A Brief History
of River Valley School

From its inception, River Valley School (RVS) has been dedicated to developing a warm and nurturing learning environment, offering programs that meet the diverse needs of its student population, and modeling how an inclusive learning community can be successful for all stakeholders. After years of operating as a Montessori school, the transition to River Valley School began in 2003, and the school was officially registered and incorporated in 2005. A year later, RVS was also formally registered as a non-profit organization, further solidifying its successful independence.

Considering its deep-rooted connection to Montessori education, River Valley School began as a dual stream school, offering both a progressive Junior Kindergarten-Grade 6 program and a Casa-Upper Elementary Montessori program. From 2011 to 2019, after six years of incremental growth, RVS was guided by new, visionary leadership toward progress in academic programming and innovation, as well as strengthened financial standing, increased enrolment, and greater overall stability. Developments included the introduction of a preschool program for 3-year-olds in 2013, as well as the introduction of the Arrowsmith program in the same year. RVS remains the only school in Alberta to offer Arrowsmith programming, which features a methodology that is based in research in neuroplasticity, providing opportunities for students to achieve targeted neurocognitive improvements. Further initiatives in innovation at the school have included the development of partnerships with STEM education groups, as well as the acquisition and integration of our zSpace AR/VR lab. These achievements required vision, change management skills, flexibility and an unyielding dedication to the school, especially through the many adversities it has faced.

River Valley School’s resilience was best demonstrated as it responded to the disastrous flooding that affected much of the city of Calgary in 2013. This was a devastating event that inflicted considerable damage on the school, indiscriminately destroying infrastructure, assets, and learning materials. In response to this calamity, the RVS community rallied together and persevered through an extensive rebuild and renovation of the school, while also establishing a second campus in 2014, which would go on to house its preschool program. As a part of its commitment to excellence in providing high quality childcare over and above licensing regulations, the preschool program at RVS was accredited in 2016 by the Association for Accreditation of Early Learning and Care Services (AELCS).

At River Valley School, learning occurs in a cooperative, nurturing environment–one that optimizes each child’s potential, innate curiosity, love of learning, self-efficacy, and confidence. The school is dedicated to high academic achievement, but also to supporting each and every individual and their overall well-being and development. At RVS, every child is provided with opportunities to flourish – the entire community is aligned in the school’s mission to embrace the unique talents of each child, support different learning styles, and empower every student to achieve their personal best.





Playground photo - River Valley Scool, Calgary, Canada