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River Valley School:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades Preschool TO 6 — Calgary, AB (Map)


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River Valley School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

River Valley School ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS

Curriculum Progressive

[Show definition of Curriculum]

Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.

Curriculum approach at River Valley School: Progressive

River Valley School has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).

[Show: About Progressive?]

Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.

Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net:
  Progressive - 32%
  Traditional - 41%
  Liberal arts - 14%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 0%
  Waldorf - 2%

What River Valley School says about their overall curriculum and approach:

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 to those who require it.


Approach

Focus
Academic

Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Discovery Math

    Mathematics approach at River Valley School: Discovery Math

    River Valley School has a Discovery Math approach to Mathematics (as opposed to Traditional Math, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About 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.

    Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net:
      Discovery math - 5%
      Traditional math - 26%
      Equal balance - 69%

    What River Valley School says:

    At River Valley School students are provided with a robust mathematics program that allows them to investigate and make meaning of mathematical concepts in an active learning environment. Students learn to construct understanding through reflective thought, develop and apply mathematical language and communication, and connect mathematics to the real world. Resources used but not limited to for our math programming are: Maximizing Math (Edmonton Public, Number Talks (Sherry Parrish) in Grades 1-6.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    This information is not currently available.

    Calculator policy:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Early Reading

    Balanced Literacy

    Early Reading approach at River Valley School: Balanced Literacy

    River Valley School has a Balanced Literacy approach to Early Reading (as opposed to Phonics-intensive, Whole Language approach).

    [Show: About 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.

    Early Reading at schools on OurKids.net:
      Balanced literacy - 57%
      Phonics-intensive - 41%
      Whole language - 2%

    What River Valley School says:

    In the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grade One classrooms you will see children learning to read and write using the Animated-Literacy™ program created by Jim Stone. Stone’s program was created using “current reading research, making direct use of language research and brain research including studies in memory, motivation, and the role of emotion in guiding attention and learning.” (www.animatedliteracy.com). Students are highly motivated to learn to read through songs, stories, actions and meeting the stuffed animal characters that correspond to the Alphabet letters and sounds. A daily home reading program begins in Kindergarten when students are showing reading readiness.

    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

    Writing approach at River Valley School: Equal balance

    River Valley School has an Equal balance approach to Writing (as opposed to Systematic approach, Process approach approach).

    [Show: About 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.

    Writing at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 79%
      Systematic approach - 10%
      Process approach - 11%

    What River Valley School says:

    From an early age students are engaged in the writing process at RVS. Students are given a variety of opportunities to explore, shape and clarify their thoughts, and to communicate them to others. In the early years students use symbols and letters to help convey meaning (Animated Literary - Jim Stone). As students move through the grades they learn to use effective writing strategies, discover and refine ideas and compose and revise with increasing confidence and skill within narrative writing and expository writing experiences. Animated Literacy (Jim Stone), Empowering Writers (Barbara Mariconda) and Moving Up (Scholastic), are among a few of the primary resources used in the writing program at RVS.

  • Science

    Inquiry

    Science approach at River Valley School: Inquiry

    River Valley School has an Inquiry approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Equal Balance approach).

    [Show: About 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.

    Science at schools on OurKids.net:
      Inquiry - 25%
      Expository - 5%
      Equal balance - 70%

    Teaching approach:

    Students explore and nurture their sense of wonder within Science programming at River Valley School. Children are given time and space to explore and iterate with freedom while processes, such as design thinking, exploration, inquiry, and the scientific method structure the child’s investigation of their surroundings. They create, test, and develop skill and confidence while building a foundation of experience and understanding.


    Treatment of evolution:

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

    Topics covered in curriculum:

    Subjectoffered
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Ecology
    Geology
    Meteorology
    Physics
    Physiology
    Zoology
  • Literature

    Equal Balance

    Literature approach at River Valley School: Equal Balance

    River Valley School has an Equal Balance approach to Literature (as opposed to Traditional, Social Justice approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.

    Literature at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 75%
      Traditional - 22%
      Social justice - 3%

    What River Valley School says:

    At River Valley School, students are exposed to literature at an early age. We believe in the importance of students listening to stories, reading to others, participating in shared reading and reading independently on a daily basis. Formal reading assessments are done at the beginning and end of each year. Students read regularly with their classroom teachers who monitor progress in reading fluency and comprehension. River Valley School has a Home Reading program for Division 1 students, with an expectation for nightly reading of fluent material. In Division 2, students are exposed to more complex texts (fiction/non-fiction) and novels with content suitable to entertain the reader or with content that can be integrated into other subject areas to reinforce fluency and comprehension at a deeper level.

