Why Does the Hopkins School District Cover So Many Cities?
A look at how Hopkins’ boundaries came about may add context to a debate over whether some Edina residents should be able to leave the district.
Even though districts are typically named after one of the cities they serve, they are separate entities, legally distinct from those cities.
Hopkins Public Schools covers all of Hopkins, most of Minnetonka, half of Golden Valley and parts of Eden Prairie, Edina, Plymouth and St. Louis Park. Those boundaries reflect numerous votes and agreements between school districts and residents in the past.
This week, the Hopkins School Board will examine the latest in a long line of boundary change requests. A group of Edina residents in the Parkwood Knolls and Walnut Drive neighborhoods wants to leave Hopkins because they think its schools are not in locations that serve the families’ educational needs.
In preparation for the School Board’s vote Thursday, district administrators prepared a history of the district’s boundaries. That history showcases how a district named after a four-square-mile community grew into a 7,400-student entity covering a swathe of the west metro.
“Paramount in this process was local initiative and study, with the approval by legal entities—local school boards and subsequent referendum elections by the voters of each of the Common and/or Independent School Districts involved,” district administrators wrote in the report for the Thursday’s meeting.
Here’s a look at how Hopkins grew into what it is today, according to that report. Refer to the images above to see the areas being referenced.
1898: Harley Hopkins Independent School District (ISD) No. 135 is established
- Added portions of West Minneapolis (Hopkins), Edina and Minnetonka
1898: Hopkins ISD No. 19 is established
- Added parts of West Minneapolis and Minnetonka Township
- Prior to that, Hopkins was a common school district with a two-story, four-room school
1946: Glen Lake Common District No. 155 votes to dissolve and join Hopkins ISD No. 19
- Added parts of Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie
1946: Shady Oak Common District No. 97 votes to dissolve and join Hopkins
- Added parts of Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Edina
After the Minnesota reorganization law
In 1947, the Legislature passed a law to reorganization law designed to encourage districts to start talking about combining. Minnesota went from 7,679 districts in 1945 to 2,148 districts in 1963, when the first mandatory reorganization legislation further reduced the number of districts.
1950: A vote to combine Oak Knoll Common School District, Burwell Common School District, Harley Hopkins and Hopkins fails when Harley Hopkins voters reject the idea.
1952: Harley Hopkins and Hopkins vote to consolidate, forming Independent School District No. 225.
- Added parts of Hopkins, Edina and Minnetonka.
1953: Burwell and Hopkins vote to consolidate. A small part of Burwell goes to the Wayzata school district.
- Added parts of Minnetonka and Hopkins
1954: Oak Knoll votes to consolidate
- Added parts of Minnetonka and St. Louis Park.
1955: Westview Common School District No. 138 votes to consolidate with Hopkins
- Added parts of Plymouth and Golden Valley.
1961: The commissioner of education changes Hopkins to District No. 274
1980: Golden Valley Independent District No. 275 dissolves and merges with Hopkins. The new district is designated District No. 270—the designation the district has today.
- Added a part of Golden Valley.