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Strategic Plan

Dear Riverside,
For 75 years, Riverside Presbyterian Day School has remained dedicated to shaping the hearts and minds of children by offering a balanced, challenging academic program which stimulates each child’s intellectual curiosity and the desire for lifelong learning, in concert with the rich traditions, values, and community that have become hallmarks of a Riverside education. 

As the first independent elementary school in Jacksonville, Riverside’s history, founding principles, along with the strength and vision of the community, have formed a solid foundation for the School to expand upon for generations to come. While we celebrate Riverside’s rich history, we look with great anticipation toward the future to best position the School for continued success through our 2024-2029 Strategic Plan. This new plan outlines a 5-year approach to enriching our academic programs, strengthening our all important sense of community, and continued focus on institutional sustainability. Grounded in our commitment to educate the mind, nurture the spirit, and foster the development of the whole child”, the initiatives and goals outlined in this plan have been designed to further provide our students with the highest quality educational experience, enveloped in a campus and community that continues to promote well-rounded students who are confident, curious, and service minded.

As the Riverside community sets our sights on this exciting new chapter, we are committed to investing in the people, the programs, and the RPDS campus for the benefit of our current and future students, faculty, and families. 

Thank you for your steadfast partnership and helping us achieve our vision and goals. 


Ben Ketchum
Head of School

William Trice
Board President

Strategic Planning Committee

Colleen Haley, Co-Chair
Brooke McDuffie, Co-Chair
Brad Arrowsmith
Laura Bayer
Marcela Beard
Alicia Buckley
Peggy Campbell-Rush
Katie Fackler 
Stephanie Harden
Isabelle Milne
Jamie Roberts
William Trice
Deena Wallace
Fran Wulbern



Investing meaningfully in Riverside Presbyterian Day School’s people, programs, and community to fully prepare our students to become life-long learners who are empathetic, ethical, and intellectually poised to lead, serve, and realize their full potential.

Our Goals


Goal 1 


Continue to provide an exceptional educational experience focused on developing the whole child, ensuring academic excellence, strong character development, faith formation, respect for others and differences, and preparation of students as civic and servant leaders with global mindsets.

  • Invest in RPDS curriculums and programs to remain at the forefront of elementary education utilizing innovative pedagogy and current best practices.
  • Embrace and elevate our commitment to character education, ethical decision making, spiritual development, and social and emotional well-being.
  • Develop each student to reach their fullest academic potential by providing support and enrichment to ensure students experience success while growing in knowledge and understanding.
  • Attract, develop, and retain talented educators, with diverse backgrounds and experiences, who are committed to living and advancing the RPDS mission.
  • Invest in our teachers by providing resources and professional development opportunities to ensure continuous professional advancement throughout a RPDS career.
  • Maintain our focus on our approach to technology and a balanced integration into our curriculum considering best practices in light of technological advances.
  • Continue to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of a diversity of cultures, perspectives, and backgrounds by integrating learning experiences into our curriculum that equip students to live, lead, and serve in a diverse world.


Goal 2 


Cultivate and promote a school community that is welcoming, inclusive, and values the uniqueness each member brings to the RPDS family.

  • Continue to foster a sense of belonging in a welcoming environment where all feel valued and supported.
  • Honor our mission’s roots in the Christian context while serving and educating our school community with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and faith traditions.
  • Nurture relationships with Riverside Presbyterian Church while working collaboratively to achieve common goals.
  • Strengthen relationships with our extended community by engaging and connecting with alumni, parents, and community partners.
  • Enhance communication practices across all constituencies while clearly articulating RPDS’s student-centered approach to education.


goal 3


Ensure the strength and stability of RPDS through intentional enhancements of stewardship and advancement initiatives to position the school to pursue a path of continued growth and excellence.

  • Invest in our facilities to align with our vision for RPDS and to support the current and future program and educational needs of students, faculty, and the community.
  • Continue to provide a safe and welcoming school environment by consistently evaluating safety and security on campus.
  • Thoughtfully communicate and inform the community regarding how RPDS invests its resources.
  • Continue to educate our community about the important role philanthropy plays in advancing RPDS’s mission, developing and supporting faculty, supporting operations and financial aid, and enhancing student experiences.
  • Strengthen our endowment and giving programs to enrich the RPDS experience and advance institutional excellence.
  • Define a comprehensive strategy for advancement that provides families greater certainty regarding financial commitments.
  • Maintain alignment of admission and marketing efforts to highlight RPDS’s commitment to attract qualified and diverse students.