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 Jeff Walton - Class of '68

(Update as of 4/2019)

The first school in the Wayzata area was established in approximately 1855. Records are spotty, but indications are that classes were taught in homes until a one-room log school was built near what is now the second green of the Wayzata Country Club. This school burned down and a new school was constructed on what is now the main street of Wayzata.

In 1870, the taxpayers voted $900 in bonds to build a new school on Bald Hill -- the site of the former Widsten School and the current Wayzata City Hall. That school was replaced in 1880 by a magnificent red brick structure that featured folding doors between two rooms - a forerunner of the open school concept. By 1903, Wayzata had established a four-year high school and in 1906 graduated its first class of three students. By 1910, the 30-year-old school that had been the pride of the community was dismantled and a new structure built. Unfortunately, a few years later this school also burned down. It was replaced in 1922 by a building whose architecture resembled a Mexican hacienda. This building was known as Widsten School and served students from construction until the building was closed in October 1989. The final students and staff from the Widsten school were reassigned to the new Gleason Lake Elementary School on Highway 101.

The Beacon Heights/Medicine Lake area consolidated with Wayzata Public Schools in 1946 and resulted in the acquisition of the district's second school - Beacon Heights Elementary School. Beacon Heights continued to serve the district until it was closed in 1982.  The school building is still operated by others as a language immersion school.

In 1951, the new Wayzata Junior/Senior High School opened on Barry Ave. in Wayzata. This building housed all students in grades seven through 12 until it became a junior high school (now Wayzata West Middle School) with the opening of Wayzata Senior High School (on Vicksburg Lane) in 1961.

In 1956 five one-room school districts in the northern part of the district consolidated with Wayzata Public Schools. Those land acquisitions resulted in the present configuration of the district covering approximately 38 square miles.

New elementary schools were opened in 1958 (Oakwood), 1963 (Sunset Hill), and 1965 (Greenwood). A second junior high school - Wayzata East - opened in 1968. East became a middle school in 1997. The next construction occurred when Birchview Elementary was built in 1970. Plymouth Creek Elementary opened in September 1989, and Gleason Lake Elementary opened six weeks later in late 1989. Kimberly Lane Elementary opened in the fall 1991. The newest school is Meadow Ridge Elementary, which opened in the fall of 2016 and expanded by 10 additional classrooms in 2018, bringing the total number of elementary schools to eight in 2018.  A ninth elementary school near to the current high school is under construction for opening in 2019-2020 school year.

The current Wayzata High School, serving students in grades 9 through 12, opened in the fall 1997, replacing the previous high school building that opened in 1961, which was converted into the current Central Middle School in 1997.

Wayzata School District Facts
(2018-2019 information from the District Web site)

  • Wayzata Public Schools serves all or part of Corcoran, Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minnetonka, Orono, Plymouth and Wayzata.

  • Highlights of the district include: Eight elementary schools (K-5), three middle schools (6-8), and one high school (9-12).  One additional elementary will open 2019-2020.

  • The enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year is 12,074 students, including 860 early learning students, 5,029 elementary students, 2,789 middle school students, and 3,396 high school students.

  • The district employs more than 1,545 employees including about 791 teaching positions

  • The district operates with a total expenditure budget for the 2016-2017 school year of more than $192 million, which includes about $139 million for the general operations of the schools.

  • One of only two districts in the state to be given a Aaa bond rating by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Services


Last Update September 13, 2023
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