Cape Cod, MA

Jeanne Pacheco - Admissions Director


Separate boys and girls facilities

Call admissions department for current tuition.

Riverview School is an independent coeducational residential school that provides a caring community for adolescents and young adults with complex language, learning and cognitive disabilities. The school's focus is to develop student competence and confidence in academic, social, and independent living skills. Riverview places great importance upon the whole child.


If you are interested in applying for admission of your child to Riverview School,

please take the following steps:

1. Complete the Application Form(s). Contact us for an application packet, OR

CLICK HERE to download and print the application packet.

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Mail to Riverview together with the non-refundable Application Fee of $75.

2. Send recent (within two years) diagnostic evaluations, which include each of the following.

A psychological evaluation which includes a WISC-III/IV or WAIS-R.

Achievement test results (WJ-R or WIAT).

School records: (current and past school year)

Official Transcript for high school students. (Please complete the enclosed school transcript and records release.)

Report cards for elementary/middle school students.

OT, PT reports, if applicable.

Speech and Language testing, including standard scores (C.E.L.F. and T.L.C.)

Residential reports, if applicable.

Summer camp reports, if applicable.

An Individual Educational Plan (IEP) current or within three years (if applicable).

Three Recommendation forms ** (these should not be completed by family members) and should include teachers, guidance counselors, therapists, etc.

** when sending Recommendation forms, please include a stamped envelope addressed to: Riverview School, Admission Office, 551 Route 6A, East Sandwich, MA 02537. This will assist the person filling out the Recommendation in returning the forms to Riverview.

3. Riverview Admissions will process the application as soon as all of the required information is received and review it for appropriateness within two weeks. Following this review, if appropriate, you will be contacted to schedule an interview, tour and two-day visit for your child.

Riverview School, Inc. admits students of any race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational programs, admissions policies, scholarship, loan, athletic, or other school administered programs.

Mail the application packet to:

Riverview School
Attn: Admissions Office
551 Route 6A
East Sandwich, MA 02537 508-833-7000

Riverview School is an independent, co-educational, residential school of international reputation and service that enrolls approximately 180 students -- ages 12 to 20 in its secondary school and ages 19 to 22 in its post-secondary component. Students at Riverview hail from approximately 30 states and nine international countries. Riverview provides a caring, structured setting for students with complex language, learning and cognitive disabilities scoring within the 70 – 100 range and is committed to developing student competence and confidence in academic, social and independent living skills. Riverview also recognizes its’ important responsibility with families by encouraging ongoing open lines of communication.

In the structured, supportive residential setting a competent, caring staff fosters independence and self-determination through the development of independent living skills, social skills and self esteem. The philosophy of the "whole child" guides the ongoing dialogue between academic and residential staff and ensures that student needs are addressed quickly and comprehensively. Likewise, the success oriented, non-competitive, individualized nature of the program helps to increase self-awareness, student confidence and willingness to take risks in their learning environment.

Riverview was established on beautiful Cape Cod in 1957 and has an international reputation for excellence in special education. The scenic 16-acre campus features outstanding classroom facilities and condominium-like dormitories. The campus is an easy walk to Sandy Neck Beach and is located on historic Route 6A just one hour from Boston or Providence, RI. Beaches, lighthouses and quaint villages are among the many treasures found on Cape Cod.

Riverview is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is approved and licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

Educational philosophy of Riverview:

Adolescents/young adults with learning disabilities versus learning disabled adolescents/young adults.
Typical, age-appropriate extra curricular and social experiences.
Emphasis on the whole child.
Caring, structured and predictable living/learning environment.
Respect and appreciation of different learning styles, interests and talents.
Emphasis on developing self-determination and personal best.
Encouragement to take risks with learning.
Understanding of learning disabilities and strategies needed for success.
Research validated instructional techniques.
Thematic, integrated instruction
Real life opportunities for generalization of skills.
Direct and individualized instruction for academics, independent living, friendships and social skills.
Promotion of resilience and lifelong learning.
Cultivation of learning community for all.


Riverview’s licensed faculty provides academic instruction via a thematic, integrated curriculum. With an emphasis on high expectations and research-validated instructional approaches, students receive two hours of language arts instruction each day. The one hundred twenty (120) minute daily English Language Arts block ensures direct instruction in all of the language arts (i.e., reading, writing, speaking and listening). Therefore, each student receives direct instruction for one hour daily in reading and one hour daily in writing. While maximum class size is eight students, many opportunities are available for small group and individualized instruction.

