The Upper School deans, who travel with their respective classes through their four years of high school, oversee the coherence and successful integration of all components of students’ lives at Riverdale, including course selection and academic and social adjustment. The deans promote a sense of community by generating student support for school activities and developing class programs. The goal of the dean program is to ensure that each student’s progress is monitored and supported by an administrator and that his or her particular concerns are given individual attention. The deans also serve as advisors to parents, hosting group meetings several times a year and communicating regularly with parents about their children’s experiences at school.
Through their involvement in the Curriculum Committee and scheduling process, the deans acquire a nuanced understanding of teaching and learning goals as well as desired student outcomes.
According to one Riverdale student, "It's great to know that your dean is always there if you need to talk to anyone about anything from the classes you're taking to your favorite TV show. My dean is much more than a teacher, he's like another parent."