On Friday, June 12, the Class of 2020 celebrated Commencement with their nearest and dearest on the lawn in front of Hopelands. Making the most of our extensive campus, each student was allocated a “pod” of chairs located more than six feet from their nearest neighbors so all participants could relax and enjoy the festivities while still practicing social distancing.
A memorable as well as unique occasion, the event was live streamed for extended family, friends, and faculty and a jumbo screen projected the event for optimal viewing.
Each student was able to come to the stage to receive their diploma and hear adulations written about them by their advisor. The heartfelt sentiments resonated with students and families after months of separation and distance learning. The families were pleased to be able to maintain a majority of the traditions of commencement, including the Rose Ceremony, where students present roses to parents and faculty/staff who they wish to honor.
This year, they wrote notes on Rose Cards that were shared with the honorees. The day finished with a video created by the students and a parade through the campus where faculty and staff, complete with decorated cars and signs, lined the parking lot, and saluted the Class of 2020 for a final recessional through the grounds some have called home for as long as 15 years. #RHCDSeniors
2020 Honor Society Nominations:
Rocky Hill Country Day School Lifer Awards
Rocky Hill Country Day School Dumas Family
Alumni Athletic Award World Language Award
Kobe P. Rebecca A.
Henry and Peggy Sharpe English Award
Gregor/Coes Award in Mathematics
Dr. Richard R. MacMahon Science Award
Roberta Wintersteen Knight ’61
History and Social Sciences Award Valedictorian
Rebecca A. Sam W.
for Sportsmanship Howland Music Award
Maxwell L., Emma S. Neha B.
M. Dorothy Young Award William W. Mauran Bowl
Nick M., Kobe P. Isabella R.
Community Service Award Lillian Boynton Hale Art
Neha B. Olivia M.
2020 Commencement Planning Committee:
Martha Cunningham, Beth DeGerlia, Todd de Wardener, Susan Fonseca, Michael Lawson, Diane Rich, Elena Rich
Lower School and Middle School Parades
Last week, Lower School and Middle School students, families, and friends respectively participated in their very own parades through campus and past the portico. On what proved to be two moving and memorable occasions, students and their teachers alike enjoyed an opportunity to connect, celebrate, and reflect upon an unusual, yet love-filled academic year. See you all in the fall!
Lower School Parade Gallery
Middle School Parade Gallery
Lower School Moving-Up Ceremony
Over 40 people logged in to be a part of the 5th Grade’s special day! Each student wrote and read a “Here’s To” to one of their classmates, while Abby M. ’27 was the recipient of the Lower School Joan Osowa Citizenship Award.
“I am so happy we had the opportunity to recognize and celebrate our students for all they accomplished and all they brought to our Lower School community this year….even from a distance! To each of you, I offer a great big thank you for all the ways you made us smile. I’d also like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all the grown-ups who set the stage.
I wish everyone the best as you head into summer and look forward to you“moving up” in our Lower School. To our 5th Grade friends, you’ve made your mark in our Lower School and you’re ready for the adventures that lie ahead. For those of you moving on, remember, our door and our hearts will always be open, and you will always have roots at RHCD. Happy Summer! — Patricia Pontarelli, Head of Lower School
Middle School Moving-Up Video
“The Middle School wants to applaud our students and faculty for the work they did this spring through distance learning. We are a community of learners, and the commitment of the students to continue to engage each day and make the most of our time together was inspiring. As we head into summer vacation, the faculty and administration will be refining their strategies for distance and blended learning through a variety of professional development opportunities, even as we anxiously anticipate our return to campus and being together with our students. The Middle School wishes all a safe and wonderful summer vacation.” — Mike Jedrey, Head of Middle School
How does FOOD affect people, production, and policy?
- The RI Food Bank
- The RI Food Policy Council
- A variety of local sustainable restaurants
- The FutureX Podcast (Future of Food)
- Local university fellows
- … and more!
