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River Valley School

   
3127 Bowwood Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3B 2E7
6305 33 Avenue NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3B 1K8
ADD TO SHORTLIST   Website
Curriculum:
Progressive
Grades (Gender):
Preschool to Gr. 6 (Coed)
Tuition:
$7,830 to 13,900/year
Main Language:
English
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 17
Enrolment:
Day: 325 (Gr. PS - 6)

School Address
3127 Bowwood Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3B 2E7
6305 33 Avenue NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3B 1K8

Highlights:

highlights

About this school:

highlights

River Valley School helps children discover their passions and learning style in an environment where they feel safe and cared for. Student achievement and engagement is supported by small class sizes, varied learning opportunities, exploration, collaboration and differentiation in our instruction. How we teach each student is determined by who they are, how they learn, and what engages them. With a strong focus on cross-curricular and inquiry based learning, we offer specialists in arts, outdoor education and academics.

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Reviews:

highlights

User-submitted reviews   (none submitted)


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Our Take: River Valley School

our takeAuthor and educator Mary MacCracken once wrote that “children can’t begin to learn until they feel safe.” When discussing schools we often talk about curriculum, or resources, or instructional approaches, and while all of those things are important, so is the presence of a supportive, safe, familiar, and consistent learning environment. And, rightly, that’s where the program at River Valley School begins. The school describes itself as a community, and the description is apt. A safe environment, of course, is one in which a child feels a sense of belonging, and within which she is valued, able to play a role and have a voice. Instruction at River Valley is student-centred, with streams based in the Arrowsmith and Montessori methods, though all informed with that same intention to build upon students’ individual strengths and interests. There is a comfortable enrollment level, one that allows for a nice breath of programming while also maintaining that sense of place and belonging, something which is further augmented by the division of the program between two campuses. Families look to River Valley to create a strong beginning to their children’s education as well as their social lives, and indeed that’s exactly what they find.   





School busing:

highlights
River Valley School offers bus transferring. Service options offered are regular rider, regular rider AM only, regular rider PM only. The regions it offers busing from are Calgary.

Upcoming Events Next event: October 24, 2018

upcoming events
  • October 24, 2018Fall Early Learning Open House & Info Session
    River Valley School, 6305 33 AVE NW, Calgary, Alberta
    Join us Wednesday, October 24 from 06:30 pm - 07:30 pm

    RVS invites you to join us for our Open House & Information Session!


    Children are steeped in curiosity. At River Valley School we nurture and develop the innate love of learning that is in each and every child so it remains at the core of who they are throughout their lives.

    River Valley School is hosting an open house at our Early Learning Campus for current and prospective families looking at 3, 4 and 5 year-old programming. Parents will have a chance to explore classroom materials, meet some of our amazing educators and specialists and hear from our Head of School and Admission's Team! It is a small glimpse into the "day-in-the-life" of our littlest students.

    Our Early Learning Campus offers full-day program, five days a week for 3 year-olds to Kindergarten. A half-day option is also available for 3 year olds. 


    Come see why we say wonder. lives. here.
    For more info, or to RSVP contact [email protected]


  • January 23, 2019Winter Early Learning Open House & Info Session
    River Valley School, 6305 33 AVE NW, Calgary, Alberta
    Join us Wednesday, January 23 from 06:30 pm - 07:30 pm

    RVS invites you to join us for our Open House & Information Session!


    Children are steeped in curiosity. At River Valley School we nurture and develop the innate love of learning that is in each and every child so it remains at the core of who they are throughout their lives.

    River Valley School is hosting an open house at our Early Learning Campus for current and prospective families looking at 3, 4 and 5 year-old programming. Parents will have a chance to explore classroom materials, meet some of our amazing educators and specialists and hear from our Head of School and Admission's Team! It is a small glimpse into the "day-in-the-life" of our littlest students.

    Our Early Learning Campus offers full-day program, five days a week for 3 year-olds to Kindergarten. A half-day option is also available for 3 year olds. 


    Come see why we say wonder. lives. here.
    For more info, or to RSVP contact [email protected]



Principal's Message

principal

Erin Corbett, Head of School

People comment on the welcoming, affectionate and respectful atmosphere at River Valley School. This caring environment puts students at ease and opens them up to do their best work. Children feel safe and loved. They experience a deep sense of belonging, and know that they are the reason the rest of us are here. As parents you are always welcome. There are no barriers to keep you away from interacting with your child, their teachers, or with me.

Of course academic success is essential but social and character development are just as important. That is why we focus a great deal of attention on the overall well-being of each student. At River Valley School each child will experience excellence. 

