Our intellectual endeavors across the different disciplines are enhanced by numerous all-school events and traditions. These activities stem from our beliefs about teaching and learning and further support our mission statement by enriching the experience of the students with activities outside the classroom and within the supportive community. For years, students have participated in our annual social studies fair, a tradition that requires students to organize their time and study skills to execute a significant research project and display their learning orally, visually, and in writing. While middle school students show off individually polished work, fourth and fifth graders work as a whole class to demonstrate their learning, and our youngest students visit those displays and look to older students as role models of focused effort and public speaking skills. We place a strong emphasis on the classics, with every student in the middle school taking latin and students in the younger grades studying greek and roman mythology. We compete against high school students in the University of Vermont's Latin Day every year, and we have won first prize seven times. The spring poetry fest celebrates creative writing with multi-age activities that encourage poetic thinking and a "coffee house" event in the barn where students, parents, faculty, and friends share their favorite poems aloud.
Fundamental to The Riverside School's program is the attention paid to social, emotional, and ethical learning. During weekly meetings, teachers frequently spend time focusing on these developmental needs of our students and how we can best meet them through our program. We focus intensively on the development of these skills in the self-contained classrooms of our elementary students and in our advisory and leadership sessions (grade-specific, homeroom-style meeting times) for middle school students. For example, Kindergarteners and First graders learn to greet visitors with kindness and openness, introducing themselves and making eye contact with the guest. In Eighth grade advisory, students plan for and debrief their role modeling during daily clean up time and their use of strong and confident voice when leading activities in our morning assembly. These skills are also practiced by all students throughout the year in activities like field trips, poetry fest, winter carnival, lunch discussion groups, and board or creative games during break and lunch. We recognize the need to articulate our social, emotional, and ethical learning in a social skills curriculum that is integrated throughout Riverside's program.