Riverdale Gazette

June 2022


Dear Riverdale Community,

It took me far longer to figure out how to start this letter to you all than it typically does. Do I talk about how much I will miss it here at 143 Needham Street? Do I mention all of the lessons I have learned or memories I’ve shared with your students? I would love to do all of that, but there’s not amount of space on this newsletter that could fit all of the meaningful memories I have from working here with all of you.

Instead, I’ll simply say thank you. Thank you for taking a chance on a 30-year-old 4th-grade teacher to come lead this incredible school, for trusting me with the most important people in your lives - your students, and thank you for supporting our school over and over again. As I said in my letter to you when my transfer was made official, my sincerest hope is that I have left Riverdale better than when I found it, and I wish the same for Ms. Dana Bennett for when she takes over.

I will never forget the lessons I have learned and the major life events I’ve experienced while being with all of you. It was all of you that got me through the unexpected passing of my father. It was this community that worked with me as we figured out how to educate students and keep each other safe during a pandemic. And, more happily, it was all of you that helped me welcome my wingman, Jake, into my life! All of these things will forever be tied to the feelings of support when I think about Riverdale School.

As I say every year at the 5th-grade Onward and Upward ceremony - once Riverdale, always Riverdale. So if you, like me, are leaving this wonderful school community for either another school district, another elementary school in Dedham, or middle school, know that Riverdale is always a place you can come back to when you need it. Whether it is in times of struggle and you need support, or in times of of success and you’re looking for someone to celebrate with, come ring the bell at 143 Needham Street. You know that the Riverdale staff will be here to welcome you back with open arms.

Have a safe and restful summer. I look forward to seeing the many incredible accomplishments in Riverdale’s future!


Ed Paris


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.

The Town of Dedham Recreation Department is offering Riverdale Playground Fun Fridays this summer for a $5.00 fee, a fun filled day at the Park for Fun Friday. Activities will include games, competitions & pizza lunch. Register at the link and search Riverdale Playground Fun Fridays 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!




Want to keep your child reading this summer? Here are a few great programs to get students excited to read all summer!

1. Visit the Dedham Public Library and sign up for the summer reading program. Take advantage of the many programs offered by both the main library and the Endicott Branch.

2. Kids Can Earn a Free Book at Barnes and Noble Students can earn a free book at Barnes and Noble by filling in the Summer Reading Journal and returning it to Barnes and Noble by September

3. Check out DPS Summer Work for more resources and ideas.

Here are some ways to support summer reading and prevent the summer slide.

Tip 1​ - Read with your child every day.​

Take advantage of the nice weather by reading outside on the front steps, patio, at the beach, or park. Be sure to keep a basket of books in the car for any trips near and far. Also, it’s helpful to set aside a consistent time each day for reading and to try to stick to it, whenever possible.

Tip 2​ - Visit the library often.​

The Dedham Public Library will be sponsoring a variety of fun and engaging reading activities and incentives this summer.

Tip 3​ - Keep books fresh and interesting.​

Trade out books weekly at the library and let your child choose what he/she would like to read. Allow popular fiction, graphic novels, magazines,etc. - whatever it is (age appropriate, of course) that keeps your child interested and motivated. Let your child also choose if he or she wants to read electronically or with a hard copy.

Tip 4​ - Encourage listening ​to stories using audiobooks or podcasts.

Tip 5 ​- Talk to your child about what he or she is reading.​

Ask questions and have discussions about interesting vocabulary, what he or she would do in a particular situation, what he or she is still wondering about, or help your child make connections such as, “this reminds me of...”

Tip 6​ - Read aloud to your reader.

​As school-aged children become better readers, parents often stop reading aloud to them. However, by reading more difficult books aloud to your child, you help him learn new vocabulary words, concepts, and ways of telling stories or presenting information. You also enjoy the closeness of sharing a book with your child.

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 first grader what their favorite thing about first grade was!

Ask a second grader what it means to be a good sport.

Ask your third grader to practice math facts and reading this summer.

Ask a fourth grader to share their favorite memories of fourth grade from both inside and outside the classroom!

Ask a fifth grader to tell you about their visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Share a fact you learned about Mrs. Gardner and/or her museum and also describe a piece of art you enjoyed.



Lost and Found

Anything that is remaining will be donated.


Tuesday, June 21 Last Day of School, Dismissal at Noon

September 7 - First Day of the 22/23 School Day

Click here for the 22/23 School Year Calendar


Best Wishes to our 5th Graders as they head off to the Middle School. We Will Miss You!!!

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