RCS Sixth Grade Students Visit Yale Art Gallery
Rippowam Cisqua Seventh Graders Visit Sugar Hill Farm and Learn About Access to Healthy Foods
Last week the sixth graders boarded a bus to the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut to participate in a guided tour of the ancient art galleries, specifically to view the art of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. They had the opportunity to enrich their studies of these two ancient civilizations by seeing original works of art from the different time periods. The students were guided throughout the galleries to observe and sketch ancient pots depicting daily life and ancient culture, and they sat in an ancient shrine to the gods and interpreted the various symbols and colors. All of the students were guided through an analysis of a painting depicting a scene of ancient Rome. In addition to the museum visit, they had the opportunity to spend time on the campus of Yale University and then enjoyed world-famous New Haven pizza for lunch. It was a memorable day!
Sixth Graders Volunteer at A-HOME in Katonah
On Friday, May 13, a group of seventh grade volunteers spent their afternoon at Sugar Hill Farm in Bedford Hills, New York. RCS has recently established a service partnership with the Westchester Land Trust's Sugar Hill Farm and, since 2011, a half-acre of this farm has been dedicated to providing crops for the Food Bank for Westchester. All of the produce is grown with the help of dedicated volunteers and distributed to the area residents who experience food insecurity. Last year’s harvest yielded 1,694 pounds of vegetables, the equivalent of 16,886 total servings of fresh nutritious food.
The students worked with Doug Decandia, the Food Growing Project Coordinator for the Westchester County Food Bank, and Kate Sann, Communications and Programs Manager of the Westchester Land Trust. As students rolled up their sleeves to harvest pea shoots and mint for the Community Center of Northern Westchester, they also began to break down stereotypes around hunger issues in the county and started thinking critically about solutions to these social justice issues.
As we were leaving, students expressed an interest in returning in the near future. We are looking forward to the growth of the partnership between RCS and the Westchester Land Trust.
Third Graders Help Local Children Prepare for School
The Rippowam Cisqua School mission includes instilling in students a strong sense of connection to their local community and to the larger world. On Friday, May 13, a group of Rippowam Cisqua sixth grade volunteers spent their afternoon at A-HOME creating hanging plant baskets with flowers donated from the St. Luke’s Church plant sale. These baskets will be distributed to various A-HOME properties throughout the spring. A-HOME is a local nonprofit that, for over 25 years, has responded to our regional needs for affordable housing. Students had the opportunity to learn about the A-HOME program and its mission from the property manager, Gerry Granelli. The students recognized the importance of stepping outside the RCS community and learning about others within our own local community. Our students enjoyed this service opportunity and learned about their neighbors in Katonah and the surrounding towns. Many thanks go to all of the students who contributed to our efforts.
Fourth Graders Sing at Mets Game!
During April, our third grade students spearheaded a Lower Campus collection of new school supplies to benefit local children when they return to school in September. On April 28, the students sorted and packed the supplies and decorated reusable RCS shopping bags to benefit the patrons of the Community Center of Northern Westchester. Our children were reminded of the three T’s of philanthropy and how the giving of their time, talent, and treasure would make a meaningful difference to children in our community. This service learning experience was capped off on April 29 with a voluntary after-school visit to the Community Center and the delivery of the items. Our children felt enormous pride when they learned that RCS had collected and donated 183 pounds of new school supplies — 55 pounds more than last year!
Seventh Graders Volunteer at Blythedale Children's Hospital
Rippowam Cisqua fourth graders sang the national anthem at Citi Field on Monday, May 3 -- what a way to start the game!
The students had been practicing The Star-Spangled Banner with music teacher Lainie Zades for months, but more that one fourth grader admitted after the performance that it wasn’t easy singing in front of such a huge audience! Parents and friends cheered the students from the stands -- the enthusiasm both on and off the field was huge, and all agreed that the singing was superb. Click HERE to watch a video!
A special thanks to Lower Campus teachers Penny Cataldo, Kimberly Fox, and Amanda Goodman, who sang with the fourth graders, and also Ms. Zades, for not only leading on Monday night, but all through the year in the music room!
RCS History Bee Dream Team Makes It to the Regional Finals – and Three History Buffs Advance to the Finals in Chicago!
On April 26, the day before leaving for Philadelphia, a group of seventh grade student volunteers from RCS spent their evening visiting Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. The students made spring flowers and birds with children who are being treated at Blythedale. Rippowam Cisqua School's relationship with Blythedale is in its second year, and this relationship has proved meaningful to both our students and the children staying at the hospital. The students left feeling good about the time they were able to spend with the children at Blythedale and their families. As they reflected, it was clear that the students received just as much as they gave, if not more.
Congratulations to the RCS History Bee dream team! After advancing to the Online Regional Qualifying Exam round, where they took an online exam and competed against other schools, the five-student team took their knowledge of history to the Bridgeport Regional Finals on April 21 at Middlesex Middle School in Darien, CT, and had a fine showing.
