Upper School

Philosophy
Rivers challenges students to attain their highest possible level of academic achievement. The school sets high standards and expects students to participate actively in their learning. Whether in our innovative, multi-disciplinary Middle School program or the more traditional college-preparatory program of the Upper School, the faculty cultivates a rigorous and collaborative environment that encourages student performance and demonstration of logical thought, informed and articulate voice, creative vision, and character growth. We believe strongly that the role of our faculty is not merely to show students the solution, but to help them discover it for themselves. Our teachers work closely with students – in the classroom and beyond – toward the ultimate goal of both finding the answers and truly understanding them.
 
The Rivers Upper School offers a diverse and challenging curriculum in an ideal academic setting. The challenge comes from a rigorous academic program that includes extensive honors and AP courses, as well as an eclectic array of electives. At the same time, our Upper School classrooms reflect a strong balance between individual achievement and collaborative learning. Rivers teachers lead students in their learning by demanding high levels of thinking and analysis.

Education in the Upper School emphasizes the importance of developing students who can think critically and analytically, write logically and incisively, and speak articulately and convincingly. The curriculum includes traditional academics, along with the infusion of arts and athletic requirements. As students move through the program, a diverse offering of electives becomes available, allowing students to create an academic schedule that best reflects their interests, expertise, and passions.

Our faculty believe in working closely with students in and out of the classroom. Because most teachers are advisors, they are deeply engaged with students in every aspect of their education as well as in their daily lives. This dynamic creates a nurturing environment in which high achievement in all facets of a student’s life is an expectation. Faculty encourage students to discover individual abilities in both academics and cocurricular areas. This combination affords students the opportunity to stretch themselves and, in the process, reach their full potential.

Because taking visual and performing arts classes is required for graduation, risk-taking and creativity are central to the Upper School experience. Coupled with athletic requirements, the program reflects the value of diverse experiences as fundamental to an education that prepares students to become responsible individuals. In addition to our on-campus programs, Rivers also sponsors regular trips and programs that take students off campus and around the world. Several years ago, the Language Department established a summer study program during which students spend nearly one month in Cadiz, Spain, while the Science Department’s signature summer internship program has placed students in research laboratories at BU Medical School, Children’s Hospital, and local biotech companies. The business internship program - established through the Math Department - gives interested students the chance to gain real world experience by spending their summers working at venture capital and private equity firms in the Boston area. And each year various academic departments sponsor trips to places like England, Italy, France, Japan, Switzerland, and China.
Robotics at Rivers