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RCSD Community Update: 4/21/23

Dear RCSD Community,

Baseball executive Bill Veeck said, “The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of the bat on the ball.” The annual opening day parade for baseball and softball in Rye has become my personal spring harbinger. This Saturday, the RCSD Board of Education has its annual meeting with the City Council, after which we all march down Purchase Street along with what seems like every child under the age of 13 in Rye. It’s a special tradition and not one you see in many neighboring towns anymore.  The parade begins at 12:00 p.m. sharp and the weather looks to be 61° and dry so come on down to cheer on Rye’s youngest sluggers.

Critical Thinking Expo

On Tuesday night, immediately prior to the Board of Education meeting, we hosted the RCSD’s first-ever Critical Thinking Expo. The idea was to demonstrate how the District’s focus on imbuing critical thinking into schoolwork at every level has played out in terms of student projects and research. Kindergarteners through High School seniors set up booths in the RMS gym for Board of Education members, teachers, administrators, and parents to explore.  I was struck by how passionate and well-informed the students were about their projects.  And they were just as eager to relay their failures on the road to eventual success as they were talking about their successes, which indicates significant tenacity was at play. 

A presentation by teachers and administrators about Critical Thinking followed at the Board of Education meeting, and I was particularly struck by something RMS English Language Arts teacher Dr. Michele Haiken said. She said, “I think there’s been a huge shift in education in the past decade. I always say, ‘I’m teaching the reader, I’m not teaching the book.’ English [now] encompasses reading, writing, critical thinking, speaking, listening….as an English teacher my shift is teaching the individual, the reader, the communicator, to be creative, to be thinking deeply, and trying to be less task-oriented.” Watch the presentation here beginning at 5:00.

RHS Tutoring Center Video

Students at the High School have just wrapped up the 3rd quarter. As they gird themselves for the 4th and final, it seems like a good time to share our latest video about the Tutoring Center at Rye High. The teachers in the Tutoring Center offer homework and other help every day from 8:00 a.m. - 2:50 p.m. Students can drop in during lunch or a free period, no reservation needed! Watch the video here and encourage your kids to make use of this wonderful resource.

Voter Registration Day

This year has really been winging by. As we hurtle towards the annual RCSD school district budget vote and Board of Education election on May 16, the District is holding a voter registration drive. Perhaps you moved to Rye from the City and never registered to vote. Or you moved within Rye and forgot to tell the Board of Elections. We can help! Come to the District’s Central office at 555 Theodore Fremd Suite B101 next Wednesday, April 26, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. and we will get you squared away. To find out if you are registered to vote, click here to check on

Book Talk on The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

In the March Superintendent’s Bulletin, my “cover story” was on the terrific new book out from Dr. Lisa Damour, The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents.  I’m going to be hosting two book talks for interested members of the community: Tuesday, May 9, at 9:30 a.m. at the District’s Central Offices, and Tuesday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rye Middle School Multipurpose Room (MPR). Copies of the book are available at Arcade Books. There will not be a pop quiz to see if you’ve read the book, only some good dialogue about surviving teen parenting.

Welcome, spring, and play ball! 


Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools