Rio Grande School


Welcome from Head of School


Welcome to Rio Grande School! I am very happy to share an overview of our 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, the product of the school's recent re-accreditation process, numerous surveys, parent discussion sessions, and internal and external audits. 

When I joined this wonderful community in July 2014, I shared my enthusiasm with the following words:

“I am thrilled to join Rio Grande School, a fine educational institution that believes deeply in the interests of the students; a school guided by a forward-thinking philosophy and supported by talented and committed professionals, engaged parents, and a visionary Board of Trustees.”

I have to admit that—while very accurate-- this statement only scratched the surface of describing this wonderful school. The most important quality of a great school is its emphasis on meaningful relationships. At Rio Grande School, we believe our success is based upon very strong and meaningful relationships between students and educators, between peer students, and with our parents, to create a culture where each student feels the school is a very important part of their lives.

The elementary school years (including early childhood) are the most critical years for the student. This is when the student learns to negotiate and navigate relationships; discover the joy of learning as an enthusiastically engaged and curious learner; and to take responsibility for his/her learning. At Rio Grande School, we do this in four ways:

  • allowing each student to actively experience the process, rewards and real joy of learning
  • recognizing that students learn differently and develop individually
  • offering an integrated, thematic approach to uncovering and understanding real, meaningful knowledge
  • acknowledging that every day each student wants to be successful and yearns for healthy and meaningful relationships with peers and the adults in their lives

Rio Grande has created this environment by doing the following: 

  • Honoring the commitment and quality of exceptional educators partnering with committed parents to guide the children on their journey through these critical foundational years
  • Providing small classes to celebrate the growth of each individual student – to nurture, inspire and challenge
  • Understanding the meaning of educating for the future in the present

I invite you to visit this wonderful school to experience the energy and joy that young people bring when they are fully engaged and curious with their learning with another and the adults around them. In the meantime, you are welcome to listen to my interview with Mary-Charlotte on the RadioCafe from the Spring of 2016:

Nigel Taplin