Highlights 2015-2016: The School Year in Review

Our 2015-2016 edition of Highlights is now available online.
Please find below our annual edition of Highlights—a sampling of news and events that occurred at City and Country over the past twelve months.
Notable in 2015–2016 are the completion of our Strategic Plan, the allocation of all Annual Spring Benefit funds to financial aid, our continued effort to expand the impact of our program beyond C&C, and the active engagement of our community in support of C&C. 
You can find this edition of Highlights and all our publications online.

C&C’s community has always worked together to foster a learning environment that can only be found at our historic school. One area in which our community was deeply engaged this year was the drafting of our Strategic Plan. The final version of the Plan is now posted in the About Us section of the website. Key implementation is already taking place with this five-year plan that will drive our school’s future:

We focused on significantly increasing compensation for teachers and staff for the second year in a row—assuring that C&C continues to attract and retain the best educators possible. We’re ensuring C&C’s facilities needs by negotiating a 10-year lease renewal with Church of the Village for the continued use of their gym/lunchroom/classrooms. Succession planning for a new principal starting in 2017–2018 is already well underway.

We fulfilled a larger goal of the Strategic Plan—and a key recommendation of our recent New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) evaluation—by championing our program to a wider audience.

The Progressive Education Network (PEN) bi-annual conference was held in Brooklyn; C&C was among the organizers. We opened our school to PEN educators for a site visit, and C&C educators led three workshops for participants.

We had two unique extensions to our traditional “Block Connection” workshop. We held the first-ever NYSAIS-sponsored block workshops at C&C. And, several educators from C&C were involved in the creation of a block space at PS 130 in Brooklyn.

Our unique program was also mentioned in several publications this year.

Our founder Caroline Pratt, the Unit Blocks she invented, and their place in history were all featured in an NPREd report: “Before Minecraft, The Blocks Were Made Of Wood.”

Readers of Independent School learned how C&C’s Archives are a living resource for our historic program in “Remembering the Backstory: Why Keeping and Promoting School Archives Matters.”

The spirit of community and collaboration demonstrated by our students during the school day extended into Afterschool and Sports.

Four students initiated and ran clubs during Afterschool hosted by a teacher sponsor. Also during Afterschool, students from across Groups took part in Community Service Knitting to benefit Project Linus.

92.5% of all students who could participate in one or more of our sports offerings did! The younger teams were especially strong, with undefeated seasons for the 10s/11s Volleyball and 10s/11s Girls Basketball teams.

Our second annual Fun Run was the perfect way for families, friends, and students to end the year.

Parents continued to be an active part of our community.

The Parents Association (PA) brought engaging speakers to the school. Representatives of Planned Parenthood gave a presentation on how to talk with children about sex and sexuality. Columnist and author Ron Lieber informed parents on how to speak with their children about money.

Parents also entered classrooms throughout the School as outside speakers. Hanan Kenyatta spoke with children about Islam in the XIsD. Parent Morris Adjmi spoke with the XIIsS about Greek architecture as the basis for Western architecture. Many other parents shared their knowledge and experience with Groups throughout the School.

The school community continued to work together on a number of issues surrounding diversity.

The Diversity Group spearheaded a rich mix of events, including a number of Book Group meetings where the author facilitated or participated in the conversation. A screening of I’m Not Racist…Am I? continued the anti-racist conversation that our community engaged in last year.

Director of Student Services and Diversity Coordinator Millie Cartagena, XsG Group Teacher Gee Roldan, and Social Studies Consultant Joan Brodsky Schur worked with faculty to develop curricula to better integrate social justice into our social studies program.

C&C stayed true to our tradition of professional development.

C&C teachers and administrators attended, participated in, or led over 100 workshops. Fourteen faculty and staff received summer grants for subjects ranging from a XIIIs Program Revamp to a IVs Website.

Faculty and staff also noted a number of special achievements, including Art Exhibitions by Art and Shop Teachers Molly Herman and Maggie Ens.

C&C provided parents with important information about our program.

In addition to the 30 Wednesday meetings we held for parents, our Directors gave parents big-picture updates on their schools through posts in the online community. Director of Lower School Jane Clarke’s Walkabouts presented a number of photo rich topics: from how community is lived in the Lower School to a spotlight on the VIIs. Director of Middle/Upper School Alex Ragone’s From the M/U School touched on how to speak with children about tough topics and how students give back to the C&C community.

C&C continued to raise significant funds in support of current operations and the future.

The Annual Spring Benefit, held at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, featured stunning Hudson views, good food, great music, and fantastic auction items. This was the first year that all funds raised went to financial aid—including the $10,000 surprise donation from the PA!

On a smaller, but more historic, scale, money raised from XIIIs Parents this year will be used to buy new library chairs.

This was also a year of food, glorious food at C&C:

We were excited to welcome the four members of C&C’s new food services staff: Chef Rammuel Lavarro, Assistant Chef Nelle Gretzinger, Dayana Aguila, and Wilfredo Mejia. They quickly became an integral part of our community, and their food was highly praised.

Families, faculty, and staff built closer ties to our CSA farm (Blooming Hill Farm). Our IXs added to their experience of American life during the time of westward expansion by harvesting radishes and turnips planted by our community in the Spring of 2015. We returned to the farm in May of 2016 to plant potatoes and meet the chickens that lay our eggs.

We ended the year contemplating the promising futures of our Graduating XIIIs:

One legacy of the outgoing Class of 2016—they were the first class to create a companion website for their newspaper. That site will continue as the XIIIs of 2016–2017 build upon the initial design.

Our XIIIs will head to a rich variety of notable High Schools: Berkeley Carroll, Brearley, Bronx High School of Science, Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, Dalton, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, LREI, LaGuardia High School, Friends Seminary, Grace Church School, Horace Mann, Packer Collegiate, Rudolf Steiner, Spence, St. Ann’s, Stuyvesant High School, Westtown, and Xavier.

We’re happy to know that our most recent alumni will go on to these high schools with a deep love of learning that will continue to guide them through their years, strengthened by the C&C community we have built together.

City and Country School

146 W 13th Street New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212.242.7802