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1-12
Public charter
St. Paul, MN
Students enrolled: 345
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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1326 Energy Park Dr
St. Paul, MN 55108

School website
(651) 305-2780
(651) 305-2781
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Great River School address.

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August 06, 2014
Great River seemed to be a good school at first, but once my child reached high school (A3), the work demands became unreasonable and the support was negligible. There was a general willingness to help my child, but no skills to do so. No flexibility with a very rigid curriculum. They seem to be so self-involved with the Montessori notion of education and they seem so impressed with themselves and their approach that it colors their ability to modify assignments in a meaningful way for kids who have special learning needs. They tried to modify but it still left him overwhelmed and didn't offer an alternative to a watered down version of the content rather than figuring out a way for him to still learn and enjoy learning. They conveyed an overall sense of failure to my child. After he left, his desire to learn came back and he now is an interested and interesting young man.

- submitted by a parent
January 26, 2014
As a student in the A1 I find that most of the teachers show no respect for there students, the teachers don't care about there students actual learning. The school does not seem to prepare you for the real world they only prepare you for working as a day laborer. You can only be yourself if you fit into the great river personality. finally the teachers grade you only on your ability to do busy work at ridicules rates. and if you want to be able to do anything after school you can forget it as there will sometimes be as much as 3-4 hours of homework and only an hour of it will actually ever help you. If you are unable to do this you then get locked inside a small room for lunch. Lastly the administration is clueless and irresponsible. Please do not send your children here if you care about them. -A concerned A1 student

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2014
Our son is really enjoying being a student at GR, it's his first year (9th grade) attending and we are impressed with the great teachers,just a wonderful community to be apart of. We are so proud to be apart of GR!!!!!!!

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2014
I have gone to this school for many two years and I love it. It has been a great learning place

- submitted by a community member
January 16, 2014
I have attended Great River School for two years and i have found it to be a healthy and nurturing learning environment. I came from a public middle school and found Great River to be much more welcoming and community centered place than my previous school. Great River has helped me develop as a student and a person through key experiences and hands on learning. Communication between students and faculty is also very present and the faculty makes an effort to work with the students to solve problems in the community. Overall i have found it to be a lovely school.

- submitted by a community member
December 18, 2013
This school is terrible at working with teens. They had a policy where if you had one missing assignment you had to stay in from recess and lunch all week. Does that sound a school that understands teens? They also have 3 hour classes in which they expect us to be productive the entire time. Sounds like a teen right? When i asked my math teacher Kira Donnelly if that could be changed she said it was non negotiable because it is a montessori policy. But guess what? Montessori was developed for younger children. She than went on to ask me to essentially leave the school. Me and several other people think it is part of a power play. My MCA math score dropped ever since I started going here. Also very disorganized and only good thing about this school is the community. I would not recommend this school for anyone unless they make some serious changes. This is a student trying to show you what this school is really like. Dont be fooled by the tours

- submitted by a community member
September 30, 2013
We were so excited when our child won the lottery for this school for seventh grade, as we had heard so many wonderful things about the school. We were stunned, then, to be told, "We're really not very good with special needs kids. Maybe you should consider sending your child somewhere else." Sorry, but I can't give a good rating to any school that cherry picks its students in this way. Fifty years ago, maybe, but today, "for shame, Great River, for shame."

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2013
It is the perfect school for my son. Community learning environment, small classes, and personal and continous support from teachers and staff, are wonderful.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2013
My son graduated from Great River School where he attended from 7th grade on. He is now entering his junior year in an academically challenging college program. He has excelled in college and credits much of this to his Montessori education that taught him to be a self-directed learner. The trips and other non-traditional high school activities were also great learning experiences. He still talks about some of the things he learned from those trips. Montessori education isn't for everyone, but it works well for motivated, self-directed learners. We are happy Great River was an option for him.

