Rivers School

The Rivers School is an independent, coeducational preparatory school in Weston, Massachusetts.

Rivers School
333 Winter Street


United States
Coordinates42°19′23″N 71°19′34″W
Former names
  • Country Day School for Boys of Boston
  • Rivers Country Day School
TypeIndependent, Day, Coeducational
MottoExcellence with Humanity
Established1915 (1915)
Head of schoolNed Parsons
Teaching staff74.8 (FTE) (2015–16)[1]
Enrollment490 (2015–16)[1]
Average class size12 students
Student to teacher ratio6.6:1 (2015–16)[1]
CampusSuburban, 52 acres
MascotRed Wings
Endowment$22.3 million

Rivers' Middle School program includes grades 6-8, while its Upper School program includes grades 9-12. As of 2014, 489 students are enrolled from 70 Massachusetts towns. The Rivers School's endowment was $22.3 million for the 2014-15 academic year.


The school was founded in 1915 as a school for boys at its first location in Brookline, Massachusetts. The founder and first headmaster was Robert W. Rivers. The Country Day School for Boys of Boston merged with Rivers in 1940. The school moved to its present location in Weston in 1960. It became co-educational in 1989.[2]


Rivers offers the following Advanced Placement classes:

  • English literature and composition
  • United States History
  • United States Government & Politics
  • Modern European History
  • Latin
  • French Language & Culture
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Calculus AB and BC
  • Microeconomics
  • Environmental Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Music Theory
  • Chinese


Rivers competes in the Independent School League.[3] The Rivers School campus has more than 12 acres (49,000 m2) of playing fields that includes Waterman Field, a 54,000-square-foot (5,000 m2) multi-sport synthetic turf field, as well as six outdoor tennis courts. Robert I. Pipe, Jr. has served as Director of Athletics since July 2017.[4]

Indoor athletic facilities include the Haffenreffer Gymnasium with a full size basketball court and the 78,000- square foot MacDowell Athletic Center which contains:

  • MacDowell Ice Arena hockey rink, which during the fall, spring and summer transforms into a 70 x 40 yard indoor synthetic field
  • Benson Gymnasium
  • Benson Fitness Center
  • Sports medicine office
  • Team rooms
  • Locker rooms

Rivers has boys and girls varsity teams in the following sports:[5]

  • Football (boys only)
  • Field Hockey (girls only)
  • Soccer
  • Cross Country
  • Basketball
  • Ice Hockey
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Lacrosse
  • Baseball (boys only)
  • Softball (girls only)
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball (girls only)

The Rivers School Conservatory

The Rivers School Conservatory was founded in 1975 by Ethel Bernard, one of the pioneers of the music school movement. She approached the Rivers School with the idea of using the then unoccupied former headmaster's house on the campus (now called Blackwell House after George H. Blackwell) of the then all-boys college preparatory school.[6]

It was first called the Music School at Rivers, then Rivers School Conservatory. In 1978, the Annual Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young was established. It was the subject of a WGBH-TV documentary that was broadcast internationally by PBS.[7] Seminar guests have included John Cage (1983). All pieces performed are composed in the 25-year period prior to each seminar. Many were premières and several dozen were commissioned pieces.[6] Recent examples include Matineé: The Fantom of the Fair by Libby Larsen.[8][9]

The Conservatory presently has over 750 students, including a student orchestra program, jazz and chamber ensembles, music theory and composition, its critically acclaimed Marimba Magic program,[10][11][12] choruses, master classes, workshops, and private lessons on every orchestral and jazz instrument, piano, and voice.[6]

Notable alumni include Matthew Aucoin, whose teacher was Sharon Schoffmann.[13]

The Boston Globe has reviewed some of its concerts.[14][15]

Clubs and cocurriculars

  • The robotics team Architechs competes in the FIRST Tech Challenge, having the team number 4176.[16]
  • The Debate and Model UN clubs attend national conferences every year, including the University of Connecticut's Model UN Conference and the New England Region of Junior Statesmen of America debates.
  • The Current, the school's art and literary magazine, was awarded First Place in the 2013 American Scholastic Press Association's national competition.

Notable alumni


  1. "Search for Private Schools – School Detail for The Rivers School". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  2. River's History
  3. "Independent School League". islsports.org. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  4. "Rivers Appoints Bob Pipe Next Director of Athletics". The Rivers School. January 13, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  5. "Team Pages & Directory | The Rivers School". www.rivers.org. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  6. "Our Story - The Rivers School Conservatory". The Rivers School Conservatory. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  7. WGBH (June 13, 2013). "WGBH Showcases The Rivers School Conservatory's Annual Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young". YouTube. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  8. Program notes: 36th Annual Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young, the Rivers School Conservatory, April 4–6, 2014
  9. "Libby Larsen: Fantom of the Fair (world premiere)". April 24, 2014. - At the end of the video clip Larsen herself comes on stage to congratulate the performers.
  10. "99.5 All Classical Festival". WGBH Boston PBS. June 19, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2016. The Rivers School Conservatory Marimba Magic® Ensemble delights audiences with their brilliant performances of Ragtime, Classical, Latin, and jazz selections, played by high school virtuosos.
  11. "16th Annual 99.5 WCRB Cartoon Festival". wgbh.org. November 1, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2016. The Marimba Magic Ensemble, directed by Sarah Tenney, is a comprehensive musicianship program for students ages five through sixteen.
  12. Lowery, Brooklyn (February 6, 2012). "Wayland Resident Brings 'Marimba Magic' to Life". Wayland Patch. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  13. Gamerman, Ellen (July 17, 2014). "Is Matthew Aucoin the Next Leonard Bernstein?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 16, 2016. ...piano teacher at the Rivers School Conservatory about a half-hour away in Weston, Mass. The new instructor, Sharon Schoffmann...
  14. "Globe West best bets -". The Boston Globe. March 9, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2016. The Rivers Symphony Orchestra will feature Rivers School Conservatory cellist Yasmin Yacoby and pianist Arianna Zhang...
  15. Guerrieri, Matthew (November 16, 2010). "Radius Ensemble plays Marti Epstein's new work, and Poulenc, Ott, and Brahms". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 16, 2016. RADIUS ENSEMBLE At: Rivera Hall, Rivers School Conservatory, Weston,
  16. "Robotics Team Places First at State Qualifier". January 23, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
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