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.

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    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. 

Free Meals for Kids

    Free Meals for Kids app helps families and kids locate free healthy meals across Minnesota during the pandemic. Let's work together to ensure hungry kids don't miss a meal during the summer. The app is powered by GPS and shows locations of schools and other sites that are providing meals and meal packs, with days and hours for distribution. It also shows the distance and directions to the nearest site from your location. The app is updated daily. The app is free at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store
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Back to School 2020

  • back to school


    The Minnesota Dept. Of Education has created a guide MDE created a guide to give families a quick overview of the education and health guidance that schools are using to plan for the 2020-21 school year. This document is intended to help families know what information they should expect from their child’s school. The guide is available in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
    JGESA is in the process of finalizing our plans in accordance with MDE guidelines and expect to share those with families next week and to be ready for back to school. MDE has stated they will announce a decision by 7/27/20 regarding which plan they will be using for the start of the school year.



    Back to School Resources:

    School Supply List - 

Summer Office Hours

  • JGESA will have limited office hours over the summer - please email jlonghenry@jgesa.org ahead if you plan to come to the office to make an appointment.


  • JGESA is striving to provide students and families with as many resources as possible during this time. Click here for a links to many educational and community resources. 


    JGESA understands that there are many questions around how students will learn starting March 30th. We are in uncharted waters and are doing our best to make this as simple as possible. If you have questions please feel free to reach out. Our goal is not only to provide an education for all our students, but to also maintain the amazing community of students, families and staff that make JGESA special. 


    Beginning March 30th JGESA will resume school, however it will be on a Distance Learning model. This means students will work from home. Please update this survey to make sure you have all the supplies you need at home – this looks much like the document you filled out a week ago; we are asking you to update it again as circumstances may have changed. It also includes an updated Chromebook Agreement for those that have checked out a JGESA Chromebook for home use.


    JGESA students will still be expected to read, practice math in Khan Academy, and work on projects daily. The JGESA project-based learning model lends itself well to a Distance Learning model. Our students are already well versed in designing and doing their own projects with Advisor guidance. This guidance will continue, simply online or via phone rather than in person.


    Advisors will be doing daily Advisory with students. They will also be checking-in with individual students on a scheduled basis. Emails will be coming out to each student from his/her Advisor to let them know when and how to plan to connect. 


    The schedule below is very similar to what students have been used to when physically at school - simply starting a bit later. This schedule is a guideline. We fully understand that not every household will be able to adhere to this exact schedule. Please view this as a template for how your child can allocate their time. As an example, doing 30 minutes of reading daily - not that they must be glued to their computer from 8:40am-3:20pm daily. In fact, we don't want them doing that. Project based learning is about so much more than being online. Students should still be doing projects. If that means building something in the garage, planting a garden, playing an instrument or any other project we want them to continue to do these types of learning. And, as always, students can build a project proposal in Headrush and work with their Advisor to get standards for doing so. 


    Suggested Distance Learning Daily Schedule:

    8:40-9:00 Check-in/Advisory (this is how/when daily attendance will be taken)

    9:00-9:30- Reading

    9:30-10:00- Math

    10:00-12:00- Project time (check email/connect with Advisor)

    12:00-1:00- 20 min. lunch (40 min. physical activity; mental health break, mindfulness, meditation, break time)

    1:00-3:00- Project time (check email/connect with Advisor)

    3:00-3:20- Check-out/Advisory 


    Communication is key to making distance learning work. Not only will Advisors/Paras be checking in with students, but students and parents will need to communicate your needs with us. Email will be the primary communication from JGESA to parents. Please commit to checking your email daily. JGESA staff will be available 8:30am-3:30pm daily.



    JGESA is addingadditional resources to our website daily that will assist students and parents in Distance Learning. We've included step-by-step instructions for parents that want to view progress in Headrush or Khan, as well as many other resources. Students we've provided hundreds of ideas for projects experiences and activities. There are even links for virtual field trips that can be taken from your home. 


    Students receiving specialized services will be in contact with their Case Manager (Katie - kzehowski@jgesa.org or Anne - abrakob@jgesa.org) to continue receiving their specialized services. There may be situations in which the services the student receives at school may not be available remotely. If your student receives speech or occupational therapy services, our providers will be joining the distance learning model on Thursdays. Paraprofessionals will be available to further assist students who require additional support. 

    Case Managers will be in contact with families in regards to student Individualized Distance Learning Plans (IDLP). Electronic copies of the IDLPs will be sent out by March 30, 2020. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Katie or Anne.


    We realize this first week of Distance Learning is a short week. We believe this will work in our favor and allow us to test the Distance Learning process for the four days, then make any adjustments needed before school resumes again on 4/13.   Spring Break will still occur April 3 - 10th. During these dates there is No School but we do encourage students to fill their time with meaningful activities. Staff will not be responding to students April 3-10th.


    Attached to this email you will find:

    1.      Q&A for frequently asked questions.

    2.      Parents Guide to accessing Headrush and/or Khan Academy

    3.      Distance Learning Norms

    4.      Letter for families with children receiving special education services. 


    JGESA has posted our full Distance Learning Plan to our site as per Minnesota Dept. of Education instructions. 
  • 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 about an interesting person or event in history.
    - Video gaming 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

    Click here to see a List of Project Ideas


    Why this learning model makes a difference for students and families?

    Students don't have to be taught, they need to learn. This is a distinction. Student-Driven Project Based Learning allows students to take initiative and be responsible for their learning. When a student is interested and actively engaged in their own education they feel empowered, confident, and it builds the foundation for further successes - in and outside of the classroom.  JGESA parents say it best...


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    Out of the Classroom, Into the World


    Learning can not be contained to a classroom.  Set on 300+ acres JGESA's campus is a living classroom for environmental education. Being surrounded by nature has amazing effects on the body and mind. When your school is in the woods daily hikes become a part of life. Canoeing on the lake builds teamwork and monitoring nesting bird populations ties learning to living things. 

    We also encourage students to develop real world skills through experience - Out of the Classroom, Into the World.  

    JGESA hosts experts in a wide variety of fields to work with students here on campus. Frequent field trips to any number of local locations - most free or low cost- expose students to all sorts of hands-on learning. Older students also have opportunities at more robust trips such as Sea Horse Key Marine Biology Lab in Florida, a Jr/Sr wilderness trip to Lake of the Woods and more. 

    During 4x yearly Experience Days students must complete an off-campus activity such as a job shadow, trip to a museum, or visit to a park, and then share what they have learned.  But, this type of learning is not limited to Experience Days.  Students are also encouraged to seek outside learning opportunities on their own. Turn a family vacation into a history of your destination, volunteer at an organization that matters to you and create a fundraising campaign for them, interview a family member that has a unique life experience and turn it into a short film.

A School Like No Other

Experience Day
  • In keeping with our mission of "Out of the classroom, into the World" students participate four times annually in Experience Day. This is an amazing opportunity for students to experience off-campus learning opportunities. 




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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