Meetings in these last weeks…

[ November 04, 2011 ]

One of the privileges of being the Head of a great school is the meetings that I am privileged to attend. In the last few weeks, I have talked to Allison Rouse, a Riverdale alum and CEO of Ed Village, an amazing social enterprise worth supporting; met with Vikram Akula of SKS Finance; Ashish Rajpal of iDiscoveri education in India; talked briefly to Reginald Greene, a KIPP Fisher Fellow who is going to start a KIPP school in LA next year; Mikkel Krenchel of ReD Associates; Nathan Hunt and Dalila Boclin of Dressler Advertising; Ellie Avishai of the Rotman School of Management and the I-Think Initiative; and Professor Adam Grant from Wharton...what ...

continue reading…

Design Thinking for Schools, Students and Teachers

[ April 25, 2011 ]

We have been working with IDEO for the last two years to develop a "design thinking toolkit" for educators. The site gives some background information and also allows registrants to download a booklet that outlines the process. We hope that schools and teachers around the world will find this resource helpful. LINK TO SITE: www.designthinkingforeducators.com After reading Dan Pink's ideas regarding "design thinking" as a 21st century skill in his book, A Whole New Mind, we decided to find out about "design thinking" and see how it might be used in schools. IDEO, the d.school at Stanford, David Kelley, Tim Brown and Sandy Speicher have been the biggest proponents of design thinking as a methodology for problem ...

continue reading…

MS and US Parents’ Day Speech-September 2010

[ September 25, 2010 ]

I have thought seriously these last three years about the identity of the school we are becoming. Riverdale is a great place, but, in some ways, communities and cultures have to develop like people—it takes a while for one to be sure about what distinguishes you from others. It is the same here. I think many of us are starting to feel what makes this school special, what makes it unique. We develop minds in certain ways—getting young people to use their brains to think deeply and broadly while connecting ideas that may not seem immediately connected. We appreciate passion—the adolescent spirit of incredible curiosity, wide-ranging interest and enthusiasm is still raging in many of the adults who act as ...

continue reading…

IDENTITY OF Riverdale Country School: MIND, CHARACTER, COMMITMENT & COMMUNITY

[ September 24, 2010 ]

When I interviewed here over three years ago, I heard again and again that this was a good school, but that it lacked a strong sense of identity. Again and again I heard the refrain that Riverdale is “neither…nor”. Neither Horace Mann, nor Fieldston, and I felt in those meetings and when I came here that there was a strong desire on the part of the community to develop a firmer sense of identity that differentiated us from other schools and also capitalized on our strengths. What I am going to remark on are trends, an emerging sense of self, and also aspirations as we move forward. We have not necessarily arrived, but I hope that these resonate with you all. ...

continue reading…

Student Speeches-September 2010

[ September 13, 2010 ]

My name is Dominic A.A. Randolph. I am the Head of School here. I wish you the best for this school year, and I hope that you will make an effort to come and see me in my office or in the Student Center. I want to talk about three things with you this morning. One—we are a community. That is special. It means that you have the privilege of attending one of the best schools in NYC and the world. You are an amazing group of people and we are proud of the leadership the Class of 2015/2011 offers us all. Along with this privilege comes responsibility. We all hope that you will enjoy the classes, the campus, and ...

continue reading…

Some thoughts from the last week…

[ February 06, 2010 ]

I am excited about the progress on five innovative project right now that should bear some fruit in the next year: we are working on our CHARACTER STRENGTHS project with UPenn and KIPP we are in the midst of our work with IDEO on having faculty members use the DESIGN THINKING PROCESS to redesign the school experience,  solve problems and work with students we are working to transform our community service efforts into a Center for Social Change that will manage our community service, global studies, community outreach and environmental programs. we are working with Tony Schwartz and The Energy Project to see how we can DEVELOP PASSIONS intentionally in our students we are working with Tony Wagner, Veronica Boix-Mansilla and Grant Wiggins to see ...

continue reading…

January Update-A Miscellany

[ January 30, 2010 ]

Some wonderful things have been going on during the month of January. I have compiled a list below. This is by no means comprehensive, for more information refer to the news page on the Riverdale Country School website, which you can subscribe to via an RSS feed. CONTINUING WORK with IDEO Brainstorming boards from the IDEO Workshop We worked with IDEO, a leading design firm, on our second workshop this month with teachers from 2nd and 3rd grade on how to bring "design thinking" into schools. Essentially, we are asking the question of how we might broaden our approach to solving problems. This work has implications for how teachers problem solve together, but ...

continue reading…

POCC 2009-Denver

[ December 06, 2009 ]

It was great to go to the People of Color Conference in Denver again this year. Although I was only able to make it for Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon, I was able to see the impressive presentation by Kenji Yoshimo and see two of our faculty members/administrators, Demetra Caldwell and Latoya Allen, present on their work starting an affinity group for students of color, SOC's, in our Lower School. I was also able to catch up with a number of people whom I had not seen for a while. Professor Yoshimo's presentation was very interesting and touching. I liked how he thought we need to move beyond the concept of assimilation and accept difference in a more sophisticated way by ...

continue reading…

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern

[ December 06, 2009 ]

R+G are Dead The Upper School Play this year was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard. It is an amazing play that looks at Hamlet through the eyes of two of the most insignificant characters of Shakespeare's play and pushes their interpretation of the actions that swirl around them at Elsinore and on the way to England to the fore. Apart from the brilliant performances of a number of our students, the play is an amazing representation of what makes this community special--it is at once an entertaining play but also an inspiringly thoughtful play. So much of our entertainment these days is in ...

continue reading…

Skating Party at the Wollman Rink

[ November 03, 2009 ]

The skating party at Wollman Rink for the Lower and Middle Schools was a wonderful community event. Thanks to the Parents' Association for making this a possibility. It ended up being a good thing that we postponed this from the previous week since the weather was perfect with a full moon showering good fortune and calm joy over the event. Kris and I so enjoyed meeting and talking to lots of people and watching this peculiarly New York scene: a skating pond amid the trees of Central Park towered over by the buildings on Central Park South. It was a great event with a wonderful community feeling. Blurry iphone photo of the night

continue reading…