February 7, 2020

Mark Your Calendar 

    • Middle School Art Show: February 10 -14| Hale Commons
    • Empty Bowls Middle School Art Reception (for MS Families): Tuesday, February 11 | Hale | 5:00 p.m.
    • All School PTL Meeting: Thursday, February 13 | Flynn LH | 8:30 a.m.
    • No School for Upper School: Friday, February 14 | Parent Conferences
    • School Closed: Monday, February 17 | Presidents Day
    • School Closed: Tuesday, February 18 | Professional Development Day
    • Middle School Game Night: Friday, February 21 | Campbell Center | 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Trivia Night: Friday, February 21 | Gym | 7 p.m.
    • Middle School Basketball Day: Saturday, February 22 | Gym | 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Upper School Play: February 28-29 | Campbell Center |

Head of School Presents at AISNE
Last week, Head of School, Diane Rich presented at the Head’s Retreat sponsored by the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE), one of the largest such associations in the country. Once a year, Heads of School gather to discuss topics relevant to the state of independent schools across the region, and together come to a deeper understanding of their charge as leaders.

Presenting on behalf of RHCD, Mrs. Rich led an important conversation with her peers on the changing education landscape and the essential elements needed to foster an environment where schools can thrive. These were identified as transparency, collaboration, creativity, and calmness of mind—values seen everyday at Rocky Hill Country Day School.

“My take away from attending this year’s 2020 Head’s Retreat,” wrote Mrs. Rich in a Head of School letter, “and hearing the challenges other schools face, is that RHCD is well positioned for the challenges ahead. Our vision of the future of education is serving as a powerful and successful guide.”

Rocky Hill Social: Thank You to All Who Attended!
The Rocky Hill Social at Dorrian’s Red Hand, Manhattan on January 31 was an occasion to remember! Members of the RHCD community young and old, near and far, joined for a festive evening of connecting, reconnecting, and networking. Many thanks to Amy Archambault Dorrian ’94 for hosting us!

Annual Alumni Legacy Social
On January 30, the School hosted its first Annual Alumni Legacy Social. Legacy families are defined as those where a parent of a current student or alumnus/a is also an alumnus/a. Everyone had fun sharing stories about the good old days and looking at yearbooks and Bulletins from years gone by. Graduation years spanned from 1979 – 2013.

RHCD in the News
It has been a busy start to the year, and the local press has been hot on our trail! One event in particular attracted quite a lot of attention: the Junior English project led by Mrs. Buecheler and Mrs. Snyman, “What They Still Carry: Reflections on the Experience of War.” Here are some clippings to enjoy:

Rocky Hill Fund: Half Way There!
The 2019-2020 Rocky Hill Fund is almost halfway to our goal of raising $320,000 by June 30! Want to help us hit the mark? You can make a gift or pledge online! This year, we are celebrating 85 Years and 85 Moments Supported by the Rocky Hill Fund. Here are just a few examples of how all gifts make an impact at RHCD. Thank you for helping to bring them all to life.

Read the Latest “Think Outside” blog

“Disruptive teaching and learning is not a new concept. Dedicated and passionate educators are always looking for ways to better engage their learners.”

Discover why shaking-up the status quo leads to growth in the classroom. By Fourth Grade teacher, Charlie Laurent.

2020-21 Student Activity Fee

You will notice a change this year in your child’s enrollment contract. In an effort to support our families with budgeting and managing school expenses, we are moving away from billing families for various fees and items during the school. Instead, we have instituted a student activity fee. The fee includes class experiences, field trips, a yearbook, billed classroom supplies, and other expected charges for all students in each grade.

The fee varies by grade since the costs and the trips vary by grade. Your student activity fee is also included in your payment plan, which allows fees to be paid over time. Individual charges may appear on your account occasionally, but our aim is to minimize this as much as possible.

Please reach out to the Business Office if you have any questions about this new arrangement.



