Riverdale Gazette

April 2022


Dear Riverdale Community,

I don’t know about the students, staff and families, but for me, the line “Looks like we made it…” from the Barry Manilow song is playing on repeat in my head today. As we all know, the stretch from February Vacation to April Vacation can feel like a long one, but here we are!! April vacation is lying out ahead of us, and I hope you all take the next week to relax a bit…I know I will be!

A group of students that should absolutely be putting their feet up and congratulating themselves are our 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-grade students. They have worked tirelessly these last couple of weeks to complete their English Language Arts (ELA) MCAS testing. Their teachers and the entire Riverdale Staff are incredibly proud of all of them!! In May, they will be taking on the Math MCAS, and I look forward to seeing all of their hard work then, too.

As we come into these last few months of school, there are many, many events and field trips coming up. I highly encourage all families to frequently check the Riverdale website and online calendar for updated information. To help support this, Ms. Martin has put together a paper copy of the events we have on the calendar so far. This came home on Thursday with students and is linked further down in this Gazette. With so many places still closed at the beginning of this school year, we are trying to squeeze everything into the last few months. It’s going to feel like a whirlwind, but it is also going to give our students the very best experiences possible!

Finally, I hope you were all able to see the letter I send out to our community last night. (It is linked here for anyone who was not able to.) Although I will be taking over as Principal of Avery Elementary School in July, I am still completely and wholeheartedly invested in moving Riverdale forward through the rest of this school year. Once a new leader is chosen, I will also be working closely with that person to ensure the many strengths of Riverdale continue to shine and grow.

Enjoy the vacation, and we’ll see you back at school on Monday, April 25th!


Ed Paris, Principal


Thank you to those who attended our webinar on Mindfulness with a focus on navigating peer conflicts, presented by the Dedham Elementary School Adjustment Counselors/Social Workers, and School Psychologists . We hope that you found it beneficial and that we will see you next month! If you were unable to attend you can watch the webinar by clicking on this link. We have also included the slides from our webinar, Mindfulness. We hope that you’ll be able to join us at our next webinar, which will be on Friday May 6, 2022 at 9:00AM. Our topic will be Anxiety and Depression.

Check out https://childmind.org/ this month for a multitude of resources and for general information about supporting your children’s mental health.

Lynn Lyons, LICSW regularly adds to her podcast site: Flusterclux with Lynn Lyons Her most recent podcast is about Helping Your Kids With Self-Hatred and Self-Blame.

As always, please be in touch if I can be of assistance to you in connecting with resources, summer plans, or about any concern you have. You can reach me directly at 781-310-2709 (private line and answering machine) the school’s main line, 781-310-2000 or at esheehy@dedham.k12.ma.us


Last month I sent home items for a STEM project connected to a book. I thank those of you who sent me pictures, I really enjoyed seeing what the students had created. If your child hasn't done the project, it is not too late. There is no due date and I would welcome more pictures and feedback. I very much appreciate the support and funding from the PTO.

Last month we started the Battle of the Books and that is still ongoing and students seem to be enjoying it. When I mentioned this in last month's Gazette, I failed to thank the Dedham Education Foundation (DEF) for their funding and support of this program. I do have a copy of these books in the library thanks to the DEF and students are sure to enjoy them for years to come.

Dedham Reads is back after a hiatus due to Covid. Dedham Reads is sponsored by the Dedham Library Innovation Team (DLIT) and is a town wide program encouraging the Dedham community to come together around a common theme and book(s). The theme this year is " A Book Feast: Bridging Cultures and Building Community with a Common Language of Food." Thanks to the generosity of the DLIT, students at Riverdale and all of the Dedham schools will have the opportunity to participate in this program. The DLIT purchased the books we will be reading as well as materials for the projects that students will do that are connected to the books. The 4th and 5th graders began their project of designing their own food trucks after reading two short books of poetry, Delicious, Poems Celebrating Street Food Around The World by Julie Larios and Food Trucks! by Mark Todd. The kids were very excited about the project and had some great ideas for their own food truck. Younger students will begin after vacation and will be making food collages and using Model Magic to create food sculptures. Check out the DLIT website to get more information. There is a whole list of books for the program for all age ranges.

Students were able to check out additional books to enjoy over school vacation. I know that I am looking forward to doing some pleasure reading and hope that your students take the time to do some reading. Should they run out of books to read, I would suggest a trip to the Dedham Public Library. Check out their website for programming that is happening over vacation week. I hope that you all enjoy the spring break.



NURSES NOTES - Mrs. Judy Byrne, R.N.

Big picture


Ask a first grader what a living organism needs to survive.

Ask a second grader what a polygon is.

Ask a third grader to describe a character from their book; using the characters actions, feelings, and words to think about what traits the character shows.

Ask a fourth grader to describe the different ways we can classify regions (physical, cultural, economic, political) and describe the different regions that Dedham/their neighborhood could be considered a part of.

Ask a fifth grader to explain what theme is? Have your child give an example of a theme from a book they are currently reading.


MCAS Dates:

Grade 3:

April 14 – ELA Session 2

May 3 – Math Session 1

May 6 – Math Session 2

Grade 4:

May 5 – Math Session 1

May 10 – Math Session 2

Grade 5:

May 4 – Math Session 1

May 11 – Math Session 2

May 17 – Science Session 1

May 18 – Science Session 2

5th Graders participated in the SMile Project