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Dec. 18 RHS News

New Year Wish

My wish for the New Year for all of the Riverdale community, and the world, is hope and light. There have been heavy burdens for so many people, and a glimmer of hope has seemed so far off. While 2020 will be remembered for the hardships and losses, it was also a year when people pulled together in service. In supporting each other we build trust that strengthens community. I want to thank each and every one of you for the many moments this year that you have supported me, our students, staff and families. Have a wonderful winter break with family and loved ones. I very much look forward to 2021 with you all!

Update on Racist Incident

Dear Riverdale HS Community, 
Thank you for engaging in meaningful conversation in response to the harm of the racist remarks said in a class this week. While the information I am about to share does not diminish the impact of the situation, I do want to let you know the individual who said the hurtful words is not a Riverdale School District student. I feel this is important information to make you aware of as we all work together to move forward our culture and to lead in service, care and love. 
Mr. Flannery
Read this latest update on the racist incident on Principal Flannery's blog listed under Resources on the Riverdale High School website. 

Conference Sign-ups Now Open

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held Thursday, Jan. 14, 8:30a.m. - 8p.m. and Friday, Jan. 15, 8:30a.m. - 12p.m.
You will have the opportunity to sign up for a roughly 7-minute meeting with each of your student’s teachers. We will not be scheduling meetings with advisory teachers this trimester. Meetings will take place via Google Meet, or via telephone in the event of technical issues.
Please contact Grace Thompson at with the following information to sign up for conference meeting times:
  • A first and second choice for an one-hour block of time per student
  • A preferred phone number for the backup meeting
You can sign up with Grace starting today, Dec. 18, through Wednesday, Jan. 13. Teachers will be emailing out meet links to parents on Wednesday, Jan.13 via Synergy.

Reduction in Service Hours Due to CDL and Current Activity Freeze

We have waited to see the impact that safety concerns and restrictions (due to COVID) would have on students being able to complete the required 90 hours of service. We have reviewed progress by students and looked at averages. Based on what we have seen regarding impact and the uncertainty of when safe in-person service options will be available, we are making the following adjustments. 

Required Hours by Grade Level:

12th Grade: 45 Hours
9th, 10th and 11th Grade: 75 Hours

We have set these reductions based on the ability for seniors to adjust their planning for acquiring hours - some students had planned to do a large portion of service during senior year. Also, with the hope that 9th through 11th will have time over the next few years to complete 75 hours, even with the impact from this year. Finally, there will be a hardship appeal process if we find that there are seniors who struggle to reach the new required number of hours. 
PLEASE continue to engage in service opportunities that are safe and contribute to your growth and learning. These experiences are also valuable as part of your college application process. 
We also hope that this reduction will encourage you to spend some time over break engaging in (safe) volunteer work, reading and learning related to supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We are providing a document with some organizations you may want to learn about, books that you may want to explore and activities you may want to consider. Several families have already shared with us what they plan to do as a family over break. We look forward to this area of focus for our learning during advisory when we return from break. 

Schedule after break 

  • Monday, Jan. 4: ODD 9 a.m. start
  • Tuesday, Jan. 5: EVEN
  • Wednesday, Jan. 6: ODD
  • Thursday, Jan. 7: EVEN
  • Friday, Jan. 8: NO SCHOOL
  • Monday, Jan. 11: ALL 9 a.m. start
  • Tuesday, Jan. 12: ODD
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13: EVEN
  • Thursday, Jan. 14: Conferences (no school)
  • Friday, Jan. 15: Conferences (no school)

Welcome Mr. Emanuelson! 

