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children playing on jungle gym

The Benefits of Play-Based Learning

February 1, 2024

Renbrook Beginning School Celebrates Global School Play Day The Beginning School at Renbrook embraces a play-based learning approach that encourages children, in partnership with teachers, to make discoveries about themselves and the world around them. Play is essential as children learn to socialize, communicate, make choices, show initiative, collaborate, observe, problem-solve, and ask questions. While…

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MLK

Upper School Students Honor MLK and Black History Month

January 18, 2024

As part of their study of Black History Month, Upper School students in Ross McLay’s Honors History class participated in Senator Chris Murphy’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Contest. Each year, Senator Murphy invites students from across Connecticut to help honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by submitting essays that reflect on…

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child in pool at camp

The Gift of Summer Camp

November 28, 2023

As we embark on the Season of Giving and the annual Day of Giving today, we think of others and embrace how our kindness and generosity can impact their lives. The working definition of giving is “to give to another in some terms, to make gifts or presents, or give to charity: to provide love or other…

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front entrance of Renbrook School

Reflections from the Admission Office

November 14, 2023

Each year, we welcome new faculty and staff members to Renbrook School. For those of us who have been here a while, it’s always interesting to take a fresh look at Renbrook through the lens of a colleague seeing it for the first time. I had that opportunity when I read a letter from our…

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teal pumpkins in a wagon

Teal Pumpkins: A Colorful Tradition of Inclusivity on Halloween

October 31, 2023

Recently, a Renbrook fifth-grade student demonstrated true agency in leading a project with his classmates to help them understand the Teal Pumpkin Project and increase awareness of food allergies. Every year, as Halloween approaches, neighborhoods are adorned with pumpkins of all shapes, sizes, and colors. One particular pumpkin, though, stands out with its distinctive teal…

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a child thinking representing self-regulation in children

The Importance of Developing Self-Regulation in Young Children

October 24, 2023

by Julie Schlossinger Ed.D. Self-regulation is a fundamental skill that empowers students to manage their emotions, behavior, and attention effectively. As we work together to provide the best possible education for our children, nurturing self-regulation should be one of our key objectives. One of the best explanations of self-regulation that I ever read comes from…

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teacher encouraging students

Nurturing Independence: Developing Agency in Young Children

October 3, 2023

Every parent dreams of raising children who are confident, capable, and able to make informed decisions. One of the key milestones on this journey is developing agency in young children. Agency refers to a child’s ability to make choices, take action, and have a sense of control over their own lives. It’s a vital skill…

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monarch butterfly

From Caterpillar to Monarch Butterfly: A Magical Journey!

September 14, 2023

Ah, the Monarch Butterfly. Do you remember the awe and wonder of witnessing a caterpillar transform into a beautiful butterfly as a child? It’s a magical experience that captivates young minds. Junior Kindergarten students at Renbrook School are so lucky to benefit from the passion that their teacher, Robin Ellef, holds for these beautiful creatures.…

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Renbrook School Graduation

CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2023!

July 31, 2023

Congratulations to the Renbrook School Class of 2023! What an amazing group of scholars, athletes, leaders, and friends. We know great things are ahead of you. Members of this class are headed to the following schools, and we know they will make us proud! Go Hawks! Avon Old Farms School, Berkshire School, Choate Rosemary Hall,…

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News

Legacy Society Profile: Jane C. Shipp

June 19, 2023

Jane Shipp was Renbrook’s Headmistress for 20 years, from 1990 to 2010. Only Florence Greene, our founding Headmistress, served the school longer. Mrs. Shipp preferred the title Headmistress because she saw her role as head teacher, the first among equals. She left a lasting imprint on the school and is remembered fondly by former students, parents, faculty, and staff. Although she has scrupulously kept her distance since retiring, she watches our doings with keen interest and speaks with great conviction about her love for the school and its mission.

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News

GIFTS AT WORK: Manafort Family Plaza

June 12, 2023

Trudging up the hill to the Upper Athletic Fields used to mean emerging on the verge of Edith P. Gengras Field on a muddy pathway under the Sills Family Tennis Courts, squishing through puddles to reach the soccer and field hockey fields. Now, the trudger is greeted by an elegant stone plaza and a stone wall proudly proclaiming “Renbrook School.” The first field is now dedicated to Bruce J. Irving, and beyond it is the new Gengras Family Field.

