Ross School Students Celebrate with End-of-Year Ceremonies

Ross School celebrated the close of the 2017–2018 school year with multiple moving-up ceremonies this week, which were held to commemorate students’ passage from one grade to another. All of the ceremonies presented opportunities for students, faculty, staff, families, and friends to reflect upon the year’s achievements.

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Middle School Students to Explore North Africa

Middle School Students to Explore North Africa

Ross School’s Field Academy offers students and faculty the opportunity to work intensively on group projects through coursework that can occur on campus or in destinations around the world. Among this year’s courses available to middle school students is an excursion to Morocco, offering students a unique opportunity to connect to their classroom content. Over 10 days, students and faculty will explore Morocco’s rich history and culture, as well as become familiar with contemporary issues affecting the North African country.

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Get in the Spirit with Ross School’s Holiday Concerts

Get in the Spirit with Ross School’s Holiday Concerts

This week, Ross School students spread holiday cheer with two concerts. Tuesday’s Early Childhood–Grade 3 Concert included classics like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “First Flakes,” while Wednesday’s Grades 4–8 Holiday Concert encompassed songs from around the world, including a French folk song, the African Bell Carol, a Ukrainian classic with an international twist, and a medley of Christmas and Hanukkah songs. Ross News has video of the 2017 holiday concerts! 

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Combating Abuse with Education

Combating Abuse with Education

This week, representatives from the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) and the East Hampton Police Department addressed Upper School students, parents, and members of the community during two informative discussions about the risks and liabilities of substance use. “Our nation is in the midst of a bona fide public health emergency,” said Lauren Navarra of LICADD, speaking of the national opioid crisis.

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Eighth Grade Students Host Banquet Culminating Study of Islam

Eighth Grade Students Host Banquet Culminating Study of Islam

Following a trimester-long comprehensive study of medieval Islamic society, eighth grade students demonstrated what they learned at Ross’s annual Islamic Banquet. For the past 12 years, Ross School has held this event, allowing students to experience and share the culture they’ve studied with the student body.

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Middle School Gardening and the Outdoor Classroom

Middle School Gardening and the Outdoor Classroom

All around Ross School’s Spiral Garden, saws are abuzz and dust is flying. Led by Ross Cafe Chef de Cuisine Liz Dobbs, a group of eighth graders is racing to ready the garden for the impending winter months. This year marks the first year that gardening has been offered as an elective course for middle school students, and the class teaches students to implement the principles of sustainable gardening while also yielding goods that supplement the cafe’s daily meals.

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Innovation Lab @Ross Explores Marine Life in Massachusetts

Innovation Lab @Ross Explores Marine Life in Massachusetts

Innovation Lab @Ross students recently embarked upon a two-day trip to Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Woods Hole has a robust history as a hub of marine science research, and it is the site of the nation’s first public aquarium. Led by marine science instructor Hazel Wodehouse and Innovation Lab director Greg Wilson, the students enjoyed the opportunity to explore Northeast and Middle Atlantic marine life alongside research scientists.

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Q&A with Vinicius Carmo, Tennis Director

Following a successful pre-professional tennis career in his native Brazil, Ross School Tennis Director Vinicius Carmo came to the United States as a student-athlete for the University of Tennessee. After accepting a summer job in the Hamptons, Vinicius made his home here, leading tennis programs throughout the region. He is the founding director of Ross School Tennis Academy (RSTA) and has coached several championship-winning tennis teams during his nine years at Ross.

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Bonding from the Beginning

The start of a new academic year is an inherently exciting time, but some of the most impactful experiences for Ross’s middle school students occur during retreat days. In a longstanding tradition, time is set aside for each grade level to participate in a shared activity intended to help them get to know one another and build camaraderie with their peers.

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Family-Style Living with Ross School House Parents

image2 (1) For boarding students around the world, living apart from your family and far from your homeland can be a daunting experience. While many residential schools rely upon the use of dormitories to house their students, Ross School provides students with the warmth of a family environment. Sharing single-family residences located throughout East Hampton and Sag Harbor, students and house parents—adults living in the houses who serve as supervisory figures, confidantes, and much more—work together to create a homelike atmosphere in the boarding houses.

“Devoted house parents are the backbone of the Residential Life program. Without them, we would be unable to run this program successfully,” said Anja Abney, Director of Residential Life and International Student Services. “Our students live thousands of miles from their families, and it’s comforting for their parents to know that their children are in the care of people who will ask how their day went or celebrate their birthday. The family-style experience Ross provides is one of our most distinctive features.”

Robin Volinski, Café manager at Ross Lower School, has been a house parent since the program began in 2009. As the parent of two adult children, Robin says she became a house parent because she missed the energy of a full house. In the early days of the program, Robin says, the school café was closed on weekends. During this time, she enjoyed preparing meals with her students. Among her favorite experiences as a house parent was creating a family dinner menu and cooking with her students. They loved the food, which consisted of skirt steak, shrimp scampi, and spicy cabbage, so much that they ate the same thing every weekend Robin was on duty that entire school year.

Though many of the house parents can attest to the challenges of the position, all say that living with students has its rewards. Robin says that she keeps in touch with several students she’s cared for in the past, communicating over social media and visiting whenever possible. “I’ve had great children over the years. They’ve been good to me, and I’ve been good to them,” she said. “I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t love it.”

Watch the Ross School Spring Concerts!

Spring_Concert_WW_7337 Over the last two weeks, Ross School students from all grades have showcased their performing arts talents in a series of spring concerts. If you missed the chance to attend any of them, videos are available for viewing after the jump!


