Award Year: 2022

Maple River West Elementary School

311 Willard Street
Good Thunder, MN, 56037-0306

(507) 278-3039

Mr. Jon Lewis, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Maple River School District

School Website


Maple River School District is dedicated to educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world.

Student Demographics
  • White: 87%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Two or more races: 9%
A small reading group enjoying their books.

A small reading group enjoying their books.

Maple River Public School is nestled squarely in south central Minnesota. On the west side of the district is Maple River West Elementary School. There is a strong partnership between the families and the school that has been successful for all.

For the past five years, the school has used a program based on the science of reading. Maple River is still in the process of reforming the elementary Language Arts curriculum by implementing Word Study. Word Study quickly became a central focus to daily reading lessons. This science of reading approach to teaching students has increased students' performance. This focus has become district-wide during Professional Learning Community meetings to help teachers connect with others across the district. Being able to learn from others who have similar challenges has brought our group of teachers closer together.Staff have done an outstanding job of taking a concept, which was initially created for individualized instruction, and make it small group oriented. Teachers are seeing once struggling readers volunteer to read in class because of what they have learned and are confident in reading in front of their peers. The staff recognizes that students who are entering their classes are advanced from previous years.