Riverside Central Elementary


Riverside is a neighborhood school serving approximately 630 K-5 students in Rochester, Minnesota’s third largest city. 74.55% of students receive free or reduced lunch, and 36.7% have limited English proficiency. In fact, in addition to general education classrooms, the school has a unique purpose as home to a Newcomer Center for approximately 125 students new to the country. The school population is diverse.


Riverside is a Priority school, and staff is working hard to improve learning for all children. They are dedicated to high quality staff collaboration and a relentless focus on whatever it takes to ensure that every student is successful. They are passionate and committed to the arts planning process as an opportunity to deeply examine and fine tune teaching practices and to identify and implement effective teaching strategies.

Community Focus

Beginning in 2016-17, Riverside is a Community School. A community school brings together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. It has an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement, which they expect will lead to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.

Leveraging the arts for whole school improvement aligns perfectly with the Community School model. The opportunity for hands-on learning, collaboration with peers, problem solving and developing critical thinking skills uniquely supports the focus on whole child development, academic enrichment, and family and community engagement.  Riverside recognizes the unique needs of their learners and has identified the power of the arts - integrated into daily learning used throughout instruction and through a strong arts program of instruction and exhibits/performance - to improve academic, emotional and social learning and success.

Setting Goals

Riverside will use the arts to address goals in three priority areas: Student Learning, Family Involvement, and School Culture and Climate. Their Strategic Arts Plan is still being finalized, so check back for details.

Riverside Central Elementary: Quick Facts


Riverside Central Elementary, 506 5th Ave SE, Rochester, MN, 55904


Principal: Matt Ruzek


Grades: K - 5

Enrollment: 630


2016 MDE Designation: Priority


Student Population

18%  African American  

21%  Hispanic

13%  Asian/Pacific 

47%  White

74%  Free/reduced lunch

36%  Limited english proficiency