Critical Race Training in Education

Riverdale Country School

Primary

Mailing Address
5250 Fieldston Road
Bronx, New York 10471
Phone
(718) 549-8810
Email address
admission@riverdale.edu
School Information
"Riverdale is a Pre-K through grade 12 independent school in New York City committed to empowering lifelong learners by developing minds, building character, and creating community in order to change our world for the good." The school enrolls 1,200 students, has a 5:1 student-faculty ratio, and offers multiple courses, including the "Delta course," which "shows students how to make the most of their time at Riverdale." (Source: https://www.riverdale.edu/why-riverdale/) (Source: https://www.riverdale.edu/) (Source: https://www.riverdale.edu/programs/upper-school-9-12/)
General Information
Riverdale Country School has a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Initiative. Though the school says, "It is not acceptable to demonize one race versus another" and that "No one is propagandizing," some say that the school is inserting age-inappropriate topics into the curriculum. For instance, the New York Times reported that, "Kindergarten students at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx are taught to identify their skin color by mixing paint colors." One writer in the Wall Street Journal claimed that, following the Pollyanna curriculum, fourth graders were allegedly given “The Third Chimpanzee for Young People,” a book “that covers mature topics such as adultery, self-mutilation and suicide.”

Activity

  • Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training

    The school wants to "Organize Anti-racist + Anti-bias training for faculty/staff/students."

  • Resources

    The school also wants to expand Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) programs and training for families, as well as expanding affinity program offerings.

  • Disciplinary Measures

    The school released a new "Riverdale Statement On Campus Discourse," which reads in part, "At Riverdale, community members and invited guests may not engage in abusive or hateful speech that undermines our efforts to foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning environment... Riverdale students learn that arguments that challenge or threaten their interests or values are not necessarily hateful arguments. The school welcomes legitimate political speech that might affirm or critique specific beliefs or actions and the activists, voters, and politicians who support those beliefs or actions."

  • Resources

    Students conducted "independent projects that explore identity, gender, ethnicity, and race."

  • Symbolic Actions

    A school official told the Middle School assembly, "But skin color IS used in this way by some to say that a group is suspicious, that they must be questioned in a way that others never are. And when you can add even more power to racism by the use of guns, badges, and police lights to enforce this, it cuts deeply to your core and can leave lasting scars." Another official wrote, "Beyond this, though, we return to school to ensure that we are caring for each other. These moments impact our school. They impact us as individuals committed to equity and justice, and they impact us as a community striving to carry the work of anti-racism forward."

  • Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training

    The “theme” for the 2020-2021 year would be “allyship.” The school mascot allegedly told elementary students to “check each other’s words and actions.”

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    Following the Pollyanna curriculum, fourth graders were allegedly given “The Third Chimpanzee for Young People,” a book “that covers mature topics such as adultery, self-mutilation and suicide.”

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    As part of "Modern Drama(s)," high schoolers "will grapple with the way that artists from the United States and Europe have grappled with everything from racial, cultural, and gender differences to the limits of language and free will." As part of French VI: Immigration, Education, and Race (Honors), students will "explore current issues such as education (fall semester), and immigration and racism (spring semester), pertinent in our ever-changing world."

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    The school stated, "Accordingly, it is good that our students consider their identity in reference to their origins and understand how the different elements of their identity form…To ignore this is to create more misunderstanding, more harm, and more division. This sense of identity is not supported and developed in one way or with one method, but in many different ways, both required and optional. If you look at this work across the divisions, you see this work being done in very gentle and thoughtful ways. It is not acceptable to demonize one race versus another. No one is propagandizing. We seek to raise everyone and raise every voice in our community through work in small groups, affinity spaces, and together as divisions or in grades."

  • Curriculum Changes and Requirements

    According to reporting, "Kindergarten students at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx are taught to identify their skin color by mixing paint colors. The lower school chief in an email last year instructed parents to avoid talk of colorblindness and 'acknowledge racial differences.'"

  • Symbolic Actions

    An opening for a lower school teacher emphasized that applicants be "committed to work in the areas of equity, justice, and inclusion.”

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 31, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 27, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 27, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 26, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 25, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 25, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 24, 2020, Riverdale used the hashtag “#diversityequityinclusionbelonging” on its Instagram post. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On August 19, 2020, Riverdale spotlighted a gallery exhibit exploring topics of “recurrent racist violence” among others on Facebook. This post was also featured on its Twitter and Instagram accounts.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On July 17, 2020, Riverdale highlighted an event on Facebook where Ibram X. Kendi discusses his book, “How to Be an Anti-Racist.” This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On July 13, 2020, Riverdale highlighted an exhibition on “horrific and systemic racism” and “the pattern of systemic racism that continues today.”

  • Symbolic Actions

    On June 29, 2020, Riverdale invited speakers who “encouraged students to think about ‘the work that has already been done’ as they continue the fight against voter suppression and police brutality.” This post was also featured on its Instagram and Twitter accounts.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On June 24, 2020, Riverdale retweeted a statement saying, “As we protest for racial and educational justice, we are also focused on Economic Justice.”

  • Symbolic Actions

    On June 23, 2020, Riverdale highlighted Rep. Anthony Daniels who spoke about “how Black Alabamians have been disproportionately impacted because of systemic racism in the areas of education, healthcare, employment, and criminal justice” on Instagram. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On June 21, 2020, Riverdale highlighted a children’s BLM protest on Instagram. This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

  • Symbolic Actions

    On June 12, 2020, Riverdale posted on Instagram, saying, “Assistant Head of School and Head of the Middle School Milton Sipp spoke at the Grade 8 End of Year Celebration on June 5th about how students can combat racism and other inequities in our society.”

  • Symbolic Actions

    On June 11, 2020, Riverdale posted an article on Facebook as the Head of School “speaks out against racism.” This post was also featured on its Twitter account.

Last updated October 5th, 2021