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On six remote, windblown Maine islands, children are still educated in one-room schools. Island families are determined to keep their communities viable, and all agree that a school is a central part of a stable, year-round community. You might think that these tiny schools are an anachronism, offering an old-fashioned approach to education. You'd be wrong. They are among the most technologically savvy schools in the state and offer a culturally rich educational experience. Eva Murray moved to Matinicus in 1987 ...
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On six remote, windblown Maine islands, children are still educated in one-room schools. Island families are determined to keep their communities viable, and all agree that a school is a central part of a stable, year-round community. You might think that these tiny schools are an anachronism, offering an old-fashioned approach to education. You'd be wrong. They are among the most technologically savvy schools in the state and offer a culturally rich educational experience. Eva Murray moved to Matinicus in 1987 to teach in the one-room school, married and raised a family on the island, and has served on the school hoard and volunteered in the school. Traveling from island to island, she has collected the stories that tell how these small communities promise their handful of children a modern education within the context of a specialized and sometimes extreme offshore lifestyle. The hows and whys will fascinate educators, and the details of island life will interest everyone.
Living and Learning on an Island
Going to School on Little Cranberry Isle 1
On an island, we rely on each other.
The Numbers on One-Room Schools 9
You can't Google this.
It's Not About the Architecture 11
A one-room schoolhouse?
Home of the pirates!
Criehaven, Matinicus's Neighbor 19
A cautionary tale.
Island Logistics 22
You can't get there from here.
Getting the Job Done 28
Our teachers had better understand the business end of a wrench.
A Bit of the History
A Day in School on Matinicus 33
Skiing to school.
Memories of Years Ago 39
The teacher ate moose meat all winter and never knew it.
Early Schools on Matinicus 44
Constructed of lumber salvaged from a shipwreck.
School in the Fifties and Sixties 50
One of the earliest telephone calls to Matinicus.
Picket Lines and Flush Toilets 55
The great one-room-school teacher's strike of 1968.
Fundraising for Equipment 59
We never, ever wanted to see another soup label!
Figuring It Out for a Year, Twenty-Five Years Ago 65
He had spelling words like "Czechoslovakia."
So, How Do You Teach All Those Grades at Once?
Going to School on Frenchboro 79
This job rocks!
Differentiation, Standards-Based Education, and Some Observations 90
How can anybody teach all those different ages at once?
Exchange Trips and the Inter-Island Event 105
Collaboration-what you lose in control, you gain in momentum.
The Island Teacher's Conference, the Critical Friends Group, and the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative 111
Your practice and my practice.
Mission and Institute 124
Place-Based Education 135
Squid lab and exquisite cider.
This is the Real World
Visiting the Monhegan School 144
It's 20 degrees below zero and you want organic spinach?
School Is in Session 149
We are not Old Sturbridge Village!
Myths and Misconceptions 152
Do you even have electricity?
Thoughts on a Childhood Without Soccer 157
It's a heck of a place to raise a kid!
Budgeting for a One-Room School 162
Who pays for all this? Teaching on an Island Is Not for the Faint of Heart 169
Circular, moral, and impotent.
How Did You Get Here?
A Visit to the Isle au Haut School 173
A hundred years and counting.
Isle au Haut Invites People to Move to the Island 177
We need families.
The Twenty-Four-Hour Interview 179
The first thing we do is try to scare the applicant away.
Matinicus Was Closer 186
I thought I was headed for Alaska.
Doug and Michelle Finn, Frenchboro 191
This is not the Peace Corps.
Mimi Rainford, Swan's Island 193
I really wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
Josh and Heidi Holloway, Cliff Island 195
Fish and coconuts.
David Duncan, Matinicus 198
I was afraid my wife would think I was crazy.
Tom Gjelten, North Haven 199
That's not really a small town.
Jessie Campbell, Monhegan 201
Wow, I have to do this!
Rachel Bishop, Frenchboro 202
It must be so nice to only have five or six students!
After Being an Island Teacher 203
Where do we go from here?
Term Limits, Secession, and Consolidation
Monhegan Goes to the Legislature 205
Small schools at risk.
Teacher Term Limits and a Visit to Long Island 208
It takes more than a year just to find all the light switches.
Secession Keeps the School Open for Early Grades 214
Chebeague Island offers good home cooking-at school!
Protecting the Brick School at Peaks Island 218
A neighborhood of Portland?
Twelve-Year-Old Commuters and High School "Away"
Going to School by Boat 223
Cliff Island kids know the ferrymen by name.
The High School Options 229
Every man for himself.
Island High-Schoolers Correspond with Their Slightly Younger Neighbors 237
You guys should hold a big dance, and practice!
From Matinicus to Phillips Exeter 238
Quite a little hooligan.
A Big Change at Home, Too 243
It was sad when her room was empty.
Two Gould Academy Graduates Reminisce 246
Ski Patrol changed my life!
Pilots, Ranchers, Miners, and Loggers
Cold Bay, Alaska 253
We also have to contend with brown bears.
Maybell, Colorado 255
A three-day weekend to recuperate.
Decker, Montana 258
The school is on a dirt road, nestled in the foothills.
Bismarck, North Dakota 261
We have students who ride their mules or horses to school.
Mandan, North Dakota 261
There are fewer and fewer of us.
The Last Two Inland One-Room Schools in Maine Close 263
Watch for moose!
Who Does Best in a One-Room School? 275
Not being all things to all people.
Critical Mass 278
How few students are too few?
Everybody is doing a story on the one-room schools. 286
Selected Resources 290