Riverbend Traditions

Riverbend School holds a number of traditions and events that enhance the academic experience of its students and build on its distinctive culture and community. Some of these traditions and their descriptions are listed below.

Throughout the school year, students in grades K – 8  are invited to participate in assemblies.  Some, coordinated by our Parents’ Association, are geared towards enhancing the curriculum through outside performers and presenters who bring expertise in areas such as cultural dance, instrumental arrangements, animal behaviors and much more.  Others are planned and performed by the students themselves, who share parts of our curriculum and their individual artistic talents through music, dance, poetry and more. 

September

Back to School Night: This special information evening for parents is arranged to introduce you to your child’s classroom community and the teacher(s) that will be working with him/her throughout the school year.  It is designed to help you understand the basics of classroom operation and the particular ways you can support your child’s teachers and overall educational experience.

Middle School White Mountains Trip: Each fall, Middle School students and teachers embark on a four day trip to New Hampshire for an outdoor team-building experience. Scheduled at the beginning of the school year, it offers students the opportunity to get to know one another and their teachers through physical activities and collaborative, fun challenges.

October

Riverbend Fall Festival: Fall Festival is an all-school event run in partnership with our Teachers, Parent’s Association and our Middle School, Upper Elementary and recent alumni who host and serve other members of our community.  This fun community-building event includes a pancake breakfast, crafts, activities and entertainment. In addition, families can get their car washed in support of the Upper Elementary overnight trip to Sargent Center in NH during the spring.

November

5th & 6th Grade Museum of Science Overnight: Every November, 5th & 6th grade students enjoy an exciting night of exploring the museum after hours! Activities include workshops with hands-on activities, live animal presentations and a lightning show, all before setting up camp in one of the museum rooms. In the morning after a healthy breakfast, students do more exploring and see both a planetarium show and an Omni film before returning to school for lunch.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day: Each year we celebrate the Grandparents and Special Friends of our students. On this day, we invite our guests to visit the school and  see the children’s work, sing songs, and have refreshments. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to practice their grace and courtesy skills as they host visitors in their school environment.

December

Holiday Reception: As we head into the holiday season and reflect on the passing of the year, parents and teachers of Riverbend will have the opportunity to join together for a festive adult-only evening with good food and cheer.

Winter Show: The Winter Show is an opportunity for our students to celebrate the holiday season with each other and our parent community. It takes place in two parts; younger students perform fun holiday tunes and older students perform in various ensembles which often include Alumni.

Children’s House Classroom Holiday Celebrations: Each winter holiday season, we love to have our Children’s House parents and students come together for a festival party in the classrooms.  Children will sing songs and do holiday crafts with their parents before heading off for the Holiday break!

January

Family Skating Party: Celebrate the new year with a fun hour of skating for the whole family at the William Chase Arena, Natick, MA! This event provides students and parents with the opportunity to re-connect after the holidays.

State of The School Meeting: Each year, our Board of Directors holds a meeting designed to share strategic efforts being made by the board and administration to better the school towards fulfillment of our mission.  The evening includes dinner, news from the Head of School and Board of Directors and a time for Q & A.

February

Science Fair/Academic Fair & Art Showcase: Students from K – 8th Grade have a chance to learn in depth about a topic  that fascinates them. The Fair provides our students  an opportunity to research and share their findings with the whole school community.  On this same evening, our talented Art teachers, Mrs. Ormaza and Mrs. Evans, who have worked with the students at the Upper School to turn the Art room into an Art Showcase, display the students’ artwork for parents to view.  The Science Fair and the Academic Fair alternate from one year to the next to give our students room for a variety of exploration!

Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Nursing Home Sing-a-Long: The Kindergarten students visit the Riverbend Nursing Home in South Natick to deliver Valentine’s Day cards and provide a mini sing-a-long performance for the residents. Our students experience the joy of bringing smiles to the elderly and reaching out to those in their community.

March

Family Fun Night: Sponsored by our Parent’s Association, this is a fun filled family night out for all parents and students to enjoy pizza and games. Grades 1 – 8 play Bingo in the Upper School gymnasium while Toddlers – Kindergarten are provided with age-appropriate entertainment, such as an animal show presentation, in Memorial Hall.

6th-8th grade Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) Trip to NYC: MMUN is an academically intensive experience that begins in September and culminates in a trip to New York City in March.  While in NYC, our students caucus with 900 fellow Montessori students from across the US. The students research the countries that they will represent and submit position papers on important global issues as part of the UN committee on which they will serve.  Our students are looking forward to their 5th  year of MMUN–an extremely meaningful experience.

April

Auction & Gala: Each year, Riverbend throws a party and fundraiser for parents and supporters of the school. Students in every class create beautiful works of art that are sold in the live auction.  Faculty and staff offer unique outings for students.  Parents and local businesses offer amazing items such as vacation getaways, concert & sports tickets, hosted & catered parties, private dinners at gourmet restaurants, and gift certificates for everything from glider flights to family portraits.  There’s something for everyone at the Gala, so please mark your calendars and join us for a night to remember.

Toddler – Lower Elementary International Festival: Our Toddler through Lower Elementary children study countries from around the world over the course of a month and then celebrate their learning with their parents at our International Festival. Parents will be to see the children’s work and learn about the various ways they approached their international studies.

Upper Elementary Sargent Center Trip: Every spring, Upper Elementary students and teachers journey to New Hampshire for three days to Sargent Center’s “Nature’s Classroom.” Sargent Center is on 700 acres of forest, pond, meadow, river, and bog “where students and teachers discover the wonders of ecology and geology that simply can’t be found in books.” Students participate in hiking, team-building challenges, a ropes course, canoeing and more, all with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and critical thinking.

May

Kindergarten Drama Performances and Tea Parties: Each spring, our Kindergarteners take part in a six week drama program.  As participants, children are inspired to create musical theatre performances in a supportive, nurturing and positive classroom environment, where every child is set-up to succeed.  Parents are invited to see the final production and stay for a tea party!

6th Grade Expert Projects: At the beginning of the school year, 6th grade students choose a topic of interest/passion to research throughout the year and become an expert on it. With benchmarks put into place to help students achieve their overall goal of presenting their project to their parents, peers and staff, the 6th graders are able to advance their communication, leadership and public speaking skills.

Spring Concert K-8th grades: The Spring Concert is an extraordinary year-end event for students in grades Kindergarten – Grade 8. Under the direction of our music teacher, the concert showcases many diverse student performances, displaying the talents students have honed throughout the year and including a great variety of instruments. This event is always a highlight each year for both the students and their musical education!

June

Field Day K-8th grades: Field Day is a favorite for students and staff alike! Our Upper School Physical Education teacher, Ms. Salaway, organizes an afternoon full of team events and games. Each team is made up of students from Kindergarten – Grade 8 with Middle School students serving as captains. Students are welcome to show their school spirit by dressing from head to toe in their team color!

8th Grade Graduation: Eighth Grade Graduation is one of the most important events at Riverbend. With the honor of watching our 8th grade students grow into thoughtful, responsible young adults, this culminating event is not to be missed!  Each student speaks about their educational, artistic and athletic experiences and accomplishments and shares their thoughts about the transition to the area’s top high schools.  

Children’s House End-of-Year Event: At the culmination of each year, our Children’s House teachers plan and organize a classroom community event so that our students have the opportunity to host one or both of their parents, demonstrating all that they have learned through the Montessori Grace and Courtesy curriculum.