Eighth-grade student Christopher Joszczyk Receives 2020 Youth Honor Award

October 1, 2020
We are pleased to recognize eighth-grade student Christopher Joszczyk who was the recipient of the 2020 Youth Honor Award from Skipping Stones magazine. Founded in 1988, Skipping Stones is an award-winning, international magazine for youth celebrating ecological and cultural diversity, and facilitating a meaningful exchange of ideas and experiences. Joszczyk submitted a poem and illustration on Chopin and was recognized for his creative work which appears in the Fall issue of the magazine. Embracing his Polish heritage, Joszczyk submitted the poem in both English and Polish.
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Local schools spring open houses: Click for more info

May 5, 2020

Avon Old Farms: May 12
Miss Porters : May 13 and May 20
Westminster: May 28

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Panel on Boarding Schools: May 13 6:30-7:30

May 5, 2020

Charlie Mitchell, the director of secondary school placement at Independent Day School, is hosting a Zoom meeting about boarding schools. Several boarding school admission reps will be on hand to answer questions you might have about the boarding school experience. Mr. Mitchell will provide the meeting link upon request and will also collect any questions you would like the panel to address. Contact Mr. Mitchell here:

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Carving the Hull

April 24, 2020
Follow the steps below with the corresponding pictures to the right to carve your hull.
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Building a Ship in a Bottle – Will it Fit in the Bottle?

April 24, 2020

It’s time to start checking that out. First, the hull must be glued onto a wooden mount inside the bottle. The “seas” will be installed around the mount before the hull is glued in place. But it’s time to start “dry fitting” everything before gluing. No one wants surprises when using glue.

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Prepare to Carve the Hull

April 21, 2020

There is an old saying that it’s better to design with a pencil than with a saw. Resist the temptation to start carving right away.

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Ship in a Bottle – Getting Started

April 20, 2020

Decide what kind of boat you wish to build in your bottle. I recommend a “fore-and-aft” rig for first-time sailboat bottlers rather than a “square rig” like my brigantine. Common fore and aft rigs are catboats, sloops, cutters, yawls, ketches, and schooners. See the illustrations to the right of each type of rig.

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Ship in a Bottle – Introduction

April 14, 2020

In the “days of wooden ships and iron men” sailors passed idle hours building ship models, sometimes building ships in bottles. When confined as prisoners of war during the Napoleonic wars, sailors built ship models using scrounged materials, even beef bones. Finding myself facing idle hours and confinement I will be spending the next several weeks building a ship and a boat in a bottle. I have some experience at this. See the photo to the right of a little brigantine I built for my wife many years ago.

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11th Head of School Installation at Renbrook School in West Hartford

September 24, 2019
On Friday, September 20, Renbrook School students, current and former faculty, parents, alumni, trustees, friends and distinguished members of the greater Capital Region officially installed Matthew R. Sigrist as the 11th Head of School. 
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Renbrook School’s 83rd Commencement

June 14, 2019
“The ability to access the innocence, optimism, and joy of your inner child will be of increasing value” was commencement speaker Ed Donahue’s message for Renbrook School’s 83rd graduating class. Having been a preschool teacher to many of the departing eighth-grade students, Donahue reflected on their growth and accomplishments inside and outside the classroom. Drawing from the very fairytales he reads to his youngest students, he encouraged the graduates to stay focused on their studies and long-term goals, ask for help when needed, and always to practice kindness and understanding. Most importantly, however, he advised the eighth graders to believe in themselves as they possess a “reservoir of inner strength, courage, and problem-solving” that will prepare them for whatever obstacles may come their way.
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Renbrook Students Get Town of West Hartford to Etch a New Name in War Memorial

May 23, 2019
Click “READ MORE” for video
On Tuesday, May 14, Renbrook fifth graders Tristan B., Mikayla G. and Chidi M.
successfully petitioned the West Hartford Town Council to add an enslaved man named Prut, who served during the Revolutionary War and died at Fort Ticonderoga, to the Revolutionary War Monument located within the town’s Veterans Memorial. Prut’s name will be added to the Revolutionary War Monument today where Prut will be the first African American to be included on the monument.
“The students at Renbrook are amazing to work with on the Witness Stones Project! They are curious, insightful and inspired to learn more about the enslaved in West Hartford. They asked such terrific questions which revealed complex and analytical thinking. In addition, students were able to make excellent connections to what they are learning in the classroom. We were so impressed with these fifth graders!”-Witness Stones Project Co-Director,Liz Devine.
Prut’s contributions to the Revolutionary War will be remembered at West Hartford’s Memorial Day Ceremony, where a fifth grade student from Renbrook School will present alongside Town Historian Dr. Tracey Wilson. The ceremony will be held immediately following the Memorial Day Parade (May 27th) at about 11:00 AM at the Veterans Memorial (corner of North Main Street and Farmington Avenue, West Hartford Center).
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Insights from our Use of Time Survey

May 21, 2019

Insights from our Use of Time Survey
by Kara Ashley
Upper School Head

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Author Elise Broach Visits Renbrook

May 8, 2019

Author Elise Broach visited Renbrook this week to talk about what it is like to become a published author. Elise is the author of The Wolf KeepersMissing on Superstition MountainMasterpiece, and Shakespeare’s Secret.

