Picture Re-Takes and Make-Ups - Monday, November 12th

Picture packets and student IDs were delivered to students in elementary classrooms and adolescent advisories early this week. 

If your student missed our first picture day (October 8th), they will have an opportunity to retake pictures in the morning on Monday, November 12th.

This day also serves as the re-take day for students who do not like their first picture and would like to try again.  If they already ordered pictures and want a re-take, they must bring the originals back with them to give to the photographer.

If you have any questions, email office@greatriverschool.org

Upcoming PEG Meeting

“The greatest gift we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Join us for the upcoming Parent Engagement Group (PEG) meeting on Monday November 12th 6:30-8:00pm in the new Performance Space. 

This month we will be learning about the role of executive functioning in the Montessori classroom, presented by Head of School, Sam O’Brien. Elementary parent Sinead Carolan will also speak about how to best support Montessori learning at home. Please come with questions and inquiries to make the most of this informative night. 

2019-20 Enrollment Application Now Available

The application for enrollment next year at Great River School is now available. 

Applications do not carry over year to year, so even if you are currently on our waiting list, you will need to submit an application for next year to be included in the enrollment lottery for 2019-2020. The deadline for inclusion in the lottery is Friday, March 1st. 

Complete the Application to get on the list for next year! 

The 2018-19 waiting list still stands. Should a spot open in any particular grade level mid year, we will offer off the current year's waiting list.

Thank you for you interest in Great River! If you have any questions, please Email enroll@greatriverschool.org.

Great River Enrollment Team

Email Subscription Error (Resolved!)

Hi families!

Our website host has been having RSS problems, which led to some 6B, LA, & UA subscribed parents not receiving announcements in their email inboxes. We've resolved the issue and announcements should be automatically sent to your inboxes as posted.

If you're ever having tech problems, please reach out to us! That's frequently how we learn of issues and want to make sure all families can access information. 

All our best,
GRS Admin Team

Winter Sports! Grades 6-8 LIST League Basketball begins November 14th

Interested students in grades 6-8 are invited to sign up for basketball. The co-ed team will be coached again this year by Laura Stickney. 

Cost: $120 (team fee and T-shirt), scholarships are available

Practices: Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 pm at Hancock Recreation Center

Games: Friday afternoons/evenings in various locations

Sign up: Please fill out this form to register for basketball.

Questions? Contact voyageurs@greatriverschool.org

The first practice will be held on Wednesday, November 14. The first game is Friday November 30. 

LIST League offers sports for middle schools in the Twin Cities. The mission of LIST is to introduce students to these sports in a manner that is intentionally co-ed and cross grade-level. Participation and fair conduct is encouraged over competition. LIST also encourages teams to practice only once or twice a week, with games every Friday. Students are exposed to the experience without it becoming overwhelming or all-encompassing.

School Meal Orders

Make sure to pre-order lunches & breakfasts for your students at least 1 school week (5 days) in advance. 

For instructions on how to set up your account, click here for instructions on loggin into EZParentCenter. If parents/guardians are unable to make payments online, cash and/or checks (made payable to Great River School) may be dropped off at the front office. Make sure to include the student name(s) and PIN number(s) in an envelope along with checks/cash. Daily cash purchases are also accepted.

If you have any questions or needs, feel free to contact Mary Hunn, Nutrition Services Director, at mhunn@greatriverschool.org.

Halloween Norms

October 31, is a time when many families celebrate Halloween. As our elementary community grows, we are working on developing meaningful traditions in each classroom around seasonal celebrations.

This Wednesday, we will not be inviting children to come in costume or bring candy into school. We appreciate your partnership in meeting this request.

Enjoy the autumnal changes!

In partnership,

Tami Limberg
Lower Adolescent Program Director

Call for Donations!

Hello All,

My name is Nadine McNiff.  I serve as a lower elementary teacher at GRS.  I also do work, whenever possible, to serve families and individuals dealing with homelessness.  Currently, this includes working with a cooperative of groups and individuals to provide for those at the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment in South Minneapolis.  You can read more about the work, needs, and plans for this community in the links below. My goal is to serve this community, in small part, with resources they need as the cold weather arrives.  A list of current needs is below. If you are in a position to donate it is appreciated. My goal is to bring GRS donations on November 11th. You can contact me at nmcniff@greatriverschool.org to coordinate drop off in my classroom, before or after school.  

Current needs are listed below:

  • bundles of firewood

  • duct tape

  • contractor garbage bags

  • batteries (AA)

  • bungee cords

Thanks for listening,
Nadine McNiff


A Brief History and FAQ (Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors)

Organization Organizing Support Efforts/Cold Weather Plan (Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center)

Frontline Volunteers Perspective (Natives Against Heroin)

Mea Culpa Moment

On this sixth week of school, the administrative team realized the front office voicemail was still set to the summer message.


It’s been corrected - thanks to the parents who let us know our error. We appreciate and encourage your feedback while we’re ironing out our new systems!

Please send any and all feedback to office@greatriverschool.org. Thanks for being in this boat with us.

Harvest Fest Appreciation Post!

Thank you so much for your incredible contributions to this year's Harvest Fest! It was the largest and most successful one we've had yet--a worthy celebration of our Great River community!

