About River Grove

River Grove elementary school is a tuition-free, K-5 public charter school located in Stillwater and May Township. The mission of River Grove is to utilize the area’s natural resources, history, arts, and civic stewardship of the community as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, art, and other curriculum subjects. The place-based learning environment will be student-centered, designed by teachers, and reinforced and supported by the local community.


In the spring of 2015, a small group of community members in Marine on St. Croix, MN, began discussing an alternate education programming model. Letters of intent for the Marine Area Community School (MACS) were submitted to potential charter school authorizers in the fall, followed a formal authorizer agreement with the Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools. The school now has formal recognition from the Minnesota Department of Education, who has assigned the school district #4254.

From 2017-2023, River Grove was located in the Wilder Forest in May Township and develop a reputation as a community school with a strong emphasis on outdoor, project-based learning. In 2022, the Minnesota Guild issued River Grove with a five-year charter re-authorization.

River Grove is Growing Full Speed Ahead

Starting in the 2023-24 school year, River Grove will move to a new location in downtown Stillwater, MN and will be immersing students in full-day field trips to the Manitou Environmental Learning Center in May Township, 15 minutes north of Stillwater.

Please visit this page for general information about charter schools, and this page for FAQs about MACS in particular.

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