Protest, public hearing over Wayzata school rezoning

The Wayzata School District held a public hearing the same day opponents protested the rezoning of Greenwood Elementary School in Plymouth, Minn. on Tuesday.

Under a current proposal, starting in 2016, children living in a neighborhood connected by a path to Greenwood could instead be taking a bus 2 1/2 miles away to Oakwood Elementary or to the district's new elementary school set to open in 2016. Some students chose to walk or bike to school on Tuesday in protest over the new plan.

First-grader McKanna Redman looks forward to walking to Greenwood every day.

"It's really fun because I can go with the dogs and people that live right by my house," she said.

The school is just around the corner from her home, but the proposed boundary changes could mean she'll soon have to hop a bus to a new school across Highway 101 or 55 at least 2 miles away.

"She can walk home from Greenwood right now, and we can meet her right now or something like that but to me the biggest thing is safety," her mom Michele Redman said. She just got the news last week.

"I didn't sleep well that night because McKanna's established there now and she loves it there, we love it there, we're comfortable there. It's a great grade school and it's nice to be able to walk your daughter to school in the morning."

MORE - Wayzata school rezoning defies logic for some parents

Wayzata's boundary change proposal is also befuddling parents who have children in sixth-grade and would have their middle school careers disrupted. Under the proposed boundaries, those students would be forced to finish that last year of middle school at a new school.

Board members said the current boundaries are no longer sustainable, and some of them, who also have children in the district, said the suggested changes would accommodate for population growth expected over the next 5 years, balance class size and balance school capacity throughout the district. While parents are fired up, board members insisted they're looking for the optimal situation for all families.

The district expects to add 500 to 1,000 kids over the next 5 years. Board members said without the rezoning, it would be difficult to maintain a balance without making some difficult changes, especially considering the addition of that eighth elementary school in 2016.

What's next

Thursday, June 4: Wayzata School Board work session to review public comments

Monday, June 8: Possible vote on boundary recommendations
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