Programs

Extraordinary learning experiences develop critical-thinking skills, a sense of purpose, and confidence to make a difference in the world.

Dr. Rachel Cox, left, director of science research, does field work in Black Rock Forest with four students who are studying the effects of climate change on spruce trees.
Dr. Rachel Cox, left, director of science research, does field work in Black Rock Forest with four students who are studying the effects of climate change on spruce trees.

Critical thinking

Riverdale students are active learners who break down complex problems, ask good questions, evaluate evidence, and develop confidence in their own abilities and talents. The in-depth curriculum and extensive co-curricular programs work together to provide knowledge and experience. Lower School students learn to collaborate. Middle School students learn to think for themselves and consider the needs of others. Upper School students design their futures based on their unique strengths, talents, and experiences.


Purpose demands knowing yourself well, your strengths and challenges; it demands reaching out and working with others collaboratively. Purpose is a social endeavor.

head of School Dominic A.A. Randolph

High challenge, high support

Riverdale sets a high bar. The academic program is challenging, and students also participate in athletics, arts, service-learning, and other co-curricular activities that require effort and commitment. Classroom teachers, deans, advisors, technology integrators, coaches, math and literacy specialists, counselors, and others are always available to provide feedback and support. Student Life programs on both campuses oversee programs related to learning how to learn, health and wellness, identity, and belonging. Excelling at Riverdale is not about standardized tests. It’s about wrestling with complex problems and developing one’s own sense of purpose.


Dr. Cristián Baidal, an Upper School language teacher, takes part in a Lower School Spanish class
Dr. Cristián Baidal, an Upper School language teacher, takes part in a Lower School Spanish class.
Andrew Abate, head of the Computer Science department, works with students on a robotics activity
Andrew Abate, head of the Computer Science department, works with students on a robotics activity.

The moments that one remembers, the times that one feels satisfaction are linked to moments of struggle … Easy successes or simple victories are just not as compelling or memorable.

Head of school Dominic A.A. Randolph

Making a difference in the world

What does it take to be a changemaker? With its emphasis on knowledge, character, and experience, Riverdale prepares students to grapple with complex problems and work with others to find solutions. Interdisciplinary thinking plays a role; so does curiosity, creativity, empathy, and a sense of personal responsibility. A Riverdale education gives students the confidence to take on big questions, and a desire to make life better for others.


Stories

Riverdale is changing. The R+ Campaign has created new opportunities for research, travel, and connections with local and global communities.
Members of the Class of 2016 describe what they value about their time at Riverdale.
Kay Madati ’91, the global vice president and head of content partnerships at Twitter, urges the Class of 2019 to use their critical-thinking skills to make a difference.
At her fifth reunion, Chloe Getrajdman ’12 talks about the value of mentorship and how Riverdale continues to impact her life.