Assessment methods at Riverdale are something that we are constantly examining and developing. As a faculty, our goal is to create assessments that are authentic and diverse and that represent an intellectual challenge. Students write papers, take tests, and deliver oral presentations. However, they also lead lessons, meet lobbyists in Washington, D.C., and work in teams to create three dimensional mathematical models. We believe that memorizing conjugations is important, on occasion, as is writing a complex essay on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as is making a phone call in Chinese to arrange for a doctor’s appointment. All of these examples reflect our understanding that assessment cannot be done in any one way, and that learning is most effective when assignments are varied and thoughtful.

The Riverdale faculty communicate carefully with students about assignments and expectations and commonly use free periods (and lunches and before school and after school) to provide additional clarification and guidance. Inherent in the school’s assessment process is attention to the character strengths. Our most successful students are those who work diligently on their own, collaboratively with their peers, and thoughtfully with their teachers. 

Assessment at Riverdale is both summative, assessing proficiency at a given moment, and formative, providing moments of evaluation so that students can gauge their performance in order to improve it. As one can imagine, effective feedback is an essential part of our assessment practices that offers our students the greatest opportunities to learn. Timely, focused, and rich feedback is a primary characteristic of our assessment strategies at Riverdale. Our assessment work, our academic policies, and our professional development opportunities are all aligned in making the school a leader in how we craft our learning spaces and how we assess student learning. 

Assessing what matters

Ricky Lapidus on assessment.

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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