District 281 ~ Robbinsdale Area Schools
1864  A pioneer school was built. It was located on what is now 42nd Ave and Adair Ave. 
  
1889  Parker School was built on Regent Avenue. This is the district's first "modern" brick school building.  The school consisted of four rooms and a gynmasium. Post Publicasion. 
 
1913  Parker School is torn down to make room for what is became Regent Junior High. The school housed grades one through eight, but in 1920 the demans of the "expanding population" prompted the addition of two wings to the building. The new school is named the Robbinsdale School Post Publications. 
Robbinsdale Schools District is number 27 under the old numbering system.
   
Oak Grove was the first school in Golden Valley. The original school was a one-room, log school house. The school burned down and was replaced by a frame building that was used until 1912.  This buidling was replaced with a two-room school that is the foundation of the Oak Grove Church. Looking at the south side of the building, in the middle and at the top there is the number 24. This is the original Golden Valley school district number.   
   
In the 1920's and early 1930's, high school aged children in the area attended either North or Edison High Schools.  Grade school children attended school in Robbinsdale at Parker School.  
  
Twin Lakes in the Brooklyn Center School District opens.
1930 - Robbinsdale Public Schools consisted of Regent Elementary and two portable buildings that housed a staff of 34 teachers serving 1,100 students in grades K - 9.

 

1936 -  Another wing is added to the Robbinsdale School. 

"In December, 1935, A WPA grant from the federal government in the amount of $175,000 made it possible to erect Robbinsdale's first senior high.  The total coast of the school was about $300,000." Post Newspaper, Margaret Chuba.

Robbinsdale High School, the first Minneapolis suburban high school, opened on Regent Avenue.  

1937 - First RHS Senior Class graduated

The Robbinsdale School District accepted the New Hope School into the District.  The original New Hope School was located on 42nd Avenue and Winnteka.    

 1945 - One third of Brooklyn Center, Twin Lake School, joins Robbinsdale.

Golden Valley schools Oak Grove School and Sunny Hollow are annexed by Robbinsdale School District.
 
1946 - New Hope area taken into district. Includes the original Winnetka School which was located on Winnetka Avenue and Bass Lake Road.  Mr. Cooper remarked that the school didn't even have indoor plumbing. 
 
1948 - Lee opened. Named for the street. Lee closed in 1981.

 

During the 1950's 1,500 students were added to the enrollment each year.  Grade schools, a rebuilt Robbinsdale High School and the District's second high school - E. J. Cooper, opened to accomodate the children born during the Baby Boom.  

1951 - Forest opened. 
          Demolished in 2003. Forest students attended Olson.
          The new Forest opened in 2005.
          
          Adair opened. Named for the street
          Later renamed Jeanette A. Fair after its principal. Renamed in 1976?
          
Medicine Lake area joined the Robbinsdale District. 
    
Parents moving to Glaciar Lane area in Plymouth insisted that the where they lived be declared within the Robbinsdale School District boundaries. They parents didn't want to send their children to the small country school high school in Wayzata. Robbinsdale School District has a national reputation of an innovative school system providing a variety of learning opportunities and producing well educated graduates.
  
1952 - The opening of the new elementary schools resulted in the school on Regent Ave to house only the upper grades; 7 - 12. 
 
1953 - Independent school District 27, including Abraham Lincoln which was under construction, and Thora Thorson Elementary Schools, were assigned to the district by disolution and annexation proceedings.
  
1954 - Thora Thorson opens.
           Noble opens. Named for the street.
  
1956 - Robbinsdale High School on Toledo Ave opened.
          The Robbindale School became Regent Junior High. 

 

1957 - Edward D. Neill Elementary School opens.  Does any one know who Edward D. Neill was? 
 
           RHS music and drama departments produced the first of many Broadway musicals.

 

1958 - William H. Cavanagh opens.  Mr. Cavanagh served as a school board member for 25 years.  Demolished in March 2013.

  
1959 - Carl Sandburg Junior High School opens. Carl Sandburg came for dedication and was the keynote speaker.
Robbinsdale Senior High School accredited by North Central Association.
Weekly school page begun in the North Hennepin Post. 
 
District 281 summer school established to provide academic courses as well as applied music and driver training.
 
Coordinators appointed for rapidly growing areas of audio-visual, library, guidance, nursing and applied education.
 
1960 - New Hope and the rebuilt Sunny Hollow Elementary Schools open.
 
Establishment of a consultant program provided full time district consultants in the areas of foreign language, mathematics, science and reading.
 
Publication of curriculum guides begun under the direction of an editor. 
School Board authorized the televised elementary school German program. 
Senior High School football and wrestling teams won state championships and one student won all-around gymnastic championship.
  
1961 - Meadow Lake opened. Named for the lake. During the 60s and 70s Meadow Lake had the largest student population of any elementary school in the State of Minnesota.
  
IBM machinery installed to facilitate payroll, accounting and attendance.
Team teaching accepted as one technique of instruction.
Summer curriculum work program by staff members initiated.
   
1962 - University of Minnesota established Northwest Suburban Extension Center using facilities of Robbinsdale Senior High School.
1963 - Frank Hosterman Junior High and H. O. Sonnesyn Elementary open. 
   
1964 - Lakeview Elementary and E. J. Cooper Senior High Schools open. 
1965 - Crystal Heights Elementary School opened.
1966 - Pilgrim Lane Elementary opened and the bus garage was built.
1967 - Winnetka Elementary opened.
1968 - Plymouth Junior High and the Highview building opened.
           The Administration Building was built.
           Milo Mielke retired.  The RHS football field was Meilke Field. 
1969- Zachary Lane Elementary opened.
1970 - Armstrong High School set to open in the fall. Opening delayed by construction workers strike.  From Sept. - early January 1971, Cooper students attend Cooper from 6am - noon and the Armstrong students (former Cooper and RHS students) attend Cooper from noon - 6:00 pm.  The Cooper caferteria was not opperated during this time.  
 
1971 Sigurd F. Olson Elementary opened.  Mr. Olson was an author and environmentalist. 

 1982  Robbinsdale High School holds its 48th and final Commencement.

The events that took place prior to RHS being closed were examined in a doctoral thesis. To reach the dissertation, search on "Where Have All the Robins Gone? Power, Discourse, and the Closing of Robbinsdale High School. " St. Thomas Mark E. Mertens 4-1-13   We are grateful for the work Dr. Mertens did to document the process used to decide which of the three high schools to close.   

Credits to North Hennepin Post, July 5, 1979. Donna Watz's article on E. J. Cooper.
North Hennepin Post, Margaret Chuba. 
Robbinsdale Historical Society
District 281 documents and publications.  
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