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Educational Approach

The River School has spent years refining its research-based, child-centered approach to teaching. The basis of our educational philosophy is grounded in the pillars below. Ultimately, our goal is to help children find their voice and thrive.

Innovative Teaching
From Mouth Time to Mindfulness, The River School creates new programs and develops evidence-based teaching strategies that draw from the best current research in education.

Co-Teaching & Personalized Education
Our co-teaching model pairs a master’s level educator with a speech-language pathologist in each classroom, a unique and effective combination for cementing strong language, literacy and social skills. Our low teacher-student ratios and small class sizes promote strong, personal relationships between teachers and students and allow educators to tailor teaching to each child.

Passionate and Highly-Qualified Educators
Our teachers are energetic, creative, curious and committed. They model the qualities we hope children will develop: mindfulness, empathy, persistence, resilience, honesty and integrity.

Progressive Education
Our faculty includes specialists in the visual arts, music, science, physical education, drama and creative movement. By expanding children’s opportunities for social, physical and creative development we enhance their personal and academic success.

Thematic Curriculum
Themes provide a dynamic, child-centered and cohesive context for learning, and inspire vocabulary development, experimentation, problem solving and the ability to make connections between different academic areas.

Inclusive & Diverse Classrooms
Children with hearing loss learn alongside their hearing peers. For all students, diverse and inclusive classrooms provide the environment in which to develop tolerance and a greater understanding of their world.

Active Learning
Children engage in active learning; they work collaboratively in groups, solve problems, make mistakes and learn from them, and develop the confidence to take risks, share ideas and speak up.

Social-Emotional Learning
Our Social-Emotional Learning Program begins with teaching toddlers to identify their own emotions and works systematically up to a social justice focus in third grade. Children learn to recognize and express their own emotions and to develop positive and empathetic relationships with others.

A Commitment to Financial Aid
Because we value a dynamic and socioeconomically diverse school community, we make a significant commitment to financial aid to ensure that all students can benefit from a River School education.

A Community of Learners
Relationships between children and faculty are strengthened by collaboration among faculty, administrators and families. Professional development for faculty, parent-education programs, and opportunities for families to share their knowledge add richness and depth to the educational program.

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