The athletics program at RCDS is designed to enhance each student's athleticism and self-esteem by emphasizing skill-development, camaraderie, and excellence.
Director of Athletics & Physical Education
Wendy Jo Haft, M.S.
The program stresses sportsmanship and strives to instill a sense of team responsibility and school spirit. Athletics at RCDS are broad enough to prepare gifted athletes to compete at the college level, while at the same time ensuring that all students are exposed to the lifelong benefits of athletics and team participation.
RCDS has a 45,000-square-foot Athletic Center with basketball and squash courts, locker rooms, a fitness center, and an athletic training room. The sports program has full-time coaches, as well as teachers who coach. Both serve as positive role models, developing a student-athlete's sense of sportsmanship and love of the game. In recent years, RCDS teams have won numerous FAA League championships, NYSAIS State Championships, and have competed in the New England playoffs. At RCDS, athletics are a fitting counterpart to academics, energizing both mind and body.
The Lower School physical education program emphasizes the development of coordination and locomotor skills through age-appropriate, developmental activities. The goals and objectives of physical education are specifically designed for each individual grade level, with constant attention given to helping each child build a positive self-image. Body awareness, spatial awareness, locomotor skills, and manipulative skills are major concepts emphasized in the program.
The Middle School physical education program provides a strong base of fundamental and sport-specific skills in preparation for the Upper School program. Students in Grades 5 and 6 are provided classes emphasizing skill acquisition and developmentally appropriate game play. In addition to sport-specific classes, the physical education program includes several units of project adventure, focusing on strengthening self-image, cooperation, and teamwork. In Grades 7 and 8, students may choose to join an interscholastic team or a physical education class (dance or sports conditioning).
In the Upper School, students realize that physical activity provides a means for social interaction, self-expression, physical competency, enjoyment, and overall health benefits. The program is designed to balance personal choice at a developmentally appropriate level, while maintaining standards of excellence in teaching lifelong lessons regarding health and exercise. Students not participating on an athletic team are required to select a physical education class that meets three blocks in a six-day cycle for a total of 35 minutes per block. Throughout the year, units are provided in tennis, squash, dance, step-aerobics, kickboxing, CPR for the Professional Rescuer, and ice skating. For more information, see the Upper School Curriculum Guide.