GFW Elementary School
323 E. 11th Street
Gibbon, MN 55335
GFW Middle School
300 3rd Ave SE
Fairfax, MN 55332
View Parent Resources
GFW High School
1001 N. Cottonwood Street
Winthrop, MN 55396
GFW Administrative Team
Lonnie Seifert Email Mr. Seifert
Julie Elmer Email Mrs. Elmer
Amy Burns Email Amy
Lindsey Heine Email Lindsey
Dawn Kral Email Dawn
Community Education Director
Sandra Pierson Email Mrs. Pierson
District Technology Coordinator
Wade Werner Email Mr. Werner
Early Childhood Special Education Director (ECFE)
Tonia Schiro Email Mrs. Schiro
Dave Sellner Email Mr. Sellner
GFW will also be using the Campus Messenger system to communicate snow day information. parents can receive a phone call when there is a snow day, a late start, or an early dismissal. To sign up for Campus Messenger, contact Wade Werner at 507-207-2207.
School closing or late start announcements are also submitted to the area media WCCO Radio, KNUJ Radio, KLGR Radio, WCCO 4-TV, KMSP 9-TV and KARE 11-TV. The GFW website top message bar and Campus Messenger are the quickest and most accurate ways to obtain special announcements about GFW.
GFW Vision Goals:
- Community members are involved with school issues and activities.
- Business partnership, input, and support is encouraged
- Each student assumes responsibility for learning to the best of his/her ability.
- Students are accountable for their actions and use school resources in a responsible manner.
- Students understand and respect others including those who are culturally diverse and of different family structures.
- Positive and helpful changes occur to assure a safe, caring, learning environment for all students.
- Staff will be models for life long learning.
- Clear and open communication takes place among staff, students, and community.
- Parents/guardians provide a nurturing and safe environment.
- Parents/guardians are responsible and accountable for their child’s education and behavior.
The communities of Gibbon, Fairfax, and Winthrop began sharing educational resources in 1987 and established the GFW School District in 1992. Still remembering the proud heritage of America’s heartland, the GFW Schools are renowned for extraordinary educational programs, unequaled by schools of any size.
GFW is recognized as a regional model for community-based education. Site-based teams of parents, students, community members, and staff are charged with decision-making at each school. The K-4 Elementary School is located in Gibbon, the 5-8 Middle School at Fairfax, and the 9-12 High School in Winthrop.
Over 775 students are served in a safe and secure environment. The GFW facilities are attractive, up-to-date and very well maintained.
Nestled in the prairie of south central Minnesota, GFW students use progressive technology applications to access educational resources from around the world. Parents cite small class sizes, school-aged childcare, early childhood programs, and co-curricular programs as the desirable features of the school district. Still responding to the rich promises of the land, the GFW communities enjoy a quality of life that cannot be matched by larger cities.
30 Reasons Why We’re Proud
- Three School Systems in One- GFW knows that it takes more than one type of system to educate students. We have three systems that work together to provide quality education from the elementary, through the middle school into high school.
- Site-Based Management- Each of our three schools uses site-based management with members consisting of parents, community members, teachers, staff and students providing a wide range of input for strong decision making.
- Smaller Class Sizes- Research shows that students perform better in smaller class sizes. GFW has the unique ability to offer our students this opportunity.
- Variety of Activities- From fine arts to athletics, FFA to academic based activities, our school has a wide range of activities to meet the needs of a wide range of interests.
- Sense of Community- GFW provides students and their parents a community-based education that helps them succeed beyond high school.
- Competitive Academic Rigor- Not only is GFW in compliance with all of the changing state and national laws, but our belief is to surpass those goals to provide our students with learning excellence.
- Student Centered Learning- We know our product is education and our customers are students. At GFW keep our focus on our students.
- Small Town Values Nestled in Progressive Thinking- While our small towns provide the strong family and community values, we do not sit back and let the world pass us by. We keep up with the changing needs of our students.
- Personal Interactions Between Teachers, Students and Parents- We believe in communication. Because of our size, our students have the unique opportunity to develop personal learning relationships with all of the teachers they encounter.
- High Expectations for Student Learning- Our mission statement includes “lifelong learning” and we truly believe this. Our goal is to provide education that makes a difference to each of our students.
- Extra Programs for At Risk Students- We provide a variety of classes and services for students who need extra help along the way. All students deserve an education and we help them any way we can.
- Caring Environment- This applies to our students and our staff. We’re in the business to care. It’s an open-door policy and each of our staff members works above and beyond to ensure success in all areas.
- Lifelong Learners- Our staff works hard at taking classes and workshops to continue learning, which in turn benefits our students.
- Student Recognition Programs-Rewards are used to build strong student and staff motivation. We have a variety of recognition programs such as STOM, honor roll, reward day, T-Bird Spirit Awards, and others that recognize outstanding achievement.
- Student Monitoring- We believe all students need an individualized education plan. Student improvement is not only encouraged, it is monitored and supported by the staff.
- Pleasant Conditions- Our three sites provide pleasant conditions that encourage outstanding teaching and progressive learning.
- Nontraditional Educational Opportunities- Besides the traditional courses, we offer articulated classes geared toward the business world, AP classes geared toward 4-year colleges, and alternative courses for flexibility which meets the students’ needs.
- Student Decision Makers- We believe students count. That’s why we have students on the school board, student council, and students serving on site base. Our students know we care.
- One Schedule Does Not Fit All- We tailor our programs and classes to the growing and changing needs of our students.
- Positive Student Self-Concept- From the cook, to the bus driver, the teacher to the principal, and all the other employees, we believe all students are valuable. By getting to know students, we are able to understand them and help them excel.
Plus 10 More!!!
- Consistent Educational Experience- Because of our size, our students receive a consistent educational experience. There are no big surprises, and they have opportunities for which they look forward each year.
- Focused Educational Goals- GFW provides an integrated system that is focused on the same goals and sends a consistent message to students.
- Shared Leadership- Staff, students, parents and community members work together to provide a strong school system that is the center of each of the three towns.
- Cohesive Teachers- Because our school size is smaller, our teachers have the opportunity to work together to create a strong curriculum.
- Family Involvement- Small schools like GFW instill stronger family involvement, which in turn creates a positive learning environment.
- School within a School- We offer programs that individualize the learning environment for our students.
- Reduced Violence and Disruptive Behavior- We know our students. That personal involvement reduces violence and disruptive behaviors prevalent in larger schools.
- Improved Attendance and Graduation Rates- We care, and so do our students.
- Increased Student Visibility- Students are involved and are visible in the smaller school size that we offer.
- Thunderbird Pride- We are proud of whom we are and what we have to offer. That pride is carried down from the top management to the guests who visit. We are proud of who we are and where we are going.