Mrs. Erica Paramore-Respress Principal
1190 SW 2nd Street
Miami, Florida 33130
Main phone: 305 547-1520
Fax number: 305 547-4102
Riverside Elementary was built in 1914, by 1927 it was the largest elementary school in the
State of Florida. In 1970, as part of the desegregation court order, black teachers came to teach
at Riverside. Shortly thereafter, the school was paired with Frederick Douglas Elementary in the
Overtown section of Miami. The School Board, then bused students between the two schools,
housing grades Kindergarten, fourth, fifth, and sixth at Riverside and grades first, second,
and third at Douglas Elementary.
Due to deterioration, in 1976, the original structure was demolished. At that time Riverside
was the oldest operating school in Dade County. Temporary relocated buildings were set up
at the site and finally in 1987, the School Board selected Bermello & Associates Architectural
Firm to design and build the new Riverside. In 1990, Riverside opened its doors and once again
the dream became a reality. The rebirth kept alive one of the oldest schools in Dade County,
linking the past to the present and onto the future.
In 1997, the sixth grade was moved to Booker T. Washington Middle School, now a Senior high School,
so Riverside and Douglas Elementary became full service Schools of Choice, thereby establishing
an equitable ratio and housing grade levels pre-k through fifth.
The striking two story structure, with its skylight spanning sections, unique building lines, large
central courtyard, have become a landmark in a rapidly changing neighborhood. In the early 1960's
many Cuban immigrants settled in the area, which is now almost totally Hispanic, being known
as "Little Havana." In the later years, many immigrants from South and Central America
have come to settle in the area. The school has come to symbolize the ethnic diversity of the
community we serve, that has historically made up the Riverside student population.
Riverside Elementary Community School continues to be one of Florida's largest elementary
schools, serving students of all ages with after school adult programs.
Please click on the "Community School" link below to learn more.