Grades EC–2 Spring Concert


Grades 3–6 Spring Concert


Middle School Spring Concert


Upper School Spring Concert

Spring Athletics Award Winners Honored

Athletic_Awards_WW_7667 On Monday, June 5, Ross School students assembled in the Great Hall to support their fellow students as they received athletic awards for their performance during the spring season. The only senior award recipient, Noa Langleben ’17, accepted her final Coaches’ Award for her long-term stint on the Cosmos rowing team. Congratulations to all of our student-athletes.

The full listing of awards is listed below.

Middle School Sailing Best Skipper: Harry Prager '21

Varsity Rowing Coaches' Award: Noa Langleben '17

Boys Varsity Tennis Most Valuable Player: Rainier Benard '18 Most Improved Player: Alex Saunders '19 Coaches' Award: Konrad Kopp '19

Boys Varsity Track Most Valuable Player: Albert Darchiev '18 Most Improved Player: Boqin Yang '21 Coaches' Award: Taito Shimizu '18

Girls Varsity Track Most Valuable Player: Autumn Coard '22 Most Improved Player: Caly Stewart '21 Coaches' Award: Naomi Schormann '19


Sixth Graders Learn Pythagorean Approach to Music

IMG_4320 (1) (1) Sixth grade students recently built their own single-stringed instruments, called monochords, to illustrate Greek philosopher Pythagoras’ theories on musical ratios. This integrated project, which builds upon students’ study of ancient Greek culture, requires students to combine knowledge from the Math, Visual Arts, Cultural History, and Music domains to construct their instruments and use them to become familiar with the sounds of ascending and descending musical intervals and to identify classic harmonies.

During his experiments, Pythagoras uncovered a significant relationship between harmonious notes; the length of the instrument’s string is inversely proportional to the frequencies of sound wave undulations. The frequency of the vibrations increases as the string becomes shorter; conversely, if the length is increased, then the frequency of the vibrations decreases. Pythagoras discovered that there are ratios for each musical interval: the octave (2:1), the perfect fourth (4:3), and the perfect fifth (3:2).

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Ross School parent and acclaimed furniture designer Nico Yektai served as a mentor on the project, preparing kits of building materials for each student and assisting them with assembly. “We had such a fantastic time, and as always, I am so proud of our talented, bright, and inquisitive sixth graders,” said Lower School music teacher Deanna Locascio.

Working to Bring “Abstraction” to Reality

IMG_6593 (1) A hallmark of the Ross School experience for seventh graders is curating a themed art exhibition to be shown at the Ross Gallery. For more than 20 years, this innovative interdisciplinary project designed by Dean of Visual Arts Jennifer Cross has helped students cultivate skills in collaboration, organization, and critical thinking while teaching them new ways to engage authentically with art.

Led by Visual Arts teacher Jon Mulhern and Cultural History teacher Carol Crane, this year’s students have already invested months in preparing for the 2017 show. They have visited and interviewed professional artists, worked together to select works for display, and designed the installation. Currently, the students are working to coordinate the exhibition’s publicity, produce a catalog, and prepare to receive gallery patrons during the show opening.

Each year’s exhibition theme calls students to explore a central idea within a historical context and to discern connections between the works of contemporary artists. The theme of this year’s show, “Giving Color to Emotion: A Show of Abstraction,” features abstract works inspired by natural forms, architectural plans, and scientific drawings. In preparation, students visited the studios of painters Tracy Harris, Eric Dever, and Maria Schön, and sculptor Phyllis Hammond, four contributors to the show.


Students also produce original art in tune with the exhibition’s theme for display in the gallery. Following the students’ visit to his studio last month, Eric Dever hosted a workshop on campus during which the class explored principles of color and worked together to create two three-foot-square paintings. “It was such a great experience,” Eric later wrote to Jon. “I was impressed by the students’ understanding of the art principles we explored in the paintings and in their finished work.”

In the coming weeks, the students will continue to refine and install the show as they get ready for the public opening. To learn more about the history and evolution of the exhibition project, read Jennifer’s article, “Students as Curators,” published in the most recent edition of Visual Inquiry.

The gallery opening for “Giving Color to Emotion: A Show of Abstraction” is Tuesday, June 6, from 4–6pm.” The art exhibit is free and open to the public.

Students Take The Stage For Spring Musical

IMG_9375 Audiences were in for a treat this week when Ross Upper School presented its spring musical, an adaptation of Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan’s Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Set in 1922, the play recalls the trials of Millie Dillmount, a young Midwestern woman who moves to New York City in search of a more fruitful and exciting life. However, her plan quickly unravels when checks into the Hotel Priscilla, and hilarity ensues as she navigates love, work, and the pursuit of happiness.

Fast-paced choreography, beautiful costumes, and enthusiastic performances by the cast and orchestra make this a show everyone should see. Don’t miss your chance to see the students’ final performance of this production on Saturday, May 19, at 11:30am in Court Theater!

 Click here for more images from Ross School’s spring production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Ross School Celebrates National Poetry Week

Poetry_1048 In conjunction with National Poetry Month, Ross School students on both campuses are engaged in a weeklong celebration of poetry.

Lower School students are beginning each morning this week with poetry readings. On Tuesday, they enjoyed an enthusiastic presentation by children’s author Alan Katz, who led them in a sing-along of songs from his books and offered them tips on how to cultivate their passion for writing. (Read more about Katz’s visit.)

At the Upper School’s weekly Community Meeting, students, faculty, and staff shared aloud with one another their favorite poems from their native languages, including Russian and Mandarin Chinese. English instructor Dr. Robert Baum offered a rousing reading of Langston Hughes’s famed poem, “Harlem,” while Laura Engel, Lower School teacher and Middle School librarian, shared Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

On Wednesday, April 26, both campuses celebrated National Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day, during which members of the community are challenged to carry a poem in their pocket and be prepared to read it when requested.