Middle School

The Middle School addresses the distinctive needs of students in Grades 5 through 8. We appreciate and understand their joys, challenges, and developmental changes. We also recognize their vulnerability and learning differences during this remarkable transitional period.

Our Philosophy

The Middle School offers a challenging and joyful experience that supports students along their journey from dependent to independent learners. Our multifaceted and evolving program fosters perseverance and promotes balance for healthy development. By modeling empathy and cultivating responsibility, we encourage our students to be good citizens and advocates — engaged in the world around them and ever mindful of the experiences and needs of others.

Our program provides the support and guidance that allow students to develop independent thinking, intellectual integrity, and physical, personal, and social maturity.

Overview

Acting as a bridge between the Lower and Upper Schools, the Middle School reinforces and applies previously learned skills and stimulates each student's emerging ability to think abstractly and reason logically. The program emphasizes the development of healthy work and study habits to ensure success with the ever-increasing demands of academic studies, and it offers students the opportunity to explore and make choices as they mature.

Community Emphasis

Just as important, the program helps students develop the following social skills, which enable students to be happy, contributing members of the school community:

  • A positive attitude
  • Kindness toward others
  • Pride in self
  • Responsibility
  • Leadership
  • Working well within a group
  • Respect for others

Study Skills

By the time students leave the Middle School, they are expected to have mastered the guidelines put forth in each academic discipline. We also expect that they will have become confident and capable students in all spheres of their learning. The curriculum is designed to help students strengthen the following study skills:

  • Preparing efficiently for class and for tests
  • Managing time successfully
  • Using various tools, including the Internet, for research
  • Taking notes
  • Following directions
  • Having a good sense of organization.

The Middle School is fundamentally a responsive place...

 

Middle School students at RCDS are full members of a strong learning community that offers an age-appropriate balance of structure and freedom unique to each young adolescent’s needs. Faculty advisors, grade-level deans, and systems of student progress monitoring—both social and academic—are at the core of the support we offer to students on their journey to becoming independent learners and good citizens. As our students mature, they enjoy more freedom of academic and extracurricular choice, including options for electives in various disciplines and the opportunity to participate on interscholastic athletic teams over the course of three seasons. Students have many opportunities to explore their passions, spend time with friends, and contribute to the community in meaningful ways.

Assemblies and Morning Meetings

The entire Middle School gathers regularly in the Performing Arts Center for assemblies and morning meetings. These gatherings feature student performances, guest speakers and performers, film screenings, special programs that celebrate academic and extracurricular community life, announcements from students and faculty, as well as other fun and interactive community building programming. As much as possible, students are featured prominently in these programs.

Clubs and Activities

Middle School students may participate in the after-school clubs program in the fall, winter, and spring. The clubs reflect interests as varied as chess, drama, strategic games, hip-hop dancing, coding, and yoga. The clubs may change periodically throughout the year, depending on the teacher offerings and students’ interests.

Learn More

 

In addition, a number of after school programs are offered to Middle School students by Upper School students, including Students Working to Advance Technology, Club Etre, Women in Science Education, and several affinity-based student mentoring programs.

During the day, Middle School students may choose to participate in an existing student-run club or to start one themselves! Clubs have included the Debate Club, GSA, Diversity Club, Green Team, Digital Diversity, and Drawing Club. Students also may participate in extracurricular music groups during the day such as Jazz Band, Cubscats, and private music lessons.

Community Time and Flex Time

Built into the six-day rotating schedule are times that offer students the chance to connect with their advisories, participate in service learning, and practice effective time management with their workloads. Assemblies, morning meetings, and advisory periods happen during Community Time. During Flex Time, students can meet with teachers, work with a study group, participate in a club or activity, or simply have time to socialize with friends.

Service Learning

Throughout their Middle School years, students learn about the five stages of service learning, the ethics of service, and the role of youth as change agents in the community and world. Students complete reflective personal inventories that enable them to more effectively put their own skills and interests to use in working in partnership with community organizations.

Specific community blocks are dedicated to service learning. Students and advisors may elect to work on teams that research, plan, and implement a different project. The teamwork culminates in student-driven direct service, advocacy, or activism projects in the community.

In eighth grade, students spend a series of service days in either the fall or the spring doing service projects with RCDS community partners.

Trips

In the Middle School, students have many opportunities that extend the curriculum beyond the classroom. Trips include travel to New York City landmarks, theaters, concert halls, museums, and restaurants; the Adam Krieger Adventure Center; music competitions; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Camp Jewell and Camp Hazen; and Heifer Farm.

Good Morning RCDS

Good Morning RCDS is a weekly video broadcast that brings together the Middle School community. Episodes come out on Friday mornings and are watched by students in homeroom and e-mailed to parents through E-notes.

Middle School Office Phone
914-925-4571

Assistant Head of School
Middle School Principal

Meredith deChabert, Ph. D.

