by George J ELbaum
Riverdale Country School is a co-educational, independent, college-preparatory day school in New York City serving Pre-K through 12th grade. It is located on two campuses covering more than 27.5 acres in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York. It currently serves 1,150 students, of which 575 are in the Upper School (grades 9-12) and whose student-to- teacher ratio of 6:1 is half the national average of 13:1. According to Niche’s 2023 Private School Rankings, Riverdale is ranked the 2nd best private high school in New York City and the 3rd best private K-12 school in the United States.
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, plus interdisciplinary courses to encourage students to draw connections across disciplines.
Alumni list includes John F Kennedy and Robert F Kennedy, as well as many other high-level diplomats, executives, well-known actors, artist and writers, such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Carly Simon.
My presentation was organized by Tom Taylor, Head of the Upper School, Julie Choi, Assistant Head of the Upper School, and Charlie Berger, a senior in the Upper School and a member of the Riverdale Assembly Committee, a group of students and faculty deputized to invite speakers for the school’s special assemblies, such as the Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Charlie heard me speak several years ago in the NY middle school which he was attending and now took the initiative to contact me about speaking at Riverdale. The audience was the 575 students plus 75 faculty and staff of the Upper School.