Student Life

Dorm Life

Riverview’s 18 dormitories are more than a place to sleep and study. They are among the most important classrooms on campus. Because living and learning are fully integrated at Riverview, the residential program is designed as thoughtfully and thoroughly as the academic program.  

From social skills and communication to cleaning, laundry and cooking, the lessons that students learn in the dorms last a lifetime. The student-to-faculty ratio in the dorms is 6 to 1, which allows for personalized attention. Residential Supervisors oversee assigned dorms and overnight Dormitory Coordinators and Dormitory Assistants stay in the dorms with students.  

GROW dorms are located both on campus and off campus in the towns of Sandwich and Hyannis. All first year GROW students are placed in on-campus dorms. Second and third year GROW students are placed in off-campus residences to assist in continuing to build their social and independent living skills, as well as to prepare for transitioning after Riverview.

GROW students prepare breakfast and dinners in their dormitories and are actively involved in food inventory, grocery shopping, meal preparation and clean-up on a weekly basis. Menus rotate every five weeks to teach students through repetition with the focus on individual cooking skills (boiling, chopping, measuring, etc.).
“I like my roommate. She is funny and she is there for me when I need a friend. We hang out and take walks around the track together.” -- Student
Following are some of the skills that Riverview students learn in the dorms:

  • Self-care
  • Room and dorm care and laundry
  • Budgeting and money management (“needs vs. wants”)
  • Leisure-time planning
  • Establishing and maintaining friendships
  • Health and wellness through nutrition, fitness and recreation opportunities
  • Self-advocacy and social skills
  • Meal planning and preparation (GROW students have one assigned cooking night a week with staff support)
  • Structured evening homework and/or quiet time
  • Time management and organization (agendas, charts, lists)
  • Executive function skills
  • Ample opportunities for generalization of skills within the community
  • Safety practices within the community
While the routine and structure ensure that these important skills are taught and reinforced, GROW students play a very active role in designing and planning their individual schedules.
Riverview School is an independent, coeducational boarding/day school, located on beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Established in 1957, Riverview is a leader in educating students, ages 12 - 22, with complex language and learning challenges that include Autism, Down Syndrome, and intellectual disabilities. We're committed to helping each of our extraordinary students gain academic, social, and independent living skills to achieve their goals.
Visit our hands-on classrooms at Café Riverview and Second-View Thrift Store