News & Calendar

News

List of 20 news stories.

  • Celebrating 40 Years of “Mathtown” at Renbrook School

    Chris Ladd
    Middle school children are full of questions about themselves and the world around them. What career will I have as an adult? How does what I am learning in school help me in the future? Hundreds of vital questions that deserve answers. Middle School students are reaching adulthood and will be moving on to secondary school. In a few years, they will pick a college and declare a major or find a job. Children at any age need to understand why they are learning topics, and at Renbrook, teachers intentionally bring learning to life. A hands-on approach allows students to work at their own pace and tackle challenges appropriately.
    Read More
  • Former Renbrook Parent and Trustee Pens Lolita in the Afterlife

    In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published in the United States by Walter Minton to immediate controversy and bestsellerdom. More than sixty years later Walter Minton's daughter Jenny Minton Quigley, has edited Lolita in the Afterlife: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century. Amazon describes: "This phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of our national discourse—art and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual trauma—Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova."
    Read More
  • SIMPLY LINCOLN - Canton Resident Portrays Abraham Lincoln to Enthusiastic Reviews

    If you know Howard Wright, Science Department Head here at Renbrook, you may know of his love for all things Lincoln and his art of portraying President Abraham Lincoln. March 4, 2021 marked the 160th anniversary of Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861 and in honor of this anniversary, Bruce Deckert, Editor-in-Chief of Today Magazine, featured a six-page spread on Howard and his Lincoln portrayals. Enjoy this wonderful story and the beautiful photos featuring our own Howard Wright. 
    Read More
  • Laura Horn ’10 Performs in UCONN's Radical Black Art and Performance Series

    Renbrook Alumna Lauren Horn ’10 Performs "Cleave"

    Renbrook alumna Lauren Horn ‘10 performed recently in the University of Connecticut’s Radical Black Art and Performance Series, featuring virtual performances, film screenings, discussions, and workshops by LGBTQ artists and scholars of color. The series was curated by Philadelphia-based choreographer and artist Arien Wilkerson who recently shared in an interview with Connecticut Public Radio, “This series really invites UConn and other institutions to think about the way they have neglected Black artists and Black educators. They need to incorporate Black artists, Black thinkers, Black minds in all facets, not just entertaining you, not just educating you, but also in the planning and the infrastructure of all this, too.”
    Read More
  • MATHCOUNTS 2021

    Congratulations to all of our Renbrook "Mathletes" who recently participated in MATHCOUNTS. Particular congratulations go out to sixth-grader Hridaan Mehta for qualifying for the next round of the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series, the Chapter Invitational. Hridaan scored 37 out of 46 possible points and ranked fourteenth overall.
    The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national middle school mathematics competition that builds problem-solving skills and fosters achievement through four levels of fun, in-person "bee" style contests. The contests are all being held virtually this year and Hridaan will move on to the Chapter Invitational on February 25, 2021. Best of luck Hridaan! 
    Read More
  • Eighth-Grader Campbell Hudkins is the 2020 USHJA Youth Leadership Award Recipient

    We are so proud of eighth-grader, Campbell Hudkins, 13, of Farmington, Connecticut, who was recently awarded the USHJA (United States Hunter Jumper Association) Youth Leadership Award. Campbell has demonstrated leadership and positivity in her equestrian endeavors and has enjoyed success in the Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation, including winning the 2020 EMO Insurance/USHJA Jumping Seat Medal Final - East. Campbell is involved in the day-to-day care and management of her horses on her family farm. She has also engaged in charitable work benefitting the USHJA Feed Aid initiative providing aid to purchase feed for lesson horses in the hunter/jumper community financially impacted by COVID-19.
    Read More
  • Griffin Santopietro, Renbrook Class of 2020, stars in Netflix Show

    We are so proud of Griffin Santopietro '20, who is featured in this West Hartford News article for his work as an actor. Griffin recently starred in the Netflix show "Cobra Kai" which is based on "The Karate Kid." Griffin is a 2020 graduate of Renbrook. Click below to read the West Hartford News article.
    Read More
  • Alumni Office Sends Love and Care Via USPS

    On December 8, 2020, Renbrook School's Alumni Office mailed 123 specially created care packages to alumni in high school and college. As part of its alumni engagement efforts, each fall the Alumni Office sends a letter to parents of alumni in high school and college, asking for their child's current contact information. A small gift, several specially chosen treats, and a note of care and well wishes are included in each care package.

    This year's care packages include
    a card from the Alumni Office, microwave popcorn, dark chocolate covered blueberries, Chips Ahoy/Oreos, an immunity drink packet, and either a Renbrook reusable straw for our college-age alums or Renbrook Post-its for our high school-age alums. Some care packages even contained a personal note, handwritten by an alum's former teacher!
    Read More
  • Eighth-Grader Campbell Hudkins Wins Equestrian Award

    We are so proud of eighth-grader Campbell Hudkins for her recent equestrian accomplishments at the Capital Challenge Horse Show held at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio. Campbell won the fourth annual EMO Insurance/USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final – East on Saturday, September 26.
    Read More
  • Eighth-grade student Christopher Joszczyk Receives 2020 Youth Honor Award

    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.
    Read More
  • Uncovering the Past

    Uncovering the Past: A group of fifth graders discovered their town's secret history and honored a forgotten hero.

