Bloomington families weigh options; most will continue at South Campus in Minneapolis
By Kersten ChelgrenTalon Staff Writer
The families of 40 Minnehaha students have been forced to decide what to do next year as their beloved Bloomington campus closes.
Many teachers and families are sad to say goodbye, but for many there will be a new beginning and new opportunities at Minnehaha’s South Campus.
“Hearing your school is closing is not the easiest thing to hear and it was emotional because you feel such an attachment to the Bloomington campus and the relationships with the people you have developed there,” said Rebecca Geyer, parent of Danny Geyer.
The Geyer family is among the many families who are forced to make a decision to leave Minnehaha or make the switch and transfer their children to Minnehaha’s other Lower School campus, about 13 miles away in South Minneapolis. Many families find it difficult because south campus is a farther drive for them; which requires more money for gas. There may also setbacks due to heavy traffic, and parents who work may not be able to drive their child. Many families also are concerned because they are attached to the teachers and the “family feel” of Bloomington Campus.
“We had to carefully consider what would be the best choice for Thomas and Lily,” said another parent, Susan Trelstad. “We found another local similar, small Christian school with the same ‘feel’ of Bloomington Campus.”
Though some families are moving on toward different schools, other families are still unsure.
“Right now, we have mixed feelings, said parent Florence John. “We have enjoyed visiting the South Campus and know that our children will be fine there. However, it is a much larger campus with a slightly different feel than Bloomington. We will definitely miss the close-knit environment that made Bloomington so special.”
Though Bloomington Campus attendees have to leave, the many memories will never be forgotten.
“One of my son Danny’s favorite things at the Bloomington Campus is the Chapel Buddy program,” said Geyer. “In the beginning of the school year when he was still having a hard time with the transition to kindergarten, I know it was the days he would be able to see his chapel buddy that he would actually leave school smiling.”
Though the campus was small, the teachers and staff members managed o provide a wide variety of programs.
“We are so thankful for the two years that our kids attended Minnehaha’s Bloomington Campus,” said Trelstad. “We will never forget the special Christmas and spring concerts, the science fairs and fine arts festivals, as well as the fun Tomten days and book week parades. The loving, nurturing environment, made possible by the outstanding teachers and staff, is what I will remember most.”
Some parents say it would helpful if some of the Bloomington Campus teachers could move to South Campus and keep some of the Bloomington kids together so that the new school wouldn’t feel so unfamiliar at first. In addition, they said South Campus families should recognize Bloomington families as a part of the Minnehaha community, accepting them as a part of the “family”.
“We have such positive experiences with Minnehaha Academy,” said Geyer, “and know that truly there is no other place we would want to be.”