A Day at RVCS

The typical day integrates “traditional” academics with key RVCS mission components, using proven experiential education principles.  Our guides (teachers) facilitate structured but flexible hands-on learning activities that incorporate students’ self-directed goals and preferences while addressing all state-mandated curriculum standards and tests.

All classes include circle-based communications and consensus decision-making.

Students spend approximately 25% of their learning time outdoors, year-round.

    • Teaching methods are modeled as much as possible on experiential education methods that incorporate students’ inherent interests, attractions and natural abilities.
    • Subjects are experienced, guided and facilitated, not taught or lectured, and are not segmented as separate, unrelated areas of study.
    • Teachers identify learning styles and specific interests of their students and guide learning accordingly.
    • Students engage in diverse community-based activities, service learning projects and a wide array of diverse and meaningful field trips, as well as overnight experiences and multi-day expeditions.
    • Subjects and curriculum are experienced with Earth Literacy as a major focus.
    • Assessments are ongoing through exhibitions, portfolios, and project-based rubrics rather than through conventional grades. Ongoing assessments include evaluation and self-evaluation, based on criteria and standards developed collaboratively by teachers and students.

Students participate with guides/teachers in designing and adapting academic activities, reflecting their personal goals and developing multi-faceted skills and knowledge.

  • Children may work with younger and older schoolmates, or in multiple and flexible group arrangements. This develops interpersonal skills appropriate to the various roles of team member, mentor, guide, teacher and learner.
  • Through the use of circle process and our core values, students learn the skills for respectful communication and behavior, and the successful resolution of conflict.
  • Students participate in establishing the guidelines of their classroom through consensus-building and open respectful communication.
  • Students develop problem-solving skills through their participation in real-world community projects both individually and with classroom groups.
  • Students have opportunities to work collaboratively with other students.
  • Students experience a daily learning atmosphere in which more questions are expected from students than from teachers.
  • Students have access to all of the teachers on the staff as resources and advisors.