A Year in the Life Of a Rivers Ninth Grader

The Ninth Grade Experience

As the largest entry point for new Rivers students, the ninth grade brings together students from both the Rivers Middle School and communities throughout MetroWest to create a diverse class that features talented musicians, gifted athletes, and motivated students. With classes offered across three different levels (regular, Honors, and AP), each student is pushed to challenge themselves academically while balancing all of the social and co-curricular aspects of the Rivers experience.

Windsor Mountain

Grade 9 Orientation: Windsor Mountain

Prior to the first day of school, all Grade 9 students travel by bus to the idyllic Windsor Mountain International Camp in Windsor, NH for three days and two nights of class bonding. Students stay in cabins alongside members of their advisory and take part in activities with their new classmates that challenge them to get to know each other and form relationships that will carry through the rest of their time at Rivers.

Class of 2020 at Windsor Mountain in September 2016

Activities range from a full ropes course to team-building challenges to chariot races with their Student Advisory groups on the final day.

The First Day of School and Beyond

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.

English 9

English 9 focuses on the development of writing, reading, critical thinking, and study skills. In their analytical writing, students learn to organize their thoughts and make persuasive arguments using evidence from texts they are studying. In their personal writing, students work to develop their own voices, become aware of audiences, view writing as a process, and understand both the structure and the power of language. Core texts focus on coping with challenges, essentially addressing the themes: “Who am I? How have I become that person? What is important to me?”

Perspectives in World History

Rivers history teachers believe that all students should develop a working knowledge of American, European and World History. Students should have a working knowledge of world geography and an appreciation for the effect of geography on history. The study of history is essential in helping to provide perspective on the origins of the present, current events, civic participation, and an understanding of the triumphs and failures of previous human societies. The study of history is essential in facilitating a critical attitude about sources, evidence, and arguments.

Rivers Athletics

Athletics at Rivers

Rivers believes that involvement in interscholastic athletics is a meaningful and integral part of each student's overall education.

Athletics at Rivers complements our rigorous academic program and provides another arena in which students can excel. The personal growth and achievements realized by our student athletes provide them with a balance between academic pursuits, physical endeavors, and social interaction.

Rivers athletic teams have won 12 NEPSAC and Independent School League championships over the last four years.

Biology & Chemistry I

The first of a two-year integrated curriculum, Biology & Chemistry I is the traditional first-year science course at Rivers. Students begin by examining the scientific method: the logical, step-wise deductive process that pervades all scientific endeavors. The scientific method is followed by the fundamentals of basic chemistry, which serves as a foundation for the rest of the course. Students look at the composition of matter from both an atomic and molecular level, including bond formation, and how the organization of the periodic table informs these concepts. Following a survey of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell types and organelles, the concepts of energy and membrane transport are explored.

Algebra II

This course reinforces and extends the concepts and methods covered in Algebra I, including fundamental mathematical properties, solving single variable equations, applications of linear equations and their graphs, and factoring techniques. The course reviews and enhances student skills and understanding of solving systems of equations, inequalities, and systems of inequalities. New topics include the study of quadratic, logarithmic, polynomial, exponential, radical, and rational functions.

Visual & Performing Arts

The visual arts program at Rivers cultivates a lifelong involvement in the arts. The department teaches creative problem solving, fosters cooperation, and encourages risk taking. Students apply what they have learned to the creation of works of art. Through active participation, students develop imagination, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-reliance, visual literacy, and a honed awareness of the visual world.

The Performing Arts Department, recognizing that the performing arts are at the core of human existence, offers ensembles and classes in a supportive environment that provides for performance- based assessment and process-oriented learning. Students are encouraged to exceed previous levels of achievement, discover self-confidence, develop self esteem, build self-discipline, and achieve self-awareness. Teachers are models for active learning, risk-taking, and self expression. Students are taught the arts for the sake of the arts and as a model for all learning.

The Rivers School Conservatory Program

The Rivers School Conservatory Program

This program provides student musicians with the faculty, classes, and performance opportunities needed to cultivate their musical artistry while at the same time pursuing a rigorous and challenging academic experience – all on one campus.

Open to classical and jazz instrumentalists and vocalists in the Upper School (9-12) and runs in tandem with The Rivers School’s music curriculum. Conservatory Program students enroll in a stimulating and powerful academic program that includes 23 honors and 15 AP level courses in all academic departments. During the regular school day they join other student musicians in chamber orchestra, chamber ensembles, big band, jazz combos, women’s chorus, and men’s chorus.

At the end of the regular school day, Conservatory Program students take additional classes in music theory, ear training, performance, improvisation, solfege, and independent studies, as well as being assigned to Conservatory Program jazz, chamber, or vocal ensembles.

Robotics Club

Clubs and Co-Curriculars

Rivers students prepare themselves for the world beyond by immersing themselves in our comprehensive program. That’s why you’ll find that Rivers students are more than scholars; they are athletes, artists, musicians, leaders, newspaper reporters, actors, and poets. And more than a few students are all of those things.

Students can also be involved in a wide array of clubs, including Model UN, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Diversity Club and Community Service Council. The school also has three student-run publications: The Rivers Edge, a national award-winning newspaper; The Current, the literary magazine; and The Nonesuch, the yearbook. And, thanks to student initiative, new clubs, events, and organizations continue to appear each year.

Clubs such as Model UN, Debate, and DECA compete at national and local conferences.
Service Learning

Service Learning at Rivers

The outreach program at Rivers is based upon the belief that each student has the potential and responsibility to be an educated, contributing member of society. Through school, class, and individual endeavors, a student has the opportunity to learn about the challenges facing our local and global neighbors and to take part in a variety of outreach activities designed to meet existing needs within these communities. Those who discover a particular interest are encouraged to make a difference by volunteering. Students will learn from and reflect upon their service experiences, striving for partnership with those who have needs in the spirit of ‘doing with, not doing for’ those with whom we work.

Ninth Grade students are afforded the opportunity to take part in service days throughout the school year.

Advisory Program

You and Your Advisor

Rivers has a robust advisory program that assigns students a member of the Rivers faculty who helps guide them through their Upper School experience by providing academic, organizational, emotional, and social support. Advisory groups are typically between six and eight students and remain together for two years at a time. Advisories are single-sex for Grade 9 and 10 and are a mix of boys and girls for Grades 11 and 12.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.