One-room schools were commonplace throughout rural portions of various countries, including Prussia, Norway, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain. In most rural and small town schools, all of the students met in a single room. There, a single teacher taught academic basics to several grade levels of elementary-age children. While in many areas one-room schools are no longer used, it is not uncommon for them to remain in developing nations and rural or remote areas. Examples include remote parts of the American West, the Falklands, and the Shetland Islands.[ citation needed ]
Prussia was among the first countries in the world to introduce a tax-funded and generally compulsory primary education for either boys and girls.In comparison, compulsory schooling in France or Great Britain was not successfully enacted until the 1880s. The state-sponsored system was introduced in the late 18th century and has had a widespread influence ever since. The first Prussian schools were simple one-room schools, but by 1773 Friedrich Eberhard von Rochow had already set up a model school with primary education in two separate age-grouped classes.
In Ireland, free primary education was mandated in 1831, prompting the establishment of many single-teacher National Schools across rural areas, most initially using a room in an existing building. By the 1890s there was a school in every parish. Most extant one- and two-room school buildings date from the decades after 1891 when primary education became compulsory. Most of those still in use today have been extended following merger with neighbouring schools. Since 2002, any state-funded school with at least 10 pupils is entitled to at least 2 teachers; the 21 schools which fell below this threshold are located on offshore islands.In recent decades, an increasing number of schools have been founded for parents not content with the National School system. These include Gaelscoileanna (which teach through Irish rather than English) and multi-denominational schools (most Irish schools are controlled by one or other of the main Christian churches). Although such schools eventually become eligible for state funding, they usually begin with a single teacher in a room or prefabricated building.
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Many schools also served as the local chapel on Sundays, and evening/Saturday meeting places for local people and activities. Being mostly rural, many schools had no plumbing or sanitation. Teaching standards often varied from school to school as the teacher was compelled to coach children of all ages/grades within one room and regardless of their area of main competence.
The quality of facilities at one-room schools varied with local economic conditions, but generally, the number of children at each grade level would vary with local populations. Most buildings were of simple frame construction, some with the school bell on a cupola. In the Midwest, sod construction was also used, as well as stone and adobe in areas like the Southwest where trees were scarce. In some locations, the schoolhouse was painted red, but most seem to have been white.
Mission Ridge School was one of the early schools in Mason County, West Virginia. It has since been moved to the West Virginia State Farm Museum complex near Point Pleasant. Examination of the materials in this building indicates that boards and timbers were hand-sawed and also hand-planed. Square nails were used throughout the building. Except for the roof and a few boards in the floor, all of the material in this building is original. The blackboard is painted black. It was not until much later that slate was used for chalkboards, although students often had individual slates for writing practice.
Teachers in one-room schools were often former students themselves. Their role is well-described by a student from Kentucky in the 1940s:
The teachers that taught in the one room, rural schools were very special people. During the winter months they would get to the school early to get a fire started in the potbelly stove, so the building would be warm for the students. On many occasions they would prepare a hot, noon meal on top of the stove, usually consisting of soup or stew of some kind. They took care of their students like a new mother hen would care for her newly hatched chicks; always looking out for their health and welfare.
A typical school day was 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with morning and afternoon recesses of 15 minutes each and an hour period for lunch. "The older students were given the responsibility of bringing in water, carrying in coal or wood for the stove. The younger students would be given responsibilities according to their size and gender such as cleaning the black board (chalkboard), taking the erasers outside for dusting plus other duties that they were capable of doing."
Transportation for children who lived too far to walk was often provided by horse-drawn kid hack or sulky, which could only travel a limited distance in a reasonable amount of time each morning and evening, or students might ride a horse, these being put out to pasture in an adjoining paddock during the day. In more recent times, students rode bicycles.
The school house was the center and focus for thousands of rural communities, hamlets, and small towns. Often, town meetings and picnics were also held there.
