Riverdale Gazette

May 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Riverdale Community,

May hasn’t only made the flowers grow and trees start to bud. It has also given some new life into the Riverdale School. Now that we have had students back 5 days per week for a full month, there’s an energy in the building that has certainly reminded this Principal about what life was like before the pandemic. Students are playing out on the playground with their entire grade, interacting with eachother in the classroom, and smiling...or so it looks like from under their masks. This is all thanks to our dedicated staff who are finding creative ways to have students work together (i.e. through plexiglass barriers) and families being vigilant about checking students for symptoms before they come to school. The partnership between school and home has never been so important and I’m proud of how strong ours is.

Adding to our revitalized energy was the extremely generous Teacher Appreciation Week that the Riverdale PTO put on for our staff. Our educators were treated to not only some delicious lunches and breakfasts from local businesses, but also heartfelt cards and notes written by students. It was a fantastic week!

As we start to wind down the school year (by the time you receive this, we will have only 25 school days left!), I want to remind families of the importance of getting to school on time. Since everyone has started back to school, we’ve noticed a large amount of students coming in from 5 all the way up to 30 minutes late. Please understand that when a student is late to school, it can throw their entire day off. Our learning schedules are made so that instruction starts right at 8:45 am, so when your student is late, they are coming into class having already missed instructional time. This can make students feel anxious and inhibit their ability to concentrate and learn. Please help me solve this problem by making it a goal to have your students at school on time (by 8:45 am at the latest).

Finally, I know construction around Dedham and the arrival of landscaping trucks at homes can often lead to traffic, which no one likes. One of my silver linings of the pandemic was that there were so fewer cars on the road, and having to wait in traffic is something I’m trying to get used to again. Let’s all remember that although everyone has places to be and meetings to get to, we are a community focused on not only the education of our students, but also their safety. If a child is taking a bit longer to get out of the car infront of you in Circle Drive, please refrain from honking or yelling, as you don’t know if that student may be having a tough morning and needed an extra pep talk from a parent/guardian. When exiting Circle Drive, I know things can get backed up. Please remember to take a breath and know that you will most certainly be able to get out and make it to your destination. We need to make sure we are setting examples for our students, and this patience is a great one to show to them!

I thank you all for the energy you give to the staff by sending your students to us. We finally feel like we’re back doing what we love to do - educating our students - and how we love to do it - with them here!

Happy May and I hope to see you soon!


Ed Paris, Principal

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

As I look at the calendar, it is hard to believe that we are in the last five weeks of this especially challenging academic year. Later this month I’ll be asking the children that I work with to remember what their hopes and fears were at the beginning of the year, to think about what they have accomplished thus far this year and to think about what they would like to accomplish in these last weeks. Obviously for some children it is a bigger transition than for others. For those students who are leaving Riverdale either due to a move or graduation it is their time to look at the bigger picture. What were your hopes and fears when you first came to Riverdale? What are you most proud of accomplishing? Is there anything you would change if you could go back and make a different choice? What do you hope to accomplish in your last weeks? These discussions can be helpful on many levels as the children prepare for the changes ahead of them and take pride in their accomplishments. They can take comfort and gain confidence when reminded of their past successes with new experiences and transitions.

The Town of Dedham Recreation Department will also once again staff the Riverdale playground this summer. Each playground will have a supervisor and two assistants and will be open from 9am-12pm and re-open from 1:00-3:30. Children 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Activities include arts and crafts, trips to the Dedham Pool and competitions against other playgrounds. The program is free but requires registration this year at: https://dedham.activityreg.com/selectactivity_t2.wcs?leaguesid=34

There is also a Fun Friday Program at Riverdale for $5.00. Please contact the Recreation office at 781-751-9250 with any questions.

Please be in touch if I can be of any assistance to your family through the school’s main line 781-310-2000 or my direct line 781-310-2709 or esheehy@dedham.k12.ma.us

Nurse's Notes - Judy Byrne, R.N

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Ask a Grader

Ask a first grader to spell some "magic e" words (ex: nake, pine, home, rule...).

Ask a second grader to explain what a shelter is and provide an example of a shelter for a plant and animal.

Ask a third grader to tell you about 3 poetry terms they have learned about in class.

Ask a fourth grader for 3 landmarks in the West Region.

Ask a fifth grader what fantasy novel he/she/they are currently reading and an interesting part that has occurred so far. Also, ask a 5th grader what new research information he/she/they have learned about their Westward Movement topic of choice.

Important Dates

May 18 - MCAS Begins at Riverdale (Click the link above for schedule)

May 31 - Memorial Day, No School

June 3 - 5th Grade Field Trip

June 18 - Onward/Upward Ceremony for 5th Grade

June 21 - Last Day of School, Dismissal at Noon