Elementary Family Resources

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Elementary students study a rigorous curriculum based in science, geography, arithmetic, geometry, language, grammar, and history that follow the outline of Maria Montessori's five Great Lessons. Children pursue their own interests and challenges within this curriculum, developing a love of learning through accomplishing meaningful work.

For general questions about the elementary program, contact Jean Peters, Elementary Program Director, at jpeters@greatriverschool.org. 

Elementary F.A.Q.

Q. What are the school day hours? How does attendance work?
School begins at 8:30am and is released at 3:10pm. If students arrive late at school before 8:40am, they will be marked tardy. Arrivals after 8:40am require a late pass from the office. If the office hasn't heard by 9am to expect your student's absence , all listed parents in Powerschool will receive an automated attendance call. To report an absent or late student, call 651-305-2780 or email attendance@greatriverschool.org. 

Q. What are key experiences? What key experiences will my student go on?
A. Key experiences are a *key* part of the Great River experience! All students, fourth grade and up, go on overnight camping with their peers and teachers. These trips are level-specific and frequently, the students' highlight of the year. All upper elementary students will embark on a trip to either Camp Widjiwagan in Ely, MN or Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, MN. You can check out the packing lists under “Quick Links” at the top of this page or on the School Forms page.

Q. How can I get more involved with the school and meet other GRS families?
A. Our Parent Engagement Group was made just for that! Check out the PEG site for a current list of all classroom ambassadors or shoot them an email at peg@greatriverschool.org.

Q. How do I stay up-to-date with Great River news?
A. We send out a monthly school-wide newsletter (usually on the first Monday of the month), occasional lower adolescent-specific communications via email, and urgent communications via text message and phone calls.  In order to effectively communication with you, we need your current contact information! Here's a video showing you how to update your contact information in Powerschool.

Q. I have a question and I don't know who to contact. Help!
A. Check out this "Who-To-Call" chart  or email office@greatriverschool.org. We'll try our best to help you!

Q. I need to drop my student off late or pick them up early. How do I communicate this?
To inform us of a late arrival or early departure, please use this form. All changes must be finalized no later than 2:15pm. After this time, staff are attending to students for end-of-day procedures and are unavailable to deliver messages to students and guides. Any permanent or recurring changes should be sent to attendance@greatriverschool.org.

Q. Do you offer school meals?
We sure do! In our recent construction, we built a brand-spanking-new commercial kitchen and are excited to offer nutritious, locally-sourced, hot meals, designed by our school chef Leah Korger. We also have a student-operated coffeeshop called the Heron’s Nest open daily - feel free to come eat, drink, & enjoy! For more information on our lunch program and how to order food, click here!

Q. How do I check my student's grades, attendance, and progress?
A. Great River uses Powerschool software to track elementary students' attendance. You can click here for a video on gaining Powerschool access. Elementary families will receive mailed progress reports twice a year. 

Q. Do you provide transportation for students?
A. Yes! We provide elementary families with bussing and adolescent families with Metro Transit passes. To read more about transportation, click here.

Q. How can I contact my student's guides?
A. Email is our preferred mode of communication (click here for the staff directory). Guides do not have classroom phones and typically cannot be reached during the day. If you have an immediate need, contact the Front Office at office@greatriverschool.org or 651-305-2780.