Welcome to Riverside Drive


Come and meet Principal Haynes at our Ice Cream Social on Friday, August 18th at 2:40pm, in front of the cafeteria.

Congratulations to our former front-office SAA, Ripsime Arakelian, on her new position at a new school.  She will be missed.  Our new permanent front-office staff will begin at the end of next week.  Please make sure to welcome them to our school!


Please click here to download or launch Principal Haynes’ August Riverside Newsletter in a full size window.

Download the PDF file .


Please join us to learn more about English Learner Program requirements. We will discuss initial identification, instructional program placements, alternative program placements, and reclassification requirements. The specific dates and time of these orientations are:

Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 8:15 a.m.

Please see the attached flyer for additional information.


Tuesday, August 8th– Classroom assignments will be emailed to parents with an email address on file at 5:00 PM

Classroom assignments have also already been mailed home by USPS. If you haven’t received the email by August 8th, please call the main office on Wednesday, August 9th for assistance.



We are happy to announce that STAR Education will provide our fee-based after school program for the 2017-2018 school year. The STAR Education program will start on August 15, 2017 and will serve students in grades TK through Fifth grade. Parents can come to Riverside Drive Charter to pick up a STAR registration packet from the main office starting August 4, 2017 from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

If you are unable to come to the school to pick up a registration packet you can access the registration documents by clicking on this hyperlink: riverside.starinc.org. Once you have accessed this website, please scroll down and select Galaxy Contract.

Enrollment for the STAR Education Program begins on August 7, 2017 at Riverside Drive Charter from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Representatives from the STAR Education Program will be on campus on August 7th to facilitate the enrollment process.

In addition to the STAR Education Program, we will continue to offer the Youth Services program for students in Second through Fifth Grade.



Congratulations! Riverside Drive has a new principal.

You should receive this announcement letter in the mail this week, regarding Riverside Drive’s new principal, Erin Haynes.

June 5th through 9th are minimum days.  Dismissal is at 12:44pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Tuesday's dismissal is 1:29 as usual.

June 8th, 8:30am is 5th grade Culmination, in the Literacy Garden

June 9th is the last day of school.

Have a great summer!

hannahlouise123 / Pixabay


The RDCS Governance Council May meeting will take place at 3pm, Wednesday, May 24th in Room 11. Charter committees will all present updates.   Please see the full May Meeting Agenda here: May Agenda

Any items you want to add to our discussion? Please fill out a form in the office, from the Governance Bulletin Board, two weeks in advance of the next meeting and it will be included in the following meeting. Or, download a copy of the agenda form here: Agenda Submission Form and e-mail it back to RDCSGovernance@gmail.com.



Drum roll, please...............

Congratulations to the
2017-2018 Board!

1st Term Parents (new):

Jim Becher - Parent
Nicole Harris-Johnson - parent
Barbara King-Wilson - parent
George Kommer - 1st alternate parent
Abigail Nunez - 2nd alternate parent
Nubia Sandoval - 3rd alternate parent

2nd Term Parents:

Brooke Cadorette - parent
Patryce Harris - parent
Valerie Wiesbrock - parent
Alma Cordova - 2nd year alternate

1st Term Teacher / Staff: 

Teacher Rep - Adam Brandy
Teacher Alt - Jenifer Roosevelt

2nd Term Teacher / Staff:

Beth Meyers - Teacher
Vatsana Bilavarn - Teacher
Elsie Bohorquez - Teacher

Classified Rep - Pearl Newton
Classified Alt - Ellen Scott

For all those interested in other ways to have a meaningful role at Riverside Drive Charter, you may want to consider joining one of our amazing Governance Committees.  Governance Council oversees a variety of Committees including those for Art (Remember how awesome Art Night was on Friday?), Campus Beautification (Hello, new playground surface!), , Safety, Attendance, Science/Math/Social Science and more.  These committees are teacher/parent collaborations which help strengthen our community and frankly, most committees are under- represented.

If you have any interest in joining one of the Committees for the 2017-2018 school-year, please let us know at RDCSgovernance@gmail.com and we can put you in touch with the right person.  We know, for example, that the Art Committee doesn’t have a chair for next year.

