The tac officers are amazing. The teachers are amazing. That being said, the students aren't well supervised and there is way too much free time. Violence and bullying above "normal boy behavior" is ignored and serious crimes go unreported. This school would get five stars except for the poor leadership at the top.
My nephew attends this school and I am utterly appalled by the dismal quality of the education but especially by the lack of trust between the faculty and the students. Email correspondence from student accounts is intercepted, read, and sent to parents. This is a "military style" school, not a school run by the military, where staff have better things to do than play games. The only reason students get A's is because the classes are lower than those of comparable classes in public and regular private schools. It is a way to pay (and it is not cheap) for good grades. Don't send your son here if you want him to get an education or be prepared for college!
We have experienced first hand how RMA can change a boys life. Each and every staff member goes above and beyond. Our son cant stop telling us how amazing his teachers are and how much he enjoys learning again. He is far and above his typical peers in the public school sector. His achievements have far exceeded what we could have ever imagined. It is the best decision our family has ever made.
I sent my oldest son to Riverside for his Jr year in the fall of 2012. He is very bright but lacked the self discipline, focus, and drive to succeed. He just graduated, with self confidence, more self discipline, and the drive to get him where he wants to go. During his two years, he has developed personal relationships with fellow cadets, teachers and staff that have built him up, and encouraged him to reach his personal potential. His younger brother, having seen the transformation with his older brother expressed an interest in attending Riverside. He has jus completed his Jr year at Riverside. The one thing he will tell you, is that it is great to be in a classroom where you can feel that the teacher not only wants to be there, but also wants the student to learn and succeed. As a parent I will say that the environment is developmental. It teaches boys to respect boundaries, and work within them, and that tough love is just that, love. Every staff member has every boy's best interest at heart. It amazes me how in tune the staff is to each individual boy. My younger son says it is great to be in a classroom where the teacher wants to teach, and see students succeed.
My seniors are currently studying Kant's essay, "What is Enlightenment?" In that essay, he describes some of the key relationships between guidance, freedom, sound judgment and a sound society. At Riverside, we take our role as temporary guardians very seriously, and in our approach to education, we model the importance of balancing the freedom of expression with structure and self-discipline. We do not tell cadets what to think; rather, we show them how to think while giving them resources to extend what they know and what they can accomplish. Many schools do this, but I know of no other school where the entire community is invested in constant improvement. From the care of our facilities, to the design and execution of our academic program, to the administration of the school, we are always modeling that union between order, creativity, courage and determination that is necessary to growth.
My son, a graduate of RMA 2004 was enrolled at RMA in 10th grade, he came from a local high school that was too large, the classrooms were too crowded and after a month into the school year the teachers had no clue who he was as we found out when we made an appt to speak to them about his "C" grades. That same day he was taken out to come to RMA, the only person upset was his football coach. The first few months were hard for him and me but we made it through it knowing that he was where he needed to be to be able to have a head start after graduation. His grades came up from C's to A's almost immediately and he was still active in football and almost every other sport offered at RMA, he was also wrestling state champ 2013 and made Hall County's premier sport players and was also invited and played in Hawaii with several other elite players around the country and never missed a stride in his academics. Because of his high grades he was a member of RMA's Horton Society and also Who's Who and was accepted easily accepted into 3 colleges, he is now working on his higher degree while working full time, married and being a new father. I thank RMA with its wonderful teachers and staff!!
Riverside has unparalleled facilities, but most importantly, has unparalleled faculty and staff who are completely devoted to the mission of developing young men of competence, character, and commitment. The school is incredibly diverse and at last count the boys come from 25 countries and 30 states. Its proximity to Atlanta makes it a convenient option for non-regional and international boarding students. The teachers, TACs, Commandant, coaches, and staff are truly exceptional people who care for each cadet. The classes are small and the results are impressive. They have a 100% college acceptance rate and Riverside cadets garner millions in College scholarships and grants. Their acceptance rate into top-tier universities and military academies is very high, and the unique nature of the military environment helps boys to stay engaged, involved, and having fun. Riverside is a GREAT place for boys. I highly recommend it to anyone I meet.
My son has had a wonderful experience at Riverside. The TAC officers, teachers and coaches are all very encouraging. He has excelled academically and in extra-curricular activities. He has made some good friends and has enjoyed leadership opportunities. I highly recommend RMA!!