There were SO many people--students, families, and staff alike--who dedicated time, energy, and resources to make this incredible day possible. Thank you to co-coordinators Monique, Holly, Jennifer and Jessica. You guys were the best team in making sure this event went smoothly! Thank you to Jenny, Jim, and Zack for pulling off such a special music set that included a community sing-a-long, GRS student and student alumni band Why Not, and professional Congolese musicians Saima & Dallas. Thank you also to Jim and Mary for saving the soup! (You guys know what I'm talking about!) Thank you Scott and the forestry occupation for setting up the straw bales and pumpkins and preparing farmstand items for sale. Thank you to Tami and the 9th & 10th graders who performed admirable community service during Harvest Fest. The event would not have been the same without your participation! Thank you to the 6th Bridge students who cleaned and prepped veggies for the soup! Thank you to all the students who harvested the pumpkins and veggies at the farm, and brought your homemade goods to the festival! Thank you to Scott Brown of The Accounting Group for sponsoring the hours of "free babysitting," aka the bouncy houses. Thanks to Stacey for being our official Harvest Fest photographer. Thank you to Charlie and Jennifer for getting the word out about this event, resulting in such a great turnout! We had two amazing chefs who raised our soup experience to new levels--Kristin and Lisa--and many prep chefs too! Thank you so much to all the PEG Ambassadors who put in extra volunteer time before, during and after the event. Thank you so much to the setup and cleanup crews - you guys made the place look so beautiful to start and made sure every last piece of debris was picked up at the end! 

Thank you most of all to everyone who came out to enjoy the event and be part of the celebration! 

Harvest Fest Reminder

A special note for all volunteers and attendees at this years Harvest Festival:
There is speculation that a giant glowing fireball may be hanging in the sky this Saturday afternoon. Please be advised that this is considered a normal occurrence and may cause warmth, light and cheery dispositions by those in its presence. Do not fear, some of us may remember this natural phenomenon from previous times, be sure to soak it up with our GRS community with a hot bowl of soup!

When: Saturday October 13th 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Great River School (outdoors)

What: Celebration of the harvest season with “stone soup” in the cauldron, live music, farm fresh food and crafts from the adolescent key experiences to purchase, lots of activity stations and crafts, bouncy houses and our GRS community to keep you company. 

Also, there are a few slots left to be a part of the volunteer team. Be sure to sign up to be a part of the fun of making it all happen. 

Harvest Fest!!

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals.” – Jean Vanier

Harvest Festival is this Saturday! We are so excited for this opportunity to celebrate the bounty of the season and our growing community together. Please join us for an afternoon of stone soup, crafts, music and community. 

When: Saturday October 13th 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Great River School (outdoors)

What: Celebration of the harvest season with “stone soup” in the cauldron, live music, farm fresh food and crafts from the adolescent key experiences to purchase, lots of activity stations and crafts, bouncy houses and our GRS community to keep you company. 

Also, be sure to sign up to be a part of the fun of making it all happen. Volunteers and supplies still needed:


Urban Farming Pumpkin Sale


Great River School Urban Farming will be selling pumpkins and spinning gourds (picked by adolescent students at Buttermilk Farms 👩🏼‍🌾) daily after school until our supply is gone. Pumpkins range from $1-5, depending on size, and spinning gourds are $0.25 or five for a dollar. Exact change is appreciated - thank you!

Harvest Fest Reminder

“There is no secret, but this is certain, that it is only by sharing may we make a feast”

~author unknown

Harvest Festival is right around the corner! We are still in need of donations and day of volunteers. Please check out the Sign-Up and register to make this annual family event a huge success!

This is one of our most accessible volunteer activities. Commitment times start at 1 hour and families can volunteer together (including little ones.) Adolescent students are encouraged to volunteer and 9th/10th grader receive volunteer hours.

View the Sign up Here

Sign up Now to Volunteer at Harvest Fest!


On Saturday, October 13th 2-5pm we will have our all-school fall festival, Harvest Fest! The festival features farm fresh food and crafts from the adolescent key experiences, a cauldron of soup made by your contributions, face painting, bouncy houses caramel apples and LIVE music! We are looking for volunteers to donate supplies, help set up/clean up, paint faces and stir the soup! Thank you in advance for your time and energy in making Harvest Fest an event to remember! 

View the Sign up Here

Great River Annual Fund Announcement

Great River School is kicking off the annual fund campaign this year - read below (or text “goats” to 71777 to find out how you can support the school).  

Great River Montessori is a public school with a vision of more peaceful world. Your child is building the foundation of our school in the lower elementary program. Our dedication to the authentic materials of Montessori, to the rigorous training of our guides, and to the innovative programming of our school is a result of strong community support. We are committed to creating the time for your child to develop in alignment with their needs, tendencies and characteristics.  

Great River is able to offer pioneering public Montessori programming, such as experiential key experience trips, through the donations of community members. As we unveil our annual fund thermometer for the year, we’re asking every GRS family to make a contribution to ensure our programming can continue for years to come.

Our preparation for adolescence is a key part of preparing for a successful career at Great River School and going forward. Please join in supporting our innovative school, and your student’s future success!

Students & families are able to create their own fundraisers, shareable with your networks, to support & help fund GRS’s dynamic programming.

Thank you! We are so grateful to be in community with you.