The Riverdale School District is an independent public school district. It was founded in 1888 and has always enjoyed widespread community interest, involvement and support. Today, Riverdale Grade School (PreK-8) and Riverdale High School (9-12) serve more than 600 families living in a residential, wooded area called Dunthorpe, located seven miles south of downtown Portland, Oregon, and adjacent to the city of Lake Oswego. View our district boundaries.
Riverdale School District is committed to providing an exceptional college-preparatory education for all students that is personalized, learner-centered and academically rigorous. Our simple but powerful goal is to produce students who know how to use their minds well. The curriculum in each grade level marries core academic disciplines with art, music and experiential learning. Students are required to demonstrate their deep understanding of fundamental subject matter through classroom work, including individual and group projects.
Plus, learning at Riverdale isn’t confined to the classroom. Students are encouraged to spread their wings and expand their minds through field studies. Starting with day trips in lower grades, overnight trips beginning in 4th grade, and week-long field studies in middle school and high school, these excursions provide the opportunity to use classroom knowledge in real-world, experiential settings.
Here, we nurture the whole student through engaging experiences that support cognitive, social and emotional growth. We focus first and foremost on the relationship between teacher and student, and the academic disciplines that bring them together. Small classes allow students to receive personal attention from a talented, enthusiastic faculty. We place special emphasis on encouraging curiosity, critical thinking and civic virtue. Attendance is crucial, participation is vital and students know they need to be prepared every day. Students learn how to think for themselves, and when they graduate, they go on to a wide variety of selective colleges.
Riverdale offers the best aspects of independent schooling in a public school setting. In addition to the students from our district, we also welcome students from the surrounding communities through transfer and tuition options.
Guided by the principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools, Riverdale students experience a collaborative, small-school learning environment imbued with a climate of trust, decency and high expectations. Riverdale schools compete very successfully against the Portland-area private schools based on our strong academic programs, personalized approach and ability for students to participate in a wide range of activities – leading to graduates who not only gain admittance to the colleges and universities of their choice, but also excel once there.
We strongly believe that an effective partnership with families leads to a better understanding of students’ needs. Riverdale parents are actively engaged as key collaborators and vital members of the school community, sharing in the support and development of their children – and celebrating all the milestones along the way.