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History of Riverfield

Riverfield Country Day School was founded in 1984 by a group of parents and teachers working with Marty and Tom Clark. This group’s motivation was to provide an enhanced opportunity for educational growth and personal development for their children, with emphasis on the whole child. From the beginning, Riverfield pioneered innovative educational approaches such as personalized instruction, an integrated curriculum, multi-age classrooms, and collaborative learning.

The school opened in a remodeled post office, with 40 children from three months old to second grade. The long-range plan included a country campus with outdoor learning to accommodate a hundred students in five years. However, enrollment more than doubled in just five months. With the success of the program, plans were accelerated to move “to the country,” across the Arkansas River in a field, thus the name Riverfield Country Day School.

In 1991, Riverfield relocated to its current location. The Middle School opened in August 1994, bringing the total facility to more than 40,500 square feet serving more than 400 students. Two donations of property from grandparent and former Board member Steve Jatras and a school-funded purchase brought the total acreage to 90. Riverfield began a new era in August 2002, opening an Upper School with the addition of a freshman class. The school embarked on a capital campaign, which was successful in large part because of the generosity of Tulsa philanthropist Genave Rogers. The Clark Gymnasium and Genave Rogers building were dedicated in November 2004. Another generous gift by Ms. Rogers helped bring the campus to 120 total acres. The Langerak Academic Center was added in the spring of 2008, the Martha S. Clark Field was dedicated in the fall of 2010, and four tennis courts hosted their first matches in the spring of 2011.

Founding Head of School Marty Clark announced her plans to retire at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year; Head of Institutional Advancement and longtime RCDS parent Jerry Bates was appointed to succeed her. Fall 2012 saw the opening of the expanded Multi-Purpose Room, also called the Green Gym. The new Upper School building, which houses a learning center, cafeteria, science labs, classrooms, and more, opened its doors in the fall of 2013. With plans for a Center for Creativity and an expansion of the Clark Gymnasium on the drawing board, the future is certainly exciting to contemplate!

Riverfield has grown to over 630 students, with the addition of classes and programs driven by student interest. Increased professional development has fostered increased engagement by our faculty and our students. It certainly is a great time to be a Raven!