Our History


Committed to expanding Montessori school options to children living in urban areas, Ann Luce founded Bright Water Montessori preschool in North Minneapolis in 2004. The program focused on programming for toddlers and preschoolers for its first three years. In 2007, the school expanded by opening a free, public elementary charter school.

​The new Bright Water Elementary expanded the Montessori program to children in first through sixth grade. Since opening in 2004, Bright Water has provided education that honors the spirit and cultural experience to more than 30 children. We’re committed providing an excellent and equitable Montessori education in North Minneapolis.



Who We Are


Bright Water is a Pre-K-6th-grade public charter school in North Minneapolis with a mission to provide an excellent, equitable Montessori education to an intentionally diverse student body. The school is co-led by couple Tonicia and Jamal Abdur Salaam, educational social justice leaders. These leaders have created a foundational approach with an intense focus on a learning community broadened to include leveraging Montessori pedagogy in collaboration with evidence-based practices, specifically, Dr. Wade Nobles' world-renowned research and pedagogy, Nsaka SunSum (Touching the Spirit). This powerful pedagogy offers a full educational experience that honors the whole child in order to combat white supremacy in education. 

By accounting for the absent narratives in the classroom, we are able to bring full circle the educational experiences all children deserve through an understanding of the child’s identity and experiences both culturally and racially. At Bright Water, we believe All children can be at the center of that important development, by finding their cultural and racial identity in education along with their purpose in the learning environment.

View our Minnesota Department of Education Report Card here.


Board of Directors


The Bright Water Board of Directors sets the polices for the school operations. The board is made up of parents, community members, leaders and staff. Parents and community members are welcome and encouraged to attend meetings.

For more information email boardchair@brightwatermontessori.org.

Fun Facts!

Our family participation tops the charts. 90% of parents attend conferences and 95% of families have participated in at least one school informational or social event last year. 

Over 75% of staff at Bright Water are people of color. We pride ourselves in the fact that our staff population closely mirrors our student population.