School Pride

Unite Edina 273 advocates for Parkwood Knolls students to attend Edina schools.

When Parkwood Knolls resident Alan Koehler tried to enroll his daughter, Ingrid, in kindergarten two years ago, he figured that this conventional wisdom would apply–if you lived in Edina, your children could go to school in Edina. Not necessarily, he learned.

Koehler is now the spokesperson for Unite Edina 273, an independent neighborhood group representing more than 400 Parkwood Knolls families and 200 school-age students in northwest Edina that seeks to detach from the Hopkins School District and officially join School District 273. Whereas Edina schools are only five minutes away from Parkwood Knolls by car, Hopkins is far-flung. Over the course of their education in the Hopkins School District, a Parkwood Knolls student would be bused a distance equal to the distance from the United States to Vietnam, Koehler told a state Senate Education Committee last spring.

This month, Unite Edina 273 will present 400 signatures to both the Edina and Hopkins school boards and request that they allow Parkwood Knolls homes to join the Edina School District. An appeal to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners will follow.

“The biggest hurdle is getting school boards to change anything,” says Koehler. “When it comes to school district and tax issues, change comes very slowly.”