This discussion-based learning and teaching method is applied in Rocky Hill School’s grades 6-12 classrooms. An oval table, seating students and the teacher, replaces traditional desks and rows and the standard lecture format. This student-centered classroom encourages self-advocacy, collaborative problem solving, and an exchange of ideas.
Rocky Hill School’s 84-acre campus is used as a lens through which students better understand science, art, literature, and history topics. Rocky Hill’s campus includes a 10,000 sf community garden, the 1.5 mile Land of Fires Nature Trail, and direct waterfront access. The availability of these resources particularly supports Rocky Hill’s emphasis on marine and environmental sciences. Beginning in the Lower School, Our distinctive programs include Lower School EnviroEd, Middle School Enviroweek, and Upper School AP Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Oceanography, and Ecology courses. Rocky Hill School also partners with Save The Bay and the University of Rhode Island Ecology Lab to further enrich our Upper School students’ curriculum.
Small Class Sizes
Rocky Hill's small class size, averaging 10-12 students and with a 5:1 student to teacher ratio, allows our faculty to focus on the talents and strengths of each individual student.
Beginning in 6th grade, each student at Rocky Hill is assigned an adviser with whom they meet consistently throughout each week. Advisers serve not only as mentors and advocates for the student, but also as liaisons between parents and the School. Keeping the same adviser for each year in a Division helps to deepen that relationship.
Rocky Hill School’s curriculum extends beyond the strictly academic. Employing the philosophies of Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs imbues a sense of community, responsibility, and camaraderie into our classrooms. In 2015, Rocky Hill began an initiative to bring the beneficial practice of Mindfulness to our students. Faculty members in each Division were trained in mindfulness practices and use them in their classrooms daily to both model specific behaviors for students as well as to explicitly articulate the benefits of them. For us, community service is not simply a graduation requirement, but is a value woven into our school through numerous activities, clubs, and field trips throughout the year. At Rocky Hill, we live into our mission to educate the whole child.
The Idea Lab is a dynamic, technology-infused space for students and faculty across all divisions and disciplines. With cutting-edge projection capabilities and a high-tech interactive whiteboard, Steelcase mobile furniture, rolling dividers, and six large screen iMac computers, the Lab actively invites and promotes design thinking, creativity, collaboration, and multiple forms of learning, producing, and communicating knowledge. The Lab provides opportunities for interdisciplinary activities, experimentation, and alternative forms of expression, while encouraging research, risk-taking, invention, and innovation.
The Senior Internship is the culmination of a student's Rocky Hill School experience. Seniors arrange a one-month internship in areas of possible career choices, community service, or a unique one-time learning opportunity. Students initiate all communication, set objectives, manage the details of their schedule, and prepare a final multi-media presentation. The ultimate goals are for each senior to refine their critical and adaptive thinking skills via real world experience, and to gain confidence in their ability to succeed in college and beyond.
The Seminar Program runs throughout all four years of the Upper School curriculum. Starting during the freshman year, seminars meet twice weekly for 40 minutes and are taught by a variety of teachers, the college counselor, and guest speakers. This dynamic program acts as a thread that connects each year of study, covering topics ranging from adjusting to life as a high school student, to the college application process, to writing a resume. Our seminar program compliments every aspect of our students’ experience, preparing them for college and beyond. Week.
4+ Year College Counseling Program
Rocky Hill School's college counseling program begins in 8th Grade so students can start crafting their high school course selections, extracurricular activities, and summer plans in their freshman year. Rocky Hill’s small size allows for one-to-one college counseling and virtually unliminted access to a highly-trained college counselor. Engaging workshops and events are scheduled throughout the year for both students and parents. Comprehensive and individualized standardized test prep is woven into the curriculum. and more than 70 college representatives visit Rocky Hill each year.
Trinity Repertory Company Partnership
Our performing arts program, the Deckhands Theater Company, features an impressive partnership with Trinity Repertory Company. Both Middle and Upper School students have the opportunity to work directly with professionals in the performing arts field right on our campus. Together with Trinity Rep, the Deckhands hold three shows a year, including a musical.
Clubs and Trips
Learning happens all over our campus and beyond. The option to investigate a passion and join a club begins as early as the Lower School, and clubs are fully integrated into the weekly schedule in the Upper School. Our students also benefit from trips throughout the year, from the Preschool field trip to Casey Farm, to the 8th grade excursion to Quebec for Winter Carnival, to the 11th grade tour of Washington, DC. Rocky Hill’s students have countless opportunities to learn outside the classroom.
Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE)
ACE serves students who need additional academic support to reach their full potential within the context of a college preparatory school. Through enrichment classes, academic support, study skills, remedial techniques, and active student participation, ACE strives to produce independent, confident learners who emerge as self-advocates in their learning.