Riverdale Gazette

April 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Riverdale Families,

What an incredible 1 ½ weeks it has been at Riverdale School! Welcoming all of our students back to school on April 5th will absolutely be one of the highlights of my 2020-2021 school year. Students came into school excited to see friends they hadn’t seen in person for almost a year, and we had some students who entered the building for the first time since Thursday, March 12, 2020! All students have done a fantastic job of continuing to follow our safety protocols, and the staff and I couldn’t be prouder of their perseverance.

I want to thank all families and staff who have been participating in the free pooled COVID-19 testing program being offered by Dedham Public Schools. Due to this testing, we were able to identify two asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 last week and help stop the spread in our community and town. I know this caused some stress on families whose students were identified as close contacts, but I thank everyone for following the safety protocols put in place when something like this happens. We look forward to welcoming many, if not all, of the close contacts back to school this week.

If you have not signed your student(s) up for our free pooled COVID-19 testing, I urge you to consider it. Currently, only 51.5% of our students are being tested each week, and the more students and staff we are able to test each week, the safer we’re able to keep our students, community and town. To register, you can complete an online registration by clicking here and using Dedham’s district code: dendrite-dedham. You can also read more about the testing further down in this edition of The Gazette.

Finally, I hope you all enjoy the April vacation next week. If you remember back to last year, we didn’t have an April vacation! We decided to keep pushing through to be able to finish out that “unprecedented” year a week earlier. I think we can all agree that all students, staff and families have more than earned a week of turning off from school and enjoying a week of relaxation and recharging.

Thank you, as always, for your support of Riverdale School!


Ed Paris, Principal

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

April has arrived with all it’s floral glory. It is so good to see the flower beds around Riverdale spring to life again. Nicole’s gardens always move me especially at this time. She would be graduating high school with her class this year. I can imagine her cheering on her classmates as she was always a bright light for others. It is truly a blessing to work in this community that has honored her so positively and consistently since her passing.

Resources such as grocery and gas gift cards and meals continue to be available for those in need. Wednesday meal distribution is no longer available at Riverdale, but continues at Avery Elementary School.

The pandemic is still with us of course, but we have persevered and made such strides in understanding how to safely be together as a learning community. Are there things from this time you will choose to bring with you when it is behind us? Perhaps a regular zoom with friends or family who live far away, or more outside time, definitely a new appreciation of our health and safety.

The anxiety of this time remains and for some of us, being all together at school is both a blessing and a source of worry. Below are two resources to help navigate this time:

Check out https://childmind.org/ this month for a multitude of resources specific to the pandemic 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 differentiating between Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks.

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

Nurse's Notes - Judy Byrne, R.N

Big picture

Ask a Grader

Ask a first-grader what an organism needs to survive in its environment.

Ask a second-grader how to add two, two digit numbers using the partial sums addition strategy.

Ask a third-grader to name one difference between a Fable and a Folktale.

Ask a fourth-grader to decompose the following mixed number as a sum of unit fractions: 2 1/4

Answer: 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4= 2 1/4

Ask a fifth-grader to tell you some reasons why traveling the Oregon Trail was a difficult journey for the early settlers.

Pool Testing

Dedham Public Schools has launched a new program, adding another layer of protection to help keep our school environment safe for everyone. The district will be rolling out a voluntary, free, weekly COVID-19 pooled testing program for students and staff!

  • Visiting: www.dedham.k12.ma.us/COVID where you will find links to documents, videos showing how easy it is for students to do the lower nasal swab, answers to frequently asked questions, and more.

  • Sending questions to Emily Kadehjian, District COVID Testing Coordinator (ekadehjian@dedham.k12.ma.us)

You only need to sign once to consent for testing each week through the remainder of the school year. You can sign up or withdraw at any point. (The consents are linked at the very end of this email, if you'd rather print it out!)

We are confident that this testing will only make our school community safer for both students and staff.

Consent - English

Consent - Spanish

Consent - Arabic

Consent - Pashto

Consent - Haitian Creole

Important Dates

April 19-23 - April Vacation

April 27 - PTO Meeting

May 10 - Picture Day

May 12 - Early Release

Pie Day

Tardies & School Time

Please remember school starts at 8:45AM. If you come in after that time you are considered tardy and it is reflected on your attendance record.