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Oct. 14 Riverdale High School News

Riverdale High School

Thursday, Oct. 14

Riverdale High School News

Hello Everyone,
This is my first eblast as principal of Riverdale High School, and I have to tell you, this school is GREAT! I have had exactly one day on the job at this point in time, but the 1st impression that I have is a school that is top-notch. The students and staff who I’ve met have been warm and welcoming. The facility itself is beautiful. And, most importantly, it is obvious that the academic programming here is high quality. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to lead a school in Portland.  
My family and I have been in the Portland area for exactly 5 days as I write this, and we’re still getting settled in. Once we are settled and able to really get immersed in the community, I look forward to meeting many of you through school events and activities. If you see me at any events, please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Education is all about the relationship between educators, students and parents that we work with. I look forward to developing those relationships as a foundation to the work we’ll be doing at the school.  
In closing, please know that my leadership style is open and honest, and I will lead this school in that way. Over time, I plan to build relationships with our community based on the trust that we will provide the best education available anywhere in a stable, safe learning environment. We will work to continuously improve and develop our programs with that goal in mind. Go Mavs!
Bart Hawkins, Principal
Riverdale High School

Halloween Message Home

Dear Families, 
Halloween is quickly approaching. While dressing up and celebrating the holiday provides opportunities for fun and community building, they can also create situations where students inadvertently dress in a way that can be problematic and even hurtful. We are asking you to join us in helping ensure that students are thoughtful about the costumes that they are wearing to school. Being proactive can help all of us to avoid uncomfortable situations at school and can help us ensure that Halloween is a time where all students feel safe and honored. 
Please talk with your student to make sure that the costume that they have selected does not portray a stereotyped image of a culture or group of people. In addition, please help students to make sure that their costume is not offensive to any racial, ethnic or religious group, any people with disabilities or illnesses, or any other group of people. Costumes should not become opportunities to turn a person’s identity into a stereotyped image. While students might choose to dress as a famous person or character whose identity is different than their own, please reinforce the importance of not darkening skin or using makeup to change a child’s skin color to match the person who they are dressing up to be. Students are often unaware of the long history these traditions have of causing harm and need our help in understanding why it can be hurtful and problematic.  
Some examples of costumes that can be problematic include: Native American costumes involving headdresses or feathers, dressing as a homeless person, dressing as a person with any physical or mental disability, or dressing in any costume that portrays a narrow or negative stereotype about a specific ethnicity, religion or race.
If you are looking for further resources in order to better understand this issue, here are two articles with information:
We look forward to celebrating with all of the students on Halloween and appreciate your help in making sure that it is a fun day for everyone. If you have any questions at all regarding the day, please feel free to reach out.  
Dr. Jeff Harding, Riverdale School District Superintendent 
Abby Rotwein, Riverdale School District Director of Equity and Inclusion
A big thank you to teacher Jess Lifshitz who wrote the original version of this letter and shared it so that other educators could modify and use it in their own communities. 

Effective Public Speaking Class this week

This week, our lunch tent pulled double duty as a classroom space for the public speaking elective class. Students presented informative demonstration speeches on topics from tying a trace-8 knot to baking and decorating cupcakes. Thanks to the outdoor space, speakers had the option to remove their masks while presenting, and audience members were able to sample some of the tasty treats that their peers demonstrated. 
Public speaking is offered as an elective for students to build confidence and comfort with giving presentations in a fun and safe environment.
From left to right: Sam V demonstrating how to long jump, Supriya R demonstrating how to create an origami dinosaur, Vittoria C demonstrating how to bake cupcakes.

PSAT Recap from Robert Lovvorn

We had an incredible 94% turnout for Wednesday's PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9. The addition of the PSAT 8/9 this year will provide us with greater longitudinal data to track test scores and progress over a student’s first three years. Given COVID restrictions, this was the very first encounter with standardized testing for most of our students, so testing also helps increase familiarity with the format and content to better prepare them for those future tests that could be a factor in college admissions. Results from the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 will likely be available sometime in December. Students who preemptively create a College Board account will have access to those scores online the moment that they become available. Hard copies are usually sent to the school a week or two after their release.


Junior College Night: October 21st, 2021, 6–7 p.m.

There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding how some institutions will address the 2022–2023 applicant cycle, but here we will spend a significant amount of time helping students and families prepare for how to navigate the year to come as well as how to begin exploring opportunities to engage with schools in which one may be interested.

Important dates

  • Thursday & Friday, Oct. 14 & 15 - Parent/Caregiver Teacher Conferences (No School)
  • Thursday, Oct. 21 - Junior College Night from 6-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 9 - Sophomore College Night from 6-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 18 - Freshmen College Night from 6-7 p.m.