Kindergarteners explore and learn about the local terrain as part of their orientation to Riverdale Country School (August, 2020).


Throughout the past decade or more, I have spent a great deal of time exploring the character skills that are especially important to encourage in our students. Some of the questions to which I keep returning are: 

How can we grow curiosity in children? 

How do individuals find a sense of purpose, and how do they exercise that purpose in their lives? 

What are the strategies we can use to create a sense of belonging for all members of our community, particularly those who are newly entering each year?

I think these three skills—curiosity, purpose, and belonging—have high importance and leverage in a school environment. But how do we intentionally build these within our community members? The challenge at Riverdale is how to blend our rich history and longstanding educational practices with innovative approaches to learning that will allow our students to evolve throughout their lives and find meaning and purpose in what they do. 

In the 2021 Annual Report of Gifts, we hope to provide a glimpse of the ways in which we already develop these capacities in our students, as well as our vision for the next phase of this critical work.

Dominic A.A. Randolph
Head of School