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, 1917. 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 co-ed. 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.
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.
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. 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.