Running River Middle School integrates academics, real-life learning, and community living, with meaningful and useful work. Students learn how to learn by studying topics both in-depth, and from many different angles.

At Running River, adolescents develop skills through a challenging academic curriculum and the pursuit of personal passions; this combination allows them to use their passions as levers for building competency in all subject areas.

Our curriculum balances core academics, the arts, life skills, and outdoor education with [our foundational] social/emotional and contemplative practices. Students leave Running River fully prepared and confident to pursue the next step in their education, and with a deeper knowledge of themselves: what is important to them as human beings and how to care for their bodies, minds, and spirits.

We know that students learn best when they truly get to create and problem solve, using all their resources. Students learn how to learn and think, in-depth, which they can then transfer to any type of learning. Our middle school age children pursue personal interests, working with a teacher to set goals and create a curriculum to explore in depth about their area of interest. They also are involved in collaborative projects, requiring skills for being a responsible, contributing team member. Each student is also engaged in small reading and math groups to hone their skills and prepare them for high school. In addition, we balance physical fitness and health; contemplative practices; communication skills and environmental and outdoor education into our excellent academic curriculum.


We encourage you to find out how meaningful school can be for students of this age. Running River’s approach is very different from regular public school, because we feel that these students need to be in an environment where they can be guided towards self knowledge, supported in learning the real meaning of friendship and team work, and fully engaged in meaningful learning, rather than being lost in a peer culture that consumes their intellectual and emotional energy.

Running River honors the unique needs of adolescents, understanding that they thrive on belonging and being useful – on using and contributing what they know in meaningful ways. Time for questioning, and for developing values and understanding their new place in the world, is crucial at this stage of a child’s growth.