Riverdale Country School
|Riverdale Country School|
|5250 Fieldston Road (Hill Campus), 1 Spaulding Lane (River Campus)
Riverdale, New York 10471
College preparatory school
|Motto||Mind, Character, Community|
|Founder||Frank S. Hackett|
|Head of school||Dominic A.A. Randolph|
|Grades||PreK-5 at the River Campus and 6-12 at the Hill Campus|
|Color(s)||Maroon and Gray|
|Athletics conference||Ivy Prep
|Accreditation||New York State Association of Independent Schools|
|Newspaper||The Riverdale Review|
Riverdale Country School is a co-educational, independent, college-preparatory day school in New York City serving pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is located on two campuses covering more than 27 acres (110,000 m2) in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, United States. Started as a school for boys, Riverdale Country School became fully coeducational in 1972. It currently serves 1,140 students. According to Niche's 2017 Private School Rankings, Riverdale is ranked the 6th best private high school in New York City and the 33rd best private high school in the United States.
Founded in 1907 by Frank Sutliff Hackett (1878-1952) and his first wife, Francis Dean (Allen) Hackett, Riverdale Country School is one of the oldest country day schools in the United States. Originally known as the Riverdale School for Boys, it began with 12 students and four teachers and promised scholarly, intimate teaching amid abundant recreational space. Describing his school as "an American experiment in education," Hackett later told The New York Times: "We have tried to transform schools from mere nurseries of the brain into a means of nourishing the whole boy — mind, body, and spirit." 
An early advocate of outdoor experiences for young people, Hackett started a summer camp known as Camp Riverdale at Long Lake in the Adirondacks (1912-1964) to provide summer recreation for his students. By 1920, Hackett had acquired three acres on Fieldston Road for the school and built a classroom building and dormitory. The 100-room dormitory, designed by McKim, Mead, and White, later became known as Hackett Hall. In 1924, he started the Neighborhood School for boys and girls from grades one to three, and in 1933, the Riverdale Girls School. By World War II, the school attracted both day students and boarders; one student in six or seven came from another country.
Hackett dreamed of expanding the school into an "American World School" and acquired a new site in Riverdale. In 1948, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, then president of Columbia University, spoke at a dedication ceremony at the site. Hackett died before his dream was realized, and the property was sold. In 1972, the Boys and Girls Schools were combined. In 1985, the Middle and Upper Schools were consolidated on the Hill Campus and the Lower School moved to the River Campus. Hackett was an organizer of the Guild of Independent Schools of New York City, and an organizer and president of the Adirondack Mountain Club.
President John F. Kennedy attended the school from 1927 to 1930 when his family lived in Riverdale. During the 1960 presidential campaign, J.F.K. made an appearance in the Bronx. "I said up the street that I was a former resident of the Bronx," he said. "Nobody believes that, but it is true. No other candidate for the presidency can make that statement." 
Covering 19.5 acres (7.9 ha), the Hill Campus is located on Fieldston Road, overlooking Van Cortlandt Park. It is home to the Middle School (grades 6 to 8) and the Upper School (grades 9 to 12). Facilities include Hackett Hall, Mow Hall, Lindenbaum Center for the Arts, the Lenni Benson Building (aka the 9-10 Building), Vinik Hall (the Admissions Building), the Weinstein Science Building, the Science Annex, the Day Care, and the P. Gordon B. Stillman Amphitheater. An aquatic center is under construction. The Hill Campus has three playing fields (Frankel Field, Alumni Field, and the Frank J. Bertino Memorial field) and tennis courts. The Marc A. Zambetti '80 Athletic Center includes a gymnasium, fencing room, and workout room. It is currently being renovated to add a second gymnasium and an expanded health/fitness center.
