Riverdale Gazette

February 2022


Dear Riverdale Families,

By the time you read this, we’ll have completed 104 days of the 2021-2022 school year. That’s 104 days of learning, growing, making mistakes, and growing even more. You should all be very proud of the work that your students are engaging in each day. First-graders have been working on their understanding of nonfiction texts, second-graders have been learning about “part-part-whole,” third-graders are reading and discussing with their reading partners what they’ve read, fourth-graders are now experts in Multiplication Wrestling, and 5th-graders brought back an “oldie-but-goodie” in playing Oregon Trail. It brings this Principal such joy to walk through these halls and see what our students are accomplishing.

After next week’s vacation, we’ll be entering into March, which shows how quickly time is flying by! That being said, March can feel like a very long month to students (and staff!). There are no long weekends, no vacations…nothin’. Luckily, we have a very involved PTO that has planned some great things for the school during the month of March. We’ll be having The Magic of Books visit our students, and we’ll be kicking of the Boosterthon fundraiser, which brought a lot of money to the students and school last year. This year, the Boosterthon fundraiser will culminate in a “Fun Run,” in which students will be able to run laps around the back field to celebrate their fundraising success. The money from this year’s fundraiser will go towards continuing the work around making the Riverdale playground a more inclusive place for all students and young people to play!

As always, thank you for working as partners with the Riverdale staff as we all make sure every student at Riverdale gets what they need. When students see their families and teachers working together, it shows them that we all see their education as important and valuable. We couldn’t do what we do without you!

I hope you all enjoy the vacation next week and will join me in crossing our fingers for March to bring some milder temperatures!

Hope to see you soon,

Ed Paris, Principal



The Avery and Riverdale Elementary Schools are proud to announce a monthly parent webinar with the School Adjustment Counselors and School Psychologist. The webinars will take place on the following dates/times: March 4, 2022 9-9:30am, April 1, 2022 9-9:30am, May 6, 2022 9-9:30am, and June 3, 2022 9-9:30 am. The webinar will be recorded for parents who are unable to attend live. To maintain confidentiality, questions will not be taken live and students’ names will not be used. Please submit questions through the parent survey below or contact us with questions that may arise following the webinar. We want to hear from you about what topics you would like us to discuss. Please fill out the Google Form below. Let us know if you have any specific questions about a topic or suggestions for topics. We hope you’ll join us!

Parent Survey

Happening now, a FREE webinar series called ADHD-What Now? An incredible 9-day on-line series with the top ADHD researchers and providers: www.whatnowADHDsummit.com

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

The Dedham Community House offers scholarships to Riverdale students for classes and vacation and 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!


Students in grades one to four have begun a series of lessons around identity and mirror and window books. Mirror books are books that contain characters and experiences that the student can see themselves in. They can make a personal connection to the book. Window books are ones that students learn about a character and life experiences of someone very different from themselves. Fifth graders will also have these lessons, but are currently learning about using databases for research. Databases are online encyclopedias that we have access to though the Dedham Public Library (DPL). Databases are a great resource for students doing research. Unlike websites, students are assured that they are getting reliable information for their age group.

The Dedham Public Library is celebrating its 150th birthday this month and will have a special celebration on Tuesday, February 22nd. Stop by and get some goodies and check out the documents and pictures about the founding of the library. The celebration takes place all day at both branches. You can also show your love of the library by making a birthday card and dropping it off at either branch. Anyone opening a library card during the month of February is entered into a raffle for special prizes. I have sent home library card applications to all first graders and new students, but if anyone else would like an application, I'm happy to get you one. If your child runs out of things to read over vacation, I would suggest a trip to the DPL. Check their website for programs taking place during vacation week.

In March, students have the opportunity to participate in the Riverdale Battle of the Books. This program takes place over twelve weeks and involves sixteen books. Students will listen to two books each week and vote for their favorite in a bracket style competition until the winner is determined. I will record myself reading the books and students can access these books at school or at home. There are also activities to go along with these books that I encourage your child to participate in. This the first time that the Riverdale School is doing this and it should be fun. I can't wait to see which book is the favorite of Riverdale students. More details will be coming after vacation.

Also in March students will each get a project based on a book to take home and complete. Each grade level will listen to a different story and have materials and directions to complete the project. I hope that students and their families will find this enjoyable. More details will be coming after February vacation.

Students at Riverdale made valentines that were delivered to the West Roxbury Veterans Medical Center in time for Valentine's Day. The students worked very hard to create colorful and heartfelt cards that I'm sure that the veterans appreciated.

Students Decorating Cards for Valentines for Vets


Ask a first grader why we can see the moon.

Ask a second grader "to name the 7 continents"

Ask a third grader to list and explain the features that can be found in nonfiction texts.

Ask a fourth grader to describe an elevation map.

Ask a fifth grader: What were some of the hardships pioneers encountered on the Oregon Trail in the 1800's. In addition, ask what interesting facts he/she/they learned about while partner researching a planet in our Solar System?


· February 21-25 – February Vacation

· Thursday, March 3 – Prof. Development, Dismissal at Noon


There have been many students that come in tardy, some on a daily basis. Please remind your student that school begins at 8:45, after the 8:45 bell your student is marked tardy and it is recorded on there attendance record. Thank you for your cooperation.

Happy 100th Day of School