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Learning Experience

Upper School

Independence and Agency in the Upper School Upper School students are ready to take charge of their educations. To help make a successful transition into high school, all 9th grade students take a required Delta course, which is taught by the 9th grade advisors. Goals include developing self-awareness, understanding how to function effectively in a diverse and inclusive environment, and finding ways to make meaning of one’s high school experience. We focus on developing good habits of well-being and reflection. In 9th and 10th grade, students engage in foundational work in all of the academic disciplines. Some courses are shared by all students, including History, and English, where our Upper Schoolers challenge themselves to take their thinking, reading, and writing skills to the next level and make personal meaning out of the texts and ideas they study. Students learn a language or two at different levels, not only to develop their communication skills, but also to build cultural competency. In math and science, students develop an understanding of essential concepts by using their curiosity and observational skills and through building arguments. In 11th and 12th grade, students build on their academic foundation and begin to create an experience that is unique to

their talents and interests while making connections through both required and optional interdisciplinary courses. At Riverdale, we eliminated Advanced Placement courses and their emphasis on rote subject knowledge in favor of offering students a wide range of electives that allow them to develop a depth and breadth of knowledge, and relate that knowledge to real world experiences. For example, a budding scientist may take advanced, college-level courses in physics, chemistry or biology, and electives like Marine Biology or Bioethics. A student interested in the law or politics could take Constitutional Law and explore themes of gender or race in courses like Gender, Sexuality, and the Novel, and Black American Literature. At Riverdale, our academic program begins with a more structured format but soon gives way to more individualized programs. We challenge students to take their learning in new directions in the classroom and beyond. Learning outside of the classroom is a critical part of a student’s development. To that end, we encourage students to balance our challenging college preparatory curriculum with co-curricular activities, athletics, and opportunities for global and domestic travel, science research, outdoor experiences, and independent study.

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Profile for Riverdale Country School

The Riverdale Learning Experience (2019)  

The Riverdale learning experience is influenced by many factors: the growing science of how children learn, the role of character strengths...

The Riverdale Learning Experience (2019)  

The Riverdale learning experience is influenced by many factors: the growing science of how children learn, the role of character strengths...