We are a nimble school with an interest in promising practices in the areas of education, innovation and health & wellness. In addition to core curriculum, students enjoy exceptional instruction in Music, Art, Drama, Physical Education, French, Library and Digital Literacies including coding, app creation and data analysis.

There is also school-wide use of Seesaw for parent, child & teacher communications demonstrating “in the moment” learning. Leadership opportunities abound with an elected Student Government, student created clubs & intramural coaching. All of our classes have a low pupil teacher ratio, maximizing instructional time and the personalization of learning.

With our Before and After School programs, River Valley offers a safe, caring environment for your child from 7am to 6pm Mondays through Fridays year-round.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, innovators, healers, educators, visionaries, artists, entrepreneurs, and environmental stewards. Let’s work together to prepare your child for success in our rapidly changing world.
 

Erin Corbett
Head of School


Academics


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive


What River Valley School says: Understanding that no child learns the same way as another, River Valley School ensures that each child receives what they need to flourish. Through an inquiry-based program, we provide hands on, engaging activities that incorporate nature, fine arts, technology, physical education and passion projects. We believe it is imperative for kids to explore, create, play, and make, in order to learn about the world around them. Acknowledging that some students have learning challenges, we also provide additional support through Resource, Speech Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy as well Arrowsmith Cognitive programming for a select number of students.

  • Approach:
    Focus
    Academic


  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Discovery Math

      Discovery Math turns traditional math on its head: it frequently begins by introducing a novel problem to students, and works its way back to “discovering” a method of solving the problem. The goal is to ground mathematical procedures and algorithms firmly in their applications, and to challenge students to think critically about how they might go about solving the problem right from the beginning. Generally associated with the “Chicago Math” movement and related Everyday Math textbooks (Grades 1 to 6), Discovery math spends less classroom time mastering established algorithms and more time getting students invested in and thinking critically about novel mathematical problems and concepts. In this sense Discovery Math aims to establish conceptual and applied understand before procedural understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: At River Valley School, the students are presented with authentic activities that engage them in math and reinforce the constructing of meaning. Many opportunities are presented to support students in the development of a deep understanding for strategies and skills. The culture of a math classroom at River Valley School fosters curiosity, risk-taking, resiliency, perseverance and an appreciation for math.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.


    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: River Valley School’s philosophy is to use all techniques so that we meet the individual needs of various learning styles. Some children learn best through phonics, some through memorizing sight words, and others through whole language programs.  RVS uses the Animated Literacy program, as it teaches letter sounds, blended sounds, sight words, and uses prior knowledge to infer meaning in every lesson.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.


    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.


    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  


    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
      Biology
      Chemistry
      Ecology
      Geology
      Meteorology
      Physics
      Physiology
      Zoology
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.


    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.


    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • Spanish • ESL


    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  


    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

      Expressive
      Disciplined
    • What River Valley School says: At RVS we believe fine arts in education bolsters independence, celebrates originality and demands personal discipline to hone skills. Cross-curricular connections are inevitable when the children are invited (and excited to!) engage, make and do. Curiosity must be nurtured through the senses where hands-on learning is intensified in an environment of possibility and creativity.


    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  


    • What River Valley School says: Technology is used to deepen, support or extend learning opportunities for students at River Valley School. Each classrooms is equipped with a smart board and we have a 1:1 iPad initiative for all of our students in Grades 3-6. We also integrate coding and other digital technologies across the curriculum particularly in the domains of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What River Valley School says: The purpose of the physical education program at River Valley School is to teach the whole child, not just their body and movement. Physical education provides the opportunity to teach students about movement, strategies, teamwork, problem solving and health related fitness. The primary objectives are to foster in children a love of physical activity and play and to instill the need for physical fitness in each child. The program encourages positive interactions, good sporting behaviour in all activities, along with promoting the development of cooperation, teamwork, and leadership skills.


    Sex and Health Education Alberta curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.

    Approach:
    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.


    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.

    Traditional

    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.

    Progressive

    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.


    What River Valley School says: Follows Alberta Education curriculum.



    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What River Valley School says: River Valley School is a leader in Early Childhood Education and offers 3, 4 and 5 year old programming (in half or full day options). Our inquiry-based program focusses on practical and sensorial skills in addition to the core curricular areas, fine arts, physical education outdoor education, and character development. While our programming is best described as Academic, our full-day 5 day/week programming encourages play-based exploration, in addition to lessons guided by the teacher.


    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What River Valley School says about flexible pacing: The adaptive model of educational delivery offered at our school supports different learning styles to ensure that every student is capable of achieving their personal best.


    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.


    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Emotional

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Emotional
    Emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others.

    What River Valley School says: We develop leadership skills, confidence in self, compassion for others and provide opportunities for our students to make a difference. We value the social and emotional development of each child as much as their academic development.


