February 15, 2019

Chinese New Year Celebration

The entire school assembled last week to watch a wonderful array of performances to celebrate Chinese New Year. The program was designed by students and included musical performances, artwork, poetry, and videos. This is a favorite event each year and a fabulous way to honor cultural traditions.


Mark Your Calendar
Presidents Day Weekend:  February 16 – 19 – NO SCHOOL
Boys & Girls SENE Semifinals Double Header: February 20 | Sharpe Gym | Girls begin at 4:00 p.m. | Boys begin at 5:30 p.m.
RI Boys State Swimming Championship:  February 23 | 10:30 a.m. | Brown University 
US Musical Curtains:
 March 1-2 | 7:00-9:00 p.m. | Campbell Center

New Afternoon Pickup Procedure
As we continue to evaluate and tweak the procedure for afternoon pickup, we are making the following changes effective next Wednesday, February 20th:

  • All students from all divisions will be picked up in the front near Hopelands.
  • Only buses will be allowed in the back parking lot for afternoon dismissal.
  • Cars will be allowed to pickup in the back parking lot after 4:30 p.m.
  • Morning drop-off will not change.
  • Parent parking is allowed only in the spaces adjacent to Hopelands or in the labeled spots near the tennis courts. The rest of the spaces are assigned faculty/staff parking spots.
  • Parking in the back for after-school athletic events is still permitted after dismissal time.
  • This does not impact student parking in the back lot.

We will have RHS personnel outside at pickup time to assist with and monitor the process. Thank you for your cooperation as we strive for improvement!

Re-enrollment Contracts Coming Soon!
Be on the lookout for re-enrollment contract notices to arrive via email at the end of February. We are excited to roll out our new online registration process which means you will not receive a paper contract this year. Contracts should be submitted by April 8th. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Admission Jan Cooney at 884.9070 ext. 104.

A New Look for the Middle School Commons
Over the last month, the Middle School Commons has been under construction. Thanks to donations from Middle School parents, the Fall Classic, and the PTL, this important assembly space was painted and had new carpet installed. It all came together just in time for the MS Art Show. Stop by to see the new space.

Last Call for Yearbook Tributes
Don’t forget that the deadline to order and submit Yearbook tributes is TODAY -Friday, February 15th. 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. Prices:  full page – $250, half page – $140, quarter page – $75. Design assistance is available.  LEARN MORE

Food for Thought
Get caught up on some of the articles our faculty are reading. This week, Upper School faculty reviewed How Do Schools Train for a Workplace That Doesn’t Exist Yet? (Hechinger Report). Experts believe that so-called “soft skills”—critical thinking, problem solving, and communication—are key and will serve young people no matter how their jobs evolve with new technologies. For educators, the big challenge is figuring out how best to teach students not just to receive knowledge, but also to apply it. Some states have begun mandating that schools teach soft skills. Project Based Learning encourages collaboration and solving complex problems that have real world applications.


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 learning and the world around them.

Nature’s Classroom

The 7th grade participated in the annual adventure to Nature’s Classroom in Charlton, MA last week. As part of a three-day program, the students explored the forests and trails, learned how to make coyote and owl calls, and made a campfire in damp conditions. They also solved group challenges and explored a variety of science topics through experimentation. A highlight of their time at Nature’s Classroom was the “On the Streets” exercisewhich was a simulation that focused on the challenges of homelessness, and more specifically, trying to get out of a homeless situation.  The students were each given a character profile, and they had to visit various offices (Employment, Housing, Health Services, etc.) as that person, and spend a “day” trying to work through the system.

Upper and Middle School Connections
Each year, a team of Upper School students serve as buddies to students in the Middle School. This provides opportunities for Middle School students to learn more about life at the high school and to make connections with older students to ease the transition. Recently, the 11th and 7th grade buddies got together for some team building fun.

Kindergarten and 6th Grade Garden Buddies
The kindergarten students paired up with their 6th grade garden buddies to get their hands dirty and learn about horticulture. We are all excited to see how the garden will grow this spring with this team of gardeners tending the soil!

8th Grade Takes Annual Trek to Quebec
Mr. Jedrey and Ms. Rich took a team of excited 8th graders to historic Quebec City for a three-day immersion where they experienced the history and culture of our neighbors to the north. The trip was packed with unforgettable activities including skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and tobogganing; visiting the Fields of Abraham, Montmorency Falls, and the Village of Huron; and tubing at Val Cartier.

Their third and final day was spent enjoying bowls of chocolate chaud, dog sledding, and visits to the Notre Dame Basilica, Morin Center, Place Royale, and Cabin de Sucre. The group also spent time at le Bon Homme du Carnival with their fellow Rhode Islanders from PCD who joined them on the trip.

Robotics Team Competes at States

The US Robotics Team recently qualified to compete in the state finals for FIRST Robotics. While they did not come away with the win, it proved to be a valuable learning experience. Everyone had a good time and the robot performed very well, it was a great day overall. The team is eager to compete next year and build upon a very successful season.

Chinese New Year Trip to Boston
Last week, Ms. Shen and Mr. Chatterley took our international students on a trip to Boston to celebrate Chinese New Year. A visit to Chinatown and a great meal were part of the day.

3rd Grade PBL Field Trip
On February 13th, the 3rd grade class went to 5 Wits in Foxboro, MA. The field trip was one of eight trips the 3rd graders planned at the start of the year, as part of their Field Trip Project Based Learning experience. 5 Wits is a live-action adventure experience that requires participants to make decisions and solve puzzles. The students relied on their skills as ethical navigators and communicators to solve their mission. As you can see in this picture, they had a blast!