- submitted by a parent
March 21, 2013
We considered Great River for our child. We attended an open house and, on a separate occasion, received a tour. We found the teachers at the open house to be very impressive, and their academic program seems like an excellent option for some kids. We have been extremely unimpressed with the administrative members with whom we have had contact. They were unprofessional, and when we went on the tour, we had the distinct feeling that we were wasting their time. The person who gave the tour showed absolutely no interest in our child and was extremely slow to respond to our follow-up emails, etc. They acted like they are a private school, not the public school that they are, and they make it difficult to find enrollment targets by grade level for the upcoming year. The appearance is that they hold the information and don't want to share with people outside of the school. Board meeting minutes are vague and don't provide much information about what was actually discussed at the meetings.

- submitted by a community member
September 09, 2012
I am former student of GRS. It has not prepared me for college or life beyond high school. It is a horrible investment and a great waste of time. I regret going to GRS. I did not have to pay much to attend the school, but I would pay thousands to of not had the awful experience I had there.

- submitted by a community member
September 06, 2012
I am a PSEO student at Great River. They are super disorganized and judgmental. I showed up for orientation last week to find that I did not have a folder prepared with my MCA score and other information that a student would need. Being a PSEO student, I still need to go on the key experience trips and do CAS. I was surprised to receive no information on how to work CAS in the A3. I am very disappointed and I wish that I had gone to a real high school.

- submitted by a community member
August 16, 2012
I have four daughters who have attended GRS. We are grateful for the community of parents, students and teachers. The school s emphasis on acceptance and respect for all is a welcome change from other schools my daughters have attended. Junior and Senior High students, girls in particular, can treat each other disrespectfully. The GRS staff and teachers work hard to prevent this from happening. The high school program, and the IB program in particular, prepared my oldest daughter well for a challenging four year liberal arts college. She is now a college junior and has remained friends with her GRS classmates and teachers. The special ed department is well staff and caring. The individual attention given each student is a gift. My daughters have thrived socially and academically. Lastly, the Montessori junior and senior high school education model places an emphasis on student driven learning. GRS s strengths include small, multiage classes, integrated subjects, focus on mastery bench marks, and NAMTA trained teacher guides. This is a unique public junior and senior high school that has served my daughters very well and I recommended it highly.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2012
We had two children who began at GRS in 7th grade. The oldest left GRS because she was interested in the arts, the second stayed and has enjoyed and has benefit from the school in many ways. That say, I think this school is not for all students and families. it requires a self motivated student, values leadership, service, and critical thinking rather than areas of traditional schools, and a family that is open to the key experience (fall odyssey, j-term, bike trip, spring intesnsives) and is interested in being part of the GRS community. We can only say good things about the support that teachers and the community, (students, parents, staff) have given our son to make him an engaged citizen of the world. As many charters, GRS has limited resources for after school activities, but the drive the teachers give to those that exists is far beyond anyone expectation.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2012
We have two children who began at Great River School in 7th grade and will be graduating in 2013. We could not be happier with the school. As a small school with a philosophy that relies on self motivated students it is not for everyone. No school is. Our kids each learn differently and yet the school has been excellent for them both. The teachers are very caring and capable and we have had excellent support through the years in working out problems, both academically and socially. The emphasis is on community and they continually strive to strengthen and support the community in as many ways as possible. We have no doubt our kids have a suburb education and will prosper in college because of the great foundation they have received from Great River School.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2012
My son was in the second graduating class at Great River School, having moved from large to small school. He played basketball during his years there, and was in PSEO at the University of Minnesota (from which he just graduated) too. As a musician, he participated in small ensembles, as well as studied music theory for credit. He made wonderful friends who are still close friends, traveled with his class, and graduated knowing that he was part of a unique community of folks. Unlike the large urban high school, teachers knew just who he was and shared that knowledge in college recommendation letters. Also, my daughter came from our urban school district as a 7th grader, leaving behind long-time friends, but never looked back, instead focusing on the many opportunities for leadership (Student Council, guiding trips in high school), scholarship (creative, fun projects showcasing her learning), and friendships that formed, deepened, and remain even now. She traveled with her class every year, broadening the scope of learning beyond the school walls. And she applied to colleges that had just this same sense of community she had come to cherish from her years at Great River School.

