Mrs. Rhonda Matson Elementary/Middle School Principal


Thank you for stopping by to see what Riverside Christian School is all about. My name is Rhonda Matson. As the Elementary-Middle School Principal of Riverside, I appreciate the opportunity to share my love for the school and its people – faculty, staff, parents and students. Riverside is a family-like community, where we work together to provide an excellent education from a biblical worldview. It’s Christ-centered, which means we look at our academics through the lens of scripture, striving to be sure all we do is for the good of our students and for God’s glory.

Riverside’s teachers love the Lord and they love their students. Teachers not only pray for their students daily, they pray for direction from the Holy Spirit to meet each individual student need, spiritual or academic. They are the living curriculum, walking out a life of faith as they challenge their students with academic curriculum that is designed to grow students in problem solving, discipline and a love of learning.

You may have noticed “Teaching and Equipping Tomorrow’s Christian Leaders” in our logo. We take leadership seriously. Our students are given opportunities to develop Christ-like leadership skills in many ways including, but not limited to, sitting on school-wide committees, peer leading classroom project-groups and participating in prayer-partners, in which an older student mentors a younger student. Christ-like leadership involves serving and putting others first. We are pleased that our students have many opportunities to serve our greater Grand Forks/East Grand Forks community.

If you would like to find out more about Riverside, please feel free to give us a call or stop in. We would love to give you a tour and answer any questions you may have.



Our Mission

Riverside Christian School exists to provide a Bible-based education, centered on Christ, equipping students for a lifetime of learning, leadership, service and worship.

Vision Statement

Riverside Christian School will be an accredited Pre-K through Grade 12 school, providing the finest academic programs and co-curricular activities to the greater Grand Forks area.

The history of Riverside Christian School is one that has taken many turns. We walk faithfully with God to see all that He has blessed Riverside with. We are thankful and give praises to the one and only sovereign Lord for the blessings He has given this school. 

  • 1982 - Shema Christian School was started

    A group of parents wanting a Christian education for their children came together and created Shema Christian School in 1982. Shema Christian School begins with only 1 teacher and 5 students in grades 1-3.

  • 1983 - January

    A kindergarten teacher is added, and three more students enroll.

  • 1984 - Growth

    As additional grades are added, the school moves to a bigger space in Grace Baptist Church.

  • 1989 - Middle School

    A second location is needed to house the growing enrollment, so grades 5-8 moves into space in Immanuel Lutheran Church, just a few blocks away.

  • 1993 - Name Change

    The name of the school is officially changed to Grand Forks Christian School. Enrollment continues to increase!

  • 1995 - Land

    Mr. and Mrs. Burt and Betty Johnson donate 10 acres of land at the south end of Grand Forks in hopes to build a school at this new location.

  • 1996 - New plans

    Enrollment is at an all time high of 127. Plans are drawn up for a new school building.

  • 1997 - Flood

    A massive flood devastates the city of Grand Forks in April. Both churches sustain heavy damage. The school loses everything in its library, kindergarten room, and main office. After a summer of frantic clean-up and rebuilding, school starts on time in August. The main school office and grades K-4 are back in Grace Baptist Church. The library, now located in a small modular building set up outside Grace Baptist Church, is filled with dozens of boxes containing hundreds of books donated from all across the country--a momentous cataloging job awaits our part-time librarian and her army of volunteers! Grades 5-8 are now in a temporary modular building at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Enrollment drops to 110, but compared to the drop in the public schools, we are retaining a better percentage of out students.

  • 1998 - Moving Forward

    Plans are made to break ground on the new building in the fall. Enrollment drops only slightly to 103 for the '98-'99 school year, so the school goes ahead with the ground breaking on the new building on September 4, 1998.

  • 1999 - Progress

    Progress on the building is slow and it will not be ready for the '99-'00 school year. Grades 5-8 are moved from the temporary modular building to more permanent space at Faith Evangelical Free Church in the Fall. Enrollment drops again to '93.

  • 2000 - Building Project Halted

    Enrollment drops again to 85 and special assessments on the new building and land come in much higher than expected. With the building fund depleted and donation dropping off, the school puts further work on the new building on hold.

  • 2001 - Enrollment Increases Again

    Enrollment finally begins to increase again to '92.

  • 2002 - A New Opportunity

    A former elementary school building (Valley Elementary) goes up for bid in East Grand Forks. The building, used as a school for grades K-6 until 1997, had been home to the EGF City Hall and some law offices for several years following the flood (which had devastated much of East Grand Forks as well). Now, with the new city hall completed and the other tenants moved out, EGF decided to sell the building. After much prayer and research, the school board decides that relocating to the Valley Elementary building is considerably more economically feasible than continuing construction on the new building on the south end of Grand Forks. After receiving permission from the Johnson estate to sell the land and partially constructed building at the south end of Grand Forks, the school tenders an offer to EGF. After the first round of bidding in January, the city does not award the building to anyone. After the second round of bidding in May, the city finally awards the building to the school in June. The school takes possession of the building on July 19, and families and teachers begin the process of returning the building to its original purpose. Remodeling work goes at a frantic pace. Moving day for the K-4 rooms is August 8th. Moving day for the 5-8 rooms follows soon after. The office moves in last and school begins on time, August 29, 2002. Along with the new location comes a new name. Grand Forks Christian School is renamed Riverside Christian School.

  • 2003 - Preschool Program Begins

    Riverside Preschool opens its doors to 4 and 5 year olds to provide an opportunity for children to grow, explore,and learn.

  • 2006 - Prek-3 Class Developed

    After a successful year, a 3 year old class is added to the Riverside Preschool Program.

  • 2011 - Establishment of PTO

    Riverside Parents form a PTO to enhance and support the educational experience and the spiritual growth of all the children at RCS.

  • 2018 - Winging it to Washington

    Riverside 7th and 8th grades embark on a trip to the Nation's Capitol after a year of intense fundraising. Students have the opportunity to explore and learn the rich history of our country with a biblical worldview.

  • 2019 -Riverside Represents MN in the National Christmas Tree Celebration in Washington DC

    Riverside Christian School is selected to represent the state of Minnesota in the National Christmas Tree Celebration in Washington D.C. Every year, one school is selected from each state to create handcrafted ornaments that will adorn smaller trees to represent each state, district, and/or territory that surrounds the National Christmas Tree. The Riverside Christian School middle school students (23 students) diligently create unique ornaments with art teacher Eva Branvold for the Minnesota tree.

  • 2020 - Riverside Christian High School Opens Its Doors

    Riverside Christian School announces the opening of their high school beginning in August 2020 led by High School Principal, Tiffaney Primeau. Offering over 200 classes, Riverside Christian High School's personalized education approach tailors instruction through online and on-sight classes offering flexibility that caters to each student's needs and strengths.

Cindy Waind


Cindy Waind has served has the principal of Riverside Christian School for the past 5 years.  She leads our team with 15 years of prior teaching experience as a 1st grade teacher.  Her love of Jesus shines through as an effective and admired leader by the faculty and staff of the school.  

Her daily morning routine is to walk the halls of Riverside to pray for each and every student and teacher.  

The school is blessed to have a caring, compassionate, and faithful principal like Cindy Waind.