January 24, 2019

Mark Your Calendar 

    • Tri-M Honor Society Coffee House: Wednesday, January 29 | Nautilus | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m
    • Chinese New Year Celebration: Thursday, January 30 | Gym | 11:05 – 11:45 a.m.
    • 8th Grade Quebec Trip: Thursday, January 30 – Sunday, February 2
    • The Mad Dash Author Visit: Friday, January 31 | Library | 11:00 – 11:40 a.m.
    • RHCD in NYC: Friday, January 31 | Dorian Red Hand, New York City | 6:30 p.m.
    • Athletics Banners Unveiling: Friday, January 31 | Various Locations on Campus | from 4:30 p.m.
    • Middle School Art Show: February 10-14 | Middle School Commons (Hale)
    • Empty Bowls Middle School Art Reception: Tuesday, February 11 | Hale | 5:00 p.m.

Spring Break College Tour
We are excited to announce a three day tour of colleges in Western Massachusetts, led by the director of college counseling, Ms. Tara Dowling. Students will visit a wide range of colleges (size, type, cost, selectivity), and learn about the benefits of each. In addition, students will spend time in the company of their college counselor who will use ‘down time’ to teach them how to evaluate a college. Tips will include how students should conduct themselves on a visit, suggest questions to ask a tour guide, how to develop a sense of fit with a college, and how to distinguish one college from another.

Trips will set off from RHCD early in the morning, and return in the late afternoon or early evening. Cost is $235 per student, and includes expert guidance, transportation, lunch and snacks, and one group dinner.

Please contact Ms. Dowling if financial aid is needed.

DAY 1: Monday, March 9
UMASS Amherst Amherst, MA: large, state flagship, very selective
Amherst College Amherst, MA: small, highly selective, liberal arts

DAY 2: Tuesday, March 10
Clark University Worcester, MA: medium, selective, progressive, liberal arts
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA: medium, liberal arts, very selective, Catholic

DAY 3: Wednesday, March 11
Trinity College Hartford, CT: small, highly selective, liberal arts
Nichols College, Dudley, MA: small, private, moderately selective, business specialty

2020-2021 Re-Enrollment Agreements
Just a note that re-enrollment agreements will be coming soon. Your agreement will be sent to the email address we have on file for you. Please take a moment and confirm that we have the correct information in the Family Portal under Household Update.

RHCD Leads the Way!
We already knew this… but it’s always nice to be recognized! Earlier in the month, Rocky Hill Country Day School was ranked in the Top Ten of Niche’s 100 best Rhode Island schools. Check out the full list on Patch.com!

Head of School to Present at AISNE Head’s Retreat
Head of School, Mrs. Diane Rich, will be presenting/facilitating at AISNE’s 2020 Heads’ Retreat on Wednesday, January 29. More in the next edition of eCurrents!

Think Outside: Announcing the RHCD Blog 
As with everything at Rocky Hill Country Day School, the concept of Think Outside is a global mindset driven by innovation, transformative education, and project-based learning. Accordingly, we developed a thought leadership blog designed to convey and illustrate the depth and scope behind the RHCD family. With all that in mind, Rocky Hill Country Day School is excited to announce the RHCD thought leadership blog, Think Outside released twice a month. Read the first post, Rocky Hill Country Day: Home of Transformative Education, authored by Head of School, Diane Rich.

 Join us next week when Lower School teacher, Charles Laurent takes a “A Look Inside The Classroom: How To Encourage Disruptive Learning By Saying ”Yes”

What They Still Carry: Experiences of War
Mrs. Buecheler’s and Mrs. Bel Snyman’s Junior English class recently completed “What They Still Carry: Experiences of War,” an interview-based project that recorded the experiences of combat and non-combat veterans. The culmination of the project saw the students exhibit creative responses to their findings at the Varnum Armory in East Greenwich. The aim of the exhibition is to encourage dialogue between civil and military societies by creating an understanding of the effects that war can have on the human body, mind, and relationships.

The exhibition runs January 23-30; we encourage everyone to visit and experience this important and unique civic presentation.

Jannessa Y. ’22 and Anand B. ’22 interviewed and wrote the story of Rodrigo Pimentel, a young Dreamer and DACA recipient.

Sharing Voices Exhibition
On January 17, Sophomore English students launched the Sharing Voices exhibition; the culmination of a PBL module focusing on the immigrant and refugee experience in contemporary America. Under the guidance of Upper School English teacher, Bel Snyman, the exhibition focuses on what the students discovered about themselves and others.

Finn Y. (left) and Mia Z. (right) with interviewee Louisa C., P18, and P21.

The interactions celebrated the power of the human spirit and the kindness of strangers, but most significantly, the students learned about determination and never giving up.

Students were reminded of all the ways that we are different, yet also what we have in common. As they reflected on their identities, the students discovered what it means to negotiate one’s identity and claim one’s new sense of place. While the experiences of the interviewees varied greatly, a single thread came to the surface; one of service and a desire to give back to the society that welcomed them.

Carl no quiere ir a Mexico
As part of learning on identity, Mrs. Bernardinos 7th Grade Spanish students read the book, Carl No Quiere Ir a México. The story centers around Carl who leaves Colorado and travels to Mexico with his family. Carl feels anxious about not knowing Spanish and not belonging. In the end, all turns out well.

On January 10th, the class shared the culmination of the project during the 4th Grade World Languages and Culture class. 7th graders shared their understanding of the story, their first reading totally in Spanish, and the 4th graders had fun while learning some new words in the language. After reading the book in groups, students created a different front cover, rewrote the book in Spanish, and created an interactive game to go along with the experience. 

Stefy A, Grade 11 “The Last Ones” Oil Painting (Silver Key)

Scholastic Art Competition
Congratulations to our students who participated in the Scholastic Art Competition! The Art Show and Ceremony took place at Rhode Island College on January 19th at 2 p.m., with pieces on display throughout the event. Here are all the RHCD winners:

Jasper S., Grade 11. (Silver, Ceramics)

Jasper S. (Grade 11): 1 Silver Key, 1 Gold Key
Cole L. (Grade 12): 1 Silver Key, Ceramics
Sam W. (Grade 12): 1 Silver Key, Ceramics
George K. (Grade 12): Gold Key, Ceramics
Molly P. (Grade 10): 1 Silver Key, Drawing
Stefy A. (Grade 11):  2 Silver Keys, Drawing

Safe Sports School 

Breaking news… for the second time, Rocky Hill Country Day School has received a Safe Sports School Award, as determined by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). The recognition spans the years 2020-2023. More to come in the next edition of eCurrents!

Lady Mariners Victorious!
On Tuesday 14, the RHCD Lady Mariners basketball team traveled to Brown University to take on SENE rival, Providence Country Day. A hotly contested match throughout, the Mariners played some impressive basketball and emerged eventual winners, seeing out the game 50-38!

So Close…
After a long and successful debut season, RHCD eSports team was narrowly defeated by Tiverton High School in the league’s semifinal earlier in the month. After losing the first of three encounters, the players regrouped, re-evaluated, and took the second game 33-14. However, after some enthralling RHCD play, Tiverton won a key fight in the third to push their advantage and close the series. Fighting to the end; the very embodiment of the Mariner Way!

RHCD Alumna and North Kingston Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Links-Up with Governor Raimondo for #WindWinRI Program

On January 20, RHCD alumna and Executive Director of North Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Kristin Urbach 87, introduced Governor Raimondo at the Chamber’s #windwinri program. The project commits all of Rhode Island to be powered by renewable electricity by 2030. Learn more on the project here.

Tri-M Honor Society Coffee House
Enjoy an evening showcasing the musical talents of RHCD students to raise money for the Australian wildfires. The showcase will take place in the Flynn Nautilus on Wednesday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Chinese New Year Celebration
Join us on Thursday, January 30, to ring in the Chinese New Year! 2020 is the Year of the Rat, the first of the repeating 12-year cycle of animals in the Chinese zodiac. The celebration starts at 11:05 a.m. in the Gym.

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple!
Join us in NYC on January 31 for a Rocky Hill Social at Dorrian’s Red Hand in the heart of downtown Manhattan. All members of the Rocky Hill community are welcome to join for a festive evening and an opportunity to connect and network with area alumni, former faculty, parents, grandparents, and friends of the School. Complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Thank you to Amy Archambault Dorrian ’94 for hosting us in the private bar! Register on Veracross.

Athletics Banners Unveiling
Thanks to the generosity of the Boosters, the Athletics department will be unveiling the championship banners for the 2019 Girls Lacrosse State Championship and the 2019 Boys Soccer New England Championship (as well as the rebranded 2011 Boys Soccer New England Championship banner) during basketball halftimes on January 31. The Boys Soccer will be unveiled during the half-time of the girls game (approximately 4:30 p.m.), with the Girls Lacrosse during the half-time of the boys basketball game (approximately 6:00 p.m.).

Flu Season
It is that time of year again when the flu is spreading. The Rhode Island Department of Health has noted an increase in the strain B version of the flu. Receiving a flu vaccine will lessen the severity of the flu, but may not completely protect you from strain B. Strain B is highly contagious and appears to initially have cold-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, cough, runny nose/sneezing, fatigue, or muscle aches. If you child is showing these symptoms, please keep them home. We recommend that you also have them seen by a doctor. Please do not send your child back to school until they have been without a fever for 24 hours.

Washing your hands often, getting plenty of sleep and drinking lots of fluids are good ways to prevent the flu or colds.

Yearbook Tributes
Attention parents of Seniors! Want to see your child in print? Order a full, half, or quarter page yearbook tribute! Sign up on Veracross, and follow the prompts to complete your order. Send designs/photographs to Dr. Katy Basu by February 14, 2020. Images must be in .jpg or .pdf. format, with a resolution of 300 DPI or higher.

Send us your news!

Email a description and photo to Social@rockyhill.org, please add eCurrents to the subject line.

December 20 2019

Mark Your Calendar 

    • Winter Solstice: Friday, December 20 | School Closes and Classes Dismissed at 12:00 p.m.
    • Home for the Holidays Alumni Social: Friday, December 27th | 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Apponaug Brewing Company in Warwick.
    • Winter Break: Monday, December 23 – Friday, January 3, 2020 | NO SCHOOL
    • Term Starts: Monday, January 6, 2020

(New) Wheels on the Bus
A new school bus hit the asphalt last week after longstanding driver, Bill Langlois, cut the ribbon at a special ceremony on campus. The contemporary interpretation of the classic Blue Bird Micro is built on a robust Chevrolet 4500 chassis, and will be used to safely and comfortably ferry RHCD students for many years to come! Thank you to everyone who donated funds to purchase this essential piece of school equipment.

P-P-P-P-enguin Plunge (Brrrrr!)

The Penguin Plunge crew moments before the big dive!

On the chilly afternoon of December 12, a group of brave students and staff took to the frigid water of Narragansett Bay to participate in a charity penguin plunge. The funds raised were donated to the Special Olympics RI in support of their own penguin plunge, taking place on January 1st. Congratulations (and kudos) to all those who took part and thanks to the Interact Club for organizing the event!

Registration Open for Winter After School Programs
After School Programs at RHCD, previously RHEA, provide academic, artistic, and athletic opportunities for PreK-5 students in the community. A variety of engaging ​programs​ are offered, Monday through Thursday (mornings and afternoons), led by highly qualified and talented RHCD faculty members and other professionals in the area.

​Winter Session Basics

    • Courses start the week of January 13th
    • Courses run from 3:20-4:30 p.m. (unless otherwise specified)
    • ​Register by Friday, January 10, 2020

Winter ​Programs

    • Crystal Creations (K-3)
    • Toy Hack Club (3-5)
    • Learn to Play Violin (K-2)
    • Baking and Crafts (K-5)
    • Sewing (3-8)
    • Full STEAM Ahead (2-5)
    • Pottery (1-5)
    • Winter Adventure Club (2-5)
    • Mindful Moving and Making (K-5)
    • Theatre by the Bay (3-5)

​For more program information and to register​: Click Here! Be sure to use the login page to register if you have already set up a Veracross account. Contact Mrs. Pontarelli, Head of Lower School, with questions.

