Showing school attendance zone

Test Scores by grade:

About This School

Carmel River Elementary School is a public elementary school in Carmel. The principal of Carmel River Elementary School is Jay Marden, who can be contacted at jmarden@carmelunified.org. 460 students attend Carmel River Elementary School and identify as White, non-Hispanic; Asian; and Black, non-Hispanic. 3% of the Carmel River Elementary School students are "limited in English proficiency." 7% of the 460 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The ratio of students to teachers at Carmel River Elementary School is 16:1. Stevenson School - Carmel Campus (PK-8, Day) is one of the nearest elementary schools.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Arts

    • Band
    • Ceramics sculpture
    • Chorus
    • Computer arts
    • Dance
    • Drawing painting
    • Orchestra
    • Theater drama
  • Languages Taught

    • Spanish
  • Sports

    • Basketball
    • Cross country
    • Gymnastics
    • P.E. classes
    • Rock climbing
    • Soccer
    • Softball
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Track
    • Volleyball

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
White, non-Hispanic 68% 74%
Asian 6% 3%
Black, non-Hispanic 2% 1%
Unspecified 15% 7%
Multiracial 13% %
Hispanic 11% 13%
Pacific Islander 0.7% 0.8%
Filipino 0.2% 0.3%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0.4%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% 2377%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 7% 10%
Limited English proficiency 3% 6%

Community Rating & Reviews

  • (10 months ago)

    River School is beyond amazing in all aspects. The fair and intelligent leadership of Principal Jay Marden sets the tone of the school. Teachers are incredible! My child has computer lab music PE twice a week (although wish it was 5 days) science and Spanish. There is a real sense of community between the parents and a lot of involvement. Could not be better. I have one child that went from kinder through 5th and my second is on her way to third grade.

  • (2 years ago)

    The safety profile of this school needs a total overhaul. When a girl in kindergarten last year can be sent home with concussion and the parents were not even informed of any incident until the child exhibited symptoms that night and had to go to CHOMP how does the school resolve this? By further not telling other parents when incidences happen to their children. Scary? You do not want to know what happens behind those giant juniper trees on the playground. And what does the principal do? Nothing.

  • (2 years ago)

    I am a student at River School and this is my 2nd year here after moving from another city. I came here at the beginning of 3rd grade. The education is great and people are very welcoming. Overall the school is great but WAY to much homework. In my experience some of the homework assignments are more difficult than what we do in school.

  • (2 years ago)

    We have traveled all over the U.S./overseas due to my job and found Carmel River Elementary School to be top-notch in every aspect. The school truly focuses on building fundamental skill and provides an atmosphere of learning and enrichment. Excellent support from the community and PTA to enable students to experience extracurricular activities which are truly out-of-this world! By far one of the best elementary school in California and the U.S.

  • (3 years ago)

    This school is fantastic it thoroughly deserves the great reputation. The principal is very fair and approachable. The teachers are extremely good. However the parents are very disappointing to borrow a phrase from a previous review "the club-like cliquish social atmosphere" makes this school a very difficult environment to be in.

  • (3 years ago)

    As a grandparent and retired educator I really appreciate the efforts and follow through of the staff for the benefit of all families.

  • (3 years ago)

    Quality of education is really high teachers are great kids do great academically and on tests bullying is minimal.

  • (3 years ago)

    demands high achievement and recognizes the importance of parental involvement

  • (3 years ago)

    I appreciate this school because the Administration and staff are sensitive to the needs of their students AND their families.

  • (4 years ago)

    While Carmel River School may be the best public elementary school in Monterey county that is really not saying much. This school pales in comparison to schools we have dealt with in other states. The school is clearly overcrowded and understaffed. While it may achieve above average test scores this is at the expense of creative expression and flexibility in the curriculum. As people below have noted some of the tenured faculty are extremely poor educators. The administration is rigid. There is no dedicated indoor place to eat lunch. Many classes are taught in trailers. The 90 or so kindergartners are often supervised by a single adult during the lunch break.