The River Campus (grades PreK to 5) sits on 8 acres (3.2 ha) along the Hudson River. The buildings on the River Campus are the Early Learning Building (PreK through second grade classrooms and the gymnasium), the Senior Building (classrooms for drawing, painting, and sculpture), the Admissions/Junior building (includes the Lower School head's office, the Learning Commons, and Admissions, and the Upper Learning Building. Completed in 2016, the Upper Learning Building includes a theater, cafeteria, classrooms for third through fifth grade, and multi-purpose spaces. Architectural Record noted: "It is a building born of exploration, deep discussions with educators about their needs and desires, and a willingness to tweak on the fly."  The River Campus also has tennis courts, a playing field, a greenhouse, gardens, and a playground. The land for the River Campus was given to Riverdale by the family of George Walbridge Perkins, an early environmentalist and associate of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan. The family also donated their adjacent property, Wave Hill, to the City of New York for a public garden and cultural center.
Becoming Riverdale's sixth head of school in 2007, Dominic A.A. Randolph refined the school’s mission with a focus on “Mind, Character, and Community.” He eliminated courses tied to Advanced Placement tests, and advocated a teaching philosophy centered on building character strengths. Working with Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and Dave Levin, the co-founder of the KIPP network of charter schools, he co-founded Character Lab, an organization dedicated to providing research-based approaches to character education. In 2016, Riverdale Country School launched Plussed, a non-profit designed to "create a dynamic collective of experts on learning designing ways to improve student learning and education." 
In addition to college-preparatory courses in math, science, and humanities, Riverdale offers “maker” programs that combine science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, as well as courses in robotics and coding. Latin, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese also are offered. Interdisciplinary courses in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools encourage students to draw connections across disciplines. Constructing America, a required course for juniors, is co-taught by the History and English faculty. Integrated Liberal Studies, a required course for seniors, explores four essential topics: Virtue, the Self, Social Justice, and the Environment. Independent study opportunities allow students to gain in-depth knowledge in subjects of their choosing. The Global Studies program organizes trips around the world. An outdoor educator organizes hiking, camping and rock-climbing trips in the Hudson Valley, trekking in Patagonia, and kayaking in Alaska.
Riverdale is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools.
Arts and activities
Upper School students produce one musical and one play each year in the Jeslo Harris theatre. Riverdale students may participate in the jazz and concert bands, orchestra, chamber music ensembles, chorus, dance team, and the a cappella singing groups, the Rivertones and Testostertones. More than 40 student-led clubs, organizations, and service-learning partnerships are offered.
The Riverdale Review is Riverdale's student-run paper. Impressions has published the visual art and creative writing of students in the Upper School for almost 30 years. Crossroads is Riverdale’s Middle School Literary and Art Magazine. The Falcon Times is the newsletter of the Middle School.
In the spring of 2013 crew was introduced as a varsity sport for boys and girls. In the 2013-14 school year, wrestling was officially cut from the list of sports.
|Tennis||Fall (Girls'), Spring (Boys')||Boys', Girls'|
|Ultimate (Frisbee)||Spring||Boys', Girls', Coed|
- Dan Abrams (class of 1984), chief legal affairs anchor for ABC News.
- Josh Appelbaum, television writer
- Sosie Bacon (born 1992), actress
- Charlie Barnet (1913-1991), jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader.
- Jacqueline Barton, chemist
- Rosalyn Baxandall (1939-2015), historian of women's activism and an active New York City feminist.
- Cliff Bayer (born 1977), Olympic foil fencer
- Lisa Birnbach (born 1956, class of 1974), author best known for co-authoring The Official Preppy Handbook
- Richard Blumenthal (born 1946), U.S. Senator from Connecticut.
- DJ Cassidy (born 1981), DJ, record producer and MC.
- Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington (1920-1948), socialite.
- Louis Ozawa Changchien (born 1975), actor
- Chevy Chase (born 1943), actor
- Suzan Johnson Cook (born 1957), presidential advisor, pastor, theologian, author, activist, and Harvard professor who served as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom from April 2011 to October 2013.
