Great River School, an urban Montessori learning community, prepares students for their unique roles as responsible and engaged citizens in the world.

Founded on leadership, service, and peace formation; Great River fosters independence, critical thinking, respect, responsibility to self, to others, and to the earth.

GRS Announcements

Find out what is going on at GRS by going to this link to the GRS Announcement blog.

Conferences – November 3 & 4

Sign Up for Conferences

On November 3rd and 4th, all adolescent GRS students and their parents/guardians will participate in student led conferences and elementary parents/guardians will meet with their student’s guide.  Sign up here.

Share the gift of food

As part of a 10 year tradition, families have the opportunity to share a gift of food for faculty during conferences. With over 50 faculty at school for long days, knowing something delicious awaits them in the dining hall is a great reward. Sign up here to donate your favorite recipe for one of the meals or snacks over the two days.

Support Great River with a simple online vote!

Vote today for state farm’s celebrate my drive. GRS could earn the opportunity to use up to $100,000!!!! Voting is open today through October 24th. Anyone with an email adress and is 14 years old or older can vote. You can vote once a day everyday per email. Let’s go GRS!!!!  http://www.celebratemydrive.com

Pass this along to 5 people outside the GRS community who you think would appreciate the innovative alternative we provide as a public school!

(for all tech and privacy savvy community members, we have been assured by State Farm that email addresses will *not* be used for marketing purposes. Great River would use this opportunity to fund improvements to our learning environment, safe transit around the school, and support for cultural exchange with other Montessori schools) 

Spanish with Language Sprout

Beginning Monday, October 27, Language Sprout will offer Spanish for elementary students. Using the Montessori approach, Language Sprout envisions a Minnesota in which every child is equipped with multilingualism.  All ages of elementary students are welcome with or without  previous language experience.  Classes will be $10 per student per class and in session each Monday 3:15 to 4:15 when there is school.  In 2014, there will be 7 classes (no class on Monday, November 3).  Registration flyers are available below and in the wooden rack by the front desk.  Classes will resume after winter break.  For more information about Language Sprout, please visit the Language Sprout website.

Language Sprout 14-15 Registration Flyer here

Language Sprout Information Flyer 2014-2015

GRS Spirit Wear

BirdRoyalShow your GRS spirit on your back, your head and even your legs! The GRS Spirit Wear order has been placed and orders available at conferences.  Extras have been ordered and will be on sale during conferences.

Available are T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweat pants.  New this year are GRS leggings, shorts, and a GRS hat.  Check out the Designs for Fall 2014 and the Fall Price List.

(Note: Here is some information on sizing for the leggings)

Parent Education – 10/9/14

Please join us on Thursday, October 9 for a full evening of events.  This is a great opportunity to learn about Montessori education.  Other gatherings will also provide an opportunity to learn about the Upper Elementary Fall trip and meet Katy Ibes, candidate for the Pedagogy Leadership Position at GRS.


6:00   Gather in Dining Hall
6 – 6:20   Welcome, Introductions, Montessori 101

6:20 – 7   Open House in Classrooms:

  • See how Montessori Method is used in the classroom.
  • Observe how the following are implemented and defined:  movement, freedom, responsibility, language, and peace education.
  • Adolescent 1 Academic Orientation and Odyssey Project viewing

7 – 7:30   Social/Community Time

  • Adolescent 1 families are encouraged to attend short lessons on the use of powerschool, and the philosophy for student assessment.

Also happening on Thursday evening at GRS:

  • 5:30 – 7:30 – Opportunity to meet with Katie Ibes, candidate for Pedagogy Leadership Position at GRS
  • 6:30 pm – Gathering for Upper Elementary parents/guardians about the fall trip to Camp Widjiwagan
  • Spirit Wear and Chinook Books for sale


Meet Katie Ibes – October 9

As you know, the GRS Search Committee began searching for a Pedagogy Leader for the school in January 2014.  Through an extensive national and international search, a highly-qualified candidate has applied for the position for the 2015-16 school year.  We are pleased to present Katie Ibes, current Montessori Consultant to GRS, as candidate for the Pedagogy Leader position.

By now, we are well-rehearsed at vetting and providing feedback on a Head of School candidate, and here is your opportunity for an encore! 

Please join us in meeting Katie and being a part of the interview process! (schedule link here) The GRS Search Committee needs your feedback as a critical part of our decision to recommend the Board offer Katie Ibes this position.  What do we need from each of you specifically?

1) Consider your own questions for GRS’s Pedagogy Leader candidate and learn more about Katie Ibes through her application materials.

2) Engage with Katie while she is visiting the school October 6-16 with your questions one-on-one or during a Q&A session (see  schedule)

3) Complete the simple survey and return it to a Search Committee Member by hand, via email to grssearch@greatriverschool.org, or in the box in the lobby by end of day on 10/14.  Shawna Maryanovich, Chair of the Search Committee, will also be on site 10/10 to discuss your concerns and hear your feedback directly.

The person in this role will serve as a co-leader with Sam O’Brien beginning next year.  Sam has greatly enjoyed working closely with Katie for over six months.  Katie and Sam have successfully collaborated on strategy for teaching and learning, and co-facilitating training and development opportunities for faculty. As a member of the Search Committee, Sam is elated at the prospect of collaborating as Head of School with Katie Ibes, should she be recommended and approved to be offered the opportunity to serve in the role.

If you would like more detail, please see the full announcement.

Thank you so very much for your engagement and feedback in the school leadership search.


Thank you,
Great River School Search Committee

Chinook Book Sale

The Chinook Book, a coupon book focused on the Twin Cities, helps you save money at local businesses that do good things for the environment and the community.  This is the ONLY fund raiser we ask students to help with during the year. If you shop at a Coop, go to a local coffee shop or local theaters, this book can save you over $20 very quickly.  Help support GRS through this easy activity.  They make great gifts or acknowledgements.

Books, Apps (can be used on more than one phone or tablet) or a Combo pack (both book & App) are available now.

  • Books sell for $20 (GRS receives $10)
  • App (for both Iphone and Android sells for $14 (GRS receives $7)
  • Combo pack (both book & App in one package) sells for $30 (GRS receives $15).

Books are available from any GRS student or at the front desk.  Flyers and order forms have been shared with all students, so be sure to ask yours.  Sale ends October 10, 2014.

Harvest Festival – Saturday, 9/27

P1020040The weather forecast promises a great day for our Annual Harvest Festival, this coming Saturday, from 4 to 6:30 pm.  Please join us for stone soup, games, face painting, pumpkin decorating and your opportunity to purchase items from the A2 Fall Key Experience on the farm including:

  • potatoes
  • wooden crafts (including Little Free Libraries)
  • felted crafts
  • candles
  • canned goods – salsa & tomatoes
  • pumpkins and more

You can also purchase a Chinook Book and order GRS Spirit Wear!

Volunteers, both adults and students, are needed to help make the day a grand success. Please sign up here to help with food, games, and clean up.  It takes a village, so jump in now as the good slots go fast!  (Note that there is a tab for adult volunteers and one for students.)

October Lunch Menus Posted

Order October Lunches now!  Deadline for October Lunch orders is Thursday, September 25th.

Lunch Menus and Order Process Here.

View additional: News

If it becomes necessary to close or delay school for inclement weather, please find information on WCCO TV Channel 4 and 830 WCCO Radio and wccoradio.com or KSTP.com School Alert System.