|Our educational program is based on four commitments:
Expecting the best
Four Rivers expects high levels of achievement in academic learning, effort, and teamwork. We challenge students to dig deeper and work harder than most have done before. With talented and enthusiastic teachers, our program seeks to prepare every student for college. The curriculum grows from the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks, with an emphasis on excellence in reading, writing and math, ensuring readiness for the MCAS. Its real energy comes from teachers working with small classes to develop challenging projects, through which students learn essential knowledge, skills, and values. They teach with clear, high standards for each course, opportunities for revision to meet the standards, and the conviction that every student can and wants to strive for his or her best.
Learning by doing
At Four Rivers, learning is active, not passive. Meaningful, engaging projects are central to our curriculum. Several times a year classes go on “learning expeditions”: in-depth investigations of a theme or topic, guided by questions, which may extend from four to eight weeks. Students do original research and fieldwork, often involving experts in the community. Expeditions and shorter “investigations” promote responsibility and collaboration; they speak to diverse learning styles, reveal new strengths, and deepen understanding. Typically, learning expeditions culminate with the students producing work—a report, a publication, a performance—that has a real purpose and a real audience.
Exploring big questions
The school’s themes of nature, technology and community engage teachers and students in basic questions that promote active learning and bring them in touch with our area and our times. What does the natural world have to teach us? What does technology, and the creative power of invention behind it, offer us? How can they work together for the good of all? There is endless learning to be explored -- and causes to be served -- in our themes. Our answers can shape the future, here in Franklin County and in the world beyond.
Building character and community
At Four Rivers, the development of character and community are as important as academic achievement. Our school is small, with a place for everyone. Every student is known; each is valued as bringing a unique gift to the school. All of us are called on to think and act for the common good. Through our advisory program and our curriculum, we guide each student’s quest for the strength of character and insight to make healthy choices and set positive goals. We encourage student leadership and initiative in helping one another, strengthening our school, and serving the community. We emphasize six character virtues, and we also have a clear code of conduct, with no tolerance for behavior that is unsafe or hurtful to an individual or the school community.