The scenes below come from the Adams County, Indiana Amish settlement, from the recent building of a new school.
You’ll see two structures in the photos below. The school is actually the foundation you see in the bottom two photos. The wooden structure the men are working on is a barn for the school.
The slab on the right hand side of the bottom photo is for basketball.
When it comes to Amish schooling, the popular picture is of the one-room schoolhouse. Some Amish schools actually have two rooms, with grades 1-4 in one and 5-8 in the other.
In rare occasions Amish schools can be even larger than that, as in the unusual case of schools in nearby Allen County, Indiana. Those extra-large schools have multiple classrooms, public busing, and even a principal (see Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities).
Most are built small enough to accomodate the children from the immediate area. As Amish communities grow, new schools must sprout to keep up with the need.
Typically, you’ll have around one school per church district, maybe a bit less (though the school’s attendance isn’t church-district based).
A factor affecting the number of Amish schools in an area is the number of children attending local public schools, which can be high in some places.
Local men build these schools–commonly the fathers and relatives of the children who will attend.
The photographer says one of the workers was using a hand drill to install metal siding, suggesting that power tools are not permitted here.
Since Amish don’t build church houses, the schoolhouse is one of the few collective landmarks of the community.
Besides constructing the building, Amish parents also maintain the school.
It takes longer than a day, but it will be ready in time.
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