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.

IB Registration Deadlines for Juniors and Seniors 

Juniors who are not pursuing the full IB Diploma, this is the last week to register to take one or more IB exams in May 2019 or 2020. Registration forms are in the wooden cubby in the upper commons and attached. Return the form to Melanie by October 16, 2018. You may choose to drop registration for May 2020 IB exams until October of senior year, but you may not add IB exam registration for most classes after this week.

Seniors, this is your last week to finalize your registration for May 2019 IB exams. Please reply to the IB exam email that Melanie sent you with confirmation of your plans by Oct. 16, 2018. Contact IB Coordinator Melanie Peterson-Nafziger with IB exam questions at

Families of students taking one or more IB exams in May 2019, watch your mailbox over the next week for an invoice for IB exam fees. The deadline to pay the bill, contact GRS to set up a monthly payment schedule, submit a free/reduced lunch application (the state of MN pays IB exam fees if your child qualifies for free/reduced lunch), or to request a scholarship for IB fees from GRS is November 1, 2018. Contact Andria Sibert, GRS Business Administrator, at with IB billing and payment questions.

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. 

Driver's Education at Great River!

DRIVER’S EDUCATION (Students who are 14 years of age and older)

This 30-hour program will be conducted by a certified instructor from the A+ Driving School and will fulfill the state driver’s education requirement.  The course will address the “how to” and “whys” of safe driving.  The format of the class will be lecture and active discussion.  After completion of the program, students will be able to set up and participate in behind the wheel sessions to meet the six hour state requirement.

Classes will meet at Great River School. 

October 22,23,24,25,26, 29,30,31,Nov. 1,2

COST: Total Package:  $375
Payment Option:  class = $240  BTW = $165


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

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).  

Adolescent students deserve a world full of dignity and respect for all. The interdependence and relationship building we invest in our programming through trips, social programming, and advisory build a learning environment where students can build a growth-mindset to their academics, and achieve at high levels. Our high school program is lauded for high student achievement as a result of the courage, persistence, and hard work of students. These students role model for each other what a community of respect and interdependence can look like. Students take these lessons into the future.

Here’s what some Upper Adolescent parents have said about their student’s key experiences this year:

“Our student LOVED the experience.  She said, "I want to take you guys to so many cool places that are so nearby."  I think the intentions of the Key Experience were not only met, they were exceeded.  Great work!!!!”

“Our child has been changed into a young adult by the Key Experiences. Returning each year from the trips we see what a wonderful plan is alive in the trips, and in the minds of the adults dedicating their lives to our teenagers. Truly the experiences have been key to our students entering adulthood.”

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

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!

Trip arrival times

Trips return today! 

per current weather and travel forecasts, below are the most current times estimated for trip arrival!

if you plan to park onsite to pickup your student, remember to park on south side of energy lane, or at bandana square! 

Arrival ETA’s:

9th - farm: 145pm

10th-Bdote: 245pm

11th-NSQ: 130pm

12th-canoe: 215pm

 *Note the 11th years are aiming for earlier return than originally planned!

Any updated times will be posted to the school Facebook page & texted to families through contact information listed in PowerSchool.

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.

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 11.46.29 AM.png

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.

IMG_8012 (1).jpg

Volunteer Opportunity for GRS Students at Minnesota Children’s Museum

What is Play Team?


Play Team is the award-winning teenage volunteer program at Minnesota Children's Museum.  

Who is on Play Team?

Play Team is made up of talented, compassionate and driven 9th-12th grade students who come to volunteer at the Museum from across the Twin Cities.   

How do Play Team members spend their day?

Play Team members build towers, create art, blow bubbles and pretend to be pirates or astronauts—usually all before lunch!  They also spend their time answering the questions of Museum guests, participating in daily skill-building activities, laughing a lot, meeting incredible individuals and making great memories.    

When does Play Team take place?

One of the really cool parts about Play Team is that there aren’t set times—you can come in to volunteer whenever it works best into your schedule! If fall is really busy, you can start in the winter; if Friday nights are full, you can come in on Saturdays.

The only thing we ask is that Play Team members complete 10 shifts before the end of May (though many Play Team members come in far more frequently!)

Each weekend offers six volunteer opportunities:

  • Fridays from 5:00pm- 8:00pm

  • Saturdays from 8:45am-12:45pm OR 12:00pm-4:30pm OR 3:45pm-8:00pm

  • Sundays from 8:45am-12:45pm OR 12:00pm-4:30pm

There are also many shifts opened up when school is not in session (especially winter and spring breaks).

Where is the Museum located?

Minnesota Children's Museum is located in downtown St. Paul, at 10 West 7th Street.  Volunteers receive complimentary parking in the World Trade Center Ramp if they drive to the Museum, or they can receive free Metro Bus passes.

What do current Play Team members have to say?

“If I had known about Play Team sooner, I would have stayed in it all throughout high school—it’s a fun and good way to make friends.”

“I came here because I needed volunteer hours, but I ended up staying. The people who work and volunteer here are really cool!”

“I used to be very shy, but interacting with the kids, the adults and the Play Team helped me open up.  I’m more responsible and aware of my surroundings now, and I’m better at multi-tasking.”

How can I join?

If you are interested in joining the Play Team, we have an application for you to fill out:

Once your application is received, you will be invited to attend a group interview in October at the Museum (it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Please contact Alex Anderson, the Youth Service Coordinator at MCM.  She would be happy to answer any questions you have!


Phone: 651-225-6048

Thank You from the Parent Engagement Group!

Wow! What a great night we had! Thank you so much to the 75 people who came out for the first PEG meeting of the year. It was wonderful to see all the new faces and have such great energy in the room! We hope you got valuable information and enjoyed the evening!

Thank you so much to all the ambassadors who came early and helped with setup--Heather, Jessica, Andrea, Jennifer, Rhona, Autumn--thank you! Thank you also to Heather for bringing the name tags and biggest stash of donuts I've ever seen! Thank you to Dylan and Astrid for doing childcare tonight. Thank you to Sam for taking the time away from home & kids to give your time to our group. The tour was definitely a big draw and we so appreciated being able to give that experience to the volunteers. Thank you to Charlie, Sydney, Stacey, and Holly for supporting us in getting handouts made, doors opened, and space to meet. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback for PEG, please email us! Our email is: Remember that your classroom and level ambassadors are here for you, to connect you with resources and support at the school. A complete list of ambassadors and a link to our current volunteer signups are available on the PEG page of the school website

For questions about school governance and policy, contact the school board: If you are interested in helping with fundraising, please email the Great River Foundation:

Thank you so much and we'll see you soon! 

-Parent Engagement Group