We transfered our son to Riverdale after his first semester at a PPS high school. This was the best decision we ever made regarding his education. The Riverdale community welcomed him immediately. He connected with new friends, joined the choir, and took on leadership roles at Riverdale. The academics equaled the social opportunities. Being a highly capable students who is TAG identified, he was challenged by the high level college preparatory classes and found opportunities for honor level work. We are pleased that he is flourishing, finding academic challenges and preparing himself for college level work. It was a no brainer to enroll our second child for her freshman year.
In response to a comment regarding AP Classes offered at Riverdale: Two years in a row, Riverdale has had a 30 percent or greater AP PERFORMANCE (3, 4, or 5 scores) score. Only two (2) schools in Oregon in 2009 and five (5) schools in Oregon in 2010 had such results. As a small High School Riverdale is ranked in the top 10 or top 15 high schools in Oregon (depending on the year) in terms of number of AP exams given. Riverdale students attend small liberal arts colleges i.e. Middlebury, Swarthmore, Smith, Reed, Oberlin, etc., as well as larger schools i.e. Stanford, M.I.T., Cal Tech, USC, American University, etc. http://www.riverdale.k12.or.us/Page/262
We value our small High School! The class sizes and community atmosphere enable the teachers to know the students as individuals, engage them in meaningful discussion, and encourage them to excel. I'm glad Riverdale gives my son personalized attention and hope he has a similar experience at university. He's focused on mathematics and science but has also enjoyed his involvement with Mock Trial and drama. It is wonderful to talk to his teachers and see that they know all aspects of his character and that they compel full and thoughtful participation.
No AP classes offered at all! Too small and too much hand-holding to prepare a student for a medium-to-large university. However, if you're looking to continue the hand-holding by sending your student to a small, liberal arts college, then this is probably the perfect school for you. On a related note, how they get away with allowing this "district" (two schools!) to run under the auspices of the public school system is unfathomable. When you figure all the money & beauracracy associated with having a superintendent and district administrators just for the sake of two schools, it makes an average tax-payer incensed. I think they ought to have this school absorbed by PSD or, more likely, Lake Oswego School District. At least then the school would be able to offer AP courses and a decent assortment of extra-curricular activities.
RHS is a fine college-prep high school that challenges each student based on their individual ability. Students have great relationships with their teachers, and teachers bring out the best in them. Students are also encouraged to participate in various activities, from academic competitions o the arts to sports, and Riverdale's small size makes their activities accessible to all. Our children have engaged in activities they wouldn't have dreamed of in a larger environment--and have seen great success. Community service is a big part of Riverdale's curriculum, which sets kids up to not only be life-long learners, but also life-long contributors to society. Almost all students go on to college, and the list of schools these students are accepted to are far-reaching, both geographically and academically--from the arts to engineering and many of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country.
Our daughter is a junior at RHS and it has been a great experience. The teachers are really mentors to these kids and give them a lot of individual attention. We just returned from loking at colleges and the Riverdale curriculum and high gradulation requirements are exactly what the universityies are looking for. I'd always been toldy that by other parents but it was nice to hear first hand. We are very pleased with Riverdale High School and how it has prepared our daughter for the next phase of her life!
Riverdale excels at providing a personal education. My daughter was concerned about attending a large school. She felt her needs would be better met in a smaller environment. If you are considering where to send your child in the Portland area, I encourage you to take a closer look. Riverdale High School may have the top test scores in the state, but believe me, it is a by-product of a successful educational curriculum, not the emphasis. My only regret is that didn't send my other children there.
I just read the other reviews and they seem a little too 'official' to me. The truth is that my daughter has received a wonderful education these last few years. RHS is special. The small class sizes are wonderful. I think it is an awesome school.
We have been very pleased with Riverdale high school. We have two boys enrolled at the school and they have experienced a challenging college preparatory curriculum. We have been impressed with the quality of most of the teaching staff and their caring attitude toward the students and their easily approachable manner. They are accessible by email and are willing to work with the students after school. The class sizes are small so the teachers are able to do more things with the kids. The school has a no cut policy for sports and activities so we have found that kids will try new things because of this welcoming atmosphere.
A fantastic fit for our son. Challenging academic program and a balance of sports and clubs, but best of all, a strong sense of community and an accepting culture that makes students feel safe and welcome. Best kept secret in the Portland metro area.