How might we continue to evolve and innovate in order to provide an excellent education that prepares students for the future?


The RCDS Institute for Innovative Teaching and Learning was launched in 2016 with the goal of empowering faculty to lead, collaborate, and innovate by pursuing ideas that advance the school's mission and values. Faculty members consider how their passions and ideas might help the School beyond their individual classroom walls. They develop project proposals that are then submitted to the Institute team for review. Each year, the Institute funds five faculty projects and provides the administrative support and resources for the projects to grow from idea to implementation. The Institute serves as an innovation lab for faculty and is based on the belief that teachers are the best resource for developing an integrated curriculum and pedagogy that readies students to contribute meaningfully and to flourish.

Institute Objectives

A collaborative commitment to values

Cultivate a deep commitment and collaborative approach to School values by tying together current and future initiatives and priorities.

Faculty as leaders and innovators

Promote a thriving faculty by creating opportunities for faculty to lead, collaborate, and innovate while delivering the School’s mission, recognizing that in order to thrive, faculty must feel empowered and supported in taking initiative, and must have meaningful opportunities to contribute, learn, and grow.

An integrated curriculum for the future

Facilitate the development of and ongoing support for an integrated curriculum and pedagogy that readies students to contribute to and flourish within a complex and interconnected world.

Global partnerships

Contribute to and learn from the global dialogue on education, and form partnerships with educational institutions around the world.

Institute Projects

Mindfulness Toolkit for Educators (2017-18)

How might we support teachers in implementing mindfulness practices and give students the strategies to promote emotional well-being?

Fellows: Monique Caterina and Sandy Castagna

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The Case Study Method (2017-18)

How might we improve the decision-making skills of our students without sacrificing the learning of content?

Fellows: Clemmie Everett and Charles Sliter

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Girls of Color Mentoring (2017-18)

How might we ensure that all girls of color feel as though they are an integral part of the RCDS community?

Fellows: Aundrea Smith and Charaun Wills

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Makerspace Apprenticeship Program (2017-18)

How might we leverage student engagement and knowledge of Makerspaces and create a leadership role for students in our Makerspace that allows them to work as apprentices to the person who runs the space?

Fellows: Chris Kaye and Katie O'Shaughnessey

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Building Confidence, Performance, and Participation in STEM Disciplines (2017-18)

How might we facilitate diversity of participation across gender, socioeconomic class, race, and academic tracks?

Fellows: Joanne Ciuccio, Jennifer Doran, Kaori McManus

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Amplifying Student Support (2016-17)

How might we make sure that all students and families feel like Rye Country Day School is made for them?

Fellow: Dion Reid

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Community of Innovative Teachers (2016-17)

How might we create meaningful leadership and professional development opportunities that inspire collaboration as well as passion and enthusiasm for our tasks/roles as educators?

Fellows: Sarah Danziger and Kyle Mitschele

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Digital Responsibility (2016-17)

How might we support a culture of digital responsibility among students and adults?

Fellows: Jenny Heath and Jason Leath

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Good Morning RCDS (2016-17)

How might a weekly video broadcast build the Middle School community and share messages and examples of good citizenship, ethical behavior, positive decision making, service, and excellence?

Fellows: Corey Rubel and Tim Silverman

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Innovative Classrooms (2016-17)

How might we enhance our classroom environments and furniture for optimal learning?

Fellows: Tia Gueye and Brian O'Callaghan

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The Institute