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Garlough Environmental Magnet School  

Garlough at a Glance

Environmental Focus

Surrounded by parks and Dodge Nature Center’s 320 acres, give students access to endless nature-based learning opportunities.

Award-winning

National Magnet School of Excellence in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015 and a National Magnet School of Distinction in 2016 and 2018.

1:1 Technology

All students receive a school-issued iPad allowing students to learn their environmental based curriculum in flexible and innovative ways. 

Diverse Student Body

This promotes student growth and reflection as they make friendships and have shared experiences with one another helping to prepare them for life outside of school.

Newly Remodeled

Underwent construction in 2019. Included a new cafeteria, new classrooms, flexible learning spaces, and more natural light

Garlough Environmental Magnet School (GEMS) offers a rigorous environmental studies curriculum emphasizing science, technology, and math for students in grades K-4.

At GEMS, environmental learning is at the core of everything they do. Through nature-based experiences, they support and enhance children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development. Students explore nature in Garlough Woods and at Dodge Nature Center as they gain a sense of wonder, respect, and care for the natural world.

More on Garlough

Garlough has been a magnet school since 2007, making it District 197’s first magnet. It is now one of four magnet schools in the District. 

Garlough was formed in partnership with Dodge Nature Center, and offers the same comprehensive curriculum as the district’s other elementary schools, but with a nature-based theme integrated into every class. Garlough has gained numerous state and national recognitions, including being named a National Magnet School of Excellence in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015 and a National Magnet School of Distinction in 2016 and 2018.

As an environmental magnet school, experiential learning is at the core of everything at GEMS. Through nature-based experiences in and outside the classroom, Garlough teachers and staff support and enhance children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.

 With Garlough’s unique location surrounded by parks and Dodge Nature Center’s 320 acres, students have unequaled access to nature-based learning opportunities in prairies, hardwood forests, lakes, wetlands, miles of hiking trails, plus a working farm, orchard and bee apiary.

As an environmental magnet school, experiential learning is at the core of everything at GEMS. Through nature-based experiences in and outside the classroom, Garlough teachers and staff support and enhance children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development.

With Garlough’s unique location surrounded by parks and Dodge Nature Center’s 320 acres, students have unequaled access to nature-based learning opportunities in prairies, hardwood forests, lakes, wetlands, miles of hiking trails, plus a working farm, orchard and bee apiary.

What parent’s are saying

We love Garlough!! I have 3 boys there…We were looking for a safe, friendly environment where their creativity and varying ability levels would be nurtured. Garlough has so many opportunities for hands-on, exploratory learning, and fostering their natural curiosity. For my three boys, the best part is how much they get to move: Going outside to sketch the clouds, moving in the classroom while they review concepts, rollerblading in the gym. They are active all day long! For me, the best thing about Garlough is how connected and proud they feel about their school. They know that they are cared about by their teachers, counselors, and principal.

My son started 1st grade at Garlough this year. We are outside of the district and we toured several schools before deciding on GEMS. I am glad we went with our gut and sent him here. We have been extremely happy with the level of dedication the teacher’s show.

I have nothing but positive things to say about this school! It has a very dedicated staff, a diverse student population of students, pets in every room, and therapy dogs. The school is surrounded by trails and forests not to mention the partnership with Dodge Nature Center. These kids are learning measurements by reaching their hands into a frozen lake. They are grasping the importance of local and organic farming by growing their own vegetables. My child is so happy! She is learning difficult math and science concepts and enjoying every moment. 

The school really stresses kindness and acceptance. This is something you can sense when you walk in the school and observe students. Take a tour! You’ll see it yourself! A++++!

Garlough PTO

Garlough Environmental Magnet School
GEMS PTO
1740 Charlton St.
West St. Paul, MN 55118

garloughpto@gmail.com