Riverdale FAQs

What are the hours of the regular school day?

What are the hours of the regular school day?

The Lower School day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. The River Edge Program continues until 4:45 p.m. with the option to extend until 5:30 p.m.

The Middle School day runs from 8:25 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and from 8:25 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Many students remain on campus until 6:00 p.m. to participate in a variety of after-school activities.

The Upper School day runs from 8:25 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and from 8:25 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Many students remain on campus until 6:00 p.m. to participate in a variety of after-school activities.

Is there a dress code for students?

Is there a dress code for students?

“There are dress ‘guidelines’, which allow the students to dress as they would like, but the schools asks that there be no torn clothing, excessive logos, or anything that could be distracting.” -- Lower School Parent

“There's really not a dress code, except for not wearing distasteful clothes. The kids look presentable, and it saves battles over wardrobes.” -- Middle School Parent

“Riverdale believes that clothing choices are an important form of personal expression and they encourage individuality. The dress code requires that students look appropriate and presentable for school and wear clothing that allows them to be comfortable at school and able to participate in school activities.” -- Upper School Parent

Where do Riverdale students come from?

Where do Riverdale students come from?

Lower School In the Lower School, seventy-five percent of the students come from Manhattan. Twenty-five percent arrive from the Bronx and Westchester. A small number of children come from New Jersey.

Middle and Upper School Sixty percent of Middle and Upper School students live in Manhattan. Thirty percent live in the Bronx and Westchester. The remaining ten percent live in New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens, and Connecticut.

How do students travel to and from Riverdale?

How do students travel to and from Riverdale?

“As parents of a Pre-K student, who happens to live on the southernmost tip of Manhattan, we were very nervous about the bus experience. Would it be too long for him? Would it pick him up too early? How would the interaction with older kids on the bus be? I remember the first day I put him on the bus -- he was only 4 years old and a little timid. I was sobbing! As we look back, our child's experience on the bus has been nothing but extremely positive. It has actually been one of the highlights of his year. He has made great friends on the bus and gained a tremendous amount of independence and confidence. The bus experience is a great opportunity for your child to make friends out of their current grade which gives them a stronger sense of the RCS community.” -- Lower School Parent

“The bus is one of the highlights of the day. Our kids get to socialize and make friends with kids in other classes and grades. It is very sweet how the older kids always look after the younger ones. Both my kids get off the bus with a smile every day.” -- Lower School Parent

“Kids love to take the bus to and from school and begin or end the day with their friends. It is an easy way to plan an after school activity as students can easily change the bus they take in the afternoon.” -- Middle School Student

“My daughters take the bus from New Jersey. It has been very quick and easy. The ride in in the morning takes around 40 minutes, and coming home takes only 20 minutes.” -- Middle School Parent

“Our school district in Westchester provides busing. My son has found it easier than we expected to take the bus back and forth--it's his "chill out" time. Our town does not provide a late bus for sports, though, so parents organize to carpool together.” 
-- Middle School Parent

“My children take a Supertrans bus from the Upper West Side that picks them up on right on our corner. Their trip takes approximately 35 minutes.” -- Middle and Upper School Parent

"Before my son started at Riverdale, transportation seemed to be the greatest obstacle. However, it turned out to be a non-issue. Supertrans picks up our son at our door and delivers him back at the end of the day. Most of the kids use the bus time to sleep or to do homework." -- Upper School Parent

“The majority of Riverdale students utilize the Riverdale bus service to travel back and forth to school. Every student has access to busing regardless of where they live. There are certainly students who choose to drive once they are of age but often the busing experience is a social part of school and many students enjoy the time with their friends before and after school. Additionally, some parents choose to drive their children to school.” -- Upper School Parent

How do students socialize outside of school?

The Riverdale community is geographically diverse. How do students socialize outside of school?

“We have several classmates here in Westchester and our daughter's friends in the city have been more than willing and eager to come to our place for play dates as well. We also find it easy to have play dates in the city.” -- Lower School Parent

“What is wonderful about the location of Riverdale is that almost all students arrive by school bus, no matter where they come from. Students can also take buses together to wherever they want to go after school. This is an easy way to socialize no matter where the students live.” -- Middle School Parent

“Because we live in Westchester, we drive our son into the city for social events, or sometimes he takes the bus home with city friends and has an overnight. His city friends have also been very willing to come out to our house for get-togethers and overnights. Also, there are many afterschool events that take place on campus, where kids can get to know each other outside of class.” -- Middle School Parent

"There is a great deal of socializing at Riverdale, but it is centered around NYC. When we made the commitment to send our son to Riverdale, we realized that there would be weekend driving involved. However, it's no different than if we sent him to private school in New Jersey. Supertrans helps as he can go home with friends after school on a Friday afternoon and then we can pick him up at the end of the evening." 
-- Upper School Parent

“The geographic diversity of Riverdale is a very unique aspect of the school. Students come from very different places and this creates a wide range of experience. Since so many students come from different parts of the tristate area, they often find places to meet that are somewhere in between. A lot of socializing outside of school happens in the Manhattan area. As such, Manhattan students and families are eager to invite students that do not live in Manhattan to stay at their homes. The parents encourage a sense of community.” -- Upper School Parent

What after-school activities are available to students?

