Placement Services For Current Families

Our Individualized Approach to Secondary School Placement

Rippowam Cisqua School is dedicated to supporting students and parents through every aspect of the placement process. Below you will find detailed information about the services provided by our Placement Office as well as downloads and links to important information about standardized testing and online applications.

List of 7 items.

  • Spring Placement Kick-Off Evening Coffee

    This event takes place in mid-April and is geared toward families who will be entering the placement process in the upcoming school year. The Placement Officers present a comprehensive review of the placement process. Topics include standardized testing, interviewing, touring, online applications, and services provided to families and students during the process. Click HERE to view the April 21, 2020 presentation to parents who are entering the placement process for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Family Meeting with Placement Officer

    Beginning in late April, all families entering the Placement process are encouraged to schedule a private meeting with the appropriate placement officer. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss finding the right “fit” to match the students’ strengths, weaknesses, and areas of interest while complementing the parents’ vision, dreams, and plans. Prior to this meeting, the Placement Officer will have reviewed the student’s permanent file, including report cards and existing standardized testing.
  • Application Management

    RCS manages all aspects of teacher and supplemental recommendations including supplying forms and releases to families, working with teachers to be sure that all recommendations speak in harmony, and compiling grades and transcripts, and delivering these documents to secondary schools.
    Application materials that are the responsibility of the family include: fee, essays, short answers, graded writing sample (if applicable), parent statement, biographical info, photograph, etc. Parents must also send selected SSAT scores electronically to each admissions office. 

    Application materials that are sent by RCS include: cover letter, placement counselor recommendation letter and form, current English teacher recommendation letter and form, current math teacher recommendation letter and form, optional additional recommendation letter(s), grades, transcripts.

    Each school typically requires at least two teacher recommendations. Because our teachers know your child so well, they are able to provide thoughtful, in-depth insights that provide a unique profile of your child and help them stand out from the broader applicant pool.
  • Interview and Tour Preparation and Practice

    To help students prepare for the one-on-one interactions required of most schools, the placement officers meet with each student privately to discuss their interests and give tips on tours and interviews.

    • RCS allots two days in the Fall for ninth grade students to visit schools. Visit days are excused absences.
    • RCS conducts a mock interview with each student prior to their first school visit. This is an opportunity to practice interview skills and to receive constructive feedback that will help them perform their best during their school interview.
    • Students will be asked by their placement counselor to complete a self-reflection as a means to prepare for visits and interviews, as well as to focus on applications. 
    • Prior to each school visit, your placement counselor will send a letter of introduction on your child’s behalf to the admissions offices.
    • Students are encouraged to send a brief thank you note to the admissions officer with whom them met; sending this note via email is acceptable, and this may be an ideal moment for students to create an email address that can be used for correspondence through high school, college, and beyond. (Students should not use their RCS email addresses, as external emails cannot be received.)
  • Q&A Sessions

    Join Placement Directors Ridley Sperling and Brooks Eleck on October 29 at 8:30 a.m. on the Upper Campus for a Q&A session. This is an important event at which parents will receive step-by-step instruction on navigating the various online application sites such as Gateway, SAO, and Ravenna. 

    Our next Q&A session is scheduled for
    January 28 at 8:30 a.m. on the Upper Campus. This session will cover managing expectations and myths, as well as how to navigate the final phases of the placement process.
  • Parental Support

    The Placement Office hopes to support parents as well as students. Families are encouraged to schedule private meetings with the Placement Officers as often as necessary. Additionally, the Placement Office is available by phone and email, as needed.

    The Placement Office also publishes a monthly newsletter filled with important information and helpful tips for navigating the placement process.

  • Standardized Testing Administration and Support

    Seventh Graders:

    RCS administers and pays for the administration of a "benchmark" SSAT to all seventh graders in the spring of their seventh-grade year to expose students to standardized testing and to establish a baseline for each student. These scores are unofficial and are received by RCS to use simply as an internal tool to begin to think about the placement process for each student. As per SSAT’s policy, “Benchmark scores may not be reported to families or other score recipients.” The placement officers, however, are happy to discuss scores on an individual basis during our one-on-one meetings. 

    Eighth and Ninth Graders:

    RCS also administers and pays for the administration of an SSAT “flex” test for all RCS eighth and ninth grade students. This test is administered during school each November. A student may only take one Flex test in a testing year (August 1 - July 31). After taking a Flex test, any additional SSATs you take in the same testing year must be Standard tests. 

    RCS is host site for Standard tests in both December and January. Registration and payment for these tests are the responsibility of the family. Please designate RCS (code: 6046) as a score recipient. 
    Testing Accommodations: 

    If you know your child receives testing accommodations of any sort on standardized tests, or you think your child might receive testing accommodations of any sort on standardized tests, please contact Heather Levinson prior to registration.

    If applicable, parents will need to request specific accommodations and receive approval prior to being able to register for any test. This also impacts RCS's ability to register said student for the November flex test. Once parents make the request for Special Accommodations online through the SSAT website (, Heather Levinson, as the "approver", will receive an email detailing the requested accommodations, which can either be approved or denied based on the student's testing on file. Once approved, parents will receive confirmation and can then register for any test and will be granted accommodations for any administration during that academic year.

    Please contact Emily Khan at with any questions about this process for your child.

    Test Preparation: 

    RCS has contracted Test Innovators to offer an SSAT Prep Class throughout the fall. This course meets twice a week during the school day and offers the opportunity for significant online independent practice via diagnostic tests, question banks, performance analysis, and tracking. This course will also support students in developing test-taking strategies. The test prep course is optional and incurs a separate fee.

Questions? Contact:

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Ridley Sperling

    Ridley Sperling 

    Director of Secondary School Placement, Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Grade 9 Capstone
  • Photo of Brooks Eleck

    Brooks Eleck 

    Associate Director of Secondary School Placement, Humanities, Language Arts/Writing
Rippowam Cisqua School
439 Cantitoe Street 
Bedford, NY 10506
phone: (914) 244-1250
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
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