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Maximizing opportunities to meet the needs of all students for a meaningful life

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Superintendent's Corner Column

Innovate, Discover, Create

“If you can clearly articulate the dream or the goal, start.” Simon Sinek

December 18, 2022

‘Tis the season for giving. The holiday season is one that is filled with happiness and good cheer as we walk through our school hallways. The Holiday Festival and concerts throughout the month of December are an extraordinary opportunity to spread joy through service to community. One cannot help but be overwhelmed by the smiles on children’s faces and the pride expressed by our staff as we stroll through our schools. I have been so impressed by the acts of kindness and spirit of giving that our staff helps foster with our students. 


Thank you to Senora Rodriguez and the Ramapo staff, students, and parents who recently hosted the Holiday Festival at Ramapo High School. There were so many smiling faces for the amazing children from the Roberto Clemente School in Paterson and the excitement from our students. Mrs. Gibson and Mr. Quirk recently hosted their Art Trip to the Met in New York City. I enjoyed spending time with our students and witnessing firsthand their passion for the arts as well as the dedication of our teachers to the art program.


Progress rarely follows a straight line. But as we press toward our forward motion, the path we lay out depends on all of us working together. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to our student’s best interests at heart in our schools and we are fortunate to have their support and partnership. I am proud of our learning community for the progress we have made as we strive to meet the needs of our students and staff.

Your engagement and feedback will help us shape the future of our schools. The strategic planning steering committee completed focus group discussions with our students, staff, and most recently our parents and community members. We are building trust with our stakeholders through alignment and contribution. As a result, we will establish bold, ambitious goals that will enable us to reimagine the allocation of time, enhance student & staff wellness, support culture & community, and advance student success.

I would like to extend a special thank you to our Board of Education members for their service to our school community. As their term as Board members comes to a close, we extend our gratitude to Mr. Carolan as Board President, Mr. Fortunato, Mr. Setteducato, and Mrs. Underfer for their dedication to our students, staff, and community. Their contributions and efforts this past year have made a difference in the work our Board does to serve our community. We continue to commit ourselves to our District goals that focus on the best interests of all of our students, staff, and schools. I am proud of the progress we continue to make in Ramapo Indian Hills and look forward to what we can accomplish in 2023. 

The holidays mark a moment reserved for slowing down, enjoying time with the people that matter most in our lives, giving back to those in need, and space for expressing gratitude. We wish you a happy, healthy holiday season and new year filled with joy. 

All my best,



Dr. Rui Dionisio

Superintendent of Schools

Cultural Comparisons of Holidays, Cultures & Celebration

The students in Mrs. McGavin’s Intro to Spanish class have been researching and discussing how the holidays are celebrated in various Spanish-speaking countries. The students have made cultural comparisons and identified differences and similarities to the various cultures, celebrations, and holidays we celebrate in our own families. As a culminating activity, the students are making Piñatas.


On 12/11/2022, artists, educators, and parents met for an opening art reception at NJPAC in Newark. Each student artist was recognized for their accomplishments and received a certificate for their participation. 


Congratulations to IHHS Art Students, Pluto Tirri and Sean Blake, for having their digital art pieces selected for the NJPAC Fall/Winter Exhibit hosted by the AENJ. The art that was selected for display was developed as part of the AP Art Portfolio.

Alex London Visits IHHS

On December 15th, the English and History departments hosted the award winning author Alex London to Indian Hills High School. Mr. London visited the school for the day, and various groups of students were involved in discussions with Mr. London regarding the power of creativity, reading, and writing. Mr. London spent time answering student questions about his career path, the creative process, his writing technique, and the process of having a book published.

A Season of Giving

On December 8th, the Holiday Festival took place at Ramapo High School welcoming young children from Roberto Clemente School in Paterson and was a great success! Preparation for the festival begins many months before the actual day of the celebration with the collection of toys and materials from schools and the community. The show went swimmingly as children were able to see princesses like Ariel, Belle, and Aurora come to life. Santa and Mrs. Claus met with the kids while the hard working elves and escorts made sure everyone was safe and happy. The presents the children received brought a school full of smiles. It couldn’t have gone better, and we can’t wait for next year’s Holiday Fest!

Hour of Code

Students at Ramapo participated in the Hour of Code, an annual event to introduce students around the world to programming. Starting with no coding experience, students learned how to create games and apps in several different programming languages. Expert programming students from AP Computer Science and Computer Science Honors helped out. Over 70 students participated in the event, run by Ramapo Math and Business teachers and hosted by the Media Center teachers.

Q&A with the Cast of Hamilton

Ms. VanderMolen’s US 1 AP students participated in a Q&A session in the Little Theater with the cast of Hamilton for Academic Decathlon and APUSH1.  Some topics discussed included how the actors prepared for their role by studying their characters' history and the challenges they faced portraying roles of different ethnicities.  Learning about the political issues of the day, especially the importance of spies during the Revolution highlighted the event for students as to the benefits of interpreting and interacting with history.

Accounting Career Exploration

Professor Ron West, Chair of the Accounting, Taxation & Law Department at Fairleigh Dickinson University presented to Mrs. Harvey’s  Accounting class and other interested students on careers in Accounting.

Enlightenment Salon

Ms. Meredith Noah’s AP Modern European History class participating in an “Enlightenment Salon” classroom discussion activity.  Students took on the role of great thinkers like Voltaire, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Baron de Montesquieu who then pondered the great questions of their age.   

RHS Winter Concert

Mr. Christopher DeSalvo (red hat) is seen conducting “Sleigh Ride” during the Ramapo Winter Concert.  This concert featured students of the Ramapo Symphonic Band, Choir, Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble.  This was the first Winter Concert for new Band Director Mr. Erik Sloezen and new District Head Music Teacher,  Choir and Orchestra Director Ms. Emily Reitter. 

School Calendar

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Welcome to the

Ramapo High School APTS

Association of Parents, Teachers & Students

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Indian Hills High School PTSO

Parent, Teacher, Student Organization

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The Ramapo Indian Hills Board of Education implemented a new video streaming platform on our District webpage. RIH Board of Education meetings may be viewed directly on our District website by clicking here or at the following link:

Archived Board of Education videos may be accessed at the following link. Additional information is available on the District webpage under the Board of Ed tab at the top of the page.



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