Bais Yaakov High School is a “college preparatory
high school for young women offering Jewish and academic
studies.” It is the only Orthodox Jewish girls high school
in the Twin Cities. The Bais Yaakov movement was started by
Sarah Schneirer in 1917, and there are over 60 such schools
in the U.S. and Canada. The St. Louis Park school began in
1996 with seven students in 9th grade. Mrs. Peshie
Silverberg was one of the parents who strove to found a
school so that their daughters could stay in Minnesota to
study. Each year a grade was added, and the first graduating
class of four students was in June 2000. Enrollment
is about 25 students, grades 9-12. The school, which offers a dual
curriculum of Judaic studies and general studies, is located
in the upper level of Congregation Bais Yisroel, 4221 Sunset
Blvd. but is independent of the congregation.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School is a “Catholic,
coed college preparatory school.” It had its start in St.
Louis Park when Benilde High School for Catholic Boys was
built by the Christian Brothers under the direction of
Brother Mark Sullivan. It was named for Blessed Benilde, a
deceased Christian Brother. The 50-acre tract at 2501
Highway 100 So. included a residence for Christian Brothers.
In January 1955, La Salle Institute requested a fee waiver,
which was granted. The school opened on September 10, 1956
with 400 students. An addition was built by M.A. Mortenson
Co. in 1958. In 1974, Benilde merged with St. Margaret’s
Academy, a Catholic girls’ school in Minneapolis with roots
going back to 1907. In 1989, a junior high was added.
is a private Catholic high school. It opened in the Fall of 2008
at the Eliot Community Center with 10 students in the 9th and
10th grades. In the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years it
was located in the Cedar Manor
building. The school is moving to Calvary Lutheran
Church in Edina for the 2012-13 school year and plans to
accept 80 to 90 students.
Classical Academy: In 1993, approximately 90
students, PK-8, attended classes at the old Holy Family
School at 5915 W. Lake Street. It was a pilot school of the
Maxin Learning Institute (Mastery and Excellence in
Education), founded by Janet Oliver and Nancy Nicholson
Terry. The school previously operated out of Oliver’s home
in Minnetonka. The school was intended for people who were
dissatisfied with the existing educational options. The
group started with a five-year lease, hoping to add a grade
each year. The school had high standards, requiring
graduates to speak five languages, including the mandatory
Latin and Greek, which begin in the third and fourth grade.
Japanese started in kindergarten. Teaching methods used
included Kumon (math), Spalding (language), and Montessori.
The French Academy of Minnesota was started by
Veronique Liebmann in 1988, when she founded a
preschool-kindergarten immersion program in Eden Prairie.
The school at that time was called La Maison des Enfants.
In 2005, the name was changed to the French Academy of
Minnesota and the school moved to 6800 Cedar Lake Road in
St. Louis Park (the site of the old Eliot Elementary
School). Due to the closure of Eliot at the end of the
2009-2010 school year, the school will lease the also-closed
Cedar Manor school building for two years.
Groves Academy is a “non-denominational school
serving youth with learning disabilities and attention
deficit disorders.” The school was dedicated on September
11, 1972 as Groves Learning Center with 21 students. Senator
Hubert Humphrey attended the ceremony. The school was named
in memory of the father of Franklin Groves, president of the
Groves Construction Company of Minneapolis, a strong
advocate of education, and grandfather of one of the
original students. The first location was the former Oak
Knoll School at 2000 Hopkins Crossroads in Minnetonka. The
school came to St. Louis Park in 1982 when Ethel Baston
School at 3200 Highway 100 So. was sold. Enrollment at that
time was 115 students. In 1985 the school was renamed Groves
Academy. Construction began in 2001 to add seven new
classrooms, a new science lab, a teaching kitchen, a new gym
with locker rooms, a state-of-the-art computer and
technology lab, a new Middle School, and Project-Based
Learning workshop. Construction was completed in January
2002. Enrollment was up to 175 students.
Holy Family Academy is a “Catholic school in the
classical tradition.” It opened in the fall of 1951 at 5925
W. Lake St. with approximately 200 students, taught by four
Servite Sisters from Ladysmith, Wisconsin. In 1991, in the
face of declining enrollment, the decision was made to merge
with Good Shepherd School in Golden Valley, creating the new
Parkvalley Catholic School. In its last year, Holy Family
had 131 students.
Maimonides High School was founded in September 1982,
renting space at the Jewish Community Center. At the time it
was the first and only Jewish high school offering grades
9-12 in the upper Midwest. Director and Principal of Judaic
studies was Rabbi Gary Menchel. Principal for General
Studies was Margaret Liebfried. Originally there were 11
students, but by the next year there were 17. In 1984 there
were 18 students. It ceased operations in the 1990s.
Metropolitan Open School
provides a “home-like environment offering guided choices
that emphasize problem-solving, creative thinking and
learning by doing.”
Amos and Celia
Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School is a “co-ed day school
providing general and pluralistic Jewish studies.” It was
started in 1984 with 20 students, K-2. It was first located
in the old Talmud Torah building at 8200 West 33rd Street.
In 1990 it moved to the Jewish Community Center, 4330 Cedar
Lake Road. In 2002 it moved onto the Barry Family Campus, a new
educational wing of the Sabes Jewish Community
Center. The school now serves grades K-8 school with
nearly 400 students representing a broad cross-section of
Most Holy Trinity is a “Catholic school offering
small class size (20 students per class).” The school,
located at 3949 Wooddale Ave., opened in September 1945 with
146 pupils, grades 1-6. The school, as well as the church,
operated out of a basement structure at first until June
1952. The teaching staff consisted of several sisters of St.
Benedict from St. Joseph, Minn. Grade 7 was added in 1946,
and Grade 8 in 1947. The superstructure of the basement
building was begun in 1952. The school moved into a new
building in February 1955. In 1961 there were 375 pupils.
The school closed in 2008.
New Dimensions School was a private, nonprofit school
founded in 1981. In 1984 it was located at the old Brookside
School. It provided programs for students in grades 1-12.
Carol Robson was President and Sheridan Robson was Vice
Talmud Torah of Minneapolis
is an “afternoon and evening school offering Hebrew, Bible
and Jewish history, customs and practices.” It was founded
in Minneapolis in 1894. The St. Louis Park school opened in 1959 at 8200 W. 33rd at Utah (below).
On June 14, 1970, the new Menahem Heilicher Building
dedicated. The building cost $900,000. Heilicher was a faculty member from 1912 to 1962.
photo courtesy of the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper
The school is now
located in the Heilicher Education Center Education Building
on the Barry Family Campus of the
Sabes Jewish Community
Center at 4330 Cedar Lake Road. The original site
is now the Aquila
Commons elderly coop.
Timothy Lutheran School, Park’s first protestant day
school, was convened in 1958 in the basement of
Lutheran Church, 7814 Minnetonka Blvd. The school closed
Torah Academy is a Jewish day school serving pre-K
through 8. Since 1982 it has been located in the former
Hill School building at 2800 Joppa.
Twin Cities Jewish Middle School served grades 7-8.
It was dissolved in 2006 when grades 7-8 were added to the
Amos and Celia Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School.
The Whole Learning
School, "for kids with unique learning skills,"
was founded in 2003 atd at the former St. Luke's Church, 5524 West 41st
Street. "John and Maryanne Dennis founded The Whole
Learning School out of love for their daughter, Krystyna,
who needed a specialized school environment to meet her
academic, social and emotional needs. The Whole Learning
School was created for students who are failing to succeed
in traditional school models." After a time in
Plymouth, it moved into the old Cedar Manor School in 2012.
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