Reminder: Financial Aid Applications
Financial Aid applications for the 2019 – 2020 school year are due by December 31, 2019. Parents should use their income tax information from 2018.

Solstice Sweet Swap!
The RHCD Parent Teacher League baked up a storm for a Solstice Sweets Swap! Faculty and staff members received holiday cookies courtesy of our generous parents making this winter break even sweeter.

Winter Celebration with Head of School
On the afternoon of December 19, Head of School Diane Rich invited faculty and staff into her home to celebrate the closing of an incredible and memorable year at Rocky Hill Country Day. Here are some photographs from the occasion.

Building Blocks of Success: First LEGO League Qualifying Tournament at RHCD
At Rocky Hill Country Day School, students are encouraged to solve real world problems, and last week this ethos was once again brought to life as the School participated in FIRST LEGO League Robotics State Qualifier, hosted on campus.

The Robo Mariners developed an eco-walk material using recycled and home-made bioplastic. The Team will compete in the Statewide finals in January 2020!

Competing against 12 other teams, The Robo Mariners grappled with the issues surrounding asphalt surfaces in cities and towns, and developed an alternative eco-walk material using recycled materials and homemade bioplastic.

Their innovative solution was submitted to a panel of expert judges, alongside a robot named Scorpion that posted the fourth highest overall score in the tournament with 220 points.

In preparation for the State Finals at Roger Williams University on January 11, the team will continue to refine their programming and their innovative “E-Walk” solution. More on this in the next edition of eCurrents!

Thinking Outside About RHCD Trees
Since September, freshmen English, biology, and art foundations classes have been collaborating on a cross-discipline PBL theme titled “Thinking Outside About RHCD Trees”. On Thursday, December 19, the students hosted the “RHCD Tree Fair” to review and discuss their findings. The students also hosted informative walking tours around the campus to present their research within the context of the surroundings.

Constitutional Considerations

Eight grade students with State Representatives discussing the constitutional and safety issues surrounding gun ownership.

Mrs. Cicchese’s eighth grade English class, along with Mr. Greenwood’s eighth grade american government class recently completed a compelling and powerful project-based learning opportunity to address the question: How can we reduce the amount of gun violence in America without violating the constitutional rights of citizens? As a culminating event, the students presented their findings, along with suggestions for solutions, to three Rhode Island state legislators: Justine Caldwell (East Greenwich), Carol McEntee (South Kingstown), and Deb Ruggiero (Jamestown). The eighth grade deeply appreciates the representatives taking time out of their hectic schedules to discuss this important issue.

Cell Membrane Modeling
Thinking outside means many things, including creative ways to convey complex ideas. Recently, seventh grade science applied the engineering design process to their studies by identifying the different parts of a phospholipid bilayer before defining and providing examples of osmosis, simple diffusion, facilitated diffusion, and active transport.

Each student made a model of a semi-permeable membrane, differentiating between passive and active transport, before designing and building a semi-functional model. “The cool thing about this project,” explains Middle School science teacher, Mrs Chartrand, “is that every group’s model is extremely different, yet each can accurately mimic a cell membrane.”

To assess, the students tested the models by moving various symbolic materials through them (sand, beans, pom-poms  etc.). By making a 3-D model, students became aware of the form and function (anatomy and physiology) of organelles and structures that make up a plant or animal cell. They were able to visualize the difference between major cell types by examining their peers’ models.

Future Forum
Innovation is key to our thinking at RHCD, and this was reinforced once more as a group of students took part in the Future Forum, an ideation summit at Hope High School designed to explore issues in Providence public schools and discuss student-derived solutions.

Under the leadership of Mrs. Stowe, Ms. Downling, and Ms. Wheatley, students from RHCD and a host of Providence public schools linked-up with 25 corporate ‘futurists’ from organizations such as DataRobot, Working Planet, ALEX AND ANI, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Brown University, and CVS Health to work through the various challenges raised during the summit. With the long view in mind, the Future Forum also offered participants the opportunity to work with peers of diverse backgrounds to prepare them for the complexities and social variety of the workplace.

Winter Concert Series
Tis’ the season for music! Throughout December, a series of concerts showcasing the musical talents of our students were held both on and off campus. Audiences were treated to a wide and varied spread of pieces, including a traditional South African prayer sung in Xhosa, a selection from the Nutcracker Suite, The Godfather theme tune, Latin carols, and a cover of Des’ree Weekes’ “You Gotta Be.” Talk about talented! Take a well-deserved bow, everyone!

Introducing Mariner Madness
The Athletics and Student Boosters Clubs rounded off a memorable year with a brand new event this December. Dubbed Mariner Madness, the occasion was inspired by Midnight Madness (but at a more reasonable hour!). Festivities began with an indoor tailgate in the cafeteria before switching to the gym for the main event complete with basketball (plus some basketball goofiness) cheered-on by energetic fans in full pep rally mode. This one will definitely be returning next year!

Welcome to the Family!
Dean of Student Life and Upper School French instructor, Madame Elena Rich, and her husband, Patrick, are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Jules Emerson Rich. Jules was born on December 14, right on his due date, and looks forward to becoming a Mariner of the future! Welcome to the RHCD family, Jules.

RHCD Around the World
RHCD’s national and international footprint expanded even further in 2019, as faculty and staff, including Mrs. Dowling, Mrs. Fonseca Lanham, Mrs. Gustavel and Mrs. Bernardino presented at industry conferences.

A Warm Meal for Those in Need
This Christmas Eve, Mrs. Chartland will be supporting the 3rd Annual Christmas Eve Dinner for the Homeless, to be held at Millrace in Woonsocket. The volunteers are still accepting donations of food, money, and gifts (all ages and adult), and welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer their time, too. For more information, or to get involved, please email Mrs. Chartrand.

Limited edition RHCD Mug

The Ceramics Department presents this limited edition #RHCD mug! Mugs are $25 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Scholarship Fund for the China Trip. To purchase a mug, visit the Library and please bring a check for payment.

Send us your news!

Email a description and photo to Social@rockyhill.org, please add eCurrents to the subject line.

December 6

Mark Your Calendar 

    • Mariner Madness: Friday, December 6 | 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. | Cafeteria / Gym
    • 3rd Annual GVBB Mariner Classic: Saturday, December 7 | 10:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. | Gym
    • First LEGO League Qualifying Tournament at RHCD: Sunday, December 8 | 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Gym
    • Gun Violence PBL Presentation: Monday, December 9 | 11:40 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Middle School Commons
    • RHCD Choral Concert Featuring 3rd-12th Grade: Thursday, December 12 |6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Gym
    • New School Bus Ribbon Cutting: Thursday, December 12  | 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
    • Middle School Dance #1: Friday, December 13  | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    • 15 Annual BVBB Mariner Classic: | 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Gym
    • Winter Solstice: Friday, December 20 | School Closes and Classes Dismissed at 12:00 p.m.
    • Winter Break: Monday, December 22 – January 3 2020 | NO SCHOOL

Celebrating 35th Annual Grandfriends Day

The 35th Annual Grandfriends Day was well attended by visitors from across the country.

Grandfriends Day is a hallmark of the School calendar, and 35 years into the tradition, the sense of pride and community is as palpable as ever.  Visitors from across the country gathered to enjoy a bright, fall day on the shores of Narragansett Bay, with one particular individual making the 1,347 mile trek from Sarasota, Florida. The morning began with a spread of coffee, nibbles, and pastries, before grades split off to engage in various activities.

In the art room, Mrs. Dumas held creative activities, while Miss Emily led an energetic dance routine in the music room. Over in Perkins Hall, Ms. Hudson expanded the linguistic repertoire of visitors, while Mr. Wyzga proved, yet again, that science is cool, fun, and educational.

Visitors enjoyed a variety of engaging, hands-on activities.

Joining the excitement were Mr. Laurent in the 4th Grade classroom, Mrs. Seddon in Kindergarten and Mrs. Runci in 5th Grade, while Mr. Tucker held an exciting activity in the gymnasium where the floor had turned to ‘lava’…  Mrs. Lee welcomed visitors to the 1st Grade classroom, with the library becoming a hub of word-based activities.

Grandfriends Day concluded with a series of video presentations and choral sing-a-longs!

The occasion came to an entertaining conclusion back in the Campbell Cafeteria, with a series of videos and sing-a-longs (including a rousing rendition of Dixie Chicks hit, Wide Open Spaces) sending visitors home with a spring in their step.

Introducing the Turkey Trot 

Happy faces abound during our first ever RHCD Turkey Trot!

Something old, now something brand new! The holiday season is known for big family dinners, but that does not mean we need to forget about keeping fit. This Thanksgiving, Lower School took part in the first-ever turkey trot; a mile-long fun run around campus. With the sun shining and the thermometer at a comfortable 40 degrees, participants enjoyed perfect conditions to stretch their legs, all while collecting canned goods that were donated to the North Kingstown Food Pantry.

Holiday Pies from The Parent Teacher League

And something yummy too! The Parent Teacher League celebrated our wonderful faculty and staff with a new Thanksgiving tradition, sending everyone home with a holiday pie from Highland Farm and a card handmade by RHCD students. A truly delicious gift. Thank you PTL.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Parent Teacher League!

Winter Break Bus Services

School will close for the holidays at noon on December 20th. The Rocky Hill Providence and South County bus services will leave at 12:15 p.m. All other bus services are cancelled for the day. Please note: after school care is also unavailable.

Financial Aid Applications

Financial Aid applications for the 2019 – 2020 school year are due by December 31, 2019. Parents should use their income tax information from 2018.

Guadalajara Bracelet Project Update 

In October, Lower School launched their service learning module, with students discovering more about fundamental human needs, and the distinction between community service and service learning. This was supported by the Jesse Lewis Choose Love social-emotional curriculum, designed to transform an upcoming community service project.

Recipients of the Lower School service learning module bracelet project, Guadalajara, Mexico.

Putting their lessons into practice, First Graders, Ellie E. and Joey E., shared information about children living in an impoverished neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico in preparation for their mother, Melissa Edelmann‘s service trip with Culture Care Kids First Foundation. Subsequently, students demonstrated ‘compassion in action’ as they made friendship bracelets for the Mexican children benefiting from the initiative. Melissa Edelmann, Joey & Ellie’s mom, delivered the friendship bracelets, along with crafts and learning supplies to three community centers in the city that seek to offer refuge and love to local children.

Holiday Gift Collection

Middle and Upper Schools are once again fulfilling the holiday wishes of teenagers in need through foster care charity, Communities for People. Middle School advisories will each sponsor a teenager, with the students bringing in a number of items for that specific individual. Going a different route, Upper School advisories are each responsible for a particular category of gift, ranging from Dunkin Donuts gift cards to toiletry kits and art supplies. These items will be compiled and sprinkled throughout gifts packs assigned to another group of teenagers at Communities for People.

Be on the lookout for emails from advisors and details in the weekly divisional announcements. The deadline for bringing in items is Monday, December 16th. Please email Mrs. Eaton or Mrs. Armentano if you have any questions or want to be more involved.

Dance, Dance, Transversal

Click image to see video (opens in new window)

Creative ways to learn are part and parcel of the student experience at RHCD. In the math department, Mrs. Slaybaugh’s and Mrs. Eaton’s Freshman and Sophomore classes are using the power of dance to discover the different types of angle relationships generated by a transversal through parallel lines. First, students study a PowerPoint displaying different angles, before the limber learners place their feet on the corresponding angles outlined on the floor. Once the angles are reviewed and students are comfortable with what they’re working with, they choreograph their own dance routines! But instead of calling-out dance moves, they refer to the angles, and then teach their classmates how to follow suit. Math has never been so fun!

