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Rippowam Cisqua School Rippowam Campus – Grades 5 - 9

Critical Thinking Individual Development Personal Excellence

Cultivating a

passion for learning The Rippowam Cisqua difference is evident from the moment a visitor walks through the front door. Inspiration and energy abound. Our students are motivated by curiosity, enthusiastic about their studies, and open to new ideas and fresh experiences. At Rippowam, students become independent thinkers, gain confidence in their abilities, and forge their own individual pathways to learning. Throughout this journey they are guided by dynamic teachers who ignite in them a passion for learning that stays with them for the rest of their lives.

Where does the central power lie, with the federal or state government?

At Rippowam Cisqua, students seek to answer questions and then

question the answers Our teachers and students work together to develop and strengthen the tools of active learning. We create an atmosphere where the answers themselves share equal importance with the process and strategies students use to validate their thoughts. We examine subjects in detail, gather related information and ideas, and discuss the range of perspectives that emerge. This process models real life, where obstacles have the potential to become opportunity and conventional wisdom is routinely challenged.

Students of all ages thrive in an environment where everybody knows them; where every teacher knows their learning styles, and each student is considered a unique individual. Our students explore new ideas, take chances, and risk error, knowing that they will be understood and supported along their educational journey. Learning is never just a stale recounting of events. History and literature come to life when students grapple with the real problems that beset our ancestors, other historical cultures, and literary figures. The process of debating and seeking understanding of real human action and decision making creates active citizens, engaged in our world and its future.

Our assignments use information only as a baseline. The real substance of an assignment is to think about the information, analyze it, and use it to formulate a new thought.

– RCS Teacher

 Teachers invested in their students We begin with dedicated faculty whose passion for their academic discipline matches their passion for teaching Grades Five through Nine. They guide their students through major themes and practical applications of challenging concepts in English, history, language, science, and math. Their capacity for understanding and their commitment to educating the whole student turn the classroom into a safe haven for exploration and discovery.

Mastering learning skills RCS is widely recognized for its challenging academics as well as its mission to develop independent thinkers who are creative, diligent, and assertive. We urge students to experiment, simulate, and investigate solutions to common problems. These techniques go hand-in-hand with classroom lecture and discussion. Together they unleash each student’s vast potential and prepare him or her to take the next steps toward their educational goals.


12 11 1 10 2 A day in the life 9 3 student of a Rippowam 8 4 7 6 5 Grade 6 Grade 8

Grade 6

The Rippowam curriculum aims to inspire intellectual curiosity. Our sequence of studies includes a core academic foundation coupled with the ongoing development of vital critical thinking skills that foster a deep-seated thirst for knowledge.



Language Arts


Reading Twelve Angry Men along with other short stories, novels, and poetry. Working on a public speaking project.

 9:12 Science


Finishing a paper on nuclear energy. Beginning to build a 3D model for study of science behind bridges.

10:57 Investigating geometric relationships.

Building expository and creative writing portfolio and reading To Kill a Mockingbird.



 11:41 Lunch Joining the teachers for lunch. Favorite lunch? BBQ day outside!

1:23 Humanities – World Culture




Tackling factoring and quadratic equations. Preparing for Honors Geometry next year.


Grade 8

Studying America’s role in World War II

12:32 Advisory Time and Lunch


Checking in with Advisor, discussing goals for the week, catching up on homework, visiting with friends, and eating lunch.



Exploring Physics and Chemistry

Finishing the collection of resources for Taj Mahal research paper.



Art 3D



Practicing for the Spring concert.

Finishing ceramic tile project and beginning to draw a typical streetscape.

Preparing for tomorrow’s game.

Today’s practice is 100 and 200 yard dashes and hurdles!


Journey halfway across the world to learn about Muslim traditions and report your findings at the annual Islamic Bazaar.

 Se in ize R div th C idu e o S al ppo Ch ris rt an ks un ce as ity a to lea ta  rn ke er.



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Whether it’s the study of an ancient civilization, classic British literature, a physics experiment, or a theater production, Rippowam students have access to a wide range of classroom and co-curricular experiences. Here they harness the concepts they have mastered and apply them to real-world situations. Over time, they begin to take risks within their studies. The resulting projects and experiences will stay with them for the rest of their academic careers and propel them to even greater accomplishment in the years ahead.



Design a yearlong independent study project that examines a favorite cause in detail. Create a comprehensive portfolio that illustrates your favorite passion.



Community Chest

Make Learning



Community Chest

Research the role of physics in society with a yearlong study, including designing a helium-filled launch vehicle that carries a video camera. Prepare and present your findings to a panel of expert professionals.


