Riverdale’s Upper School encourages students to think about and create their own stories. They do this by exploring and cultivating their academic interests but also by finding interests and activities that they enjoy doing outside of the traditional academic setting. It is important for Riverdale students to have some time to adjust to the life of the Upper School before figuring out how they will participate in the community.
RCS Design is an eight-week experience for 9th graders that aims to have them think about their future goals and start to develop capacities that will help them become independent learners, change agents, and responsible citizens. During the fall, students participate in a series of exercises that help them understand their character strengths and how they might be applicable in group settings. They also engage in several group challenge projects and learn about design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Towards the end of the first quarter, 9th graders have the opportunity to hear from several activity leaders and then go “activity shopping” to decide which club or "activity" they will join for the year.