In Case You Missed… The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

At the end of November, the student body put on a masterful version of the classic theater comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. If you were not lucky enough to catch it in person, worry not! The video below captures every beat, joke, and note from the performance (plus much more). Enjoy!

Every Dog Has Its Day
by Mrs. Dawn Temple

As a photography instructor, to be able to utilize the RHCD campus is a dream. With extensive outdoor access, Photography Class students are encouraged to explore the grounds, looking at it through a different “lens” while putting into practice the various photography fundamentals introduced during class. What were once buildings, trees, fields, and other school landmarks, suddenly become line, shape, pattern, texture, color, and all the other elements of their study.

However, the students have been mostly photographing inanimate objects, so when Head of School, Mrs. Rich, brought her dog Brinkley for a visit, I could not pass it up! But dogs can be quite unpredictable, meaning the students needed to be on their toes, ready to photograph at any moment. Not only did the experience allow students the opportunity to practice using their knowledge of shutter speed, in order to properly photograph Brinkley, but it also taught the importance of being prepared, ready to capture just the right shot, while also making sure it’s properly framed and exposed. The students did a great job, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share my love of photography with them!

Mariner Madness

If it’s still Friday and you’re reading your eCurrents early, head over to the Cafeteria for an evening of Mariner Madness! This brand new initiative kicks-off at 5:00 p.m. with an indoor ‘tailgate’, accompanied by food, music, and games. At 7:00 p.m., the party moves into the gym for a community pep rally full of fun, competitions, prizes, and more, before wrapping up at 8:30 p.m. See you there!

Fall Athletic Awards Winners

2019 has been an exceptional year for RHCD Athletics, with Boys Varsity Lacrosse, Girls Varsity Lacrosse, Varsity Golf, Varsity Tennis and Boys Varsity Soccer all winning their championships.  Given such an impressive run, this year’s Fall Athletic Awards was particularly special. Here is the list of award winners in full. 

Introducing eSports

Rocky Hill eSports is a new approach to challenging students both physically and mentally. While incorporating elements of physical exercise, students participating in eSports spend their afternoons strategizing and working collaboratively in an online game titled “League of Legends”. Competing against schools across Rhode Island, challengers from Rocky Hill Country Day School bring their own unique flair to every match. RHCD is currently engaged in their second year of the eSports program, and every season brings new players and team compositions to the table. Their coach, Mr. Shaker, believes that the teams have what it takes to place highly this season and has high hopes for the future of this up-and-coming activity.

Music and the Brain

Mr. McNamara has been sharing his passion, patience, and talents with the student body for 14 years. But what keeps this accomplished jazz musician and improvisational horn player committed after all these years in a PK-12 school setting? The answer is simple; the kids and the impact music has had on their lives.

McNamara’s ability to articulate the impacts for his students is a result of his enduring relationships with student musicians, regardless of ability. Students who do not have previous instrumental training prior to entering RHCD must select an instrument among brass, woodwinds, or percussion upon starting the 5th grade.

This mandatory experience indicates our commitment to music education and the potential impacts such an education can have for students during their time at RHCD and beyond. Mr. McNamara works to identify the specific impacts noted for each student and is able to leverage those benefits, thus supporting everything from self-esteem to time-management for our students.

Mr. McNamara conducting the school band during the 2019 Spring Instrumental Concert.

McNamara’s vision is supported by his extra-curricular activities. Alongside being a committed gig musician, McNamara was recently elected to conduct the 2020 Rhode Island Music Education Association All-State Junior Band, the result of a selection process by peer conductors across the state. It is an honor he takes very seriously, and one that has earned him the admiration and support of his fellow conductors. RIMEA pursues all aspects of music education, supporting 130,000 member music educators from preschool-aged children to graduate students of music.  

The Ceramics Department is holding its annual sale of limited edition Rocky Hill mugs! Mr. Chatterley’s demo pots are also for sale. Mugs are $25 per item, with demo pots varying in price.  All proceeds will benefit the Scholarship Fund for the China Trip. Sale begins December 9 at the library, ending right before Solstice (or whenever supplies run out).

Note: we are only accepting checks for these beautiful, unique gifts. Any questions, please email Mr. Chatterley: mchatterley@rockyhill.org Checks can be left with Mrs. Gustavel in the library. 

  • Send us your news!

    Email a description and photo to social@rockyhill.org, please add eCurrents to the subject line.

November 22, 2019

Mark Your Calendar

  • 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee: Friday, November 22 and Saturday November 23 | 7:00 p.m. | Campbell Center
  • Fall Athletics Ceremony: Monday, November 25 | 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Campbell Center
  • Lower School Turkey Trot: Monday, November 25
  • Lower School Grandfriends Day: Tuesday, November 26  | 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Thanksgiving Break: Wednesday, November 27 – Friday, November 29 (first day back December 2)
  • ACE Parent Gathering  –  Reading Comprehension Essentials: What Works in All Grade Levels: Wednesday, December 4 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Campbell Conference Room
  • RHCD Instrumental Concert: Thursday, December 5 | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Campbell Center
  • MARINER Madness: Friday, December 6 | 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. | Campbell Center
  • First LEGO League Qualifying Tournament at RHCD: Sunday, December 8 | 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Gym
  • RHCD Choral Concert Featuring 3rd-12th Grade: Thursday, December 12 |6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sharpe Gymnasium
  • New School Bus Ribbon Cutting: Thursday, December 12  | 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Middle School Dance #1: Friday, December 13  | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Hack for Global Good 2019 Successfully Tackles    United Nations Challenge with #Solution2Pollution
On November 15-16, Rocky Hill Country Day School hosted the 2nd Annual social good hackathon for RI high school students. Named Hack for Global Good: Solution2Pollution, over 170 registered attendees, including 35 industry mentors/expert judges, and 70+ students from across the state came together to develop bold solutions to local and global pollution. Participating schools included Hope High School, The Met Schools, The Wheeler School, Exeter-West Greenwich, Chariho, East Greenwich, North Kingstown high schools, and Rocky Hill.

Governor Gina Raimondo and Lt. Governor Dan McKee provided official citations for each of the participants, with Governor Raimondo noting:

“Rhode Islanders have always been innovators. It’s great to see our next generation joining forces across the state as they design solutions for real-world problems. Congratulations and best of luck to all of the students.” 

Check-out some of the highlights from this year’s summit:

Hack for Global Good was founded in 2018 by two Rocky Hill Country Day students, Ben P. and Cortlandt M. along with their faculty advisers and classmates. Learn more about their story in the Student Spotlight section, below.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone that made 2019’s event possible!  

Hackathon: Darlings of the Press
Hack for Global Good didn’t just attract the attention of thought leaders, mentors, and partners; the local and regional press also published a flurry of articles on the event. Each provides different information and distinct editorial approaches.

Boys Varsity Soccer Team Crowned NEPSAC Champions

The Championship-winning Varsity Soccer Team!

On Sunday, November 17, Rocky Hill Country Day Mariners defeated Brimmer and May School 2-1 in the NEPSAC Class D Championship at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. This invitation-only tournament brought together top independent schools from throughout New England to compete for the coveted crown for New England independent school soccer. Class D schools are those regional independent schools with a male high school population of 1 – 114 students. Rocky Hill last won this prestigious title in 2011, and it’s been seven years since a day school claimed the top prize. Read the match report here.

Rocky Hill Fund Appeal
The 2019-2020 Rocky Hill Fund is underway. Help us celebrate 85 years by supporting the Rocky Hill Fund. Giving Tuesday is on December 3rd and you can join this global movement of giving back by supporting our School on that day. We thank you for your continued and ongoing support.

New Library Website
Exciting developments in the library! Designed with the modern user in mind, the newly revamped site is equipped with powerful search capabilities, allowing browsers to check-out recent additions as well as a wealth of research tools.  Want to get creative? Design elements are also plugged-in, with cool features including the ability to turn a project into a newspaper-style report. Check-out the new site here.

All-School PTL Meeting: “Thank You” for Joining
Thank you to those who attended our All-School PTL Meeting on November 14 in-person, and via Google Hangout. It was a great opportunity to hear a recap on the incredible start of the School year, as well as what is coming up ahead. For the meeting notes and presentations, parents can visit the PTL Page in Veracross. If you have any further questions, please reach out to Kristen Connell, PTL President at ptl@rockyhill.org.

Actors portraying Travers’ crew in The Bootlegger movie. Mr. Finlay is far right.

Did You Know…
The Communications team has a Hollywood connection? Mr. Finlay, Communications and Media Editor, recently wrapped a feature film in Newport covering the life and times of prohibition rumrunner, Charlie Travers. The film, called The Bootlegger, took five months to make, and will be released in the summer of 2020. We encourage anyone interested in filmmaking to contact Mr. Finlay and create visual masterpieces here on campus. Contact afinlay@rockyhill.org

When Chemistry, History, and English combine!
On November 13, students in Dr. Basu’s Upper School Chemistry Honors Class interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Chris Whelan, a United States Army expert in chemical warfare. Among his many assignments in the Army, Lt. Colonel Whelan worked for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation to provide expertise in the area of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)–specifically in the areas of sanctions, export controls, and WMD policy.  Yesterday, the students presented information from this interview, as well as their own chemical warfare research, to US History students in Mrs. Wheatley’s class, adding another dimension to the “Experience in War” Project currently being completed by 11th Grade English and Upper School History students.

Lower School Visits ‘The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss’
On Wednesday, students in Mrs. Seddon’s Kindergarten class took a field trip to the “The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss.” RHCD Kindergarten has just wrapped up a fun rhyming unit and what better way to continue this practice than to merge literacy with art. The field trip began with Cats, Hats, and Balancing Acts which reinforces language development and fine motor skills through guided activities and interactive story time. Students also experienced the museum’s Start with Art program which is an age-appropriate introduction to an art museum.

Putnam Spelling Bee Comes to Rocky Hill Country Day
Get out your funny bone! Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn’s much loved musical comedy will be hitting the stage for a two-night run November 22-23.  The show is chock full of laughs, and promises to be a memorable occasion for all!


‘Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig’ performs at RHCD
On November 13th, Lower School students were treated to a performance of Gwendolyn, the Graceful Pig by author David Ira Rottenberg and the Story Time dancers. Our caring students presented the author and dancers with handmade cards and flower bouquets to express their gratitude for the wonderful show.

Local Artist Casey Roonan
Last week, local artist, RISD illustration teacher and former long-term art sub at RHCD, Casey Roonan, taught a session on Character Design for 8th Grade and some Upper School art students. Student worked on designing a character from multiple angles, which is quite the challenge for any artist.

Preschool Toothbrush and Toothpaste Drive
Something to make you smile! The Preschool toothbrush and toothpaste drive was an unmitigated success, with 100s of items collected for donation. As a result, we were able to create amazing artwork and donate the rest of the collected items to Amenity Aid. Thank you to everyone who supported the initiative! Want to see the art? Visit The Nook in East Greenwich where it is currently on display.

Preschool Toothbrush / Toothpaste Drive

Something to make you smile! The Preschool toothbrush and toothpaste drive was an unmitigated success. As a result, we were able to create amazing artwork and donate the rest of the collected items to Amenity Aid. Thank you to everyone who supported the initiative! Want to see the art? Visit The Nook Coffee House in East Greenwich where it is currently on display. #KnowThyself #ThinkOutside #ToothyTuesday

Posted by Rocky Hill Country Day School on Monday, November 18, 2019

NEPSAC Championship Man of the Match
Kobe P.
As he has been all season, Kobe was the difference maker in the back.  With Rocky Hill dominating possession and pushing their fullbacks forward, Kobe and his center-back partner Bennett F. were tasked with defending a lot of space, often isolated in one-on-one situations.  Kobe put in a commanding performance, dominating the back and using his pace and excellent positioning to erase threats before they could happen. His growth as a soccer player over the last few years has been amazing, and Rocky Hill couldn’t have won it without him.

Welcome to the Family!
We are thrilled to announce a faculty birth. On November 5, Mrs. Caity MacDonald, 5th Grade Teacher, husband, Brian and big sister, Ella, welcomed Jack into their family. A Mariner of the future, young Jack is happy, healthy and looking forward to the holidays.


Meet the Student Founders Behind ‘Hack For Global Good’ Rhode Island’s first student-led social good Hack-A-Thon!

RHCD is a student-first, student-led community, and Hack for Global Good is built upon the same ethos. Seniors Cortlandt M. and Ben P. co-founded the summit two years ago, and we caught-up with Ben to get the low-down from the men behind the vision.

Q. What inspired you to bring the hackathon to life?
A. We learn to “be innovative” all the time on campus, and any chance to make an impact is an exciting opportunity for all of us on the student body. The hackathon is part of that overall approach to education and learning.

Q. Why the environment?
A. Cort’ and I have been friends since we were very young. His parents are ecologists, so we grew-up with environmentalism and conservation as part of our daily lives. Our old school was very environmentally focused, with environmental project-based learning at the heart of the lessons, and Rocky Hill shares that commitment.

Q. What was the reaction when you first brought the idea to faculty?
A. A big, positive reaction, as well as curiosity and support from faculty, and the student body. It’s part of the Rocky Hill way of thinking, and we were encouraged from the very start.

Q. Who thought ‘let’s do a hackthon’?
A. That was Cort’. He wanted to do it, and I said, “of course!” And so, we did. We approached Mrs. Stowe and were like, “we have this crazy idea…” Not only did Mrs. Stowe say we could do it, but she also said we would make it work.

Q. Any memories that stick out?
A. On the very first day of the first hackathon last year, as we were standing on stage welcoming people to the event, we looked out and we were confronted by a sea of people. We could see everyone, and while the crowds have got bigger since, seeing that for the first time made it become real.

Q. You’re moving on, how does it feel to leave the project in the hands of the next generation?

Lucia C.

A. It feels great. A lot of the work was put in by seniors, but I know already that Lucia. C, the next student hackathon leader, has found people to join the committee with two hours of being announced. I have no doubt that it will keep going-and growing. And I’ll sure come back each year to support it.

Q. Any final thoughts or advice for future generations?
A. I’ve got thoughts that can be applied to all endeavors; anything you think is possible at RHCD, is actually possible. You can absolutely do it here. The school will support you, and by having the hackathon come to life, you can see that it is the case.

Mariner Penguin Plunge
The Interact Club is organizing an on-campus Mariner Penguin Plunge on December 12th at 3:10 p.m. The goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics RI Penguin Plunge on January 1st.

The plunge is open to US and MS students and all faculty and staff. You can pay $5 or more to plunge or watch. We hope you will consider jumping in to help. Sign-up here.

ACE Parent Gathering: Reading Comprehension Essentials What Works in All Grade Levels
Please join us on Wednesday, December 4th from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Campbell Conference Room. This parent gathering will review what science says about the factors that help boost reading comprehension and will focus on strategies to equip your child to hone and improve upon skills they currently use while reading.

Lower School prepares for “Grandfriends Day”
Grandfriends Day is a celebration of grandparents and friends where each year Lower School students invite a special family member or friend on campus to experience what a day in the life of a RHCD student is like. Be on the lookout next Tuesday, November 26 as our special guests visit our School!

*NEW* to eCurrents, the Gift Shop section will highlight special merchandise, offerings, and gifts available for purchase from RHCD and that support our student experiences and community!

Send us your news!

Email a description and photo to Social@rockyhill.org, please add eCurrents to the subject line.


November 8, 2019

Mark Your Calendar

  • Veteran’s Day – No School: Monday, November 11
  • Prospective Parents Coffee: Wednesday, November 13 | 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. | Campbell Center Conference Room
  • Girls Basketball Parent Meeting: Thursday, November 14 | 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. | Gym
  • All School PTL Meeting: Thursday, November 14 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Flynn Lecture Hall
  • Upper School Parent Conferences (no school for Upper School students): Friday, November 15
  • Hack for Global Good: Friday, November 15 – Saturday, November 16 | 4:30 p.m.| Across Campus
  • Mandatory Boys Basketball Parent Meeting: Wednesday, November 20 | 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. | Gym
  • 5th Grade Preview of the Middle School: Thursday, November 21 | 3:45 – 6:00 p.m. | Middle School Commons
  • School Musical – 25th Putnam County Spelling Bee: Friday, November 22 & Saturday, November 23 | 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. | Campbell Cafeteria
  • Lower School Grandfriends Day: Tuesday, November 26 | 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. |
  • Thanksgiving Break: November, 27 – Friday, 29 (first day back December 2)

Hack for Global Good: Solution 2 Pollution

Hack for Global Good is an annual, student-driven hackathon at Rocky Hill Country Day School that empowers students from across the state to find solutions for a United Nations Global Challenge.

Over the weekend of November 15-16, participants will collaborate with industry experts on the theme, “Solution2Pollution” before pitching their ideas to a panel of judges, with the ultimate purpose of discovering new ways of overcoming existing hurdles.

Pollution is listed as one of the United Nations Global Challenges, and Rhode Island’s next generation is stepping up to discover innovative solutions to reduce the causes of pollution both locally and across the globe. “Solution2Pollution” is open to all high school students in grades 9 through 12.

Take a look at the Schools, Partners and Mentors joining us!

A hackathon is a social good gathering event for individuals committed to solving important problems in the world. The Hack for Global Good initiative is designed to expose high school students to 21st century skills within real world scenarios, developing learning modules that incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship while exposing students and teachers to new ideas, opportunities and mindsets.

Inspired? Lend your support by sponsoring a student ($25) or team ($150), we ensure all interested participants have the opportunity to collaborate and present their moonshot ideas!

All School PTL Meeting

Please join us! All parents and guardians are invited the All School PTL Meeting on Thursday, November 14th from 6 to 7 p.m. in Flynn Lecture Hall. Come hear from Mrs. Rich, Ms. Williams, and more. This is a great opportunity to catch up on what’s happening, ask questions, and meet other families. Light refreshments will be served. Childcare will be available in the Flynn Nautilus; please email Missy Walker to RSVP for childcare.

Lunch Menu Changes
We have heard your feedback about the lunch food service. As a result, the kitchen has made a few adjustments.

  1. We no longer put flour in sauces or soup and those soups, should they contain pasta, are made with gluten free pasta. We have plain pasta and gluten free pasta which are sauce free available daily for anyone that chooses to have it.
  2. There is also a full deli with gluten free bread.
  3. The full salad bar will continue to be stocked with dairy and gluten free options.
  4. For those choosing to maintain a vegetarian diet, the window on the right (as you face the hot service line) will have the daily pasta option with the protein available as a side addition. Any diner can choose to add the protein if desired.

You can download the NutriSlice app as well and rate the food options served. This feedback will inform future menu offerings.

Food Drive Success
For the second year, the Middle School collected items for the North Kingstown Food Pantry’s Thanksgiving baskets. Eager to make a significant contribution, the students smashed their goal of 450 cans of food with a whopping 700!

Middle School advisories competed to see which could bring in the most hearty foods. Every advisory that brought in 50 cans (or more) received math homework passes from Ms. Conroy. Congratulations to Mrs. Chartrand’s advisory who won the contest with over 150 cans of food. As a reward, they had the honor of delivering the huge donation to the North Kingstown Food Pantry (and then went out for ice cream).

Thank you to all of the families who donated and the MS Student Council for organizing. The food pantry was blown away by our generosity.

Financial Assistance Application
As we begin preparing for the 2020-2021 school year, we are asking all families that want to be considered for need-based financial assistance from Rocky Hill Country Day, to apply by December 31, 2019. Applications must be submitted online at sssbynais.force.com. Rocky Hill Country Day’s SSS code number is 6118.

Applications completed after the deadline will be considered for financial assistance only as funds remain available. If you have any difficulties completing the necessary questionnaires or uploading any documents, SSS provides a helpful hotline with service in both English and Spanish 800-344-8328.

Note: Financial Assistance begins in Kindergarten, and is not available for the Preschool class.

The 2019-2020 Rocky Hill Fund is Underway! 

Help us celebrate 85 Years of inspiring students to “Think Outside” with a gift to the Rocky Hill Fund. Our goal is to raise $320,000 by June 30th. All gifts to the Rocky Hill Fund support everything we do here, inside and outside the classroom. We ask all families to support our school as high parent participation is a point of pride and every gift counts! Questions? Want to learn more? Please contact Missy Walker, Associate Director of Development (extension: 296).

ACE Parent Gathering: Reading Comprehension Essentials What Works in All Grade Levels

Do your children have difficulty remembering events from stories or the essential main ideas and details from expository material? Do they consider background knowledge, the structure of the text, and use visualization strategies as they read? This parent gathering will review what science says about the factors that help boost reading comprehension and will focus on strategies to equip your child to hone and improve upon skills they currently use while reading. Join us on Wednesday, December 4th at 3:30-4:30 in Campbell Conference Room.

Halloween Spooktacular!
Students and faculty alike embraced the Halloween spirit on All Hallows Eve! A wide range of impressive and inventive costumes were on show; here are some of the highlights (and there were many!)

Sensory Walks
Fall is always a special time at RHCD. With a stunning campus dotted with mature deciduous trees, there are few places as perfect to gain inspiration.

Click image to watch video!

This year, Fourth Grade students went on sensory walks throughout the school grounds, developing descriptive paragraphs on their experiences and capturing images to represent their observations. They then created an iMovie, composed their own musical pieces to accompany the works, narrated, edited and published the productions. Watch all the videos here.

James La Porta Teleconference
On October 30th, students in Ms. Buecheler’s and Mrs. Snyman’s junior English classes were treated to a long-distance discussion with James LaPorta; a senior correspondent at Newsweek covering military affairs, a Military Adviser for “This Is Us” on NBC, and a United States Marines Corp veteran. As part of their “Experience of War” investigative project, the students discussed how to prepare for the interviews they will soon be conducting with veterans on their experiences in war. These interviews will become part of an exhibition put on by the entire junior class that will be shown to the public on Tuesday December 3rd at the Barnes and Noble in Warwick.

Sharing Voices: Power in their Stories
The Sophomore English project-based-learning project, Sharing Voices, (in collaboration with Spanish and Digital Photography) emerged from a universal theme, the duality of identity in America, resonating through the memoirs, stories, poems, and essays written by immigrant and refugee authors. The driving question: how can we gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the immigrant and refugee experience in contemporary America, and how can we help to tell their stories?

Dimitri D. and Kaeley Z. with Vivan Ya from Cambodia.

The students began by building their interview skills and background knowledge of the immigration process, while developing a deep appreciation of the experience and engaging in an ethical reflection on the importance of sharing others’ stories.

The final product, a collection of narratives, will reveal enlightening, poignant, and deeply personal insights into the immigrant experience.

Interviewees came from Russia, Israel, Iran, Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Portugal, Cape Verde, Morocco, Nigeria, Liberia, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Madagascar, and Cambodia.

Speaking from the Mountaintop

RHCD parent, Angela Ankoma, is the executive vice president of United Way of Rhode Island. Ankoma gave the keynote talk at the annual meeting of the R.I. Public Health Association.

On October 17th, the R.I. Public Health Association held its 22nd annual meeting. During a packed program, the keynote address was given by RHCD parent and Executive Vice President and Director of Community Investment at United Way of Rhode Island, Angela Bannerman Ankoma.

