New Tech Programs, Facilities Boost Rye All-Girls School

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Sarina Culaj works on a robotics project at the School of the Holy Child in Rye this past year.
Sarina Culaj works on a robotics project at the School of the Holy Child in Rye this past year. Photo Credit: School of the Holy Child
The School of the Holy Child broke ground on the field house, which it hopes to have complete by the start of 2015.
The School of the Holy Child broke ground on the field house, which it hopes to have complete by the start of 2015. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
William Hambleton, Colm MacMahon and Colleen Pettus talk about new programs in the past and upcoming school years.
William Hambleton, Colm MacMahon and Colleen Pettus talk about new programs in the past and upcoming school years. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

RYE, N.Y. – The School of the Holy Child projects an increase in enrollment for the coming school year, which Headmaster Dr. William Hambleton attributes to its new programs and the field house it broke ground on in 2013-14, as well as two more facilities planned for 2015.

Thanks in part to an incoming class of 65 ninth-graders, which will be the largest class in the upper school in 2014-15, the all-girls school will have a total of 300 students, which Hambleton told Daily Voice is a conservative projection.

After adding a new fifth-grade technology class, "Build It," in 2013-14, the school will expand its technology program to the upper school in 2014-15.

“The girls absolutely have the taste for the science field and will continue that into the upper school,” Colleen Pettus, head of the middle school, said.

Sarina Culaj will be entering eighth grade, when students learn how to code and create computer games through the technology program. She learned how to program robots in sixth and seventh grades.

In addition to a new tech class that acquainted fifth-graders with engineering and design basics, 10-year-olds were part of the iPad initiative. Both will continue in 2014-15.

Pettus said the technology work ties into the school’s wellness initiative, which focuses on “the whole girl,” which includes her academic, social, emotional and spiritual development. 

The next step in that initiative will be developing models to maximize the influence that the school’s adults have on students.

Also new in 2014-15 will be the field house now under construction, which Hambleton said he hopes will be completed by the start of 2015. It will house a basketball court, fitness center, locker rooms, athletic offices and a commons area open to students throughout the day.

When that is complete, the renovation of the existing gym into a 400-seat theater will begin. Simultaneously, a garage building on the west end of campus will be turned into a design studio to house existing programs.

Students selected for the school’s Edward E. Ford Architecture Engineering and Design for the Common Good program helped design the new design studio, Colm MacMahon, head of the upper school, said.

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