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 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! 

Clothing Hangers Needed!

The theatre program is in need of many, many clothing hangers! Now that we have wardrobes to store our costumes rather than using stacks of plastic bins, we're suddenly struggling to hang everything up. If you have any extra hangers lying around your home, please consider donating them. You can leave them at the front office, labeled for Caroline Miesle. 

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. 

Adolescent Drop-Off Norms

(click here for an instructional video on arrival & departure norms)


First of all, thank you all for making the start of our 2018-19 school year a success by driving safely and courteously! After a full month of observing the arrival process each morning, there are some guidelines that will benefit the entire school when dropping off! There are few refinements to the process that we must implement due to the increased number of vehicles we have this year.

  • Please pull all the way down the sidewalk as far as you can go before releasing your student. Using the entirety of our sidewalk is the only way to get everyone to class on time.

    • Doing so ensures that the maximum number of students get released at once.

    • Yes, this means your student may have to walk BACK towards their entrance on some days, but other days they won't depending on your place in line.

    • If large gaps in the line form, I will be out there directing vehicles to fill the gap.

  • Please ensure that your student is ready to get out of the vehicle in a timely fashion. If you must stop temporarily, please put on your flashing hazard lights.

  • PLEASE do not make U-turns or pull through neighboring business lots when exiting. Continue down Energy Lane heading west and exit onto Energy Park Drive.

  •  Dropping off students may only happen on the school side of Energy Lane, nor should they be released in the middle of the road while stopping temporarily.

As always, thank you for your cooperation and patience! This entire process works because YOU make it so!

May all your lights be green and your roads be open!
Derek (The Traffic Guy)

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:!/showSignUp/30e0d49a4a62babf94-20172

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

Head Lice Notification!

Dear parents,

GRS has received reports of head lice at home among students in the Lower Adolescent classrooms. We are notifying all 7th and 8th grade families as a precaution.

Following CDC guidelines, we do not require students to stay home from school until head lice infections have cleared. We ask that families check at home and take action to treat any cases as soon as possible. We are notifying the community of these recent cases so that families can check their students for lice and respond appropriately. Treating hair and washing/drying clothing and bedsheets on high heat will limit the duration and spread of head lice.

Recommendations on treatments are below - one from the Minnesota Department of Health and an alternative from a GRS parent Kara Parker, MD.  

MN Department of Health:

(includes recommendations and action steps)

Recommendation from Kara Parker, MD & GRS parent: An alternative to chemical insecticides include naturally occurring insect-killing treatments: "Coconut oil and essential oils work great- the coconut oil suffocates them and the essential oils chemically harm (tea tree (mellaluca) and oregano, eucalyptus are strong options). Can also add diatomaceous earth (DE) to cut through the exoskeleton and eggs into the paste and spread through the hair, wear at night, wash in the am."

If you need any help in checking your child for lice or nits, please direct your child to our student health coordinator, Natalie Yaeger, in the health office.

Thank you for your assistance,

Natalie Yaeger
GRS Student Health Coordinator

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).  

Your student Odyssey-ed to the West and has now completed an entire week of school! Thank you to the many parent volunteers who came to unpack bins, inventory tents, and welcome these intrepid students back to school. We hope you’ve had the chance to check in with your student about their experience - how will the skills they developed aid them in their educational journey this year? Here’s what one Lower Adolescent parent said about their student:

"It was a beautiful sight and a true testament to the value of these key experiences to watch... such teamwork, efficiency and pride in their work. It is a small glimpse into the true essence of what our kids gain from this week out in the world, away from their routines, comforts, devices ... and families. They return to us more independent, more confident and better citizens of their community ... and family. Thank you, Great River School guides and staff for giving our children this kind of experience. Thank you for giving us parents the opportunity to truly learn how to let our little birds fly on their own. And finally, THANK YOU for being such trustworthy guides in our important/necessary absence for this age-appropriate journey."

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.

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.

Debate Club Information (for grades 9-12)

Are you interested in current politics? Sick of hearing the news? Do you want to be the change in the world?! Well, come join us at our "What is Debate?" meeting tomorrow, September 25th from 3:30-4:15 in the Forum (Rm 166).

You will learn about Debate and all that it entails (conferences, costs, etc). If you come with questions, those might get answered, too! All in all, we are here to learn about discussing current news and politics in a way that is persuasive, passionate, and fact checked. Come check it out!

9/17 Morning Information

The second week of school is a busy time at GRS with 4 grade-specific trips leaving to 4 different destinations!.

Expect to see a busier than usual Energy Lane on Monday morning - buses, cargo vans, and trailers will be parked in an attempt to get trips off as smoothly as possible.

We ask that you enter the drop-off line with as much patience and grace as possible!

For 9-12th grade parents, see below for a timetable of when your student needs to be at school on Monday morning.

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Drop-off Reminder

Great River Parents!

We have had a fantastic first week getting to know your families and working with your talented children. As a reminder, please make sure to only drop/pick up your students on Energy Lane.

Help us be good neighbors by not pulling in, parking, or dropping your students in our neighbors parking lots!

All students can be dropped off anywhere along our Energy Lane sidewalk.

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Montessori Model United Nations

Dear Families of 7th and 8th Grade students,

Last February a group of 5th and 6th year students attended a Montessori Model United Nations conference in New York City representing Australia and Cameroon.  It was an incredible experience for everyone involved.  We are pleased to announce that we are again offering this extracurricular program to Great River 7th and 8th grade students!  We plan to take a group to the Montessori Model United Nations conference in New York City on March 20-23, 2019.

Registration for the conference in New York City opened today, and it often closes quickly.  To ensure that Great River can register as soon as possible, we need to know how many students will be attending the conference by Friday, September 14, 2018.

You can learn a lot by checking out the following videos about the Montessori Model U.N. experience on Youtube:

        • Montessori Model U.N., New York City 2016:

As you consider, please understand that participating in this amazing opportunity will require an investment of time and effort on the part of both students and their families.  To participate in Montessori Model UN we ask the following of students and families:

*a commitment to investing time to do the required research 

There is a great deal of research and writing that goes into preparing for the Conference.  Please plan on a twice-per-week before school commitment beginning in October as well as supporting your child at home with research and writing.

*a commitment to participate in fundraising activities throughout the year.

Traveling to New York is exciting, but expensive.  A preliminary estimate of the cost per student for airfare, conference, hotel, and food is about $1500.  We commit to supporting students in raising the money and expect that students and families participate in fundraising activities. Families will be responsible for costs not covered through fundraising.

If your family decides to take part, please do the following:

  • Thoroughly discuss all items on the Student-Parent Contract (attached) with your child.

  • Return the signed Student-Parent Contract as soon as possible along with a non-refundable $100 deposit. Make checks payable to “Great River Foundation, MMUN.” Please return these to the attention of Jean Peters (Elementary Director). *We understand that we are on the Odyssey! Please note that snail mail and drop-in work perfectly to ensure your student's spot!*