Opening with a reference to a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “I’ve been to the mountaintop and I have seen the promised land,” Ankoma, challenged the audience to consider: “50 years later, what is your mountaintop?” Sharing her own life experiences, Ankoma related that when she arrived at United Way of Rhode Island, many of her colleagues were unfamiliar with the meaning of health equity, spurring her to spearhead a change in investment and philanthropic priorities.

All together, Ankoma oversees more than $5 million of activity in grant-making, public policy and evaluation efforts. Her work has been recognized locally and nationally, receiving the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity Award in 2018 for her efforts developing the Sankofa Initiative in the West End of Providence.

Preschool is doing a service learning project, along with an art show (inspired by our study of personal hygiene using toothbrushes, dental floss, etc.), at The Nook in East Greenwich. We are now welcoming donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste, which can be brought to The Nook from November 17th through mid December. Alternatively, all donations can be dropped off at the Preschool building.

Varsity Girl’s Field Hockey: Season Report
The varsity field hockey team finished off a sensational year last week with a narrow loss in the semifinals. Congratulations to an exceptional team of athletes; here are some of the season’s highlights!

The Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey team celebrating a 3-0 win over Cranston East during their ‘pink out’ / senior game.

On October 11, the team played ‘their pink out’ game, raising money and awareness for breast cancer research. As this was also their last home game of the regular season, it served as the team’s senior game where they celebrated seniors Elsa B., Eve W., and P. Burnett. The game ended RHCD 3, Cranston East High School 0.

At the start of October, the team played an epic match against Classical High School, winning 4-3. Charlotte B. scored all four of the Mariner’s goals with assists from Elsa B. and Eve W., with Taylor C. pulling-off an incredible nine saves in goal.

September was a goal-hungry month, with a 6-0 win over Cranston East High School on the 18th, and five smashed past Woonsocket High School two weeks earlier. Finally, back in August the team registered a 2-1 series record in the Injury Fund tournament, recording shut-outs in both games against Tollgate and Cranston East. Well done team! #GoMariners

Varsity Boys Soccer Team Reaches SENE Championship Final 

Rocky Hill faced CATS Academy in the SENE semi-finals on Wednesday. The Mariners got off to quick start when junior, Daxton T., sent a diagonal cross that junior Marlon M. brought down before sending the ball crashing into the net. Sophomore, Andrew F., doubled the lead when he picked the pocket of the CATS center-back and lashed a left foot finish past their keeper. CATS worked their way back into the game when a good through ball forced keeper Drew T. to come out, resulting in him bringing down their striker in the box. CAT scored the ensuing penalty to halve the lead.

Monterroso struck again however, to restore the two goal lead, finishing after a strong run by senior captain Andrew Z. After halftime, CATS came out fast, scoring within minutes to draw back to within one, tying the score a short while later. RHCD responded though, and Zito put the Mariners back ahead, finishing a nice through ball from Monterroso.

CATS spent much of the remaining time pressuring the Rocky Hill goal, but the Mariner defense held firm and the final whistle meant Rocky Hill was headed to the SENE finals!

Man Of the Match: Marlon M.

Couldn’t make it? Watch the highlights reel!

RHCD Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team plays in the SENE Championship Final today!

Boosters Funny for Funds Comedy Night Success

$3,800 was raised to support Arts and Athletics at RHCD

Thank you to all who attended the Boosters Funny for Funds Comedy Night. The event was full of laughs and helped raise $3,800 for Athletics and the Arts at the School! The evening was a great success, with the audience roaring with laughter throughout. Big thanks to Elks Lodge, West Greenwich for hosting the evening, and to RHCD parent, Christoper Cote, who hosted the soiree.

SENE Female Runner of the Year
Congrats to Skye C. from Eighth Grade for being recognized as the 2019 SENE Female Runner of the Year! Competing in Cross Country at Varsity Level, Skye is also the winner of the 2019 Girl’s Race, proving that anyone can reach for the top, no matter the age or grade.  Well done Skye!

  • Send us your news!

    Email a description and photo to Social@rockyhill.org, please add eCurrents to the subject line.

October 25

Mark Your Calendar 

    • Mid-Semester Progress Reports: Monday, November 4
    • 2019 Fall Athletic Awards Ceremony: Monday Nov 25th 5:30-7pm in Campbell Center
    • Veterans Day Ceremony: Friday, November 8 | 11:00 a.m. | Sharpe Gym
    • Veterans Day: Monday, November 11  NO SCHOOL
    • Hack for Global Good: Fri-Sat, November 15-16 | 3:00 p.m. |
    • Coalition for Schools Educating Mindfully New England Chapter Meeting: Monday, November 25 | 5:30 p.m. | Flynn Lecture Hall

Open House Attracts Big Crowds On October 20th we had the pleasure of meeting the Rocky Hill Country Day School community of the future. Over 225 prospective parents and students visited the campus to engage in classroom activities and explore the waterfront. Some tried their hand at a spot of seining, others embarked on tours across the grounds, with each guest gaining a deeper understanding of what it means to Think Outside in everything we do (all the while enjoying apple donuts and hot cider!)

A student panel wrapped up the day’s events, with eight Upper School volunteers answering questions from our visitors in the Flynn Lecture Hall. An enormous thank you to our students, parents, and faculty for sharing their Rocky Hill Country Day stories with the visitors, and for helping to bring new faces to RHCD.

After Pakistan Success Memory Project Heads to Syria

As reported in an earlier edition of eCurrents, back in the spring the eighth grade drew portraits of children in Pakistan as part of a program called the Memory Project; an initiative that connects art classes in the United States with orphanages around the world. Each eighth grader received a photo of a child living in an orphanage in Pakistan with their name, age, and favorite color.  The portraits were then delivered to Pakistan, along with 3,000 similar pieces from students at other schools across the country.

Rocky Hill Country Day School is pleased to announce that we will continue our involvement with the project, and the Upper School Drawing and Painting 1 classes will be creating another batch of portraits to send to Pakistan this winter. This year’s eighth graders will also continue our connection with the Memory Project by creating portraits for children in Syria.

Studies conducted by the Memory Project reveal that many people in the USA and Pakistan regard each other negatively with significant levels of mistrust. The initiate seeks to change the narrative in future generations by stressing the commonalities between people, regardless of location, race or religion.

Looking to the Future at College Night 


Rocky Hill Country Day School exists to prepare the next generation for success. On October 17th we hosted a College Preview Night for parents of juniors and sophomores thinking about the next stage of their academic career.

There was a strong showing from the junior class and families, as well as a significant contingent of sophomores and families. Audience participation made for a productive evening, with a wealth of wisdom and guidance provided by the evening’s panelists: James R. Fowler, Jr., vice president for enrollment management at Salve Regina University; Paul Brower, assistant dean for enrollment, Nichols College, MA; Dr. Drew Heilpern, chief brand ambassador, Summit Educational Group; and Michelle Cordeiro, assistant director of financial aid at Roger Williams University.

Big round of applause to Mrs. Dowling for organizing such a marvelous occasion.

Cardboard Regatta

One of the most popular events in the School calendar is the fifth grade Cardboard Regatta! Arranged by Mr. Wyzga, this creative endeavor showcases our students’ artistic and design abilities, all the while educating them on the various properties of water. Here are some highlights from the day! Want more? Check-out additional images on Facebook!

Bringing Halloween to the Troops

In partnership with Operation Gratitude, the Interact Club will be collecting leftover trick or treat candy to be sent inside care packages to deployed troops. Collection bins will be stationed across the campus. Please note: we cannot collect Pixie Sticks or any other powder-based candy.

Faculty Personal Development Day

Personal expression is encouraged at Rocky Hill Country Day School, and the ethos is not restricted to the student body. On October 15, faculty and staff took part in a personal development day that provided strategies on how to optimize understanding, cohesion, value and communication within the workplace.

Pam Herath, Leadership and Culture Consultant holds a seminar during the faculty personal development day
Pam Herath, Leadership and Culture Consultant holds a seminar during the faculty personal development day

Several different workshops ran throughout the program, each structured to inspire deeper understandings of the self and of others. However, just as a school ethos cannot exist in a vacuum, neither can the benefits of professional mentoring, and while it was faculty members sitting in those classes, it is the students who will benefit the most from the personal development day.

Speaking at the beginning of the program, Head of School, Mrs. Rich, commented that, “While professional development is important, today let’s focus on us as individuals and as a culture.”

“From time-to-time, it’s good to fill-up those tanks.”

With thanks to Marie Mechtaly, CPCC Professional Life Coach, and Pam Herath, Leadership and Culture Consultant.

Hack For Global Good: Meet the Mentors Pt. 1

Hack For Global Good is a real world, problem-solving event created by RHCD students. In 24-hours, student teams representing private and public schools across Rhode Island must brainstorm a bold solution to the U.N. Global Challenge of Pollution.

In the first of a series, we are excited to announce just a few of the mentors who will be helping guide the event.

“Top 15 Women to Watch in Tech” heavyweight Hannah Chung is co-founder & head of design at Sproutel, a patient-centered R&D workshop, and is supported by her colleague, Ellie Mowry. From RDW Group comes local brand and marketing guru, Jim Pontarelli, while Anessa Petteruti of Brown University brings a wealth of hack knowledge to the table. Also from Brown is the institution’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Arnell Millhouse, and is joined by Jodie Woodruff, who is the Director of Entrepreneurship at the Met School. Chris Sanacore is an innovation specialist at the Providence Public School Department, while robotics engineer, Chris Savoia, joins from Universal Robots. From Ximedica comes Micah Reyes, with Fab Newport sending not only their founder, Steve Heath, but also their Master of Product Innovation, Keith Ranaldi. Stay tuned for more mentors, coming soon!

Registration is Open!
All high school students and all skill-levels are needed. We invite any Rhode Island student passionate about collaboration and problem-solving to join us November 15-16, 2019 at the RHCD campus. Registration is $25 Student / $150 Team with scholarships available. Sign-up online or via Whova app.

Fall Frolics! Pumpkin Carving and Leaf Peeping

There’s nowhere better to experience the beauty of fall than New England, and both the Preschool and Middle School can prove it! First up are these amazing carved pumpkins, as created by the Middle School. Which are your favorites?

Not to be outdone, Preschool took a trip into the glorious October sunshine to play in the leaves and find out more about autumnal changes!

How Project Based Learning Thinks Outside
Fifth grade met with Head of School, Mrs. Rich last week to kick-off their next Project Based Learning experience. After meeting with Mrs. Rich, the students came together to develop their driving question: “How can we, as 5th graders at Rocky Hill Country Day, come up with ways to Think Outside to improve our school?” Keep an eye on eCurrents for updates on the initiative as it develops.

Land of Fires Middle School Soccer Tournament 
The School hosted its 8th Annual Land of Fires MS Soccer Tournament on Sunday October 20. The tournament hosts similar sized and talented smaller private schools in an end of the year tournament to cap off the season. This year, the teams who participated were: RHCD, San Miguel, Community Prep, Blackstone Valley Prep, Learning Community, and PCD.

Each team was evenly matched, and many games went through over time and into shoot outs. Community Prep came into the tournament with an undefeated record, with RHCD and Community Prep having played in the final game of the regular season (four days before the tournament, 2-1 victory to Community Prep). Everyone expected that the tournament championship would be a rematch. However, that is not how things played out, with eventual champions Community Prep defeating Learning Community in a shoot out.

Final Seeding: Champions – Community Prep 2nd Place – Learning Community 3rd Place – Rocky Hill Country Day 4th Place – Blackstone Valley Prep.  

Sinead. B was nominated in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Student Athlete of the Month

Last month, 11th grade athlete, Sinead. B was nominated in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Student Athlete of the Month competition. A three-year varsity field hockey starter, Sinead’s skills on the left wing were recently reflected in her scoring two out of the five goals in the School’s 5-1 win over Woonsocket. Off the field, Sinead holds a 3.42 cumulative GPA that includes three honors courses.