RCS Students Attend Diversity Conference
“It was exciting to see the students fighting their nerves by tapping into their love of history and competing well,” said RCS history teacher and curriculum facilitator Amy Stern who, along with RCS social studies teacher Mike Kober, is an RCS History Bee Faculty Advisor.
How did the historians do? Three RCS students emerged as finalists. Matthew Cooper, Will Greve, and Margalit Patry-Martin, all eighth grade students, earned the chance to compete at the National History Bee Finals in Chicago June 9-12! Margalit Patry-Martin made it to the final round of the Regional Finals and earned one of eight championship medals for the evening.
What do Amy Stern and Mike Kober have to say about this year’s dream team?
“We particularly enjoyed the meal that we shared the night before the regional competition, and it was an excellent team bonding session before the big event. It will be sad to say goodbye to this year's team, though we look forward to cheering on our three finalists, Margalit, Matthew, and Will, if they choose to compete in the finals in Chicago in June.”
Greek Agora on the Upper Campus
Last weekend seven RCS students attended the fifth annual Fairchester Middle School Diversity Conference at Rye Country Day School. They joined students in 6th - 8th grades and faculty members from area schools for an interactive conference to explore the importance of identity and diversity. The theme was “The Middle School Mosaic: Identity, Diversity, and Our Multicultural School Communities.” The conference organizers seek to empower middle school students to create inclusive and supportive school communities within their own schools and as a network of Fairchester schools. Students participated in a range of activities including a silent movement exercise and workshops led by upper school students on the subjects of identity, media, stereotypes, privilege, race, and gender. The RCS students participated enthusiastically. They look forward to sharing what they learned and continuing these extremely important social justice conversations.
Winter tech time with Mrs. DiVenuto and Mrs. Bowlus
On Thursday evening, March 3, the Crosby-Fiala Playhouse was transformed into a Greek Agora. In early Greece, the Agora was an open-air (often tented) gathering space for citizens to discuss politics and sell their wares; sixth grade students filled the RCS Agora with their research projects, and they welcomed guests to share their learning experiences.
This event has become a wonderful tradition for RCS students, teachers, and families. The evening serves as a culminating event for the sixth graders' study of ancient Greece. The students donned togas and laurel wreaths as they presented their projects, which included impressive interactive displays on ancient Greek philosophy, theater, government, and all aspects of culture.
This project-based learning includes a five-paragraph-essay in the form of a brochure as students share their research on relevant topics of their choice. Students also demonstrated knowledge through recreating an artifact/artistic object, creating a poster, or making an online presentation using Prezi.
All of the students' hard work came together at the Agora; they became teachers and shared their expertise with parents, friends, and faculty. We are so proud of our sixth graders. They are thespians, scholars, and historians, enriching our community while having a blast in the process. Let the learning and the fun continue!
Eighth Grade Engineers Visit SUNY Maritime
During the first half of Winter tech class fifth and sixth grade students started their exploration of 3D printing using Tinkercad. Tinkercad is an easy-to-use 3D CAD design tool. After working through the tutorials in Project Ignite, an easy-to-use online app for makers, fifth and sixth grade students used Tinkercad to try their hands at designing. There were several projects to choose from, including making a ring (real gem not included), a keychain, a house, or a castle. Students then went on to create their own designs such as trains, creatures of various sorts, candy molds, name plates, variations of the Star Wars theme, jewelry boxes and skeletons, to name a few. Using Project Ignite again, the students worked through the tutorial “Getting Started with Electricity.” We then used littleBits which are small electronic building blocks that snap together with magnets, making it easy to invent things with sensors, fans, lights and more. Small groups worked on projects such as making an electronic bubble blower, a house with lights and a windmill that turned, animals with moving parts, signs that light up, and some funny faces, again with moveable parts. Everyone involved displayed their talents as designers and engineers of the future.
On February 17th, the eighth grade engineers visited the SUNY Maritime College training ship, EMPIRE STATE IV. They descended steep ladders into the upper and lower engine rooms, traveled through shaft alley, and went up to the after steering hydraulics room. Students toured the emergency diesel generator room, the capstan room, the main deck, fo'c'sle, and bridge. Five senior cadets led the tours and answered questions. Cadet Kyle Weiss said that he was impressed with our students' knowledge of the steam plant and the ship terms.
We are the only school allowed to tour the training ship after the new security regulations went into effect. This is because our students are studying ship engineering, and they are focused on the same ship systems that the cadets master at the Maritime College.
One comment that summarized the general impression our eighth grade engineers took from the field trip: "I wish we had more time on the ship. It all went by too quickly." The students are completing the designs of their nuclear powered research submarine. This excursion helped them to see and experience the size, placement, function, and control of shipboard machinery as well as the general arrangement of watertight compartments.