Riverdale Gazette

August 2021

Principals Message

Dear Riverdale Community,


I am so happy to be writing my “Back to School” message to you all for our first Riverdale Gazette of the year. Believe me, summer is easly my favorite season of the year - the beach, the sun, sleeping in a bit - however there is nothing quite like the energy and excitement that the start of a new school year brings. Just as Monday is my favorite day of the week, I love the start of a new school year because of the “clean slate” it offers. We have 180 school days ahead of us to do the very best we can do and achieve things we may not have believed we could. This goes for the adults just as much for the students. Educators will enter the school year hoping to reach more students and build on their craft to be an even better version of themselves than they were last year. The adults in the families of our students will come into the year with new ideas about morning routines and how to make after-school schedules work. What all of the adults in our students’ lives will be doing this year is collaborating with eachother, like we always do, to ensure we are using teamwork to support the students of Riverdale in the very best ways that we can.


As you have hopefully heard or read, the theme of this year at Riverdale is “The Year of Plus One.” Since we weren’t able to celebrate Riverdale’s 100th Anniversary last year, we’ll be celebrating the 100th +1 Anniversary. With that in mind, I will be challenging the students, staff and families of Riverdale to bring their +1 this year. This does not mean I will be expecting all students to get everything right at all times. What it means is that I will be expecting our students to bring their very best each day and to always be pushing themselves to see where they can show their +1! Encourage your students by checking in from time to time to see how they’re showing their +1 at school and at home!


In preparation for Thursday, September 2nd, please be sure to take a look at the Reopening Video and the Reopening Presentation, as well as the Rules of the Road at Riverdale School, which is linked below.


Now go pack those backpacks and get the school lunches ready, because it’s time to start the 2021-2022 School Year!!


See you on Thursday!!

Ed Paris

Mr. Paris Caught Singing 2021!!

Counselor's Corner - Mrs. Elaine Sheehy, LICSW

Welcome to the 2021-2022 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.

Library - Ingrid Mayysi

After being out most of last year, I am very excited to be back to welcome students for weekly library classes. I'm happy that students will be able to browse the library shelves and choose books that interest them rather than having to request books online. Many new books have come into the Riverdale Library since school was disrupted by covid and I am excited to share these titles with students. Books are checked out during library class, but I encourage students to come back anytime to return books they have finished and choose other books.

I have shared this graphic over the years, but it shows how important reading is for all students. My goal is that all students find books they enjoy in the library so that they develop a lifelong love of reading. No day is complete for me if I have not had time to do some reading.


If I can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to contact me. I can best be reached at imayyasi@dedham.k12.ma.us.

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Rules of the Road at Riverdale School

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.