PERDIDO — Perdido School is the northernmost school in the Baldwin County School System. The PreK-8 has 625 students enrolled, which is an increase from when Principal Phillip Stewart took the …
PERDIDO — Perdido School is the northernmost school in the Baldwin County School System. The PreK-8 has 625 students enrolled, which is an increase from when Principal Phillip Stewart took the helm nine years ago. At the time, there were 465 students enrolled, he said.
Perdido School has been opened for over 100 years. While new families have made their home in the area, Stewart said many current students come from families with a rich history in the area.
"Perdido is kind of like a hub for small communities," he said. "You have all these small communities, but they identify themselves at this one central location. This school has been here over 100 years, and generational, that's where these community members went to school. They take a lot of pride in that."
Read on to learn four things about Perdido School.
For a small school, Perdido boasts numerous accolades.
One of the more recent ones is the High Flyers award, which is based on ACAP scores.
And another testament to the community, Stewart said, is the school's MRA score.
"MRA measures community involvement," he said. "You send it out to parents, throughout the community, to the children. Our school climate received a 91% positive acclimation, staff 93%, support staff 94% and the overall efficiency of the community was 94% as well. So when you've got 94% of your population happy, trusting you to do the right thing, we feel really good about what we're doing and how we're doing it."
2) Growing middle school
In the middle school building, creative writing has been added to the curriculum. More than an extra subject for students, this allows for pre-advanced placement classes to dive deeper into the curriculum, Stewart said.
"We were able to add an extra unit this year so we now have six middle school teachers," he said. "Therefore, we can divide our eighth grade into a true Pre-AP class. They can get math, English Language Arts, and we have creative writing for the other group. We have about 60 eighth graders, so we can afford to put our top 20 students in that Pre-AP."
Also in the middle school building, Perdido School scored 71% proficiency in science, Stewart added. Through a We Build It Better Airbus grant of $33,000, the middle school added equipment to career tech classes.
3) The Clay Shoot
Upon arriving at Perdido School, Stewart recalls multiple fundraisers took place, all which drew the community in to support the school.
"One of the things when you sit and talk to the community is they don't mind giving money, which is not the problem, but they don't want to be hit so many times," Stewart said. "So, we created one big fundraiser with the Clay Shoot. The community knows that's the only time we're going to ask, and they give accordingly."
The event has become so popular, Stewart said they usually have to turn people away. Typically, 25 teams turn up to compete, while approximately 12 sponsors sign on.
4) High Five Awards
Every week, teachers watch for students who have excelled in three areas: following directions, doing their best on all of their work and being friends with their classmates. These students are in turn nominated for the High Five Award. They receive a high five from Stewart, a certificate and a voucher for free ice cream they can redeem on Friday afternoon.
"These kids work hard to achieve the award, and that's what we wanted to create," Stewart said. "Work hard, do what's right and you'll get rewarded."