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River School

4880 MacArthur Blvd., NW
Washington, DC 20007

(202) 337-3554


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18 months - 3rd grade

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The River School fosters children’s growth in social cognition, independence, communication, creativity and problem-solving in a nurturing and developmentally appropriate environment for children as young as 18 months and through third grade.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught The River School's educational program emphasizes experiential and collaborative learning, and uses thematic curriculum to integrate drama, music, visual arts, physical education, science, and literacy into the classroom, and as "specials" classes throughout the week.

From the Director:

Using a unique co-teaching model that pairs a master’s level educator with a speech language pathologist in each classroom, the curriculum has a special focus on early language, literacy and social development.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The River School individualizes and differentiates in the classroom ensuring that each child is enriched or supported as needed.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The mission of the River School is to provide successful educational experiences for children and their families by uniting the best practices of early childhood education and oral deaf education, and to promote clinical research and training in child language and literacy."

excerpted from the school's website

A Typical Day

Half-day preschool:
8:25-9:15 Choice Time
9:15-9:30 Circle
9:30-10:00 Science
10:00-10:30 P.E.
10:30 Snack
10:45 Playground
11:15 Literacy (small group mouth-time/book-time)
11:45 Closing Circle
12:00 Dismissal

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers communicate with parents using daily notes and weekly newsletters. The school closes three times a year for parent-teacher conferences. We have an open-door policy and invite parents to communicate openly and regularly with our faculty and administration.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Small group sessions