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Students present their views: Modern school or schoolhouse?


The Milford Borough Historical Society in Hunterdon County, N.J., held an essay contest for students in local schools. Top winning students won $50 and $25 Amazon gift certificates.
The students were asked to discuss whether they would prefer a One Room Schoolhouse or a Modern School.
Fourth grade winners were First - Ronin Segarra, Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School; Second - Robert Rapolla, Edith Ort School; Honorable Mention - Nico Nassi, Alexandria Township Elementary School, and Leah Caban, Milford Public School.
Fifth grade winners were First - Miles Ahrens, Edith Ort School; Second - Agnes Hughes, Milford Public School; Honorable Mention - Amelia Rodriguez, Edith Ort School; and Isaiah Rasdall, Milford School.

Definitely, I would choose a Modern School

Miles Ahrens, Fifth Grade
Essay First Place Award; Milford Borough, N.J.; Historical Society

I say if I had to choose between a modern school or a one room schoolhouse, I would definitely choose a modern school. I would choose a modern school because it has specials, has lots of room, better air quality and provides better learning!
First of all, I bet a one room school doesn’t even have a gym or an auditorium or any fun special rooms. And without any fun activities what are you going to do all day – just learn? I think kids need a break sometimes. I mean I bet they have recess, but without all those specials that would be one long, disappointing, boring day of school.
Equally as important, what are you going to do if you are literally crammed in one room? You can probably only have a maximum of around 40 people tops. And also who would want to be around less than a foot away from someone else in a medium sized room with stuffy air all day? Especially with COVID-19 around, you will be in there 5 days a week, 7 hours a day with maybe one fan.
Another thing is, a modern school will have nicer things than a one room schoolhouse. A modern school will have air conditioning and heating. It also doesn’t have to fit K-8 in one room. In a modern school there is a different room for each class so I won’t be having to be in the same class as my 7-year-old sister! Last but not least it has smart boards and more than one chalkboard, so you can present things on a screen
Another thing is that when you go to a modern school you will get special things like an iPad for example. You get one for the whole year that you can email on and have Safari to play games. But at a one room schoolhouse you probably don’t get an iPad. Also, bathrooms! You probably have an outhouse at a one room schoolhouse. But at a modern school there are boys and girls bathrooms.
Finally, a modern school has a library! A library is important for young and old to read and let their imagination run wild. You can find lots of books at my school. Fiction, nonfiction and even anime stuff! But a one room schoolhouse probably has a little two row bookshelf tops. It is nice to have a library for many reasons. You can even have a section for younger kids, a section for comic books, a section for teen romance and even a section for older kid chapter books.

Learning in a modern school has many advantages for students. I think that kids would have a better experience learning and have more fun in a modern school than to be crammed in a room with lots of people. Those are the reasons I think kids should go to a modern school rather than go to a boring one room schoolhouse.
Miles Ahrens is in Grade 5, Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School, Frenchtown, N.J. His teacher is Cristina Doyle.

A Modern School gives access to new world of learning

Ronin Segarra, Fourth Grade
Essay First Place Award; Milford Borough, N.J.; Historical Society

I prefer modern schools. One reason is because better technology gives us access to a whole new world of education and learning. Without technology, learning wouldn’t be so easy for us. If we are in a one room school house we won’t have calculators or Google meets for when we can’t go to school.
Security is safer as well because our school won’t have a lot of people breaking in and stealing things. Security is a lot more focused now. Students feel more secure or safe in school or at recess or just playing in general. The internet gives us resources to use in school and at home. For example, say you’re doing history and you’re learning about George Washington and you don’t know about him so you look it up. Or say I wanted to look up my test grades. There’s even better lunches in school now (no offense) now we can have pizza, Mac ‘n cheese and tacos. My mom gives me lunch money to buy a dessert.
Playgrounds are safer too. We used to have wooden playgrounds. Now playgrounds are way better. The new playgrounds have less chances of getting hurt. Now playgrounds are plastic and rubber unlike wooden playgrounds. Wooden playgrounds can give you splinters. We can now have multiple teachers rather than just one. It’s good because these teachers that we have now we would never see.
And back then kids would go to the same classroom from kindergarten to high school. Because who would like going to the same classroom, the same desks and the same teacher forever.
And did you know that kids back then had a meat sandwich that was cold and had a slice of head cheese? Just imagine having a cold meat sandwich compared to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
There wasn’t any STEM club back then. STEM club is a great opportunity to learn more about science, technology, math and engineering. Now there are school buses that pick people up and bring them to school if they are far away. And they can take you to sports games or practices. Also the class can take the school bus on field trips. This is why I prefer modern school.
Ronin Segarra is in Grade 4 at Edith Ort Thomas Elementary School, Frenchtown, N.J. His teacher is Peter Moran.