Middle and Secondary School
Riverview School, having celebrated its 50th year in 2007, is an independent, co-educational, boarding and day school of international reputation and service that enrolls approximately 200 students - ages 11 to 19 in its secondary school and ages 18 to 22 in its post-secondary component. Students at Riverview hail from 29 states and 9 international countries. Riverview provides a caring, structured setting for students with complex language, learning and cognitive disabilities scoring within the 65-90 IQ range and is committed to developing student competence and confidence in academic, social and independent living skills. Riverview also recognizes its important responsibility with families by encouraging ongoing open lines of communication.
Riverview was established on beautiful Cape Cod in 1957. The scenic 16-acre campus features outstanding classroom facilities and condominium-like dormitories and apartments. The campus is an easy walk to Sandy Neck Beach and is located on historic Route 6A just one hour from Boston, MA or Providence, RI. Beaches, lighthouses and quaint villages are among the many treasures found on Cape Cod.
The Riverview School day program offers academic and social/emotional skill development for students who live on Cape Cod and the neighboring communities. In the structured, supportive school setting a competent, caring staff fosters independence and self-determination through the development of independent living skills, social skills and self-esteem. The philosophy of the “whole child” guides the ongoing dialogue between staff members and ensures that student needs are addressed quickly and comprehensively. Likewise, the success oriented, non-competitive, individualized nature of the program helps to increase self-awareness, student confidence and willingness to take risks in the learning environment.
Day students participate in academic classes and the after school activities and sports program from 8:15 – 5:00, five days a week. Designed to mirror the week day morning and afternoon portion of the School’s boarding program, the day program adheres to the same high standards as the programming available to our boarding students. Parents and/or school districts are responsible for all transportation to and from the day program at Riverview School.
Academic instruction is presented via a thematic, integrated curriculum where literature, writing, hands-on history activities, the Arts, field trips and the media are connected to a central theme. With an emphasis on high expectations and research-validated instructional approaches, students receive two hours of English Language Arts instruction each day. The daily English Language Arts class ensures direct instruction in all of the language arts (i.e., reading, writing, speaking and listening). While maximum class size is eight students, many opportunities are available for small group and individualized instruction.
Students are grouped in teams, based upon grade level. By assigning students to a small group of teachers, it ensures that the unique needs of our students are fully understood. Students are required to work with fewer teachers; therefore, transition is minimized since all team teachers’ classrooms are located within close proximity. Student/teacher ratios in the middle and secondary school are 1:8.
Each team is assigned a head teacher and one to four additional teachers. All of the students on a team follow a similar schedule (i.e., 1st period, math; 2nd period, English Language Arts; etc.) and the students are assigned to their academic classes within the team based upon each student’s individual skill level. Students are grouped into reading and writing classes based upon emerging, developing and established skill levels. Two hours a day are devoted to Reading and English Language Arts, one hour of math, one hour of history/social studies, one hour of science (or Senior Seminar) daily, and an elective class. The elective classes include industrial arts, computer technology, art and drama. All students receive physical education 2-3 times per week for the entire school year. Technology training and adaptive technology are infused into the curriculum to increase students’ skills for communication, information and vocational development.
Like the secondary school students, the middle school students follow a thematic, integrated curriculum. To adapt to the needs of the younger students a two hour block of Project-Based Learning (PBL) takes the place of traditional English Language Arts (ELA), science and history classes. During PBL, students take part in content-driven, hands-on projects related to the theme while strengthening their writing skills. For example, students may conduct a science experiment and write a lab report on their findings or create a guidebook on the location being studied.
While students are attending elective classes, their academic team teachers meet for one hour daily. In addition to focusing on curriculum issues, this planning time allows for consistent communication and ensures an effective success-oriented program for each student. Staff training is provided to encourage teachers to be creative and flexible to ensure all students reach their full potential.
Speech and language services are offered through a collaborative model. Although individual and small group “pull out” services are offered when appropriate, the therapists also work directly within the classroom setting in collaboration with the team teachers thereby ensuring generalization of skills to all subject areas. These therapists also offer instruction related to interpersonal communication. For example, some students may have difficulty interpreting nonverbal language and may need direct instruction in pragmatics in order to develop peer relationships.
Reading instruction is offered by our classroom teachers and a reading specialist who provides consultation to teachers and/or provides small group reading instruction outside of the classroom. The reading program is highly individualized and utilizes structured, systematic approaches.
