We’re an independent day school based in Richmond, Va. Our teaching approach is dedicated to providing small classes, individualized curriculum, one-on-one instruction, and a nurturing environment to enhance the learning experiences of children with dyslexia. Many students come to Riverside having fallen behind in a traditional academic setting, but we understand that they have the potential to succeed. Riverside students come from public and private schools from throughout the greater Richmond area. All of our students are of average to above-average intelligence who have not been able to master language skills in a traditional school setting because of their unique learning needs. At Riverside, we build on our students’ strengths and prepare them to return to mainstream education ready to achieve their highest potential. Our students range in age from 5–14. All of our intermediate school students go on to attend a public or private high school to continue their education and most of our graduates go on to attend college.
Art and Music
Riverside’s Art and Music Programs are unique avenues for self-discovery and self-expression, and help students foster an increased understanding of the world around them. Students have the opportunity to manipulate materials and the environment in the studio, and symbolically explore, organize, and assimilate meaning from a complex world of ideas and experience. The music program introduces students to basic components of music such as rhythm and pitch, and includes instruction on instruments such a Orff instruments and percussion.
Riverside's Language Fundamentals (LF) Program is the keystone of our transformative approach to education. Our LF Program includes highly-specialized, one-on-one, multisensory instruction that is provided to every student as part of the curriculum. All students receive 45 minutes of one-on-one reading instruction 4 days a week. Students with dyslexia are bright kids who just learn differently. They need more help in sorting, recognizing, and organizing the raw materials of language. LF uses the Orton-Gillingham Approach, which capitalizes on students’ strengths to help remediate their weaknesses. Each teacher designs specialized teaching strategies for every child based on their abilities, and the program includes direct instruction in elements of language and reading, including phonemic awareness, syllable patterns, sound-symbol relationships, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Our highly skilled teachers receive extensive training in the Orton-Gillingham Approach.
“The best thing about Riverside is the class size. I pay attention better here. It’s not so overwhelming.” – Current Riverside Student. Our students thrive in classrooms that offer multisensory instruction and hands-on learning, and our programs are designed to foster self-esteem and self-advocacy. Classes are kept intentionally small at Riverside, with an average of 10 students per classroom. This allows our teachers to provide direct, individualized instruction and allows our students to flourish in a nurturing environment. Every classroom at Riverside is equipped with SmartBoards and students have access to laptops, iPads, and educational applications designed to support cross-curricular instruction. In addition to core academic content such as math, social studies, and science, Riverside offers physical education, ballroom dance, expressive arts and music, service learning opportunities, and social skills.