Student Work at Hera Gallery Honored

A selection of Upper School artwork is on view at the Hera Gallery’s 29th Biennial Young Adult Exhibition in Wakefield from February 2nd to February 23rd. We are pleased to announce that several students received awards of excellence.

Stefy Andreev ’21 with her award-winning painting

Congratulations to the following RHS student-artists:
Ceramics: 1st Place – Jasper Summers ’20, 2nd Place – Steven Lora ’19
Collage:  2nd Place – Molly Pierson ’22, 3rd Place – Beatrice Bevalacqua ’22
Painting:  2nd Place – Stefy Andreev ’21, Honorable Mention – Sara Laurent ’21

Middle School Empty Bowls Event & Art Show
The Middle School students have turned a year-long, multi-disciplinary Project Based Learning study of poverty. The powerful artwork display encourages viewers to think deeply from multiple viewpoints and think about what we can do to reduce the impact of poverty on the future of our community. The Empty Bowls Project is an international, grassroots, crafts-based effort to end hunger. On Wednesday, February 13th students shared their projects with their families and teachers. Staying true to the traditional Empty Bowls format, families brought donations for the local food pantry and enjoyed an evening of soup and artwork.

The 6th grade connected their ceramic bowl project to their exploration of farms, schools, and food pantries. The 7th grade created papiermâché bowls with artwork that empathetically conveyed the emotions of young people with and without sufficient basic needs. The 8th grade created a full art installation featuring their ceramic bowls that taught viewers about food insufficiency. In addition, the 7th grade math and health classes came up with soup recipes, calculated ingredients and nutrients, and presented them to board members from the North Kingstown Food Pantry as options for their recipe bag program. They cooked in the Flik kitchen and served two of the recipes for guests Wednesday evening. Rather than sending a bowl home with each family at the event, like a traditional Empty Bowls event does, students left the bowls on view as part of this educational art installation for the duration of the Middle School art show on display all week.

Mrs. Armentano would like to thank all of the teachers, parents, and students who contributed. Additionally, she is looking for testimonials from parents and visitors. If you visited the event or show and would like to share a few lines about your experience, please email her at rarmentano@rockyhill.org.

Upper School Chorus Performs at Higher Ground
The Upper School Chorus performed at Higher Ground in Providence. Higher Ground is an inter-generational social service NGO that advocates and provides programs for West African immigrants, refugees, and marginalized communities in Rhode Island and rural villages in Liberia, West Africa.  The students performed seven African songs, sang, and danced with the Liberian women who are part of the organization.


Athletes of the Week
Kobe Polley ’20 – Basketball:  Kobe snagged the honors in the last week of January for his effort in practice and his leadership role in a AAA match-up where he also dropped three 3’s.

Ptolemy Tassone ’19 – Basketball:  Ptolemy dominated last week, playing and practicing with focus and a high basketball IQ, helping her team to a two-win week.

Mo Danmola ’19 – Basketball:  Mo rose to the occasion last week, playing against tough opponents and taking a leadership role on senior night, all while displaying resiliency and pride.

SENE Semifinal Double Header
It’s official – we are hosting a doubleheader SENE semifinal varsity basketball night on Wednesday, February 20th. Girls will tip off at 4:00 p.m. and boys will follow at 5:30 p.m.
…and it is a BLUE OUT! Dust off your best blue outfit, get the face paint out, and get ready to show your Mariner PRIDE! Aside from excellent playoff basketball, the night will also feature:
– Full concession stand, including pizza, and RHS Spirit Wear
– Free blue & white face-painting
– Free spirit giveaways
– Halftime competitions during BOTH games
– Free cookies for the first 100 RHS students who show up in BLUE

– Free school snack passes raffled off during both games, courtesy of Chef J

State Championship in Boys Swimming 
Good luck to Cortlandt Meyerson ’20 who will be swimming the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke in the upcoming RIIL State Championship swim meet. If you want to cheer him on, he will hit the water at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 23 at Brown University. Please note it is a ticketed event.

Jump Rope for Heart a Success
Lower schoolers spent the morning jumping and dancing, all for a great cause! The students learned about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle for heart health and also raised funds to support the American Heart Association during their annual Jump Rope for Heart program. So far, they have raised $3,707. The drive ends next Friday.

NEW! – Athletics Corporate Sponsorship Program
The Athletic Department is excited to announce a new opportunity for corporations and businesses to sponsor the athletic program and receive on-campus recognition for their support. Please share this information at your place of business or with companies you think might be interested in the program. LEARN MORE

Athletic Leadership Workshop
On Tuesday, February 19th, Rocky Hill School Athletics will be hosting a student-athlete leadership workshop, led by Pam Hearth, former Director of Curriculum for Strive and former Director of Positive Coaching Alliance. Pam will be running this workshop for us as a kickoff for the subsequent leadership trainings that we will be offering our student-athletes throughout the rest of 2019. Student leadership training is an important focus of the athletic department.

Gregory Tatevian ’21 recently auditioned for and was selected to participate in the Rhode Island Music Educators All-State Senior Division Orchestra. In addition to this prestigious accomplishment, another audition was held among the top four violinists to determine Concert Master, which is the 1st chair, 1st violin seat. We are so proud to announce that Greg was the winner of that audition and is now the 2019 All-State Orchestra Concert Master. On behalf of the entire RHS community, we offer our sincere congratulations to Greg!

Congratulations to Aviva Beringhause ’19 who officially committed to Massachusetts Maritime Academy and will play both soccer and lacrosse.

Former RHS teacher Kathy Priest is pictured with John Leyden ’14. John was an ACE student for years and credits the program with preparing him for the rigors of college. Kathy was invited to John’s graduation in December from Barry University in Miami, FL. He graduated Cum Laude in arts and sciences. He plans to become a psychologist and go to graduate school. Congratulations, John!

Send us your news!

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