    Betsy Flynn
    Renbrook School is excited to share this article that appears in the April issue of Scholastic News. The article, "Uncovering the Past," tells of the Witness Stone Project completed last year by Renbrook fifth-graders who discovered their town's secret and honored a forgotten hero.
    Read More
  • 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. 
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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).
    Read More
  • 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. 
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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.
    Read More
  • 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!!
    Read More
  • "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!
    Read More
View All News

2021

  • May

    Renbrooks Evolving Work for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

    Gretchen Hathaway
    In 2020–2021, as our country renews its commitment to equity and justice, how is Renbrook applying our mission and values to this call to action?      

    Decades of faculty, parent, and student work (see sidebars) have laid the groundwork for this time. But the work is a long journey, and the national movement of the past year has offered new perspectives for deeper exploration. Facing the past, opening up dialogue in the present, and looking toward a future of healing and growth, Renbrook’s community is dedicated to the work.
    Read More
  • Celebrating 40 Years of “Mathtown” at Renbrook School

    Chris Ladd
    Middle school children are full of questions about themselves and the world around them. What career will I have as an adult? How does what I am learning in school help me in the future? Hundreds of vital questions that deserve answers. Middle School students are reaching adulthood and will be moving on to secondary school. In a few years, they will pick a college and declare a major or find a job. Children at any age need to understand why they are learning topics, and at Renbrook, teachers intentionally bring learning to life. A hands-on approach allows students to work at their own pace and tackle challenges appropriately.
    Read More
  • Renbrook Sports Survive the Pandemic

    Tony Scherer '82
    Tony Scherer ’82, long-time Upper School teacher and coach, whose love of sports, particularly baseball, is legend, offers this reflection.   

    FUN. That’s where it starts. The first time we run, the first time we play catch, the first time we hit a ball with something, the first time we throw a ball through a hoop. Sports are fun. (Or, if you prefer, sports is fun, if you think of “sports” as a collective singular noun, like “art” or “music.” English teachers think that way.)
    Read More
  • Renbrook Physical Education: Pandemic Style

    Gretchen Hathaway
    Our campus was empty all spring. Students stayed at home, glued to their screens. Everyone was curious: How would our PE department keep kids active and motivated from a distance?      

    All spring, Athletic Director Peter Reynolds, Assistant Athletic Director Sarah Davis, and PE teacher Natalie Kirkpatrick motivated kids remotely by making videos in their back yards. They offered athletic challenges, communicating with energy and humor as they demonstrated: Shoot baskets into a trash can! Teach someone to do a proper squat! Here’s a drill you can try! Get on your bike and ride! Instagram became the new gym.
    Read More
  • April

    Former Renbrook Parent and Trustee Pens Lolita in the Afterlife

    In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published in the United States by Walter Minton to immediate controversy and bestsellerdom. More than sixty years later Walter Minton's daughter Jenny Minton Quigley, has edited Lolita in the Afterlife: On Beauty, Risk, and Reckoning with the Most Indelible and Shocking Novel of the Twentieth Century. Amazon describes: "This phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of our national discourse—art and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual trauma—Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova."
    Read More
  • Technology in a Time of Pandemic: Versatility & Expansion

    In March, when the curtain came down on school as we knew it, Renbrook was well-positioned to pivot to online learning. “We had done the heavy lifting in 2018-2019,“ says Dave Blodgett, Academic Technology Coordinator, “when we moved to a cloud-based system school-wide.” In March 2020, teachers and staff were already living in Microsoft’s “more is more” online environment, and the sudden onset of virtual school accelerated their exploration of new ways to connect with students using a variety of apps and platforms.
    Read More
  • Steve Arnold and his hardy Kindergarteners

    A Conversation with Steve Arnold, Kindergarten Teacher

    Mr. Arnold has spearheaded creative use of the Renbrook campus for 30 years. He recalls the origins of our trail system.        

    “You can see the remnants of Frederick Rentschler’s estate on the Yellow Trail and the part of the Blue Trail that leads from the bridge down to the Brook. Rentschler built stone steps in steep places, and they’ll still take you down to Canal Road and from the highest point on campus to below the ELC.”
    Read More
  • Howard Wright’s seventh-grade students listen to the falling leaves.

    A Conversation with Howard Wright, Science Department Head

    “Last year seventh-grade Life Science students were outdoors about 50% of the time. This year I can count on one hand the number of classes held indoors.” In their study of dendrology, students ask, "Why do leaves fall?” They go into the woods to find out. As Mr. Wright reads to them from The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, “ 'A tree is not a forest . . .'  they listen to leaves falling, then jump up and try to catch them. We discuss the interdependence of trees, and that leads to the importance of community; we take care of each other as trees do.” 