What after-school activities are available to students?

“This year my son tried fencing and my daughter is taking an Alvin Ailey dance class. They love their instructors and look forward to it every week. They get snacks after school before their activity. Dismissal from Riveredge, whether by bus or pick-up, is very organized.” -- Lower School Parent

“Many, ranging from fencing to tennis to you name it! What is so wonderful about the Riveredge program is that your child is transitioning to his or her activity with their friends in a familiar setting. This also works well for parents who don't have to worry about picking them up and transporting them to these activities.” -- Lower School Parent

“My children have been involved in the middle school plays and musicals. They have loved the rehearsals, and the performances have really been spectacular. The spirit of the theater program is professional and inclusive. We have been especially impressed by how well the directors bring out the best in the students.” -- Middle School Parent

“For my Middle School daughter, there are clubs such as Rock & Jazz ensemble, Creative Writing, and Dance, available after school every day and late buses are provided. Beginning in 7th grade, kids can play on sports teams each trimester. Students can also stay after school and get homework support from teachers.”
-- Middle School Parent

“Many! My Middle School son has participated in sports such as soccer, cross-country, and lacrosse (from 7th grade on), Model U.N., the Mock Trial team, the newspaper, POTS soup kitchen (you can go any Wednesday just by signing up), and when he was in 6th grade, Falcon Club for sports and Friday afternoon at the movies. There's also theater--both plays and musicals, and many other clubs such as Robotics, etc.” -- Middle School Parent

“Afterschool activities at Riverdale appeal to all interests. Students can play sports, participate in theater, music, arts, community service and writing activities. Not only are students encouraged to participate in existing groups and programs but they are also highly encouraged to create their own groups focused on particular interests that may not already be represented in the Riverdale community.” -- Upper School Parent

How do parents and the faculty communicate?

How do parents and the faculty communicate?

“The teachers are extremely accessible. We typically interact with them directly on a bi-weekly basis. Whether it’s a quick email to let them know our child has not eaten breakfast that day or a call to discuss something more substantial, we feel very connected to the teachers and the classroom.” -- Lower School Parent“I have received follow-up calls in response to my concerns and ‘good news’ calls, just to update me on a positive development. The extraordinarily high level of communication with the teachers has been one of the outstanding aspects of our Pre-K experience at Riverdale.” -- Lower School Parent

“Parent and faculty communication is open and encouraged while big emphasis is put on student accountability and independence. Most “regular” communication around students’ work that can be resolved among faculty and students is done directly. When parents need to be involved, the line of communication is open and effective. Email responses are quick and in person interaction always welcome.”
-- Middle School Parent
“The school does a wonderful job communicating with the parents with regular emails and updates. In addition, whenever I have wanted to speak with a teacher or dean, he or she has always responded to me within hours of my reaching out by email or phone.” -- Middle School Parent

"The parent/faculty communication at Riverdale is outstanding! The administration keeps the parents informed at every turn, and the dean system provides an effective conduit between parents and faculty. Any time we have the slightest question or concern, it is immediately addressed with excellent follow through. We couldn't be more pleased with the commitment to communication at Riverdale." -- Upper School Parent

How are parents involved in the Riverdale community?

How are parents involved in the Riverdale community?

“There are many opportunities to be involved including joining the class on a field trip, participating in assorted projects with the kids, such as cooking or art, celebrating your child’s birthday with the class, and appearing as a mystery reader.” -- Lower School Parent

“The RCS Parents' Association has a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in helping the school and meeting other parents. The Lower School offers parents the opportunity to act as the class parent representative and grade representative, plan book fairs, the spring Carnival, and attend class field trips. In Kindergarten, the teachers try to bring parents in to share a special skill or work with the kids in the kitchen and the garden.” -- Lower and Middle School Parent

“Parents can choose their level of involvement depending on time and their needs. Riverdale offers many opportunities to involve parents, such as planning and participating in community events for all parents and faculty to meet and get to know each other; to celebrate our children and their accomplishments in academics, the arts, athletics, etc. Parents can help plan events that celebrate our community beyond Riverdale such as the Community Action Day; participate on many committees that involve our environment, our children, parents, etc. Riverdale is a true community where participation, new ideas, and continuous feedback are not just welcome but truly encouraged.” -- Middle School Parent