- Richard Engel (born 1973), NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent
- Varian Fry (1907-1967), journalist who ran a program helping thousands of Jewish refugees escape from Nazi Germany.
- Peter Galison, the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor in history of science and physics at Harvard University 
- Alexander Garvin, urban planner 
- Sarah Michelle Gellar (born 1977), actress
- James Gleick, science writer, author of Chaos: Making a New Science.
- Leopold Godowsky, Jr. (1900-1983), co-creator of Kodachrome, the first color transparency film
- Rachel Hadas, and American poet and translator 
- Calvin Hill (born 1947, class of 1965), former NFL player
- Molly Jong-Fast, an author 
- John Kao (born 1950), author and strategic advisor
- Claude Kelly (born 1980), singer, songwriter and music producer.
- Ron Kim (born 1979), member of the New York State Assembly who became the first Korean-American elected to New York's state legislature
- Robert Krulwich, radio and television journalist
- John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), President, attended Riverdale's Lower School
- Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968), U.S. Senator
- Gerard Koeppel, author, historian, and journalist
- John Lahr (born 1941), theater critic
- David Levin (born 1963), CEO of McGraw-Hill Education
- Leopold Mannes (1899-1964), co-creator of Kodachrome, the first color transparency film
- Lee MacPhail (1917-2012), Baseball Hall-of-Fame front-office executive
- Megan McArdle, an American blogger and journalist 
- Nick McDonell (born 1984), author
- Fred Melamed (born 1956), actor
- Howard Milstein, real estate developer 
- Steven Mnuchin (born 1962) United States Secretary of the Treasury since 2017
- Wes Moore (born 1978), author, social entrepreneur, producer and political analyst
- Tim Morehouse (born 1978), fencer who was a 2008 Olympic silver medalist
- William C. W. Mow (born 1936), entrepreneur, chairman and CEO of Bugle Boy Industries
- André Nemec (born 1972), screenwriter
- Robin Pogrebin (born 1965), journalist
- Ed Rendell (born 1944), Governor of Pennsylvania
- Cesar Romero (1907-1994), actor
- Clifford Ross (born 1952), photographer and artist
- Tracee Ellis Ross (born 1972), actress
- Carly Simon (born 1945), singer
- Scott Snyder, author
- Jordana Spiro (born 1977), actor, star of TBS series My Boys
- Max Stafford-Clark, an English theatre director [better source needed]
- Ratan Tata (born 1937), chairman of Tata Group
- Jeffrey Vinik (born 1959), owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Joss Whedon (born 1964), writer, director, and executive producer; creator of several television series (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity)
- David Yazbek (born 1961), composer, lyricist, writer of Broadway shows and TV including The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, etc.
- Tim Zagat (class of 1957), restaurant critic
- Michael Zakarin, guitarist for The Bravery
The "Hill Schools": Riverdale Country School, The Fieldston School, and Horace Mann School together are known as the "Hill Schools," as all three are located within two miles (3 km) of each other in the neighborhood of Riverdale on a hilly area above Van Cortlandt Park.
- Riverdale Country School Rankings, Niche (company). Accessed May 8, 2017.
- Wilson, Simone. " The Best Private Schools in New York City: 2017 Rankings; Another year, another chance for Niche.com's elite rankers to send the cutthroat and competitive world of NYC private schools into a frenzy.", New York City Patch, November 15, 2016. Accessed May 8, 2017.
- "Hackett Park Highlights : NYC Parks".
- Hanley, Robert. "New Headmaster to Take Over At Riverdale as It Turns Coed", The New York Times, February 3, 1972. Accessed May 8, 2017. "The exclusive school in the Bronx is becoming fully coeducational after 37 years of maintaining separate campuses for boys and girls."
- "Camp Riverdale records - Camp Riverdale".
- "Riverdale Country School, Hackett Hall - Projects - Beyer Blinder Belle". November 10, 2016.