Please see the attached committees list for more details.

Who is it going to be? The Riverside Governance election was quite a success.  Votership was high, as were spirits. Thank you for coming out to vote and making your presence known and voice heard in the Riverside community.

Hang tight for the results……..



What a fun night and great success!  Family Art Night was well-attended and an all around blast, from the Teen Titans Go drawing sessions to the Riverside Slide, there was something for everyone.  And if that weren’t enough, students in attendance received a free homework pass just for participating!  See you next year.

Take a peek inside this post to see more photos:

(read more…)

Before School / Pep-Rally:

Voting Tables will be set up at the Blue Handball Courts on the yard instead of next to the kinder-gate.

Main Office:

To allow for the greatest numbers of families to vote, the Principal will also be allowing parents to cast votes in the main office from 8:45am to 5:00pm.

Art Night:

To allow for working parents to vote, we will now also be allowing parents to vote at Art Night near the sign-in table.

Please join the arts committee for a great, evening enrichment experience.

The RDCS Arts Committee invites you to create and celebrate the arts with your child on Friday, May 19th from 5-8 PM.

Family Art Night is a unique opportunity for our children and their families to participate in several art-related experiences for FREE (1-3 experiences during the event).  Pizza, snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase, to benefit the 5th Grade fundraising team.


  • POETRY SLAM AND DRUM CIRCLE –  any student who would like to bring their own poetry to the event is welcome or you can create on the spot
  • DANCE PARTY –  if you’d like to brush up on your RIVERSIDE SLIDE skills before the dance party, CLICK HERE for the YouTube tutorial link

**Space is limited and these experiences are first come, first served.  If an experience is at capacity, please enjoy another activity.

Please note this is NOT a drop off event.

WHAT: Governance Council Parent Member Elections

WHEN: Friday morning, May 19th inside the Ethel Gate near the kinder-yard (before school and at morning pep-rally)

WHO CAN VOTE: ALL parents and guardians of current RDCS students are eligible to vote.

Ten (1) engaged and enthusiastic parents ask for your consideration for five (5) open parent/guardian positions on the 2017-2018 Governance Council for RDCS.  Elections will be held before school this Friday, May 19th starting at 7:30 a.m. and will continue after the first bell at the school-and-family-wide morning pep-rally.

Please take time to review the candidate statements prior to the elections.  You will have the opportunity to vote for five (5) candidates on Friday.    View the candidate list below, or see a PDF version here: PDF of Candidate Statements

Governance Council Candidates

(Alpha Order)
Jim Becher My name is Jim Becher. First and foremost, I strongly believe that the quality of a child’s education requires parent participation, in school and at home. I am an active, engaged parent at Riverside Drive and the local community. I have volunteered with Dad’s for Safety, I currently serve as room parent for my daughter’s second grade class, and volunteer as a youth baseball and basketball coach (studio city rec center).

As an involved member of the Riverside Community, I would like to see our school remain the same wonderful collaborative, diverse and inclusive community it was when my daughter first enrolled. My goal as a governance representative would be to help further our school’s successful transition to the Project Based Learning model, support the arts programs along with the newly adopted NGSS Science Standards, that our charter outlines. If elected, my only agenda would be to make sure that above all, we do what’s best for our children and put their needs first.

Nicole Harris-Johnson My name is Nicole Harris Johnson and I am the mother of a 4th grade student (Mrs. Schmitt) and incoming kindergartener (Fall 2017). During my child’s tenure at Riverside, I have admittedly been one of the “bystander parents” – standing on the sidelines while other, more active parents, shape or influence school policies. Recently, I have been spurred to step up and add my voice to the decision making process. As a member of the Council, I would support the following goals:
*Creating an inclusive learning environment that benefits all students and encourages unity within both the student body and parent network.
*Building programs that will improve the school’s academic performance.
*Fostering leadership transparency at all levels of the administration.
Finally, I strongly believe that the students and families of Riverside are all stakeholders and deserve to know that their voices matter and are heard.
Barbara King-Wilson My name is Barbara King-Wilson and I believe I can add a fresh, enthusiastic voice to the Governance Council and the Riverside community. As a kinder parent, I may be new to the Riverside community, but I’ve been passionate about education my entire life. I have over a decade of teaching/tutoring experience as well as an understanding of governing bodies as I was Vice-President and President of my Student Council at NYU.

