Rippowam Cisqua School

Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #1 - Rippowam Cisqua School (Upper Campus): Middle school students seek structured opportunities for adventure and discovery, while still yearning to play freely. A specialized curriculum for ninth graders accelerates their academic and leadership skills. Our new multimillion-dollar Upper Campus, built specifically for students age 11-15, provides the best environment to navigate this dynamic period of academic and emotional development.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #1 - Rippowam Cisqua School (Upper Campus): Middle school students seek structured opportunities for adventure and discovery, while still yearning to play freely. A specialized curriculum for ninth graders accelerates their academic and leadership skills. Our new multimillion-dollar Upper Campus, built specifically for students age 11-15, provides the best environment to navigate this dynamic period of academic and emotional development.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #2 - The new 2,460 square-foot Innovation Center gives students a space to explore their ideas, manipulate real-world materials, and test new technology. Through interdisciplinary projects, students use the space to discover and explore the curriculum through a hands-on approach.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #3 - Traditions matter at Rippowam Cisqua School. As an institution with a 100-year history, our traditions are an important part of the life and legacy of our school. Our traditions foster leadership, sportsmanship, creativity, and camaraderie and remind students that they are part of something larger than themselves. in 2017, the RCS Owl returned as a symbol of our rich history.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #4 - Every day, our expert Early Childhood educators guide students through engaging lessons and hands-on activities that promote joyful learning and exploration. Our emphasis on both academic and social curricula ensures developmentally appropriate experiences that are crucial in these early years for acquiring skills, sparking creativity, and building the foundation for a lifelong love of learning.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #5 - Our dedicated Upper Campus faculty are middle school experts, and our program and facilities are tailored to inspire students to reach their full capacity as learners and as individuals. Our program values original thought and exploration and seeks to achieve balance between freedom and structure, innovation and tradition.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #6 - With a 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, learning is our top priority. Our interest is a child's intellectual development and personal growth. From coding a Bee-Bot to writing a personal narrative to learning to play hard for the sake of your team, RCS students have the care and support of a dynamite faculty challenging them to be their best.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #7 - Starting in PreK, our Physical Education program is designed to promote self-confidence and build awareness of body, movement, and health. Interscholastic athletics begin in fifth grade with an emphasis on participation and our competitive varsity teams offer students in Grades 7 through 9 the opportunity to be challenged as athletes so they can take their skills to the next level.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #8 - Students in Grades 1 through 4 explore the process of experimentation, enhance their critical thinking skills, delve deeper into language and mathematics, bring history to life, create with technology, and further expand their minds. Our teachers inspire passion and ignite curiosity.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #9 - Active learning is at the heart of everything we do on the RCS Lower Campus. You can hear it in the sounds of children collaborating on group projects, engaging in meaningful class discussions, discovering possibilities in our Imagination Space, and speaking during assemblies and performances.
Rippowam Cisqua School Photo #10 - Our students are evaluated alongside a remarkably talented pool of applicants from NY, NJ, and Connecticut for independent day schools, and alongside an equally impressive global pool for boarding schools. Sample schools include Berkshire, Brunswick, Choate, Deerfield, Hackley, Masters, Miss Porter's, Suffield and Rye Country Day.
  • RCS is a co-educational, independent country day school, which offers an immersive and experiential curriculum with small classes and a dynamic program of academics, arts, and athletics that ignites learning in students.
  • Our focus is on critical thinking, communication, leadership, personal excellence, and individual development.
  • Teacher-student interaction is at the heart of the RCS educational program and is facilitated by a 6:1 student-teacher ratio.
  • Since 1917, RCS has provided an unparalleled educational experience for children in Grades PreK through Nine.
  • Our faculty encourages our students to believe in themselves, think independently, and explore their talents to the fullest, thus fostering a lifelong love of learning. Recent graduates of RCS have gone on to matriculate at some of the finest secondary schools-- Andover, Brunswick, Choate, Exeter, Greenwich Academy, Hackley, and Rye Country Day; college and university matriculations include Brown, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford.
  • The Lower Campus, PreK through Grade Four, is located in Mount Kisco, NY and the Upper Campus, Grades Five through Nine, is located in Bedford, NY. RCS's new Upper Campus opened in September '17 and includes a 2,460 square-foot Library and Media Center, a 2,400 square-foot Innovation Center, two full-floor visual arts studios, amphitheater and performance spaces.

