A safe space for self-discovery

Riverside School is a MA 766-approved, non-profit, therapeutic day school designed to meet the academic and therapeutic needs of middle and high school-age adolescents. 

The Riverside School mission is to help adolescents coping with mental health challenges feel safe and included as they discover their identity, voice, and community while pursuing academic achievement.


Riverside School is led and staffed by masters-level clinicians and administrators who are dedicated to the education, health, and well-being of each Riverside student, individually.

Amanda Arnst

Amanda Arnst, PhD, M.Ed
Program Director

Amanda Arnst, Riverside School’s program director, has an extensive background in special education, social/emotional learning, and trauma-sensitive care. Most recently, she taught at the Cotting School and Boston College Campus School. Describing herself as a life-long learner, Amanda works closely with Lesley University and focuses her academic research on trauma-sensitive education. Amanda embraces diversity and firmly believes that everyone has something to contribute to the world and that with the right tools and support, students can recognize that they have the ability to do anything. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Amanda has called Boston home for a dozen years, where she enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her family and friends.

Ashley Toomey smiling

Ashley R. Toomey, M.Ed.
Assistant Program Director

Ashley Toomey, assistant program director, brings a comprehensive background in neurodiversity, social/emotional learning, mental health care, specialized academic instruction, and behavioral intervention to Riverside School. She has worked in the field of special education for the past 12 years, and most recently developed and coordinated an inclusive program geared towards neurodivergent children. Ashley celebrates diversity and strongly believes that everyone should have the opportunity to embrace their authentic selves. Ashley loves outdoor activities and enjoys hiking with her two dogs, playing disc golf, and relaxing at the beach.

In addition to our staff, we are committed to collaborating with parents/guardians and caregivers, both one-to-one as it relates to each student’s education and care, as well as formally through a Parent Advisory Group (PAG). The PAG meets 3-4 times per year and is open to all Riverside School families.

About Riverside School

Riverside School is a MA-766 approved, non-profit, therapeutic day school designed to meet the academic and therapeutic needs of middle and high school-age adolescents. We specialize in educating teens with mental health diagnoses, including severe anxiety, depression, and trauma, that impact their social-emotional well-being and academic environment and are underserved by the public school setting. With small classes year-round, a low student-teacher ratio, and an emphasis on clinical wellness, scholastic achievement, and personal growth, Riverside School offers students and families an individualized approach to learning and therapy in a small, safe, inclusive environment. With two locations in Needham and Milford, Massachusetts, Riverside School is a subsidiary of Riverside Community Care, which provides more than 40,000 children, adolescents, and adults with a broad range of behavioral healthcare and human services. Riverside School is an accredited member of the Massachusetts Association of 766-Approved Private Schools and the Council for Exceptional Children.

Our Connection to Riverside Community Care 

Riverside School is part of the non-profit parent organization, Riverside Community Care, and benefits from their vast resources and programs.

Riverside Community Care makes a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities through innovative and compassionate behavioral healthcare and human services.

A community-based non-profit organization serving more than 40,000 people a year in Massachusetts, Riverside Community Care offers a wide range of mental healthcare, developmental and brain injury services, early childhood and youth programs, addiction treatment, trauma response, and more. And Riverside’s behavioral health consulting, screening, and suicide prevention programs for schools, communities, businesses, and organizations are extending its reach to more than 3.5 million people around the globe.


“Riverside School has impacted me in many ways but the main way it has impacted me is now I find the joy in things I may have missed when I didn’t know how to manage symptoms. I appreciate everything and everyone around me.”

– Catie