The Return of the One-Room School House at Clarke University
Clarke University employees with school-aged children in grades K-8 attending schools primarily within the Dubuque Community School District (DCSD) can bring their students to Clarke on days of virtual learning. These children are working with Clarke faculty members and education majors, in a safe space, while doing both their schoolwork and other activities planned by our students.
Before the school year began, Clarke realized that employees would have challenges with the hybrid learning model put in place by the Dubuque Community School District and other local/regional school districts. The Clarke Education Department jumped into action and came up with a way to offer assistance to Clarke employees, while creating a great learning experience for their current students majoring in education.
Seventeen education majors are working with K-8 students throughout each week. The Clarke students (pre-service teachers) have been separated to stay with the district-identified A group and B group consistently to avoid unnecessary exposure to new groups of people. Six education faculty members are overseeing and assisting the pre-service teachers in this 21st century COVID-19 prompted one-room schoolhouse experience.
There are a mixture of large group, small group, and one-on-one instruction based on each student’s needs. For small group instruction, students are grouped by age to ensure developmentally appropriate activities. The daily schedules include the students’ required DCSD work, community builders, free reading, snack, and additional academic enrichment activities. More than anything we want to provide a safe, fun, and supportive environment for the children that attend.
This is just one way we continue to work toward our mission and our core value of education. Not only are we educating our employees’ students, but our students in the education program get to experience a situation unlike any they’ve seen, and as a university, we are learning new ways to help the greater Dubuque community.