WINONA — One local school house that has stood tall for more than 100 years is still teaching students.
Through the woods of Winona, you’ll find a picturesque school house still standing. The Elm River Township School was first built and opened in 1906, although it’s over 100 years old, it still has maintained its historical importance. With grades kindergarten through eighth and only 12 students in the entire building, each student is given maximum one on one time with their teachers.
“We have at least one or two students from every grade from first to eighth grade and we do combine them for some things but they get individualized reading, individualized math, individualized science/social studies by grade level, but some of the things we can do together, we do group them because that group dynamic is important too,” said Elm River Twp. School Administrator, Bruce Matson.
The Elm River Township School is considered a center of public education except with funding coming from local property taxes. This school functions like every other typical school, with lunch time and recess. The only noticeable difference is the individual attention each student receives.
“Well I like how you can get one on one time with the teachers if you’re having trouble. So you can understand hard concepts in math, science, social studies,” said Elm River Twp. 7th Grader, Jack Naasko.
Most of the students are picked up at a local Post Office before school each morning. The school also has enrollments from children in cities outside of Winona. Although the building itself is old, the school keeps up to date on its technology, giving each student their own computer.
The Elm River Township School stays true to its goal of creating students that soar.
“I think the parents love it because they know their kids won’t fall through the cracks. In a bigger school district when you have 20-25 kids in a classroom or more. It’s very hard to meet the need of every student and I think we do that better than anybody, and again I’ve been around and I know that to be true and we truly get the kids what they need,” said Matson.
Matson did mention that they plan on this school remaining open for many years to come and to keep making students feel special rather just another face in the crowd. The Elm River Township School has definitely left an imprint not only on the community but also many U.P. residents.