School News

  • Problem Solving with Torrance Incubation Model at School - 10/03/2018 - RCS Kindergarten teacher Nicole Levy illustrates how she uses the Torrance Incubation Model for deeper learning with her early childhood students. Teachers trained in TIM integrate high-level creative thinking into ...moretheir content areas and deepen student engagement. hide
  • What Secondary School Placement Can Teach Your Child - 12/10/2018 - So much has been written about the highs and lows of the teen years, most of which focus on the emotional turmoil that can throw many parents of 12-15-year-olds for ...morean unexpected loop. But adolescence is a time of individuation where young teens strive to establish their own identities and grow into their own true selves. The brain is still forming and making important connections that if, nurtured, can help students learn productive habit-forming activities that will serve them throughout high school and college. The process of secondary school placement is one such activity that can leverage a young teen`s natural propensities and embrace all that is good about this critical growth period.hide
  • Does Your Child’s Education Foster Imagination and Innovation? - 12/07/2017 - At Rippowam Cisqua School a private coeducational day school for grades Pre-K through 9 active learning is at the heart of an educational system where students explore the process of ...moreexperimentation. By infusing innovative thinking into the heart of the curriculum that is both immersive and experiential, students learn to enhance their critical thinking skills, delve deeper into language and mathematics, bring history to life, create with technology and further expand their minds.hide
  • Looking Forward: Rippowam Cisqua celebrates 100 years of Community - 09/15/2017 - Learn how Rippowam Cisqua School' uses community to balance the social-emotional and academic needs of tweens and early teens. By focusing on the internal and external community, RCS has ...morecreated a space where middle school students can feel safe to learn and grow while facing the challenges of early adolescence.hide
  • Q&A: An Inside Look at Rippowam Cisqua School - 05/14/2019 - TownVibe interviews Head of School Colm MacMahon about what makes Rippowam Cisqua School so unique. he answers questions about the curriculum, how they engage students, RCS' approach to middle ...moreschool and how RCS prepares students for long term success. hide

Top Placements

Rippowam Cisqua School places among the top 20% of private schools in New York for:

School Overview

School Membership(s)School Assoc.National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades Prekindergarten-9
Year Founded1917

Student Body

Total Students443 students
Student Body TypeCo-ed
% Students of Color
State avg.: 28%
Students by GradeRippowam Cisqua School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers76 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size16 students
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(collared shirt, khaki pants, jumper or kilt)

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineJan. 15 / rolling
Tuition NotesTuition varies based on grade level.
% on Financial Aid
Admissions DirectorElizabeth Hallock
Admissions AssociateLori Adelsberg


Total Sports Offered12 sports
SportsBaseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Flag Football, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Squash, Track and Field, VolleyballBaseballBasketball,
Cross CountryField Hockey,
Flag FootballIce Hockey,
Track and FieldVolleyball,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.14 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Homework Club, Robotics Team, Spanish Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Chorus, Clay Club, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Performing Arts, String Ensemble, Visual Arts, Winds Ensemble

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Runners Clu

School Notes

  • Rippowam Cisqua School ignites learning in PreKindergarten through Grade 9 students so they believe in their infinite abilities, lead with the skills to bring their ideas to life, and enter the world knowing their futures are limitless.
  • With an immersive curriculum that specializes in the magic of these wonder years, a teaching philosophy based on strong teacher/student bonds, and an engaging program resolute in creating a growth mindset, RCS students develop the social, emotional and intellectual skills young minds need to embrace new challenges and ideas, confidently problem-solve, and make smart choices to chart their own path.

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (5 reviews)
The search for the right school for my daughter ended the moment I stepped foot into Rippowam Cisqua. This school has become our home away from home. It is a place where my daughter has grown and so have I. And, it is a place where every staff member makes you feel like your child is their favorite. I could not imagine this incredible journey anywhere else.
- Posted by
Rippowam is community of educators and students who care! A challenging, relevant curriculum engages students in real world conversations and challenges. We have experienced every grade, 5-9 and could not be more impressed with the outcome for each of our (very different!) children. They are challenged, encouraged to take intellectual risks, think critically and analytically and step up to take on leadership roles. All along the way, they are supported and feel known as individuals. Their teachers know their strengths, know when to push them further and know when to adjust to their specific needs in the moment. Ripp empowers its students with confidence, empathy and critical analytical and communication skills (they become powerful writers and speakers). They are learn real leadership skills and leave poised to succeed in high school.
- Posted by
Ripp is an incredible school. The kids are well adjusted, confident communicators and natural leaders. There is a focus on character, innovation and leadership throughout the school. Teachers are invested and know your children. Academics is stressed from an early age, but in the lower grades its play based and the kids don't realize how much they are enjoying learning. By First grade all three of my kids become strong readers. STEM is stressed throughout the school. In the Upper Campus, the math program is especially strong. Kids graduate and are in high demand at their next school, and well prepared for wherever they go. I feel very lucky to send my kids to RCS.
- Posted by
I cannot begin to describe the wonderful joy that Ripp has brought into my family's life for the last 15 years. With two children who went all the way through the program from 3 years old to when they began high school, and with a 10 year old bringing up the rear there now, Ripp is our rock. The confidence and independence that this unusually strong school community provides is something two of my kids have take with them to college. This is the best foundation you can give your children. This school puts out a unique product: poised, polite, eager learners, solid public speakers, ready for anything. It's an incredible journey. Thank you, Ripp!
- Posted by
My son's preschool teacher recommended Rippowam Cisqua School because she thought a more personalized approach would provide more benefit for him than a larger, public school system. She was right! Every teacher got to know who he was as a learner but also as an individual, which helped with his confidence and academic growth. He experimented with different sports and found his strengths. He also experimented with different art programs and found his weaknesses. When it was time to search for a high school, he was perfectly capable of evaluating his choices and choosing the school he thought best matched his personality and learning style. After he graduated, he easily adapted to his new high school and was able to step into the academics (some of which he had already done at Ripp), manage the workload, excel in the sports he mastered at Ripp, and find his niche in the arts. And because of Ripp he is very comfortable expressing his ideas and advocating for himself with teachers and fellow students. I'm so glad he spent his elementary and middle school years at Ripp and thankful to the teacher that put it on our radar.
- Posted by

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