However, not everything is grand slams and hat-tricks for Sinead. As a student-athlete who lives with Type 1 diabetes, Sinead embodies the RHCD belief that strength can be obtained from adversity. Utilizing her position as a JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) New England Chapter student-ambassador, Sinead brought her passion for service to the team by organizing and hosting a JDRF fundraising game on September 12th.

Through her work with JDRF, Sinead has become an invaluable mentor at the School, including supporting and guiding other student-athletes who manage their diabetes while playing high level athletics.

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October 12, 2019

Mark Your Calendar 

    • First Peoples’/Columbus Day: Monday, October 14   NO SCHOOL
    • Professional Development Day: Tuesday, October 15  NO SCHOOL
    • Grade 10 & 11 PSAT Test: Wednesday, October 16
    • US Picture Days: Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18
    • MS PTL Meeting: Thursday, October 17 | 8:30 a.m. | MS Commons
    • College Preview Night: Thursday, October 17 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Campbell Cafeteria | For juniors and parents of juniors and sophomores
    • RHCD Open House: Sunday, October 20 | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
    • Veterans Day Ceremony: Friday, November 8 | 11:00 a.m. | Sharpe Gym
    • LS PTL Meeting: Thursday, October 24 | 8:30 a.m. | LS Blue Room
    • Veterans Day: Monday, November 11  NO SCHOOL
Open House:  Spread the Word, Share Your Stories!

Rocky Hill Country Day School will be holding a school-wide Open House on Sunday October 20 at 1:00 p.m. We have a strong number of pre-registrations and we still need more. Please spread the word to friends, neighbors, and family who may be interested in joining and enrolling!  Students and families are the best vehicle for promoting our school. Thank you for sharing your stories about RHCD and how our students are challenged to ‘Think Outside’ everyday. Click on the audio clip below to listen to our radio ad playing on 92.3 WPRO FM.  It was recorded in our on-campus recording studio with RHCD students. Interested families can REGISTER ONLINE.

First People’s Day Assembly

On Friday, students participated in an assembly to discuss the important cultural significance of First People’s/Columbus Day to the Native American community. Members of the Narragansett tribe performed some traditional dances for the students and then lead a discussion and Q&A about how the designation of “Columbus Day” might affect the Native American community, rationale for changing the name of the day, and other topics that people tend to wrestle with within the debate over the day’s appellation. On hand to talk and perform were RHCD alums Sequahna Mars ’96, Ei Yahz Foster ’16, and Atsa Zah ’15.

RHCD in China
We’re excited to share a new opportunity for RHCD students to collaborate with students in China.

Partnering with the Beijing Society for Environmental Science, Mrs. Shen (Coordinator of International Programs) and Mr. Chatterley (US Field Trips Coordinator), invite Upper School students to join Spring Break China 2020 for a chance to do hands-on environmental research in conjunction with high school students and teachers in China. The class will conduct water quality testing and discuss the importance of water conservation. In March 2020, RHCD participating students will travel to Beijing for field research and to explore the country, learning about the history and culture of China. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to do important environmental research while building global-mindedness. Please email Mrs. Shen at mshen@rockyhill.org, to add your name to the list!

Yearbooks on Sale
Yearbooks are now on sale for 20% off! To place your order,

    • Go to coffeepond.com
    • Click on “Order Yearbooks”
    • Enter the school code – TheCrest2020 (no spaces)
    • Follow the prompts to finish

Sale ends on October 28 at 11:59 p.m., so act now!  We also have a few 2018-19 yearbooks left. For questions email Katy Basu at kbasu@rockyhill.org.

Hack For Global Good

Hack For Global Good is a real world, problem-solving event created by RHCD students. In 24-hours, student teams representing private and public schools across Rhode Island must brainstorm a bold solution to the U.N. Global Challenge of Pollution. Industry mentors and global advisors will be available to guide and support the teams. By the end of the Hack day, the student teams must ‘pitch’ a novel #Solution2Pollution to a panel of industry judges.

The three winning categories are: Moonshot Award (given to the team with the most audacious and groundbreaking idea), Global Impact Award (given to the team impacting the most amount of people), and Best Pitch Award (given to the team that best articulates the problem, identifies a clear solution, and delivers a powerful ‘pitch’ presentation).

Top Prizes include:

  • Kayak the Woonasquatucket River with a pollution expert
  • Pitch opportunity for Social Enterprise Greenhouse Incubator Program
  • Matunuck’s Organic Oyster Farm tour and aquaculture exploration on a glass bottom boat
  • Fab Newport Maker Space VIP pass to prototype the winning idea
  • 1×1 mentorship with B-Lab founders at Brown University’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship

Registration is Open!
All high school students and all skill-levels are needed. We invite any RHCD and and Rhode Island student passionate about collaboration and problem-solving to join us November 15-16, 2019 at the RHCD campus. Registration is $25 Student / $150 Team with scholarships available. Sign-up online or via Whova app, our event partner.

Get Involved!
Help us share the event with schools and students you believe may have an interest in joining us. Sponsor a student or team. Want to partner with us? For more information contact Director of Innovation Meg Stowe at mstowe@rockyhill.org.

2018 Hackathon Success Story
After winning the 2018 “Global Impact Award”, ReVolta, a four-member, dual-school team that created an app to track home energy use by leveraging gamification features and neighborhood ‘sharing’ of power, received unprecedented access to industry leaders, professional training, and a first-of-its-kind invitation to apply to the Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) Incubator Program. Never before has a high school team been invited to pitch to SEG. ReVolta both presented and successfully won a place within the incubator’s fall 2019 cohort of startups, joining university and industry startup founders for six-weeks of intense mentorship. Today, ReVolta has completed the SEG program, and is working with a team of expert advisers to develop their first prototype! RHCD students on the team are Willa G. ’20, Elsa B. ’20, and Neha B. ’20.

‘Choose Love’
Mrs. Pontarelli led Lower School students in a discussion about their role in service as part of the Choose Love social-emotional curriculum. First graders Ellie and Joey Edelmann shared what they have learned about a group of children living in an impoverished neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico in preparation for their mothers upcoming service trip through the Cultural Care Kids First Foundation. Lower School students will show ‘compassion in action’ as they make friendship bracelets for the children in Guadalajara. Melissa, Joey, and Ellie’s mom, will deliver the friendship bracelets, along with crafts and learning supplies to three community centers there that seek to offer refuge and love to local children.

6th Grade Classis Latine gratam!

What do an apple tree, Latin class, and 6th graders have in common? Middle School students in Mr. Gnolfo’s 6th Grade Latin class explored noun/adjective agreement by venturing outdoors to study trees. Malus Domestica, the apple tree on RHCD’s campus, offered students the opportunity to discover how a noun that looks masculine because of its ending is feminine given the adjective that modifies it.

4th Grade: World Smile Day
On October 4, we celebrated World Smile Day at RHCD. Fourth graders in Mr. Laurent’s class cheerfully accepted the charge of serving as World Smile Day Ambassadors. They spent the afternoon sharing smiles and kindness with people throughout our beautiful campus. Within an hour, the ambassadors had given out over 100 smiles and warmed the hearts of countless RHCD community members. The accompanying song on the slide show was composed by Charlie Ball, the son of the late Harvey Ball, the man who created the original Smiley Face back in 1963. Want to learn more about World Smile Day? Click HERE. And, remember to smile!:)

Harvard, History and RHCD
Students in Mrs. Wheatley’s 11th and 12th grade history class are participating in the Harvard Business School Case Method Project. Students are reading the HBS texts, engaging in class discussions and debates, and writing responses to deepen their understanding of American democracy and key decision-making moments in U.S. History. RHCD is the the only school in RI currently partnering with Harvard and 411 teachers across the country on this project.

Senior Games VCX 🏃‍♂️VFH 🏑
This week, we held Senior Recognition Games for cross country and field hockey who had their last home meet/game of the season. RHCD is grateful to friends and family for joining us to recognize and celebrate the achievements of these students.  

Nick M., Zack W., Paul R., and Nanjin W. 🏃‍♂️ together with Elsa B., Eve W., and Pascale B. 🏑 delivered for their final season home meet/game! 

The field hockey team also hosted their annual Pink-Out game to support breast cancer research.

Field Hockey All-Stars
Congratulations to these RHCD all stars who played in the RIIL All Star game and helped lead the team to a 2-1 victory. Taylor recorded a shutout in the first half and Eve scored a goal. Pictured left to right are Elsa ’20, Eve ’20, Charlotte ’22, and Taylor ’21.

Athletes of the Week
The Student-Athlete of the Week from Field Hockey is defensive player Jordan L. ’21! Known for her ‘ninja-like stick skills’ and a tremendous never-quit attitude, her selfless play is honorable. Congratulations Jordan!

Cross Country recognized two student-athletes, Nick M. ’20 and Troy J. ’21, for their outstanding performances at the MacDuffie meet. Both ran their personal best of the season, shaving roughly two minutes from their best 5K time so far this fall.

Health & Wellness Programs

On October 10, the 9th and 12th graders had a presentation from Don Hooton of the Taylor Hooton Foundation which is a non-profit organization leading a national campaign to educate youth and their adult influencers about the dangers of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs including anabolic steroids, hGH, and unregulated dietary supplements.

The Upper School students also heard about the dangers of vaping in a presentation by Dr. Christopher Ottiano, Medical Director of Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, who stated, “The time is now to be educating the population that is being targeted. It’s cigarettes all over again, but this time with even more rapid and severe ramifications. We need to empower our teens to rise up against the marketing and lies.” The Middle School will repeat this presentation in the coming weeks. CLICK HERE for more resources on vaping. We urge our families and community to learn more about this issue in light of the recent reports of respiratory illness and death associated with vaping products.

Boosters Fun Fundraiser
Save the date for the Boosters’ Funny 4 Funds Comedy Night! REGISTER HERE

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    Email a description and photo to Social@rockyhill.org, please add eCurrents to the subject line.

September 29, 2019

Fun and games during the Pep Rally!

Mark Your Calendar

    • Rosh Hashanah: Monday, September 30 | NO SCHOOL
    • FLU CLINIC: Tuesday, October 1 | 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. | Campbell Center
    • Grade 8 Parent Coffee(s): Thursday, October 3 | 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. | MS Commons | Topic: The 8th Grade Exposition
    • College Night for Seniors and Parents: Thursday, October 3 | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Flynn Lecture Hall
    • Yom Kippur:  Wednesday, October 9 | NO SCHOOL
    • US PTL Meeting:  Thursday, October 10 | 8:30 a.m. | Flynn Lecture Hall
    • First Peoples’/Columbus Day: Monday, October 14 | NO SCHOOL
    • Professional Development Day: Tuesday, October 15 | NO SCHOOL
    • Grade 10 & 11 PSAT Test: Wednesday, October 16 | 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Gym
    • MS PTL Meeting: Thursday, October 17 | 8:30 a.m. | Middle School Commons
    • College Preview Night: Thursday, October 17 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. | Campbell Cafeteria | For juniors and parents of juniors and sophomores

Fall Classic a Big Success
Senior Willa Geoghegan produced this video to show at the event, 85 Things We Love About Rocky Hill Country Day.