  • Social Studies

    Expanding Communities

    Social Studies approach at River Valley School: Expanding Communities

    River Valley School has an Expanding Communities approach to Social Studies (as opposed to Core Knowledge, Thematic approach).

    [Show: About 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.

    Social Studies at schools on OurKids.net:
      Expanding communities - 27%
      Core knowledge - 40%
      Thematic - 33%

    What River Valley School says:

    Social studies programming at River Valley School provides opportunities for students to develop attitudes, skills and knowledge to be informed, engaged, active, and responsible citizens. Students have access to a variety of resource materials, have the opportunity to debate and discuss ideas and information, and are encouraged to develop and work through projects to learn more about an area of interest. Classroom experiences are enriched when working with specialist teachers as social studies concepts are examined from different perspectives and contexts, deepening the child’s experiences with and understanding of the subject matter. Travelling to other places around our city, province and country provide rich learning experiences in this curricular area. For example, our Grade Five and Six students travel to Ottawa every other year to connect with Canadian history and government.

  • Foreign Languages

    Equal Balance

    Foreign Languages approach at River Valley School: Equal Balance

    River Valley School has an Equal Balance approach to Foreign Languages (as opposed to Audio-Lingual, Communicative approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.

    Foreign Languages at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 63%
      Audio-lingual - 3%
      Communicative - 34%

    What River Valley School says:

    All RVS students participate in biweekly lessons in French. Our French teachers use the AIM program founded by Wendy Maxwell. AIM uses storytelling, gestures, collaboration and repetition to teach proficiency in oral and written French. In addition to scheduled Progress Meetings, student progress is shared with parents via video recordings, student work samples, and year end performances. Project work is also embedded in classes to ensure an engaging learning experience.

  • Fine Arts

    Equal Balance

    Fine Arts approach at River Valley School: Equal Balance

    River Valley School has an Equal Balance approach to Fine Arts (as opposed to Receptive, Creative approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.

    Fine Arts at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 65%
      Receptive - 2%
      Creative - 33%

    Program offers:

    Subjectoffered
    Acting
    Dance
    Drama/Theatre
    Graphic Design
    Music
    Visual Arts

    Visual studio philosophy:

    Expressive
    Disciplined

    What River Valley School says:

    All RVS students are exposed to the arts within the classroom, as well as through expert specialists in Music, Drama and Art. Specialist instruction begins in Pre-Junior Kindergarten (Age 3) through to Grade Six. 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 is nurtured through the senses where hands-on learning is intensified in an environment of possibility and creativity.

  • Computers and Technology

    Medium integration

    Computers and Technology approach at River Valley School: Medium integration

    River Valley School has a Medium integration approach to Computers and Technology (as opposed to Light integration, Heavy integration approach).

    [Show: About Medium integration?]

    Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.

    Computers and Technology at schools on OurKids.net:
      Medium integration - 52%
      Light integration - 17%
      Heavy integration - 31%

    What River Valley School says:

    A variety of digital tools are used to deepen, support, and extend learning opportunities for students at River Valley School. Students create with technology using such platforms as Smartboard technology, iPads, and laptops within a multitude of digital literacies from coding, micro-bits, app and website development, to green screens, movie-making, and augmented reality systems. This access offers students the ability to refine their skills, practice processes and create solutions to unique problems as they find, identify, evaluate, and use information across any curricular area. All students in Grades 4-6 have a 1:1 device provided by the school for their academic use.


    Program covers:

    Subjectoffered
    Computer science
    Robotics
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What River Valley School says:

    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. At River Valley School our students take part in Physical Education in our two gymnasiums, outdoors in our playing fields, as well as many off site locations such as swimming lessons and skiing lessons. Outside of structured physical education classes, students participate in outdoor education pursuits and can participate in our competitive athletic team, The Rapids, in volleyball, basketball and soccer.

  • Sex and health education

    Alberta curriculum

    Sex and health education approach at River Valley School: Alberta curriculum

    River Valley School has an Alberta curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).

    [Show: About Alberta curriculum?]

    The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.

    Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net:
      Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
      Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%

    Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral

    River Valley School has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
    [Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]

    By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.

    What River Valley School says:

    Follows Alberta Education curriculum.

Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

[Show definition of Preschool/K Curriculum]

Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)

Preschool/K Curriculum approach at River Valley School: Academic

River Valley School has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).

[Show: About 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.

Preschool/K Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net:
  Academic - 44%
  Play-based - 23%
  Montessori - 25%
  Waldorf - 2%
  Reggio emilia - 6%

What River Valley School says about their preschool/K curriculum approach:

River Valley School is a leader in Early Childhood Education and offers programming for 3, 4 and 5 year-olds. 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.

Language English

Learn about River Valley School's languages of instruction and enrolment.

River Valley School offers English as the primary language of instruction.

