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.

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