This Monday, the community gathered together for the 21st and final Fall Classic. We are so thankful to all who supported the event as participants, donors, and volunteers. Early projections have the event netting over $50,000 for the School including a generous $17,750 raised to help fund the purchase of a new 34-seat school bus! The day began with the tennis tournament run by RHCD tennis coach Matt Marion. The winners were 1st place: Erika Aldazabal ‘81, 2nd place: Alice Porter, 3rd place: Ruth Clegg. In the afternoon we kicked off golf at Potowomut with many of our vendors, parents, and friends getting out on the greens on what was a perfect day. Prizes went to 1st place (best ball):  John Sheerar, Erik Manchester, Bill Volpe, and Ray Trebasacci; 2nd place (best ball): Ned Handy, Bob Kent, Mike Commendatore, and Peter Dorsey; 1st place (scramble) Rick Burnett, Rachel Burnett, and Jim Bryer; 2nd place (best ball: Mark D’Arcy, Paul Laprocina, and Buckley Cooney. Longest drive went to Mike Roy and Annie Lewis. Thank you to our FALL CLASSIC SPONSORS

Spirit Week at RHCD
Students in all divisions enjoyed spirit week activities leading up to Homecoming Weekend. Class competitions, dress-up days, and an all-school pep rally made for a fun and spirit-filled week. Go Mariners!

Homecoming Weekend
We launched Homecoming Weekend on Friday with an on-campus cross country meet, Middle School athletic games, and the 2nd Annual Blue & White Night. With over 350 people in attendance, the night included food trucks, a DJ, bonfires, and lawn games all organized by the Boosters Club, as well as smores which were sponsored by the Alumni Association. The amazing weather and school spirit continued on Saturday as we presented a new format for Homecoming Day. The varsity teams all played conference games throughout the day and had over 500 fans on campus to cheer them on. We also added a Family Fun Run, kayaking with Mr. Jedrey, and a corn hole tournament to the usual inflatables and activities for our younger Mariners. The Alumni Association held their fall meeting and many alums were on campus to cheer on the teams and connect with one another. In fact, the alumni duo of  Tory Dumas ’10 and Phil Hackett ’10 won the corn hole tournament! A happy hour at LineSider Brewing Co. capped off the day. Many thanks to all who made the day such a success.

Wellness Workshop
Director of Counseling & Wellness Traci Fairchild delivered the state-mandated “Teen Dating Violence Workshop” to all RHCD faculty and staff on Wednesday. This workshop, created by the Lindsay Ann Burke Foundation, supports the school-wide prevention of relationship violence. Parents can access helpful information at http://www.labmf.org/

RHCD Coffee House

Parents, faculty, and staff are welcome to relax and enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee at one of two locations:  Hopelands Living Room or Campbell Center in the room off of the front lobby. We ask that you refrain from using the Campbell Center from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. as the room is often in use for lunch and meetings. 

Land Art with Catherine Moran
2019 Artist-in-Residence Catherine Moran began work with students in 3rd grade, 6th grade, Upper School Art Foundations class, as well as Drawing and Painting III classes to explore land art. The students will use the natural landscape as a canvas and explore site specificity, environmentalism, and decay. 

Last week Mrs. Dumas, Mrs. Armentano, and Mrs. Getsinger introduced the 3rd Grade, 6th Grade and US Drawing & Painting students to the idea of land art and the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy. The students collaborated in small groups to create their own land art and earthworks around campus.  

Students across the divisions will be creating land art at different times throughout the year observing the transformation of their ephemeral artworks as the seasons change. Thank you to Catherine Moran (parent of August Moran ’25) for her expertise and for joining us on our first land art adventure!

Exploring Salt Marshes at RHCD
Middle School science students have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and our amazing campus to gain first-hand knowledge about salt marshes. Here, Mr. Karr discusses the classification of what is found in the salt marsh with his 8th grade students.

Mini Monet in Action
Our little artists in preschool spent the day at the library creating art based on the work of Claude Monet and the story Ten Apples Up on Top.

Say “Trees” Please

On Tuesday, September 24th students in Arts Foundations, English 9, and Biology classes enjoyed a kick-off PBL event. Students were fortunate to work with several experts including Tee Jay Boudreau, Deputy Chief of the Division of Forest Environment;  Nancy Stairs, Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor; and Robert “Lou” Allard, RIDEM Division of Forest Environment.

Students have been doing observational writing of trees on campus in English 9 and will be designing an urban street in art class, studying both ecology and many life-sustaining connections trees have to their own lives. For their final project, students must connect these three disciplines (Art, English, and Biology) in a meaningful way. Stay tuned!

Welcome Startups to RHCD
Last Tuesday, Head of School Diane Rich and Director of Innovation Meg Stowe took part in LearnLaunch‘s Advisor Pitch Night, providing valuable feedback to education-technology startups joining the Boston accelerator’s newest 2019 cohort. Three of the EdTech startups that pitched that night will be visiting RHCD campus on October 3rd to present their work and meet our faculty and students as part of Rocky Hill Country Day’s E2 Program (Embedded Entrepreneurs). Learn More about Mindprint, Spinndle, and Thimble.

Student Leadership
The Middle School students held elections for this year’s class representatives. Congratulations to the 2019-20
 MS Student Council.

    • 8th Grade: Juliana Hayes, Skye Connell, and Lilly Liebermensch
    • 7th Grade: Katie O’Neil and Jillian Pogacar
    • 6th Grade: Gretchen Dechant and Morgan Boss

The 9th grade student representatives were elected this week. Congratulations to these student leaders:

    • Student Life chamber: Abbey Grandin and Katie Kerachsky
    • Policy chamber: Izzy Guastella and Andrew Hogan

    Students Attend Global Climate Strike

    Upper School students joined over 6 million young people from around the world to raise awareness for environmental issues at the Global Climate Strike. The walkout, a coordinated effort by the world’s youth, took part in 150 countries with a goal to “kickstart renewed action on climate change.” LEARN MORE

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September 14, 2019

We celebrated our 85th Convocation outside on our glorious campus. Our students, faculty, staff, and trustees joined together to show their RHCD spirit for this amazing picture. The students heard a special message from Head of School Diane Rich and were treated to Del’s Lemonade courtesy of the Parent Teacher League.  Everyone looked amazing in their new Think Outside T-shirts!

Mark Your Calendar

    • Head of School Parent Social: Wednesday, September 18 | 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Hopelands Lawn |  RSVP HERE
    • Middle School Picture Days: Thursday, September 19 | Friday, September 20
    • Parent Night in School: Thursday, September 19 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    • Fall Classic Golf and Tennis Tournament and Dinner Auction: Monday, September 23 | Potowomut Golf Club  |  REGISTER HERE
    • Upper School Picture Days: Wednesday, September 25 – Friday, September 27
    • Blue & White Night: Friday, September 27 | 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    • Homecoming Celebration: Saturday, September 28 | 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    • No School – Rosh Hashanah:  Monday, September 30
    • Flu Clinic:  Tuesday, October 1  |  3:00 – 5:00 p.m.  |  Campbell Conference Room

It’s not too late to register for the 21st and final Fall Classic. We encourage all parents, alumni, and friends of the School to help make the event a major success. Our goal is to raise $65,000 to support the purchase of a new yellow bus, tuition assistance, and our athletic and academic programs.

Let’s not forget that this is a fun, casual, and festive way to come together as a community. You need not be a golf or tennis player to participate. Many guests come just for the dinner and auction in the evening.

Visit the Fall Classic web page to preview some of the auction items (scroll to bottom). More items will be added this week! Some exciting items include trips to Tuscany, Puerto Rico, and China; tickets to see the Patriots, Red Sox, and The Lumineers; local entertainment; golf foursomes; and more!

If you would like to volunteer next week or on the big day CLICK HERE. If you  have any questions, please email Missy Walker.


Rocky Hill Country Day!
We were excited to launch our 85th year with news about restoring our name back to Rocky Hill Country Day School paired with a modern version of the crest to replace the compass as our primary school icon. These exciting changes come after three years of hard work to define and live into the educational model our students enjoy today, a program rooted in our motto, Know Thyself, and founded upon our mission to educate the whole child. We couldn’t be more proud of the school we are today as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our students.

Rocky Hill Country Day School circa 1960s.

As we all get used to seeing the new logo and saying RHCD, we thought it would be helpful to share a few answers to some frequently asked questions. With regard to athletics, we are still the Mariners and the compass is still the logo used for sports teams. The official crest we all know remains an important symbol of the School and will continue to be used on diplomas, awards, the yearbook, etc. Our motto and mission have not changed and the programs and innovations we have put into place continue to grow.

Our new website, name/logo, and the Think Outside campaign reflect the school we are today, one that is forward thinking, student centered, and experiential, rooted in our natural setting. We thank our in-house team for their hard work, especially Kristie Stark who designed the website and produced all of the new imagery and materials, and Jim Pontarelli and John Lloyd for their guidance through the yearlong branding process.

Mark your calendars for a two-day event which starts with our Second Annual Blue & White Night on Friday, September 27 and carries into an entire day of celebration on Saturday, September 28th! The Boosters have planned an amazing weekend and a fresh new approach to the event. The full schedule of events can be found HERE, but see a few highlights for Saturday below!

FREE KIDS ACTIVITIES – inflatables, hay wagon rides, face painting, games, etc.
UPPER SCHOOL ATHLETICS – all teams play at home!
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIEScampus fun run, kayak tour, corn hole tournament, and more – use links above to sign up online!
ALUMNI ACTIVITIES – meet & greet with Diane Rich, Happy Hour at LineSider, and the fall Alumni Board meeting (Please note the alumni sports games will be held in the spring)

The Library Gets a Makeover
Come visit the Rocky Hill Country Day School Library! This summer, Mrs. Gustavel and a crew of amazing volunteers weeded our collection and reimagined our library space in the Carriage House. We now have comfortable seating and collaborative work spaces for students and families in all three divisions to enjoy! The library will be open from 8:30-4:45 each day! Middle and Upper School students are welcome to use the library space for research, studying, and collaborating after school. Lower School students and their families are invited to visit the library in the afternoons to read together and check out books.

Many thanks to our volunteers who donated more than 100 hours over the summer: Mia Z., Lauren Z., Patrick K., Bridget K., Delaney K., Ruby B., Amie B., Brendan W., Alex L.,  and Andy B.

Upper School Students Kick-off the Year
Students in the Upper School experienced unique and educational trips and programs for their first week of school. The class trips offer an opportunity for the class to bond through common experiences and help set the tone for the school year ahead.

5th Grade Buoyancy Study
5th Grade headed down to the waterfront for their buoyancy lab. They tested out flotation devices and others items to see if they would float or sink.

EnviroWeek Continues as Middle School Tradition
Middle School EnviroWeek 2019, a tradition that takes place the first week of each school year, is a great way for RHCD students to build relationships, set new goals, think expansively, and enjoy the outdoor classroom. 

9th Grade History – Hunters and Gathers
Massimo ’23 and Oliver ’23 each caught fish off the School dock this week demonstrating their competency as hunter-gatherers. Each year World History 1 students leverage the campus to see what it was like to have to secure food before supermarkets existed. 

Art Students Make Global Impact

Last spring, Ms. Armentano’s 8th grade class participated in an international project called The Memory Project. RHCD students drew portraits of children living in Pakistan, most of whom are in orphanages and do not have any photos of themselves. RHCD sent 24 completed portraits to Pakistanjoining a global effort that exceeded three thousand young artists. The resulting impact and gratitude expressed by the children can be seen on the video above, recently sent by the Project Coordinator. Great job Ms. Armentano and the 8th Grade class! 

Super Fan Cards
Calling all Mariners! This week the Athletic Department handed out Super Fan cards. All students should bring their cards to games they attend to be entered in a special drawing each season. Once your card is full, turn it in for your chance to win Super Fan prizes. Let’s get out there and show your school spirit!

Teams Off to a Great Start
Coming off of an unprecedented championship sweep this spring with all four varsity teams winning their league championships, our fall sports teams are off to a great start! Field Hockey boasts a 2-0-1 record, outscoring their opponents 10-2 for the season. The Boys Soccer is 2-0-0 with two decisive victories under their belts. And the Girls Soccer team is 1-0-0 after winning their season opener with a score of 7-1! The XC team is getting ready for their first meet on 9/18. Most importantly, the teams are working together in the Mariner Way, showing Resiliency, Effort, and Pride, which is a winning recipe on many levels. Read recaps on the RHCD mobile app and follow athletics on Instagram and Twitter @rhcdmariners.

