Spotlight on NYC Private Schools: Riverdale

October 5, 2016

Simultaneously strengthening the mind, character and community is the basic principle of Riverdale Country School, an academic institution in the Bronx. According to Dominic Randolph, head of the school, Riverdale is “trying to develop students who have MINDS that understand change, CHARACTER that can create change, and a COMMUNITY that embraces change. That is our mission.”



Riverdale features signature programs that reflect this ideology, such as design thinking, living mindfully and sustainability. The design-thinking program uses a method of problem-solving that has emphasis on creativity, collaboration and an understanding of the human experience. The living-mindfully program helps students develop a personal awareness of their health and emotional well-being. This is done through academic programs, athletic programs, co-curricular programs, student support services and community events. Beyond these individual-centric endeavors, Riverdale also focuses on community sustainability. The school is part of a group of 10 other New York City independent schools that signed the Green School Leadership Commitment Pledge of the Green School Alliance early on.


The Lower School at Riverdale, for students in Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade, is a nurturing environment where children learn by asking important questions, building strong work habits, and forming strong connections with their peers and teachers. There is a multifaceted curriculum with outdoor exploration and active play that is both stimulating and interactive. The Lower School curriculum is co-taught with subjects such as mathematics, river studies, science, character education through theater, and many more.


To submit your child’s application to Riverside, you must create an online account in Ravenna and pay the $60 application fee. At least 24 hours after completing the application, you must call to schedule a 45-minute, one-on-one interview. Thirty minutes of the interview is for the child to spend time with a member of the admissions team, and 15 minutes is allocated for the parents to meet with the admissions director. After the interview, you must obtain a candidate evaluation form. This form must be completed by your child’s principal, head of school, or current teacher and be returned to the office of admissions.


The next step in the application process is to register for the Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners (AABL). At Bright Kids, we offer many tutoring packages and publications specializing on the AABL exam.  If you are interested in exploring these preparatory options, or if you have any general questions on the Riverdale application process, please email, or feel free to call any of our offices.

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