RHCD in the Press
It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Rocky Hill Country Day, and the press has been following our every movement! Here is what the media has been saying about everything RHCD:
- East Greenwich News: “Rocky Hill CDS Graduates 29 Students”
- Warwick Beacon: Rocky Hill School Recently Held its Winter Awards Presentation
Free Mindfulness Practice led by Dr. Chris Willard
We are delighted to have Dr. Christopher Willard leading us in a mindfulness practice on June 20, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Let’s gather on Zoom (click for event link) as parents, administrators, ed
Meeting ID: 824 8360 2622
Elsa B. ’20
Nicholas M. ’20
Emma S. ’20
Zachary W. ’20
Kobe P. ’20
Pascale B. ’20
Cortlandt M. ’20
Christoff B. ’20
Beatrice B. ’22
Ava G-R. ’21
Molly P. ’22
Stefania A. ’21
Congratulations also to the teachers who helped these students to develop their passion for French and Spanish over their years in Upper School: Elena Rich, Charlotte Buecheler, Hannah Hudson, Maria Abregu, and Thomas Farrell.
About the Societies: The Société Honoraire de Français, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), and the Sociedad Honoraria, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), are honor societies for high school students enrolled in French and Spanish classes. Students who achieve high standards academically and are engaged in the promotion of the language and culture are nominated for society membership, which allows them to participate in events and apply for scholarships.
“When COVID-19 disrupted our lives, it did not upend a program or crush the ideals of our Seniors; it provided an unequaled opportunity for an exceptional group of individuals to exercise their personal agency and exploit the self-directed model we offered them. Some continued with remote internships, many uncovered new passions and discovered hidden talents, while others engaged in mini-apprenticeships and designed, created, and built. The competencies, especially “navigator” and “communicator” were at the forefront, as were their levels of innovation and self-awareness. We were so impressed by the scope and depth of their learning achieved in just two weeks.” — Bel Snyman, Senior Project Coordinator
On June 10th, the Class of 2020 presented an online showcase that included live presentations, videos, websites, and blogs. Below is an event program, as well as ways to access and enjoy the projects.
Cole L. : Rocky Hill Fishing 101
Neha B. : Quarantine Cookbook (read: Issuu)
Willa G. : The Making of an Album
Nick M. : The Importance of Gun Safety Laws and How Congressman Cicilline Has Fought For Their Improvement
Cortlandt M. : Marketing Conservation with The Ocean Agency
Olivia M. : A Documentary of Farming in Rhode Island (watch: YouTube)
Rebecca A. : The Library Diaries: The Remote Tales of an Intern at the Providence Athenaeum
Elsa Block : “Through the Seasons” at Rocky Hill Country Day: A 14-Year Journey (Video and animation; “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell)
Pascale B. : Branding and Marketing: DiCollective (link: website)
Ada R. : Life’s What You Bake It: Vegan Baking and Cooking (link: website)
Over the past couple of weeks, each of Anna Slaybaugh’s Math classes conducted a mini-PBL addressing the driving question, “How do we best support disadvantaged groups in STEM classrooms?” Students researched and analyzed statistics, learning how statistics don’t always “paint the correct picture” and that we need to look for context.
The PBL began with students reading articles about the importance of diversity and then undertook discussions about how to foster that environment in math classes. Next, they watched a video from Dr. Bettina Love and talked about disadvantaged groups and what causes unnecessary struggles in math classes. Students then performed preliminary research about various disadvantaged groups in STEM classes and careers, talking about the importance of statistics, the context that goes with them, and how can we analyze statistics in order to get the full picture. Research included how misleading statistics can still be true, and how they are presented does not always give a clear picture. They also analyzed data from the Pew Research Center.
The groups conducted weekly meetings to talk about actionable solutions to things that we can do at Rocky Hill as well as globally. Students talked about how we cannot compare the status of education and inclusion across the country with what they experience at Rocky Hill Country Day. They also discussed how aspects of RHCD can create a safe learning environment for some groups and thoughts on what we as a community could do better.
“STEM is extremely important in education, even if these students don’t move onto STEM careers. In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We must make sure that, no matter where children live, what learning differences they may have, or if they are a part of a disadvantaged group, they have access to quality learning environments. — Anna Slaybaugh, Math Teacher
While respecting the importance of the directives, the Fourth Grade didn’t let “Stay-at-Home” orders to keep them from visiting, and building, some of our country’s important American Revolution landmarks. Students were challenged to answer the driving question:
- Where is it?
