December 7, 2018

Recently, the Hackathon team, From Streetlights to Treelights, presented their idea to Anthony Baro, founder of E2SOL and PowerDocks. Their concept was to recode the DNA of tree seeds with fluorescent protein to produce natural light in trees. They were able to refine and present their pitch, engage in Q&A about start-ups, and begin to establish their external network. The team received outstanding praise from Baro and when they finished their pitch, his first advice was to consider filing patents and hiring an intellectual property lawyer. Suffice it to say, we are already following up and he is excited to help them create internships in areas of their choosing at E2SOL and PowerDocks.

Mark Your Calendar
Winter Choral Concert:  Thursday, December 13 | 6:30 p.m. | Sharpe Gymnasium
Winter Break:  December 22 – January 6

Holiday Sale in the SWAG Store
Enjoy 20% off all merchandise in the RHS SWAG Store located in Hopelands. Brand your Mariner in RHS sweatshirts, sweatpants, T-shirts, socks, and more (adult and children’s sizes available). Special hours are noted below.
Wednesday, December 12th | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Thursday, December 13th | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 19th | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Veracross Access from RHS App!
Parents love the convenience of the RHS Mobile App. Now you have access to an easy link to Veracross via the Portals page. Just enter your password and you’re in! If you do not have the app downloaded on your phone, you can access it from the iPhone App Store and in Google Play.

Annual Mug Sale
The annual RHS mug sale to support the arts is back! Mugs are handmade by Mr. Chatterley and are just $25 each. Reserve your mug HERE or by emailing Rachel Armentano.  They can be picked up at the Winter Solstice celebration on Friday, December 21st in the Campbell Center lobby (outside the cafeteria).

Great Gift for the Holidays – Adult Pottery
Looking for a fun and creative holiday gift for someone special in your life? This winter Mike Chatterley will be offering RHEA+ Adult Pottery classes on Wednesday evenings. This six-week course is a great way to learn a new skill and bring home your own pottery. For details and to register, CLICK HERE.

Winter RHEA Registration Open
A variety of engaging courses are offered Monday through Thursday mornings and afternoons and are led by highly talented Rocky Hill School faculty members and instructors.

Winter 2019 Session
January 14 – March 7 (days and times vary)
Register by Thursday, January 10, 2019

Engineering Club (Grades 5-8)
Baking and Crafts (Grades K-5)
Toy Hack Club (Grades 3-5)
Learn to Play Violin (Grades K-5)
Full STEAM Ahead (Grades 2-5)
Pottery (Grades 1-5)
Sleepover Sewing (Grades 3-8)
Creative Business (Grades 6-8)
Paper Mache (Grades K-5)
Theatre by the Bay (Grades 3-5)
Winter Adventure Club (Grades 5-8)

CLICK HERE for more information and to register.

Something to Talk About
RHS is redesigning our website, and parent, student, and alumni testimonials are always impactful. If you would be willing to share your testimonial for inclusion on the site, please email your write-up to Kristie Stark.

Calling All 6th, 7th, and 8th Graders!
Does your child have a friend, cousin or neighbor who might be interested in attending Rocky Hill  School? If so, they are welcome to come to school with your child for “Bring a Friend to School Day” on Friday, January 18th. Permissions slips will be available after break.

Volunteers Needed for Lego Robotics State Qualifier
This year, RHS is hosting the Lego Robotics State Qualifier and we need volunteers on the big day. Middle and Upper School students, and parents, can assist with a variety of tasks from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on SaturdayDecember 15. You can volunteer for the morning, afternoon, or the entire day. If you are willing to help please contact Charlie Laurent or Caity MacDonald.

Yearbooks at a Discount
The Crest is an amazing student-designed yearbook that represents students from all three divisions and is a must-have keepsake. Yearbooks are 10% off now through December 21 – the last sale price of the year! Take advantage of the discount while you still can. To place an order, go to, click on “Order Yearbooks,” and enter the school password, TheCrest2019 (no spaces). Simply follow the prompts to complete your order.

Yearbooks Tributes
We invite you to support the Yearbook Club and celebrate the Class of 2019 by ordering a tribute/sponsorship page. Your tribute can include quotes, personal messages, and/or photos to celebrate your graduate. Sponsors are also welcome to send their good wishes to graduating seniors while promoting their business. All tributes and sponsorship pages should be completed and submitted by February 15, 2019. LEARN MORE

Learning in Action
At Rocky Hill School, our students are engaged in deep learning every day. Whether they collaborate with outside experts, engage in Project Based Learning, or act as good citizens, we celebrate the impact they have on their own learning and the world around them.

