Student Life

Holistic Education

Student Life collaborates across grades and departments to help students strengthen core values that support their ethical, intellectual, and social emotional development. Continued growth and personal development are foundations that allow students to thrive and sustain high levels of achievement over time. We engage students in activities and discussions designed to strengthen their self and social awareness, ethical decision-making, problem-solving and overall wellbeing through academic and co-curricular experiences. 

The Student Life program captures areas of a student’s experience beyond their academic learning and is supported by a framework known as the Pillars of Student Life: 

Identity & Belonging

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) / Character

Health & Wellness

Learning to Learn

We don’t teach character, we cultivate it through intentional skill-based teaching, creating opportunities to apply learning, and sharing formative feedback.

Jessica Delgado, Lower School director of student life

Student Life Program

Lower School
At the Lower School, the Student Life program was created by the faculty in order to best meet the needs of our community, and is directly linked to the curricular program. It’s thorough, comprehensive, and spans across PK-G5. Student Life lessons are taught very intentionally in every grade level in the areas of Identity & Belonging, SEL/Character, Health & Wellness, and Learning to Learn. The teaching and learning is skill based, in the same way that we teach math skills/reading skills, we also teach Student Life skills.

Middle School
The Student Life program builds on the Lower School’s work and is aligned with the Pillars of Student Life. Programming is grounded in understanding core values, healthy communication and healthy relationships. The curriculum incorporates mindfulness, personal boundaries and consent, gender and human sexuality education, and substance abuse prevention.

Upper School
The Student Life program builds on the Middle School’s work and is aligned with the Pillars of Student Life. Programming is grounded in understanding core values, healthy communication and healthy relationships. Students deepen their exploration of essential concepts related to identity and belonging, social health, sexual health, and prevention. Curriculum includes the Grade 9 Delta program and the health programming for Grades 9-12 and is integrated into academic coursework and community events.

Supporting Mental Health

We have a team of mental health professionals who engage with the community in various ways.

  • Counseling sessions: We offer individual counseling during school. During hybrid learning, sessions are also offered remotely.
  • Student groups: We offer optional health and wellness groups for students. These are times to connect with the school counselors and peers, talk about how to take care of yourself.
  • Community building: School counselors often share short presentations about mental health and wellbeing. Counselors meet regularly with grade-level Deans to support students.
  • Faculty support: We offer optional discussion groups for faculty and present information on mental health topics at faculty meetings.
  • Parent support: We host a wide range of parent and family programming in support of the Pillars of Student Life. Events range from dynamic speakers to interactive workshops to film screenings.

Fostering a Coaching Community

Life coaching has the capacity to maximize personal and academic potential; improve relationships and promote connection in the school community; increase collaboration, innovation and creativity; and foster independence and personal responsibility. Riverdale facilitates interactive workshops for parents, students and faculty designed to teach and practice fundamental coaching skills, including creating community agreements, deep listening, empowering questions, and aligning actions to values.