General Information


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


Great River School integrates academic and social experiences in an environment of civility and trust. The Montessori philosophy and the International Baccalaureate diploma program inform the curriculum and pedagogy, inspiring deep questioning and peaceful action.

Great River School fosters self-expression in a supportive environment that values critical thinking and the richness and 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.

School Day

Monday through Friday, Great River School’s (GRS) day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 3:10 pm. The building will be open from 8 am to 3:30 pm for students who need to arrive early or stay late and have made previous arrangements with the front office.    Elementary Students arriving before 8:20 will need to be dropped off and useBig Canoe Kids Club before care service.  On Wednesday afternoons, many A3 students take advantage of the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) activity time to participate in an internship or regular volunteer opportunity off campus.

Special Education and 504′s

Special education services are available for students who are identified to receive them. GRS has special education teachers for all age levels and works with a special education director who oversees services.  Federally mandated 504 plans are available for those with identified disabilities.


Student led conferences for all students, their teachers and parent/guardian are held twice a year during the fall and spring.  Students receive instruction about how to lead these conferences to discuss their work and progress and prepare a portfolio that helps parents/guardians understand their work.

Parent/Guardian Involvement

GRS fosters a cooperative community and encourages the involvement of parents/guardians. We need your help to make this school great for your student. Volunteer opportunities are available for all and can fit everyone’s schedule.  Some of the opportunities include assisting at Open Houses and other marketing events, supporting teachers in the classroom and beyond, helping before and after key experiences with equipment organization, fund raising activities, serving on the Great River School Board or committees and more. Contact Lydia McAnerney to find out more ways to get involved.

Graduation requirements

Great River School will meet all state requirements for High School Graduation.  Please refer to the IB Program pages of this website for more information about the IB program’s course sequence and requirements.  Please review the Graduation Requirements for an overview of required courses for the high school.


Maria Montessori advocated independent learning. Students can develop clubs and groups at Great River School based on their interests. Currently, robotics, lego league, the QSA (Queer Straight Alliance), and theater groups are very active.  We traditionally have a fall theatre production and spring musical production.


Team sports at the Junior High level include competition with other schools in the League of Independent Sports Teams (L.I.S.T.) League. Those who play team sports at the High School level compete in the Minnesota State High School League.  Presently, we offer cross country running, football, soccer, volleyball, basketball and ultimate frisbee.  Some students elect to play other sports for their home district high school.  This requires a cooperative agreement between GRS and the school.  For more information cooperative agreements and athletics in general, please contact Ilse Larsen, Athletic Director by email.


Every charter school in Minnesota has an authorizer.  According to the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools,    ”A central component of the charter school concept is that every school has an authorizer. The role of an authorizer begins in the development stage of a charter, is critical throughout the life of the charter, and ends when a school is formally dissolved.”  The Authorizer for Great River School is Novation Education Opportunties (NEO). NEO is a sole purpose authorizer.  That is, their sole purpose is to authorize charter schools.

Contact Information:

  • Wendy Swanson-Choi is the Executive Director.  
  • Wendy can be contacted a by email at
  • Telephone: 651-605-1625.   
  • Mailing address: 3432 Denmark Ave, Ste.130, Eagan, MN 55123