I hope its okay that I've been following this conversation over the last few weeks. We are planning on moving into the LSH school district from the Prior Lake-Savage district and I had seen a few postings wondering how people moving into the district would see the situation you're facing.
A little background, we have 3 kids - next year they'll be in 2nd grade, kindergarten & preschool.
Since we don't know for sure which community we'll be purchasing a house in we can see this discussion from about every angle. Initially I was really for each city having their own school. That way all of our kids will be in the same school until the oldest hits 6th grade.
As I really thought about it I started to like the idea of Pre-K thru 3rd separated from 4-5. I think that it unifies the school district and the kids will get the chance to form those life-long relationships from the very beginning. (That's the way it was for us growing up in LC & Montgomery.) I also like the idea of the staff all being together too though I don't know how they work out things the way it is now with two schools.
I really think that the 4-5th graders are on a completely different level than 3rd and younger and with all that they're going through physically I can't help but think they'd be happy to be away from the younger kids!
I have to commend both communities. We have really enjoyed getting to know people and are extremely impressed with the administration and community and the way they work together. I sincerely hope that this decision doesn't end with the communities turning on each other. Whatever the decision I look forward to seeing it play out next year and having my kids be a part of it.
(I know that there have been studies done that are in favor of separating schools between 3-4th grades as they are considering. I'll do some research and post what I can find for you to look at.)
To the posting that questioned the bus times for young students into LeSueur from Henderson. Whatever it ends up being it has to be better than the 40 minutes it takes for our oldest to get to school in the morning and we only live about a mile away! We have neighbors who walk there and beat the bus!