Out of the classroom, into the world.


    At the Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy, students will foster their knowledge, love and respect for the environment while promoting sustainability for future generations. This teacher-led school is located near Maple Lake, Minnesota in the heart of Wright County.

  • Update; 11/18/2020

    JGESA will be moving to a distance learning model beginning Monday, November 30th for all students. JGESA will remain in Distance Learning though January 15, 2021 (end of semester). We will look at the situation the first week in January and give families and update at that time as to what to expect beyond January 15th. 


    • - Thursday, Nov. 19 Hybrid students attend on campus on scheduled day(s)
    • - Friday, Nov. 20 Distance Learning for all as we have on Friday’s all fall to date
    • - Monday, Nov. 23 Hybrid students attend on campus on scheduled day(s)
    • - Tuesday, Nov. 24th Hybrid students attend on campus on scheduled day(s) (no formal Special Education services on the 24th. Case Managers will use this day to connect with students to prepare them for Distance Learning)
    • - Wednesday, Nov 25 NO SCHOOL – Transition planning for staff
    • - Thursday, Nov 26th NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving
    • - Friday, Nov 27th NO SCHOOL
    • - Monday, Nov. 30th Start Full Distance Learning for all


    NOTE Cabin 2 (Chris and Monica’s Advisories) are Distance Learning starting today 11/18/20 through the rest of this week. If we are able to staff Cabin 2 next week we will have students back on campus Monday and Tuesday if they choose. We are working to secure staff for that cabin and will update families by end of week.

    The first quarter of this school year has brought so many new challenges and our JGESA community has been amazing at adapting to them all! We so greatly appreciate all you have done to help keep our students and staff safe. To date JGESA has only had one positive case within our school, however the rapidly increasing levels in all of the communities JGESA serves, combined with the need for many students and staff to quarantine is impacting our daily operations to the point of unsustainability. 

    Our goal while distance learning is twofold, drive engagement in learning and support mental health. To do this we need to work with families to provide consistency and clear expectations.  In project-based learning distance learning will looks different than students doing distance learning in a traditional model. Everyday students will need to make contact with their Advisor AND demonstrate work completion daily to be counted as in attendance, but the structure of their day should revolve around their projects with flexibility to do what is needed to complete the project -  be that going outside, working in the garage, etc... we do not expect, nor encourage, 6 hours of computer time each school day. Our mission is "Out of the Classroom, Into the World" and that can be lived even while distance learning safely by using the spaces and items in your own homes as learning opportunities. The easy check-list attached is a way to be sure your student is staying on track daily. 

    Transitioning to Distance Learning will have minimal impact on learners who receive specialized services. All special education seminars will remain at the same time, with the same provider, and with the same virtual link students have been using this fall. The transition to Distance Learning will not alter any Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals or objectives due to all students having in place Contingency Learning Plans (CLP). If parents/guardians have questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Katie Zehowski and Anne Brakob, so that they can continue to provide quality educational support and transparent collaboration with our families. Amanda Sitron will continue to provide counseling support to students in a virtual environment. Additionally, Les Harrison will continue to instruct his Advisory and continue his several seminars along with JoAnn Abell supporting these learning endeavors; the only change will be all staff and learners will engage virtually. JGESA's special education staff expect this transition to Distance Learning to go smoothly and will continue to available for continued support. 

    Mental health is a priority for all - Amanda our School Counselor has created Headrush modules for every student with resources at their fingertips 24/7 as well as she herself is available as needed. 

    www. JGESA.org is stocked with great resources for families and students during distance learning.   

    We are working on plans to provide ways for students to connect with one another and staff for some really unique learning opportunities as well as fun social connections during our distance learning times. (Think watch parties, virtual guests, and other ways we can bring the school experience to the students) Watch for more to come. 

    JGESA staff will continue to be in close contact with the Minnesota Dept. of Education and Minnesota Dept. of Health, as well as the local public health agencies in our communities and will update families the first week of January as to plans beyond January 18th. We do hope to return to the classroom as soon as it is safe and operationally feasible to do so. 

    Full details of the JGESA  Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 

    You can find our updated school calendar here

    JGESA's Distance Learning Plan

    MDH has released their “Home Screening Tool for COVID-19 Symptoms” that can be used to screen for schools, child care and youth programming and their “COVID-19 Attendance Guide for Parents and Families” which provides information to frequently asked questions for parents and families.


View Calendar
  • Enroll Now image

    Accepting applications now for the '20/21 school year.

    Openings for current school year offered first come, first served in order applied as openings become available. 

    • Project-Based Learning

      How do we facilitate the work of youth as self-directed producers and learners?

      Allowing students to design learning experiences based on their own unique interests and passions encourages them to be self-motivated, independent thinkers who are capable of solving problems, thinking critically, and who are prepared for post-secondary options and the workforce. Personalized learning plans are designed for each student.

      What is Project-Based Learning?

      Project-Based Learning (PBL) gets kids excited about learning by tailoring learning opportunities to match their interests. Students pursue their passions and academics at the same time by earning credit for projects they design.

      - Love to draw? Create a comic book about an interesting person or event in history.
      - Video games more your speed? Learn about an ancient civilization and build a game.
      - Like to hunt or fish? Turn your trophy into an anatomy lesson.
      - You like to cook - bake a cake that represents the layers of the earth's crust.
      - Want to take a hike? Photograph and identify wildlife along the way.

      Click here for answers to more Frequently Asked Questions

      Click here for a Showcase of Student Projects

       PBL cycle


A School Like No Other

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Free Learning Activities

  • Out of the classroom, into the world.

    There are countless ways for your student to explore and learn outside of the classroom. Click for a list of free or low cost ideas, any of which could be turned into a fascinating JGESA school project. If you know of other ideas please share so we can expand the list.

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