Beginning the School Year
The school year began with a two-week, phase-in period that provided in-person experiences in small groups on our campuses, allowed for community-building activities, and introduced new health procedures.
Students are on a hybrid schedule with in-person and remote learning. Because the safest place to be is outdoors, we are making use of our open spaces. Tents on both campuses provide areas for learning and student activities.
We anticipate using the tents until the end of November. Classes will move indoors at that time. Because of the early start to the school year, the winter break will extend from Dec. 18 to Jan. 19.
Ongoing Health Precautions
Employees and families signed the Covid Compact at the beginning of the school year, committing to specific actions to mitigate the spread of disease. All community members are required to complete a daily health screening before coming to school using Ruvna Health, a platform already in use at Riverdale that links to our databases.
All community members pass through a check-in station at the beginning of the school day for additional screening for symptoms as necessary.
All community members are required to wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands frequently. The maintenance staff will clean and disinfect spaces routinely according to CDC guidelines.
Visitors are not permitted on the campuses with the exception of essential contractors and family members who are responding to a health emergency. Visitors will be screened at the check-in station before entering the campuses.
Two full-time nurses are available on each campus.
Isolation rooms on each campus are used to care for any sick community member awaiting transportation home.
Students receive a free protein bar for breakfast and a bagged lunch. Lower School students receive lunch in their classrooms; Middle and Upper School students pick up lunch outdoors or in the cafeteria and eat it outside or in designated areas. No cash is to be exchanged on either campus.
Beginning Oct. 26, Riverdale will test one-third of our students and employees each week using a pooled COVID-19 saliva test from Mirimus Clinical Labs. Individuals will provide a saliva sample that will be transported to Mirimus’s labs in Brooklyn. At the lab, technicians will combine up to 24 samples to do one PCR COVID-19 test. If the test is negative, we can confirm that all 24 individuals did not have the viral nucleic acid at the time the sample was taken. If the pooled test is positive, the lab immediately contacts the school and begins subsequent testing to determine the individual(s) who are positive.
Personal Health and Travel
We expect all members of the Riverdale community to be vigilant about monitoring their own health and the health of their families during this pandemic. All employees and students are required to get the flu vaccine.
If a student or employee has a COVID-19 infection, trained and qualified school officials will support the local Department of Health’s efforts to conduct contact tracing and enforce quarantining of those infected and their contacts. During quarantine periods, provisions will be made to support learning from home.
All community members are required to quarantine after returning from a location with increased cases of COVID-19 according to the NY State guidelines. If you or your children are under quarantine, it is recommended that you seek a COVID-19 test.
We urge all families to follow the advice of state officials at all times to prevent infection with the coronavirus including:
- Keeping a 6-foot distance from others who are not household members
- Wearing a face mask in public, especially where physical distancing is not possible
- Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
We ask members of the Riverdale community to pay attention to possible symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
COVID-19 symptoms develop 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Please do not come to school if you are experiencing these symptoms.