I am an honest, thoughtful, and positive team player. As a member of this Council, I will be committed to helping make the experience in this school inspirational and worthwhile for each and every student who attends.

George Kommer I am George Kommer and I would appreciate your consideration for becoming a member of the RDCS Governance Council. My son, Charles is in the first grade in Ms. Bleier’s class. I am both a LAUSD parent, and an LAUSD teacher. I teach 6th grade at Van Nuys Middle School in Sherman Oaks.

I know that a learning community works best when all concerned adults work together to meet the needs of every child. I know that learning communities thrive when all stakeholders work together to ensure diverse opportunities to all learners and support the needs and ideals of the families that call Riverside Drive their own.

Robin Lamel-Adler
My son Jack is in TK at Riverside but he started the year in Kindergarten. We consider ourselves very lucky to have had two wonderful teachers that care very much about the children. My daughter Emma will be starting Kindergarten at Riverside in 2018-2019. Our family also includes three dogs and we live in Valley Village. I am a talent agent, love my job and have been with my company for 17 years. It is very important to both my husband and I that all children at Riverside have a great experience which includes their education, the extra curricular activities that Riverside offers and even beautifying the school grounds. I would like to be involved in my children's education, make a positive difference and help shape the future of Riverside Charter Elementary.
Joy Morales Hello Families of RDCS! My name is Joy Morales-Bartlett and I'm running for Parent Representative of the Governance Council. I feel I’m a good fit for this role as I realize the importance of healthy parental involvement in school affairs in order to ensure a positive, fun and safe school environment for all children. Besides often being called a calm, level-headed voice of reason, I'm a parent of three, including my first-grader Maya, my toddler Charlie, and my 10-year-old stepson, James.

I’m NYC-born, SFV-raised and am a product of state schools including Reseda High School, UCSB and CSUN. I've been an educator for 10+ years as a teacher and an assistant principal and would appreciate your vote.

Abigail Nunez
My name is Abigail Nunez and my sons Edson (Grade 5) and Stephen (Grade 1) have attended the school for two years. I have a deep investment in ensuring the success of the school and high-quality academic and enrichment programming for my children and the children of the Sherman Oaks community.

Previous to the children's father relocating to Sherman Oaks in 2014, we lived in North Hollywood for 10 years. During that time, I served Los Angeles schools as a teacher, instructional coach, and school principal. I currently lead a charter high school in Northeast Los Angeles. I hold teacher and administrative certifications for both elementary and secondary levels, a Master's degree in Elementary Education from Loyola Marymount, and a Doctorate of Education degree from UCLA. In addition to my commitment to the school that my children attend, I am also qualified and experienced in the work of operating excellent schools.

Brian Richards My name is Brian Richards and I feel I would be a good fit because I have genuine passion for the success of this school. I have two children now enrolled in this school for the next 4-5 years, which brings a long-term commitment to the success of their development, and the larger growth of Riverside Charter School.
I would be a good influence to the board because of my 13 + years’ experience in the business community. For the last 6 years, I have run a National corporate consulting, and business intelligence company that hosts a wide range of C-level business events around the country. My experience includes, but not limited to, financial projections, event forecasting, talent acquisition, sales management, and client relations, business strategy, corporate consulting, and team building.
I enjoy mountain biking, great food, and coaching children’s sports. I am a devoted family member, as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast.
Gabriela Richards My name is Gabriela Richards. I am enthusiastic about this role as it provides an opportunity to drive change and take Riverside to the next level. I work as an Underwriting Manager for an insurance company where I manage a team of 7 underwriters. Throughout my 15+ years in the insurance industry, I have had the experience of working with budgets, growing a book of business and more importantly dealing with many different types of personalities.