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Alumni

ALUMNS IN ACTION: Tim Paydos ’85, IBM’s Global General Manager of Government Industry Solutions

June 5, 2023

Tim Paydos’s interest in using the latest technology to solve problems can be traced back to the early 1980’s, when the first computer arrived at Renbrook. He remembers sharing the excitement as Marg Ayres, Head of the Math Department, set up the big, clunky Apple computer in the library and called it “the Computer Lab.” Hooked, Tim continued to explore the possibilities of the new technologies as they evolved through his time at St. Paul’s and then at Harvard, where he majored in Foreign Relations with a specialty in Nuclear Wargaming. Tim’s studies included government and history, sociology and psychology, and statistics and probability. How would he use his varied interests and aptitudes? Would he follow many of his talented peers into investment banking? No, Tim was excited to deliver value to society through innovative, geeky technology.

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News

Renbrook School Celebrates Flight Day

May 30, 2023
In recognition of our rich aviation history, Renbrook School recently held a day-long Flight Day celebration after a 3-year pandemic-induced hiatus. Flight Day is an annual all-school event that began in 2010 and joyously celebrates the deep connection between Renbrook School, the Frederick B. Rentschler family, and Pratt & Whitney.
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Emma Kagel

ALUMNS IN ACTION: Emma Kagel ’97, Bioethecist

May 29, 2023

“Like many who pursue a career in healthcare, it was my personal experiences as a patient that led me to seek a meaningful way to contribute to the practice of medicine,” explains Emma Kagel ’97. Forging her path in the rapidly evolving field of bioethics, she has drawn on her struggles and triumphs as a profoundly deaf child and an early adopter of cutting-edge medical technology. Now she is making a difference at Beth Israel Lahey Health as a compliance officer, addressing ethical issues in medical research. She is also the founder of Bioethics Alliance, whose goal is “to foster evidence-based insights and best practices to advance bioethical dialogue, therapeutic partnerships, and ethical action for a just society.”

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Alumni

ALUMS IN ACTION: Morgan Caswell ’06, Manager of Air Quality Practices for the Port of Long Beach, CA

May 15, 2023

Renbrook alum, Morgan Caswell, Zoomed in to give seventh and eighth graders a window into how science and technology are at work to solve a complex environmental problem in Southern California. The students were riveted by her clear explanation of how she is coordinating the efforts of industry, government, science, and citizens to clean up some of the dirtiest air in the country. What was Morgan’s path to this critical job?

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American Chestnut

Renbrook’s American Chestnut

May 15, 2023

Last year’s seventh-grade Life Science class discovered three American chestnut trees in the Renbrook Forest (Renbrook Magazine Winter 2022). This exciting find enabled students to dive into the historical, cultural, and economic significance of this once-dominant hardwood and the introduced blight which swiftly killed over four billion trees in the early decades of the 20th century. It also provided them with a unique opportunity to join the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) in its bold mission: “to develop a blight resistant American chestnut tree through breeding, biotechnology, and biocontrol, and restore the tree to its native forests in the eastern United States.” By sending twig and leaf samples and other data to TACF’s regional scientist, Renbrook students helped expand TACF’s database of all the known wild chestnut trees in the United States. But this was just the beginning.

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Academics

Rigor in the Lower School

May 8, 2023

While rigor is a term used often in education, its meaning varies greatly depending on who is using it. For those of us within the college preparatory, independent school world, one frequently reads or hears about programs, teachers, and/or curricula that are either rigorous or lacking thereof. 

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Faculty

Renbrook School Dedicates Hiking Trail to Retired Kindergarten Teacher, Steve Arnold

May 2, 2023
When Steve Arnold retired from Renbrook School in June of 2022, he left a legacy for students of all ages. During his 32 years of teaching, Mr. Arnold demonstrated his love of the outdoors and his commitment to outdoor teaching and learning in part through the miles of trails that he created on the Renbrook campus atop Avon Mountain.
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Academics

Katie Jackson: Design and Woodworking Teacher

May 1, 2023

Katie Jackson is in her second year of teaching at Renbrook. We interviewed her to learn more about her passion for learning and teaching. 

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Academics

Scientific Thinking in the Seventh Grade

April 24, 2023

“SCIENCE: Because figuring things out is better than making stuff up.” This quotation from Neil Degrasse Tyson, is emblazoned on one of Howard Wright’s favorite T-shirts, and it sums up the core of scientific thinking. Evidence, tested and tried, is the basis of knowledge, not assumptions, hunches, or opinions. Skepticism, readiness to reconsider, and openness to new evidence are essential to scientific thinking, and our Upper School students live it every day.

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