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Field Studies

Learning Beyond the Classroom

At Riverdale, students are encouraged to spread their wings and expand their minds through a variety of field studies. 

Grade School Field Trips and Field Studies

Primary grades enjoy a wide array of field trips complement and enrich the concepts explored throughout the curriculum. Examples of past day trips include the Oregon Coast, OMSI’s paleontology lab, Oregon Children’s Theater, Jackson Bottoms and Luscher Farms. In addition, many community outreach programs bring specialists and guest speakers into the classroom.   

In 3rd and 4th grades, learning is extended beyond the classroom through exciting, relevant field trips such as exploring Bull Run Watershed, a canoe ride along the Willamette River with invasive plant removal, a day in the life of a laborer at Fort Vancouver and an overnight “pioneer” field study experience.  

Unique educational experiences include a fall field study trip to Mount St. Helens in 5th grade. Parents join the faculty and students for several days of geological inquiry in a camp-like atmosphere. Other significant 5th grade units of study include a space study and a focus on United States history. 6th graders focus on plant life during a biology-focused field study trip to Outdoor School in the spring, and explore World History and Geography of the Western Hemisphere. Both grades participate in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s classroom Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program, raising and releasing fish each year.  

Riverdale 7th graders enjoy a unique field studies program constructed to enhance their focus on World History – a week-long medieval-themed camp in the spring. There is also a service-learning focused “Amazing Race” geo-caching day that takes students all over downtown Portland. The 8th grade field study is a capstone trip to Ashland that ties directly with the English curriculum. Students explore the town and see three or four Oregon Shakespeare Festival performances. Not only does this trip serve as a culminating activity for students’ grade school experience, it also makes for many positive and lasting memories.

High School Field Studies

Each spring, high school students, faculty and staff participate in our annual week-long field studies. These excursions provide the opportunity to use classroom knowledge in real-world, experiential settings.

  • Students spend the week expanding their social circles and stepping out of their comfort zones while diving deeper into topics/projects that interest them.
  • Favorites such as Zodiac Sailing, Photography and Spanish Film Production will likely return, with numerous other new choices for students each year.
  • Additionally, students can apply for week-long internships or request approval for independent college visits.