Although I enjoy my job, my pride and joy has always been my family. I am a first year parent at Riverside and I see how much my son loves school. I will have my two sons enrolled this fall and I am looking forward to working with our teachers and staff in making decisions that will provide our children with a safe and rewarding environment.

Nubia Sandoval My name is Nubia Sandoval and I am running for the Office of The Parents Representative Government Council. I am running for this office because I believe that I always have the school’s best interest at heart in everything thing I do. Our children are the true winners when we support our teachers, staff and administrators. I have been at the school for 10 years. My daughter is in the first grade and my son has already culminated from RDCS.

I have spent many hours volunteering in the library and helped at the Science Fair. I have made myself available to volunteer when the teachers need me. I am just like you, a parent who wants to do all she can do for our school. As a Parent Representative, my door will always be open to your hear your ideas and concerns. Together we can be champions for our children.

ALL parents and guardians of current RDCS children are eligible to vote in Friday's Election. As there are five (5) open parent positions on the council, you will be voting for five (5) council members on the ballot.


To learn more about Governance Council, click here: RDCS Governance Council

Governance Council is NOT affiliated with PFRD (Parents for Riverside Drive)

Questions?  E-mail us at RDCSgovernance@gmail.com



See the flyers below with details on Riverside’s on-site summer program, provided by Star Education.

Location: Riverside Drive Charter Elementary
Dates of Operation: June 12 – August 11 (revised from earlier post)
Daily Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Weekly Cost: $260.00 per child

Please contact Sir at (310) 842 – 8542 for more information, or visit STAR Education website www.starcamps.org to learn more about the program. Registration information will also be available in the main office. Click photo to launch/download full-size PDF.


Please join us on the yard, Friday morning, for a spring Pep Rally, where exciting new changes will be announced, and during which, Governance Elections will take place.  Please remember to stop by the Governance table near the kindergarten yard fence and cast your ballot for next year’s new Governance representatives.


The Kiss 'n Ride program needs your help to stay in existence!

We are in need of 4-5 parents at a minimum to volunteer for the Kiss 'n Ride valet program & training, or else it may be discontinued next year, which in light of our closed campus could equal lots more traffic.

Please see the following form if you are interested. Please direct any questions and/or completed forms to Jose Costello in the front office.

Right click and save target to download the PDF form, or simply click on the graphic below to launch the in-browser PDF.


Please remember to fill out and return the form(s), sent home in backpacks last week, with the names of your returning children. If your children aren’t returning, please indicate that as well in the space given. These numbers are necessary to help the school plan classrooms for the upcoming year. If you’ve lost the form, please click here to launch the two page pdf in another window.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful cooperation!


The deadline for parent/guardian candidate applications for seats on the 2017-2018 Governance Council is tomorrow,  Friday, May 12th.  We have a few fantastic parents in the running, but with 5 open positions, three (3) representatives and two (2) alternates, we need even more active, engaged and passionate parents to put their names in the hat!

If you would like to be included on the ballot, please submit a 120 word  statement sharing a little about yourself and why you believe you would be a good fit for the Council.  Statements, along with a recent photo of yourself, should be submitted to the Vice-Chair of the Governance Council by Friday, May 12, 2017 at RDCSgovernance@gmail.com 

Elections will now be held before school on Friday, May 19th  and during the morning Pep-Rally starting at 8:01 a.m. that day.

Please feel free to reach out to Catherine Wygal, 5th Grade Parent and current Vice-Chair of Governance at RDCSgovernance@gmail.com if you have any questions or want more details on the responsibilities.


Governance Council is an elected group of teachers, staff and parents along with the principal, who meet once a month to oversee and vote on requests brought to the council by various committees, parents and teachers too.

This year we helped fund writing curriculum training,  bought needed emergency supplies for our students, funded Arts Committee events, made critical budget decisions for the 2017-2018 school year, and are also part of the Selection Committee for Principal Candidates for our school, just to name a few.

Please see the updated flyer for more details: Call for Candidates Flyer – Updated May 3, 2017

WHEN:  Thursday, May 4th, @ 5:30p – 7p   
WHERE:  In your classroom  


Open House is an opportunity for you to visit your child’s classroom and find out what he/she has been up to.

