Great River Yearbooks

The Great River School yearbook team is busy completing the 2018-19 yearbook, which we expect to be available during the last week of school!  The GRS yearbooks are designed by students, including the yet-to-be-revealed cover. 

Click here to pre-order online! You can also pre-order your yearbook at spring conferences, April 11th and 12th. 

Unsure if you've ordered? Ask us at conferences or email to ask!

Summer Camp Spotlight: Silly Science


This week’s camp spotlight is on Silly Science. You’ll get to create a volcano-like reaction, make squishy slime, and grow your own crystals from salt! This camp is perfect for the budding scientist to get messy and explore, while learning how science reactions really work. This camp is for 4-6 year olds and is on June 17-20, June 24-27, July 22-25, and August 5-8. To see our brochure or register for camp, go Here. We hope to see you this summer!

Menu Change!

The Nutrition Team is switching things up! Starting on May 15th, we will be offering Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry with brown rice, instead of the Palak Dal. This curry is gluten-free and vegan, just like the Palak Dal, and brings some new flavors to our lunch offerings. The Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry does contain coconut milk.

A quick note: On May 8th we will be serving the Palak Dal, even though the menu says Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry.

If you have already pre-ordered the Palak Dal, we have changed your orders in EZ Lunch. If you want to try the new curry, make sure you order now! Click here to access EZ Lunch.


If you have any questions about the lunch program, please feel free to email

More Information about Using EZ Lunch

Here is a 5-minute video tutorial for how to use EZ Lunch.

If you prefer to read, more tutorials for EZ Lunch can be found here:

How To Set Up Your EZ School Lunch Account
How to Add Another Student to a Parent Account
How to Pre-Order Meals and Add Money
How to Add a Credit Card
How to See Transaction History

Bike to School Day: Postponed Due to Weather!

Due to anticipated rainy, cold weather this week, Bike to School Day will be held on Wednesday, May 15. Watch for more information in blog posts and on Facebook about group ride meet up spots since some Ride Captains may not be available next week.

If you have immediate questions you can contact parent organizers Karen Solas at 651-334-0793 or Susan Sochacki at 651-775-7166.

We still need your help! There are volunteer opportunities the day before and day of including setting up bike corrals, helping greet bikers, and helping with a coffee social for parents. If you can help out with any of these roles, please sign up here. Either way, we hope you stay for a parent coffee social for just a bit. 

Nutrition Event: Food Documentary Discussion 5/14

Hello families!  Questions and confusion about nutrition, healthy eating, and parenting seem stump us.  How do we engage our kids in choosing and understanding healthy foods, take care of ourselves in our own pursuit of wellness, and do our best as parents in ways that are good for us, our community and the planet, without breaking the bank or taking all our time?

We're inviting folks to watch the movie "Fed Up" at your convenience, and then to join us for a discussion led by GRS Nutrition Educator/chef Jenny Breen which will address (and maybe even answer) your nutrition and food questions.  This will be followed by a simple cooking activity for the whole family where we’ll help prepare and then share a delicious, scratch cooked meal.

Tuesday, May 14 6-8 PM. We'll meet in the cafe area at GRS

Please RSVP to:

Summer Staff Spotlight: Ellen Brand

This week’s summer staff spotlight is on Ellen Brand. Ellen is a lower elementary classroom assistant at Great River and is leading a variety of pottery/clay camps this summer. She is looking forward to sharing her passion with camper’s of all ages. Here is a quote from Ellen:

“I love pottery and clay and am excited to share that with you! We are going to get messy, play with texture and forms and make some awesome mystical creatures from my favorite medium!” 

Ellen is leading Lovely Clay Days--July 15-18--AM & PM; Clay-topia--July 22-25--AM & PM; Let's get Messy with Clay--Jully 29-Aug 1--AM & PM; and Basics Throwing of Pottery--Aug 5-8--AM & PM.


To look at our brochure for more camps or to register, please go Here. We hope to see you this summer!

Summer Camp Spotlight: Camp of All Camps


This week’s camp spotlight is on the Camp of All Camps. This camp is all about variety and having fun! You'll get to shoot arrows, play sports, make crafts, hike to Como Park Zoo, play in the water every day, and more. If you love variety and being outside, this camp is for you! This is a full day camp for 7-12 year-olds and runs from June 24-27, July 22-25, July 29-Aug 1, and August 5-8. To see our brochure or register for camp, go Here. We hope to see you this summer!

