2019 Blackboard Award Honoree: River East Elementary School


Photo by Andrew Schwartz

River East Elementary School
Principal Michael Panetta
Grades PK3-5
2351 1st Avenue

Award: Outstanding School

Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.

Our School motto is: “We are a part of something much greater then ourselves.” Our students will read vigorously, write and speak in a unique and strong voice, and manipulate numbers with competence and confidence. Our students will also explore art, music, dance, and theater in an effort to find at least one they are passionate about for life.

Tell us about a few of the schools achievements or distinguishing programs.

Over the last two years, our school has made double-digit gains in both ELA and Mathematics proficiency on the NYS exams. While we believe that students are so much more than a number on a standardized test, we are nonetheless proud of their growth on these assessments. We have also developed long-standing partnerships with organizations such as Asphalt Green, Opus 118, and the 92nd Street Y, which allows us to provide swimming, violin, chorus, ceramics, and musical theater to our students as part of the school day.

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What’s new?

During summer 2018, our school moved to a new school building, located one black away from our former site. This move allowed us to grow (we have approximately 60 more students attending our school this year) and have access to a gym, auditorium, brand-new computer lab, and in-house after school program.

What do you love about your school?

As a small school, we are able to establish a close-knit community and culture. Our teachers are really able to get to know students as individuals—both the students they directly teach and students in other classes as well. Our teachers are always willing to go above and beyond for their students and care deeply about the success of not just the students in their class, but the entire school. Our parents are active and involved and plan blockbuster events like our annual Fall and Spring Festivals. Our students are the real gems – they make us all feel lucky to be a part of this school community.