Middle School (6-8)

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Mathematics Program

Riverside prides itself on a compacted and advanced mathematics program for middle school students.  It is our hope that we will have successfully completed a full program of Algebra 1 by graduation.  Our math students explain their reasoning verbally and in writing.  Our small groups and partnerships work to facilitate practice for developing communication and team building skills.  We investigate concepts deeply rooted in algebraic properties and strive to enhance critical thinking skills through rich real-life problem solving.

In the sixth grade, students study numbers and operations, ratios and rates, geometry, and algebraic expressions.  In grade seven, students study rational numbers and linear equations, proportionality, geometry concepts, and data analysis and probability.  In grade eight, students study functions: linear, quadratic and exponential.  Students in this grade are also introduced to graphing technology

Science Program

The Riverside Science program requires its students to think critically, design and carry out experiments, draw conclusions based on evidence, and to present finding to peers.

In the sixth grade, the physical science program provides students with investigations of matter and various forms of energy.  The grade seven life science program requires the students to investigate life, anatomy, physiology, and genetics.  In eighth grade, students study earth science.  Units include a study of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and astronomy.

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English Program

The Riverside English Program is anchored on a selection of challenging, age-appropriate literature that is chosen to introduce literary concepts, to expand and enhance the students’ vocabulary, and to teach students to ask and answer complex questions.

Sixth graders are introduced to increasingly complex literary works.  The central guiding theme is empathy.  Seventh graders read books that parallel their study of U.S. History from historical fiction to canonical works such as Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. Students practice essay writing with an increasing focus on literary themes.  Eighth graders read works that examine social issues and problems.  Through writing and discussion, students examine how authors use written work to reflect on social injustices.

History Program

The history program at Riverside presents a strong overview of the histories of many peoples, along with a foundation of scholarly habits including research skills, note-taking fluency, and map reading.

In the sixth grade, students study Ancient History by considering archaeology, human origins, and the earliest of civilizations.  Seventh graders develop their understanding of the history of our country, working to connect the events of our past to the current state of our country.  In eighth grade, students study world issues, making sense of current events through the lenses of history and culture.

Foreign Language Program

Riverside students take two languages, Latin and Spanish.  In Latin, students use a mixed approach of both grammar and reading methods. Students learn about English vocabulary building, foreign language study strategies and root words, Roman customs, culture, government, mythology, and history.  In Spanish, students develop vocabulary and grammatical and conversational skills while incorporating  lessons on the cultures of Spanish speaking countries.

Health and Wellness

Health is the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit.  The Riverside School believes that Wellness captures the essence of physical, emotional, and social well-being.

We look to provide our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain healthy and well-nurtured bodies, to become self-reliant and resilient, and to demonstrate positive social interactions on the playground, sports fields and in the classroom.

We are expanding what has traditionally resembled a traditional Physical Education program to include such topics as:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical fitness
  • Team building and collaboration
  • Self awareness and choice in terms of physical exercise, stress reduction, and coping mechanisms (grades 6-8)
  • Topics in sex education (grades 7-8)

The Riverside School also offers a wealth of physical exercise opportunities off campus as well.  Early dismissals on Friday afternoons provides our students with opportunities to swim, skate, and ski utilizing local venues.  

It’s a pleasure to teach at Riverside because the students come through the door every morning excited to be here and willing to take on challenges. With that kind of readiness, it’s inspiring to see what’s going on in the classrooms.
— Nelia Rath, World Issues, Spanish, Director of Co-Cirricular Programs