Grade-level Requirements

Middle School students take five academic subjects, an arts course, physical education, and mini courses in health, study and organizational skills, technology, and information literacy. In most cases, the auxiliary subjects are integrated with regular classwork.

Grade 6 Requirements
Arts  Studio Art, Dance, Drama, Chorus, or Band or String Ensembles 
English – English 6
History – The History and Cultures of New York City
Language – Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish
Mathematics – Math 6 or Pull-Out Math 6
Science – Earth and Environmental Science
Physical Education – Six periods every two weeks
Health – Once a week
Middle School Design – See description below

Grade 7 Requirements
Arts – Studio Art, Drama, Dance, Chorus, Band or Strings Ensemble
English – English 7
History – United States Civics
Language – Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish
Mathematics – Math 7 or Math 7 Honors
Science – Life Science
Physical Education – Six periods every two weeks
Health – Once a week

Grade 8 Requirements
Arts – Wind Ensemble, Drama, Dance, Vocal Arts Ensemble, Orchestra, or Visual Art
English – English 8
History – World Geography and Ancient Cultures
Language – Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish
Mathematics – Algebra I or Algebra I Honors
Science – Chemical and Physical Science
Physical Education – Five periods every two weeks
Health – Once a week

Arts Rotations

In Grade 6, students take one of two routes. For students in band or orchestra, they work with that ensemble twice a week all year and then take two of the following four options twice a week for a semester: visual art, dance, chorus, or drama. Students who don’t play an instrument take all four of the other options twice a week for a semester each.

In Grade 7, the arts rotations emphasize hands-on experience and developing skills and an awareness of the importance of art in life. The fine arts course introduces students to choral music, visual arts, ceramics, and theater arts. Students elect two arts: (visual art, drama, dance or chorus) for half the year each, or take instrumental music (band or strings) twice a week for the year and either visual arts or drama two periods each week.

Eighth grade students choose drama, dance, visual art, or one of the Upper School music ensembles that are open to qualified eighth graders.

6th Grade Middle School Design

This is a year-long course that is divided into quarterly units. The first quarter is dedicated to Study Skills, a class designed to help students adjust to the academic demands of the Middle School. During this unit, Learning Specialists teach students skills and strategies that are typically challenging, yet increasingly important, for sixth graders, including independent problem solving, test preparation, test taking, time management, active listening, and organization.

During the next three quarters, students rotate through Coding, Outdoor Education, and Maker’s Lab.

In Coding, the goal is to introduce sixth graders to computational thinking and logical reasoning. Students learn a block-based programming language, and use that to program robots to navigate mazes that they design and build. This basic language gives all students an idea of the conceptual thinking behind what programming is, and invites them to explore more complex languages in the future.

Outdoor Education (aka Community and Leadership) focuses on using teambuilding initiatives and activities to teach character, community building, and leadership skills. During this quarter, students progressively become more and more capable at working together to solve challenges, communicating effectively, resolving conflict, and engaging openly and positively with others.

Maker Lab offers students a chance to experiment with different tools and materials while engaged in challenging projects. Last year students designed and built their own furniture. This year they're creating minivan-sized mythical animals to hang in the eaves of the cafeteria.


Riverdale Country School

Mind • Character • Community



Lower School
1 Spaulding Lane
Bronx, NY 10471
LS: (718) 549-7780

Middle/Upper School
5250 Fieldston Road
Bronx, NY 10471
MS/US: (718) 549-8810

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Riverdale teaches students to become lifelong learners by fostering "growth" mindsets. Go There >

Riverdale encourages students to develop a sense of well-being. Mindfulness activities promote calm, focus, and self-reflection. Go There >

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The River Campus offers a spacious, natural setting for our youngest students, inspiring learning and play. Go There >

Riverdale offers "STEAM" (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) teaching to Lower School students. Go There >

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Middle School students explore hands-on learning through the Riverdale Maker program. Go There >

Project Knowmad allows Middle Schoolers to learn in a different way, using NYC as their classroom. Go There >

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Riverdale teaches students to make connections through our interdisciplinary programs. Go There >

The club and activity program encourages students to explore their passions and try new things. Go There >

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About 80 percent of Upper School students participate in athletics. Go There >

Riverdale's Hill Campus has an indoor pool, football stadium, weight room, and 3 playing fields. Go There >

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Riverdale has entry points in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 6th, and 9th Grades. Visit our campus today. Go There >

Approximately 20 percent of Riverdale students receive some level of financial aid. Go There >

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Last year's Annual Fund totaled nearly $5 million in gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the school. Go There >

Have you included Riverdale in your estate plans? Please let us know and join our expanding group of Hackett Planned Giving Society members today. Go There >

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