Guiding Principles

  • Our Vision

    Students learn to use their minds well, engage creatively and act compassionately.

    Our Mission

    Riverdale develops inquisitive, imaginative and eager learners. Our students demonstrate academic mastery through exhibition to become effective communicators and responsible leaders.


    Riverdale 2024 Strategic Plan


    Riverdale is more than a school district. It is a community. One united by its dedication to its children and its desire to put education first. Our community shares in our triumphs, sees us through our challenges and shapes what our schools and our students become. Therefore our strategic plan is the result of shared community goals and, while it rightly puts our students first, it includes the entire community in its focus on creating an engaged, collaborative and inclusive environment.



    Guiding Principles illustration  

    An 'Essential' School

    As a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), the teaching philosophy at Riverdale School District is guided by 10 Common Principles: 

    1. Learning to use one's mind well
    2. Less is more: Depth over coverage
    3. Goals apply to all students
    4. Personalization
    5. Student-as-worker, teacher-as-coach
    6. Demonstration of mastery
    7. A tone of decency and trust
    8. Commitment to the entire school
    9. Resources dedicated to teaching and learning
    10. Democracy and equity


    Read more about each principle.


    CES Benchmarks and the Habits of Mind

    We lean on the benchmarks of the Coalition of Essential Schools as we continue to improve our school culture and practices, including the Habits of Mind. Habits of Mind (and heart) are ways to articulate the type of thinking and emotional dispositions that help students develop their social-emotional intelligence and succeed in school and life. 

    To learn more about developing the Habits of Mind and a Growth Mindset, consider reading “Mindset” by Carol Dweck and “Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind” by Arthur L. Costa and Benna Kallick.