The Rocky Hill Mini Mariners First Lego League Robotics team recently Skyped with NASA astronaut, Kjell Lindgren. Thanks to the support of Rocky Hill Alum, Brad Davey ’89, the team had the unique opportunity to chat with Kjell and ask him questions about his experiences in orbit. Kjell spent 120 days aboard the International Space Station in 2015 and his stories captivated all who attended the Skype. The Mini Mariners are studying the effects of long-term space travel on an astronaut’s physical and mental health.

The students are developing a program that would recommend to NASA that it incorporate mindfulness training into its astronaut preparation program. Much to the relief of the team, Kjell confirmed that there is currently no formal mindfulness program for astronauts in training. We’re sure you will join us in wishing the team good luck as they compete in the Rhode Island State Qualifier on December 15th at Rocky Hill School.  Members of the team include Skye Connell, Ethan Grandin, Sayuri Lakhkar, Alexa Laurent, Alex Lehouiller, Luke Lehouiller, Mara Newkirk, Katie O’Neil, Jonathan Riley, Leah Walker, and Eighth Grade Mentor, Abbey Grandin.

7th Grade Fashion Feedback
Last week the Seventh Grade concluded their figure drawing and fashion design unit by hosting a feedback forum in the Campbell Conference room. Students showed off their fashion-forward unisex clothing designs to area professionals. The special event was a huge success and filled with questions, compliments, and connections. Mrs. Armentano would like to thank local fashion designer Amy Deblasio, professional photographer and RHS photography teacher Dawn Temple, Professor Linda Welters from the URI Department of Fashion and Merchandising, RHS parent Jennifer Massotti of Barrington Books, designer Kylee Moraton of Cleanbrands, and RHS Director of Innovation Meg Stowe for joining the Seventh Grade for this wonderful event. For a closer look at the artwork, CLICK HERE.

Mystic Aquarium Visit

The US Marine Biology students visited Mystic Aquarium last week. They had the opportunity to take a comparative anatomy class with a Mystic educator. In addition to enjoying all of the exhibits and animals, they viewed real specimens of skulls and used dichotomous keys to determine the species of marine mammals.

Lower School PE Classes Climb to New Heights!

On Thursday, November 29th, the second and third grade classes took a P.E. field trip to Rock Spot Climbing in Peace Dale, RI. They had a blast using their critical thinking skills to navigate the best path to the top of each rock wall. During the team building exercise, they utilized their communication skills to solve a challenging problem.

9th Grade Chariot Race
The annual “Roman Chariot Race,” was hosted by Ninth Grade World History students and included all freshmen and the defending champions from the other three grades. The teams designed homemade chariots and teams raced in qualifying heats and then in a final championship round. The team of Lily Kerachsky (charioteer) and horses Kaeley Zito, Davis Lee, and Sonny Massotti came out on top! Not only is the event a fun way to learn about ancient times, but it also requires students to be builders, engineers, and collaborators!

JDRF Visits Middle School
Brandon Denson, from the JDRF organization, shared his personal story with Middle and Upper School students. As a football player at Michigan State, and then with the Carolina Panthers, and even a Ninja Warrior, Brandon’s story emphasized the “thrive not survive” motto and empowers not only Type 1 diabetics, but all students to reach their fullest potential.

Interact Club Lends a Hand
Thank you to everyone who donated clothing for the Interact Community Service Club collection for Clothes-to-Kids, a non-profit organization that provides a wardrobe to students whose families are experiencing financial hardship. The students helped sort the clothes they brought and learned about the amazing program.

Model Rocket Building Begins in the Middle School!
After school, students in the Middle School have been busy learning about the science behind model rockets, with experts from the Newport Civil Air Patrol.

6th graders August Moran and Elise Beland check their work with Richard Courtney of the Newport Civil Air Patrol during Model Rocket Building which started this week.
Students Present to East Greenwich Rotary
RHS students who went on the Interact Club service trip to Puerto Rico this August delivered a presentation to the East Greenwich Rotary this week. The Club helped sponsor the trip and members were impressed by their video and the impact the trip had on the students.
The Winter Instrumental Concert was one to remember. Congratulations to our talented musicians and thank you for an entertaining evening!

