From a Parent:

"The school is a strong academic and socially supportive avenue for our children's learning path.  They can learn to be who they are as they grow socially and are encouraged and supported by the administration and the staff during that process, and at the same time ensure that each and every student is working hard to achieve their academic potential, while learning a variety of skills"


  1. It’s friendly, small, and holds children accountable.

  2. There is a very caring approach to kids experiencing problems.

  3. It is a very positive emotional and social experience for my child.

  4. The small community and the high standards in academics.

  5. Four Rivers has a lot to offer their students academically as well as it is inclusive of and responsive to parents.

  6. I like the idea of a smaller group of children who can focus better on the tasks at hand.

  7. It is an intimate, accountable environment where each individual matters and that is precious, indeed.

  8. Four Rivers provides clear goals for the students and sufficient challenge.

  9. Heterogeneous class groupings, strong advisory support for students, accessibility of teachers to students and parents.

  10. The school and teachers do a good job teaching and being aware of my child’s needs

  11. Quality of teaching, access to teachers, exploration-based learning

  12. It offers a healthy environment with motivated bright teachers.

  13. Students do not fall through the cracks at 4R.

  14. The school allows the child to develop as an individual and supports a sense of self.

  15. The "hands on" learning and connection to reality the education provides.

  16. The instructors are dynamic and inventive.

  17. Peaceful learning environment.

  18. Project learning that one would encounter in life and not text book focused

  19. Each student can be herself and feel included in the school community. The academics are strong.

  20. I like the small town atmosphere of the school and feel the in most cases  we have seen great improvements in my child.

  21. It has provided a nurturing and stimulating environment for my daughter and given her a positive attitude towards education

  22. I like the sense of civic responsibility that the school is trying to teach the kids. I also like all the after school assistance offered by the school.

  23. It holds children to higher academic standards. It also enforces a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and other negative behaviors.

  24. We love the individual attention, the sense of community and the general respect for knowledge and challenge in our daughter's education.

  25. This school has a very well balanced academic offering and the students have great FUN in exploring different avenues in problem solving.

  26. For our child, the small classroom size is a big plus.  The focus on being a good and responsible person is important to our family as well.

  27. I appreciate that the school seems to be building and improving the faculty each year. I would strongly recommend the girls sports teams.

  28. Teachers know the students well.  I really like the focus on getting the students to reflect on their character, learning style and habits of work and learning.  The school culture values academic achievement as well as kindness and service.

  29. It focus's on each child's individual strengths and weaknesses.  Four Rivers has high expectations academically and children are accountable for their work.  It's a great place with a strong sense of community.

  30. The focus is on the child and learning, not just pushing the child through the grades to have them graduate.  The curriculum is also presented in a way that makes the child want to learn and makes them interested in the subject matter.

  31. The method of teaching is geared toward many children who do not do well in a regular classroom.  A child has the opportunity to approach a subject from different angles, not merely the traditional approach.

  32. Students are encouraged to think for themselves and to look at things from a variety of angles.

  33. I like the small community because it is more welcoming, but also it is much less conducive to bullying substance abuse.  Also I like the grading system and the quality of the academics.

  34. I am thrilled with the schools work to create a positive environment and the expectations placed on students to be a positive member of the school community.  The academic program and hands on learning are excellent. The small class size is great, and assists students receiving the attention they need to succeed.

  35. My daughter enjoys going to school every day! What better testament to a school's success than that?! She responds well to the hands on, active learning as I believe most children do. The teachers seem to care about the students, and take time to get to know them.

  36. The school is providing an education that is challenging. I also think that each student is seen as an individual because of class/school size. My youngest child has been more challenged than in any school she has been in and has risen to the challenge.

  37. This was our fist year and for a 7th grade transition, this was what we were looking for, small school size, small classes and a sense of community.  It made the transition to middle school much better as this year was very similar to our elementary atmosphere. Community building, school jobs, weekly all schools, environmental opportunities.

  38. Welcoming, high quality academics, clear expectations (rubrics), crew groups and students are known, good community within school and socially among students, expeditions and great projects, great teachers. We also really enjoyed Ultimate as a team sport option.

  39. Four Rivers staff generally treats the students with respect.  There is good communication with parents. Allowing students to revise work to passing the standards is a great way for students to understand what is expected of them and to help them to reach their potential.  

  40. The projects that my son's class has completed have not only given him a sound education in the subjects, but have often had an impact on the larger community.  He seems at ease and looks like himself at the end of the day. Amazingly, all the staff are smiling at pick up time after a long day with a bunch of teenagers! Expectations are clear and the ceiling is high.  The staff is constantly expanding its capacity to meet the needs of the students and thoughtfully extending the range of what can be offered at the school.

