These are general comments on the Amish school system. How schools operate may vary slightly depending on the state or sect.
|Cooperation, not competition is the main spirit of plain schools
|The school years usually starts around September 1 and ends May 1. There is school on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. so they are done quicker to help on the farm.
|The school day usually runs from 9 AM to 3 PM
|Students are called scholars
|Scholars and the teacher either walk or take a horse & buggy to school
|Scholars begin school at age 6 and attend through the 8th grade at around age 14
|All scholars bring their own lunch
|Grades 1 through 8 are in the same room
|Scholars usually do not receive homework because of the chores they have to do at home
|Older scholars help younger scholars learn
|Basic subjects are stressed: reading, writing, spelling, english, arithmetric - the old fashion method. Other subjects taught are geography, history, penmanship, health, german writing/reading, and singing.
|Each school has between 25 to 35 scholars
|Scholars and the teacher keep the school clean
|Amish men take care of the heavy upkeep of the school
|Amish schools accept no local or government funds to support their schools even though the Amish pay the same taxes as the English. The community supports the school
|Teachers are usually unmarried and only a couple years older than her/his 8th grade pupils. They usually have no education beyond the 8th grade
|Teachers salary varies but is usually around $25 a day
|Parents visit the school unannounced
|The Amish all male school board meets once a month and has 3 to 5 members
|Drinking water is hand pumped
|Lanterns provide light except for the Old Order Mennonites which use electricity
|Outhouses serve as toilets
|Supplies, such as blackboards, needed for the school are purchased from schools that are being torn down
|Religion is not taught in the school but a Christian example is expected
|In 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Amish right to religious liberty in the school
|The price of a one room school in the late 1980's was approximately $18,000 plus lots of donated labor. The price covered building, outhouses, shelves, and blackboards. Usual size is 34' x 30' or a total of 1,000 sq. feet. Land is usually donated by an Amish owner.
|In 1989 in Lancaster County, there were 4,650 scholars in 156 schools. 103 of those schools were Old Order Amish. 53 schools were Old Order Mennonite.
|Late 1980's costs in Lancaster
County of Amish versus public schools. Annual per pupil cost of instruction:
Amish $200 Public $3,445
Sq ft construction of new school: Amish $18 Public $95
|Train a child in the way he
should go, and
when he is old he will not turn from it.
Scholars have visited this site since Dec 1999