With Holly Finnerty’s retirement at the end of Trimester 1, we posted and hired a temporary Language Arts teaching position for the remainder of this year. It is my pleasure to introduce Erik Emanuelson, who will be filling that role. Mr. Emanuelson says that most students in the past have called him Mr. Emanuelson. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach at Riverdale and to dig into literature and writing with students! Mr. Emanuelson is originally from Connecticut, but moved to Portland from Brooklyn, NY about eight years ago. Along with teaching language arts, he is also a musician and songwriter. He has traveled and played music stateside and in Europe! Mr. Emanuelson has taught ELA in Connecticut, Brooklyn and here in Portland. He has also worked as an instructional coach, along with writing and editing some English curriculum for education companies. These past two summers, Mr. Emanuelson has taught writing in a summer program through the New York Times. 
We are excited to have Mr. Emanuelson support our students and families for the remainder of this school year. We will begin the hiring process for a permanent position in late winter.


Honors Contract Extension

The honors contract due date is extended until after winter break. Contracts need to be turned in to teachers by Jan. 6 at 8 a.m. We encourage all students to pursue the honors opportunity.
Honors coursework is available to qualified students in all core classes (English, art, science, history, math, world language) and some electives. Please discuss this opportunity as a family over break if you have not had the chance to yet.
View the Honors Contract here

RHS Affirmation Board

The Riverdale High School Affirmation Board is a space for staff and students to anonymously recognize a member of the community for what they contribute to the culture of the school. If you would like to contribute an anonymous affirmation, please email the affirmation and your grade level (not required if you are a staff member or parent) to Megan Ticer.
  • From a parent to Cheryl Wright: She often goes the extra mile for students and is always very kind and upbeat, even during these difficult times.
  • A 9th thinks someone is funny, kind, agreeable, thoughtful, talented, cool and artistic.
  • A 12th grader thinks someone is kind, trusted and confident.

Roses and Buds

RHS students have created Roses - things they are proud of - and Buds - things they are looking forward to. Please celebrate with us!
  • Rose: I finished all of my finals with nothing late.
  • Bud: Looking forward to mock trial!
  • Rose: My team won our soccer league. 
  • Bud: I'm looking forward to seeing my aunt.
  • Rose: Getting a car.
  • Bud: Regionals for my equestrian team.



Mental Health Resources

We want to provide you with resources that support students and families. Students have learned about several of the organizations listed below and how best to access them. Riverdale High School’s priority is to support the mental health, safety, and inclusion of all students and family members.
SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND TEENS DURING THIS HOLIDAY: We are including a resource from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: This guide has useful information for providing support to students and families as we head into winter break during this unusual year with additional stressors. 
  • SafeOregon tipline: Safe Oregon is a place where all safety concerns can be reported, including (but not limited to) acts of racism or discrimination, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying, threats, concerns about someone’s mental health or physical well-being. It is staffed 24/7 by law enforcement, and school district administration is notified every day of the year. Remember though if there is an immediate, serious concern about the safety of yourself or another person to continue to use 911 for reporting. 
  • A resource that Lines for Life has recently launched is their Racial Equity Support Line, which is staffed by call counselors who are people of color and is meant to support other people of color around issues of racism and prejudice:
  • Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 1-800-662-4357, connection to drug/alcohol treatment referrals, supportive listening and crisis intervention regarding addiction concerns 
  • The Trevor Project: crisis line for LGBTQ+ youth – 1-866-488-7386
  • Trans Lifeline: crisis line for transgender individuals, answered by other transgender folks: 877-565-8860
  • National Spanish Suicide Lifeline: - call takers speak Spanish on this line
  • Oregon Family Support Network: – support line for parents that have children with mental health concerns 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Suicide Rapid Response: program from Lines for Life to assist in suicide postvention – 
  • Lines for Life’s “Safe and Strong” Emotional Support Line (for calls related to COVID-19, the wildfires, or any other things coming up in these times for families/students) : 503-575-3761 – available 24/7, similar to a warmline, people do NOT need to be in crisis to utilize this helpline.
  • Lines for Life’s Military Helpline: 888-457-4838 – support for military members, veterans, and their families. NOT connected to the Veterans Administration. 
  • National Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 at the prompt – support for veterans and their families in crisis, CONNECTED to the Veterans Administration