The physical education program (consisting of modified and adaptive instruction), emphasizes the skills necessary for participation in a variety of individual recreational sports (golf, tennis, etc.) as well as the more traditional team sports (softball, soccer, basketball, etc.) Fitness is taught in all physical education classes, and these skills are further developed in the Wellness Center. Using a computerized fitness evaluation system and heart rate monitors, students are taught to exercise in a safe and effective training zone. Project Adventure activities are also offered by using adventure techniques which help to create a stronger community of learners and result in alert, intelligent, responsible students. The philosophy of "personal best" is demonstrated in all aspects of the physical education, sports and fitness programs.
PERSONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
As adolescents, our students are often faced with issues such as previous school failure, lack of friendships and poor self-esteem. Therefore, each student is assigned an advisor who serves as a liaison between home and school and provides student support in areas such as self-advocacy, self-awareness, problem solving and social skills.
Several times a week, the head teacher for each team and advisors communicate about specific issues which may assist in ensuring ongoing success. Topics such as peer relationships or self-esteem are shared and specific strategies are developed. This communication ensures that the "philosophy of the whole child" prevails.
Social skills guidance is given to all students by all staff. Rather than providing social skills instruction in isolation, all staff are trained to assist students in understanding social errors and preventing their reoccurrence on an ongoing basis during students’ daily lives.
All secondary school students participate in a comprehensive sexuality education program with an emphasis on human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health and society and culture.
Transition planning services begin in the junior year and continue throughout senior year. Activities such as community service, resume writing, interviewing and senior autobiographies are woven into the curriculum. In addition, students and families attend an on-campus post-secondary fair in the fall. In the spring, families are invited to participate in a transition weekend to explore longer term transition options.
Following the school day, students have an opportunity to participate in interscholastic sports on a varsity, junior varsity or intramural level. Sports teams include cross country, soccer, basketball, swimming, track and field, tennis, softball and baseball. Each sports season, all students have the opportunity to play on a sports team. Coaches use a “no cut” system while skills such as sportsmanship and teamwork are reinforced.
Students also may participate in a comprehensive after school activity program, which includes a wide variety of offerings such as digital photography, fitness, art, music, garden club, computers, etc. Karate, Zumba and bowling are options, as well. As part of these activities, students may choose to access the state-of-the-art fitness center, called The Wellness Center, which is staffed by a fitness instructor. Student gain an understanding of proper safety and use of the equipment in developing personal fitness routines.
Additional activities, aimed to involve students in typical teenage experiences, include school dances, student government, assemblies, talent shows, yearbook and a spring prom. Students take part in a rich array of programs that enhance their sense of community and belonging.
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the time frame of the day program, Riverview is not able to address independent and daily living skills such as self-care/hygiene, room care/chores, laundry, cooking and community safety skills. Should a family wish guidance with instruction related to these areas, the School will gladly provide copies of materials and schedules as well as strategies used in our residential program. Families looking for a more comprehensive program which includes instruction in these areas are invited to discuss the option of our boarding program with the Admissions Department
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
The Health Care Center (HCC) is located on the main campus and is staffed seven days per week from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. by a team of nurses and medical assistants. An on-call nurse and medical assistant are scheduled seven nights per week 10 p.m. – 7 a.m.
Riverview utilizes the services of one pharmacy as the provider for all student medication. This pharmacy provides HCC with specially packaged medications which are necessary for the safe administration and inventory of all medication.
HCC provides services similar to those offered by school nurses in most school settings. Skilled nursing staff assess and treat minor ailments/injuries. The six-bed HCC provides students a place to rest, if they are ill. In the event of an emergency, Riverview is centrally located and accessible to several area hospitals as well as urgent care facilities.
HCC staff are actively involved in teaching students to better understand and advocate for their health and wellness needs. HCC also provides instruction regarding communicable disease prevention and emergency care. They collaborate with teachers, administrators, food service personnel, coaches and parents and have an excellent working relationship with many health care providers and local agencies.
With a focus on proper nutrition, day students eat a healthy lunch in the dining room. Access to healthy foods such as a salad bar, fresh fruit, main entrée, soup and sandwich choices, etc. provide ample, yet healthy access for all.
Riverview is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is approved and licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC).