Our History

1917: Founded by a group of six prominent local women in response to a lack of adequate education options for their daughters, the Bedford-Rippowam School first opened its doors on Wednesday, September 19, 2917.

  • The original class of 16 girls met daily in the Van Rensselaer home at 10 Clinton Road. Enrollment increased when the Bedford School for Boys closed in the early 1920’s and Rippowam became coed. Soon after that, the School moved to its present location on the corner of Cantitoe Street and Clinton Road in Bedford.
  • Athletics were integrated in 1927 and quickly became a major part of school life.
  • Edward Trudeau Thomas became the headmaster in 1935, and rapidly built Rippowam into a first-rate educational institution. After World War II, the arrival of headmaster Walter F. Wyeth marked a new era in Rippowam’s history. Mr. Wyeth would serve for twenty-five years, collecting an extraordinary faculty, and cultivating a prestigious reputation for the School.

1942: Meanwhile, a very different sort of school was flourishing, only a couple miles away.

  • In 1942, Mrs. Jean Tilt led a group of Mount Kisco parents to found The Cisqua School, for the purpose of educating their youngest children.
  • Cisqua’s first schoolhouse was the Parish House of St. Mark’s Church. After outgrowing two other sites, the School finally found a permanent home at the current RCS Lower Campus on West Patent Road in Mount Kisco.
  • From its inception, Cisqua was a vastly different place than Rippowam. While Rippowam was conservative and traditional, Cisqua was progressive and inclusive with a unique child-centered philosophy.

1972: In 1972 the two schools merged combining Rippowam’s rigorous curriculum and exceptional faculty with Cisqua’s nurturing, child-centric education philosophy to create Rippowam Cisqua School.

  • The Cisqua Campus on West Patent Road became the RCS Lower Campus serving PreKindergarten through fourth grade and the Rippowam Campus became the School’s Upper Campus serving fifth through ninth grade.
  • In 2017, Rippowam Cisqua School renovated its Upper Campus to create a unique learning environment for middle school students. This renovation includes a new 2,400 square-foot Innovation Center, Library and Media Center, Dining Hall, flexible classrooms, and outdoor amphitheater.
  • Today, Rippowam Cisqua School is known for its unique balance of tradition and innovation and its commitment to providing an exceptional education in a nurturing, child-centric environment.

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  • Centennial News

    Friday Night Lights Family Carnival


    Rippowam Cisqua School’s Centennial Celebration weekend kicked off on October 13 with the Friday Night Lights Family Carnival. School pride was in abundance as over 750 members of the RCS community gathered on Meyers Fields to celebrate 100 years of Rippowam Cisqua School.

    Centennial Celebration Chair Cyndi Azima and the Friday Night Lights Family Carnival Committee including Mimi Freund, Angela Hackett, Suzanne O’Callaghan, and Allyson Pachios along with an army of volunteers, transformed Meyers Fields with beautiful fall themed decorations that set the perfect tone for a magical evening. Lining the fields were carnival games, a 40-foot inflatable obstacle course, the Golf Hippo, face painting tables, popcorn, water and lemonade stands, our two RCS bouncy houses, and the alumni Beer Tent.

    Food trucks added to the excitement and record amounts of pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, and tacos were served. Students, parents, alums, and faculty members all cheered on our Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls soccer teams in their matches against strong teams from Greenwich. As the sun went down, the DJ had everyone dancing and the photo booth was a hit with young and old. The Dunk Tank proved to be the most popular attraction as students lined up for the chance to “Drop a Teacher in the Tank.”

    As night fell, everyone gathered in the center of Field 2 as RCS Director of Innovation Miles Cameron lit the bonfire, which burst spectacularly into flame and brought the perfect end note to a incredible evening.
     

    Rippowam Cisqua School Centennial Gala: The Party of the Century


    The Party of the Century lived up to its billing when over 620 members of the RCS community capped off the Centennial Celebration Weekend at a record-breaking Centennial Gala on October 14. The newly renovated Upper Campus was the perfect venue for an evening devoted to honoring Ripp’s past and celebrating the bright future ahead. More than 150 alums spanning seven decades, some having travelled from as far aways as California and Texas, joined scores of faculty and former faculty members, and hundreds of current and past parents at the sold-out event.

    Guests were greeted in Centennial Hall and then made their way past the newly installed Wall of History to the Amphitheater where cocktails were served al fresco under the glow of luminous balloons and twinkling lights. The evening quickly took on a festive atmosphere as old friends were reunited.

    Centennial Celebration Chair Cyndi Azima and Gala Committee members Brett Cameron, Jaclene Ginnel, Sam O’Brien, and Hadley Scully selected an elegant 1920s-inspired art deco theme in decorating the Gala tent that glowed in rose and amber hues. Mercury glass and peacock feathers added a classic yet whimsical element to each table. The sparkler topped, multi-tiered birthday cake, glittering photo booth, and rocking 12-piece band matched the celebratory mood of the evening. And it was well past midnight when the final candles were extinguished and the last guests said goodnight the perfect ending to a weekend long celebration that was 100 years in the making.

    Click HERE to view a selection of photos from the Friday Night Lights Family Carnival and the Centennial Gala.
     
    Will Reeve '07 Returns to RCS to Kick-Off Centennial Speaker Series

    RCS alum Will Reeve '07 returned to the Upper Campus in March to speak with students about his career at ESPN and his work for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. In honor of the School’s one-hundredth academic year, the assembly kicked off the RCS Centennial Speaker Series – a series of talks that will give a number of alumni the opportunity to share their stories over the next 15 months.

    Will’s talk focused on his personal journey, his love of sports, writing, and storytelling – all of which led to his career at ESPN where he is a contributor to SportsCenter. Will also spoke about losing both of his parents while he was a student at Rippowam Cisqua, and the importance of carrying on his parents' legacy at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Will is an Ambassador and Board Member for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which benefits those affected by spinal cord injuries. He is also a leader of the Reeve Foundation Champions Committee, which is dedicated to fostering multigenerational involvement in the cause. In November 2016, Will raised over $38,000 for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation by running, as part of Team Reeve, in the New York City Marathon.

    “You can learn more from struggle and loss than from success. That’s the time when you get to look into your own self and figure out how to overcome and get better and to grow. The best of us keep trying to grow every day.”
    – Will Reeve '07, at the March 7 assembly


     
    Will is the recipient of the 2017 Rippowam Cisqua School Distinguished Alumni Award, which was presented to him by Bill Barrett, who has been a teacher, coach, and friend to Will for many years. 

    To view the assembly that inspired students, faculty, alums, and parents, please click HERE.
  • Centennial Videos

    RCS Centennial Speaker Series Presents Will Reeve '07. Click the image below to view the VIDEO.




    Centennial Skating Party. Click the image below to view the VIDEO.




    RCS alum, Alex Pall '00 from the Chainsmokers sent RCS a Centennial shout out. To view click HERE.




RCS Traditions

Traditions matter at Rippowam Cisqua School. As an institution with a 100-year history, our traditions are an important part of the life and legacy of our school. Our traditions foster leadership, sportsmanship, creativity, and camaraderie and remind students that they are part of something larger than themselves.