At River Valley School, we are inclusive by design. Our school community is made up of passionate and engaged students, teachers, families and staff, bound by a belief that Independent school education should be inclusive and accessible to students from all walks of life. In fact, inclusivity is what sets us apart. Unlike most independent schools in Calgary, academic testing is not required as part of the admissions process, therefore our student population represents a wide variety of backgrounds, talents, and abilities.
Through various endowment and subsidy options, such as our ‘Bowwestner Scholarship’, we have been able to provide independent school education to local low-income families who are driven by their values for exceptional and inclusive education. As an inclusive school, our goal is to expand our current financial aid offering, allowing us to extend our reach to more students who could benefit from the extraordinary River Valley School experience.
At River Valley School one of our core values is citizenship. We pledge to be good neighbours because we know that good neighbours build stronger communities. As a school, we have taken on meaningful partnerships with organizations such as:
- Veterans’ Food Bank
- Calgary Food Bank
- Women in Need (WINS)
- Sikh Youth Calgary
- Brown Bagging for Kids
- Calgary Humane Society
- Alberta Children’s Hospital
- Terry Fox Foundation
Our students are involved in a variety of co-curricular clubs including the option to participate in STU-GO (Student Government). This club allows students to develop strong leadership skills, and inspires them to use their voice to make a difference both within the school, as well as in our broader community. In past years, STU-GO has organized events such as Remembrance Day Veteran luncheons and food drives, Bow River clean-ups, clothing drives for Calgary’s homeless, and more.
Being part of the Bowness community specifically, we have also had the opportunity to develop strong relationships with long-term and senior care centres in the area. In past years, our students have written ‘kindness cards/drawings’ for our neighbours at the Bow Bridge Manor to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Through our choir program, students have performed at the Bow-Crest Nursing Home and Colonel Belcher Retirement Residences, bringing spirit and joy to the residents during the holidays.
Even in the context of a pandemic, River Valley School has continued to serve the community through various outreach efforts. In November 2020, a bus-load of toys were donated to CTV’s Toy Mountain by River Valley School families and staff. Into the spring, several Grade 6 students also initiated a school-wide toonie drive to raise money to donate two new Apple iPads to children in need at the Alberta Children’s Hospital so that they could continue to learn and communicate with their loved ones.
Looking to the near future, we will continue to nurture the important relationships in our immediate and greater communities, including our neighbouring residents, businesses and charities, to ensure the school’s “footprint” remains a positive and impactful one for many years to come.