From its beginning in 1957 by Mr. William Janse, a visionary educator, Riverview has developed and sustained a progressive, effective program and did so before the field of intellectual disabilities was defined. The evolution of the School has reflected the growing understanding of people with intellectual disabilities among educators, medical and social service professionals, governmental agencies, and society in general. Riverview is proud to hold the first license issued by the Massachusetts Office for Children to operate a special needs boarding school. Prior to the definition of the term "learning disability" in 1963, students were often misdiagnosed, misplaced and ineffectively served by school systems and related institutions. Riverview has contributed greatly to changing this negative trend.
During the late 1960s, Riverview established a long-term relationship with the Learning Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Groundbreaking work in language and reading disabilities was developed and field-tested on Riverview's campus. Throughout the decade, the School experienced important development of its physical plant and program. A library, gymnasium, classrooms and dormitories were constructed from 1961 through 1967 on our 16 acre campus.
Over the ensuing decades program enhancements included the initiation of a post-secondary program (for ages 18-22), GROW (Getting Ready for the Outside World). GROW opened three residences for its students and formed an affiliation with Cape Cod Community College (Project Forward) in order to offer a vocationally-based college experience to students. More recently major initiatives have included a vocational training partnership with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod (Project SEARCH) and Cafe Riverview where students are learning food service skills. A redesign of the curriculum, an assessment of procedures at all levels, introduction of research-based instructional strategies, and the implementation of detailed transition planning have been completed. Music, art, and drama have also been expanded greatly.
Today, Riverview School serves over 180 students ages 11 to 22 with limited intellectual functioning and adaptive skills (within the 65-90 IQ range) from 29 states and 9 foreign countries as well as increasingly more from the Cape Cod community. The school is committed to developing student competence and confidence in academic, social, and independent living skills so that our graduates become contributory members of their adult communities.