Community and Service in the Middle School
A community that connects and serves
Riverstone International School is a diverse community of parents, students, and staff who challenge and support one another while learning, sharing, exploring and serving; together. Our individual passions, interests, and cultures combine to create a connected community that supports the mission of the school, as well as our local and global communities.
The impact of building community
In our Middle School, we build community by purposefully creating shared experiences between students and teachers. As a result, our students feel connected and engaged, which enhances their academic performance, social development, and commitment to learning.
Students in grades 6 through 9 meet for 20 minutes at the end of each day in their respective grade levels with their assigned homeroom teachers. During this time, our teachers help students develop organizational skills while checking on the emotional well-being of the class.
Rivercamps Advisory Program
“River Camps” is the name of Riverstone’s advisory program in which we give students are given opportunities to form bonds with students in grades 6 through 12 in an atmosphere of tradition and competition. Each advisory group is designated with the name of an Idaho river and has approximately 10 to 12 members from various grades with two teachers as advisors. Typically, students will remain members of the same advisory group during their years at Riverstone.
Our teachers hold small advisory group meetings where students may discuss a current topic, perform team-building exercises, or set personal goals. We also organize several large events in which students work together to achieve a common goal and — best of all — bragging rights.
- Outdoor Rodeo
- Winter Bash
- Re-creating Shakespeare
- Adventure Race
- Fall and Spring Conferences Days of Service
Ultimately, Riverstone’s advisory program helps students develop confidence, leadership skills, and broader friendships.
Every Monday, Middle School students attend a short assembly to learn about the upcoming week’s activities, future opportunities, and general school news. At these meetings, we also celebrate our students’ accomplishments, both academic and personal.
Student Life Activities
Approximately once per month, our Student Council and Student Life Coordinator invite Middle School students in grades 6 through 8 to social events that are organized outside of school hours. If an event takes place away from Riverstone’s campus, we offer free transportation on our bus so students can ride together safely. We also keep the cost to participate as low as possible so as many students as possible may attend.
Some examples of our Middle School Student Life Activities include:
- Idaho Botanical Garden’s Winter Garden Aglow
- Lindner Farm’s Corn Maze
Please note that Middle School activities are organized separately from High School activities.
Additionally, our outdoor education activities, small classes, and school social events provide many opportunities for students to participate and contribute in meaningful ways.
We learn by serving
In our Middle School, opportunities for service learning are connected to the classroom curriculum whenever possible. For example, after our students learned about the harmful effects of plastic pollution on our ocean eco-systems in their science class, they developed a campaign to raise awareness of the problem. They performed a skit for Elementary students and challenged them to minimize plastic in their lunches for two weeks. Additionally, they educated visitors at Boise’s Capitol City Market by speaking with guests, designing signage, and re-purposing plastic milk bottle caps into hangers that would reminder people to recycle.
Additionally, students dedicate one morning each semester to our Middle and High School Mornings of Service. When they could otherwise be sleeping and relaxing (because school is closed for parent-teacher conferences) Riverstone students instead join forces with their advisory teams and give back to our local community. Each year, our students contribute more than 900 hours of service to area non-profit organizations on these two days alone.
Organizations that Riverstone students have helped during our Middle and High School Mornings of Service include:
- Boise Parks and Recreation
- Boys and Girls Club
- Create Common Good
- Discovery Center
- Head Start
- Idaho Foodbank
- Idaho Shakespeare Festival
- Idaho Youth Ranch
Twice per school year, our Middle and High School students volunteer on behalf of local, non-profit organizations when school is closed for Parent Teacher conferences. In this video, students explain why the Morning of Service is so meaningful.