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The Groves Story

On a sunny, September morning in 1972, a small group of parents gathered around U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey near the front doors of an old school building located at 2000 Hopkins Crossroads in Minnetonka. Senator Humphrey proceeded to cut the ribbon in a dedication ceremony for the new Groves Learning Center, which was opening that day with an enrollment of 21 students. This day marked the culmination of a years-long effort on the part of several visionary families to open a school in Minnesota that served the needs of students with learning disabilities and attention disorders.

Meeting at the Airport 

The founding families of Groves Academy originally met in the concourse of Northwest Airlines at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Under different circumstances, the families would probably have never met. They came from different backgrounds and lifestyles. But they all had one thing in common: each had a son or daughter with a learning disability or attention disorder, and there was no school in Minnesota for such students. So, to provide their students with an appropriate education, the families had to send their children to a boarding school in Florida, where they would remain for months at a time. These families knew there had to be a better way.

In the late 1960s, members of these families began to talk. Soon, they organized a committee of 12 people to start to determine what it would take to start a school for their students here in Minnesota. Over a three-year period, these families did research, conducted interviews, considered various sites and learned from their successes and mistakes. Throughout, the families shared a passion and a determination to make the school happen.

Breaking Ground

Finally, on that glorious September morning in 1972, the sun beamed down on the yellow ribbon that adorned the front doors of the school. Senator Humphrey cut the ribbon and Groves Learning Center – named in loving memory of Franklin Groves, president of the Groves Construction Company of Minneapolis, a strong advocate of education and the grandfather of one of the original students – opened its doors. The dream of this determined group of parents became a reality, and their children could finally get the education they needed right here in Minnesota.

Taking Off

In September of 1982, the Groves Learning Center relocated to the former Ethel Baston School in St. Louis Park, located at 3200 Highway 100 South.  Enrollment at that time was 115 students.  Three years later, in September of 1985, the school was renamed Groves Academy.

40 Years Later

Forty years later, Groves Academy celebrate its founding parents' commitment and vision. The dream they had for their children has created a future of success for the more than 1,500 students who have attended Groves Academy over the years. We are forever grateful.

Milestones in Groves Academy's History

  • September 1972:  Dedication of the Groves Learning Center, located at 2000 Hopkins Crossroads in Minnetonka.  Enrollment was 21 students.
  • September 1982:  Groves Learning Center relocated to the former Ethel Baston School in St. Louis Park, located at 3200 Highway 100 South.  Enrollment was 115 students.
  • September 1988:  Development of a reference library and expansion of the computer room was completed.
  • September 1993:  Groves Learning Center added a soccer field to its campus and basketball and volleyball courts were added to the playground
  • September 1994:  Groves Learning Center completed work to add a new state-of-the-art Media Center
  • September 1995: Our school was renamed Groves Academy.
  • September 2000: Groves Academy launched a $9 million capital campaign called “Think… of the Possibilities!”
  • June 2001: Groves Academy began a project to remodel and expand existing facilities to accommodate growing enrollment
  • January 2002:  Construction was completed on a new middle school, science lab, gymnasium and a state-of-the-art computer and technology lab.  Enrollment was 136 students.
  • September 2010: Construction was completed on a $7 million expansion and renovation.  Facilities included a new kitchen and dining hall, a theater, media center and library, a ceramic studio, a weight and exercise room, a gymnasium and new classrooms and offices.  Enrollment was 207 students.
  • September 2012: Groves Academy celebrates 40 years of service to the Minnesota community.
  • September 2014: Singapore Math® adapted into the curriculum at Groves Academy
  • September 2015: The Learning Center at Groves Academy opens to provide services to the community of individuals with learning differences including diagnostic testing, tutoring, speech and language therapy and career counseling. Our school enrollment reaches 250 students.
  • March 2016: The Institute for Professional Learning at Groves Academy is established to share the evidence-based teaching methods from our school to advance literacy instruction with other teachers, schools, and organizations.
  • September 2017: Our school enrollment reaches 275 students for the 2017-2018 school year, The Learning Center served 1,000 clients over the past 12 months, and the Institute for Professional Learning has trained over 500 teachers since it was formed.
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