Maquoketa Alternative Classroom

Basic Information

Address: 600 Washington Maquoketa, IA 52060
Phone Number: 563-652-5279
Fax Number: 563-652-5324
Director: Mrs. Debbra J. Carson, 38 years!!

Action Shots

Maquoketa Alternative Classroom
Maquoketa Alternative Classroom
Maquoketa Alternative Classroom
Maquoketa Alternative Classroom

* Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

Additional Information

Founded: 1973
School Setting:

One room school house approach. This program is the oldest, on-going program in the midwest. I founded the program with the schooll board's full backing. I have written grants throughout the years for the support of our teen parents, at-risk youth, JTPA and state STW and career pathways. Our diploma is the MCSD and we strive to maintain that alternative education is just a different pathway to meet the educational goals of our community.

School Schedule (Hours in Day): 8-3:45 PM
School Days in Calendar Year: 185

Maquoketa, IA 52060

School Size: 30-50 students
Classroom Size: 1-15
Student/Teacher Ratio: 1:6

All areas of the core curriculum are available. Staff serves on learning community closest to their current class load.


Curriculum is linked to high school curriculum along with credit recovery through PLATO and e2020

Percentage of Graduating Class: 12
Support Services:

All services available to the high school students are available to the alternative students.

Computer Capabilities:

We have a lab of 18 computers and individual laptops through the high school are available to each student.

School Holidays: The usual! But,no MLK day as of yet.
Notable Graduates:

Every graduate is notable--we have graduated over 500 young men and women over the years. For a small program, WOW! Most of graduates own their own homes and are happy, healthy, productive citizens.

Parking Spaces/Availability:

Plenty right by our building

Uniform Guidelines:

WHAT??!! Is this a serious question?!?!?

Residential: No
Counseling Services: Yes
Mission Statement:

Alternative education exists to ensure that each student has a pathway to meet the educational goals of the community.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Each teacher is a counselor each and every day. We believe that until the heart is full, the mind can't 'eat'.

School History:

MAC was the brainstorm of Dr. Leonard Roberts, his board of directors, and a committee of high school teachers. I was hired as a teacher and within a year I became the Director. Just by its' very natre, controversy has popped up every couple of years. For instance, a MAC student was seen out and about before the end of school. A patron called the principal who turned it over to me. This student is in the On-the-Job Training program and was delivering Shopper Stoppers when she was seen. I have worked hard to bring STW opportunities to all students and the high school now offeres OJT and Work Readiness to all hs students and I am the teacher. In 1993, MAC became the first program to offer an entrepreneurship, or ENT, called Opportunity Ceramics. We run the business!! Very successful.

There exists a plethora of stories and important event simply because of our longevity. We have had 300 babies born over the years. We have lost students to accidents, suicide and most recently to war. I have seen kids whose parents disowned them, become successfuly moms, dads, lawyers, teachers, nurses, a doctor, pharmacist, and more. They are like the Phoenix, rising above and going beyond any negativity that the grew up with!

Program and Services:

Academic Diploma, STW OJT, ENT experience

Notes/School Information:

MAC has been held as the gold standard for small alternative programs throughout the midwest.  The Director is a founding father of the Iowa Association of Alternative Educators and served as President and Board member.  The staff regularly attends conferences and takes part in staff development keeping abreast of current state standards and core curriculum requirements. 

Most important, each student, upon graduation, has the privilege of signing a banner that bears signatures from 1973.  The senior grads. have a formal picture done and placed on a placque that is proudly displayed in our entryway. 

MAC means alot of things to alot of people, but the one common definition is 'family':  a unit of people bound together for their common good.

Feel free to call anytime--or just stop by:  we are what we are!