December 22, 2022
Dear Families, Faculty, and Staff,
It is by far one of the most beautiful times of the year, in and out of our schools. Celebrations can be felt across the community, and the brilliance of lights in the evening carry their own silent spirit. As we transition to an extended break and the celebration of a new year, we would like to express our gratitude to our exceptional faculty, staff, students, and families. Our wish for all of you is a new year filled with happiness, joy, and health.
On behalf of the Central Office team, may the holiday season be a time to rest, relax and share love!
Click here to view our card from Central Office.
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!
Susie Da Silva Ed.D.
See you next year, RPS! Happy New Year!
Junior Parent Night Panel Delivers Wealth of Information on College Process
On December 14, the RHS Counseling Department hosted a panel of college admission officers from Michigan State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and UConn. This panel introduced by RHS Counseling Supervisor Terry Houlihan and moderated by RHS Counselor Diane Schirizzo touched on a myriad of issues that would be of interest to students and parents of juniors and possibly sophomores and first-year high school students. Here is a recording of the video for those not able to make it.
RHS Athletics Offers Family-Friendly Winter Entertainment
Some of the most exciting sports moments happen locally. RHS Winter Athletics are underway with boys basketball and hockey teams looking to repeat their FCIAC domination and girls basketball looking to get back on top. The girls ice hockey team kicked off its season with an impressive start and goalie Ashley Collins's video going viral on TikTok (2.5 million views and counting!). Please check the RHS Athletics Website for game schedules, opportunities for family-friendly viewing, and ticket prices. We ask that students have adult supervision and conduct themselves with school-appropriate behavior. Go, Tigers!!!!
Summer Bridge: Save the Date
The Ridgefield Public School's Summer Bridge 2023 registration will open registration in January. Here are the tentative (due to possible weather-related closures) dates.
Elementary Summer Bridge - Current Grades PK-4 Week of July 10 and Week of July 17
(Students attend one week only)
Jump Start Middle School: Current Grade 5—June 28 and 29
Jump Start High School: Current Grade 8—June 28 and 29
Middle School Intensives: Current Grade 5-7—July 5-14
High School Intensives: Current Grade 8-12—June 28 to July 14
This year we are including a College Application Boot Camp for Current Juniors!
Course Recovery: Current Grade 9-12—July 5-28
Important District Reminders
Free Lunch for Grades K-8 Ends on 1/13
The District announced last week that Ridgefield’s allocation to provide free meals for K-8 students will go through January 13, 2023. On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, following the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the district will revert to charging for meals. Find more information here.
Influenza and Covid Protocols
As a reminder here is a link to the state of Connecticut and RPS COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Please let your school nurse know if you or your child has tested positive for COVID-19 or influenza.
In the Classroom
Making Connections: Elementary LLC "Merges" Science Lesson
The Branchville Elementary library media specialist Christine Schenzer shared a recent lesson that captures how RPS school librarians harness technologies to support and deepen the learning environment. BES third graders were studying how forces interact, writes Ms. Schenzer, "so we did a little of the same work in the library using Merge Cubes. Merge Cubes are a hands-on learning platform that helps students learn science with 3D objects that they can touch, hold, and interact with. In this activity, students studied different ways that energy is stored, transferred, and released." Very cool/hot!:)
China Cultural Day at SRMS
On Wednesday, Scotts Ridge Middle School sixth graders celebrated Chinese Cultural Day! Teachers, parent volunteers, and Ridgefield High School Mandarin students organized engaging activities that got students moving, laughing, and learning. SRMS social studies teacher Trish Dowd explains: "Pre-pandemic we always did a celebration of China culture at the end of the China unit. In fact, our building Maria Dillon did it when she was a student here. It's great to be able to do it again."
In the Library Learning Commons, sixth graders put on Virtual Reality goggles to visit various sites including the adorable Chengdu Panda Refuge and the vertiginous Glass Bridge. Around the corner in the Makerspace, RHS Mandarin students helped SRMS students watercolor characters onto fans. Down the hall, other RHS Mandarin students gave lessons in language and taught basic words. SRMS students broke a wood block in a martial arts lesson with Master Jeung and Master Jo and made origami with a parent volunteer. A ping pong tournament, food tasting, and a chopstick race are other activities organized by social studies teachers Dowd and Marisa Thamm. Even the resident SRMS therapy dog Grady tried his paw at making Chinese characters.
