Donations and volunteers needed for conference days!

Conferences will be taking place on Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30, and there are two great ways families can help. Please remember that GRS asks each family to contribute 20 hours of volunteer time per year, and consider singing up to help!

Email with any questions. Thank you!

1. We're looking for parents to help staff the first ever book fair at GRS! The book fair will support the development of elementary classroom libraries—families can purchase books directly for the classrooms from teacher wish lists, or they can purchase books for themselves that will add credit for GRS to make book purchases. The fair will be held during the two days of conferences, Thursday and Friday 11/29 and 11/30. Please consider signing up for a slot to help support this important initiative that will directly impact elementary classrooms! Volunteers will receive a brief training video to view.

2. With the new kitchen still in process, we're not able to offer our traditional (and beloved) show of appreciation to faculty and staff with community-made meals during conference days. Instead, this fall GRS will be bringing in food to sustain the teachers during their long conference days. But we still need some donations, along with help setting up, serving, and cleaning up after these meals! Please consider signing up to donate or for a shift for Thursday dinner, Friday breakfast, or Friday lunch—see the signup for times.

Sign Up Now for Grades 6-8 LIST League Basketball

Practice begins Wednesday, November 14! 

Please contact if you are interested in joining basketball or have any questions. We can only field a team if enough students sign up before the season starts.

Coach: Laura Stickney
Cost: $120 (team fee and T-shirt), scholarships are available
Practices: Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 pm at Hancock Recreation Center
Games: Friday afternoons/evenings in various locations
Sign up: Please fill out this form to register for basketball.

The first practice will be held on Wednesday, November 14. The first game is Friday November 30. 

Picture Re-Takes and Make-Ups - Monday, November 12th

Picture packets and student IDs were delivered to students in elementary classrooms and adolescent advisories early this week. 

If your student missed our first picture day (October 8th), they will have an opportunity to retake pictures in the morning on Monday, November 12th.

This day also serves as the re-take day for students who do not like their first picture and would like to try again.  If they already ordered pictures and want a re-take, they must bring the originals back with them to give to the photographer.

If you have any questions, email

Upcoming PEG Meeting

“The greatest gift we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Join us for the upcoming Parent Engagement Group (PEG) meeting on Monday November 12th 6:30-8:00pm in the new Performance Space. 

This month we will be learning about the role of executive functioning in the Montessori classroom, presented by Head of School, Sam O’Brien. Elementary parent Sinead Carolan will also speak about how to best support Montessori learning at home. Please come with questions and inquiries to make the most of this informative night. 

Winter Sports Meeting

We will be having our winter sports meeting next Wednesday, November 7th, at 4:15, in the cafeteria at Twin Cities Academy.  This meeting will be for those who are registered for high school winter sports.

All parents/guardians of those who are participating in the following sports, should plan on attending:

  • Boys and Girls Basketball

  • Boys and Girls Hockey

  • Cheer

  • Nodic Ski

The meeting should not take any longer than 45 minutes.

With any questions, contact Victor at

2019-20 Enrollment Application Now Available

The application for enrollment next year at Great River School is now available. 

Applications do not carry over year to year, so even if you are currently on our waiting list, you will need to submit an application for next year to be included in the enrollment lottery for 2019-2020. The deadline for inclusion in the lottery is Friday, March 1st. 

Complete the Application to get on the list for next year! 

The 2018-19 waiting list still stands. Should a spot open in any particular grade level mid year, we will offer off the current year's waiting list.

Thank you for you interest in Great River! If you have any questions, please Email

Great River Enrollment Team

Email Subscription Error (Resolved!)

Hi families!

Our website host has been having RSS problems, which led to some 6B, LA, & UA subscribed parents not receiving announcements in their email inboxes. We've resolved the issue and announcements should be automatically sent to your inboxes as posted.

If you're ever having tech problems, please reach out to us! That's frequently how we learn of issues and want to make sure all families can access information. 

All our best,
GRS Admin Team

Winter Sports! Grades 6-8 LIST League Basketball begins November 14

Interested students in grades 6-8 are invited to sign up for basketball. The co-ed team will be coached again this year by Laura Stickney. 

Cost: $120 (team fee and T-shirt), scholarships are available

Practices: Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 pm at Hancock Recreation Center

Games: Friday afternoons/evenings in various locations

Sign up: Please fill out this form to register for basketball.

Questions? Contact

The first practice will be held on Wednesday, November 14. The first game is Friday November 30. 

LIST League offers sports for middle schools in the Twin Cities. The mission of LIST is to introduce students to these sports in a manner that is intentionally co-ed and cross grade-level. Participation and fair conduct is encouraged over competition. LIST also encourages teams to practice only once or twice a week, with games every Friday. Students are exposed to the experience without it becoming overwhelming or all-encompassing.

School Meal Orders

Make sure to pre-order lunches & breakfasts for your students at least 1 school week (5 days) in advance. 

For instructions on how to set up your account, click here for instructions on loggin into EZParentCenter. If parents/guardians are unable to make payments online, cash and/or checks (made payable to Great River School) may be dropped off at the front office. Make sure to include the student name(s) and PIN number(s) in an envelope along with checks/cash. Daily cash purchases are also accepted.

If you have any questions or needs, feel free to contact Mary Hunn, Nutrition Services Director, at

Halloween Norms

Halloween is next Wednesday, October 31st! To keep our students and staff with food allergies safe, we ask parents to not send their students with candy or treats. 