Examine the second half of American history and then travel as a class to Washington D.C. to experience the heart of our federal government.


Stage a full–length theatrical production in which every sixth-grade student plays a role.

Community Chest

Conduct a mock legislature with members of your class in the New York State House of Representatives. Debate issues ranging from the nature of freedom to the conflict between environmental and industrial interests.

Immerse yourself in African culture and choose your own country to research and explore.


Roll up your sleeves and dive into the study of the Mianus River Nature Conservancy. Put your scientific skills to work collecting and reporting data on the state of the local watershed.



Community Chest

Community Chest


Don your finest medieval garb and stage a performance of William Shakespeare at the annual Shakespeare Festival at SUNY Purchase.




Casting call‌

Discover your

expressive style The ability to communicate a point of view is an essential life skill. Our Arts program encourages students to step back from their academic studies and view life, history, and their own thoughts from a non-verbal angle. Our performing and fine arts programs allow students to create in a directed but non-judgmental atmosphere. Classes led by teachers who are practitioners and strong advocates for the arts open up a wealth of possibility for our students in terms of personal expression.

Our students can seek out a new identity through roles in any of the full-cast musicals staged yearly on the Rippowam Campus. W I L L Y W O N K A








Search for the plays below: Guys and Dolls Hello Dolly Les Miserables Revelry Seussical Willy Wonka

Intellect and creativity are valued at RCS

and different roads to knowledge are celebrated. – RCS Teacher

Building creativity to understand innovation The popular Allied Arts program invites students in Grades Seven through Nine to explore their creative interests. The broad array of classes ensures that each child has the opportunity to develop his or her unique artistic talent. As their creativity matures, they begin to understand how to express themselves more effectively, reinforcing the essential skill of interacting with others in our ever-changing world. A sample of offerings includes: Acting Architecture Basket weaving Batik Black & white photography Ceramics Chorus Dance Debate


Digital photography Instrumental music Jazz Band Jewelry making Newspaper Painting Photography Pottery Printmaking Sculpture

Sign Language Storytelling Strings Theatre Theatrical set design Watercolors on location Wind Ensemble Woodshop

 From Shakespeare to Broadway… without leaving Bedford Comfort with public speaking is a vital tool for students who will embark on a variety of highly interactive careers. RCS provides students with ample opportunity to develop and fine-tune their public speaking skills and dramatic expression. From their first year in JPK, and on through ninth grade, student performance evolves from skits, to poetry readings, to full-cast performances.

Exploring personal expression through visual art The Visual Arts program offers students new avenues of expression. Students explore two-dimensional media, such as painting and drawing, and gradually move into work with three-dimensional media, such as clay, ceramics, and sculpture.

  Encouraging aspiring musicians We instill in each student a working knowledge and love of music for its intrinsic beauty and value. Through experience, analysis, interpretation, and performance, the students’ connection to music grows. Accomplished faculty members share their expertise, and instruction is available in chorus, beginner band instruments, and guitar. Bi-annual school-wide concerts allow our aspiring musicians to take the stage and showcase their developing talents.


Teamwork + Sportsmanship =

Red & Blue! Red vs. Blue A long held tradition at Rippowam Cisqua is the Red-Blue competition. The Rippowam community is divided into two teams, red and blue, and students are assigned to one team when they join the Rippowam Campus. Both teams elect captains who lead them throughout the year. Teams accrue points for everything from winning a basketball game, to prevailing at the schoolwide Geography Bee, to returning library books on time, to participating in Field Day. At the end of the year, the team with the highest number of points wins. Their prize? Pure and simple bragging rights … until next year.

Build healthy bodies Understand teamwork

Champion school spirit Healthy minds and healthy bodies go hand-in-hand. Health and physical education programs at RCS include the teaching of life skills, such as making thoughtful decisions, developing strong values, and working with others to achieve a common goal. We’re educating the complete student by raising awareness, demonstrating the benefits of regular physical activity, and placing emphasis on the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork. These skills contribute to our students’ success, both on our fourteen different sports teams and in their personal endeavors.

