Lower School

A Riviera Ridge education supports the whole child; this starts with their very first day at School!

Our progressive academic curriculum is purposefully integrated with social-emotional development through play, discovery, inquiry, literature, physical education, performing and visual arts, and technology. Critical thinking skills, collaboration, creativity, and communication are the focus and help to build each child’s skill set to meet challenges with self-confidence and the motivation to keep learning.Lower School student at RRS

Lower School Core Curriculum

Lower School Program Highlights

Early Childhood (JK-1st Grade)

In Junior Kindergarten, visitors might see our youngest learners exploring the parts of a native tree in the sensory table, or becoming a veterinarian, chef, or architect through dramatic play and dress-up.

Our Kindergartners can be found building a golf course at the end of their engineering unit or observing the lifecycle of a butterfly from egg to adult and then releasing them once they have all emerged.

A play, written, cast, costume-designed, and performed by ambitious 1st graders is the norm at The Riviera Ridge School.

Elementary Years (2nd-5th Grade)

Empowering life-long readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists is the focus in The Riviera Ridge School's 2nd through 5th grades. At The Riviera Ridge School, we insist on celebrating the many unique and varied ways in which our children learn.

Guests of The Riviera Ridge School would also see a poetry assembly of 2nd graders gathered in our historic Tea House as our poets share their unique and inspired works.

3rd grade visitors would observe a collaborative environment where students exercise empathy, respect for differences in beliefs, and peaceful conflict resolution.

Innovation and design empower 4th graders to share about building, programming, and driving their robots across campus or launching their carefully crafted rockets into the sky.

Observations of 5th graders conducting a math investigation using mile markers, distance, and layouts of a road race would not be uncommon nor would seeing small groups of students recording a conversation in Spanish against the backdrop of our green screen, transporting them to the bustling streets of Sevilla.

Lower School Signature Programs

Color Teams
Our Color Teams program includes all lower school students. With ten different teams led by our faculty and staff, our color teams are composed of students from every grade level, K-5. Our tenth team is our JK “rainbow team.” On Color Teams day, you will see students come together with friends from different grades. As the color teams stay the same over the years, each group grows a special bond and sense of pride. From creating mystery art to developing Color Team songs, this tradition at Riviera Ridge develops kindness, gratitude, and creativity.

All School Buddies
A tradition of Kindness and Joy abound within our school buddies program. With Middle School students serving as role models and leaders, our students in grades JK-3 look forward to their special time with their “big buddies” in grades 4-8. As each lower grade student is paired with one upper grade student, the lasting bond of Riviera Ridge buddies is created at the beginning of each school year. Throughout the year, our students get together with their buddies and celebrate special events, play, engage in creative design projects, and encourage one another’s accomplishments. Our middle school students collaborate to plan activities for the buddy teams. On Halloween, you will find our buddies cheering each other on in performances and parades, then decorating pumpkins together. On Valentine's day, buddies exchange custom-made valentines and engage in STEAM building challenges. Over the years, the buddy groups grow up together, creating joy and connection.


The idea that one possesses a purpose beyond self is part of our school’s vision. Our core values are introduced to our students the moment they step on campus. In Junior Kindergarten through First Grade, students delve into literature-based units of study that illustrate our shared values of Joy, Kindness, Diversity, and Ethical Responsibility.

An exploration of world religions begins in 2nd grade and continues through 5th grade. The Kaleidoscope Program introduces students to religious traditions through stories of real people, especially children. Students encounter religious traditions authentically, as integral to everyday life, as well as personal and communal identity.

In Junior Kindergarten, students and their families share their heritage and traditions through storytelling and by bringing in food and favorite recipes to share with the class. In Kindergarten students learn ways to solve conflicts by being peacemakers as exemplified by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1st Grade, children learn about being a friend to self and others through powerful stories such as The Rabbit Listened.  In 2nd Grade students can be found creating an altar to honor their loved ones while learning about Día de Los Muertos. In 3rd Grade, students study geometric patterns of mosaic tiles in mosques and make their own mandalas. In 4th and 5th grade, students learn about traditions through guest visits from locals, such as a Chumash elder.

To learn more about Kaleidoscope click here.

Lower school students at RRS