East Ridge Blues and Beyond Assembly
On Monday, East Ridge Middle school enjoyed a Blues and Beyond schoolwide assembly as part of the No Place for Hate initiative. Co-sponsored by the ERMS PTA, Blues and Beyond featured live performances to "tell the story of African Americans from slavery to present day through music, narration, video and still images." ERMS principal Jennifer Phostole writes, "It was amazing! So much fun and educational too. Students were engaged and participating in a positive way. Teachers and students didn't want it to end." In the days following the program, students will reflect on their experience in connection to the curriculum and the principles of No Place for Hate. For more information, visit the Blues and Beyond website.
The HeARTS of RPS—Scotts Ridge Grade 6 Winter Landscapes
Scotts Ridge Middle School art teacher Tressa Ringkamp posted these festive winter landscapes from an art exhibit for Tuesday's winter music concert. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow?:)
Clockwise from top left: Lily H, Stella N., Sophia F., Chang-Hsun T., Lily M., Elizabeth J.
Beyond the Classroom
Ben's Bells at East Ridge
In honor of World Kindness Day, the East Ridge PTA gave students the opportunity to create beads used by Ben's Bells for kindness tokens and the hanging bells. Ben’s Bells is a local Connecticut charity that aims to spread kindness. They make colorful ceramic ornaments to hang in communities throughout the world as symbols of kindness for people to find and take home.
Scotts Ridge Provides Joy and Toys to Yale Hospital
Students from Scotts Ridge Middle and Scotland Elementary brought toys and joy to the children at Yale New Haven Smilow Cancer Center last week. SRMS sisters eighth-grader Claire and sixth-grader Anna Yang organized the initiative and drew support from eigth-graders (Skye B., Grace P., and Ian C.) and sixth-graders (Poppy P., Raina C., Katelyn D., Pollyanna S., Avery K., Oliva F., Izzie T., and Victoria P.) and SES first-grader Grace Y. Special thanks to the SRMS and SES principals, teachers, and parents who supported the toy drive.
RHS Mock Trial Team Advances to Play-offs
Ridgefield Mock Trial faculty advisor Katherine Gabbay reports that RHS sent two teams to the Superior Courthouse in Hartford to compete in the Connecticut regional mock trial tournament. Ridgefield Red team won two trials and will advance to the playoffs in February. The students who are advancing are Molly Coakley, Nick Davi, Jackson Fiore, Esteban Hernandez, Arthur Kardos, Julia Knispel, Keel McQuilkin, Lloyd Mills, Shelly Ofer, Noah Rose, Griffin Smuckler, Gabriel Uceda-Sosa, and Victor Uceda-Sosa. The Ridgefield White team, made up of mostly new members, was eliminated from the competition after two challenging trials. The following students competed: Hannah Agwu, Parker Brooks, Tyler Cousins, Nora Foley, Marko Katra, Anna Kiefaber, Zoe Munoz Rojas, Hudson Podielsky, Natalie Shartouni, John Shirvell, Catherine Thompson, Hayden Webb, and Petru Zubek. Go Tigers!!!
Student Vaults to Set RHS Record
Congratulations to Lucas Williams for setting a new Ridgefield High School indoor track record for the pole vault at the Coach Saint Invitational this weekend!
This Week in Photos
Veterans Park's Cheer Spreads All the Way to Main Street
Veterans Park Elementary fifth graders led by music teacher Ryan Dunne spread cheer on Main Street with a rousing sing-a-long in front of the town hall.
Bobcats and Scotties Dress to Impress!
It's Spirit Week on Barlow Mountain Road! Both Barlow Mountain and Scotland Elementary Schools broke out their best (and silliest) this week.
Farmingville Gets in the Spirit
A "snowman sleigh" for the staff, the fifth-grade winter concert, and FES cuties on holiday spirit day.
Ridgebury Catches the Gingerbread Man....and Woman!
Ridgebury kindergartners' sweet ginger people.
East Ridge Middle School counselor Amy Jonsson arranged a surprise for her fellow counseling GOATs, Caitlin deMello and Meghan Mulvehill.
RHS Gift Card Drive
Ridgefield High School Student Life Office collected over $5000 worth of gift cards for local families. Clubs teamed up to give, including the Investment Club and Future Business Leaders of America. Thank you to all the families who gave so generously!
And the Winner of the Central Office Swap Is...
From One Tiger to Another...
Legendary golfer Tiger Woods signed Family and Consumer Science teacher Katie Blake's RHS t-shirt, "from one Tiger to another," last weekend when he played in a tournament in Orlando, Florida, with his son.