  • (5 years ago)

    carmel river school is a great school my kids get wonderful education .I think the best teachers are Mr.T Ms.Block Mrs.Marsh Mrs.Esaka and Mrs.Osorio .

  • (5 years ago)

    Overall Carmel River School achieves high academic scores for its pupils which is the main objective of the Principal. Therefore he does not feel the need to cater to the special needs of above average students even if they are demotivated by the curriculum. The quality of the teaching at this school is highly variable from excellent to extremely poor. One of the biggest problems is the Principal's unflagging support for even the weakest members of his staff and the staffs awareness of their unassailable positions. The words thoughts and actions of the parents are not treated with respect by the administration or the teaching staff even at the District level. Like it or lump it would be an accurate description of the policies of this school.

  • (6 years ago)

    River School is a good school but far from perfect. The principal himself told me that 99 percent of academic performance is attributable to demographics which is why the state groups schools as they do into categories for comparison. The numbers do suggest that the school is doing well even within its category. However judging by how quickly the teacher suggested holding our daughter back when she fell behind and how quickly that changed when she caught back up a few weeks later it seems that the focus is on the numbers to the exclusion of focusing on the kids. Thankfully there is strong participation by the parents. One of the parents is usually in the classroom as an aide to help during the day. The PTA is also very active and has raised a fair amount of money for improvements and extras. Basically it s as good as you can expect but not as good as you might hope. And unless you can spare about $16 000/yr for Stevenson School you really can t find an alternative. As a personal note I think the lunches are an absolute crime. You could buy a healthier lunch at McDonald s for the same price. Furthermore there isn t even a decent place indoors for the kids to eat lunch. My daughter has lost her lunch to seagulls more than once.

  • (6 years ago)

    We are surrounded by some of the finest private schools in the state but we choose to have our daughter attend our beloved public school carmel river school. Why? 1) Excellent leadership from principal jay marden on down the staff line. 2) Approachable teachers who always seem on the look-out for new and exciting ways to teach. 3) Innovative and differentiated instruction focussing on 'pull out' instruction for kids who need help to individualized and group instruction for academically 'gifted' students. (In direct opposition in my mind to one of the parent comments made below) 4) amazing parental involvement! 5) gorgeous natural surroundings despite the outright outdated nature of the 50-plus year old school. And it's all tuition free! We will be sad to leave next year!

  • (6 years ago)

    There seems to be an unequal division of services at this school among children who truly need help and actually getting it. This school is great if your child fits the mold.

  • (6 years ago)

    As a parent of several children in the district I can assure you that the staff and administrative commitment surpasses any elementary school in the state. They strive to meet every student's needs both academically and emotionally. All students whether low at-risk average or above average are met with equal success. I have witnessed this first hand with my own as each of them falls into one of those categories. The parent to teacher to administrator communication is excellent. It seems that all areas of learning are under constant observation with the willingness to add or change the curriculum at any time. Jay Marden is doing an excellent job in maintaining excellence at this school. Thank you River School!

  • (6 years ago)

    Carmel River School is one of the best public schools in California. The teachers are god sent the atmosphere is beautiful and the education quality is of a private school. The parent participation is unbelievably amazing and it's reflection shows on the children that attend the school.

  • (6 years ago)

    River School is unquestionably one of the best elementary schools in California with a uniformly excellent faculty led by a hard-working principal for whom 'continuous improvement' is a reality not a slogan. Test scores are tops music and art programs are rich and expanding and an extremely active parent community provides tremendous support to the educational programs. The campus is safe and nurturing the physical plant is in excellent condition and the location and views are spectacular. Those of us with children here know how fortunate we are to have such a school and how blessed are children are to attend.

  • (7 years ago)

    Great School! Highly qualified and involved teachers with high parent involvement. Extracirricular activities are a high priority to faculty and principal.

  • (7 years ago)

    Like Carmel Middle and High School the 'spin' about River School far exceds its actual educational quality. The club-like cliquish social atmosphere and limited educational background of the principal and superintendent are substantial limting factors.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Nearby