1. Small Class Sizes
All of our classes have a maximum number of 15 students. Regardless of whether your child is behind and feeling frustrated or is ahead and feeling bored, our teachers are capable of providing the extra help or challenge required by each student. Our small class sizes ensure that each student receives the attention they deserve.
We have a code of conduct which is enforced but more importantly, our special programs such as the Virtues ProjectTM, the R.L.S. (Real Life Skills) Program, and the 3 Rs of Riverbend give our students the tools, self-esteem, and self-respect to make choices that are good for themselves, their peers, the school, and the community. All these tools contribute to our students’ conflict resolution abilities which they will carry into adulthood.
3. R.L.S. (Real Life Skills) Program
So much of the focus of our primary and secondary education is on the four months leading up to University applications that truly useful life skills have been lost. We want to make sure that our students are prepared for post-secondary life regardless of their chosen path. We include real life skills such as emotional intelligence, goal setting & success planning, study & time management skills, meditation, budgeting, planning a nutritional meal, finance & money management, and self-discipline.
4. We welcome and encourage close contact with our parents
We recognize the importance of the triumvirate of student, teacher, and parent and welcome involvement by our parents. Keeping the parents involved and informed increases student’s success and maintains a consistent approach between teacher and parent.
5. We develop critical thinking skills
According to studies and test results, there is a glaring hole in the public education in North America. With a concentration on simply getting through the curriculum in crowded classes with inadequate staff and resources, teachers have little time to work on the practical application of concepts. This lack of focus is leaving an entire generation incapable of solving problems. Our smaller classes and innovative methods allow our teachers to ensure that our students have practical experience in applying the curriculum concepts.
6. Flexibility to take advantage new programs and strategies
Like our students, our staff are lifelong learners who are constantly reading, researching, and discovering the latest studies, programs, and strategies available to assist our students. We are able to respond quickly to these innovations and implement programs like Jump Math, Prodigy, and Kahn Academy.
7. Variety of teaching and educational methods
Our teachers live by the maxim that “if a student isn’t learning, it is the teacher who has failed to teach”. We pride ourselves in finding unique and engaging methods to reach all our students, creating a passion for learning that will serve them their entire lives.
8. Balanced approach between academics and the arts
High academics is important but we cannot lose sight of the importance of the arts. Drama especially prepares students for so many aspects of life such as job interviews, how to present themselves confidently, public speaking, and networking effectively with confidence. In a rush to cover more and more curriculum so many boards have begun to cut back on the arts. We ensure our students have the exposure to the arts that will serve them in their lives. No matter the situation or challenge, our students will face it with poise, confidence, and enthusiasm.
9. Strong moral and ethical focus in a secular system
We believe that strong moral and ethical beliefs should not be limited to religious studies. In a secular setting, we use innovative programs such as The Virtues ProjectTM, our community service program, and the “Riverbend 3-R”s. Through our Morality for a Happy Life program, our students understand that only ethical, responsible leadership will propel the world toward a successful future.
10. Focus on nutrition and exercise
A healthy body and good nutrition lead to a brain capable of the growth required for learning. The past five years have seen leaps and bounds made in the area of neuroscience with more and more evidence that the type of food children consume at lunch (rather than just ensuring they eat lunch) directly impacts their ability to learn and build the neural pathways required for learning. Likewise, other studies demonstrate the importance and success that physical exercise has in increasing academic performance. For that reason, Riverbend Academy provides a nutritious, hot lunch made fresh daily at the school as well as Physical Education classes every day.
Finally, we are concentrating on what the students will need once they enter the work world of the 21st Century. In an survey of the top CEOs in the world, IBM discovered that the top 2 needs these business people are looking for in employees in the new global economy are:
Standardized testing is designed to rate teachers rather than students. Extreme pressure for teachers and school boards to measure up is passed onto the students’ shoulders. This unfair testing has resulted in a generation of children who are stressed and fearful of getting the wrong answer. This overwhelming fear is killing creativity – the very trait most prized by the student’s future employer.
We naturally want all our students to succeed but we must teach our students that not succeeding the first time is simply another opportunity to learn. We must remove the stigma and shame of getting the wrong answer – both on the part of the student’s teachers and peers. By removing this overwhelming fear, we allow our students the freedom to try once again. We give them back the right to once again be creative, take that huge leap that risks being wrong, and in the end create amazing solutions that they might never have considered.