calendar-widget calendar-widget-icon facebook Left Arrow logo_2018.01.10 logo_2018.01.10a mail mbta_1 mbta_2 mbta_3 facebook no-results parking-blue parking-circle Right Arrow Riverview School Artboard 1RiverviewSchool Artboard 1 twitter facebook

The journey begins here.

Students who enroll at Riverview are friendly, caring, and eager students with complex learning challenges. They thrive here as they experience typical adolescent and young adult academic, extra-curricular, and social pursuits.

Riverview students have life-changing experiences in an environment that is designed to embrace them completely. They make friends. They gain a deep feeling of connection to others. Self-esteem flourishes. Students become resilient and redefine themselves. They come into their own.

At Riverview School, we believe in each child’s potential. Riverview is a place where students belong, and where they develop the tools and skills necessary to become all they can be.

Riverview School's Commitment to Diversity, Equality, Inclusiveness and Accessibility (DEIA):

Riverview School is a community that values and celebrates diversity as essential to the experience of our students, staff and community. We embrace and respect differences, including but not limited to: race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, cultural heritage, educational background, and of course learning styles. As a community that aspires to reflect and prepare our students for the increasingly diverse world, Riverview supports and nurtures the whole child and their full identity.

Is Riverview the right fit?

Our Population

Riverview School places a great deal of importance on the appropriateness of a candidate’s total application, the number of male and female openings in each grade and dorm, and in ensuring a good fit between the applicant and students who are currently enrolled.

Middle & High School Programs: Students ages 11–19, grades 6–12
Post High School Transition Program: Students ages 17–21

If your child meets the following criteria, he or she may be a candidate for Riverview:

  • Diagnosed language, learning and cognitive disabilities

  • Desires to make friends and is interested in forming relationships with others

  • Seeks typical teenage opportunities such as playing on sports teams, participating in drama, music, art and student government, attending dances, etc.

  • Responds well to a structured, supportive, predictable environment

  • Capable of greater success in the academic environment

  • Has mastered basic daily living skills and personal hygiene

  • Mild medical issues that complicate – but not compromise – daily activities

  • WISC or WAIS scores between 65–90 or functional abilities within that range

Please Note: Students demonstrating a history of emotional, behavioral, psychiatric disorders, or requiring a therapeutic environment, are not able to be considered.

If you feel Riverview may be appropriate for your child, please provide us with the information listed in the Admission Procedures. You may also contact us with any questions you may have.

Adam Elsesser talks about new possibilities that Riverview has afforded his daughter
Over 60 years of success

Our Story

Riverview School was founded in 1957 by Mr. William Janse, a visionary educator who believed that students with learning challenges could realize their potential. He and his partner, Mr. Burgess Butler, opened a summer camp on a 5-acre tract that was later expanded into the present 16-acre campus. The camp was so successful that it evolved into a school established under its original name, Hopefields School.

During the late 1960s, Riverview established a long-term relationship with the Learning Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Groundbreaking work in tailored academic programming and social skill building for individuals with disabilities was developed on Riverview’s campus.

Over the ensuing decades, programs to facilitate independent living skills for our students have included the initiation of a transition program (for students ages 17–21), Getting Ready for the Outside World (GROW). The program formed an alliance with Cape Cod Community College to offer a college experience to students. Our music, arts, dance, and drama programming has also been greatly expanded to demonstrate our commitment to developing the whole student.

Today, we serve students ages 11 to 21 with language, learning and intellectual disabilities from 23 states and 9 foreign countries as well as the Cape Cod community.


Riverview School, an independent coeducational boarding/day school, provides a caring community for adolescents and young adults with complex language, learning and cognitive disabilities. The School is committed to developing student competence and confidence in academic, social and independent living skills.

Educational Philosophy of Riverview School

  • Adolescents/young adults with disabilities versus disabled adolescents/young adults

  • Typical, age-appropriate extracurricular and social experiences

  • Emphasis on the whole child

  • Caring, structured and predictable living/learning environment

  • Respect and appreciation of different learning styles, interests and talents

  • Emphasis on developing self-determination and personal best

  • Encouragement to take risks with learning

  • Understanding of learning disabilities and strategies needed for success

  • Research-validated instructional techniques

  • Thematic, integrated instruction

  • Real life opportunities for generalization of skills

  • Direct and individualized instruction for academics, independent living, friendships and social skills

  • Promotion of resilience and lifelong learning

  • Cultivation of a learning community for all

Guided Tour

Explore our gorgeous campus below by taking a 360° Virtual Tour and using our Campus Map OR join our Admissions Associate Lauren Spencer for a personally Guided Tour of Riverview School by clicking HERE.

Take 360˚ Virtual Tour
Campus Map
School Calendar