• Planning for Fall 2020

    Friday, July 31 Return to Learn, Athletics Update and Upcoming School Board Meeting


    Riverdale's Fall Plan 

    Dear Riverdale Staff, Parents and Community, 

    With Governor Brown's recent announcement, we now know we will be in a Comprehensive Distance Learning, or 100% online learning format, for the opening of school. I acknowledge the wide range of emotions and the impact this presents on all of us, especially our students. We will need to lean on the metrics developed by Oregon public health officials to guide school boards and school officials on reopening plans. Click here for more information on Gov. Brown’s announcement. 

    Comprehensive Distance Learning at Riverdale this fall will include synchronous learning and scheduled classes. Our teachers will take attendance, assess learning on our typical grading scales and connect virtually with our students to foster and build relationships.

    Family Community Engagement

    Riverdale is committed to moving forward with a strong emphasis on our Family and Community Engagement. Recent feedback and dialogues highlight how important it is for us to listen and come together. Please join us on Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. to hear more, engage and participate in a question and answer session. Mark your calendars; more information to come.

    Survey results 

    Thank you to everyone who participated in our July survey where we welcomed your initial thoughts on models and moved to narrow options for Riverdale based on ODE's guidance back then. While opinions varied at the time, there were also encouraging commonalities. We remain at the drawing board with the rules rapidly evolving and changing. Click here for a more information from the surveys. 

    The high level details are summarized below.

    1. 77% of parents survey respondents would participate in Hybrid 1 (core at school), 59% in Hybrid 2 (core at home) and 11% in 100% CDL (online learning model).    
    2. Teachers/staff had a strong desire to be in the classroom, but most considered it unsafe. Staff suggestions included:

    • Students seeing and interacting with their teachers consistently

    • Implementing consistent class schedules with more synchronous class time

    • Maximizing opportunities for interdisciplinary projects

    • Offering small group opportunities with clearly outlined expectations 

    Moving forward

    We do our very best work as a district when we are united. In addition to future opportunities to engage, we will keep you updated weekly via email. The Fall 2020 Instruction Planning Team met this Wednesday and is meeting today with the following direction for the week:

    • Define and articulate expectations and promising practices per ODE’s new Comprehensive Distance Learning guidance, such as daily morning meetings/announcements and teacher-facilitated synchronous learning K-12
    • Create an internal webpage for teachers housing professional development resources for our teachers K-12 and define forthcoming professional development opportunities 
    • Further develop sample schedules for consistent delivery of Riverdale Comprehensive Distance Learning K-3, 4-6, 5-8, and 9-12 with norms for grade level teachers with consistent delivery of content 
    • Launch Seesaw in all K-4 classrooms and develop further use of Google Classroom 5-12 incorporating new Google technology
    • Provide visibility to teacher summer activities and learning underway - hear their optimistic, can-do attitudes and their enthusiasm to connect with their students this fall

     ODE continuously updates our district’s requirements that inform our work. If you would like to see sample student schedules for CDL K-5 and 6-12, links to those documents are found below. We invite you to Riverdale School District’s new website page Return to Learn.

    Please see our Return to Learn FAQs section of our RSD website for more information. 

    Let’s keep the lines of communication open and work toward creative solutions together. With your support and engagement, we can knock this year out of the park in a unique Riverdale way!


    Joanna Tobin, Fall 2020 Instruction Team Leader 



    Fall sports registration has been delayed until we can receive further guidance from OSAAon the opportunities we may safely provide for our student athletes given the governor's new announcement.

    Click here for more info 


    Upcoming School Board Meeting

    • Monday, Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting 


    July 23, 2020 Update from Fall 2020 Instruction Planning Team 

    Dear RGS Staff, Parents, Students and Community,

    Over the past month, the Fall 2020 Instruction Planning Team made up of Riverdale School District teachers, parents and administrators have been developing a plan to best deliver seamless instruction to our RSD students in the fall. The delivery of instruction and creation of learning opportunities, either in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid of the two models, is complex and challenging work, especially in this dynamic environment. This will take ongoing innovation, flexibility and partnership. Below I share a brief overview of our work to date and our recommendation to the RSD Leadership. A comprehensive presentation will be made to the RSD School Board at the board full-day work study on Aug. 10, 2020.

    Decisions and processes for returning to campus are being guided by best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oregon Department of Education and state and local health authorities. Meanwhile, the Fall Instructional Planning Group is working collectively as well as within their sub-groups (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) to apply this guidance to Riverdale to keep our students on pace to achieve their academic milestones. The landscape is ever changing, and we are adapting as thought-partners and planners as we go. 