    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    River Valley School offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Accommodations
      Modifications
      Extra support
    • What River Valley School says: River Valley School welcomes students with a variety of learning profiles. Data is gathered twice annually to determine any gaps in learning. River Valley School communicates with families regularly about their child's learning development and ensures that any areas to be addressed are done so quickly and with school support.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Dyscalculia
      Dysgraphia
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Developmental
      Autism
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Physical
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Blindness
      Deafness
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Psychotherapy
      Speech-language therapy

    Gifted Learner Support In-class adaptations

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What River Valley School says: This information is not currently available.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 6, River Valley School students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    PSJKSK123456
    River Valley School 0 mins0 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins
    Site Average2 mins6 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesPreschool to 6
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to 6
    Academic achievement reportingPreschool to 6
    Habits and behaviour reportingPreschool to 6
    Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to 6

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What River Valley School says:
    • Friday Specials (3x annually children choose an area of interest to study intensively for 6 weeks with experts in the field).
    • Babysitting Certification in Grade 5 or 6
    • Outreach

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Soccer
      Softball
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
      Badminton
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Choir
      Community Service
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Outdoor Education
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition

    Day Day (Half day)
     
    PSJKSK123456
    Day$13,900
    Day (Half day)$7,830
    What River Valley School says: Annual Tuition Half Day Program (Tots): $7,830 Full Day Program (Tots – Grade 6): $13,900 Arrowsmith Program (Grade 1 - 6): $26,260 Tuition Deposits A non-refundable deposit equal to three-month’s tuition as well as a one time, non-refundable $2,500 Registration Fee is required for reach student. Full-fee prepayment, lump sum or monthly payment methods are available.

    Discounts

    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    2nd child (sibling)all students5%
    3rd child (sibling)all students15%


    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.



    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Enrollment

    Total enrollment 325
    Average enrollment per grade33
    Average class size12 to 17
    Gender (grades)Preschool to Gr. 6 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    PSJKSK123456
    Day Enrollment143030323234343030

    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewPS - 6
    SSAT
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    Rolling


    What River Valley School says:

    Families are first encouraged to book-a-tour with our Director of Enrolment, walk through our facilities, discuss our program and fees, ask questions, but most importantly help us learn more about your child and their needs. Interested Parents/Guardians are then asked to fill out our online application form and submit all required application documentation. We do not test for entrance.

    In addition to the online application form, the following is required prior to an admission decision:

    • $150 non-refundable application fee will be payable online, or drop off a cheque/cash to the admissions office.
    • A copy of the student’s birth certificate, citizenship, or permanent residence card (if applicable)
    • A copy of the final report card of last school year and most recent report card (when available)
    • A copy of the student’s psycho-educational evaluations and/or assessments related to the students emotional, behavioral, medical or learning needs (if applicable)

    *In some cases, students may be asked to join us for an informal observation or classroom trial to determine a good fit.

    *Children entering our Early Learning programs must be toilet-trained



    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    90%

    Type of student River Valley School is looking for: Admission into River Valley School is based on several factors, the most important of which is knowing that you have found the right place for your child. At River Valley School academic testing is not required as part of the admissions process. As an inclusive school, we believe young children are capable and that they learn in many different ways. It’s our job to find out how they learn, what they enjoy and what steps need to be taken to fully master a level of learning before embarking on the next.



    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSK123456
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    32 (90%)16 - 20 (90%)2 - 10 (90%)0 - 4 (90%)0 - 4 (90%)0 - 4 (90%)0 - 4 (90%)0 - 4 (90%)0 - 4 (90%)

    Stories & Testimonials

    News

    What Parents Say About River Valley School

    " Our family has been a part of the River Valley School Family for the past 8 years! Our daughter and son have thrived in their holistic approach of teaching a “well-rounded” student prepared for the world ."  Leah M.  read more

    " My children have grown more confident and truly love learning each and every day.  River Valley provides a positive learning environment that truly celebrates uniqueness and individual learning where each student's ideas, learning styles, and distinct outlooks are respected and often relished. " Jennifer B  read more

    " When I did my first tour at River Valley School, my overwhelming feeling was "this is a special place". Four years later, that feeling remains. The teachers are enthusiastic, engaged and really take the time to work with the children and get to know them as individuals. There are lots of opportunities for enrichment including top-notch music, drama, art and French programs. I am very pleased not only with the education my children are receiving but also their development into independent and confident individuals! "  Carole H.  read more

     

    ...



    Associations

    Associations
    • Enrollment Management Association Associations
    • Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta (AISCA) Associations
    • Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) Associations


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    Next Steps


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