Twin Lakes Elementary School, (Elk River, MN). Twin Lakes Elementary School has continued to take steps to ensure equity, cultural awareness, and respect in our community and school. For example, upon entering Twin Lakes, all visitors are met with a captivating display of more than 25 flags. These flags represent all of the cultures and heritages of our students and staff, and give students, families and staff a sense of belonging in our school.
The district and school’s equity specialists provide all staff members training that highlight new social movements or current events that have impacted our community. We have also been trained in restorative circles, gender and racial biases, and mental health awareness. These restorative circles provide students and staff a safe and confidential environment to build relationships and create a community where respect and forgiveness are key.
Throughout their academic years, students receive lessons within the classroom from our equity specialists as well. These lessons include, but are not limited to, skin color, cultural dress, food, music, art, and ceremonies. Students also have the opportunity to engage in cross cultural correspondents, comparing and contrasting cultures, and the introduction of literature and alphabets.
The school encourages families to participate in programming and share information about their heritages and cultures. These families work together with our equity specialists to create presentations that highlight their unique cultural experiences. We also encourage families to share pictures, bring in items, read a story, or teach a traditional song, dance, or game. Twin Lakes also provides the opportunity for families to educate classes on disabilities. Many families shared information to help students better understand their child’s disability. These presentations open the door for a truly inclusive and safe environment.