- submitted by a parent
August 14, 2012
Great River is a school of choice. We chose Great River for our son because of the non-traditional aspects. We feel there is way too much emphasis on sports at other schools and are happy to see those dollars being channeled into academic areas. There is a culture of cooperation over competition which is very appealing to our family and our values. We feel very strongly about academics and wanted the focus of our son's education on his intellectual and character development. Great River has a diverse student population representing a multi-cultural and socioeconomic spectrum. The school strives to not only teach subjects but to also teach social and environmental responsibility with a variety of unique learning opportunities from travel, farming, biking and more. Tolerance and accepting others differences is a keystone of the GRS community. Class sizes are small and students are not lost in the crowd. Our son can't wait for school to begin this fall. How many parents of a 15 year old can say that? We attribute the involved and caring staff to that.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2012
I am a current PSEO, 3.0 plus student at Great River School with several major University acceptances. Don t let that fool you; none of this is to be accredited to Great River. It is absolutely horrible. I have had to seek outside sources for education at my own expense. It is a constant nightmare of unprofessionalism, bias and poor teaching. It is not concerned about teaching its students, but buy its teachers need to act in a punitive manner against students in order to massage their own egos. There are a few bright stars at Great River but they are overshadowed by their egotistical faculty. Plus, if you want any extra circular activates; you can just forget it! I have also been the object of ridicule because of my interest of being in the Armed Forces. Surprisingly, I am being ridiculed by the teachers and not by the students. In closing, although Great River has a few amazing teachers, it is a pathetic excuse for a place learning. The only thing I learned from Great River is the meaning of unprofessionalism.

- submitted by a community member
January 17, 2012
i came to this school from Crosswinds arts and science school because cw only goes till 10th grade and i came because of there comunity claims and the IB but the ib isnt one but challenging the teachers play favorites and dont appear to care and the admin plays favorites and the school is extreamly unproffessional i thought it looked like a great school on paper but then i actually went here and quickly learned this is not the case i also learned that these teachers loose your stuff all the time

- submitted by a community member
June 14, 2011
Very frustrated parent at this school. My son has attended for two years. Teachers are EXTREMELY incommunicative. We cannot afford the near constant donation requests. Well meaning but misdirected. Built a huge addition to the school last year, but did not bother to even allow for a gym or exercise room. NO COUNSELORS, NO NURSE, NO LUNCH PROGRAM, NO JANITOR, NO DETENTION, NO SPORTS, NO PHY ED, NO WHEELCHAIR-BOUND, AND ALMOST NO PERSONS OF COLOR. Staff are either dismissive, lazy, or both. Don't even bother expecting a email response from a teacher. Principal doing a good job at weeding out the "hangers-on" from the school's startup period. Now has more order and focus. Could be five star, but instead gets low marks because it consistently misses the point: Teach my kid to read, write, and count. Teach him to exercise his mind AND his body. Make accountable for his choices--good and bad. Don't substitute glamourous academic aspirations, with confusing pseudo-Montessori doublespeak lingo, for genuine pedagogy and results. The sooner it gets over its narcissistic fascination with its own self-proclaimed charter school exceptionalism, and instead starts teaching my kid, the better.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2011
We are high school seniors at great river school, and have been attending since 7th grade. Throughout the years we have seen the school grow in amazing and sometimes, although very rarely disappointing ways. The school is split up into 3 different levels (A1, A2, and A3) the first is the junior high (7th and 8th grade), the second being the lower class men (9th and 10th grade) while the third and the best is the upper class men (11th and 12th grade). Each level has a very different structure based on the needs of said level. In the A3, we get to create our own schedule, meaning we have certain classes we have to take, but we are in charge of what day and time we attend them. This is good practice for college, because much like college no one is forcing us to go to class, but if you don't you will become behind. A very big plus to this schedule, is that we have at least one hour of open work a day where teachers are available and willing to help you with whatever you need.It has a real community and it goes out of its way to make everyone feel accepted and comfortable! We would have not become the students let alone the people we are today without this amazing school!

