Riverdale Country School anticipates continuing with remote learning through the end of the school year.
Summer programs are currently under review, and the school is analyzing possible scenarios for the start of the school year in September.
In a letter to the community on April 22, Head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph wrote: ” I think it is important to consider that the next academic year may be different than school years in the past. Unless there is some miraculous cure for this virus, I think that we will have to imagine a school day where we emphasize the health and wellbeing of our community through physical distancing and paying strict attention to health guidelines. We will have to work cooperatively with the local health authorities and change many activities and routines that we have become used to. We may have to embrace periods of remote learning during the school year if there are surges in COVID-19 infections. I know that this will be challenging, but I also know that we will figure out ways together to keep our students learning and developing while improving our plans and systems for learning in spite of possible disruption and volatility in our lives.”
The school’s remote-learning program, known as “The Riverdale Learning Community,” provides both synchronous class time using Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other platforms, and independent learning for Pre-K through 12th grade in order to accommodate the diverse needs of students and families as they contend with the disruption to their home lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the first week, adjustments were made to the program based parent and faculty surveys in all three divisions, along with student surveys in the Middle and Upper Schools. Administrators, deans, and counselors have reached out individually to parents and students who have requested assistance.
During this period, calls to the school’s main phone numbers will be answered: Middle and Upper School, (718) 549-8810; Lower School, (718) 549-7780). General questions also may be sent to email@example.com.
The school closed on March 10 and 11 prior to Spring Break and began remote learning for Middle and Upper School students using Google apps and Schoology for class meetings and individualized instruction.
On March 17, The Wall Street Journal published a feature story about Riverdale’s remote-learning program and on March 23, The Journal ran a story about two Riverdale seniors who have committed to Yale University’s 2020-21 track team and are now training remotely because spring athletics at Riverdale has been canceled.
Previously the school had implemented a series of interventions, including:
• Cancellation of Spring Break trips to international and domestic destinations, scheduled for March 12 to March 27
• Cancellation of Middle School Project Week activities, scheduled for March 9 to March 11
• Cancellation of parent events and other large gatherings
• Adjustment of community norms, including increased cleaning of high traffic areas, distribution of antibacterial cleaning products throughout school buildings, attention to hand washing, and avoidance of hugging, handshaking, and other person-to-person contacts
• A “health day” on Feb. 14, allowing a two-day intensive cleaning of both campuses
• A letter to the community on Jan. 31 outlining health precautions at the school in the wake of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.