- Quickened Spirit: A Biography of Frank S. Hackett," by Allen Hackett; the Riverdale Country School, 1957
- "Riverdale's World School Plans," by Murray Illson; The New York Times, April 27, 1947
- "Eisenhower Calls Schools Peace Key: Says At Riverdale Dedication Education Can Defeat Men Seeking Personal Power," The New York Times, October 17, 1948
- Dr. Frank Hackett obituary, The New York Times, February 7, 1952
- "New York Today: J.F.K. in the Bronx". blogs.nytimes.com.
- "Riverdale Country School by Architecture Research Office". architecturalrecord.com. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- "What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?". The New York Times. September 18, 2011.
- "Riverdale Country School". February 6, 2005. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Riverdale Country School ~ Riverdale Review
- Riverdale Country School ~ Impressions
- Riverdale Country School ~ Crossroads
- Riverdale Country School ~ Falcon Times
- Teams & Schedules, Riverdale Country School. Accessed May 8, 2017.
- Foxley, David. "Ed Hayes Takes On Riverdale Country School", New York Observer, April 23, 2007. Accessed March 6, 2017. "He was talking about Riverdale Country School, the chi-chi private school where tuition is $33,000 a year and which counts MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, The New Yorker’s theater critic John Lahr and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell among its alumni."
- Longwell, Todd. "Appelbaum & Nemec : Friendship leads to big-budget Mission", Variety (magazine), December 2, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2017. "It’s not surprising to hear Appelbaum and Nemec complete each other’s sentences. They’re not just longtime professional partners — they’ve been friends since they were third-graders at Riverdale Country School, a K-12 preparatory academy in New York."
- Barnet, Charlie; and Dance, Stanley. Those Swinging Years: The Autobiography of Charlie Barnet, p. 4. Da Capo Press, 1992. ISBN 9780306804922. Accessed March 6, 2017. "I was at several different schools during this period and most of my stays were uneventful, but I had my first run-in with the rules of society when I was attending Riverdale Country School at the age of twelve."
- Monroe, R.A. "Love at First Lab; Chemist Jacqueline Barton blazes a trail with innovative DNA research", Barnard magazine, Winter 2016. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Barton grew up in New York City, where she attended the Riverdale Country School for Girls."
- Grimes, William. "Rosalyn Baxandall, Feminist Historian and Activist, Dies at 76", The New York Times, October 14, 2015. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Ms. Baxandall attended Riverdale Country School in the Bronx and Hunter High School in Manhattan."
- Wallace, William N. "FENCING; Mild, Modest Teen-Ager Knows How to Seize a Championship", The New York Times, July 11, 1995. Accessed May 8, 2017. "Rather than start college in the fall, Bayer, who graduated from Riverdale Country Day, will devote his time entirely to fencing with his goal set on the Olympic Games at Atlanta next year."
- Rich, Motoko. "Rejoice, Muffy and Biff: A Preppy Primer Revisited", The New York Times, April 3, 2010. Accessed March 6, 2017. "'I didn’t think people wanted to be like us,' said Ms. Birnbach, who attended Riverdale Country School and Brown University, then went on to enjoy what some might called the Life Well-Prepped: writing college guides and co-writing books about friendship, motherhood and being Jewish, as well as working a stint as a correspondent on CBS’s Early Show."
- Illson, Murray. "INTERVIEW; U.S. Attorney at Age 31", The New York Times, July 17, 1977. Accessed May 8, 2017.(subscription required)
- Bernstein, Jacob. "In the Spin Zone, Word’s Around; A Night Out With D.J. Cassidy", The New York Times, May 2, 2014. Accessed March 6, 2017. "'I’m more of a taxi dude,' said Cassidy, who grew up on the Upper East Side (he attended Riverdale Country School and New York University)."