The vast majority of one-room schools in the United States are no longer used as schools and have either been torn down or converted for other purposes. However, in some rural communities, including among the Amish, one-room or two-room schools are still used, primarily for elementary education, with students graduating to local or regional middle and high schools.
There are several historic one-room schoolhouses in the United States that were built in the shape of an octagon, instead of the more traditional rectangular style. Most are located in the northeastern part of the country and some have been restored and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. [ self-published source? ]
The following octagonal schoolhouses still stand:
The teacher's residence, or teacherage, was often attached to the school, or very close by, so that a male teacher's wife and family were an integral part of the management and support system for the school. Single, female teachers were more often billeted or boarded with a local family to provide for social norms requiring social supervision of single females.
Motorized school buses in the 1920s made longer distances possible, and one-room schools were soon consolidated in most portions of the United States into multiple classroom schools where classes could be held separately for various grade levels. Gradually, one-room school houses were replaced. Most one-room schools had been replaced by larger schools by World War II except in the most rural areas. However, they are still common in rural parts of Australia and Alaska.
In Calvert County, Maryland, Port Republic School Number 7 closed its doors in 1932 and sat unused for over 40 years. Then, in 1976 the Calvert Retired Teachers Association, looking for a Bicentennial Year project, decided to restore the one-room schoolhouse. On July 24, 1977, after months of hard work by teachers and community volunteers, the old school bell rang out once more, and the little one-room school house, filled with its memories and memorabilia, was ready for visitors.It is now one of the county's tourist attractions. A similar project was done in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, by retired Teachers and Community Volunteers. The restored schoolhouse is located in front of Queen Anne's County High School. In Iowa, over 125 small one-room school houses have been turned into local museums. The buildings in some places found new purpose as homes.
In Harrisburg, Nebraska, Flowerfield School serves as a living museum, and fourth-graders within the Nebraska panhandle spend a day at Flowerfield going through an average school day in 1888.The students have the opportunity to experience both log and sod versions of the house, writing with quill pens, and a trip to the nearby museum, where they learn about other aspects of life in 1888.
In Vandalia, Indiana, the Vandalia District # 2 one-room schoolhouse served Owen County’s Lafayette Township students in grades 1 – 8 from the time it was completed in 1868 until it closed in 1951. The building, restored by a group of volunteers in 1976, is presently maintained and preserved by the Vandalia Community Preservation Association.
The One Room School House Project of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, includes listings and information on some 880 schools throughout the state and nation. The information, pictures, and stories included in this site have been collected and sent to the project by researchers and historians from across America.
As of 2017, almost 400 one-rooms schools still operate in the United States,including schoolhouses in:
Prudence Island is the third-largest island in Narragansett Bay in the state of Rhode Island and part of the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It is located near the geographical center of the bay. It is defined by the United States Census Bureau as Block Group 3, Census Tract 401.03 of Newport County, Rhode Island. As of the 2000 census, the population was 88 people living on a land area of 14.43 km².
The Council Rock School District, also known as CRSD, is located in lower Bucks County, in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Districts administrative offices are located in one of the original school district buildings in the Borough of Newtown. The building, The Chancellor Center, dates back to 1871 and was remodeled in 2003. As of May 2015, the district's total enrollment was 11,157. It spends over US$ 12,000 per secondary student per year. According to the district's website, the final budget for the 2015–2016 school year allocated $220M to the district. The district operates two high schools, two middle schools, ten elementary schools, and an alternative High School.
Humble Independent School District is a school district located Texas|Humble]], Texas, USA. It serves the city of Humble, small portions of the city of Houston, and portions of unincorporated Harris County. As of fall 2016, the district serves over 41,000 students. And as of June 2016, Humble ISD is led by Dr. Elizabeth Cenalia-Fagen after Dr. Guy M. Sconzo's retirement. Humble ISD currently has five high schools and one magnet high school.
The Norfolk Board of Education (NBE) is a former school district in Norfolk County, Ontario, which merged into the Grand Erie District School Board.
