Black River Elementary is a Pre-K - 4 elementary school located on Le Ray Street in the village of Black River. It is one of the three elementary schools in the Carthage School District and serves approximately 550 students from the villages of Black River and Felts Mills, townships of Rutland, Le Ray, Champion, portions of the hamlet of Great Bend and many of the military housing units on Fort Drum. Students come to Black River from the local communities as well as schools across the nation and overseas. Many of the students at Black River are military dependents and give the school, its students and staff, a global perspective, racial and ethnic diversity and many unique advantages. In addition, Black River Elementary serves a wide range of special needs students and provides a continuum of special education services from consultant teachers, support services such as speech, counseling, social work, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, to full time special education classes.
The original building was constructed in 1928 and served students in grades K-12. Black River became an elementary school in 1958. A major addition and complete renovation project was undertaken in 1987 and completed in 1988. The building currently offers spacious, modern classrooms, a well equipped library, a three station gymnasium, cafeteria with stage, fully equipped computer lab, ample playing fields and primary and intermediate playground equipment.
The curriculum has been revised and aligned to reflect the Common Core Learning Standards and it emphasizes the development of basic foundational skills in Literacy, Math, Social Studies and Science. An important emphasis is also placed upon providing students a well rounded curriculum with exceptionally strong programs in music, physical education and art.
Black River provides students a safe and nurturing environment with a well designed program of classroom management and student discipline. Values such as responsibility, respect, citizenship, service to others and patriotism are emphasized and reinforced regularly.
The Parent-Teacher Organization of Black River Elementary is very active and supportive. One major fund-raiser is held each year to support the school assemblies, book author visits and extra programs.
The community of Black River is actively involved in the school operation and programs, providing support in a variety of ways. The Sally Ploof Hunter Memorial Library, the American Legion, the local churches, the fire department, local ambulance squad and the village take pride in the Black River school and do their best to support and value teachers, staff and students.
The real strength of the school, however, is in its teachers. A former fifth grade (when Black River was a K-5 building) student summed up the feelings of many when he described Black River teachers as "not just great teachers but great people and role models."
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