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Kaman Helicopter Lands at Renbrook School for Annual Flight Day

May 3, 2019
Neal Keating, former Renbrook parent and trustee, and Chairman, President, and CEO of Kaman Corporation, arranged for their helicopter, called the H-43 Yellow Bird, to come to the campus of Renbrook School for Flight Day! Yellow Bird was piloted by Bill Hart, Chief Pilot Kaman Aerspace and Greg Lachenmayer, Pilot. Tim Madore, who is also a Renbrook alum and is a Design Automation Engineer also joined in on the day. The event, which began in 2010, includes aviation workshops and flight-centered experiential learning activities. Throughout the day, students also enjoyed the up-close experience of exploring the cockpit and structure of the Yellow Bird helicopter.
Workshops will include presentations by Pratt & Whitney’s Ken Benson, Retired Flight Test Manager, Max Greenhunt-Snyder, Senior Associate, Program Support & Marketing Communications, Military Engines and Jack Swift, Deputy Director Domestic Business Development, Military Engines will speak to students about piloting and the structural engineering behind various aircraft.
With help from members of the Simsbury Radio Control Club, students will explore lift, thrust, weight, and drag while working with remote-controlled planes and flight simulators in another workshop.
Renbrook’s long association with aviation dates back to 1957, when the estate of Faye B. Rentschler and Frederick B. Rentschler, co-founder of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, became the campus of Renbrook School. The school’s Globe Foyer is an exhibition that features the connection between Rentschler, Pratt & Whitney, flight, and Renbrook School. A Pratt & Whitney WASP engine, donated to the school by George David, former chairman and CEO of United Technologies, is the central focus of the exhibit.
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Renbrook Dodges the Rain for a Successful Giveback Day!

April 26, 2019

Give Back Day 2019 was a huge success!! The rain held off just long enough for us to get a whole lot done! From cleaning classroom furniture, writing thank you notes, classroom organization, bulletin board design, raking, clearing the pond, picking up branches, tree-planting and more…Renbrook loves to give back!!! See more pics at: or watch our video.

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7th and 8th Graders Win Latin Award

April 22, 2019

Seventh and eighth grade Latin students took the National Latin Exam in mid-March. Results are in and Charles G.(8th) and Ciaran G. (7th) won “Summa Cum Laude” – the highest honor on their respective Latin I and Latin II exams. CONGRATS!!

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“This Chair is Just Right”

April 16, 2019

“This chair is just right,” said Goldilocks! 7th grade wanted to explore what makes a piece of furniture “just right” so they interviewed faculty and staff to figure out what piece of furniture they needed in their spaces. They made design sketches, calculated measurements, and created a model on 3D design software called Blender which they then 3D printed. Students had to create a functional furniture piece using only duct tape and cardboard and presented it to the faculty/staff member it was designed for including the admissions office!

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Renbrook Ranked in Top 30 for New England Math League Contest

April 11, 2019

This past February, all the students in grades 6-8 took part in the New England Math League Contest by taking a 30 minute contest in their math classes. The results were tabulated and the top five scores in each grade were sent in to compete as a team and as individuals against other schools in New England. Renbrook was ranked in the top 30 schools in New England in grades 6-8. Seventh graders Ciaron G. ranked in the top 35 students in New England. In the Hartford, New London, Wydham and Middlesex counties, eighth grader Brendan S. earned second place in the region as an individual and helped the team earn second place. The seventh grade team earned second place as well in the Hartford, New London, Wydham and Middlesex counties. 

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Students Participate in COLT Poetry Contest

April 8, 2019

From left to right in group photo:
Andrew L., Dora L. , Adriana B. , Manu N. , Griffin S., Robert H., Simone R.

Photo with medal winner: Simone R. – Silver Medal for French Middle School 2

Seven Renbrook students participated in the 2019 Connecticut Council of Language Teachers Annual Poetry Recitation Contest, which was held on Apr. 3 at Rockville High School in Vernon. 
Griffin S. (French MS 1)
Robbie H. (Spanish MS 1)
Andrew L. (Latin MS 1)
Adriana B. (Spanish MS Heritage Speaker)
Simone R. (French MS 2)
Manu N. (Spanish MS 2)
Dora L. (Mandarin MS Heritage Speaker)

Since January, these students perfected their recitation of poems from well-known poets of their languages of study. The seven participants won the in-class and all-school run-offs. At the statewide contest, approximately 600 students from 50 schools competed in 16 languages. Poems for Middle School had between 10 – 20 lines. Students were judged in four areas: memorization, diction, interpretation, and body language. Latin poetry had to be recited according to the classical meter. All students received a certificate of participation. Simone R. won the Silver Medal for the French Middle School 2 category! We are proud of their dedication and courage!

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Renbrook Family Day at the Community Farm of Simsbury

April 8, 2019

Renbrook Family Day at the Community Farm of Simsbury. Families volunteered on Saturday, April 6 to help prepare the farm for planting new crops, clearing fields, cleaning and filling flats for seeding and of course taking care of the animals! Thank you to all the Renbrook families who joined us! And a huge thank you to farm manager Paul and farmers Jim and Vi for showing us how it all gets done. 

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