Middle School

At The Riviera Ridge School, our excellent and experienced faculty and staff recognize the importance of understanding the middle school mind. We are prepared to support all students during the formative pre-teen and teen years where students ask questions like: Who am I? What matters to me most? Where do I see myself in the future? Do I have the skills to get there? The Riviera Ridge School creates a safe, nurturing environment to help students answer those questions.

A Day In The Life

With the future in mind, The Riviera Ridge School prepares students each day as they enter the very important middle school years by diving into the heart of 21st Century education. Students are empowered and gain confidence with opportunities to blend core content with project-based learning, allowing for real-world applications and cross-curricular programming. As students graduate 8th grade and prepare to enter High School, they leave The Riviera Ridge School with the following skills:

List of 6 items.

  • Adaptivity and Flexible Thinking

  • College Readiness & Literacy

  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

  • Ethical Responsibility

  • Interpersonal Communication & Self Advocacy

  • Social Confidence

Curriculum Overview

List of 6 items.

  • History

    Our history curriculum fosters global awareness and strengthens interconnectedness through a balance of historical inquiry, innovative projects, and field trips. Students study ancient cultures and world civilizations, the early modern era, and United States history. Students learn to examine the past to inform the present and make predictions for the future; utilize multiple sources to build contextualization and corroboration to evaluate validity; and, engage in textual analysis to identify an author’s argument and bias.
  • Language Arts

    Woven throughout the language arts curriculum, students learn to, connect themes across contexts and time, explore multiple viewpoints to engender empathy and deepen understanding, and hone verbal and written communication skills to target specific audiences. In Middle School English classes, students are compelled to participate in analytical and subjective discussions about contemporary issues; read critically; support written and spoken ideas with evidence from history, literature, and experience; and develop greater understanding and respect for others’ perspectives. Literary works are chosen for their thematic concerns, namely themes that invite the reader to consider his or her own experience or society and historical context. Opportunities abound to further develop creative expression through poetry and prose and to deepen understanding of the writing process.  
  • Math

    Infused with technology, multi-modality learning, and taking the early Lower School math foundations developed with Singapore Math, Middle School students continue to develop students’ conceptual foundations and procedural competencies in Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry. Designed to meet the varied skills and aptitudes of middle school students, students learn to problem-solve through multiple modalities; read, decode, and translate math language; collaborate and communicate mathematical thinking with peers, and analyze complex problems by connecting previous knowledge. Ultimately, they gain critical thinking skills to explain math reasoning logically.
  • Sciences & the Center for Creative Design and Engineering

    As students enter 6th grade, the curriculum continues to emphasize experiential learning and problem-solving that develop a creative innovator mindset where every student feels empowered to reach a goal or solve a problem with the confidence utilizing engineering design and design thinking processes. Beyond the science curriculum, students enhance and develop skills such as adaptability, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. 
    Opened in 2016, the CDEC is a space where students delve deeper into hands-on learning projects in the areas of design thinking, engineering, and science. Students use innovative tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers to transform their ideas into physical prototypes. Design thinking teaches students empathy and requires effective communication and constructive collaboration between peers. The flexibility of the open space allows teachers and students to be creative and collaborative.
  • Service Learning, Ethics, and Comparative Religion Studies

    Unique to our middle school course work in service-learning, ethics and the study of comparative religions. Beginning in 6th grade, we emphasize the importance of connecting with our community to build understanding, empathy, and awareness. These courses are designed to deepen students’ knowledge of self to better understand their impact on family, peers, and the world at large while fostering notions of moral and ethical responsibility.
  • Spanish

    We offer Spanish instruction from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Spanish instruction blends conversational, multimedia, and project-based learning to ignite student fluency and understanding of cultural traditions from Spain and Latin America.  Students develop language proficiency in real-world situations; utilize global partnerships to build global awareness; foster cultural curiosity, and engender a love of language learning. Middle school students often matriculate to High School Spanish 2 or Spanish 3 levels upon graduating from The Riviera Ridge School.

Co-Curricular Offerings

List of 3 items.

  • Electives

    Students in 6th-8th grade have the opportunity to enhance their rigorous secondary-prep curriculum with a variety of elective courses. Electives cover a variety of academic, cultural, and practical subjects, and are designed to be exploratory in nature. They give students exposure to new things and spark inspiration for lifelong passions while allowing students to have a choice in what they learn. Each Middle School student has three different electives each year and is encouraged to take at least one term from the following four categories: Leadership and Service, Visual Performing and Creative Arts, STEM and Physical Fitness and Student Wellness.
  • Advisory

    Twice a week, Middle School students meet with their advisory groups.  Designed to be small and tightly-woven, the Middle School advisory program is focused on helping students navigate the developmental changes and challenges of adolescence.
  • Academic Center for Excellence (ACE)

School Trips

Designed to facilitate peer bonding and connect to curriculum outside of the classroom, Middle School educational trips provide students with life-changing moments. 

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  • Catalina Island Marine Institute (6th Grade)

    6th grade students travel to the Catalina Island Marine Institute where they camp for five days while snorkeling and kayaking in the clear waters of the Pacific to learn about California marine life.
  • The Sierras (7th Grade)

    7th grade students travel to the Sierras Mountains where they camp for five days while hiking, bouldering, and swimming. They develop important teamwork skills and deepen friendships with their peers.
  • Northern California (8th Grade)

    8th grade students will take a Northern California STEAM Study Tour. Highlights of the itinerary include: 
    • Exploring and rock climbing in Yosemite
    • Exploring the California Academy of Sciences Museum
    • Dining in San Francisco’s Chinatown
  • Los Angeles Trip (8th Grade)

    In the spring of their 8th grade year, students travel to Los Angeles where they explore the architecture, art, and unique neighborhoods of Downtown Los Angeles, experience a live theater performance and partake in cultural dining experiences.