Riverdale Gazette

June 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Riverdale Community,

What a year it has been! It’s hard to imagine that just 9 months ago, we were having to deliver the news to families that our phasing in of students was going to be delayed due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the town. Now, we have all students coming to school in-person, 5 days per week! We even have students being able to take their masks off at recess! It’s been quite the whirlwind of information, changes in guidances, ups and downs, but we all have made it to the end of the year. The most important thing is - our students learned. Looking at data we collect throughout the year, students are not nearly as far behind as we had been concerned about when all of this began last Spring. Getting back to school has also improved their social-emotional well-being. It’s incredibly important for students to be around each other to learn what it is to be a good classmate and fellow citizen.

No year would be possible without the staff of a school, but it needs to be said publicly how proud I am of the Riverdale Staff for what they did for their students and families to ensure learning happened this year. While they themselves were figuring out how to get their children and families through a pandemic, they learned new ways of reaching students to support them, as well. Many had never been on a Zoom meeting, let along run one, before this year. From Ms. Martin becoming an IT helpdesk and COVID testing administrator to Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Purcell becoming sanitizing experts, everyone at Riverdale had to learn something new to make their jobs happen this year. Thank you to the formidable people that come to work at Riverdale each day for making a safe place for students to learn and grow.

Finally, thank you to all of our families for being partners with us through the ups and downs we faced as a community together. As we have all seen, criticisms can often quickly be posted on social media when someone feels something wasn’t done in the way they feel is correct, but Riverdale never went down that path. We worked through problems together and stayed the strong team we have always been. It’s because of this partnership that our school and students will continue to thrive!

The next week and a half will be filled with many exciting events as we wrap up the school year. Field Day is happening on Friday, June 11th, the 5th-graders will have their pool party and Onward and Upward Celebration, and so much more. I always look forward to these events to close out the year! One thing that will be different this year across the elementary schools is that on Move-Up Day (the last day of school), students will be meeting both teachers from the next year’s grade level, instead of finding out the teacher they will have next year. Students and families will find out who their teacher is for the 2021-2022 school year in August. This is to allow for the many changes that often happen over the summer due to a number of reasons. Be on the lookout this August for an email with who your student’s teacher is for next school year!

I hope you all have an incredible summer filled with fun, sun, family and friends!! To our 5th-Graders and the families that will be leaving us, best of luck in everything you do! Remember to come back and visit often - once Riverdale, always Riverdale!

Here’s to the closing of another great school year with you all!

Ed Paris

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

Congratulations to our graduates! It has been an honor to see you all grow and mature so beautifully. Best wishes to all of our families that will be moving on from Riverdale.

June is a time of intense emotion that we anticipate for months and then it always seems to sneak up on us with a flurry of activity once it arrives. We are saying goodbye to our 5th graders and to those families that are moving from our area and we are looking forward to summer, the immediate future, and the long-term, bright futures of our graduates. Please be in touch if your child is having a hard time with the upcoming transition. There are some good books about the transition to middle school. One is put out by the American Girl Company called The Smart Girl's Guide to Middle School. Another is Too Old for This, Too Young for That!: Your Survival Guide for the Middle-School Years. A lot of children's literature and media portrays bullying in middle school and some of our children have that fear exacerbated by this exposure. I try to remind children that in middle school they will have the opportunity to meet a whole new group of peers and they are likely to find new friends with whom they have likes and dislikes in common. Middle school is an opportunity for growth and it offers a new level of enriching social, athletic, creative and academic experiences to our children.

The Riverdale School community has benefitted greatly from its generous citizens and neighbors again this year. Donations have included holiday help at Thanksgiving, and the Winter Holidays, meals that have been donated to families in need of some support, donated gift cards, and vacation camp scholarships. Our thanks go to the PTO, Dedham Youth Commission, St Vincent de Paul and St Susanna’s Church, the Dedham Covid-19 Relief Fund and to the Dedham Community House in addition to many of our own Riverdale families.

Food Distribution will continue this Summer at Avery School on Wednesdays July 7th through August 18th, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:30PM.

The Town of Dedham Recreation Department will 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 reopen 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 still free, but now requires registration for AM and PM sessions at: https://dedham.activityreg.com/selectactivity_t2.wcs

I will check my email esheehy@dedham.k12.ma.us over the summer and can listen to voicemails to my private line 781-310-2709.

Wishing you all a wonderful Summer!

Nurse's Notes - Judy Byrne, R.N



1. Protect your head! Always wear a helmet

when riding!

2. Stay Alert! Don’t talk on the phone or listen to music when riding!

3. Stay Visible! Wear bright colored clothing so others can see you!!

4. Obey traffic laws! Bicyclists must follow the same road rules as drivers.

5. Use Lights! When riding at night use lights!

6. Reflective Gear. This gear will allow drivers to see you from a distance.


1. Swim in designated areas supervised by


2. Young or inexperienced swimmers should

wear US Coast Guard-approved life jackets around the water.

3. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow

anyone to swim alone.

4. Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10am-4pm and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least spf15.

5. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty!

Please have a safe and healthy summer!!!

Nurse Byrne!

Ask a Grader

Ask a first-grader to teach you about a U.S. symbol.

Ask a second-grader what kinds of animals live in the Tundra habitat.

Ask a third-grader what their favorite book was that they read in class this year.

Ask a fourth-grader what was their favorite part of the squid investigation.

Ask a fourth-grader to tell you about their version of the poem If I Were in Charge of the World, originally written by children's author and poet Judith Viorst.

Important Dates

June 8 - 5th Grade Parent Night with DMS Principal 7:00 pm

June 10 - 5th Grade to DCH for Pool Party

June 11 - Field Day

June 16 - 2nd Gr. Virtual Field Trip

June 18 - 5th Gr. Onward/Upward Ceremony 9:15 am

June 21 - Last Day of School (dismissal at 12:00 pm)

Lost and Found

We have accumulated a lot of water bottles, sweatshirts, hats etc. Please have your student check the lost and found. We will be donating whatever is left over.

Thank you

Congratulations DHS Seniors!!!