Happy children, safe school, experienced teachers, caring parents. The longer you stay the more you see the impact an independent day school education has on your child's overall wellbeing and positive future self esteem. There's no better school in Westchester. I guess it depends what you think education is about. Rigorous academics is only part of the equation but placing value on a child's emotional stability, encouraging long term friendships with peers and teachers, teaching coping mechanisms to handle stress and maintain good mental health all while fostering maturity, confidence and a curriculum alignment to provide each student the ability to self learn as an intellectual matters. Bedfords unique rural community is special, and perhaps the calm easy going appearance, may even feel jarring to urban minded outsiders who want their children to live in fear of stranger danger and perhaps avoid the greater world by hiding behind locked doors and police. Most teachers here have the ability to inculcate a lifelong love of open learning and a global curious mindset that is probably the most important first step that an elementary school can teach. The middle school is designed to make sure students are doing their own work, and given opportunity to learn that academic failures are to be overcome and part of any learning process. We graduate these happy students straight into the best academic high schools every year without fail. For our family 11+ years was a good choice and we value the schools priority to give the children a feeling of freedom to learn in a safe environment. That personal touch has always been a priority in a school where the administration knows all of the children's names and faces; and strangers are instantly known as "newcomers". I'm happy the children study Greek Civilization and Civil Rights here because they undoubtedly will turn out less xenophobic and more globally thoughtful than some of the parents.
An intimate country school with hit or miss good teachers. Administration is a joke. The head of the school position changes every year. On top of all, they have breached safety, THE MOST IMPORTANT issue at any school is to protect our children. The security / lack of safety is offensive. How could a parent sleep at night knowing that their children are not protected? There is currently a large percentage of parents who are outraged by the lack of priorities. If they spent half the effort on safety as they did on raising money, the school would be viewed differently.
The quality of this school has dropped considerably in the past 10 years. The Board of Trustees is running the school into the ground with its terrible management of the Head of the School position and can't seem to get a Lower School Head to stay (longest recent tenure is 2 years). Teacher quality varies from some excellent ones to newbies with little experience. Class size is slightly smaller than local public schools but the classrooms are small in size and often in the basements. Unless you can write big checks on top of tuition, expect your child to be ignored and dismissed by teachers and administrators alike.
This school is really disappointing. Please look elsewhere. The way students are placed into classes in the lower school is so upsetting. They don't care about the children's needs at all. Further, There is a terrible inequity among teachers. Some are amazing veterans and some are children with such little experience themselves that they should be assistants in a third rate elementary school at best. Lastly, The school is disorganized, unprofessional and no one really is in charge. If you have a student that needs special attention at all, there literally is no one to go to, no one who cares. Completely frustrating. They are behind the math and reading standards of the state. Oh- worst of all- any suggestions fall on deaf ears. This will be our last year. Can't believe I pay the same As the people in the room next to me.
Rippowam Cisqua may not have the beautiful facilities, but they're focus isn't looks. It's the the quality of the education and the friendly, close-knit community that makes the school stand out. An alum of RCS, I now can appreciate how much the teachers really care about their students. The teachers go the extra mile to make sure every kid is enjoying and learning from the class! I can't say I have anything bad to say other than that the school ends in 9th grade and everyone ends up so close that on graduation people are crying (because no one wants to leave!) The high school placement is amazing and I would easily say ALL of the kids go off to impressive, academically rigorous schools. RCS instills an independence in the pursuit of education and a friendliness that you can't find anywhere else. I still get teary eyed thinking of how much I miss the school!
Three different Heads of the Lower School in three years, an almost new Head of School (2 years?), and recent high teacher turnover, are troubling. Add to that a Board of Trustees member whose three kids attend the school too and you have a nervous parent/teacher/administrator scene where favor seeking is common and some classrooms host one very special teacher's pet. There are some good teachers and some bad but it's the inexperienced administration and cronyism that may interfere with the quality of education your kid will get.
My son went for 10 years to Rippowam. What a great school! I only wish every child in America could experience the love of learning and support my son received. He is now in 10th grade and he is more than prepared for his new school. I also have a daughter in first grade there now, she loves it, in fact she hates to stay home when she is sick. Very committed teachers and a caring administration who listens to the parents.
This is a terrific school. The learning environment here is nurturing but not at the expense of providing a rigorous academic experience. Our children have very different leaning styles and strengths and have become strong, confident students. Parent involvement is strong, but not overbearing. The school leadership and teachers have been terrific and extremely available. Our children have attended both the lower and upper school with great success. We have no doubt that our children will be well prepared for high school.
Great school. My three children can't wait to get to school, and come home so energized about what they've done each afternoon. RCS is doing something right if it's instilling such a love of school and learning in the children, whilst challenging them at a high level. The teachers get to know the children and families so well and they genuinely care. In the end, they get into great high schools and thrive once they get there.