Boarding Program Frequently Asked Questions
Reminders about travel and settling in:
When should I plan to arrive?
All boarding students are expected to attend Residential Life Orientation. Orientation will begin upon your arrival which must be August 28; orientation will take place soon after. Consult our school calendar on our "Community" page for the first day of school.
Orientation – Your first week at school:
The purpose of our residential life orientation is to give boarding students an opportunity to settle in and explore the campus, town, and region, prior to the start of the school year. Cultural exchanges between domestic and international students are prioritized during this time so that the year begins with residents getting to know new students and reconnecting with returning ones. All boarding students are required to attend. You will have the opportunity to open a bank account, receive your medical clearance, get settled in the dormitory, and meet administrators, faculty, and medical staff, among others. It is also a time to socialize with other students, as the program includes events such as adventure-based trips, movies, games, and shopping. The program is run by the Residential Life team as well as a group of enthusiastic day students. This exciting program is sure to serve as a firm basis for your future years at RCDS.
RCDS Orientation – Grades 6-12:
Each year, usually in September, RCDS chooses a site which offers programming designed to build leadership skills, foster friendships, and facilitate student engagement in an outdoor environment. For many years, RCDS has taken advantage of this opportunity. All students in Grades 6-12 are expected to attend. Students will participate in a variety of educational activities over a 3-day, 2-night stay and will be chaperoned by RCDS faculty. The sites we choose always have a full- time Registered Nurse on site in case of emergency.
The trip includes housing, meals, transportation, and day and evening programming. This trip, which will take the place of regular classes for these three days, is an integral part of the academic and social curriculum. The cost for this trip is included in the orientation fee charged to boarding students.
What will my life be like in Congers, New York?
You will be living in our residence hall, which is just a few minutes away from the campus. In
our dorm, boarding students enjoy spacious comfortable rooms. Each
student has a bed, bureau, desk and chair, and all rooms have walk-in
closets, private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, cable television connections, and
large windows- very similar to what the student will find on a college
campus. There is also a community room for group gatherings, a
community kitchen, dining area, laundry room, and a large outdoor deck
with a barbeque grill, tennis courts, and a field for soccer.
rotating team of resident life staff provide 24/7 supervision. During the school week, dorm parents prepare breakfast for students before their departure to campus. Students have lunch in our dining hall on campus and have a family-style dinner back at the residence hall each evening. Transportation to and from the dorm to RCDS is provided daily, departing at 7:35 AM and 7:45 AM. There are designated study and lights-out hours and a list of dorm rules which all residents must follow.
What is the weather like?
Congers is located 25 miles north of New York City. We are also a short trip away from the Hudson River. During the summer, the temperatures can be quite warm and, during the winter, temperatures will go below freezing; for much of the winter there is snow on the ground. Occasionally during the summer months the region becomes affected by ocean air that brings high humidity. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with maximum amounts during the summer months.
Average Temperatures: January, 38.0° F; August, 75.3° F; annual average, 60.0° F
What should I bring with me?
Clothing? School supplies? Can I ship things in advance?
Once you obtain your visa and your travel plans are set, we will be happy to store
any items that you want to ship ahead of time. Send them to:
Attention: YOUR NAME
Rockland Country Day School
34 Kings Highway
Congers, NY 10920
Students should not get packages or letters mailed to the dormitory. RCDS will receive mail and ensure that it gets to you at the dorm.
It will be warm when you arrive and will remain that way through September. Light summer clothing will be sufficient for the first few months. As the weather turns colder, a warm coat, a waterproof jacket/windbreaker, sweaters, and other warmer clothing are good for the winter. It does snow in the area, so heavy winter coats, gloves, mittens, a hat and snow boots will be necessary.
Does Rockland Country Day School have a dress code?
Our dress code at RCDS is casual. Students may wear jeans and a presentable t-shirt, although we prefer slacks and a buttoned shirt, provided they are school appropriate and in good repair. No holes or tears in pants are permitted. T-shirts with inappropriate text or pictures are not acceptable. Female students, who wear skirts/dresses, must wear them at an appropriate length (below the fingertips when arms are extended down). Any blouses or shirts worn by girls must be appropriately modest also, without plunging necklines or midriff showing.
Rockland Country Day School has high-speed, secure, wireless Internet for students, so you should bring your laptop if you have one.
As far as notebooks, protractors, pens and pencils, a backpack -- it is your choice. You may purchase those items before you arrive and bring them with you or ship them ahead of time, or we will take you shopping for those items when you get to RCDS.
You may bring your own linens from home, and keep in mind the beds are standard twin size. You will also have an opportunity to shop for linens and towels after you arrive.
During our residential life orientation, each international student will have the opportunity to open bank accounts at a local bank. This bank will provide students with a MasterCard/Visa debit card and a checking account. In order to open bank accounts, you must bring at least $500.00 in either cash, travelers’ checks, or have money wired from your home to your local account in the United States. Parents will be able to wire money to their student's bank account throughout the school year for spending money as needed. Your parents may also wire money to the school account (the one where they wired tuition) with instructions to the school to transfer the funds to the student’s account.
It is strongly advised that each International Student travel with a Visa credit card to be used for incidentals throughout the year.
What about medical insurance?
Proof of medical insurance coverage is required for all boarding students. If you are coming to us through the Cambridge Institute, please arrange to purchase insurance with their help, as soon as possible and before you travel to the US.
When do I get my schedule of classes?
You will receive your schedule during residential life orientation. Some course choices for international students will be dictated by placement test results which will occur during residential life orientation. You may also make changes to your schedule during the first few weeks of school in consultation with the Academic Dean.
International students will be placed in an ESL class, either beginner or intermediate, as part of the daily class schedule based on TOEFL scores, transcript review, and/or our assessment of a student's need for more language and writing support.
What about academic advising?
You will be paired with an adviser when you arrive and will be able to choose from a list of faculty advisers once school has been in session for a month.
Where do Boarding students go during school vacations and breaks?
The residence hall will be closed during our December and April breaks. Students should make arrangements to either travel home during this time or we will arrange for you to stay with a family here in the United States. Transportation will be provided to and from JFK International Airport and NY Amtrak train station. The NYC Department of Health requires that students who have traveled internationally be re-assessed for immunization upon their return to the US. We will take students to the school doctor per this protocol.
During our February school break we offer an out-of-state trip. This trip is designed to enhance each student’s cultural, historical, and social experience while in the United States. This trip is not included in tuition and will incur an additional fee.