Costumes are welcome with a few guidelines - they should:

  • allow student's eyes or faces to be seen- no masks please!

  • allow learning environments to function normally. 

  • adhere to our student-written and board-approved dress code policy.

  • not be centered around violence or include offensive references. Costumes that infringe on anyone's dignity are not allowed at school. 

Happy Halloween! 

Coffeehouse Call for Concessions


Coffee House has been an annual tradition for the entire length of Great River's history as an event we inherited from Lake Country! We offer two per year as a chance for students to play music in a coffeehouse-like atmosphere, complete with beverages and an audience. Any student can sign up for open mic slots and all GRS families and friends are invited to attend. This year, the 7th & 8th-grade Musicianship occupation is hosting and asking for a $2-5 donation at the door to raise money for a new guitar amplifier. 


Since our kitchen is not up and running yet, our Food and Nutrition occupation won’t be able to provide the baked goods for concessions. If you love to bake, here is an opportunity to work your magic and help the music department raise money! Baked goods, gluten-free options, dairy-free options, and bottles of juices or seltzers are all great options. Please only bring treats that are nut-free and prepare an ingredient card to go with the item. 

Please email Zack ( to let him know what concessions are coming or with any questions!

IB Theatre Night This Thursday

Come join us in the GRS black box at 6pm on Thursday, November 1st. Our IB Theatre students have been hard at work creating short original collaborative plays. The show will run from 6:00 to no later than 6:45, and both plays are appropriate for any age.

Brief descriptions of both are found below:

The Apple Calamity

A community is torn in two as they try to decide how apples should be consumed. Senators debate: Should they remain as apples, or be turned into spicy apple juice? The well-being of the entire apple industry and its benefactor, Granny Apple, are at risk.

Cecilia Dedelia

Meet Cecilia, the cousin of a certain famous children's book character, as she experiences the adventures and challenges of daily school life. Misunderstandings among Cecilia and her peers lead to sticky situations. Enjoy this academic satire filled withword play and well-known adages.

Call for Donations!

Hello All,

My name is Nadine McNiff.  I serve as a lower elementary teacher at GRS.  I also do work, whenever possible, to serve families and individuals dealing with homelessness.  Currently, this includes working with a cooperative of groups and individuals to provide for those at the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment in South Minneapolis.  You can read more about the work, needs, and plans for this community in the links below. My goal is to serve this community, in small part, with resources they need as the cold weather arrives.  A list of current needs is below. If you are in a position to donate it is appreciated. My goal is to bring GRS donations on November 11th. You can contact me at to coordinate drop off in my classroom, before or after school.  

Current needs are listed below:

  • bundles of firewood

  • duct tape

  • contractor garbage bags

  • batteries (AA)

  • bungee cords

Thanks for listening,
Nadine McNiff


A Brief History and FAQ (Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors)

Organization Organizing Support Efforts/Cold Weather Plan (Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center)

Frontline Volunteers Perspective (Natives Against Heroin)

Recreation Ice Hockey Program for Teens

FINAL Langford Teen Hockey Flyer-1.jpg

Do you think ice hockey looks like fun but you've never tried it? 

Or did you play hockey as a kid but are less interested in the competition, checking, or commitment required by many leagues for teens? 

Check this out!

Langford Park is starting a new, Co-ED, non-checking, affordable, all-skill level, and importantly FUN way for teens to get out on the ice playing a really great winter sport.

Coached practices and small area games on Tues and Thurs 5-6 PM, with informal scrimmages on Fridays or Saturdays.


Langford Park is located in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul (2.5 miles from GRS)

Know you're interested? Awesome - here's the registration link:

Teen Rec Hockey Registration


You might have heard about our new offering for adolescent students - a Great River chapter of the Montessori Model United Nations! Our first trip to the MMUN is expected Fall 2018. If your family is interested, talk to advisor Kayla Kronfeld or look for an announcement for a info meeting in Spring 2018.

Messages to Students During Day

Greetings Adolescent Families:

As we have settled into the year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of messages to students from parents during the school day.  Our current system for messages is very labor-intensive for staff and is taking a significant amount of time away supporting student learning.

In order to ensure we are spending our time supporting student learning - rather than couriering messages - we will be enforcing new procedures and need help from you - parents - to help us with this transition.

  • We will no longer run messages to students about early pick-up or reminders for appointments during the school day. The only exception will be in the case of an emergency (death, injury, etc.).

  • Appointments (Doctor, Orthodontist/Dentist, Therapy) should be scheduled outside of school hours as much as possible. If an adolescent student needs to leave early for an appointment:

    • Parents should send them with a signed note in the morning.

    • Student should come to front desk before 8:30am to give the note to Holly.  Holly will give them a green pass with their departure time.

    • It will be up to the student to watch the time through the day and be at the front desk by the time the parent arrives.

  • Forgetful student? If your student forgets their home, lunch, or other necessary item at home and you are kind enough to bring it in, we have a bin outside the front office.  You may put your student’s name on the item using a post-it and leave it in the bin. We will not deliver items to students during the school day - it will be up to the student to come check the bin if they are missing something.

Thank you for your cooperation with us as we try to ensure that our time is spent supporting student learning.

Thank you,
Great River Office Team

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!