Send us your news!

Email a description and photo, if possible, to pr@rockyhill.org by noon on Tuesday for publication on Friday.


August 27, 2019

Mark Your Calendar

Tuesday, September 3
New Student Orientation
Lower School: All PS & K and new students to LS | 9:00-10:30 a.m.
Middle School: All 6th grade and new students to MS | 10:00-11:15 a.m.
Upper School: All 9th grade and new students to US | 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (parent portion ends at 9:30 a.m.)

Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) Orientation
Note: The MS and US orientations are for students only; parents will meet on ACE Parent Night in School. All new students and students entering 6th and 9th grade should attend. All other current ACE students are strongly encouraged to attend.
Lower School: Amy Laurent will be available to discuss the ACE program with enrolled and interested families during the Lower School Orientation.
Middle School: 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Campbell Conference Room
Upper School: 12:00-1:30 p.m. | Campbell Conference Room

Wednesday, September 4
First Day of School! | Busing Begins
Grades PS – 8 & Grade 12: 9:00 a.m. start
Grade 9: Class trip to Berkshires | 8:00 a.m. arrival to campus
Grade 10: Class trip to Gifts to Give | 9:00 a.m. arrival to campus
Grade 11: Class trip to Massachusetts | 7:30 a.m. arrival to campus
PTL Welcome Back Meet & Greet: 8:45 – 10:00 a.m. | Campbell Courtyard (open house style – please stop by)

Other Important Dates
Head of School Parent Socials: RSVP HERE
Thursday, September 5 | 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Hopelands
Tuesday, September 10 | 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. | Head’s Residence
Wednesday, September 11 | 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. | Head’s Residence
Wednesday, September 18 | 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Head’s Residence

ACE US & MS Parent Night: Thursday, September 12 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Campbell Conference Room
Lower School Picture Days: Thursday, September 12 | Friday, September 13
Middle School Picture Days: Thursday, September 19 | Friday, September 20
Parent Night in School: Thursday, September 19 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fall Classic Golf and Tennis Tournament and Dinner Auction: Monday, September 23 | Potowomut Golf Club
Upper School Picture Days: Wednesday, September 25 – Friday, September 27
Blue & White Night: Friday, September 27 | 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Homecoming Celebration: Saturday, September 28 | 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Welcome New Faculty and Staff

We are pleased to welcome our newest faculty members to the RHS community. Pictured left to right, back row: Sean Tucker (K-6 PE and Health), James Himmelmann (Music), Karl Sutterlin (US Math), Dan Shaker (Technology Support Specialist), Bridget Keane (MS English), Iveth Streisand (US Spanish), Anna Slaybaugh (US Math), Helen Dembinski (ACE Learning Specialist), Elaine Bernadino (LS Language) Around table: Christine Comeau (US Science), Natalie Joseph (3rd Grade), Katy McNamara (School Nurse), Brady Wheatley (US History and Social Science), Emily Seddon (Kindergarten), Hannah Hudson (French) Missing: Lisa Paolino (Accounts Payable)

Veracross Family Portal Update
We have updated the Family Portal! You will find updated information about PTL and division news. If you need information for a carpool, you’ll find in the Directory area a list of other Rocky Hill families that live within five miles of your home address. Please remember to update your household information if any changes have occurred.

Health Forms
If you haven’t submitted your health forms for the 2019-2020 school year, please do so as soon as possible. You can drop them off to the Nurses’ office or Hopelands in the Business Office. You can also fax them to (401) 885-4985 or email the forms to kmcnamara@rockyhill.org.

Student Accounts
This summer we have had some staff changes in our Business Office. If you need assistance with your account, please contact Martha Cunningham at mcunningham@rockyhill.org or (401) 884-9070 x 222.

Afternoon Snack Bar & New Food Service
We are happy to announce an afternoon snack bar will be open from 3:15 – 3:45 p.m. daily beginning September 9, 2019. This will be a cash snack bar with a variety of items. Some choices will be available daily while other menu options will change from day to day. Our hope is to offer nutritious snacks for our students who remain on campus after school.

Join Us for the Fall Classic
Monday, September 23, 2019 | Potowomut Golf Club
Join us as we hit the links, swing our rackets, and raise our bidder paddles to benefit our students, faculty, and programs at the 21st and final Fall Classic. You need not be a golf or tennis player to participate. Many guests come just for the dinner and auction in the evening. This is our big fall fundraiser, so please join in the fun and show your support!

If you would like to volunteer, have an auction item to donate, or have any questions, please email Missy Walker. Proceeds support a new yellow bus, athletics, scholarships/financial aid, and student programs.

Pick-up & Drop-Off – Front Lot Only
We ask all students to be picked up and dropped off in the front parking lot only. The rear parking lot is limited to bus traffic. Please refer to correspondence from your division heads in regard to division-specific policy and procedure related to late arrivals, early dismissals, and students staying late who are not in sports.

Faculty & Staff Parking Spots
Please take note of parking spots marked as reserved for faculty and staff members and avoid parking in them during the school day. There are open spots for families and visitors in front of Hopelands, near the tennis courts, and near the Sharpe Gymnasium. Thank you.

Hack for Global Good is Back For 2019
Join us in making the 2019 Hack for Global Good a must-experience event of the year for the state of Rhode Island.  This multi-day event brings teams of students together to develop a solution to one of the UN Global Grand Challenges. Teams collaborate and then pitch their ideas to a panel of experts, competing for prizes and real-world opportunities to put their idea into action. We anticipate an exponential increase in statewide participation from across all sectors in support of this year’s theme: Solution2Pollution. We need you, your expertise, your participation, and your support. Our community of schools has grown, and our network of mentors and game-changers working to tackle all forms of pollution: air, water, soil, noise, social media, light, and environmental pollution must grow as well! All areas of expertise are wanted: designers, communicators, artists, scientists, coders, activists, writers, etc. Join us for some real-world learning. Students will build their network, have fun with peers, and collaborate with experts in the field. Contact Meg Stowe to get involved.

Download the Mobile App!
Be sure to download Rocky Hill School’s mobile app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play. This free app is full of useful information and features.

      • Portal Links
      • Events Calendar
      • Athletics Schedules and Rosters
      • Notifications
      • Campus Map and Tours
      • eCurrents
      • School Store
      • Lunch Menu
      • Weather
      • Social Media Links
      • Emergency Numbers

Be sure to also connect on our social media sites:  FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn


Sign-up for After-School Programs at Rocky Hill

Rocky Hill offers before – and after-school programs that are open to the public and provide academic, artistic, and athletic opportunities for students in grades Pre-K through 8. A variety of engaging courses are offered Monday through Thursday afternoons and are led by highly talented Rocky Hill faculty members and instructors.

2019 Fall Courses:
Soccer – Grades PK-5
Full STEAM Ahead – Grades 2-5
Enchanted Fairy Houses – Grades K-3
Patty Cakes – Grades 3-6
Stay tuned for more information and to register!

Emergency Alerts
Rocky Hill School uses Veracross to rapidly communicate health, safety, or emergency information using text messaging. This method is not used for regular communication, but rather only for emergency notifications or information related to abnormal events (i.e., extreme weather and school closings). All members of the Rocky Hill School community (especially parents, students, faculty, and staff) are encouraged to update their cell phone numbers in the family portal.

Most major TV, radio, and internet news sites in Rhode Island embed the RI Broadcasters Closing & Delay website on their websites. You can receive school closure text messages from the RI Broadcasters Association by clicking here to register your phone. Be sure to select “Rocky Hill School” from the list of schools.

Slave Medallion Project
On Sunday, August 25th, the Slave Medallion Project held a ceremony at Patriot’s Park in Portsmouth, a battle site of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment of the Continental Line (1775-1783), for the installation of its first official marker. Charles Roberts, the Director of the program, invited our fourth grade teacher, Charlie Laurent, and members of his 2017-18 fourth grade class as honored guests, given their work as Junior Historians with the Medallion Project and Smith’s Castle. Luke Lehouiller, supported by his classmates in attendance, Naseem Ankoma, Alexa Laurent, and Eva Richards, read his essay on the importance of studying history to the audience. Our campus will be the future site of a medallion installation. NEWS ARTICLE

Students Spend Summer Developing Start-up
Three Rocky Hill students and one Wheeler student who participated in Rocky Hill’s 2018 Hack for Global Good spent the summer developing their idea, a mobile app to encourage energy conservation, into a startup. One of the prizes from the Hackathon gave the team an opportunity to pitch their app idea to the CEO, Incubator Director, and others at Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG), after which they received an invitation to participate in the SEG Incubator Program. This team of high schoolers is the first ever to be invited to participate in this esteemed program. With support from the Director of Innovation, Meg Stowe, the team will begin the formal program in early September.

Isabel’s Emoji in New York Times for Kids
3rd grader, Isabel Asen responded to a New York Times appeal for new emoji ideas. Here emoji, optimistic, was selected to appear, along with an artist’s illustration of Isabel’s idea, in the New York Times for Kids section on August 25th!


Delilah Completes Race 4 Chase
2nd grader, Delilah Vecoli, completed her first Triathlon this summer. You can see her joy in the photos! She completed a 6-week program called Race 4 Chase honoring the memory of 6-year-old triathlete Chase Kowalski who died during the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Dee was both challenged and encouraged during this amazing program, and her confidence has grown so much.

Hitting the Ground Running
Rocky Hill rang in the 2019-20 fall athletic season with a bang!  Upper School student-athletes and coaches were joined by Applied Performance Sciences, which is a company run by two former Navy Seals, Anthony and Jason.  The Seals put our student-athletes through rigorous physical training and substantial debriefs on topics ranging from decision-making, stress management, optimizing performance, communication, and listening skills. This day-long program kicked off a week of preseason in a camp-like setting that included sport-specific practices, sessions on mindful performance, goal setting, and team building.

Schedules and Recaps
Please use the family and student portals to view practice and game schedules as well as other athletics events. You can view results and recaps, as well as photos from each team, on your mobile app under Athletics. Recaps can also be found on the Athletics Blog.

Faculty and Alumni Giving Back
Art teacher Rachel Armentano volunteered for Amenity Aid by delivering toiletries to the Amos House in Providence. She was pleasantly surprised to hand off the donations to recent BU grad and RHS alum Ellie Farber ’15 who was interning for the development department this summer!

Serious Science
New Upper School science teacher, Christine Comeau, spent three days this summer at a Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) professional development workshop on Prudence Island which was put on by the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and sponsored by NOAA. Christine spent time reviewing estuarine science concepts and active ways to bring these ideas into the classroom.  Activities included salt marsh research, national water quality data sets, and climate change with a special focus on Narragansett Bay. Much of what Christine participated in is a natural fit to Rocky Hill’s waterfront campus. Christine also attended a professional development workshop sponsored by the University of Rhode Island, in collaboration with KIdWind Energy. This workshop focused on the topic of wind energy and renewable energy infrastructure, wind energy technology, and the environmental impacts of offshore wind farms. The workshop also covered curriculum related to electricity, wind turbine function, and engineering and design related to developing wind turbine models.  The culmination of the workshop was a trip out to Block Island to view the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

Jess Russell – Mastering English
This summer, Upper School English teacher Jess Russell graduated with a Masters in English from the Bread Loaf School of English, which is part of Middlebury College. For the past five summers, she took graduate classes ranging in topic from Old English to post-colonial South Asian Literature, Milton to poetry writing, Joyce’s Ulysses to Contemporary Latinx Literature. This is her second Master’s. Her first is in French Literature.

Send us your news!

Email a description and photo, if possible, to pr@rockyhill.org.