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School Supplies

About Us

Mission Statement

Nerstrand Elementary School will empower students to be self-directed,

lifelong learners by providing a nurturing, multi-age environment that fosters

cooperation and character development.


Nerstrand has many traditions that make it a unique and positive learning environment. Some of our rich traditions are listed below:

Student Committees

At Nerstrand Elementary School we offer student committees in order for our students to get involved in their community through hands-on experiences. 


Peace Garden

The Peace Garden committee takes care of the school's Peace Garden. The Peace Garden began in the year 2000 as a reminder that we are part of a greater world in which we can foster peace and harmony. Students in the peace garden help create and maintain tributes to many different nations across the globe.


Learn & Serve

The Learn and Serve Committee is responsible for contributing to various service efforts such as organizing food drives, providing blankets to health care facilities, and hosting members of the community at our school for events such as the community luncheon. 



The Student Ambassadors represent Nerstrand Elementary School both within the school and in the greater community. They are responsible for leading tours to visitors, distributing flyers and information to the community, and hosting events such as a story hour to preschoolers at the Nerstrand Public Library. 

Colorful Notebooks

Our Authorizer

Novation Education Opportunities (NEO)

Wendy Swanson Choi

3432 Denmark Ave, Ste 130

​Eagan, MN 55123


Staff Directory


Current Opportunities:

-Reading & Math Corps Tutors


Make a difference in your community and join our team as Reading or Math Corps Tutor. Nerstrand Elementary School is looking for tutors to help K-3 grade students who need extra help with reading or math.

Tutoring Session


(1) School located where the blacktop is now, behind the gym.jpg

Get to Know Us

Nerstrand Elementary School is K-5, tuition free, progressive charter school located in the rural community of Nerstrand, a short distance from the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. Geographically situated within the triangle formed by the communities of Faribault, Northfield, and Kenyon, our story is unlike that of any other Minnesota charter school. After a unanimous vote of the entire staff in March of 1999, we became the first official "Conversion Charter School" in our state. Having been established in 1887-88, Nerstrand School has celebrated its 125th year of operation -- first as its own district, then as part of the Faribault District, and now as our own Charter District #4055.

A strong sense of progressive education tradition continues to thrive at Nerstrand School, where we celebrate relationships with our community members and take great pride in what makes our school special. Progressive education principles share the conviction that democracy means active engagement by all citizens in the social, political and economic decisions that affect their lives--and, in turn, that early education at its best should cultivate respect for individual abilities and for socially engaged intelligence in order to spur this kind of participation in community and public affairs. 

Nerstrand students construct their understanding of the world through hands on processes. Teachers have been guided by the principles of progressive education, engaging students in child-centered, meaningful work that involves problem solving. We are very proud of the academic accomplishments of our students over a long period of time.

Learning is social, and we work to develop each child's social-emotional skills in addition to academic skills. All of our teachers have been trained in Responsive Classroom approach. The Responsive Classroom approach is based on the premise that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills.

We offer strong programs in reading, language arts, and mathematics that help our students realize success in the curricular areas of science, social studies, and technology – including environmental education. We also embrace a strong commitment to the teaching and appreciation of the visual arts. There are many special programs embraced by Nerstrand Elementary School. We take special pride include our daily instruction in physical education by certified teachers. These programmatic elements have been a part of our school since we chartered in 1999 and they continue to be programs that help to define us today. Long ago the recipient of a Federal "Learn and Serve America" grant over the course of nine years, the seeds of Service Learning were planted in our school and remain today. Extending service to our greater community and within our school community, our students understand the importance of serving others and recognize that significant learning results from those experiences. Students participate in a number of Youth Boards where they can put service into practice and teachers look for opportunities to weave service into projects they carry out throughout the year. Service Learning has been woven into the fabric of the school over a long period of time. .

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