RCS Delta is a yearlong class that lays the foundation for the Upper School experience. The course is designed to:
- Prepare students to make meaningful choices about classes, activities, and time management
- Help students develop a sense of purpose through activities that promote reflection and self-awareness
- Introduce the science of learning so that students can see how they learn best
- Re-enforce the importance of health (nutrition, sleep, and stress management techniques such as mindfulness) to effective learning
- Work alongside the advisor program to build character strengths, such as social intelligence, curiosity, self-control, optimism, and grit
Topics include the causes of stress and anxiety and how those emotions can affect social decision-making; reflections on identity; techniques for "learning how to learn"; consent and healthy relationships, including how to communicate about physical and emotional boundaries; substance abuse; and community-building.
Students engage in group challenge projects and learn about design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Using the Purpose Project app, developed at Riverdale, they reflect on their experiences and build portfolios of their work over time.
The course is coordinated by the admission director, the Middle and Upper School director of student life, the director of co-curriculum programs, the 9th grade dean, the 9th grade advisors, and health faculty.
Learning How To Learn
Dr. Kevin Mattingly, director of Co-Curriculum at Riverdale and an adjunct associate professor at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University's Teachers College, describes the importance of asking good questions to effective learning.