New Bike to School Day (May 8) Meet Up Spot Added

Bike to School Day is Wednesday May 8th. The Great River School community is encouraged to meet up with other students and parents to ride to school at locations outlined below.

Here’s how:

1) Pick your meet-up spot. 2) Contact the group leader for your preferred meet up spot. Let them know that you plan to ride with them so you don’t get left behind and can get updates in the event of changes. 3) Check your bike tire pressure, brakes, and chain so you are ready to ride. 4) Helmets required.

Horton Park, Hamline Avenue at Engelwood Avenue. Contact Susan Sochacki, or 651-775-7166.
McMurray Fields/Como Pool, near Como Avenue and Lexington. Contact Nate Solas at or 612-220-1102.
Newell Park, Hewitt Avenue and Wheeler Avenue. Contact Abram Shapiro at or 651-829-9363.
Martinson’s House, 1618 Laurel Avenue. Contact Kelly Martinson at or 651-621-0511.
**NEW STOP** Longfellow Park (GRS bus stop) East 34th Street and 36th Avenue South. Contact Randy Lewandowski at or 612-250-5001.

Parents can support all riders by joining the group ride, especially if your student is a novice rider or needs extra attention. Families must arrange after-school pick up.

Rain date is Wednesday, May 15th. If you can be a Ride Captain from an additional meet up location contact Susan Sochacki, or 651-775-7166. 

Upper Elementary GSA

On Wednesday, May 8th, upper elementary students will be able to attend “all ages” GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance) meetings. These beginning in May will continue in next school year.  The “all ages” meetings focus on creating community and sharing developmentally appropriate topics around identity and LGBTQ history. These meetings are attended by school social workers and facilitated to build positive relationships between students across ages.

All upper elementary students are welcome to participate if they’d like, they do not need to identify as LGBTQ to attend.  Students will step out of a half hour of either their lunch or recess to attend, and adults will coordinate to make sure every child gets enough time to eat lunch!

Why this is important: we know that meeting older students of diverse identities is a protective mental health factor across the lifespan for children who identify as LGBTQ or have family members who do, to see themselves reflected in their communities beginning at a young age. We also know that for students who do not identify as LGBTQ+, that knowing and seeing people of diverse identities creates a greater capacity for understanding and engaging in meaningful relationships.

Parents may direct questions to our elementary school social worker, Saleha Erdmann (

GRS Foundation Fundraising Brainstorm and Work Session

Interested volunteers - please join us next Wednesday May 1 from 4:45-6 for a work session on 2019-2020 fundraising for our school. The meeting will be in the science room to the right of the main entrance (behind bathrooms).

Our first priority is to create a plan to increase the level of sustaining donors (monthly recurring) to the annual fund through a variety of outreach and educational messages. (Currently less than 10% of our families are set up as sustaining givers.) Once we achieve that goal, we'll move on to efforts for the school outdoor learning environment and other initiatives. 

Volunteers can share ideas and participate at a variety of commitment levels and on a variety of efforts, from writing to strategy to events.

For questions, contact Julie Lunn at

Summer Staff Spotlight: Nadine Wetzel-Curtis

This week’s summer staff spotlight is on Nadine Wetzel-Curtis. Nadine is an Upper Elementary Guide at Great River. Below is a quote from Nadine:

“I am really looking forward to more learning and creative times with children this summer.  There are few things I love more than sharing my love of exceptional literature and creating art with others.  Eric Carle painted large sheets of paper in order to create the collages that illustrated his stories so many of us have memorized because we've read them countless times.  Lois Ehlert and Ezra Jack Keats work in the same manner.   We'll be outside as much as possible to gain inspiration from our natural surroundings, just as those artists did.  

Another thing I thoroughly enjoy is finding new uses for materials that often get overlooked and recycled.  Whether it is making robots from cardboard boxes, Rube Goldberg contraptions, or shrinky dink charms from deli containers,  I'm excited to see what new ideas come to life when new friends collaborate.”


Nadine is leading these 4-6 year old camps: Friends Forever--June 17-20--AM; Trash to Treasure--June 24-27--AM; Outdoor Art and PE--July 8-11--AM; Cardboard Creations--July 22-25--AM; Messes and Masterpieces--Aug 5-8--AM. To look at our brochure for more camps or to register, please go Here. We hope to see you this summer!