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Frequently Asked Questions





Do we offer Spanish or other world language classes?   River does not currently offer any World Language classes.  Our electives are: World Percussion (1 and 2), Band, Choir, Strings, Culinary, and Art.
Implicit Curriculum?   Every School has an “Implicit Curriculum”, it is what students learn through observing the actions and interactions of the adults and their peers.  Our goal is to be clear about how our own actions and the adult modeling impacts the culture of the school.  We hope to build students sense of Responsibility, Resourcefulness, Responsiveness, and Respect .
Class Sizes:   Our classes are typically between 30 and 36 students, very similar to other schools in our district.  Though our school is small in total enrollment, class sizes are similar to other schools.
PBL (project based learning)?   Our teachers use a variety of strategies to help students learn the content and skills necessary to complete their class.  Teachers use projects and Essential Questions to drive the student’s learning and give context to the information. In Math, typically the projects are much shorter, or focused on complex problems instead of a traditional project.
SSR (sustained silent reading):   Over the past years, River has experimented with periods of time to support students in ways that sometimes there is not time for in the traditional classroom.  Last year we had enrichment classes that changed each trimester. This year the staff has made an agreement to have students engage in sustained silent reading three days a week to promote reading and literacy, as well as to practice the art of focusing on an academic task for a consistent period of time.
LMS (Life Mastery Skills):   A part of the Advisory System, LMS is an extended period on Wednesdays for the class to engage in an activity that can go a little deeper.  Sometimes it has to do with academics, sometimes social, sometime building community.  Other times it can be an opportunity to respond to challenging events or celebrate together.  The Advisor is a great resource with additional questions.
Advisory Classes?   Advisory class is the way that students are welcomed to the school on a daily basis.  Their teacher is with them to provide consistency, and an opportunity to develop their sense of belonging.  Advisors are the first point of contact for questions about a student’s academic or social development.  
Does NVUSD provide school bus transportation for River students?   River School is a “school of choice”.  This means that there are no neighborhood boundries, instead, all students select to attend River School.  New Tech High School is the other example of a “school of choice” in our District.  NVUSD does not, however, provide buses to any “school of choice”.
Hot Lunch/Cafeteria services:   River School currently has hot foods available to purchase in the cafeteria at Milk break and lunch.  After moving to the new site will continue to offer the same services with an on site kitchen.
Changes to River School as a result of not being a Charter School and how will this affect your student?   Students at River School will continue to have 6 classes (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, P.E. and an elective (typically an art).  Additionally, we will continue our Advisory model to support students in developing a strong sense of belonging. The changes will primarily affect the teachers.  They will be teaching an additional class instead of having an additional period to collaborate with colleagues.  
Where do your pledge dollars go?   Pledge dollars have always gone to the River School Foundation.  When we transitioned to a District School, the Foundation no longer had the responsibility of governing the school, and instead maintains its focus as a foundation to benefit the River School.  The foundation has always financially supported the school, and pledges will continue to support (as they have in the past) many of the events that make River special (STOMP, Field Trips, Supplies for the Arts Programs, Community Building).  More detailed information will be available at monthly River Foundation meetings.
What is the River Foundation?    With the relinquishment of the Charter, the Foundation will shift its focus fully to the support of the “extra” elements that make River School so unique.  This Foundation will be doing some revamping as a result of the change from Charter to District School, and the hope is to increase parent and family involvement and create great experiences for our students in partnership with the school.
How many students does River School currently have?  Future enrollment?   River School currently has 420 students for the 2019-2020 School year.  Looking to the future we are anticipating growth to look like the following: 2020-2021 school year - 490 Students  2021-2022 school year - 540 Students 
Open Enrollment:  Lottery? Sibling preference?   River School continues to be a “School of Choice” meaning students enroll by filling out the Open Enrollment Application.  While River has always used the District’s System, this year the Lottery will run through the Computer System like it does for the rest of the district.   There will be priorities for incoming siblings of students who will be enrolled at River at the same time as the applicant. There also may be priorities for students with special needs, such as Foster Youth, Homeless Youth, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Youth.  The open enrollment dashboard will have a clear and complete explanation of the process for this year once it is finalized.