Return to Headlines

Dec. 8 Riverdale Grade School News

Wednesday, Dec. 8

Riverdale Grade School News

Hello Families, 
Over the last few weeks, I have seen the true heart of Riverdale come forward in so many ways. I am reminded daily of what we are here for, the students. Three different groups of students came to me to create fundraisers and ask for my support, such as The Trevor Project Fundraiser put on by RGS students and other initiatives mentioned in this enews. Yesterday, a third grader found me to show the writing he had done. Another group of students put together a petition to support bringing back lockers. I am so proud that our students are finding their voices and are respectfully able to advocate for what they believe in (lockers are being reinstated). Students are celebrating their growth, taking care of each other and growing into positive citizens of our world. Of course we hit bumps in the road and have improvements that need to be made, but I am so encouraged and grateful for a staff that cares to listen, consider and respect the needs of each and every student.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a conference about Oregon Educational Law. While hearing stories from other districts and meeting other administrators, I truly can hold my head high at the work happening at our school. Just today I spoke with a learning specialist from MESD about how to create an even stronger literacy program using resources that are available through community partners. I have so much excitement for what's to come, and I am happy to team with our families as we move forward together. 
With great pride, 
Jen McDonald 

8th Grade Leadership

The 8th Grade Leadership Team has been working hard to organize our Grade School Spirit Week and Food Drive. A whopping 650 food items were donated on Monday, the first day of the Food Drive! As of Tuesday, 4th grade was leading in items collected with a total of 528 items! We are so proud of all the 8th grade leaders who chose this project as their first school-wide activity. Thank you to the whole community for your generous donations.
The Food Drive continues through Friday, so please keep donating! This weekend, students will be taking all of the contributions to the Lift Up Portland warehouse.  We will keep you updated as to how many items we collect altogether!
Here are photos of our team members hard at work:


Grade School Food Drive December 6-10!

This winter, many people in the Portland Metro Area will be hungry. Food insecurity is a very prominent problem in our city, and we wanted to spread awareness and see how we can help out by working with Lift Up Portland to donate food to those in need.
Lift Up Portland supplies opportunities for those in need of food to select food items that they can eat and enjoy for free. Their mission is to reduce hunger and help to improve the lives of low income residents in Northwest and Downtown Portland. They also provide delivered food boxes for those who are not able to attend their food pantry events. This organization is doing great work for those in need. 
Lift Up Portland has specific food requests for things that they need most. These include: 
  • Low sodium* food (soups, canned vegetables, prepared foods) *under 140 mg of sodium
  • Dry oatmeal, cereal, and breakfast items (boxed or canned)
  • Canned proteins (tuna, chicken, and other meats)
  • Canned or dried beans (must be sealed packages)
  • Peanut butter/alternative nut butters
  • Sugar-free canned fruits and vegetables
  • Shelf stable milk (dairy or dairy alternatives)
  • Whole grain pasta (sealed packages)
  • Gluten free foods 
All donations are appreciated, but please try to reference the list so we can give them what they need the most. Additionally, keep in mind that all food needs to be in sealed packages or canned, and cannot be refrigerated or frozen. Lift Up Portland also can’t accept any homemade foods.

How to participate

We will be collecting food the week of December 6th-10th. Leadership will place bins outside of every classroom. Drop off your cans in the bin designated to your classroom (or bins divided by grades for 5-8th graders) at the end of the day, leadership will collect all of the cans and count them. The grade with the most cans collected at the end of the week will win a prize!
You can reference the link below to learn more about Lift Up Portland, their mission and more ways to help our community!
- Made by the 8th grade Leadership Class


Community Affinity Sessions

These sessions are only for caregivers, not for students.

Caregivers of Neurodiverse Students, Caregivers of Students with Disabilities, and Caregivers who are Neurodiverse or have a Disability:

This meeting is for caregivers, parents and guardians of students who have Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, ADD, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Auditory Processing Disorder, ED, specific learning disabilities, physical disabilities, any other categories under IDEA or a combination of these. This meeting is also for caregivers, parents and guardians who are in any of the above categories.
Wednesday, December 8th, 6-7 p.m. Sign-up to participate here.
- Abby Rotwein (she/her), Director of Equity & Inclusion



Grade School Spirit Week 

Made by the 8th grade leadership team

Thursday, December 9th is Color Day!

Each grade will have their own color assigned to them. For example, if your grade color is red you could dress up in as much of your assigned color. You could wear a red sweatshirt, red socks or even a red blanket!
  • Kinder: Red
  • 1st: Orange
  • 2nd: Yellow
  • 3rd: Green 
  • 4th: Blue 
  • 5th: Pink
  • 6th: Purple
  • 7th: Black
  • 8th: Neon
  • Staff: Rainbow

Friday, December 10th is PJ day!

Wear your pajamas to school! If you want, you can wear your slippers or even bring your stuffed animal! For example, you could wear a onesie and bring your favorite stuffed animal. 


Toy Drive

Hi Everyone! 
We are the Holiday Helpers, and we are putting on a toy drive. The toy drive is from November 19th to December 17th. We would really appreciate it if you would donate.
Extra Information:
  • All donations go to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and they are for kids who can't be home for the holidays.
  • The donation window is November 19th-December 17th
  • A donation table will be under the stairs 
  • We are only accepting new toys due to Covid-19
We appreciate your time, and thank you.  


Lost and Found Items

Please have your student check the lost and found located in the commons to collect any lost items. Anything in the lost & found will be donated if not collected before winter break.

COVID-19 Screening Testing

RGS is still collecting COVID-19 spit tests every Wednesday morning for the screening program through OHSU. 
Please check the list below for issues related to the COVID-19 Weekly Screening Program, and email the school nurse Kory Darling at if anything below applies to you or if you have any questions.
  • If you have leftover COVID-19 screening kits after December 15th, please email Kory. This is so we can reduce wasted kits and send home less than four on the next round.
  • If you need additional name/grade/DOB labels for any leftover vials, or after kits are sent home January 3rd, please let Kory know. There should be four labels in every bag of four kits. We are not supposed to be writing names on the vials.
  • If you would like to withdraw from the program, please email Kory. Otherwise, we will continue sending kits home to you, and it is a waste if they are not being used. 
  • If you are not yet registered for the program and would like to sign a consent form for your student to participate in it going forward, please email Kory.
  • If there is any other issue happening in regards to your child's weekly screening tests, please reach out to Kory. 
Thank you to everyone who has signed up for the optional testing program and participated during these past few months.

Important Dates

  • 12/20-31 - Winter Break
  • Friday, Jan. 14 - RGS Teacher Inservice Day (No School)