Riverdale Gazette

October 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Riverdale Families,

It finally feels like we’re making progress and getting into the school year! With Phase 3 of the Dedham Public Schools Reopening Plan starting this week and more students joining us for in-person learning, we’re working to give our students a small sense of normalcy back. That being said, there are so many parts of learning that do not seem “normal.” For one, there are some members of the class who are still at home, while others are in school. Teachers are teaching both of these groups and are juggling these two responsibilities, while making sure all of their students are taken care of. To say this is challenging work would be an enormous understatement, but teachers are trying their very, very best. Students are also trying their best and showing patience and hard work by supporting their teachers and pushing through, even when computers run out of battery or Zoom calls don’t work. We will not be able to keep this up without working as a team, so I thank you all for being part of this team!

As long as everything keeps going according to plan, we’ll begin Phase 4 of the Reopening Plan on Monday, October 19th. This means that 1st-Graders in Cohort C will come to school for in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday (October 19th and 20th) and 1st-Graders in Cohort D will come to school for in-person learning on Thursday and Friday (October 22nd and 23rd). All Cohort B students will also be coming to school for all 4 days.

When it is your student’s cohort’s turn to come to school for in-person learning, be sure to use the following as a checklist before coming to school on their first day of that week:

  • Complete the Student Health and Safety Attestation. This needs to be filled out each week, but only on the first day your student is coming to school for that week. For example, Cohorts B and C should fill it out on Monday mornings, Cohort D should fill it out on Thursday mornings.

  • Be sure your student has the following in their backpack: Chromebook, water bottle (all water fountains are turned off, but we have plenty of bottle-filling stations), any materials that have been handed out at material pick-up days.

I know this is a lot for everyone. As I stated above - teachers are trying to figure out their new worlds of teaching students who are at home and in front of them at the same time, students are working hard to remember the new safety protocols and get used to the new school set-up, and families are balancing new schedules, remote learning, as well as their new work life. It’s. A. Lot. Lean on each other for help, let me know how the school can help in any way, and let’s all remember to give each other some grace and patience as we all work together to achieve what is always our goal - giving our students the very best educational experience possible.

Thank you, again, for being part of the team!


Ed Paris, Principal

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

It is a pleasure to see your children and to hear their voices and laughter in the building again as we gradually, safely increase our numbers of students learning in person. Please be in touch if I can be of any support to your child or your family as we all manage the many changes and transitions we are experiencing.

Food Distribution Update/New Time:

The schedule for Dedham Public Schools Meals distribution has changed. Seven days of meals (breakfast and lunch) will be given out on Wednesdays at Riverdale from 12:00-2:00, Avery from 12:00-6:00 and Veterans Rd from 12:00-2:00. Beginning Wednesday the 21st, since more children will be in the school buildings, DPS Food Services will provide five days worth of meals.

USDA Produce Boxes include a variety of dairy products, produce, and meat and are distributed with meals on a first come first served basis.

Winter Holiday Help

The Charlotte and Bob Castagnola Holiday Gift Giving Program through the Dedham Youth Commission (DYC) will run differently this year. The DYC will be receiving people’s requests directly and distributing gift cards only this year through the DYC office. Please note that you must complete a form for each child requesting assistance.Please note, applying for DYC Holiday Assistance does not guarantee a $50 gift card. But every effort will be made to make it happen for everyone who qualifies for assistance. The DEADLINE TO APPLY is October 30, 2020. No exceptions will be made.It is the DYC’s goal to distribute the gift cards to participants the week immediately after Thanksgiving. (Your information is confidential)

To qualify for the DYC Holiday Assistance Program, you must:

1. Be an official Dedham resident

2. Qualify for Low Income Housing or Free/Reduced Lunch

3. Be experiencing an unforeseen financial difficulty



Please be in touch with Riverdale’s Counselor, Elaine Sheehy, with any questions! St Susanna’s Church will also be distributing gift cards for their holiday program and I can refer people there if the DYC program is not a good fit for your family.

If you’d like to provide help to a Riverdale Family this year please let me know!

I am available at all times by e-mail at esheehy@dedham.k12.ma.us or by phone at 781-310-2709. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's adjustment to school, feelings, behavior, social skills, or if I can help you connect with any local resources you need, please contact me. Please visit my website for more information and resources: Riverdale Counseling Website

Nurse's Notes - Judy Byrne, R.N

Click below for information of the DPS Health Services, this site has a lot of useful and helpful information

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Ask a Grader

Ask a first grader: What is the difference between a fiction and a non-fiction book?

Ask a second grader: Why do the leaves change color during Fall?

Ask a third grader: What has been the most challenging part of remote learning and what has been the best part?

Ask a fourth grader about the A, B, C, D, Es of Science Scientific Drawing.

Ask a fifth grader to identify the three states of matter and give an example for each.