Riverdale Gazette

August 2022


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Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! I hope you all had some quality time to relax and safely enjoy the summer.

As Riverdale’s School Adjustment Counselor it is my job to help the children feel as positive as they can about school and about themselves. I am a licensed independent clinical social worker with twenty-five plus years of experience as a child therapist and consultant. I meet with children individually and in groups with the permission of their parents or guardians. I consult with parents and teachers and collaborate with collaterals that work with Riverdale students. I connect families with local agencies that provide resources to Riverdale families. Please visit my website for more information and resources: Riverdale Counseling Website

I would like to offer some suggestions for preparing your child for the transition back to school. You know your children best and every child handles new adventures in their own way. One thing is certain though, children look to their caregivers to see how they should feel about something unfamiliar to them. So, I urge you to calmly present to your child that you believe they will thrive. Remind them of how much they have accomplished already, of new challenges they faced and found success with in the past. Be wary of talking too much about the transition. Following your child's lead is generally a good way to judge how much to talk about an event.

In the late summer and early Fall you may see some regressive behaviors. This is typical and not a cause for concern unless your reassuring and some time in the new classroom does not assuage the problem. Expect that things will go well and expect some ambivalence from your child. They are likely to be as excited as they are apprehensive. Acknowledge the feelings and normalize them. Good children's books on this topic are Double-Dip Feelings: Stories to Help Children Understand Emotions, by Barbara S. Cain and Anne Patterson and First Day Jitters, by Julie Danneberg. An excellent book for easing separation anxiety is The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn.

Finally, expect your child to be tired at the end of the school day. Do not over schedule the Fall with outside activities. Your child will need to rest and refuel after school. Please nurture yourselves as well.

I am available at all times by email 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.


On Thursday, July 28th, Governor Baker signed the Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget which includes funding to allow for meals to be provided to all students in the Commonwealth at no charge next school year. This will be the fourth consecutive school year of universal free school meals going back to March 2020. Massachusetts is now the fifth state in the Nation to provide state support to extend universal free meals beyond Congress’ expiration date of June 30, 2022.


The following rules and procedures have been put into place to ensure the safety of all students and their families.

*The parking lot to the left of the school (when looking at the school) is for staff only. Any parents dropping students off before school must use Circle Drive.*

Morning Drop Off

1) Students should exit the car on the passenger side when the car has come to a complete stop.

2) Those dropping their students off should not wait for their student(s) to walk to the door. There is a staff member at the door in the morning to ensure students make it into the building safely. Waiting to see your student(s) walk into the building causes a back up in the drop-off line.

After School Pick Up

1) Students will be loaded into 4 cars at a time. You must wait until the car in front of you pulls away before leaving the line or pull up to pick up your student. Do not pull around the car in front of you, unless instructed to do so by a staff member.

2) If there is a special circumstance in which your student is held up from coming down to the car line, you may be asked to pull into a parking space to wait to avoid backing up the line.

3) Those who park in the parking lot adjacent to the playground must wait for the Circle Drive pick-up line to empty before pulling out of the spot to exit the parking lot. Pulling out while the pick-up line is still running causes a back up and potential accidents. Please also avoid crossing over the Circle Drive driveway until after the car line has cleared.

**The most important rule is to be kind to one another and show patience. Everyone has someplace to be and we know that waiting in line or in a parking spot can be frustrating. As we tell your students to do - take a couple of deep breaths and assume everyone is trying to do their best.**

If you have any questions or would like to report an issue, please contact the school's office at (781) 310-2200.


September 7 - First Day of School

October 6 - Back to School Night

Click here for the 22/23 School Year Calendar

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THANK YOU!!! The Riverdale Community came together to help build the new all inclusive addition to the Julianne Kelly Playground