  41. Its strengths are individualized attention, people in authority who listen, and a good balance between flexibility and insisting on certain standards and values.  The school has done a great job in helping my daughter mature and try to learn how to keep things in perspective.

  42. The school is a strong academic and socially supportive avenue for our children's learning path.  They can learn to be who they are as they grow socially and are encouraged and supported by the administration and the staff during that process, and at the same time ensure that each and every student is working hard to achieve their academic potential, while learning a variety of skills.

  43. Each student has great potential as individuals to develop who they are.  Teachers not only hold students to their best but also themselves. They are a team of both faculty and students, balanced appropriately.  We love the way they all really know our children and find each ones specialness.

  44. The moment you pull into the driveway at Four Rivers, you know you must be at an extraordinary place. Children are all laughing and happy. Administrators are present and smiling, interacting with the kids in positive and supportive ways. In fact, everyone is interacting with everyone in happy and positive ways without a sign of ANYTHING happening that needs discipline or actions that could turn into negative or dangerous situations.

  45. Four Rivers is not just a school. It is an entire environment with its own social and cultural system, one which both more accurately fits the world we live in and presents goals for improving the world we live in: it is educating not just the child's mind but helping children to learn how to behave, problem solve, indeed, how to LEARN in positive ways: to respect one another, to show warmth and human compassion to every other human being.  

  46. It is a most extraordinary school, and every child admitted by the lottery system has indeed won so much more than winning ANY other monetary lottery .They will learn more richly and deeply; they will be inspired to discover and use their own unique gifts to address the various learning projects that they have a hand in designing. These are EXTRAORDINARY opportunities; this is how learning SHOULD take place.

  47. The teachers are AMAZING! Every teacher, EVERY one of them, show a love for what they're doing, enormous dedication, and an intense interest in and specific knowledge of my child. Their breadth of knowledge is highly impressive. There is no air that they will give out work sheets and look forward to retirement.  They really care that EVERY student learns to the highest level possible and gladly give of their time to make sure that students learn the things they are wrestling with. Students should not have just one shot at learning something.

  48. It always amazes me that even before my son started school at Four Rivers, the administrators and the office remembered me and addressed me by name (a different surname from my son's).  Administrators know all the kids AND the parents, and NOT because the kids have been troublesome. They care and understand that parents must be part of their child's education.

  49. The school is small enough so that each child is well known to the staff; this seems to help keep respect and discipline within the community.  It also encourages individual attention when academic challenges arise.

  50. The school's mission includes responding to this generation's challenges such as ecological integrity, the need to foster local community, and discerning and using efficient technology.  It helps to make the educational material meaningful in an authentic way. It also underlines our responsibility as citizens to apply what we're learning, beginning now.

  51. The staff has been very carefully selected for their integrity and dedication as well as their credentials and accomplishments.  The staff tends to be really good role models - so important for our youth. In addition, the adults at Four Rivers help to create a culture which is respectful and safe.

  52. I like the emphasis the teaching approach places on effort-based learning through the use of clear expectations for standards and through the practice of work revisions.  This is an important character development piece.

  53. The small size of classes and the advisory model of communication with the students has made my child feel more visible and connected to the school community compared to the public school she previously attended.  

  54. Students are challenged to perform to their own individual capacity and are rewarded for exceeding the standards set by the curriculum.

  55. The daily routine of the student is viewed holistically, that is, their personal development is nurtured by integrating academic and social needs through a good balance of classroom and non-classroom activities.  

  56. I wish that all public schools would take it upon themselves to have such a multi-dimensional commitment to children's learning/growth.  I particularly like the level of involvement and accountability that is expected of each student. Likewise, I appreciate the humane (read: firm but not needlessly punitive) approach that Four Rivers has taken with offering my son guidance, structure, kindness, and opportunities for success when he has needed them.   I love the core themes of environment-community-technology which run through everything. My son has absolutely blossomed in his social abilities, his confidence, and his breadth of interests since starting at this school.

  57. In no particular order:  small size; incredibly talented and committed faculty and staff; at Four Rivers people "walk the walk"--the values are put into action; there's a very high level of integrity, honesty, listening, and thoughtful and meaningful actions taken to reach goals, and not just to solve problems but to prevent problems;  refreshingly little "politics," we couldn't ask for better role models for our kids; so much is accomplished on a relatively small budget--sets a wonderful example; the school philosophy; expeditionary learning, the commitment to the community; and so on!!!