    Main Assumptions

    1. Health and Safety. Riverdale will plan around and follow health and safety guidelines from ODE and public health authorities.
    2. Educational Excellence. Riverdale’s mission is to provide an excellent educational experience to RGS and RHS students.
    3. Continuity. Riverdale’s plan will allow students and teachers to shift fluidly from in-class learning to distance learning as health and safety guidelines change.
    4. Student Connection and Relationships. Riverdale’s plan will foster the connection and relationship between Riverdale teachers/staff and students and will strive for regular connection in each model - online, in-person/hybrid. This includes support for social emotional/mental health support. 
    5. Innovation. We strive to be inclusive in thought and prepared for all learners. Riverdale will pursue creative student-centric options to meet students’ needs in the 2020-21 school year.

    Guiding Principles

    • We will provide educational programming that is rigorous, effective and engaging, and upholds high academic standards, whether online or in-person.
    • We will use Riverdale’s equity lens to inform our decision-making, with particular focus on vulnerable learners receiving instruction and support to minimize opportunity gaps and achievement gaps.   
    • All students have access to high-quality educational programming with differentiated support from staff to address unfinished learning, scaffolds, extensions and enrichment. 
    • We value having K-12 students in school as much as possible to maximize in-person learning.
    • Our teaching practices will be centered on clear expectations that are widely known and understood by staff, students and parents, all of whom will be provided the necessary training to maximize their opportunity for success.
    • We will work to continuously improve and support all teachers/staff to uphold these principles in order to have consistency across schools and classrooms.

    As you can imagine, the constraints from the ODE Guidance require the Fall 2020 Instruction Planning Team to think differently about how our schools may safely operate in-person. In order to follow these COVID mitigation requirements, most districts are considering distance learning and hybrid models that bring students back into the school facilities in a limited fashion rather than the traditional five-day-per-week schedule. The Riverdale School District is no different. We are committed to continued creativity while working within the guidance. 

    We modeled and reviewed many of the options that were presented to you for high level input on July 10 when we welcomed your initial thoughts on your family’s preferred model to help us narrow the focus and land on what is right for Riverdale. While it is clear from this information our community would like to be onsite with our teachers as much as possible, we also have significant constraints in doing so when also prioritizing just that -- utilizing our teachers and not a third party vendor (without synchronous opportunities to learn together with classmates). 

    The team further developed the Hybrid options to both support our teachers and maximize instructional time with students. What we refer to as Hybrid 4 allows for core instruction for K-4 that is both synchronous and asynchronous with onsite and offsite options. At this time, the Hybrid models developed for 5-12 largely remain in a Comprehensive Distance Learning Model with opportunities to be at school in small cohorted groups. The HS Hybrid option creates a community hub in the building inviting academic advising and counseling, college advising, library services, special education services, tutoring, and social emotional learning opportunities on campus. 

    Brief overview of Hybrid structure:

    K-4 Cohort 1 AM M/T

    K-4 Cohort 2 AM W/TH

    5-8 Cohort 1 PM M/T

    5-8 Cohort 2 PM W/TH

    K-8 Friday Online and asynchronous learning

    9-12 HS as Community hub for scheduled services and appointments

    We remain optimistic as we stay focused on instruction, while continuing to review and develop Hybrid options. At this time we also turn our attention to curriculum and technology developments, such as the launch of a learning management system Seesaw with professional development for all K-4 classrooms. Google suite and classroom developments are underway including enhanced modules and professional development for our staff and increases proficiency for 5-12. Staff have been participating in countless professional development opportunities this summer and are eager to share their learning with each other. We are developing robust professional development that supports hybrid and comprehensive distance learning models.

    We believe the ability to move in and out of Hybrid and Distance Learning options is a must and have planned in our models to accomplish this fluidly. That said, we are asking for a District guidepost connected to public health indicators, such as an intentional connection to Multnomah County’s Phase 2 with a two week buffer, before returning physically to our schools. We focus our developments on strengthening our Hybrids for eventual return and on Comprehensive Distance Learning. In support of the above, we recommend calendar adjustments to create space for this professional development and entry Fall Conferences as we strive to create strong teacher student/family partnerships and develop classroom communities. 

    Fall 2020 Instruction Recommendation Summary

    • Connect onsite reopening with Hybrids to Multnomah County Phases with a two week buffer after transition to Phase 2
    • Continue to develop Hybrid options as the ODE requirements are updated 
    • Continue to develop Comprehensive Distance Learning Plans and Preparation as the ODE requirements are updated 
    • Support ongoing staff professional development moving forward
    • Fall 2020 Calendar - consider additional professional development days in support of models and two days of reopening conferences

    We acknowledge the significant impact scheduling has on families and will strive to keep siblings on the same day for instruction at the K-8 level. We also plan to assess child care needs of our staff and community in an upcoming communication. With that, thank you to all for the collaboration, communication and efforts during these uniquely challenging times. 

    We value prioritizing student and staff safety while maintaining Riverdale’s signature way of teaching and learning. Additionally, we value creating opportunities for intentional Social Emotional Learning with a focus on social justice and equity within a culturally responsive framework.

    I look forward to the continued work ahead and know we can find the best creative solutions for RSD. We will adapt and work together. We can do this!



    Fall 2020 Instruction Team Leader, Joanna Tobin

    July 10, 2020 Update from Fall 2020 Instruction Planning Team 

    As parents and educators, we ALL wish we could just go back to normal and attend school like we used to do. Per guidance from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) for Riverdale's physical buildings' design/size, as well as our staffing capacity, our district's model will require us to be creative as it must comply with the guidance.

    Interpreting State Guidance

    Per ODE, there are three instructional models for schools in the 2020-2021 school year: On-Site, Hybrid, and Comprehensive Distance Learning.  

    1. On-Site Instructional Model (100% “at-school” model) offers all instruction to students in-person with teachers in accordance with public health requirements outlined in the June 30, 2020 Ready Schools, Safe Learners Guidance for the School Year 2020-2021. Schools and districts around the state have differing abilities and constraints when offering this model.

    2. Hybrid Models (“at-home”/“at-school” model) also offer on-site instruction through the use of cohorts, or small groups of students brought on campus in a structured way in distinct time shifts. These cohort groups stay together while present at school to limit mixing school populations and to better enable contact tracing. ODE strongly encourages using stable cohort groups to reduce COVID-19 spread.

    Students can be part of more than one cohort during the school day, but with each new cohort there are increased health risks. Each cohort must have a system to ensure contact tracing can be completed; daily individual student or cohort logs are required; cohorts must be diverse groups of students that would typically be grouped in schools. For example, one cohort is the group that rides the bus together in the morning; the second cohort is when a child's stable cohort groups in a classroom; and a third cohort could be a small group meeting in support of instructional needs. We are exploring a variety of Hybrid options at this time. Please see the survey below. 

    3. Comprehensive Distance Learning (100% “at-home” model) offers all instruction to students at home. CDL will be provided according to Riverdale’s high-academic standards with increased synchronous (live teaching) and asynchronous learning while meeting the child’s unique learning style and supporting their social/emotional needs. ODE requires that we provide this option to families who want to opt out of in-person learning this fall.  

    Moving Forward at Riverdale:

    For these reasons, our district is focusing on developing two models: Hybrid and Comprehensive Distance Learning. We anticipate the need to fluidly move in and out of a Hybrid Model, as well as provide some students with an entirely Comprehensive Distance Learning Model (100% at-home). 

    When considering these models, schools within each district must approach the capacity to deliver instruction while keeping in mind two primary factors: 1. staffing and 2. physical buildings. All districts have unique possibilities and constraints. 

    Staffing. Staff safety/health, staffing levels, teacher licensure/certification, and best practices determine our possibilities for instruction within the ODE guidance.

    Physical Buildings. In RSD we have two physical buildings as our resource. Here are three photos depicting examples of Riverdale classrooms set up according to guidelines:  

    K-4 classroom

    RGS classroom K-4

    RGS 5-8 classroom

    RGS 5-8 classroom

    Image one and two shows an optimal 12 student seats in RGS classrooms per classroom per ODE’s guidance.

    RHS classroom

    RHS classroom

    There are 7-10 instructional seats available within a 9th-12th grade average sized classroom. When the ODE guidance is applied in the Riverdale School District, we do not have the physical structures to support all of our K-12 students in our buildings at once while maintaining physical distancing. (Below is ODE’s guidance on Required Physical Distancing.)

    A small stakeholder committee, led by Principal Tobin, is analyzing ODE guidelines as well as several public/private school models to develop Riverdale's Operational Blueprint in the area of Instruction to send to the Superintendent and leadership team July 22.

    If health requirements or ODE guidance changes, Riverdale will adapt and adjust. We are committed to providing a safe environment where our teachers, staff and all students come together this Fall to achieve high learning standards. We will continue to update you if things change and as we get closer to the opening of school.