News & Calendar

News

List of 20 news stories.

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

    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. 

    Prior to coming to Renbrook School, Mr. Sigrist was the Director of the Middle School at Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA. He holds his B.A. in Economics from Williams College and his M.A. in Education Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University. Mr. Sigrist joins the Renbrook community with his wife, Kathleen, and his four daughters Katie (12), Anna (10), Ginny (7), and Emma (4).
     
    The installation ceremony was held on the Rentschler Terrace of Renbrook School on a bright, sunny Friday. The event featured words from Eric Daniels '77, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Matt Sigrist, a sing along with the whole community entitled "We are the Young," the historic ringing of the school bell by our youngest Renbrook student, preschooler Samantha D. '30 and one our eldest students, eighth grader Ella K. '20, followed by a piano recessional performed by eighth grader Sophia P. '20. 
     
    “This was truly a collective celebration of what is best about the Renbrook community,” said Sigrist. "We celebrated a new chapter for the school - a new day  that draws upon the best of our distinguished history with a bold, forward looking vision for our future."
     
    During the ceremony, Mr. Sigrist was gifted with statue of an astrolabe, a tool used by astronomers and navigators in ancient times and which now reflects the school's graduates' journey of wonder and discovery.
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  • Renbrook School’s 83rd Commencement

     
    “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.

    Student speakers Ged G. and Sydney A. were selected by their classmates to present the history of their class, starting with those students who began Renbrook as three-year-olds and finishing with those who joined in middle school. Following their address, Shauna S. and Theo A. explained that they decided on a commissioned painting as their class gift, with the remaining funds raised by their grade to be donated to the Renbrook Fund. The artwork, which will be made by commencement speaker Ed Donahue, will incorporate their class’s diverse interests with imagery of the Renbrook campus.

    Following Donahue’s speech, Head of School Scott Hutchinson shared his words of wisdom with the outgoing class and shared his hope that students would always find a home at Renbrook. Lastly, he kept with tradition by reading an original poem crafted to highlight the unique talents and passions of the eighth graders. With their combined love of theater, music, athletics, and the pursuit of knowledge, Hutchinson made clear that they will be an unforgettable group of students.

    In the fall, the Renbrook class of 2019 will attend

    Avon Old Farms School
    Berkshire School
    Choate Rosemary Hall
    Emma Willard School
    Ethel Walker School
    Groton School
    Kingswood Oxford School
    Loomis Chaffee School
    Middlesex School
    Miss Porter’s School
    Northwest Catholic High School
    Phillips Academy Andover
    Plainville High School
    Pomfret School
    Simsbury High School
    St. George’s School
    Suffield Academy
    Taft School
    Vernon High School
    Watkinson School
    Westminster School





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  • Renbrook Students Get Town of West Hartford to Etch a New Name in War Memorial

    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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  • First Graders Create Book Cafe

    First graders have been learning about communities, how they function, what their needs are and the importance of why people work. They got an opportunity to experience what it feels like to “work” by creating their very own first grade "Book Cafe." Students chose specific jobs and how they will run their specific sections. 
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  • Author Elise Broach Visits Renbrook

    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

    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!

    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: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmAJ4Jt8 or watch our video.
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  • 7th and 8th Graders Win Latin Award

    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"

    "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

    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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  • 6th Graders Keep Tradition of Greek Play

    Another great performance by our sixth graders for the Renbrook tradition of the Greek Play. More pictures on the Parent Resource Board under Photos and Videos.
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  • Renbrook Family Day at the Community Farm of Simsbury

    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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  • Students Participate in COLT Poetry Contest

    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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  • West Hartford Historians Visit Grade 5

    West Hartford historian, Tracey Wilson, and her colleague Liz Divine visited the fifth grade as part of their final history unit this year. They are studying slavery in West Hartford; and will use primary and secondary sources to learn about the context of slavery in Connecticut. They'll discuss the legal and political systems that kept slavery in place, and examine the lives of enslaved individuals who lived in West Hartford. Throughout the unit, they will examine and discuss the injustices of slavery; and also examine the ways in which enslaved individuals resisted slavery’s dehumanization. As a note: any study of slavery in the United States necessarily involves difficult, but incredibly important, discussions. 
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  • Spelling in Nature

    The 2nd grade went outside to practice writing their spelling words using things found in nature. 
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  • 5th Grade Creates a Spanish City

