Learning through doing
In the Lower School, children learn through asking probing questions, building effective work habits, and forming meaningful connections with their teachers, peers, and school community. They participate in stimulating, hands-on experiences that flow from an interdisciplinary curriculum, outdoor exploration, and active play. They learn about character strengths — such as grit, curiosity, gratitude, and social intelligence — which shape how an individual thinks, feels, and behave. Led by co-teachers who model collaboration, classes are supportive and dynamic. Children develop core academic skills and an understanding of the social and emotional skills needed for success in the world.
Hudson River Studies
Situated on the Hudson River shoreline, the Lower School takes advantage of the river in environmental science, history, and geography. In kindergarten, students learn about life in and around the river and collaborate on models reflecting their research. In third grade, students sail on the river, and collect specimens at the Center for the Urban River at Beczak. Building on these hands-on experiences, students use artificial reality and virtual reality technology to learn more about the water cycle, topography, and geography.
Nature Studies in the Early Years
Ella Pastor and Debbie Wing, the Lower School's environmental educators, lead students to wonderful discoveries in the woods, gardens, and nature trails around the campus.
Riverdale approaches math as a "real-world" subject, showing students how to approach problems in creative, flexible ways.