Announcing Ailsa Petrie: Spring 2020 Innovator in Residence

Spring IIR, Ailsa Petrie

Each year, RHCD invites distinguished industry experts who combine knowledge and skills in novel ways to join our school community as Innovators-In-Residence (IIR). These IIRs elevate dialogue around big, bold ideas, and expose students, faculty, and families to cutting-edge work across a variety of disciplines. IIRs also offer access to networks of entrepreneurs and researchers that provide multidisciplinary real-world learning.

RHCD is pleased to announce Ailsa Petrie as the Spring 2020 IIR. Petrie brings expertise in Design Thinking, Service Design, and Ideation, coupled with a focus on the process of transformation, development, and self-improvement. She has led workshops with Home DepotPorche North America, and Project ReSound (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

Petrie attended Syracuse University and SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), and is one of only 20 innovators from around the world selected to join IDEO’s exclusive CoLab Fellows Program. She will be in residence at RHCD during semester 2, through June 2020.

If you have questions or wish to connect with Ailsa, please reach out to the Director of Innovation, Meg Stowe

Nous t’aimons Québec
One of the most beautiful elements of “Thinking Outside” is that is can lead us very far afield indeed. Last week, a party of Eighth Graders under the guidance of Mike Jedrey and Karah Chartrand returned from the 16th annual RHCD trip to Québec City… and what an adventure they had!

From acting-out traditional folk tales to visiting the breathtaking splendor of Montmorency Falls, the three day expedition leaves an indelible mark on all those who embark on the journey. Highlights included tobogganing down the slide at the Château Frontenac, which has been in operation since 1884, eating a traditional Québecois dinner at a sugar shack, and spending an evening snow tubing at Valcartier.

During a walking tour of Old Québec, the party visited the Place Royal, passed near the home Samuel de Champlain who founded Quebec in 1608, and also stopped by the Parliament building. But that wasn’t all. Canada is a paradise for winter activities, and the Eighth Grade made the most of ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing, as well as dog sledding along a forest trail, before visiting a traditional Huron Village in Wendake to learn more about the people who first inhabited this corner of the Americas.

Sound like we’re missing something? No trip to Québec would be complete without eating poutine, and everyone enjoyed this delicious dish of french fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy! The Eighth Grade thanks everyone who welcomed them in Québec and showed them the sights of this remarkable Provence. We look forward to seeing you all again, next year.

See more photos on Facebook and Instagram!

The after school sewing crew made joey pouches for orphaned marsupials.

Sending aid to Australia
The Lower School students came together to offer support to Australia as it continues to be ravaged by wildfires. The after school sewing crew completed a service learning project by making joey pouches for baby marsupials who lost their mothers in the fires.

Mad Dash Author Visits RHCD
On Friday, January 31, local author, Tom Kiernan, visited the RHCD library and spoke with Fifth through Seventh Grade students about his book series, The Mad Dash. The premise centers around best friends, Lumpy and Bones, who are about to embark on their final year of Junior High… but their survival depends upon an app for time travel! With thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Hayes Family, all 5th through 7th grade students received free access to the online versions of the series.


Rocky Hill Country Day is a Safe Sports School
As announced in the most recent edition of eCurrents, Rocky Hill Country Day School has received a second Safe Sports School Award (as determined by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA)), for its Mariner Athletic Program. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports, and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment.

The Athletics Department displays the NATA banner accrediting RHCD with Safe Sports School status at the Student Boosters annual Tropical Night.

“Rocky Hill Country Day School is honored to receive this 1st Team recognition from NATA,” said Arthur Entwistle, Athletic Trainer & Assistant Athletic Director. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices, and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.”

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status, athletic programs must achieve, among much else:

• A positive athletic health care administrative system
• Safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
• Plans for selection, fit function, and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
• A permanent, appropriately equipped area to treat injured athletes
• Injury and illness prevention strategies
• Injury intervention
• Psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education

Everyone at Rocky Hill Country Day thanks the Athletics Department for the incredible work they do in promoting safe, effective, and fulfilling health and wellness activities.

