Riverdale Gazette

February 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Riverdale Families,

As of today we are 90 days into the 2020 - 2021 School Year...that’s over half of a school year of figuring out a new way of learning, a new way of teaching, and a new way of being a family that is engaged with your students’ learning. Looking back on what we have all learned over the past half a school year is important for us to do to be able to help inform how we’ll all tackle the second half. I’m excited to see how much more we accomplish during the rest of this school year!

This month at Riverdale, we’ve been celebrating Black History Month in a number of ways. In classrooms, students are reading nonfiction texts about black/brown Americans, as well as the important parts of American that are sometimes left out of the story. In the morning announcements each day, we’ve learned many new facts through the “This Day in History” portion of them. For example, did you know that on this day in history in 1964 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by a vote of 290-130? And did you know on February 8th in 1985, Oprah Winfrey became the first African American woman to host a national syndicated talk show?? All of these facts and more can be learned by going to the school’s YouTube channel to look back at each day’s morning announcements! You’ll also be able to watch the weekly Lunchtime Read Aloud. This week’s book it Dear Black Boy by Martellus Bennett.

Lastly, if you’re planning on traveling outside of Massachusetts during the February vacation, please be sure to review the Massachusetts Travel Order that is discussed more in Nurse Byrne’s section of our newsletter. When we return to school on February 22nd, we’ll be closely monitoring the Student Health and Safety Attestations to ensure we are able to keep all of our students, families and staff members safe. Please let me know if you have any questions around the travel order, and I’ll be happy to help!

Have a great week off next week and enjoy some relaxation and time away from Zoom!


Ed Paris, Principal

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

Resources: Check out Common Sense Media’s Family Tips to teach about cyber-safety. “Most kids will encounter mean behavior at some point in their digital lives. For some kids, this experience is a blip that's easily forgotten, while for others it can have deep, long-lasting effects. For parents, the key is staying involved in kids' lives -- both online and off -- so they can step in and offer help if necessary. With guidance from parents and educators, kids can learn how to dodge the drama and stand up for others.” Common Sense Media

Please be in touch if your family needs any support. We have resources available to help. Thank you to everyone who has signed up to make or purchase meals for our PTO Helping Hands Program. If you are interested in donating please contact Lindsey Looney or myself. If your family needs food assistance, please let me know.

The Dedham Community House offers scholarships to Riverdale students for summer camps. Please be in touch if you would like a scholarship or if I can be of assistance to you or your child.

I can be reached at Riverdale every day through my direct line 781-310-2709, through the school's main number 781-310-2200 or by email esheehy@dedham.k12.ma.us

Wishing you all an enjoyable February vacation with your children!

Nurse's Notes - Judy Byrne, R.N

For the safety and well-being of our school community, we would like to take this time to review critical travel information during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank all of our families for following all the mitigation strategies! In doing so, our schools will continue to educate in-person. We understand these times have been unique, so please know the Dedham Public School Nurses are available if you are in need of resources, have concerns, or for any questions.

Our collective health relies, in part, on individual attention and responsibility. For those families that are traveling next week during the vacation, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order. If you are traveling to a RED state, at any time over the vacation, please follow the mandated state guidelines.

Per Massachusetts Travel Order:

All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.

  1. Quarantine for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts.

  2. If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors, and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

  • Here is a LINK to the Mass.gov website with more information on which states are high risk and require testing for return to MA.

  • Looking for a test site: Visit the STOP THE SPREAD PROGRAM website. These sites offer free testing even to those who are asymptomatic and not a known close contact. You do not need to live in that particular community to be tested - it is open to all MA residents.

  • Another option is to contact your PCP.

The Dedham school nurses are thankful to belong to the Dedham school community and honored to work with such caring, compassionate students, families, and staff. Thank you for keeping our learning environment a safe, happy, and healthy one!

Ask a Grader

Ask a 1st grader "What phase is the moon in?"

Ask a 2nd grader "What covers most of Earth's surface - water or land?"

Ask a 3rd grader "What is another name for a 90 degree angle?"

Ask a 4th grader what it means to be an active learner both on Zoom and in the classroom and give examples.

Ask a 5th grader to state their claim about whether they are for or against having chocolate milk served for lunch at Riverdale. Ask them to share their reasons and some evidence to support their claim.

Important Dates

February 15-19 - Vacation

February 23 - PTO Meeting

March 3 - No School Professional Development