Historic Oxford Schoolhouse

The Oxford School is one of the oldest schools in the state of Kansas, serving as a schoolhouse from 1877 – 1955. Until 1920, the school was the only one in Oxford Township, providing education for 1st – 8th graders. After 1920, it was converted into an elementary school, and used until its student body became too large during the 1950s. The school weathered enormous change, lasting from Reconstruction into the very different world of the 1950’s. Until as late as 2010, some former students at the Oxford School remained in the Leawood Community.

Oxford School hosted students aged 5 – 20, as it often took several years to complete a grade. At the schoolhouse, visitors can see the age ranges in the changing desk sizes, from small desks for the littlest children to large desks for the young adults. The schoolhouse also keeps 19th century educational texts, such as the McGuffey Reader, and artifacts recovered from the original schoolhouse site, in addition to class photographs from as early as 1894. During visiting hours, a docent is available to answer any questions that you might have about the community, the schoolhouse, and the history of education.

The school was moved from its original location at 135th and Mission Road in March 2003 to its present location in Ironwoods Park. Great care was taken to restore the building to its original beauty with historic accuracy. The Kansas Preservation Alliance selected the Leawood Historic Commission as the recipient of a 2005 Award for Excellence for Preservation Advocacy for their role in preserving the Oxford Schoolhouse.

The Historic Oxford Schoolhouse is conveniently located in nearby south Leawood, next to the Prairie Oak Nature Center inside Ironwoods Park at 147th and Mission Road, Leawood, KS 66224. For more information or to schedule your visit to the Historic Oxford Schoolhouse contact the Cultural Art Supervisor at (913) 663-9157 weekdays 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Please note there is no phone at the schoolhouse. All Historic Oxford Schoolhouse programs and events are coordinated through the Leawood Parks and Recreation Department and the Leawood Historic Commission.

Join the Docent Program

All programs and special events are conducted by costumed docents.

Men and women can become actively involved by joining the volunteer Oxford School Docent Program. If you have an interest in one-room schoolhouse history, greeting weekend guests, presenting historic programs and crafts to youth groups, or speaking with adult groups about the Oxford School then this is the volunteer position for you.

Educational Classroom Fieldtrips

The Historic Oxford Schoolhouse offers elementary students the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a rural student from the turn of the century in this fully-restored, one-room schoolhouse built in 1887. Classes are divided into groups so that they can better understand the one-room school experience of multiple grades learning within one schoolroom.

Each day begins with a brief discussion on the era before we ring the school bell and step back in time to the year 1909. A costumed teacher will lead the students in:

  • Lessons in arithmetic, history and spelling at antique desks by writing on slates.
  • Reading from McGuffey’s Readers.
  • A recess where students will learn historic games and activities (indoor or outdoor games will be played depending on weather).
  • A lunch break, but students are expected to bring their own lunches.
  • An afternoon spelling bee.
  • At the end of the day, we return to the present and discuss the students’ experiences or any questions they have about children’s lives in this area of Kansas over 100 years ago.

The curriculum follows a typical day in the life of a country schoolhouse from this era, but lessons can be tailored to meet your classroom’s educational goals.

Fieldtrips typically last 4 hours for 2nd or 3rd grade classes and 4 1/2 hours for 4th through 6th grade classes.

  • Programs typically begin at 9:30 am, but times can be flexible to accommodate your school’s schedule.
  • There are antique desks for up to 30 students.
  • Space for 4 adult chaperones.
  • We can accommodate multiple classes for a school’s grade level on consecutive day programs.
  • Each student also receives a personalized diploma to remember their day at the Historic Oxford Schoolhouse.
  • The cost for the program is only $4.50 per student; chaperones are free.

While the schoolhouse was originally heated by a coal-burning stove, during the restoration heating, air conditioning, and electricity were installed to ensure comfort and safety in any weather.

Prior to each visit, the teacher receives a preparation packet with:

  • A schedule and sample curriculum.
  • A list of optional activities to prepare students for their field trip
  • Information on how students dressed in the early 1900s and what they brought for lunch are also included if your class would like to further authenticate their experience.

A field trip to the Oxford Schoolhouse will bring history to life for you and your students!

Oxford School Field Trip Request Form

Youth Programs

Programs specifically designed for kids at the Historic Oxford One-room Schoolhouse are a great after-school, weekend or summer activity for your group. They can learn what it was like to attend a one-room school house and grow up on a farm over a century ago.

Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, church groups and any child with an interest in history will be fascinated to hear about local rural life in a bygone era.

Schedule a fun and educational program year-round.

  • Programs last 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • During the restoration of the school, heating and air-conditioning were added so your group will be comfortable any time of the year.
  • Electric lights allow us to present evening programs.
  • The school can seat a maximum of 30 children in antique school desks.
  • Learning objectives can be tailored to meet your group’s specific needs and tailored to your group’s age level.
  • Youth programs are offered at a low fee of only $3 per child.

A costumed teacher will lead the children in an interactive program that can include:

  • Hands-on experience sitting in old fashioned desks, writing on slates.
  • Discussions on life a century ago.
  • Using historic material and McGuffey’s readers.
  • Playing period-specific games.
  • Making a historic craft

Specifically designed Scout programs may meet badge requirements

Adult Programs

Programs specifically designed for senior adults at the Historic Oxford One-room Schoolhouse have been very successful. Your group will be delighted to see the school and hear about its restoration process. They can learn about life in a rural one-room school district around the turn of the century or share their educational memories, or reminisce about the “good old days”.

Schedule a fun and educational program year-round.

  • During the restoration of the school, heating and air-conditioning were added so your group will be comfortable any time of the year.
  • Electric lights allow us to present evening programs.
  • Presentations can be tailored to your group’s interests on topics such as restoration, antiques, women’s’ studies and education history.
  • The school can comfortably seat a maximum of 24 adults in antique school desks.
  • A costumed docent will conduct your program.
  • Adult programs are offered at a low fee of only $2 per person.

Passport to Adventure

The Historic One-Room Oxford Schoolhouse and the Prairie Oak Nature Center in Ironwoods Park are pleased to participate in the Interpretive Site Coalition’s Passport to Adventure again this year.

Now in its 28th year, Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure is a great way for area residents to experience nature, science and history in their own backyard. The annual event is held to encourage the public to visit area nature centers, museums, historic sites, gardens and parks all year round and during the Passport period, which runs April through October.

The Interpretive Site Coalition of Kansas City will officially begin its 2020 Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure with a Kickoff Event on Saturday, March 28th at Independence Center, Independence, MO.  Both the Kickoff Event and Passport program participation are free of charge.

Everyone who obtains stamps from half of the participating sites will be eligible to win a grand prize by at the end of the program. Completed booklets may be turned in at any participating site.

Open House Hours

The Historic Oxford Schoolhouse is open to the public free of charge during open house hours.

Visit the school and talk with a costumed docent about the history of the Oxford School and the surrounding rural area.

Spring Open House Schedule

  • Saturdays in March, April and May
  • Saturday – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Sunday – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Summer Open House Schedule

  • Tuesday through Sunday in June, July and August
  • Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Sunday – 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Fall Open House Schedule

  • Saturdays in September, October and November
  • Saturday – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Winter Schedule
The schoolhouse is open by appointment only by contacting the Cultural Arts Supervisor weekdays at 913-663-9157.

Open house hours subject to docent availability.