Friday, September 23, 2011

Some Photos -- Life at RGS

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Principal's Newsletter 9/23/11

What's in a photograph?

Plenty, if you're Mr. Black. Much less, if you're me.

I was reminded of this when, the day I returned from spelunking the lava tubes and Ape Caves with our fifth graders, I compared my iPhone pics of the day with Brian's well-framed shots from a year before. The comparison is laughable, really, as those of you who've experienced a year or two with Brian's lens know.

So I've been playing with Instagram, an app that -- if it does nothing else -- makes me feel somewhat creative. I've placed a few shots in the post above.

My real purpose here is to highlight what many of you have noted as you walk into the school in the past weeks. The "History Wall" is a tribute to three eras of Riverdale schools. Brenda Bonnell, initially roped into the design process for her immaculate taste, was asked to curate the dozens of archive boxes full of our community's history. In the end, she created three panels, emblematic of, respectively, the roots of public schooling in Dunthorpe, the rich period in which many of our traditions began, and new beginnings. If you have a moment to appreciate the panels in the front entry hall, please do.

Additionally, our wall of class photos expanded dramatically, thanks to Brenda's efforts to identify hundreds of faces from our past.

And if you have the opportunity to thank Brenda, please do.


  • The playground was updated this weekend.
  • Picture Day is Wednesday the 28th. Order forms will be sent home on Monday. Alternatively, you can go to and pre-order, using the code "RIVERDALE."
  • Many families have forms missing from our front office. Please help us ensure student safety and smooth operations by responding to a request from Betsy and Karen for any missing pieces.

2nd Annual Whole-School Photo (B. Black)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Principal's Newsletter 9/18/11

The school year is off and running, and we all are seemingly running to keep up with it! In fact this has been the smoothest start to a school year in my four years, and I look forward to working to make that momentum continue.

For many families, this is the first month *officially* as members of the Riverdale community. But, in truth, because of the Herculean efforts of our PTC, they became an integral part of it long ago. I have never witnessed such an effort to be invitational, informative, and welcoming as is the norm for our new families. And this transitional period keeps getting more and more smooth each year, thanks in large part to Minnie Cooper and Nicole Grayson (neither of whom will be happy to see their names here.) Nonetheless, they, along with all of those who volunteered to "captain" the welcome wagon at each grade level this year, make all the difference in the world for our new families.

But the PTC doesn't stop there. Buzz is building for the "new" (remastered) Riverdale Fall Carnival, scheduled for October 2nd. Look for details soon!

I'd like to share a few details about an upcoming event -- Back-to-School Night is this week, on Tuesday night. We will hold two separate sessions this year, making it easier for families with children in multiple grade levels to hear from their respective teachers. The schedule is listed below. You'll notice that the sessions are very much intended to be a kind of curriculum orientation as opposed to a conference time. Questions about individual children should be reserved for conferences or an appointment in order to share all the relevant information.

One more quick note: out of respect for our neighbors, please refrain from parking on the East side of Breyman, and from using driveways to turn around.

The BTS schedule:

6:30-7:05 Session I
7:25-8:00 Session II
In between the sessions, I welcome you to join us in the Commons for a quick get-together.