Icarians were strong advocates of education, and all children were required to attend formal classes through their 16th birthday. At the Icaria Colony the first school was held in the refectory. They built their first school across the road from Colony's dining hall. Unfortunately, it burned down. Adams County had a school that had been built in the southeast corner of the county in 1860 but had not been used. They gave it to Icaria and it was moved to the Colony to the site where the other one had stood. After the split in of the Colony into two colonies in 1878, the judge ruled the school would be moved to a point half-way between the two sites. At times, the friction that existed between the adults of the two colonies frequently erupted into disagreements at the school where children from both colonies were in attendance. After the New Icaria Colony closed in 1898, the school was taken into the Adams County Rural School System and it became known as Prescott No. 8. Classes first through the eighth grade were held in the school until the rural one-room schools were closed in Adams County in 1948. The Adams County Centurama Historical Society, organized in 1957, selected as their first project the Icaria School to move to Corning for preservation as a museum.
The schoolhouse was allegedly moved one more time in 1920 during a severe tornado. The building was reportedly lifted off its foundation, turned 180 degrees and set back down on the same foundation. Therefore, the children entered the school from the south one morning, but when they arrived the next day, the door to the school was on the north side of the building.
One of the first teachers in this building was Hortence Montaldo. She was only 16 years old when she arrived in Icaria with her father, her mother, and little brother George. She had just finished high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was well prepared to teach by the most modern methods.
The school day for the children of Icaria started with physical exercises, next singing, then recitations. The quality of their music was so good that the children were frequently requested for special occasions both in the colony and outside the colony.
The curriculum taught was entirely Icarian until the famous McGuffey Eclectic Reader was introduced. The McGuffey series included chemistry, natural philosophy, physiology, hygiene and spelling. It also contributed to the spirit of nationalism. Many of the original members of the colony received degrees at the university level and often assisted in presenting information on specialized subjects. Most of the early teaching was in French, but German and English were taught as well. Adams County has benefited greatly from the education and the experience that the Icarians brought to this area.
In the late 1860's or early 1870's, the first electric telephone in Iowa connected the Icaria schoolhouse to the refectory. At that time, the school was just across the road from the dining hall on the original site.
The artifacts in the school were common to one-room schools during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Many of the desks were constructed the Icarians from native timber harvested along the Nodaway River. Other memorabilia in the museum include a potbellied stove, a recitation bench, a functional pump organ, a lunch box display, and many of the original school records and report cards. In the original school was a large atlas as well as slates for geography lessons. The slates were engraved with lines of a sphere and the degrees of longitude and latitude on one side and lines forming squares for drawing maps on the other side.
Today the school has moved again for the final time to be an important part of the French Icarian Village and the interpretation of the Icaria children's daily lives.