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Riverdale Country School is a co-educational, independent, college-preparatory day school in New York Citymarker. One of the most competitive and expensive private schools in the nation [196679] , it is located on two campuses covering more than in the Riverdale section of The Bronxmarker, New Yorkmarker.

History

Founded in 1907 by Dr.Frank Sutliff Hackett (Riverdale's Hackett Hall is named after him), Riverdale is one of the oldest country day schools in the United States.

The present-day institution traces its origins to The Riverdale School for Boys, which was established in 1907 by Dr. Hackett. In 1920, the Neighborhood Elementary School was founded, followed in 1933 by the Riverdale Girls School. In 1972, the three schools combined to form a single educational community shaped by their common goals and ideals. Riverdale Country School aims to cultivate the unique talents of its students and to nurture their intellectual, creative, physical, moral, emotional, and social development.

Buildings

The buildings on the Hill Campus include: Hackett Hall, Mow Hall, Lindenbaum Center for the Arts, the 9/10 Building, the Day Care, Vinik Hall (the Admissions Building), the Weinstein Science Building, and the Science Annex.The buildings on the River Campus are the K-3 building (the New building- gymnasium and classrooms from kindergarten to third grade), the senior building, Hahn Theater, the Admissions building (includes various music classes, admissions office, nurse's office, Riverclub office, and lunchroom), and the Arts building (includes chorus classroom, pullout reading, Spanish classroom, and honors math classrooms). Both campuses have a gymnasium and tennis courts. The River Campus also has a Pre- Kindergarten room and a playground (Jolly Run Playground). The Hill Campus has three playing fields (upper field, lower field, and football field), as well as a pool, wrestling room, fencing room, workout room, two drama rooms, and three floors of rooms devoted to the arts.

After School

Both campuses are active until 6:00- 6:30. The River Campus offers Riverclub-children can stay after school and do activities such as sports and arts and crafts. The Hill Campus has various clubs after school- the Diversity Alliance, Math Team, Student Council, Dancing, Photography+ Art, and seasonal sports. Sports include field hockey, soccer, football, swimming, fencing, wrestling, basketball, softball, volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, and lacrosse. The school is also open for students to do homework, meet with a teacher, or just stay with friends. Meetings, diversity panels, concerts, and parties are held at night and on weekends. These events end at around 9:00 pm.

Plays and Musicals

In the 2008-2009 school year, the middle school performed a play that was a combination of The Monkey's Paw and The Tell-Tale Heart. The middle school musical was Bugsy Malone. The Upper school play was Don't Drink the Water, and the musical was Hair, a 1960's musical about the Vietnam War. Just days after the school's production of Hair closed, the show opened in previews on Broadway.

School dynamics

Riverdale has the largest overall school campus in the New York City area (27.5 acres: 19.5 for the Hill Campus; 8 for the River Campus).

Riverdale houses two campus areas, the River Campus (grades Pre-K - 5 known as the Lower School) and the Hill Campus (grades 6–8 known as the Middle School and 9–12 known as the Upper School). The River Campus received its name because of its location beside the Hudson River, and the Hill Campus, overlooking Van Cortlandt Park, received its name from its location as well.

Riverdale currently has an enrollment of approximately 1050 students (River Campus - 365, Hill Campus - 685), who come from all parts of the surrounding region. Dominic A.A. Randolph, formerly Assistant Headmaster of the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., was appointed the sixth Headmaster in 2007.

Riverdale is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools.

Athletics

Riverdale Country School places a strong emphasis on balancing a student's academic, arts, and athletic careers. The Middle School supports 14 girls' and boys' athletic teams in 10 sports, fall, winter, and spring, while the Upper School is enlivened by 23 girls' teams in 13 sports, and 22 boys' teams in 12 sports. The Riverdale Boys' Cross-Country team won the NYSAIS State Championship in 1999, and the Baseball team won the State Championship in 2000. The Riverdale Boys' Soccer team won back-to-back Ivy Prep School League titles in 1998 and 1999, and in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Their undefeated season in 1999 led to a NYSAIS State Championship, which they won again in 2006. The Boys' Soccer team also went on to win the Regional Championships in 2007. The Girls' Soccer team has equalled the boys' varsity in excellence, winning the NYSAIS State Championship in both 2003 and 2007. The Riverdale Girls' Field Hockey team was co-champions of the AAIS and Ivy Leagues in 2007. In 2009 the Girls Field Hockey team went undefeated as Ivy League Champions, champions of the AAIS league undefeated, and winners of the AAIS tournament. The same year they were also seeded first in the NYSAIS State Championship which they lost to the second seed Rye Country Day School 1-0. The Girls' Basketball team won the NYSAIS State Championship in 1996, 1998, and again in 2000, while the Girls' Softball team won the State Championship in 2000. Riverdale's Swim team, the Guambo, also sports an impressive record, having won either a boys' or girls' championship every year since 2002. Graduated from Riverdale's strong fencing program, alumnus Tim Morehouse competed in the Summer 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and was a member of the US saber team that won the silver medal.

