In 2021, Linwood Township celebrated its 150 year anniversary. As part of its celebration, volunteers from the senior center created a quilt made from a variety of blocks, including several created by Linwood Elementary students, that helped tell the story of Linwood.

Our students and staff were excited to be involved in this project. In Linwood, school and community have always been closely connected. Linwood Elementary, and the various country schools that preceded it, have been an integral part of life for those growing up or raising a family in our community. It’s a shared experience that brings us together and gives us ways to connect with each other across generations.

Partnering with the Senior Center on this project was just one of the ways that Linwood Elementary has been a central part of the Linwood community. We are also fortunate to have a school forest at Linwood that is managed jointly between the school and the township and serves as an important natural space for the community.

Last fall, the school helped host a trick-or-treat hike within the forest where kids and families from the community had the opportunity to go on a hay ride from the town hall to the forest and participate in fun fall-themed activities.

We are also an active part of Linwood Family Fun Days with staff participating in the celebration, and our school site often hosting some of the activities.

Just like it was in the old days, our school is still a significant part of life in Linwood. It would be hard to grow up or establish roots in Linwood without experiencing the school or the school forest. 

That’s one of the things I love about Linwood Elementary. It’s a true community school, and a central part of life here. We serve the community and we are served by the community. Local groups and individuals have been very generous with their investments in our school. The churches, the senior center, the Township Board and the School Forest Committee have all invested time and resources for our students, and we are very thankful to have such active partners.

The Forest Lake area is dotted with community elementary schools that function like Linwood in their own cities and towns. These students come together in Forest Lake to attend middle school and high school, but there are always fond memories of their elementary days in their own community.

Each year at Homecoming, Forest Lake Area High School students travel around to the district’s elementary schools for spirit week, and every year high school students from Linwood share their favorite memories of time spent within our hallways. It’s a community-based foundation they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Together as a school and community, we are helping to create the next 150 years of Linwood history.

Gretchen Mattson is the principal of Linwood Elementary School.

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