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Riverbend is hosting its own gala in order to raise money for the Stollery Children's Hospital. The Stollery has supported our school in previous events and has positively impacted the lives of many children throughout Canada- one of the many reasons why we want to support them, in return. The Stollery Night will be held on Friday May 31, 2019, in the Blatchford Hangar at Fort Edmonton Park. Tickets are $60 per person, and $600 for a table of ten. Remember, it’s kids helping kids. For more information on tickets and our event, visit our website: https://riverbendschooleve.wixsite.com/gala

Graphic '19


Riverbend Success

Ability, Character, and Citizenship are the foundations of the belief system at Riverbend Junior High School.  Students continually strive to maximize their abilities and stretch their limits.  We believe in being of high moral character and always demonstrating and finding the best in each of us.  We expect all members of the Riverbend family to continue to show the kindness and consideration that is good citizenship.


Principal's Message

Reading Skills vs. Broad Domain Knowledge

For years now, E.D. Hirsch has championed the cause that in order to be a proficient reader, it is imperative to have broad background knowledge in many areas. Dr. Hirsch has always been a proponent of having an expansive knowledge of certain core knowledge topics in order to be “culturally literate.” But he takes this one step further in the application of the same principal as it applies to reading and reading comprehension.In an edition of the “American Educator”, Dr. Hirsch wrote an article entitled, “Reading Comprehension Requires Knowledge- of Words and of the World.” In this article, he addresses how having contextual knowledge of the topic greatly aids in the ability to understand what is being read. His concern is that all too often a great deal of time is spent in teaching children only the skill of reading. His contention is skill development alone will only carry a child so far. The child must also have a broad contextual knowledge of what is being read for him or her to be more successful in comprehension.In his book entitled, “The Knowledge Deficit”, E.D. Hirsch continues to point out how a vast domain of knowledge is the greatest equalizer in reading and in becoming a culturally literate member of society. In the first chapter of his latest book, he addresses how knowledge plays into being a successful reader beyond the fourth grade. He states on page 10,

“The factual knowledge that is found in books is the key to reading comprehension. A deficit of factual knowledge and the deficit in language it entails are the causes of the so-called fourth grade slump that many children experience. For some time now, researchers have observed this phenomenon. Jane scores well in reading in grades one through three but surprisingly begins to score badly in grade four. That’s not because Jane suddenly took a backward step. It’s because in the early grades she was mainly learning how to decode the printed marks easily and fluently, as reflected in her rising test scores. But in grade four, when Jane was given more challenging content to read in class and on tests, her limited comprehension of language began to show. It was not her fault. Her comprehension problem had been there but had gone unrecognized and untreated in the earlier grades. By fourth grade it is very late to correct it, a tragedy, because this failure most seriously limits her progress in later elementary grades, in middle school, in high school, and in later life. Children who lag in comprehension in early grades tend to fall even further behind in later years. For children to make substantial progress in reading, they must make early and substantial progress in knowledge.”

Dr. Hirsch goes on to debunk the theory that knowing “how” is better than knowing “what.” Many schools have simply increased the amount of reading their students do, but fail to address the teaching of knowledge. When a child is reading something he or she has no clue about, reading is the only skill occurring. Knowledge and comprehension are not necessarily occurring. To ensure that comprehension is happening, the students ought to be exposed to a broad base of knowledge from the very start of their education.At Riverbend Junior High School, we not only teach the students the skill of reading but we also immerse the children in a content rich, broad curriculum. The students at our school definitely are not experiencing a “knowledge deficit.” Quite the opposite, they are experiencing a knowledge bombardment!

Mr. D. Beharry