Winter Choral Concert
Don’t miss the upcoming Winter Choral Concert and your chance to tour the new recording studio on Thursday, December 13! The concert will be held in the Sharpe Gymnasium beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tours of the recording studio begin at 6:00 p.m.

New Recording Studio AnnouncedThanks to a generous contribution by Mr. John Ponte, the School was able to purchase the sound equipment needed to install a new recording studio in the music room in Campbell. The Lehouiller Family and an anonymous family also supported the creation of the room by donating furniture and carpeting. Be sure to come by and see it before the concert!

8th Grade Art on View Downtown
Eighth grade, painted paper collages are now on view at the Nook Coffee House in downtown East Greenwich. Student artwork will be showcased at different times, rotating every couple of weeks through the middle of January. Stop by for a look at the beautiful art display and a delicious coffee. Please note: parents will receive an email when their child’s work is on display.

Athletes of the Week
Kaeley Zito ’22, Girls Basketball
Steven Lora ’19, Boys Basketball
Ben Pogacar ’21, eSports

Be a Fan!
US Basketball has begun. Check the portal for schedule and score updates. MS Basketball will begin after winter break. If it is not listed in your portal schedule beginning in January, you have not signed up for the team and need to contact Ms. Williams.

Boys Varsity & JV Basketball
Friday, December 7 @Brewster Academy
Saturday, December 8 vs. Curry Hicks Cage @ UMASS
JV:  Friday, December 14 @ Putnam Science Academy
December 15-16 for Mariner Classic @ RHS

Girls Varsity Basketball
Wednesday, December 12 @ Springfield Commonwealth Academy
Friday, December 14 vs. Putnam

Going for Greatness Speaker Panel
Athletics hosted a speaker panel entitled “Going for Greatness” last week. Guests included Cindy Blodgett (All-American, WNBA 6th overall draft pick), Tip Fairchild (All-American, member of Houston Astros’ 2005 draft class), Katelyn Jarrell (Team USA Judo), and Sean Quirk (All-American and current Head Coach of the Boston Cannons MLL team). Panelists spoke about their journeys to the pinnacle of their sport and how they overcame obstacles along the way.

Aviva Beringhause ’19 individually raised $825 to be combined with the $200 Rocky Hill School’s Chinese Culture Club raised at Homecoming to help migrant children in China in need of eye treatment and eyeglasses. These three little girls were beneficiaries and are now able to thrive in their school!

Esteban Wu ’19 has been working on a project focused on bringing greater accessibility to the blind and visually impaired in public venues. As a freshman, he was introduced to a technology known as the BlindSquare Beacon Positioning System (BPS), which assists people with visual impairments. The app, similar to a GPS, is tailored for the blind and visually impaired, utilizing precise audio instructions. He was inspired and determined to bring this useful technology back to the RI community. Ultimately, Esteban secured financial support and backing from InSight (a Rhode Island agency that provides various services to the blind and visually impaired) and helped design and install the layout for the first BPS in Rhode Island at the INSIGHT rehabilitation center. This pilot program will serve as a training ground for the Orientation and Mobility Specialists and their students to learn and practice this technology for independent travel. It is Esteban’s dream to see this technology being adopted and deployed at T.F. Green Airport, for the benefit and increased accessibility of all individuals with visual impairments. Pictured above is Esteban delivering a presentation at the 2018 Northeast AER Conference entitled, Indoor Navigation using iBeacon: Lessons Learned from a Pilot Program.

Head of School Diane Rich was featured on AMAZING WOMEN on WPRO last Sunday. She discussed the innovative ways RHS is teaching children and the importance of students finding a school and program that helps them flourish as individuals. If you missed the broadcast you can catch it online, HERE.

During our Fall Classic auction, faculty and administrators donated special experiences to help support the cause. An art lesson from Ms. Rachel Armentano and a baking party with Head of School Diane Rich were among them. Students had so much fun on their special adventures over the last two weeks.


Congratulations to Gregory Blasbalg ’90 (pictured on the left) who is starting his second term on the North Kingstown School Committee and will continue to serve as Chairman.  Greg shared, “It’s a privilege and honor to be able to work with our great school department and my colleagues on the Committee.”

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