A sampling of testimonials from Great River School students and parents/guardians.

Great River Student Comments

Current A2 (grades 9 & 10) student
“Great River is a wonderful environment in which students can grow socially and academically.  The teachers and students are encouraged to form interactive relationships.  Great River also caters to all kinds of adolescent  learning styles.”

Junior High School student
“GRS has been good for me because it is a community.  At my old school, I didn’t feel like a real part of something, but here I feel important and part of something.”

Junior High School student
GRS has been good for me because the method of teaching is better for me.  Most of my past schools taught me by the book.  To me, that method of teaching is boring, and I feel like we are only learning things for a test.  But the style of teaching at GRS doesn’t teach you by the book.  At the end of the day, I feel that I can use what was taught in the real world and not just for a silly test at the end of the year.”

New 11th grader
“As my first year at Great River School is coming to a close, I’ve thought about all the connections I’ve made. I really will never regret coming to Great River, it is one of the greatest choices I’ve made.

High School student
“GRS was good for me because it helped me develop my skills and also build character.  Being a small school, it was easy for me to adjust with the new school and make friends.  It was good for me to come here and be a part of this community.”

High School student who left and returned
“The first thing that comes to mind when people ask why I want to return to Great River is Montessori.  The most important thing that comes to mind is community.  Community is so much bigger than I ever imagined.  At GRS, there are no walls, the idea that you can sit with anyone and feel comfortable is so important. Community is about creating a group of poeple who are comfortable with each other and who respect each other.  This is the kind of community I feel at Great River. Having experienced a non-Montessori environment,  I realized how important community is to me.”

“Montessori learning method has always been something that interested me.  I have always thought hands on experience and independence is a good learning system. Independence, especially.  Montessori really prepares you for adult life.”

Great River Parent Comments

Parent of two GRS students
“We like the fact that there’s a strong community feel to this school; the teachers and staff, the students, and the parents. In times of uncertainty in education, GRS feels strong/stable due to the communication (*and* you teach our children well).”

Parent of a 10th grader
“In GRS we found a school that appreciates our child’s eccentricities as much as we do. The staff truly enjoys working with adolescents and this shines through in everything they do.”

Parent of a current 12th grader
“GRS has been a blessing for two of my three children. They have learned to work independently, have retained curiosity and been encouraged by teachers and staff to explore their interests. The flexibility of the curriculum at times allowed my son to be part of a small AP Calculus class before IB was implemented, earning him college credits, as well as to take PSEO classes at the UM. For my daughter, she has had amazing teachers, mentors, friends and opportunities to follow her passions – leading travels, earning funds to pay for those, planning and attending dances and gatherings, and much more. The rigor of the upper grades curriculum has helped her develop self-discipline and self-reliance to strive for excellence. I would highly recommend the school to other serious learners.”

Parent of a current graduate:
“I just wanted to share this in case anyone asks about how Montessori prepares kids for college.   My son is at St. John’s College in New Mexico.  (Another GRS student is also a student!)  St. John’s is a pretty challenging program, but he is doing really well and attributes this to two things; First of all, the IB program was rigorous so he has a good foundation of knowledge and he learned how to write well in his classes.  Secondly, and more importantly, Montessori helped him learn how to manage his time, work independently and to be self-disciplined and self-directed.  He said that most of the other incoming freshman are learning  how to do this now in college and my son thinks he’s definitely at an advantage in that area.”


Parent of a 7th & a 10 grade student
“I wanted my children to experience the joy of feeling comfortable, respected and loved for who they were as unique individuals. I did not want their educational experiences to minimize their individuality, hoping they would “fit in”, but to inspire and expand it. The Montessori environment was the only learning environment where I truly trusted this would happen. And for our family, it did happen for our children. They love to learn, love themselves, love peace and the earth, and find joy in expressing their love to others. They each discovered a pride in their unique gifts, found confidence in value-based decision-making and peaceful conflict resolution, and have learned to be leaders in their own ways. As an added unexpected benefit, being part of a Montessori school taught us how to be better parents, just by watching and learning from the teachers and staff – and our children.”

“Words cannot express how grateful I am for the gift of Montessori education to my family. If world peace starts within each one of us, which I believe is true, Montessori education has supported this search for every member of our family. We are all better human beings because of the inspiration we have discovered being part of a Montessori school. Thank you Maria Montessori.”

Parent of 8th grade student
“We believe picking a school for our daughter is one of the most important decisions we make as parents at this stage of her life.  We are very new to GRS but so pleased with our decision.  It’s had a calming effect on our family and we feel more confident that our daughter will learn self-responsibility as well as the importance of being in a community.  We look forward to learning and supporting our daughter and this school.  Thank you GRS!”

Parent of a 9th grade student
“My son liked his old school perfectly fine; however, when we moved, we gave him the choice of staying at the previous school or taking a look at Great River. Intrigued and curious, he spent one day visiting Great River School and never turned back—we’ve watched him blossom from a quiet but happy student to a more confident, happy-go-lucky student who interestingly did better both academically as well as socially. Some kids do well in bigger settings, but for some, my child included, the smaller environment simply brings out the best in them all around. Our family is enormously grateful for this splendid opportunity.”

Parent of a new 11th grader
“My son, a high school Junior, is a creative and hard working student who was seeking a non-traditional high-school with high academic standards;  almost like a prep school.  Though this is not the GRS’s intent, it has turned out to be just about perfect for my son.  He is challenged by his teachers and by the entire program, yet free to think outside the box.  I see GRS as an excellent step into college life.  My son is forming deep bonds with students and teachers alike.  Thank you GRS!”