Nonviolent Communication Group for Parents

Does it feel like a struggle communicating with your teen or preteen (or anyone actually)?

Would you enjoy some evenings with other parents, exploring together how "nonviolent communication" might help your quest for stability, trust, and compassion in your family?

Nonviolent Communication is translating and transforming criticism, anger, and fear, into compassion, patience, and acceptance, for ourselves, and for others.

Come learn and practice with us!

We'll meet at Great River School 7pm Thursdays starting in March.  During all four Thursdays in March, Pam Winthrop Lauer will give us an overview of Nonviolent Communication, with ample time for practice exercises.  Starting in April, we’ll meet on the second & fourth Thursday and Greg Mott will facilitate. Activities will include viewing NVC videos, making time for sharing our experiences, practicing exercises, role plays, and supporting each other.

Highly recommended:  Marshall Rosenberg's books on Nonviolent Communication.  Here's just a couple other quick resources:
Pathways to Liberation Self-Assessment : Matrix
The Heart of Parenting: Nonviolent Communication in Action

Pam's flyer is attached.  For further information email

School Nutrition Volunteers Needed

As our school nutrition program rolls out, we’re finding ourselves in need of parent volunteers to support us as we grow! We’re asking parent volunteers to commit to a weekly shift through the end of the year and are offering different scheduled shifts to work with all schedules. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the GRS community!

Current Volunteer Needs:

  • Elementary Meal Maestro

    Help organize the elementary meal carts and deliver meals to classrooms daily. Tasks would include - sanitizing bins and bags, portioning utensils and dishware, assembling sandwich orders, loading up carts, and delivering to classrooms.

  • Dish Director

    Help dishwashing the trays, silverware, plates, and kitchen equipment used for school lunches.

  • Point of Sale Powerhouse

    Help get students through the lunch line. Tasks would include utilizing our POS system EZSchool to enter in student information as they receive lunch.

  • Waste Management Wizard

    At the end of lunch periods help students, parents, faculty, staff, and visitors put waste in the appropriate receptacle and inform them about what can be recycled, composted, or what needs to be sent to the landfill. Help with other tasks in between.

  • End of Day Zero-Waste Wizard Spend time outside near the dumpsters for recycling, compost, and landfill near the north main entrance on Energy Park Drive. Your job is to help GRS staff supervise and divert items to appropriate waste stream containers based on whether it’s recycling, compost, or landfill.

Click here to sign up for kitchen shifts and here to volunteer to help our zero-waste initiative!

Email any questions to

MN Cultural Studies

The sixth bridge students are doing a quarter-long cultural studies project on Immigrants to Minnesota. As part of this work, each student will be interviewing an immigrant or a high school or older aged first generation MN resident. If you fit the description, and are wiling to come share your story with the class or be interviewed, please email Christina Beck We are actively searching for folks with Hmong, Irish, Finnish, Mexican, Tibetan, Filipino, Swedish and Somalian roots, but others are also welcome and encouraged to volunteer. 

Another way to support this project is by loaning artifacts for display in our classroom. We would especially love textiles or pictures to hang on the wall. Thank you!

Help our school with matching donations from your employer!

Does Your Employer Offer Matching Donations?

Many employers will match any charitable donations you make dollar for dollar. This is great for us and great for you, and your employer gets a write-off too!  Will you take two minutes to find out if you could double your donations to Great River School Foundation?

1. If you know your employer matches charitable donations, fill out their matching form and submit to HR.  You will likely need to update with an end of year total for a final match, but it’s good to start the process early

2. If you aren't sure if your employer matches donations, see sample email below that you can cut and paste into an email to your company HR department.

Thank you for taking the time to help our school!

Great River School Foundation


Sample email to your HR Department:

Hello {HR PERSON}-

I am wondering if we offer matching charitable contributions for employees? If yes, I would like to find out how to put that into effect for 2019 for a matching donation to my child's non-profit public school: Great River School Foundation, a 501c3. Is there a matching form I can fill out? If not, perhaps we can consider this for future years as I've heard many companies match donations.