- Hoffman, Barbara. "JFK’s forgotten free-spirited sister was the most cursed of them all; JFK’s forgotten free-spirited sister was the most cursed of them all", New York Post, January 16, 2016. Accessed May 8, 2017. "Like her brother the future president, Kathleen Agnes Kennedy — the fourth child of Rose and Joseph, future ambassador to the UK — was born in Brookline, Mass. After the family’s move to Bronxville, she attended the Riverdale Country School until her mother decided it was time for an education that precluded contact with the opposite sex."
- Buffa, Denise; Fermino, Jennifer; and Mangan, Dan. "PERP SCHOOL: '500G THIEF' BOOKKEEPER BUSTED AT RITZY RIVERDALE", New York Post, May 25, 2007. Accessed October 23, 2008. Archived September 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Beekman, Daniel. "Bronx pastor's higher calling: Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook becoming Obama's religious freedom ambassador", New York Daily News, May 4, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2017. "The Riverdale Country School and Harvard University grad, who lived on the Grand Concourse before moving to Suffolk County, has traveled to five continents preaching tolerance."
- Kurtz, Howard. "Richard Engel sticks with combat coverage despite loss; NBC's war horse in IraqRichard Engel perseveres with combat coverage despite severe personal loss", Houston Chronicle, October 31, 2006. Accessed March 6, 2017. "'He was a great writer,' says Ross Peet, a classmate at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx."
- Newman, Maria. "COMMUNITIES; A Hometown Hero for Ridgewood", The New York Times, November 25, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Fry later attended Hotchkiss, and graduated from the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx."
- Diamond, David. "James Gleick's Survival Lessons", Wired, August 1999. Accessed June 17, 2009. "Gleick attended Riverdale Country School, where JFK once studied, and excelled in mathematics and science."
- via Associated Press. "Film inventors weren't just whistling Brahms", Chicago Tribune, June 30, 1985. Accessed March 6, 2017. "The product invented by Leopold Mannes and Leopold Godowsky Jr. remains the best-selling color slide film in the world, Kodak says.... Kodachrome began to develop in the men's minds as early as 1916, when they were inquisitive 15-year-old students at Riverdale Country School in New York City."
- Katz, Michael. "CALVIN HILL A FAN AGAIN AT 34", The New York Times, December 12, 1981. Accessed March 6, 2017. "If there is poetic justice in the N.F.L., Hill will play against the Jets, a team representing the city where he was a prep school sensation at Riverdale Country School."
- Kao, John. Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity, p. 30. HarperBusiness, 1996. ISBN 9780887307461. Accessed March 6, 2017. "My parents decided not to risk my future in the wasteland of a New York City public high school, and instead sent me to a more rigorous institution, the Riverdale Country School."
- "Claude Kelly Clinic", Berklee College of Music. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Kelly's mother was serious about his education too. He attended the noted private school Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, and he performed around New York with the New York Boys Choir."
- Colangelo, Lisa L. "Ron Kim, first Korean-American elected to state Legislature, urges teens to pursue their passions", New York Daily News, October 20, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Like other immigrants, they worked around the clock so their only child, Ron, could attend the elite Riverdale Country Day School."
- Newman, Andy; and Burgess, Joseph. "New York Today: J.F.K. in the Bronx", The New York Times, November 20, 2013. Accessed March 6, 2017. "At the Riverdale Country School, Mr. Kennedy was not a star student."
- Schneider, Steven K. Robert F. Kennedy, p. 14. iUniverse, 2001. ISBN 9780595137015. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Robert attended the public and private schools in Hyannis Port, Bronxville Public School for the third, fourth and fifth grades. and the private Riverdale Country Day School."
- Staff. "Diane M. Connal Wed To Gerard T. Koeppel", The New York Times, May 18, 1987. Accessed May 8, 2017. "Mr. Koeppel, the news producer for the Mutual Radio Network in New York, graduated from the Riverdale Country Day School and Wesleyan University."
- Staff. "Riverdale alum addresses seniors", Riverdale Press, June 19, 2008. Accessed May 8, 2017. "David Levin, a Riverdale alumnus who founded the KIPP Academy charter school in the South Bronx, gave the commencement address."
