Hutterite Colony Schools

PLSD’s Hutterite Schools

There are nine Hutterite colony schools teaching approximately 223 students in Prairie Land. These colonies are spread across the division and generally are staffed by one teacher and at least one aide.

Hutterites are similar to Amish in that they were formed by religious beliefs and made their way to our country because of religious freedoms. A colony could have between 50 and 100 people living on it and they are almost totally self-sustaining. Their first language is German, so all of the students are English Second Language learners. Before and after school they have German school and the German school teacher is your support and liaison to the rest of the colony.

All students of all grade levels are in one classroom and taught at the same time, so organization is a key to success. Depending on the year, a single class could host K-9, or it could be fewer grades. All Hutterite students finish their schooling when they turn 15 at which point they head into the world of adults and begin learning their place in the colony life.

Teaching life on the colonies is unique and exciting in its own way. Teachers commute to the colony each day and can expect to have classes ranging from small (9ish) to large (20ish). Teachers at Hutterite colonies are closely knit and help each other in any way they can. Each colony is different in the way that it views technology. Some have a very limited to no use of technology while others are more tolerant and allow a certain amount of technology in the classroom. Every colony has an educational assistant to help students. One principal is in charge of all the colonies and is constantly circulating and available for support and guidance.

There are benefits to working on a colony. The children are all very close and watch out for each other. They know the importance of education and help each other in the classroom. Discipline, if it becomes an issue, is a community concern and generally a word or two with the German teacher – when all else has failed – will solve your problems. You will be the recipient of various foodstuffs from cinnamon buns to the odd chicken as the colonies are very sharing and caring community.