Middle School Faculty

1 2 > showing 1 - 50 of 51 constituents
Anne Alexander

Anne Alexander

Titles: Language Arts Teacher, Middle School
Catherine Bischoff

Catherine Bischoff

Titles: STEAM Coordinator; Science Teacher, Upper School
Virginia Black

Virginia Black

Titles: Language Arts Teacher, Middle School
Mark Bortner

Mark Bortner

Titles: Science Teacher, Middle School
Lorraine Brimat-Smith

Lorraine Brimat-Smith

Titles: Administrative Assistant, Middle School
Esther Camacho

Esther Camacho

Titles: Spanish Teacher, Middle School
Ellen Cartwright

Ellen Cartwright

Titles: Dean, Grades 7 & 8, Director & Teacher Middle School Study Skills Program
William Colombo

William Colombo

Titles: Humanities Teacher, Middle School
Peter Coulianos

Peter Coulianos

Titles: Music Teacher, Middle School & Upper School
Meredith deChabert

Meredith deChabert

Titles: Assistant Head of School; Principal, Middle School
Beatrice DeSabatino

Beatrice DeSabatino

Titles: Latin Teacher, Middle School
Carrie Donahue

Carrie Donahue

Titles: Counselor, Middle School
Jennifer Doran

Jennifer Doran

Titles: Science Teacher, Upper School & Middle School
Eric Drotch

Eric Drotch

Titles: Department Chair, Art; Art Teacher, Upper School
Don Fitz-Roy

Don Fitz-Roy

Titles: Computer Science Teacher, Middle School
Sarah Flynn

Sarah Flynn

Titles: Latin Teacher, Upper School & Middle School
Jay Gerlach

Jay Gerlach

Titles: Department Chair, Drama and Dance; Teacher, Drama
John Hager

John Hager

Titles: Music Teacher, Middle School / Upper School
Casey Hallen

Casey Hallen

Titles: Filmmaking Teacher, Middle School & Upper School; Videographer
Ron Hanlon

Ron Hanlon

Titles: Social Studies Teacher, Middle School
Kate Henerey

Kate Henerey

Titles: Drama Teacher, Middle School
Ryan Horton

Ryan Horton

Titles: Language Arts Teacher, Middle School
Dong Dong Huang

Dong Dong Huang

Titles: Mandarin Chinese Teacher, Middle School & Upper School
Libby Jelliffe

Libby Jelliffe

Titles: Learning Specialist, Middle School
Breann Joyce

Breann Joyce

Titles: Physical Education Teacher; Coach
Chris Kaye

Chris Kaye

Titles: Photography Teacher, Middle School / Upper School
Susan Keown

Susan Keown

Titles: Art Teacher, Middle School
Dallice Lazarus

Dallice Lazarus

Titles: Mathematics Teacher, Middle School
Kerry Linderoth

Kerry Linderoth

Titles: Director of Sustainability; Science Teacher, Upper School & Middle School
Ofelia Marquez

Ofelia Marquez

Titles: Mathematics Teacher, Middle School
Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald

Titles: Language Arts Teacher, Middle School
Tamara McKenna

Tamara McKenna

Titles: Language Arts Teacher; Learning Specialist, Middle School
Marcia Mignon

Marcia Mignon

Titles: Science Teacher, Middle School
Kyle Mitschele

Kyle Mitschele

Titles: Social Studies Teacher, Middle School
Julie Nuñez

Julie Nuñez

Titles: Social Studies Teacher, Middle School
Brian O'Callaghan

Brian O'Callaghan

Titles: Dean, Grade 5; Social Studies Teacher, Middle School
Charles Ogbonna

Charles Ogbonna

Titles: Physical Education Teacher; Coach
Susan Peck

Susan Peck

Titles: Department Chair, Mathematics, Middle School; Mathematics Teacher, Middle School
Maegen Rose

Maegen Rose

Titles: Librarian, Middle School
Lizanne Rosenzweig

Lizanne Rosenzweig

Titles: Spanish Teacher, Middle School
Matthew Rosolen

Matthew Rosolen

Titles: Dean, Grades 7 & 8; Mathematics Teacher, Middle School
Heather Russell

Heather Russell

Titles: Mathematics Teacher, Middle School
Amanda Sackey

Amanda Sackey

Titles: Science Teacher, Middle School
Lyvia Sage

Lyvia Sage

Titles: French Teacher, Lower School & Middle School
Brandon Saltz

Brandon Saltz

Titles: Science Teacher, Middle School
Catherine Scher

Catherine Scher

Titles: French Teacher, Middle School
Gail Sestito

Gail Sestito

Titles: Makerspace Director; Science & Computer Science Teacher, Middle School
Timothy Silverman

Timothy Silverman

Class of 1989
Titles: Spanish Teacher, Middle School; Counselor, Upper School; Peer Leadership Director
Betsy Stedman

Betsy Stedman

Titles: Assistant Middle School Principal; Dean, Grade 6; Mathematics Teacher, Middle School
Stephen Tofano

Stephen Tofano

Titles: Manual Arts/3-D Design Teacher, Middle School