Rosewood High School is a high school for grades 9-12, located in Rosewood near Goldsboro, North Carolina, USA.
Rural school districts in Washington are administrative districts that provide educational services in rural areas of Washington state.
Chana School is a Registered Historic Place in Ogle County, Illinois, in the county seat of Oregon, Illinois. One of six Oregon sites listed on the Register, the school is an oddly shaped, two-room schoolhouse which has been moved from its original location. Chana School joined the Register in 2005 as an education museum.
Avilla R-13 School District or Avilla R-XIII School District is a rural public elementary and middle school located in Avilla, Missouri, USA. For grades kindergarten through eight, it is the only school in the district. In the 2000 census, the district schooled 153 pupils and had 13 teachers on staff. Programs include basketball and agriculture, and the school boasts a low student to teacher ratio. Avilla is located at, in Jasper County ten miles east of Carthage, Missouri on MO Route 96 and four miles west of the Lawrence County line.
Octagonal Schoolhouse, Octagonal School or Octagon School, etc., may refer to:
The Schoolhouse is an exhibit building at Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. It was originally located in Vergennes, Vermont.
The Freshwater Elementary School District, has two schools located about 5 miles northeast of Eureka, California, in unincorporated Freshwater. The district oversees public education through grade 8, in a portion of west central Humboldt County, California. Generally the area served includes students who live, in addition to portions of Freshwater and Kneeland, in all of the unincorporated community of Indianola, and unincorporated neighborhoods between these and the northeast limit of the City of Eureka.
The Pioneer School stands in an isolated location in Park County, Wyoming, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Clark, in the Clark Fork Valley near the Montana border. The frame structure is an example of a country school built to serve students in rural areas prior to the introduction of school bus routes to more centrally located facilities. Built in 1914, it operated until 1967.
The Greenfield Park One Room Schoolhouse is located in the town of Wawarsing in Ulster County, New York, United States. This one-room schoolhouse was built in 1830 and was home to grades one through eight. It was operated by one teacher and one school trustee. Its former students restored it to its present condition after forming the "Greenfield Park Historical Association" in 1960.
Sodom Schoolhouse is a historic octagonal school in West Chillisquaque Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States reportedly built about 1812, 1835, or 1836 and used until 1915. It is located in a rural area on Pennsylvania Route 45 near several Scotch-Irish communities: the "small group of houses" formerly known as Sodom, which was about a mile east of the hamlet of Montandon, and about 3 miles east of a small town, Lewisburg.
In the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century, one room schools were commonplace throughout rural Kansas. In most rural schools, all of the students met in a single room. One room meant one teacher who taught basic reading, writing, and arithmetic to both boys and girls of all grades. When one-on-one instruction was necessary, the teacher would call a student forward to the recitation desk.
Delta Academy is a private school in Marks, Mississippi, United States. It serves K-12, with elementary school, junior high school, and high school.
Wrightstown Octagonal Schoolhouse, also known as Wrightstown Eight Square School and Penns Park Octagonal School, is a historic one-room school located at Wrightstown, Wrightstown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1802, and is a one-story, one room, stone schoolhouse building. It has a wood shingled pyramidal roof and small terra cotta chimney. It operated as a subscription school from its construction until 1850. It was then used as a farm outbuilding, and in the 1980s as an artist's studio. It was restored in 1996 by the Wrightstown Township Historical Commission.
An elementary school is the main point of delivery of primary education in the United States, for children between the ages of 6–11 and coming between pre-kindergarten and secondary education.
District No. 44 School is a historic one-room school in Taylor Township, Minnesota, United States. It was built in 1891 and used until 1954. The school building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011 for having local significance in the theme of education. It was nominated for being a well-preserved example of the one-room schoolhouses once common in rural Traverse County.
The Espanola Schoolhouse is a one-story; one-room rural school building that has survived from the Jim Crow racial segregation-era. It is the last standing one-room schoolhouse in Flagler County. It is located at 98 Knox Jones Avenue, Bunnell, Florida 32110.
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