Health is about building strong kids with

even stronger minds. It’s about fitness and learning what you can do to become a healthy adult. – RCS Teacher

Teams Fall Boys Soccer Football Girls Soccer Field hockey

Winter Boys Basketball Hockey Girls Basketball Hockey

The road to lifelong health and fitness Spring Boys Baseball Lacrosse Track & Field – Grades 7 - 9 Girls Softball Lacrosse Track & Field – Grades 7 - 9

RCS focuses on physical activity, our bodies, our thoughts, and our values through its health program. Our students examine the role of health and personal fitness in building a solid personal foundation for the rest of their lives. In Grades 5 and 6, we focus on lifelong activity development through games such as badminton, tennis, floor hockey, and sports from different parts of the world. In Grade 7, we help students understand their own bodies and their personal development through a program called “Who am I?” In Grade 8, we teach fundamental decision-making and how to gain perspective regarding our emotional and physical choices. In Grade 9, we explore ethics, morality, and value systems to better understand the world at large.


 Learning to be a good sport Every child at Rippowam experiences being part of a team. Sports is a required part of the curriculum for Grades Five through Nine. Playing sports isn’t just about learning the athletic fundamentals, it is also about learning how to interact with other people in various circumstances. Our coaches focus on fostering positive attitudes, fair play, and good sportsmanship. Interscholastic play in the Fairchester League of schools begins in Grade Six. Our student athletes have been recognized in high school for their skill, their knowledge of the sport, their willingness to work hard, and above all, their ethical sense of play.

 The hands-down favorite event at Rippowam? Field Day is the culmination of the yearlong Red-Blue competition. The day begins with a march down Clinton Road and then a rousing cheer led by the Red and Blue team captains. Students from each team compete in athletic events including the long jump, relay races, high jump, and the RCS favorite, Red vs. Blue Tug of War. At the end of the day only one team prevails but every student wins!


What people are saying about RCS

We polled a few of our community members for their thoughts on what makes RCS such a special place. Spin the wheel to read what they had to say.

Experience an extraordinary education Become part of an

extraordinary community If you ask parents, faculty, students, or alumni what makes an RCS education memorable, you’ll inevitably hear the word “community.” RCS is a close-knit community where children and their families get to know the faculty and one another well. They learn from each other and gain understanding of different cultures and values through these relationships. The warmth that this atmosphere engenders creates a welcoming and nurturing environment—the best possible place for all children to learn.

The RCS community is something very special. You can feel it as soon as you walk in the door. – RCS Teacher

Learning to be of service to others We strive to teach our students to “recognize the common humanity of all people” and to support others at the School, in their neighborhoods, and throughout the global community. Through service projects and school traditions such as Community Service Week, RCS actively encourages students to look beyond our campus and respond to the needs of others in a kind and thoughtful manner. Our students partner with a local daycare center and the Community Center of Northern Westchester to discover how they can do their part to improve the world. Community service is built into the ninth grade program, with activities that include building homes for Habitat for Humanity, making meals for the less fortunate, and raising money for their favorite charitable causes. “Throughout all my years at Ripp, we always had drives for food, for clothes, and for items needed by those less fortunate. It was just part of what we did and it made us aware of true needs. I remember one Friday afternoon at Ripp when we made tons of sandwiches for the homeless in New York City. That night, ten to fifteen students got into a van with teachers and made a Midnight Run to New York City to help feed some of the homeless for just one night. Everyone wanted to go on the Midnight Run; it was an opportunity to make a difference.” –Alumna, RCS ’03


 Sharing learning with parents Our commitment to productive relationships and strong communication extends well beyond the classroom. Teachers and administrators are actively engaged in earning the trust and respect of parents, and make certain that all questions are answered and all possible concerns are promptly addressed. We provide many opportunities for parents to stay informed about the curriculum of the School and their child’s individual progress.

Where we are on the map Rippowam Cisqua School consists of two campuses – the Cisqua Campus in Mount Kisco for Grades PreK through Four and the Rippowam Campus for Grades Five through Nine in Bedford. Our students come from over 45 towns surrounding Bedford, New York.

A young alumna reflects on her experience at RCS… Sarah C. Joyce ’02 Hometown: Bedford, NY Started at RCS in JPK High school: Greenwich Academy ’05 Currently enrolled at Georgetown University ’09