“One of the best ways to meet parents and be involved with the Riverdale community is to volunteer on one of the Parents Association Committees. Committee participation varies depending on the particular committee. Some committees are focused on a one-time event, such as Homecoming, while others have events throughout the year, such as Parents School or Faculty Appreciation. There are many opportunities to participate no matter how much time you have to give. Coming up to campus for events such as Homecoming and Community Action Day is a great way to meet parents and teachers. Also, attending PA meetings is a wonderful way to hear firsthand from faculty and administration about what's happening at school.” -- Middle and Upper School Parent

“Riverdale parents are an integral part of the school community. They are welcome to be active members in their child's education. They enrich the student experience by participating in school events, projects and day-to-day affairs. Riverdale parents are dedicated to the school, their children, and the community as a whole.” -- Upper School Parent

Who is a typical Riverdale student?

Who is a typical Riverdale student?

There is no "typical" Riverdale student. Our founder, Frank S. Hackett, set out to create a school that would provide students with "scholarly, intimate teaching, a care for the best influences, and abundant play in the out of doors." Riverdale students have a wide variety of talents and interests, and in addition to our rigorous academic program, they participate in the arts, athletics, and many student activities. What all of our students have in common is curiosity, a willingness to try new things, and an appreciation for the community.

What do parents and students like most about Riverdale?

What do parents and students like most about Riverdale?

“In a word – community. Riverdale's River Campus is beautiful and warm, both physically and intellectually. My children come home happy, dirty from recess outside, and stimulated by their classroom discussions. There is no question that they are happy and thriving.” -- Lower School Parent

“It is a friendly, cozy, safe, beautiful place that focuses on the children.” -- Lower School Parent

“It's just simply a warm family environment and stunning setting. My kids are soaking it up like small sponges.” -- Lower School Parent

“My fourth grader tells me that her favorite aspects of Riverdale are the CARE Program, the teachers and recess! I think, on the whole, our favorite aspect of RCS is the community. The leadership, faculty, and parents care deeply about excellence in education and share the values of kindness and respect. The Lower School CARE Program is a very special aspect, infusing the youngest Riverdalians with those values- and that is what makes it such a warm and caring place.” -- Lower and Middle School Parent

“Riverdale puts a strong emphasis on graduating an overall well rounded student who is able to face challenges academically and otherwise and is a caring individual in our society. Riverdale students are taught to be kind and good citizens of the world – the academic challenges and accomplishments are a given.” -- Middle School Parent

“We attended our first Riverdale Parents’ Day and were overwhelmed by the uniformity of excellence amongst the teachers. The only disappointment we as parents had that day was that we could not attend Riverdale ourselves. The teachers, together with the administration, students and parents, make up a school community that is truly unique- accepting, nurturing, and challenging at the same time. My daughters love going to school because they love their teachers, their friends, and the courses they are taking. They are inspired over and over again by those who teach them, by what they are learning, and by their peers. We could not ask for anything more from a school than what Riverdale does for our children.” -- Middle School Parent

“There are many things that we love about Riverdale, but if I had to pinpoint one thing, I would certainly say it's the faculty and administration. They are all passionate about learning, passionate about kids, engaged and interested in what they do, dedicated to challenging and expanding the horizons of their students, but also providing support when they need help. Riverdale is not a place that is content to rest on its laurels-- I am continually impressed by all the new directions in which Riverdale is pushing--I think it's that openness to new ideas that constantly reinvigorates the school.” -- Middle School Parent

“What struck us the most at Riverdale is the freedom of thought that prevails there. In this young student body, children are inspired and encouraged to pursue their goals whether they are creative, athletic, academic, or social. My son was involved with starting a debate team and discovered his talent for swimming.” -- Upper School Parent

"Our favorite thing about Riverdale is that the faculty and administration really seem to understand teens. The environment is one of mutual respect with high expectations. Students are pushed to their outer intellectual limits in a safe and nurturing environment where they are encouraged to take calculated risks while being unafraid to make mistakes. The progressive attitude toward learning and the emphasis on the whole child is the ideal combination for 21st Century learning." -- Upper School Parent

“What I love most about Riverdale is the people. Everyone I know has a passion, a hobby, an interest or something that they care about. It makes for a very interesting group of people and peers. As a parent I love that I can be actively involved in my child’s experience at Riverdale. It is exciting to see my daughter after school and hear about all the interesting things she learned as well as all the special events, assemblies, and guest speakers.” -- Upper School Parent

Ask Us a Question

E-mail admission@riverdale.edu with minor inquiries or major philosophical questions.

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 ><

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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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