Riverdale Gazette

January 2022


Happy 2022 Riverdale School!

It has certainly been an interesting start to the year at Riverdale School. With the Omicron wave peaking just as we got back to school, it was a bit of a challenge to make sure that our students had educators infront of them each day. Thanks to the team effort Riverdale staff puts in every day, we were able to not only make sure our doors stayed open to students over the past 3 weeks, but also made sure they were receiving an education that was worth sending them for. I am truly grateful for the team with which I work!

Next week, we will celebrate Halfway Day at Riverdale School on January 25, 2022. This date will mark our 90th day of the 2021-2022 school year. Students are encouraged to wear mismatched socks and other mismatched items to be dressed half one way, and half the other! Hard to believe we’re already almost halfway through the school year, that is for sure.

As you have all seen, the ever-changing protocols and recommendations from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Public Health (DPH) have been updated. Please be on the lookout for the weekly email all families will receive on Wednesdays from Superintendent Welch with the weekly cases of COVID-19 in schools, as well as updated contact tracing and testing information. I will not longer be sending a daily email with the number of cases. For the most up-to-date information about all things COVID-19, please visit the district’s website (linked here), which has a dedicated section to COVID-19. Lastly, if your student tests positive for COVID-19, please let us know by using this Google Form.

To end this letter, I want to thank the entire Riverdale Community for your extreme generosity around the holidays. Thank you for donating to the Dedham Food Pantry to help your neighbors who may be struggling, for the many gifts Jake and I received, and for sending us the gift of your children each day.

I hope you all have a successful and happy 2022!


Ed Paris, Principal


Happy, Healthy New Year!

During these trying times especially, Riverdale families appreciated receiving Thanksgiving grocery gift cards and gifts for the Winter holidays. Thanks to your kind generosity, 10 families received Thanksgiving food and had their winter holidays brightened. In addition to our own PTO and individual families, several of our staff, neighbors and community partners provided support: The Dedham Youth Commision’s Charlotte and Bob Castagnola Holiday Gift Program, The Dedham Food Pantry, The Power of Community and St Susanna’s Church parishioners and their St Vincent de Paul group. At Riverdale we were inspired once again by the giving spirit of our neighbors. We are truly fortunate to be a part of this community.

The Dedham Community House is offering scholarships to the following upcoming programs. Please let me know if you are interested:

2022 Winter Kids Club Saturday 3/12

2022 Winter Home Alone Safety Class (Ages 9-11) 3/7

2022 Winter BLAST Babysitting Class (ages 11-14) Monday 3/7

2022 Winter Kids Club Saturday 2/12

2022 Winter Home Alone Safety Class (Ages 9-11) 1/25

2022 Winter BLAST Babysitting Class (ages 11-14) Tuesday 1/25

2022 Winter Kids Club 1/22

2022 Winter Ninja Warrior Ages 8-11 Friday 6:15pm

2022 Winter Ninja Warrior Ages 5-7 Friday 5:15pm

2022 Winter Intro to Basketball Ages 3-4 Thursdays 4:15pm

2022 Winter Basketball Learn and Play Ages 5-6 Thursdays 5:15pm

2022 Winter Floor Hockey Ages 9-11 Wednesday 6:15pm

2022 Winter Floor Hockey Ages 6-8 Wednesday 5:15pm

2022 Winter Floor Hockey Ages 4-5 Wednesday 4:15pm

2022 Winter Intro to Football Skills Ages 7-10 Saturdays 12:30pm

2022 Winter Intro to Football Skills Ages 4-6 Saturdays 11:30am

2022 Winter Indoor Soccer Ages 6-7 Saturdays 10:30am

2022 Winter Indoor Soccer Ages 4-5 Saturdays 9:30am


Ask a first-grader: What is the difference between fiction and non-fiction?

Ask a second-grader: What are the features of a nonfiction book?

Ask a third-grader to explain how to add or subtract multi-digit numbers. Ask them which method they like using the best.

Ask a fourth-grader to describe the layers of Earth: crust, mantle, core.

Ask a fifth-grader to share a fact or two that they have learned about Westward Expansion when reading nonfiction during Reader’s Workshop.


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Last spring the Dedham Junior Women' Club made a donation to the Riverdale Library to purchase bilingual books. After many delays the books have arrived here at the Riverdale Library for all students to enjoy. These books will benefit not only native Spanish speakers, but all of our students as the books are in both English and Spanish. The books will also expose students to the culture and customs of the many Spanish speaking countries. Many thanks to the Dedham Junior Women's Club for their support and generosity.

Students in grades one to three are currently focusing on nonfiction and the differences between fiction and nonfiction books. Students have learned about the many nonfiction text features ( table of contents, map, etc.) that help students find specific information in a text. Sometimes these text features include information not found in the text and nonfiction text features also make the book more interesting for students.

Computer Science Education Week was in December. Students in grades one to three took part then, but grades 4 and 5 are doing that this month. This time in the library gives students a chance to learn about computer programming and do some coding themselves. This is something that students are able to do all year long with the resources available on the Riverdale Library Website under the tab for students. Students all seem to enjoy this very much. In addition to being fun, it also promotes logical thinking.

This cold weather is a perfect time to spend time indoors and read. I encourage you all to do that.

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Tuesday, January 25 - Halfway Day

Wednesday, February 2 – No School Professional Development

Wednesday, February 9 - 100th Day of School

February 21-25 – February Vacation