Arts and Activities

Riverdale has an extensive arts program, offering courses in music theory and composition, acting technique, studio art, and film analysis. At least 3 arts credits are required for graduation. Upper School students mount one musical and one play each year in the Jeslo Harris theatre. Studio art classes take place in the Lindenbaum Arts Center, and are often taught by visiting artists. Riverdale students participate in the jazz and concert bands, orchestra, chamber music ensembles, chorus, and the a cappella singing group. Riverdale also supports an extensive offering of clubs and activities, which enable the students to: form student-government organizations; produce school newspapers, arts magazines, and political publications; perform service to the community; and provide a meeting place for like-minded students, interested in a host of current topics, to meet, compete with other schools, air their views, and organize events important to school life.

The classes taught in the Lindenbaum Center for the Arts include Strings (violin, viola, cello, bass, etc.), band (trumpet, clarinet, flute, drums, etc.), chorus, painting, sculpting, photography, and many more. The building also has a dark room and a computer lab, which is open to students (other computer labs are the Mayo Lab, the Language Lab- used for foreign languages, and the 9/10 Lab.)

Foreign languages taught at Riverdale are: Japanese, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin. Riverdale also teaches Study Skills instead of a language. In the Lower School, half a year of French and half a year of Spanish are taught in third and fourth grades. In fifth grade, students choose either French or Spanish, and also take Latin. In the Middle school, one language is chosen, and in the Upper School, students have the opportunity to take a second language.

Academics

The River Campus of Riverdale Country School
Riverdale founder, Dr. Frank Hackett, shared a deep commitment to "scholarly, intimate teaching; rigorous, uncompromising academic standards; abundant play in the open; and a care for the best influences".

The curriculum in the early childhood program is designed to develop basic academic concepts and social skills.In Grades 1–5, a strong, sequential approach to skill development in reading and math is balanced with literature, writing, and math problem-solving.

The Middle School is housed in the fully renovated Frank S. Hackett Hall, but students use arts, science, athletic, and dining facilities in common with upper schoolers, and the schedules of the two divisions permit teachers to teach classes in both.

The Upper School curriculum is a coherent sequence, co-ordinated with the Middle School program. It features numerous elective courses for juniors and seniors, including honors courses in language and mathematics and 19 Advanced Placement courses in all disciplines. Innovative courses are required of all juniors and seniors: juniors are required to take a co-taught, combined American history/literature course called "Constructing America"; seniors take a multi-taught course, "Integrated Liberal Studies", with readings and assignments covering Western culture, surveying classical philosophy as well as the history of science, and featuring literature, religion and arts components.

To earn a high-school diploma, students in Grades 9–12 must complete 4 credits in English; 3 credits in a single foreign language or 2 credits in each of two languages; 3 in history; 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 in mathematics; 2 in science; and 3 in the arts. Seniors must also earn 1 credit in Integrated Liberal Studies, and meet various requirements in health, technology, and physical education. Each Grade 6-12 has a Dean of Students who coordinates academic programs and serves as a liaison among students, parents and the school. Students in Grades 6–12 must complete from 10 to 18 hours of community service yearly, depending on age, with two-thirds of the requirement to be fulfilled off-campus. Most students exceed these academic requirements, and go on to a diverse selection of nationally-ranked universities and colleges. Among the most popular destinations in recent years have been: Yale, Brown, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Bowdoin, Washington University, and Oberlin.

Notable alumni



John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy attended Riverdale's Lower School, while Francis Fukuyama attended the Middle School.Vincent Price and Nathan M. Pusey taught at Riverdale Country School, as did Peter Schickele, as a substitute teacher in the early 1960s.

School leadership

Current Headmaster: Dominic A.A. Randolph

Current Head of Upper School: Kent J. Kildahl

Current Head of Middle School: Milton J. Sipp

Current Head of Lower School: Sandy S. Shaller

Associations

Riverdale is a member of the Ivy Preparatory School League and the New York State Association of Independent Schools.

The "Hill Schools": Riverdale Country School, The Fieldston School, and Horace Mann Schoolmarker together are known as the "Hill Schools", as all three are located within two miles (3 km) of each other in the village of Riverdale on a hilly area above Van Cortlandt Parkmarker.

See also



References

  1. Bunting & Lyon Bunting & Lyon profile: Riverdale Country School
  2. Riverdale Statistics
  3. Bunting & Lyon Bunting & Lyon profile: Riverdale Country School
  4. New York State Association of Independent Schools



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