Riverdale High School (Portland, Oregon)

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Riverdale High School
Riverdale High School is located in Portland, Oregon
Riverdale High School
Riverdale High School
9727 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, Oregon, Multnomah County 97219
United States
Coordinates 45°27′16″N 122°41′04″W / 45.45451°N 122.684535°W / 45.45451; -122.684535Coordinates: 45°27′16″N 122°41′04″W / 45.45451°N 122.684535°W / 45.45451; -122.684535
Type Public
Opened 1996
School district Riverdale School District
Principal Paula Robinson
Grades 9-12
Number of students 260[1]
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Navy blue and silver   [2]
Athletics conference OSAA Northwest League 3/2/1A-1[2]
Mascot Maverick[2]
Newspaper The Maverick

Riverdale High School is a public high school in the Dunthorpe neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, United States. The high school is unique in that it is a public school, but students from outside the district must go through an admissions process and pay tuition to attend, unless they get a district transfer from their original district.[3] According to 24/7 Wall St.'s analysis of U.S. Census data from 2006 through 2010, the Riverdale School District is the third richest school district in the United States.[4][5][6][7]


Founded in 1996, the school was established under challenging circumstances. The community of Dunthorpe, which was historically anchored by Riverdale grade school, faced changes in 1991, when Oregon Senate Bill 917 decreed that all school districts should have both primary and secondary schools, and expected smaller school districts like Riverdale to merge. With only one grade school, Riverdale was expected to merge with the Lake Oswego School District to the south or the Portland Public Schools to the north. Riverdale chose to keep its independence (and became the only previously K-8 district in Oregon to do so). The community purchased an old grade school, the former Collins View School in southwest Portland, which was built in the mid-1930s and closed in 1976. The first year, 1996-97, Riverdale was housed at what is now the National University of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Following that, while the permanent site was being renovated, high school students were bussed to a leased location at Marylhurst University in neighboring West Linn.

The search for a permanent site[edit]

In 2001, challenge continued as the district asked voters to allow a permanent site be built for the school at a location outside of the district's boundaries. This was at a time when the high school had only 100 students, 30 of whom were actually district residents. The school struggled to find a permanent site. After many failed attempts at establishing a permanent location which included condemning two family occupied homes, the school finally found a site, but it was outside the district boundaries. Agreement was reached with the neighborhood community, Collins View, and the school officially opened in August 2002.

In the fall of 2002, Riverdale received the Columbia Montessori School as its permanent site. The school has since been remodeled.


The school is part of the Coalition of Essential Schools and takes pride in its college prep education.

Riverdale is a school of approximately 200 students. Rather than offering Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes, the school offers three college credit classes to seniors, Writing 121 as well as Western Civilization 1 and 2. Going above and beyond the Oregon diploma, Riverdale requires 4 years each of math, science, art, social science, and English.

In 2008, 100% of the school's seniors received their high school diploma. Of 38 students, 38 graduated and none dropped out.[8][9]

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute describes Riverdale as a "public private school", meaning it is a public school that serves "virtually no poor students", with 2.46% of students low income, and 96% of students being white.[10]


Following a student vote in the 1996-97 school year, Riverdale named its athletic teams the "Mavericks." The school's colors are navy blue and silver.

Riverdale is classified as a 3A school by the Oregon School Activities Association, but many of the school's sports teams compete in other divisions. During the fall term, students participate in Boys and Girls Soccer and Cross-Country and Girls Volleyball. In winter, Boys and Girls Basketball and Swimming are offered. Snowboard and Ski clubs also exist during winter term. In spring term, students compete in Golf and Track & Field, as well as Boys and Girls Tennis and Lacrosse.[11][12]

In the Fall of 2012, the Riverdale Boys Soccer team won the school's first ever OSAA State Championship against Oregon Episcopal School. The score of the game was 2-1.

Clubs and activities[edit]

Riverdale's varsity mock trial team in 2005 beat out much larger private school Catlin Gabel for the state championship and went on to nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina where they placed in the top half of the countries teams. In 2013 the team placed second in state to St. Mary's Academy.[13][14]

Riverdale Robotics Pandamonium, Riverdale's FIRST Robotics Team, was selected for the Rookie All Star award in March 2009. This award is the most prestigious award that a rookie team can get and entitled them to go to the 2009 World Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 17, 2009.[15]

Riverdale and Linux[edit]

Riverdale High School uses the Linux operating system on over 100 computers powered by K12LTSP. The school installed new thin-client workstations when it opened in 2002. K12LTSP was developed at Riverdale and was released under the GPL license in 2001. K12LTSP is based on the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) and is now used by schools all over the world. Fittingly, the Riverdale school system counts the children of Linus Torvalds among its students.


  1. ^ "Oregon School Directory 2008-09" (PDF). Oregon Department of Education. p. 139. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b c "Member School A-Z Listing (290 Total Schools)". Osaa.org. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  3. ^ Riverdale High School:Admission
  4. ^ http://247wallst.com/2012/06/06/americas-richest-school-districts/
  5. ^ http://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/2012/06/08/americas-richest-school-districts/
  6. ^ Kuczynskibrown, Alex (2012-06-08). "The Richest School Districts In America". Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ "Riverdale School District ranks as one of the nation's richest public school systems". The Oregonian. 2012-06-11. 
  8. ^ "State releases high school graduation rates". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  9. ^ "Oregon dropout rates for 2008". The Oregonian. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Hammond, Betsy (2010-02-22). "National study dubs 12 Portland-area schools 'private public schools'". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  11. ^ "Athletics / Athletics Home". Riverdale.k12.or.us. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  12. ^ "Riverdale High School". W3.osaa.org. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3][dead link]