What is The Center?

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning LogoRidgefield Academy’s Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (The Center) was designed to create a dynamic learning environment where students and teachers can reach their full potential. The Center partners with faculty, evaluating curriculum to make certain it is appropriately forward thinking, and that the course material presented and teaching methods employed will assist students in developing the essential skills they need. With the support of The Center, our teachers examine the act of teaching, not merely the subject, as well as the process of learning. Faculty are provided continuing education opportunities and support to ensure that all students are appropriately challenged, inspired, and able to reach their highest level of achievement.
Overseeing The Center's many initiatives is RA's Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, Basil Kolani.

Basil joined the Ridgefield Academy community in 2015 following ten years as the Head of Technology and Innovation at Dwight School, the New York-based flagship of a family of international schools. There, he supervised technology offerings from nursery to grade 12, but most of his work with students was in the middle and high school grades and focused on design thinking, 3D modeling, social media, game design, and experimental technologies. Before that, Basil was Director of Technology at The Churchill School and Assistant Systems Administrator and Technology Teacher at Regis High School, both in New York City.

He is a past president of NYCIST, the New York Consortium of Independent School Technologists; a member of the International Baccalaureate Educators Network where he serves as a workshop leader, site visitor, and consultant; and has presented at conferences and workshops around the country on innovation, inquiry-based learning, conceptual education, and student-centered activities. He has a B.A. in English and Education from Bates College and an M.A. in technology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


It was a contest of words at the annual RVNA Spelling Bee fundraiser and Basil Kolani proved he was speller supreme as he was crowned the winner! Congratulations Basil!

The Center supports RA Reads, an initiative to share what faculty members are reading with the RA community.  This latest book from the RA Reads list, iGen by Jean Twenge takes a look at this generation of children, how they are growing up in a world very different than those before them and how we need to understand them.


We RA Learning Community

We RA Learning Community, is an RA-centric podcast created by The Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning. Currently in its second season, this season focuses on recent alumni, where they are now, and how RA prepared them for life after Grade 8. Our first episode of the season is a spotlight on Ryan Heaton of the RA Class of 2017.
Listen Now!

The Center's Three Pronged Approach