Immediate Openings in Great River School's 11th Grade Program

Due to program expansion, Great River School has immediate openings for 11th grade - this is a rare opportunity, apply now!

Great River is a tuition-free public charter, urban Montessori learning environment located in the Midway/Como neighborhood of St. Paul. One of the first adolescent Montessori programs in the country, GRS is consistently ranked in the top five high schools in the state of Minnesota. Great River School fosters self-expression in a supportive environment that values critical thinking and the strength of a diverse community. Great River School encourages students to seek new challenges and explore their abilities. Instruction through travel, practical learning, the arts, and micro-economic ventures provide relevant skills to meet the world with compassion and a sense of responsibility. Click here for an introductory video to our programs.


Who Does Well at Great River?

  • Self-motivated students with high executive functioning skills.
  • Students looking for a nontraditional, justice-oriented learning environment.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Montessori school paired with rigorous academics and skill-building key experiences.
  • Our functioning urban farm provides educational experiences to students in the city.  
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What About Our Curriculum?

  • Great River blends an adolescent Montessori approach with the challenging IB Curriculum. 
  • Graduating students are uniquely prepared for critical peace-building work in the world. 

What is 11th Grade Like at GRS?

Students are exposed to a rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum and a culture of peace-building justice work. Our International Baccalaureate curriculum is recognized by universities and goes beyond facts - it asks students to process, understand reason, and analyze materials. Great River has 10 years of success supporting all types of students in succeeding in the IB curriculum. Our highly engaged faculty support students of all academic backgrounds and provide a learning environment where every student has high expectations. You can find more information on Great River’s IB program here. 

What are Key Experiences? 


All GRS students get the opportunity to learn in supportive, learner-guided ways, as well as have non-traditional skill & community-building experiences. We call these community trips "key experiences." In the fall, 11th graders get the opportunity to travel with their cohort to various colleges around the North Shore of Minnesota, as well as attend workshops at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. In the spring, adolescents choose which what they’d like to spend an intensive week doing - choices this last school year included a canoe trip on the Namekagon, a Latinx art mural walk, and state park hiking.


College Accessibility

As one of three public Montessori high schools in the nation and the only public Montessori IB diploma school in the world, colleges and universities view our applicants as uniquely prepared for successful leadership at the collegiate level. Our college accessibility director provides students with focused attention, resources, and strategic planning.

Montessori Pedagogy & Independent Work


Supporting students in self-guided independent skills is at the core of the upper adolescent program at Great River. Adolescent learners at Great River are given independent working time, both structured in-school time and Creativity, Action, & Service (CAS), an IB requirement.  Through this solo work, students develop responsibility, independence, and are prepared for success in college and professional opportunities after high school. Students gain a depth of understanding that allow development of maturity regarding their interests in the world. 

What 's the School Community Like?

Care for self, others, and our shared responsibility is a core value that drives academic success and social emotional growth at Great River School. We focus on relationships and problem solving skills, as well as peace education. We care for each other through weekly community meetings and adherence to a group of communally-sourced community norms.

Questions? We'd love to talk. Shoot us an email at