Unveiling Championship Banners
As far as Fridays go, Friday January 29 was one to remember for the Athletics Department. The gymnasium was alive with a basketball double header (Varsity Girls followed by Varsity Boys), with the respective half times used to reveal the 2019 Rhode Island Interscholastic League Girls Lacrosse D3 State Championship and the 2019 NEPSAC Boys Soccer Class D New England Championship banners. In fitting recognition of 2019 being an incredible year for Athletics, the Student Boosters also hosted their annual Tropical Night. Talk about the Mariner Way!

Reach: The Middle School Art Show
Reach“, the Middle School Art Show, will be on display in the Hale Commons on February 10th-14th. Projects of note include the Sixth Grade “Helping Hands” unit inspired by American Sign Language; Seventh Grade “Superfood Paintings”, and Eighth Grade portraits of Syrian refugees.

Reach Special Event:  Empty Bowls 

Middle School families are invited to celebrate a RHCD adaptation of “Empty Bowls on Tuesday, February 11, 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Hale. Families are encouraged to bring donations of peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, and individually packed snacks to benefit Help the Homeless RI, and Breads and Threads respectively. Soup and refreshments will be served, with the Eighth Grade Tiny House project also being exhibited.

Trivia Night and Middle School Game Night!
The Boosters are hosting Trivia Night on February 21. Just like your favorite evening trivia, there will be a cash bar, BYO snacks, and an amazing host (spoiler alert – it’s Megan Williams!) Anyone can take part, they do not have to be part of RHCD, so grab a friend (or ten) and get a team entered (please note this is an 18+ event)!  Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and childcare is available. Sign up here!

Complimentary child supervision will be offered in the Flynn Nautilus for RHCD families from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Need more entertainment? Middle School will also be hosting Middle School Game Night! Students will enjoy an array of games and fun from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Admission is $5 which will be collected to make a donation to the Leukemia Society in support of Aura Rizzo, a longtime teacher and coach at RHCD. Those students who have parents attending Trivia Night are welcome to join other students in the Flynn Lecture Hall until Trivia Night concludes at 9:00 p.m.

ACE Ice Cream Social
Nothing beats ice-cream in winter! Come and enjoy some tasty frozen treats on Tuesday, March 3 in the ACE Building from 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. The event is open to ACE students from all three divisions.

Summer Camp
Join us for Summer by the Bay! June 22 – August 7. We are pleased to announce that registration for Rocky Hill Country Day Summer Camps is now open. From traditional camps to specialty and Nike sports camps, experience a summer like no other.

Programs range from traditional day camps to computer coding, culinary classes to sports activities. Our traditional full or half-day programs – Critter Camp, Jr. Mariners, and Mariners, are our most popular camps, while our sports camps are run by adults who know their sport and are top-level players and experienced coaches. Imagine camps in drama, jewelry making, waterfront painting, coding, and even woodworking!

Visit rockyhill.org or contact Karah Chartrand at kchartrand@rockyhill.org for more information.

Let’s hear it for sophomore Kaeley Z. of the Upper School Band who has been selected to participate in the Providence College Festival Band! This ensemble is made up of leading wind and percussion students from around the state and selection is made by audition. Outside RHCD, Kaeley studies privately with John Curran, who is the former principal flutist for the RI Philharmonic. The entire RHCD community congratulates Kaeley on this exceptional musical accomplishment.

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 fever-free without fever-reducing medication 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.

UPDATE February 6

We have checked with other area schools and they too are experiencing an outbreak. However no other area schools are closing due to the flu. The CDC does not recommend school closure as a way to contain the flu, but instead recommends good hygiene such as washing hands and covering your mouth for any coughs or sneezes.

As other precautionary steps we have done the following:

  • Asked the dining staff to not leave any utensils in the dining area and add an extra washing of all utensils prior to putting them out for service.
  • Provided Clorox wipes to every classroom for cleaning surfaces such as tables, desks, door knobs, etc.

Additionally if you do not feel well, please stay home. The guidance we have received is that this has to run its course. For more information on the season’s flu outbreak, visit the CDC’s flu website.

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.