Signature Programs

Kaleidoscope Overview Grades 2-5

Our Kaleidoscope Program weaves together the study of world religions with moral values through literature and creative activities. We have a wonderful collection of children's literature that focuses on various topics in religion and other values such as respect, honesty, hope, loyalty, courage, and of course, love.

Design Thinking

Simply put, design thinking is a creative way of approaching problems. It moves through stages—define the problem, ask good questions, consider options, try them out, choose what works best. It’s collaborative, on the theory that many minds working together are better than one working alone. And it’s effective. The idea has grown from places like Stanford University’s and has spread to the worlds of science and technology and industry.

We think it’s perfect for kids. It taps their abundant creative energies, and develops social skills as they learn to work together. Learning is hands-on, engaging, and fun.

Lower School kids use design thinking to design roller coasters for someone they care about, or to figure out how to get food from the farm to a hungry person’s table. Middle School students build apps for cancer patients, and design gardens that the Lower School kids will like. A common feature is that you’re always designing with someone else’s needs in mind.

The Center for Creative Design and Engineering

A big part of design thinking involves using tools to solve problems, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to learn to use tools than The Riviera Ridge School’s Creative Design and Engineering Center, or CDEC. Those tools might be laser cutters and circuit boards and 3D printers, or they might be shovels and buckets and compost. CDEC is a flexible space designed with creative collaboration in mind.

We teach design thinking and developed CDEC because we think creativity matters, and not just in art class. Creativity is an important part of being human, and it’s essential to human achievement

4th - 8th Grade Overnight Adventures

Fall trips – Beginning in 4th grade, all students take part in overnight outings (from one night to a more than a week) that introduce them to new places and ideas while helping them form strong bonds with each other and with their teachers. Fall trips include Santa Barbara Zoo (4th), Astro Camp (5th), Catalina Island Marine Institute-CIMI (6th), and the Sierra (7th), culminating with an 8th grade trip to Northern California.