    5th grade Spanish students learn about Spain and the different businesses that can be found in a Spanish city or village. They created their own city complete with stores, restaurants, hospitals using Spanish dialog.
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  • Renbrook Students Selected for Northern Region Middle School Music Festival

    11 upper school students were accepted to the Northern Region Middle School Music Festival this year. Participating students were Paige (violin), Jayden (alto saxophone), and 9 vocalists: Sahil, Tessa, Robbie, Devin, Alice, Manu, Simone, Kayla, and Harshil. Listen to them rehearsing "Sisi Ni Moja" with over 200 middle school singers!
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  • Matt Sigrist has been appointed as Renbrook's 11th Head of School

    Renbrook’s Eleventh Head of School Appointed

     
    On March 25, Renbrook School announced the appointment of Mr. Matthew Sigrist as the school’s eleventh Head of School, succeeding the current Head, Mr. Scott Hutchinson. Mr. Sigrist will start on July 1, 2019. Matt comes to Renbrook from Norfolk Academy in Norfolk, VA, a 1-12 independent day school with 1,232 students. He has worked in administrative roles since 2007 and served as Middle School Director at Norfolk Academy since 2014. In that role, Matt is responsible for 350 students in grades 7-9. Prior to Norfolk Academy, Matt served as Head of the Upper School at the Peck School in Morristown, NJ for seven years.

    “We're excited to welcome Matt, his wife, Kathleen, and their four daughters to the Renbrook community. Matt’s natural leadership abilities are obvious, and his past experiences have prepared him well for this Head of School role. Matt’s hiring begins a great new chapter for Renbrook.” says Head of School Search Committee Chair and Renbrook’s Board of Trustees Chair Eric Daniels ‘77.

    During his time at Norfolk Academy, Matt advanced many areas of the Middle School. He developed the division's Mini-mester Program and its relationship-based Advisory Program. During the school's recent strategic planning work, Matt contributed broadly to the effort, and he has led important committee work on faculty growth and excellence focused on faculty learning communities. Throughout his career, Matt has enjoyed the opportunity to teach, coach, and lead school divisions in K-8, 7-12 and 1-12 grade schools in large and smaller markets and in different parts of the country. He served as Upper School Director at The Peck School (Morristown, NJ) and as teacher, coach, and Middle School Moderator at Delbarton School (Morristown, NJ). Each of the schools where Matt has served shares traits and goals similar to Renbrook: student-centered, empathetic mindset, academic excellence, a focus on character education, and clear mission identity. He has taught and coached throughout his career, and he continued to teach math and economics and coach baseball at Norfolk Academy. At Norfolk Academy, Matt's current Head of School, Dennis Manning, appointed Matt to the Finance Committee, the Parents Advisory Council, and the Strategic Planning Committee. Matt has also participated in annual fund and capital campaign initiatives.


    Matt earned his Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership at Columbia University, Teacher's College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Williams College, where he was captain of the baseball and football teams. Matt's wife, Kathleen, was the former Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Newark Academy (Livingston, NJ) as well as an Admissions Reader at Williams College and the College of William and Mary. Matt and Kathleen have four daughters ages 12, 10, 7 and 4.

    Upon receiving the Board’s offer, Matt stated: "Kathleen, my girls, and I are thrilled to join the Renbrook family! I am humbled and honored to be entrusted with the awesome responsibility to serve the children, families, faculty, and staff of this wonderful school, and I look forward to opportunities this spring to visit campus."
     
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  • Meteorologist Visits Renbrook

    Kaitlyn McGrath, a meteorologist from NBC Connecticut came to visit students today at Renbrook School in West Hartford. She brought the NBC branded Snow Monster with her so the kids could learn all about its multiple cameras and ground and air temperature gauges. Student got to ask Kaitlyn questions about how she forecasts weather and how Snow Monster is a key asset to the Department of Transportation during snow storms. There was no shortage of questions about life on television and Kaitlyn answered them all with a smile. Sixth grade students were especially inquisitive as they are studying weather right now in their science curriculum.
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  • Third Grade Immigration Day Projects

    Immigration Day is the culminating event of the third grade study of immigrants coming through Ellis Island in 1908. Leading up to Immigration Day, students read non-fictional and fictional accounts of Ellis Island and traveled to the Connecticut Historical Society to learn more about the reasons immigrants left their home countries to come to America. 
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