Thank you!

{Your name}

Great River School (GRS) Foundation is a 501c3 created to support the long-term financial needs of Great River School’s mission: to prepare students for their unique roles as responsible and engaged citizens of the world. By building relationships with individuals, corporations and foundations, the GRS Foundation creates enduring support for students, faculty and the school’s urban Montessori learning environment. The Capital Campaign is a current focus for the GRS Foundation, with a goal of raising $250,000 by March 2020 to enhance our learning environment.      

Sign Up Now for Grades 5-7 LIST League Volleyball!

Practice begins Tuesday February 26!

Please contact if you have any questions. 

Coach: Kayla Kronfeld
Cost: $120 (team fee and T-shirt), scholarships are available; please inquire
Practices: Tuesdays from 4-5:30 pm at Great River School
Games: Wednesday afternoons/evenings at participating schools
Sign up: Please fill out this form to register for volleyball.

The first practice will be held on Tuesday, February 26. The first game is March 6. LIST league sports are co-ed sports experiences designed for all abilities. Beginners are welcome!

GRS Closed February 8th

In line with SPPS, Great River will be closed tomorrow, February 8th, due to dangerous windchills and poor road conditions. We expect tomorrow's Jterm performance to continue, as the roads will be clear and the wind speed slower by the evening. Stay tuned over the next 48 hours to changes to the school calendar in order to make sure we meet state requirements for instructional days this year!

Normal hours today - Jterm is on! Sports cancelled.

Great River will hold normal school hours today February 7th, 2019. All performances and theater events will be held normally. Jterm play is on!

Athletic practices for today have been cancelled.

If you have changes to the pickup or travel for your student, please email

GRS will generally follow SPPS regarding any decisions on weather cancellations for future school days, and generally make our own decisions for early releases. Watch for future communications in your email, on text and our school Facebook page.

Lost & Found to be Donated

This is just a reminder that all unclaimed Lost and Found Items will be donated on Saturday, February 9th at 2 pm. We extended the deadline due to the cold weather days last week.

Can't find what you are looking for?  Check BOTH Lost and Found Locations:

Adolescent Lost and Found
Located inside the foyer outside of the Heron's Nest Cafe.

Elementary Lost and Found:
Located along the west hallway inside the elementary main entrance and just north of the Big Canoe room.

Want to Make a Real Difference? We Need Your Help!

The Great River School Board is seeking faculty, guardians, and community members to help guide and steward the policy and vision of our school. Skills and experience that the board is looking for: raising families, working with limited resources to solve problems, building cooperation among people with different opinions, speaking multiple languages, and making decisions based on the values of peace education and justice. These experiences can be formal or informal.

We are actively recruiting members - especially those with life experience as a person of color and/or LGBTQ+ folks living in Minnesota. We recognize the importance of seeking to reflect the experiences and backgrounds of our neighborhoods and the students we serve.

For more information and to apply, read the complete communication here.

Volunteer Opportunity - Support the GRS Staff of Color Affinity Group!

Help support GRS’s staff of color affinity group by providing delicious food for their monthly meetings! Donations of main dishes, side dishes, beverages, and dessert are needed once a month, to serve 12 people. Cooking not your thing? Cash donations and gift cards are also welcome! Food can be dropped off at school the morning of the meeting, but other arrangements can also be made. Click here for the SignUp Genius or contact Karen Solas at

Call for Pencil & Tissue Donations!

If you see pencils on sale, or have high quality pencils at home....

and you’d like to contribute something to Great River School, consider pencils (aka Ticonderoga) or facial tissue (aka Kleenex). No brand names endorsed here though! 

As a Montessori environment, we practice care for our materials, and students take great measures engaging independently in their work. Sometimes, this means that we are learning to do this. This year, it’s a need for pencils and tissue for noses!

Donations can be dropped off at the front office! Thank you all!