About New River

  • New River Elementary School is nestled in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert, 20 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona. A quaint country school is the learning environment for students in grades Kindergarten through 6th. We have been at this site since the 1962-63 school year. 
    During the 2002-2003 school year, a brand new campus was built for us! The new campus was constructed on the existing playground, while our north field was converted into a new playground. We spent a whole school year walking a dusty trail to and from campus! All of our hikes have finally paid off! We have a beautiful new campus!
    Only at New River can children and nature be so entwined. The river runs beside us when the desert has a good downpour, otherwise it's a dry river bed. In winter, we enjoy the cold winter wind howling down the canyon river bed, making it pretty cold for us desert people. Some wild animals visit us from time to time and the teachers enjoy turning these situations into learning experiences. 
    In 1934, Mr. and Mrs. Essary opened up their home to the first official school in New River. Another member of the Essary family donated some of their land, and a building from the Desert Hills/Cave Creek area was moved to the site on New River Road. 

    After several years, the teacherage was built, so the current teacher did not have to live with her students. In 1962, the teacherage was moved to our current location on the Old Black Canyon Highway, and the original one-room school house was sold to a New River family. The back half of the teacherage was added onto and has served in many capacities through the years, including being the teachers' lounge. The teacherage is currently used as our "historical museum" and for small meetings.


    Directions to the Campus
    Travel north on I-17 from Phoenix. Take the New River exit and head east. Take a left (north) at the access road. New River School is about 1 mile north on the east side of the street.