Language of enrolment include: English

Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

[Show definition of Curriculum Pace]

This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.

Curriculum Pace approach at River Valley School: Standard-enriched

River Valley School has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).

[Show: About Standard-enriched?]

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.

Curriculum Pace at schools on OurKids.net:
  Standard-enriched - 59%
  Accelerated - 18%
  Student-paced - 23%

What River Valley School says about their curriculum pace:

Students who require extra support or exceed curricular expectations are provided with interventions or opportunities to ensure they achieve their personal best every day.


Flexible pacing style

Type 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 their 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

[Show definition of Academic Culture]

Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.

Academic Culture approach at River Valley School: Supportive

River Valley School has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).

[Show: About 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.

Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net:
  Supportive - 49%
  Rigorous - 51%

What River Valley School says about their academic culture:

At River Valley School, we have high and appropriate expectations for every student. Year after year, our kids rank in the top tier of provincial testing, academic competitions, arts and athletics. We offer a warm, nurturing environment where our students feel genuinely cared about and supported. This builds confidence and establishes a strong foundation for kids to explore who they are – their passions, gifts, hopes and dreams.

Developmental priorities Balanced

[Show definition of Developmental priorities]

Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.

Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced

Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.

Secondary Developmental Priority: Emotional

The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."

What River Valley School says about their developmental priorities:

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 Resource Assistance

[Show definition of Special needs support]

Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.

River Valley School offers Resource Assistance

Students remain in a regular classroom for the whole day, and periodically receive break-out support (individually or in small groups) within the classroom from a qualified special education teacher.

A - Forms of Support
Accommodation:
Modification:
Remediation:
B - Environments
Indirect Support:
Resource Assistance:
Withdrawal Assistance:
Partial Integration:
Full-Time Class:

Special NeedNeed
Forms of SupportA
EnvironmentsB
ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
    Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
    This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
    This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
    Dyscalculia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
    Dysgraphia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
    Language Processing Disorder
    This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
    Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
    These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
    Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
    A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
  • Developmental
    Autism
    Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
    Asperger's Syndrome
    On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
    Down syndrome
    his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
    Intellectual disability
    This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
    Williams syndrome
    This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
  • Behavioral and Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
    Clinical Depression
    This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
    Clinical anxiety
    This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
    Suicidal thoughts
    This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
  • Physical
    Multiple sclerosis
    This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
    Cerebral palsy
    his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
    Muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
    Spina Bifida
    This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
    Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
    This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
    Blindness
    Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
    Deafness
    Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
    Multiple physical
    Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.

Read our guide to special needs schools and special education


Academic support

TypeOffered
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

TypeOffered
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.


Additional support

TypeOffered
Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Psychotherapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support Dedicated class; in-class adaptations

[Show definition of Gifted learner support]

Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.

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

Program 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 about their gifted learner support:

The underlying goal of the enrichment program at River Valley School is for children to acquire the skills and approaches needed to extend their learning in an area of demonstrated strength. Our intention is to offer students greater challenges in their area of strength and encourage them to pursue their talents and areas of personal interest while developing self-directed learning and higher-level thinking with like minded students.

Homework Policy

[Show definition of Homework Policy]

Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.

Nightly homework

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

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Site Average2 mins6 mins7 mins15 mins17 mins24 mins30 mins35 mins41 mins

What River Valley School says about their flipped classroom policy:

This information is not currently available.

Report Card Policy

[Show definition of Report Card Policy]

While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.

How assessments are delivered across the grades

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

Extracurricular Activities

While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.

Sports offered

River Valley School offers 4 competitive sports and 4 recreational sports.

  Competitive offered          Recreational offered
all sports]
  • Archery
  • Curling
  • Ultimate
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cricket
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Cycling
  • Downhill skiing
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Figure Skating
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts
  • Mountain biking
  • Racquet Ball
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Sailing
  • Skateboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

Clubs offered

River Valley School offers 11 clubs and extracurricular programs.

  Clubs offered           Clubs not offered
all clubs and programs]
  Foreign Language Club
  Habitat for Humanity
  Jazz Ensemble
  Math Club
  Musical theatre/Opera
  Ballet and Classical Ballet
  Online Magazine
  Outdoor Club
  Outdoor Education
  Paintball
  Photography
  Poetry/Literature club
  Radio club
  Robotics club
  Round Square
  School newspaper
  Science Club
  Scouting
  Student Council
  Yearbook
  Yoga
  Animation
  Art Club
  Astronomy Club
  Audiovisual Club
  Band
  Chess Club
  Choir
  Community Service
  Computer Club
  Dance Club
  Debate Club
  Drama Club
  Environmental Club

What River Valley School says about their extracurricular activities:

  • Babysitting Certification in Grade 5 or 6
  • Outreach

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: River Valley School

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