We believe in an innovative approach to education that is forward thinking, yet rooted in history.
For over 40 years, Riverside School has fostered a tradition of academic excellence for children with dyslexia and similar language-based differences. Our founder, Patricia DeOrio, was a dedicated teacher and mentor, and rose above dyslexia, understanding personally what it took to unlock the potential of students like her.
Riverside School was conceived in DeOrio’s basement, where she tutored children from all over Richmond who were “falling through the cracks.” The parents of one of her students encouraged her to expand her outreach, and offered to sell her a property to start a proper school.
Mrs. DeOrio seized the opportunity to form a Board of Directors who helped her to buy the property and establish our original two-room Bon Air School. She was joined in 1978 by Ruth Harris, who helped to introduce the Orton-Gillingham Approach, a core of our philosophy. This one-on-one instruction has become a hallmark of the Riverside experience.
Thanks to the success of the school’s first capital campaign in 1989, the school grew to accommodate five classrooms, 14 tutoring rooms, a kitchen, commons area, central office, and other staff offices.
Since Patricia DeOrio’s basement, we’ve grown to a multi-building campus, with numerous state-of-the-art classrooms, 17 tutoring rooms, an arts studio, library, kitchen, commons area, gymnasium, and more. Our fundraising, donations, and capital campaigns allow us to continue to grow, and in 2007 allowed us to begin and expanded Teacher Training Program and funding for financial aid.