Drive to achieve My teachers told me I could do anything, and then gave me the skills to do so. Rippowam helped foster the sense of ambition to go after what I want. That has helped me in everything I’ve done – from applying to colleges and choosing a path through higher education, to working towards a career in my chosen field. Connect with teachers At Rippowam, I grew very close to my teachers. I never felt that I was treated as just another student in the classroom. One of the most important things my relationships with faculty at Rippowam taught me was to feel comfortable reaching out to my teachers in high school and college. That has allowed me to take responsibility for the twists and turns of my own academic journey. A favorite tradition…Red vs. Blue Team Friday assemblies were all about gaining points for your team. It was a fun way to work together with friends and promote a bit of friendly competition. We absolutely looked forward to it, and the great thing was that it lasted the entire school year. It was one of my favorite traditions at Ripp. Ready for the next steps There’s no question that the curriculum, the teachers, and my peers at Rippowam prepared me to do well in high school and college. I went to an extremely competitive high school, but I used the skills I learned at Ripp to further develop my academic abilities in that challenging environment. Poised to succeed I didn’t want to leave Rippowam. Nobody ever wants to leave Ripp. But it feels good to know that when you do move on, you are well equipped to handle complex situations wherever you go. And, of course, I always feel welcome coming back to visit.

Heading off to high school… A partial list of secondary schools where our recent RCS grads have matriculated over the last five years Avon Old Farms Berkshire School Brooks School Brunswick Byram Hills High School Choate Rosemary Hall Deerfield Academy Fox Lane High School Greenwich Academy Hackley School King Low Heywood Thomas The Lawrenceville School Loomis Chaffee The Masters School Middlesex School

Millbrook School Milton Academy Miss Porter’s School Phillips Academy Andover Phillips Exeter Academy Pomfret School Professional Children’s School Rye Country Day School Salisbury School St George’s School St. Andrew’s School, Delaware St. Luke’s School Tabor Academy The Taft School Westminster School

This is a sampling of colleges and universities at which our recent graduates have matriculated: Brown University Dartmouth College Georgetown University Hamilton College Harvard University

Rhode Island School of Design Stanford University Trinity College Wesleyan University

Making the

next steps real When Rippowam Cisqua students graduate, they have acquired a range of skills and inner confidence that will benefit them throughout their secondary school and college careers. Our students have earned acceptance to some of the most well respected high schools in the country. Ninety percent of our students who declared a first choice were admitted to their first choice schools. Their subsequent college acceptances are equally as notable.

We’re focused on helping our students find a path to a great school that’s the best fit for them. – RCS Teacher

Special RCS traditions build lifelong

memories Each year students look forward to celebrating the time-honored traditions that we, and our predecessors, have preserved throughout Rippowam Cisqua’s more than 90-year history. These traditions take learning out of the classroom and allow our students to engage with faculty and their peers in a lively and unforgettable way.

Walk to Cisqua Day

Hyperbowl and Hyperbole

Every May, ninth graders lead the entire Rippowam student body on a three-mile walk from the Rippowam Campus to the Cisqua Campus. The walk gives the Rippowam students an opportunity to enjoy the early spring weather and to connect with former teachers and friends in a familiar place. It also acts as a wonderful reminder to the entire community that we are not two small schools, but one large one.

(an intentional exaggeration of speech or writing) “Mild-mannered science teacher as a black-market tropical fish dealer?” Well no, not really, but anything is possible when students in Grades Seven through Nine craft an entire speech based on the use of hyperbole. Students perform for their class, then their grade, until three finalists are invited to perform for the whole School. A favorite winter tradition, this often hilarious effort culminates in one student earning the title “Champion of Hyperbole.”

Explore Rippowam Cisqua School: The Foundation for Your Child’s Future Students who enter Rippowam Cisqua School are joining a dynamic learning community. Our faculty is a group of dedicated teachers who reach out to, and connect on a personal level with, their students. They thrive on creating interactive learning strategies that challenge each student to achieve his or her greatest potential. Our small community is a warm and inviting place to learn, to examine, and to grow. Students leave here with a solid academic and personal foundation, ready for the best possible secondary school and college opportunities and to contribute to our rapidly evolving world.


Talent Show

Each September, students in Grades Five through Nine leave school for a three-day camping trip. They look forward to the annual outdoor experience – organized by grade – to catch up with classmates and get to know their teachers. In an informal setting, students and faculty discuss themes and ideas they will explore together once they return to campus.

Students sing, dance, juggle, play instruments, and demonstrate a broad array of talents at the Annual Rippowam Talent Show. Favorites range from an original student-written song to a Chinese yo-yo performance. The lasting hallmark of the event is the unflagging energy demonstrated by the students as they cheer wildly in support of their classmates.

Come to Rippowam and understand why we believe that education is a journey of the mind, body, and soul. Let us show you why children should love going to school.

Contact Us To set up an appointment to visit with us, please contact the Admissions Office at 914-244-1248, or visit

Design: © Peapod Design, New Canaan, CT Photography: Tim Coffey, Stamford, CT

Upper Campus Viewbook  

Upper campus viewbook