- Dwyer, Liz. "Your Favorite Public Education Reformer Probably Went to Private School", Good Worldwide, April 20, 2011. Accessed May 8, 201.
- Fitzpatrick, Frank. "MacPhail continues family's baseball tradition with Phillies", Philadelphia Inquirer, October 2, 2015. Accessed March 6, 2017. "He also played the game throughout his youth, at Riverdale Country Day School in the Bronx, with the amateur New Rochelle Robins, and finally at Dickinson."
- McGrath, Charles. "Cramming a Lot Into a Youthful Literary Life", The New York Times, August 2, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Nick McDonell ought to be an easy person to dislike.... He heard news of its acceptance while cruising home in the carpool from Riverdale Country School, where he was president of the student body."
- McLannahan, Ben. " Steven Mnuchin, a hardball banker set for the TreasuryFormer Goldmanite anointed by Trump lacks big stage experience, writes Ben McLannahan", Financial Times, December 2, 2016. Accessed March 6, 2017. "One of five children, Steven was sent to New York’s elite Riverdale Country School and then to Yale."
- Rosenthal, Dave. "Q&A with author Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore", The Baltimore Sun, April 29, 2010. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Q: The Bronx wasn't the answer for you, even when your mother sent you to Riverdale Country School in the one plush part of the borough.... [A]... The Riverdale story illustrates that. It's a beautiful school, and my mother knew all about it from the time she was a girl; she knew that JFK went there."
- Wolfer, Sondra. "Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse takes his stab at being the best", New York Daily News, July 21, 2008. Accessed August 5, 2008. "As a young teen, Tim Morehouse took up fencing at the Riverdale Country School as an excuse to get out of gym class."
- IRITANI, EVELYN (September 28, 1997). "Back to His Future". Retrieved November 1, 2016 – via LA Times.
- "Bill Mow 2/15 - Asian American Rags to Riches Success Stories - GoldSea". goldsea.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "Articles about William C W Mow - latimes". latimes.com. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "Bugle Boy to Battle on New Fronts : The firm's founder overcame personal and business woes to build a top clothing firm. : Now his company aims for new markets." by Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times, August 8, 1989.
- "The Ticker - Bugle Boy Files For Bankruptcy," by The Associated Press, New York Daily News, February 3, 2001.
- "Speakers and Performers", Riverdale Country School. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Oct. 22: 'The Changing World of News and Media.' Moderator: David Faber, News Analyst and Anchor, CNBC. Panelists: Margery Baker-Riker '66, Former Vice President, CBS News; Sanford Cannold '86, Producer, CNBC; Robin Pogrebin '83, Culture Reporter, The New York Times; and Kay Madati '91, Chief Digital Officer, Black Entertainment Television."
- Edward Rendell, The Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Accessed March 6, 2017. "He attended the prestigious Riverdale Country School for three out of the four years he was in high school, and in the 1961 yearbook from the school, the editors noted, 'Eddie has a good chance for success in politics, his chosen profession.'"
- Huff, Richard. "Ros is on Track in Race Against Fear", New York Daily News, September 7, 1998. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Having been on the track team when she attended the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, Tracee Ellis Ross was intrigued when a script came her way for which she'd play a track star."
- Max Stafford-Clark
- Fields, Jason. "Zagat gives local restaurants a boost", The Riverdale Press, October 15, 2009. Accessed March 6, 2017. "Tim Zagat, who founded the survey as a hobby in 1979, and is a graduate of Riverdale Country School — class of 1957 — says that Riverdale deserves some attention for the variety of cuisines on offer."
- "Nathan Pusey, Harvard President Through Growth and Turmoil Alike, Dies at 94". The New York Times. November 15, 2001. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "Victor L. Butterfield, Office of the President - Wesleyan University". wesleyan.edu. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- "New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS): Riverdale Country School". nysais.org. Retrieved November 1, 2016.