    Read More
  • Outdoor Learning: Curiosity, Creativity, Community at Work

    Gretchen Hathaway
    Given the treasure of our 75-acre campus, turning to the outdoors as the safest way to learn together has been a natural adaptation for Renbrook this year. Undoubtedly our location on Avon Mountain has been essential to our successful effort to hold school in person. But more than that, learning from nature has been a vital element of Renbrook’s philosophy and practice from the outset and is embedded in the school’s philosophy and traditions.        
    Read More
  • March

    Music at Renbrook Is Not Just Enduring – It’s Thriving!

    Last spring, as Zoom classes carried on, students in Upper School missed sports, art, and music—the non-academic areas of school life. But each of those departments found ways to include their joys in the lockdown experience. Woodworking and photography challenges were issued, and PE videos appeared on Instagram. 
    Read More
  • Curiosity, Creativity, Community: They’re in our Renbrook DNA

    Gretchen Hathaway
    In Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s Alice finds herself quite suddenly and unexpectedly in a world alarmingly different from her own orderly one. When the pandemic struck last winter, we, too, went down a rabbit hole. We had no choice but to engage with the new reality and use our wits, as Alice does—all the while registering surprise and amazement.
    Read More
  • SIMPLY LINCOLN - Canton Resident Portrays Abraham Lincoln to Enthusiastic Reviews

    If you know Howard Wright, Science Department Head here at Renbrook, you may know of his love for all things Lincoln and his art of portraying President Abraham Lincoln. March 4, 2021 marked the 160th anniversary of Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861 and in honor of this anniversary, Bruce Deckert, Editor-in-Chief of Today Magazine, featured a six-page spread on Howard and his Lincoln portrayals. Enjoy this wonderful story and the beautiful photos featuring our own Howard Wright. 
    Read More
  • Play-Based Learning at Renbrook School

    Kelly Bird, Early Learning Center Director
    Play-based learning at Renbrook is balanced with direct instruction to support students’ social, emotional, and intellectual development. Although learning through play looks different than more traditional learning experiences that many of us may be familiar with, it is learning that happens within a meaningful context. Students take ownership over constructing their own understanding and knowledge and because of that it sticks and becomes internalized.  
    Read More
  • Black History Education in the Early Learning Center

    Kelly Bird, Early Learning Center Director
    Black History Month was created to ensure due attention was given to the numerous and important contributions of people of African descent. The goal was not for discussions, research, and projects to start and end in February; Black history is American history and should be woven into conversations with children throughout the year.
    Read More
  • February

    Social Studies, Humanities, and History at Renbrook School

    Renbrook’s mission calls us to prepare our students to lead in a global and inclusive world. Our “Curriculum Spotlight” highlights our Social Studies, Humanities, and History Program which plays a central role in this work. Our intentional development of empathetic citizens dedicated to the greater good is more important now than ever.  
     
    As you explore our Division Heads’ “fly over” of the scope and sequence of this important program, join us in our partnership to develop our children’s commitment to serving ideals and institutions that support our community and strengthen our democracy.
    Read More
  • Laura Horn ’10 Performs in UCONN's Radical Black Art and Performance Series

    Renbrook Alumna Lauren Horn ’10 Performs "Cleave"

    Renbrook alumna Lauren Horn ‘10 performed recently in the University of Connecticut’s Radical Black Art and Performance Series, featuring virtual performances, film screenings, discussions, and workshops by LGBTQ artists and scholars of color. The series was curated by Philadelphia-based choreographer and artist Arien Wilkerson who recently shared in an interview with Connecticut Public Radio, “This series really invites UConn and other institutions to think about the way they have neglected Black artists and Black educators. They need to incorporate Black artists, Black thinkers, Black minds in all facets, not just entertaining you, not just educating you, but also in the planning and the infrastructure of all this, too.”
    Read More
  • MATHCOUNTS 2021

    Congratulations to all of our Renbrook "Mathletes" who recently participated in MATHCOUNTS. Particular congratulations go out to sixth-grader Hridaan Mehta for qualifying for the next round of the MATHCOUNTS Competition Series, the Chapter Invitational. Hridaan scored 37 out of 46 possible points and ranked fourteenth overall.
    The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national middle school mathematics competition that builds problem-solving skills and fosters achievement through four levels of fun, in-person "bee" style contests. The contests are all being held virtually this year and Hridaan will move on to the Chapter Invitational on February 25, 2021. Best of luck Hridaan! 
    Read More
  • Topics List

    Student-Driven Curriculum in Kindergarten – Why and How?

    Kelly Bird, Early Learning Center Director
    Despite COVID-19 limitations that require each kindergarten class to remain socially distant, the kindergarten teachers brought their students together on Zoom to brainstorm what topics they might be interested in studying. The list was vast and varied! Topics ranged from tunnels to whistles to clocks.

    Each teacher created a list of the students’ ideas and the individual classes then began to group the topics into themes such as food, machines, toys, and transportation. Once several categories were identified, each class voted on a theme to study, with each student allowed two votes. Topics were given 2 points for a child’s first choice and 1 point for a child’s second choice. Two kindergarten classes selected transportation as their theme while the third selected toys.
    Read More
Back 2021

©2019 Renbrook School All Rights Reserved