High School Principal's Blog

  • RHS Back-to-School Message and New Staff Introductions

    Posted by Brian Flannery on 9/4/2020
    Dear Riverdale High School Students and Families, 
    My name is Brian Flannery, and I am proud to be joining the community as your new Riverdale High School Principal! I want to give you a warm welcome to the 2020-21 school year. All of us will face challenges this year but not alone. I have already learned that RHS is a learning community committed to service and support. Together we will overcome current hardships and stress related to COVID-19. My hope is that we not only learn from the national dialogue on racism but also contribute through positive actions. We have the rest of the year to get to know each other. I very much look forward to seeing you online and in person when it is safe! 
    I want to highlight a few items that will help you have a successful start this year: 
    Students, please log onto your Riverdale Gmail account for invitations from all of your teachers to your Google Classrooms. Check StudentVUE for your most current, updated schedule Monday evening (Sept. 7). For students who are new to the high school (including all 9th graders), login information for student email accounts and how to use StudentVUE was sent out by Grace Thompson to parents/guardians. Please contact Grace Thompson if you are having difficulty logging on or accessing StudentVUEgthompson@riverdale.k12.or.us 


    RHS staff are committed to supporting your needs and creating a safe and successful learning environment. We’ll seek your input throughout the year to improve our systems and instruction. 

    Google Classroom

    All RHS staff will be using Google Classroom as our learning management system (LMS). Teachers will use it to communicate assignments and organize Meets (synchronous, real-time, learning via video). 

    Commitment to a Positive Learning Community

    There is a shared commitment among the staff, students and families to create a school climate characterized by people who are responsible, respectful and safe. Next week, we will discuss in more detail how we will work together to build a positive learning community (online and in-person) this year. 

    Student Riverdale Gmail Accounts

    Staff and students will be using Riverdale Gmail Accounts for all email communications. 


    Attendance will be taken at the start of each scheduled class, including advisory. Teachers will take attendance at the beginning of the period in Google Meets. If your student is going to be absent for all or part of the day, please email the school before class starts. Attendance email rhsattendance@riverdale.k12.or.us
    • You can also call the main phone line at 503-262-4844 to report attendance to the office or leave a message before the office opens. 
    • Parents are notified if students are absent from school, so please remember to call ahead for everyone's peace of mind and to avoid any delay in accounting for your student’s whereabouts. 


    Grades during comprehensive distance learning will be traditional letter grades as we would under normal circumstances. Please see the student handbook and course guide for details. 

    New Student Orientation For 9th Graders and other Students New to RHS

    An invitation to orientation was sent out to student email accounts. Please use that link to join.
    Here is the schedule for Orientation:
    1. 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
    2. 9:00 - 9:15 a.m. Math and Advisory meetings
    3. 9:15 - 10:00 a.m. Assembly
    4. 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Q&A Session 
    All students will be attending periods 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 on Tuesday. 1st period starts at 11 a.m. 

    Trimester 1 Schedule and Calendar

    Next week, I will send students and families the weekly schedule of periods and the calendar for Trimester 1.
    I will be communicating regularly throughout the term to keep you updated. Thank you for understanding that throughout the year we will be navigating change together. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. All of us at Riverdale High School look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!
    Mr. Flannery
    Riverdale High School 

    Social Distancing, Masks Required and Playground Equipment Closed

    We would like to remind everyone of RSD campus requirements: 
    • Our buildings remain closed to the public. 
    • Per statewide guidance, “face coverings are required for ages 5 and up in indoor public spaces and outdoors anywhere physical distancing isn’t possible" while on campus please maintain face coverings to allow staff to safely pass when coming and going. 
    • Access to the RGS playground is restricted due to OHA guidance recommending that day-use areas prone to attracting crowds be closed. 
    • At this time, the district is not able to run organized sports practices, even in small groups.
    We ask all community members to please adhere to the Multnomah County Phase 1 guidance. This guidance is based on the latest OHA document: July 1, 2020 Statewide Reopening Guidance –Outdoor Recreation Organizations.

    Introducing New Staff

    Please join us in welcoming our new grade school, high school and district staff members.

    Hannah Hanke - GS Music Teacher

    Born and raised in Green Bay, WI, Hannah has taught music around the world and is excited to be the new music teacher at Riverdale Grade School! Hannah has a strong passion for helping students make music and infuses creativity, relationship building and cultural context into her teaching. Hannah is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Northwestern University and brings experiences in choral conducting, vocal development, instrumental music education, the Orff-Schulwerk and Dalcroze techniques, community outreach, student composition, restorative justice and social-emotional education. She enjoys learning new things, interacting with animals and drinking coffee. 

    Kelsey Kaul - HS Counselor

    Kelsey's professional experience has always involved education, in a variety of roles.  Chronologically, he was a martial arts instructor, taught K-12 philosophy, coordinated tutoring programs for AVID, was a school secretary, and is now entering his second year of school counseling, having graduated from Lewis and Clark College Graduate School of Education and Counseling in 2019. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His research and professional presentations include the following topics: Supporting Students of Color at Jesuit High SchoolBreaking the Binary: Honoring Queer YouthOn Friendship and Stereotypes. Kelsey's roots are spread throughout Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina, but he has called Portland home for the past five+ years. In his spare time, Kelsey plays video games, board games, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons and loves camping.  
    Megan Mandel

    Megan Mandel - HS Science Teacher 

    Megan comes to Riverdale after two wonderful years of teaching IB Environmental Systems and Societies at South Salem High School. At South, she also taught an AVID course and coached Junior Varsity Girls Tennis. Prior to this, she completed her Master of Arts in teaching through George Fox University and student taught Biology at Tigard High School. She is a graduate of Chapman University. In her spare time, she loves to play the guitar and craft for her Etsy shop. Megan grew up in Lake Oswego and is really excited to join the Riverdale team. Plus, she will no longer have to make the two hour round-trip commute to Salem every day!

    Eric Comstock - HS Educational Assistant

    Eric has over a decade of experience in public schools, most recently at Oregon Connections Academy. He grew up in Southeast Portland, graduated from Franklin High School, and currently lives in Multnomah Village with his wife, Casey, and their dog, Fern. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, traveling and hiking the SW urban trails. He is looking forward to a great year at Riverdale.   


    Tera VanDyke - Business Manager

    Tera comes to Riverdale through a partnership with the Northwest Regional ESD for business services. She has been with the fiscal office for nine years with five fantastic years of experience as an Accounting Manager. Prior to that, she was the Payroll Manager for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon in Beaverton. Tera is a graduate of Linfield University, formerly Linfield College. Tera loves camping and spending time with her family and grandkids and is so excited to be at Riverdale!  

    Melissa Davies - Technology Support Specialist

    Passionate about the intersection of technology and education, Melissa previously spent 10 years as a Global Manufacturing Project Management Professional and before that five years in higher education. Melissa has a master's degree in intercultural higher education from Lesley University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Northeastern University. She has been in Portland since 2018. In her spare time Melissa enjoys volunteering with the Junior League of Portland, golfing, and practicing mindfulness meditation. She is excited to join the Riverdale community and help out kids, parents, and staff with their technology needs. 
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