Clubs and Activities
Through our robust student activities program, Upper School students devote energy to experiences about which they are the most passionate. All students are asked to join an activity after participating in the RCS D.E.S.I.G.N. program at the beginning of 9th grade.
Our student-led activities take place during the school day through an activity period that meets once every two weeks, though many meet outside of this time as well at times determined by the students and faculty advisor.
Whether inspiring artistic expression for our award-winning art and literary magazine, Impressions, or preparing to compete in Mock Trial or Science Olympiad, our students learn leadership and organizational skills that will serve them well in school and in life. Students who have been exposed to ideas in the classroom extend their excitement by creating opportunities such as the Archaeology Club and the Game Theory Club. Students became excited about renewable technologies through an assembly and tried their hand at innovating by building a solar powered phone charging station in the Architectural Design and Engineering Club. Through their independence and work with peers, students learn about their own strengths and how to navigate around obstacles.
Architectural Design and Engineering
We study the evolution of architecture and engineering, to learn about new technologies used by industry professionals, and, finally, to utilize our knowledge to construct a structure on Riverdale’s campus
Association to Benefit Children
We teach high school students how to interact and build relationships with younger children through sports, tutoring, and activities.
Breast Cancer Awareness
We increase community awareness of breast cancer, and fundraise for breast cancer research.
We support the activities of BSCAH (Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger) and raise awareness about food insecurity, particularly in New York City.
We explore the civilizations in whose image our modern society is built, and welcome any student who is interested in and passionate about the mythology, politics, and art of the Classical world.
Concerts in Motion
We provide concerts to the elderly and disadvantaged. We play in nursing homes as well as in the actual apartments of homebound people.
We want to bring more school spirit into pep rallies, homecomings, and other school-wide community events. We would also like to use this activity to give people who want to dance a chance to explore it.
The Dance Team performed at half time.
The RCS Debate Team competes in Public Forum debate at local and national tournaments. Students learn argumentation skills, research techniques, and competition strategies. The resolutions under debate typically focus on current events topics. For a list of past topics, click here. 9th-grade students participate in the team through the debate mini-course. Upperclassmen participate through the mini-course and/or the debate activity-advisory. Above, eight members of the team with Darius Weil, the faculty adviser, center, at the NYC Invitational hosted by the Bronx High School of Science in October. The team competed in a bracket made up of 250 schools from around the country.
Current Events, Research, Friendship
Darius Weil, an Upper School history teacher and the debate adviser, describes the Debate Team in a video prepared for Parents Day.
We bring the initiatives presented on dosomething.org to life in our community and to start our own service projects.
Falcons on the Air
We encourage school spirit, and promote the Riverdale community’s extra-curricular accomplishments in athletics, drama, chorus, band, and other student activities through our student-run website.
Although the original name says "Film Making Club," we cover all aspects of movies, which also includes watching and discussing. This is a low-pressure activity, which means you will not be required to do anything except show up and have fun once every two weeks. If you like movies and like talking about them, this is the right place for you.
Fitness & Wellness
We help students learn ways to work out in a safe and effective manner, and offer guidance on making healthy nutrition choices.
We will play different strategy based games such as Chess, Monopoly, or Risk, and we will analyze the science and possible strategies involved.
We spread awareness about the gender gap within the United States as well as worldwide. We also spend time discussing feminist issues within our community.
We provide manicures, makeup, and friendly conversation to seniors at senior homes. We work to create a loving environment for seniors while brightening their day!
Human Rights Now!
We make our campus a safer and more socially aware environment through local actions with a global connection. Some of these actions include our transgender awareness campaign, our Mental Health Awareness campaign, and a series of Female Health Workshops.
Our art and literary magazine, Impressions, has published the visual art and creative writing of students in the Upper School for almost 30 years. Past Editorial Boards have sought diversity, experimentation, imagination, and honesty in personal expression in soliciting poems, short stories, essays, paintings, graphics, photographs, sculpture, and mixed media submissions. The Editorial Board and staff review submissions anonymously and set a direction for each year’s content and design. Students work after school and publish online, working with both Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Students work with a professional print shop to publish a printed book each May. Impressions has received a silver or gold medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, which recognizes high achievement in student publications, every year since 2008.
The primary purpose of our activity is to gain an understanding of buying and selling individual stocks and to learn more about stock market fundamentals.
We rehearse a quintet to play during Jazz Band performances, assembly, and beyond.
We produce the "Riverdale Without Subtitles" magazine.
We form an Upper School Math Team at Riverdale that tackles challenging but interesting problems and competes against other high schools.
We prepare for Model UN conferences and engage in conversations about current events.
Modern Judaism in America
We are a community of students interested in studying and exploring Judaism, both in the world and in everyday life. We provide a space for Jewish and non-Jewish students alike to discuss issues and topics pertaining to Judaism. Our conversations range from Judaism in America to political controversy in Israel and Palestine.
The goal of our group is to create an environment of political equality as described in The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper.
Pencils of Promise
We inform young adults about the education crisis and to work alongside the Pencils of Promise organization to monitor the effectiveness of its 100 schools.
We give students a place to seek advice from peers on current projects, as well as to create and maintain digital properties for the school (such as Digital ID), and other school clubs (such as the Zawadi By Youth and TED-Ed websites). We also hope to create one major digital property (i.e. a game, web app, etc.) over the course of the year, to give students the experience of working in a real development environment.
Riverdale Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Club
We act as a conduit between the Riverdale community and the intellectual and developmental disabilities' community (IDD) by spreading IDD awareness, forging one-to-one interactions between the Riverdale community and the IDD community, and fundraising for organizations such as Best Buddies and Special Olympics.
The Riverdale Redo produces satirical (but tasteful!) news articles covering the Riverdale community for the entertainment of students and faculty.
The Riverdale Review is the student-driven school newspaper. We publish every month, and it's both really fun and a great way to get some writing experience.
All female, student-run. To compose a capella pieces and to perform for the school and outside organizations. All compositions are put together by group members.
The Robin Hood foundation funds and partners with programs that have proven to effectively fight poverty in New York City. As an activity group we will go to 3-4 different Robin Hood funded programs throughout the year to learn about what they do and to volunteer some of our time. We also do fundraising through bake sales at school and also through out of school events.
Science Olympiad is a nationwide science competition that is based around events that span many branches of science like chemistry, biology, and others.
Riverdale's Student-Faculty Council - our student government.
We write, film, and edit comedic scenes and sketches.
We develop teamwork as students delve into the molecular world, explore science as a process, and work closely with a researcher to understand and model the structure-function relationship of a protein.
Student Diversity Council
We seek to make the RCS community more inclusive and aware to different kinds of diversity.
We educate Riverdale students about sustainability and sustainable ways of living, to discuss the environment's position in modern politics and evaluate how modern practices negatively/positively affect the environment, to create a more "green" school, and to learn different alternatives for leading an eco-friendly life.
We help students develop presentation literacy and communicate their passion for an idea worth spreading. Each student will be asked to create and develop a TED talk on a topic of his or her own choosing.
All male, student-run. To compose a capella pieces and to perform for the school and outside organizations. All compositions are put together by group members.
We introduce students to trial law and develop public speaking and trial advocacy skills.
Yearbook - The Riverdalian
We design and create the school's yearbook.
Zawadi by Youth
Zawadi by Youth is an organization that was founded at Riverdale in September 2008. We are one of the first high school microfinance-focused groups in the country and are entirely student-run with over 30 members. We fund small but significant contributions to microfinance organizations, who then fund loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries who lack access to credit.