allows for a fantastic new way to teach the prepositions of location, and the language of weather, time of day, and descriptions. The iPad can be linked to the classroom’s SmartBoard so that, as a single student tilts and rotates the iPad, the whole class "sees" the changing view displayed.
Tagul -- Tagul is a word cloud app that allows students to choose a silhouette of a picture and then input related words to create the image. This can be created by the teacher and used by the students to categorize the words or created by the students and used as a visual in a display where they talk about their interests.
In addition, our French and Spanish textbooks have many digital listening, reading comprehension, mapping, and grammar review activities. Bringing iPads into the classroom means that these activities can be done in class, allowing the teacher to circulate and give individual attention and address the areas that each student is struggling to learn, or to individualize review time and activities in class. iPads are also being used as an alternative method of assessing listening skills, and to enhance students’ research and presentation skills.
Mr. Lillis is currently researching a dictionary app that he believes wil
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Upper Campus Grandparents Day
April 9, 2015 8:45 am
Lower Campus Grandparents Day
April 10, 2015 10:00 am
Lower Campus Spring Preview Day
April 16, 2015 9:30 am
Conference Day - NO SCHOOL
April 17, 2015
Earth Day on the Lower Campus
April 22, 2015
Grade 9 Portfolio Night
April 29, 2015 7:00 pm
All School Reception
April 30, 2015 7:00 pm
Walk to Cisqua Day
May 1, 2015
RCS Fun Run
May 3, 2015 11:00 am
May 6, 2015 9:15 am
Grades 7-9 Musical
May 6, 2015 7:00 pm