Superintendent's Corner

  • Why I believe Riverdale will thrive with your support

    Posted by Jim Schlachter on 10/11/2018 10:00:00 AM

    Dear Riverdale Community, 

    While reviewing this year’s budget and planning for next year, I can say with certainty that it is the significant amount contributed by the Riverdale School Foundation’s Annual Campaign (from YOU) that has and will continue to set our district apart from others – making a significant impact on our programs and class sizes. 

    I know there is concern surrounding budget cuts and the need to alter some programming. And I know from experience that it can be tempting to consider withdrawing financial support when you don’t feel your contribution is making the difference you want to see. However, I can tell you this… 

    In my short time here, I’ve had the opportunity to hear many perspectives and explore Riverdale’s resilient and successful history while we, as a community, revisit the strategic planning process. I can see firsthand that Riverdale’s dedicated community and stellar professionals are determined to continue engaging our students in one of the finest educations in the state. As a result of what I’ve experienced, I am confident the Riverdale School District can weather the storms of stagnant state funding, increased PERS obligations, uncertain legislation and times when we must tighten our belt. 

    Riverdale remains great year after year because of three main factors:

    • A strong program led by exceptional professionals
    • An unwavering belief that our students require more than the state is able to provide
    • YOUR willingness to join together to ensure each Riverdale class receives the same level of outstanding educational opportunities as the classes before them, regardless of state funding inconsistencies.

    In Riverdale’s history, there have been other lean periods and there will likely be more down the road.
    Continued funding inadequacies at the state level may cause us to trim things we’d rather not. But, the constant that provides stability is the community’s longstanding tradition of devotion to the greatest good for the students and pitching in when needed. A strong Riverdale School Foundation helps us bridge fluctuating state revenues and maintain Riverdale’s focus on excellence. 

    Now is the time to put your faith in the district’s longevity and vision, and say yes to the calls and letters you receive from the Riverdale School Foundation. The more positive the Annual Campaign results, the stronger the plan we can conceive and the education we can provide for our students moving forward. 

    The foundation has a very ambitious and necessary goal of $1.5 million this year. The Annual Campaign runs through Nov. 16, and families have until then to make a pledge or donation. Pledges do not need to be fulfilled until April 30, 2019. The foundation also encourages all families to pursue employer matches, which generated an additional $90,000 last year. You can even choose to designate a portion of your contribution to providing financial aid for students. Suggested giving levels have not changed – the requested contribution from resident and transfer families is $3500/child, and from tuition families is $500/child. Community members are also asked to contribute $500. 

    In addition to helping us raise the needed funds and reach the goal of increasing the level of participation over last year, I also encourage you to participate in the next public engagement session with the Strategic Planning Team this winter and share your hopes for Riverdale’s future. Look for an invitation via email. Together we can accomplish great things. 


    Jim Schlachter

    Interim Superintendent

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