*Please note that it is NOT a Minimum Day.  School will be dismissed at 2:30pm as usual.

Governance needs you! Details in PDF below.

Click here to launch full size in a new window: Governance Flyer

Other useful reading for those interested or anyone who wants to understand what Governance is can start here with the Council Overview.  Additionally the  Governance Document page has a copy of our charter and bylaws which outline in much greater detail the responsibilities and purview of the council.


The RDCS Arts Committee invites you to create and celebrate the arts with your child on Friday, May 19th from 5-8 PM.

Family Art Night is a unique opportunity for our children and their families to participate in several art-related experiences for FREE (1-3 experiences during the event).  Pizza, snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase by the 5th Grade fundraising team. –



**Space is limited and these experiences are first come, first served.  If an experience is at capacity, please enjoy another activity.

**Please note this is NOT a drop off event, PARENTS OR GUARDIANS MUST ATTEND WITH STUDENTS

Riverside Drive hosts a series of informational sessions regarding standardized testing for 3rd through 5th graders.  These meetings will cover test preparation, subject testing and details on the difference between Balanced Assessments and CAASPP testing.  If that sounds like Greek to you, these series will help fill in the gaps.  This is also an excellent time to learn about the upcoming SBAC tests next month, in May. Click here to download  5 Ways to Help Prepare Your Child for the SBAC checklist..

See the flyer below for dates and specific details.  Clicking or right clicking the image below will allow you to either launch or download a full sized PDF of the flyer .

The next one, on SBAC Science Testing is on Monday, April 24th from 2:45-3:45pm in the computer lab, hosted by Kris Nevills.


The spirit of Riverside is alive and well.  The TK and Kindergarten classes honored Earth Day by planting gardenias around the trees in the kinder yard. The hard work paid off and the yard look great.  Thanks to Jeremy for organizing and all the families who participated.

The RDCS Governance April meeting will take place at 3pm, Wednesday, April 26th in Room 11. Charter committees will all present updates.   Please see the full April Meeting Agenda here: April Agenda

Any items you want to add to our discussion? Please fill out a form in the office, from the Governance Bulletin Board, two weeks in advance of the next meeting and it will be included in the following meeting. Or, download a copy of the agenda form here: Agenda Submission Form and e-mail it back to RDCSGovernance@gmail.com.

TK parents, please attend our Earth Day planting and cleanup day on April 22nd.  If you cannot attend, but still want to contribute, see the above flyer for information on donations. Jeremy Klemic is the coordinator if this event: jklemic13@hotmail.com

Hope to see you there!

The lost and found bin has been organized and hung from the fence next to the kinder yard.  Please take a moment to see if any of your children’s clothing has ended up there. The forecast predicts rain on Friday, so the clothing will remain up until Friday and any remaining clothing will be donated to charity. Good luck!

Thanks to Brooke and Patryce for organizing and hanging the whole bin.

Please join us after school on Tuesday, April 4th for our Governance Budget Review Meeting.

Riverside Drive Charter – Governance Budget Meeting
When: Tuesday, April 4th
Time: 3 p.m.
Where: Room 11
All are welcome to this important 2017-2018 budgeting meeting.

Come and tour Riverside Drive Charter
13061 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, CA

The next Riverside Drive tour date is Friday, April 7th, at 8:30am in the Riverside Drive Auditorium, directly to the right of the office and front entrance gate, with the double red doors pictured below. Location and map here:

Riverside Drive Charter Auditorium


For any questions, please contact Lori Schlaifer Weinstock: WeinstockL@aol.com

The RDCS Governance March meeting will take place at 3pm, Wednesday, March 22nd in Room 11. Charter committees will all present updates. This meeting will include the findings from our most recent budget survey.  Please see the full March Meeting Agenda here: March Agenda

Any items you want to add to our discussion? Please fill out a form in the office, from the Governance Bulletin Board, two weeks in advance of the next meeting and it will be included in the following meeting. Or, download a copy of the agenda form here: Agenda Submission Form and e-mail it back to RDCSGovernance@gmail.com.