Opening the door for meaningful knowledge
The community at Riley is integrated and inclusive. It is not uncommon to find 5 year olds, 13 year olds and facilitators working side by side or in collaboration. That said, programmatic designations separate children into “Schools” in order to best meet intellectual and social maturities and needs at different developmental stages.
Movement between schools is fluid and determined by a child’s readiness but, in general, children in the Lower School range from 4 - 7 years old and children in the Middle and Upper School range from 7 to 15 years old.
In the Upper School, each child's program is individualized based on recognizing their strengths and vulnerabilities. The focus of each child's work is determined by ongoing reviews, evaluations and discussions of their understanding with the facilitator. Children are supported in learning to manage their time in order to finish assigned work and are given opportunities to practice more formal essay writing and research.
An increased emphasis on inductive methods and learning through exploration is encouraged to integrate math, science and art. Children bring their insights to the arenas of problem solving and real world applications during time set aside to discover the concepts within such areas as: probability, logic problems, graphing, scale models, deductive puzzles, logical puzzles and spatial reasoning activities. All children have a maintenance schedule which prompts regular review of the supportive skills that allow them to tackle more complex tasks.
Upper School children are given the opportunity to have a significant leadership role on campus and to demonstrate their capacity for independent study and responsibility.