Who We Are

River’s Edge Academy is a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten school located in Caldwell, Idaho. We decided to start this school because we saw a need for conservative education in our community.

We focus on providing the children with an excellent Christian education. Our students will learn that they are uniquely created to faithfully follow Jesus, grow in the wisdom of God’s great love, and serve others.

We offer half day classes so that kids can ease their way into school, but still have an opportunity to meet new friends, learn what they will need for the next grade level, and still be kids!


What will your child learn in 3-Year-Old Preschool?

  • BIBLE - We will cover some Bible stories that are age appropriate for our threes.  As well as memory verses throughout the year.
  • READING, WRITING, & MATH - We recognize that children learn best through play so this year, your child will be introduced, through play, to many concepts that will prepare them for a life of learning.

What will your child learn in Pre-Kindergarten?

  • BIBLE - we will cover many Old and New Testament accounts at an age-appropriate level; we will also have memory verses throughout the year.
  • READING - Recognize upper and lowercase letters, identify sounds of many of the letters, hear beginning, middle and end sounds, hear rhymes.
  • WRITING - Properly hold pencil and paper, trace name, create pictures to tell a story.
  • MATH - Count one to one correspondence, write numbers to 10, recognize shapes, colors, and numbers to 10.

What will your child learn in Kindergarten?

  • BIBLE - we will cover many Old and New Testament accounts of the Bible at an age-appropriate level; your child will be challenged to talk about what God is teaching us through those accounts as well as memorizing verses throughout the year.
  • READING - Letter names and sounds, introduced to 25 sight words plus color words, number words, months and days.
  • WRITING - Properly hold pencil and paper, writing simple CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words as well as simple sentences that begin with an uppercase letter and end in a period.
  • MATH - Count one to one correspondence, write numbers to 20, add and subtract to 10 with manipulatives, recognize and name characteristics of basic shapes, recognize and name characteristics of patterns.

* In all of our classes we will celebrate Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. *

Meet the Teachers

Natali Elliston - Director & Kindergarten Teacher

Hi, my name is Natali Elliston. I am the director of River’s Edge Academy and the Kindergarten teacher. I have a wonderful husband of 26 years and two adult sons whom I adore. I taught Kindergarten at Nampa Christian Schools for 7 years and then transitioned to Idaho Arts Charter for the last three years of teaching. With all the changes in education, I decided to take a step away from teaching for the last two years. This spring, God laid it on my heart to open River’s Edge Academy in Caldwell at Crossroads Church. I am super excited to see what He has in store for our school, our families and our students as we grow in Him.


Michele Yett - Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Hello! My name is Michele Yett. I am thrilled to be your child's pre-k teacher this year! My background ranges from six years working in Kindergarten at a local Christian school, to being a substitute in most of the elementary grades, as well as being a Paraprofessional in the public school system. I look forward to sharing my love of learning about the world, growing in God's truth, and in the love of Jesus.
On a personal note, I have three amazing adult kids and one golden retriever named Grizzly. There is nothing better than an extra hot latte, a once in a lifetime hike, and a 5 star book!!
It's going to be a spectacular year of learning, growing, sharing, and connecting with each other!

Lydia Castledine - 3-Year-Old Preschool Teacher

Hi! My name is Lydia Castledine. I am so excited to a part of the team! I am married to my amazing husband Dan and we are expecting our first son very soon! I will be graduating with my Bachelors in Elementary Education this year from Colorado Christian University.
I have been in and out of different classrooms observing and teaching lessons for the last 3 years as a part of getting my degree. I also substitute taught all elementary ages this past school year for the Nampa School District. I am looking forward to what this school year will hold!


Rachel E.


"Natali was my son's kindergarten teacher and it was obvious from the moment we met her that she genuinely cared about him and wanted the best for him. She is passionate about teaching and sharing the love of Jesus with the kids each day.

Natali is a clear communicator and very organized. We are so thankful our son had Natali as a kindergarten teacher and started him with a great foundation."

vander woude's

Rhea Vander Woude


"As the parent of a special needs child who had the privilege of being in Mrs. Elliston's Kindergarten class, I have witnessed her exceptional dedication, kindness and empathy first-hand. My daughter was very unsure of the school environment and fearful of any new experiences or changes.
From the very first day, Mrs. Elliston embraced my daughter's unique needs without irritation or fear and went above and beyond to make her feel welcome and safe in the classroom. She consistently fostered a warm and supportive yet very structured atmosphere that made my daughter and all her classmates feel comfortable and thrive.
Mrs. Elliston's willingness to modify assignments, provide extra support and give encouragement freely, created a classroom that my daughter loved to learn in. I will be eternally grateful for the positive impact she had on my daughter's life and education!"

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Brooke Cooke


"Natali was Michah's kindergarten teacher & I loved her so much! We became friends & later she taught kindergarten with me. YOU will love her!"