- Why is it important?
- What occurred there and when?
- Who was there?
- When was the landmark important?
- What is it today?
“Fourth graders spent two weeks researching, writing, designing, building, and sharing. The results were fun and impressive.” — Charlie Laurent, Lower School Teacher
A soft morning light filtered through the trees, the stillness punctuated by the songs of morning birds. Everything belonged to Prince Charles: in the secluded forest, the rocks, the trees, and most importantly to the crown, the hunt. No one else was allowed to set foot in the Prince’s Land, even the men brought along to help load the quarry onto large wooden carts. — Caelan L. ’21
We waited beyond the crowd mobbing to be the first to pull their luggage off the boat. We were in no rush to reach our destination. Louie cracked open our stale trunk and pulled out the instructive letter, from our father, from under the top layer of clothing. “Macoun Street and 23rd, Macoun and 23rd.” he repeated. — Jacob S. ’21
I placed the slip of paper, along with the money, on the desk before me. I was lucky to know English well, having spoken it some in Ireland, but when the man started asking my question, it was nearly impossible to understand. — Sinead B. ’21
They boarded a boat that was a little too lavish for the area, and Azra pretended not to notice that the crew was armed. She wasn’t nervous; she just figured that it’d be best not to mention it. — Troy J. ’20
From an unfamiliar voice, I heard my name. It felt strange hearing my name called out in a way I’d never heard before, with a different pronunciation and order. As I turned my head, I saw no familiar faces, just two people waving at me. — Yiran C. ’21
I would be leaving everything behind; my family, my job as a police officer, a house my wife, Sofia and I had worked so hard to purchase, at the young age of 29. Most importantly, I would have to leave my wife but only for a short while. Although it was a hard decision to make, I really had no other choice. The moment my life was in serious danger, I knew I would have to leave Colombia as soon as possible. — David G. ’21
The coordinator takes us to our dorm and we’ve been told that we will receive a tour and an entrance ceremony to join the school. Lying down on my bed, I close my eyes but nothing happens, it’s tough for me to sleep. — Yuhuan L. ’21
As the small chime of the front doorbell rang and the smell of morning baked bread surrounded me, I would place the small amounts of money I had onto the front counter. The coins would click-clack onto the glass counter top. — Valentina S. ’21
100 Mile Challenge
We want to keep our Mariner Family on the move this summer, so the Athletics Department is throwing down a 100 Mile Challenge! Whether you walk, run, or hike, we want to see how many Mariners can log 100 miles over the next two months.
If you already are an avid runner or walker, or you want to set some fitness goals for yourself over the summer (Fall Athletes, I’m looking at you!) – this will be a way for our community to motivate, inspire, and challenge each other – with a prize at the end for all those students and staff who make it!
1. Download Runkeeper on your device and create an account. If you have a fitness tracker like Fitbit or an Apple Watch, you can pair it with your account – if you don’t you just need to bring the device with Runkeeper on it during your miles. Each person participating needs their own account unless you plan to do ALL your miles together with the same partner (possibility for a family or young siblings!)
2. Search for RHCD Mariners as a friend. We will accept your friend request and then invite you to join the 100 Mariner Miles group, which will begin on June 15th.
3. Once you have joined the group, your progress towards our 100 mile goal will automatically update.
4. In order to log your miles into the Challenge group, you’ll need to categorize your activity as a “run” – so before heading out on that walk, hike, or jog, make sure to start the Runkeeper app OR your fitness device that you’ve paired with the app (and stop it when you’ve finished!) Random daily steps will not sync into the Challenge, only those steps that you take during your dedicated activity time that are categorized as a RUN. So even if you plan to walk or hike – categorize it as a Run for it to count towards our challenge.
That’s all for now folks!
eCurrents is getting a makeover this summer. We’ll return with RHCD school news and more in September! Wishing our Mariner family a wonderful break.