The students are grouped in teams, based upon grade level. By assigning students to a small group of teachers, it ensures that the unique needs of our students are fully understood. Students are required to work with fewer teachers, therefore, transition is minimized while all team teachers’ classrooms are located within close proximity.

Each team is assigned a head teacher and one to four additional teachers. All of the students on a team follow an identical schedule (i.e., 1st period, math; 2nd period, English Language Arts; etc.) and the students are assigned to their academic classes within the team based upon each student’s individual skill level. Students are grouped into reading and writing classes based upon emerging, established and developed skill levels. Two hours a day are devoted to Reading and English Language Arts, one hour of math, one hour of history/social studies, one hour of science daily, and an elective class. The elective classes include physical education, industrial arts, computers and art. These classes provide hands-on experiential lessons with further opportunities for generalization of skills.

While students are attending elective classes, their academic team teachers meet for one hour daily. In addition to focusing on curriculum issues, this planning time allows for constant communication and ensures a consistent and effective program for each student. Staff training is provided to encourage teachers to be creative and flexible to ensure all students reach their full potential.

Most academic material is presented via a "thematic", integrated approach. For example, a team's first quarter theme may be immigration. The class would study turn-of-the-century immigration as they assume the identities of Irish immigrants traveling to America during the Potato Famine. Students would document their journey in a detailed diary, incorporating historical facts written during English Language Arts. In Reading, students would explore immigration from the later part of the twentieth century using leveled historical fiction, while present day issues regarding immigration would be explored during Current Events classes. History classes would involve hands-on activities such as a simulated steerage crossing, an Ellis Island inspection and life in a sweatshop.

Students would also complete measurements of the Statue of Liberty by drawing these on the blacktop, graph the school community’s ethnic backgrounds and prepare a variety of cultural recipes in Math class. To further enhance learning,

students would travel to the Dreams of Freedom Museum and ethnic neighborhoods in Boston where they would be able to learn through all five senses.

Speech and language services are offered through a collaborative model. Although individual and small group “pull out” services are offered when appropriate, the therapists also work directly within the classroom setting in collaboration with the team teachers thereby ensuring the transfer of skills to all subject areas. These therapists also offer instruction related to interpersonal

communication. For example, some students may have difficulty interpreting nonverbal language and may need direct instruction in pragmatics in order to develop healthy peer relationships.

Reading instruction is offered, in addition to the one hour of reading each student receives daily on the team. The reading specialist provides consultation to team teachers, work directly in the classroom with the student, and/or provide small group reading instruction outside of the classroom. The reading program is highly individualized and utilizes structured, systematic approaches.

The physical education program (consisting of modified and adaptive instruction), emphasizes the skills necessary for participation in a variety of individual recreational sports (golf, cross country skiing, etc.) as well as the more traditional team sports (softball, soccer, basketball, etc.) Fitness is taught in all physical education classes, but these skills are further developed in the fitness center. Using a computerized fitness evaluation system and heart rate monitors, students are taught to exercise in a safe and effective training zone. Project Adventure activities are also offered by using adventure techniques which help to create a stronger community of learners and result in alert, intelligent, responsible students. The philosophy of "personal best" is demonstrated in all aspects of the physical education, sports and fitness programs.


As adolescents, our students are often faced with issues such as previous school failure, lack of friendships and poor self-esteem. Therefore, each student is assigned an advisor who serves as a liaison between home and school and provides student support in areas such as self-advocacy, self-awareness, problem solving and social skills.

Each afternoon, the head teacher for each academic team, dormitory coordinators, residential supervisors and advisors meet to discuss specific issues which may assist in the students' transition from classes to the residential program. Topics such as homework or peer relationships are shared and specific strategies are developed with the student. This communication ensures that the "philosophy of the whole child" prevails.

Social skills guidance is given to all students by all staff. Rather than providing social skills instruction in isolation, all staff are trained to assist students in understanding social errors and preventing their reoccurrence on an ongoing basis during students’ daily lives.

Riverview School , an independent coeducational residential school, provides a caring community for adolescents and young adults with complex language, learning and cognitive disabilities. The School is committed to developing student competence and confidence in academic, social and independent living skills.

Financial aid is available and need-based. A financial aid application packet can be provided to you at the time of your interview or you can contact our Business Manager.

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