- submitted by a community member
December 03, 2010
What makes this school different than most? Camping trips for starters. To kick off the fall, while the 11th graders visit colleges around the midwest, the 12th graders kayaked around the Apostle Islands, and the 7-10th graders are on different camping trips. The 9-10th graders are harvesting pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, and squash that were planted the Spring before in Western Wisconsin. I have never worked or been in a school that contributes and uses it s community like this one. Great River collaborates with local businesses and uses/helps maintain local parks. In the current dire situation of public education funding, GRS is doing everything it can to earn grants, and fund raise to make these critical experiences possible. The young adults at this school are learning the invaluable skills of questioning, having a sense of place, how to work with others, and how to lead and be active members of their community. I have worked in many school districts in this state and have never found a more dedicated group of teachers and administrator. If I had children and lived in the metro area, they would be going here. Zach Schultz, former Math Teacher at GRS

- submitted by a teacher
December 08, 2009
Very disappointed in every aspect of this school. The most troublesome factors are inconsistency, poor communication and persistent lack of organization by administration.

- submitted by a parent
November 03, 2009
A school in which students have tons of options and have teachers that are committed to teaching them to think, to lead, to be curious and to explore. Montessori based, each students developmental needs are important.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 15, 2009
A very creative school with positive learning experiences and great teachers. Our granddaughter loves it!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 13, 2009
The best Montessori school in Saint Paul, and, why not, in Minnesota!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 09, 2009
This school provides an incredible learning environment where students are engaged, responsible, and striving to become leaders.

- submitted by a parent
October 07, 2009
Our son is learning at his own pace and has built-in time to do community service.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Great River School nurtures the mind, heart and spirit of every student while encouraging individuality.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2009
Great River is a superb school and we have been pleased with all aspects of our experience there. Our son is receiving a strong academic education with many extras and benefits not seen in a traditional school. The trips and explorations, the special focus classes during May-term, the open nature of the experiences are all great. The school is well-run and has a tremendous amount of support from its parents and staff. Another area I especially appreciate is the focus on community and emotional bonding which is an integral part of the school experience. Students are expected to participate in the community as members and give back to the school community and community-at-large via volunteerism. GRS Rocks!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
The sense of community is great!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Great River School is a Montessouri Jr./Sr high and they strive to carry on Maria Montessori's methods and goals to become life-long learners. They have excellent staff and community - with certification as International Baccalaureate school.

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2009
Great academics, fantastic opportunities outside the classroom, a warm and caring environment for students to learn and grow. Great River is truly great!

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2009
GRS is committed to youth development, not just academic success - though they're great at that too. The staff is amazing, the key experiences make a huge difference. It's a great place!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Great River is a nurturing middle school and high school. The teachers work hard and do a great job!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Great River has turned my son from a kid who hated school to one that enjoys going everyday. The time spent out of the classroom lends an interest to the learning that keeps the students interested and focused. The academics are challenging while allowing each student to find where there strengths lie. I'm very happy I found GRS.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Great River is an amazing school. We are thankful for the respectful atmosphere of the school. It supports the teenage years in a holistic way and gives the opportunity for self esteem and confidence to the young adults. Class week long trips bond the students as a group and give them a hands on learning experience.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Innovative curriculum and a great understanding of what the jr high experience is really like.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 06, 2009
Cool Teachers and an awesome curriculum makes GRS the best!

- submitted by a parent
October 03, 2009
Community engagement and Montessori critical thinking generate great students commitment with great academic performance

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 03, 2009
Our school engages students to develop intellectually, builds community through experiential education and builds character by challenging students in many ways.

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2006
Great River School is a Montessori, college prep junior and senior high school. ( Grades 7-12) with approximately 180 students. The staff and teachers are excellent and they really care about the students. They strive to create a community in where all students are expected in participate fully in their education. This school is working on issues in their 'growing pains' year but seems definitely on track. I have never encountered such excellent leadership in a school. They have Open Houses each month. Check the website for more information www.greatriverschool.org

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
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February 26, 2014

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Great River School
1326 Energy Park Dr, St. Paul, MN  55108
(651) 305-2780
Last modified Great River School is a Charter school that serves grades 1-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Great River School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 45 reviews. Top