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650 Crawford St
Wenatchee, WA 98801

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Rhetoric Highlights

The culmination of a River Academy education is the Rhetoric phase.  During these four critical years, students learn the art of winsomely and effectively communicating through writing and speech.  Taking the basic facts they have learned, and leveraging the tools gained in arranging and ordering their thoughts, students develop the fine art of communication.  Upon graduation, students will be prepared to utilize everything they have learned to powerfully impact our world.

Formal Rhetoric training:

Communication is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable commodities a person can possess.  Recognizing this, The River Academy takes great care to ensure our students graduate with powerful communication skills. Not every person is naturally wired to communicate effectively, but we have discovered all students can learn the art of communication so that upon graduation they are able to winsomely and effectively communicate through speaking and writing.  

Junior and Senior Thesis

The culmination of the Rhetoric Training is a Junior and Senior Thesis presentation.  In these presentations, students will deliver a 10 (Junior) to 20 (Senior) minute memorized thesis before a board of faculty judges.  Not only does this help them learn how to research, write, and deliver a large paper, but it also instills confidence in students for future work in communication.  

Humane Letters for History and Literature

Sadly, many find the subject of History boring.  We view this as partly due to the invention of text books.  While we use text books for our history at The River, we rely much more heavily upon "real history" which is the original works themselves.  History is nothing more than story, and we feel the best way this story is taken in is through reading the original works that make up history.  With this in mind, our history and literature in grades 9-12 are linked together so students read works of original literature from a particular period alongside their study of that same period's history.  The end result is students who have a broad understanding of history, but have gained that knowledge by reading good, original works of literature.

Protocol Training:

Each year our 9th-12th grade students participate in protocol classes to help them learn the art of social navigation in various settings.  The purpose of this class is to help students feel at ease and well prepared for any social engagement in which the find themselves.  This event culminates with a fancy dinner and production (Play, Musical, Symphony, etc.) to help them put to practice what they have learned in class.  This is truly a highlight of the student's years. 

Harkness Method classroom discussions:

One of our stated goals is to help students discover how to learn for themselves.  This requires ownership in the outcome of their studies.  The Harkness Method, pioneered by Phillip Exeter Academy, is one of the best methods we have discovered for helping students take ownership in their own academic success.  By thoroughly preparing for a round table discussion prior to class, students engage in a healthy and hearty discussion around the topic at hand.  Well educated and informed comments move the conversation forward until students are able to reach a consensus on the given topic.  Not only to students learn to engage in their own learning, but they enjoy the discussion in the process.

Biblical Studies program:

Students attending The River Academy will receive a biblical education that I believe rivals that of many Christian colleges.  Old and New Testament Survey are followed by Hermeneutics (how to study and interpret the Scriptures), then Systematic Theology and Doctrine, culminating in Apologetics (how to clearly, confidently, and winsomely articulate your faith).  We believe students equipped with these tools will be well prepared to take their Gospel centered fath out into the world.   

Mock Trial

The River Academy hosts an annual Mock Trial Team which competes around the state in various YMCA Mock Trial Sponsored Events.  The TRA team has gone to the State Competition for the last 9 years and has placed as high as 3rd place against some of the largest public and private schools in Washington.  Mock Trial is one of the most formative activities we do as a school.  Not only does it build relationships, competition, and camaraderie of team sports, but it also sharpens students logical and rhetorical skills.

Specialization in Math Tracks:

By High School students are beginning to establish stronger understandings of their strengths and weaknesses. In Math, this translates into multiple math tracks to complement strengths.  While many of our students finish their Math education at The River Academy with AP Calculus, we recognize not all students are wired to become Mathematicians and therefore offer two tracks for students to excel in Math.