Perkins Local School District, located in Sandusky, Ohio, serves approximately 2400 students in preschool through grade 12. Our mission statement, “Perkins Schools...Igniting Minds for the 21st Century,” sets the tone to prepare our students to compete in a global society that requires more advanced levels of Communication, Collaboration, Critical thinking and Creative problem solving. To prepare our students we believe it is essential to change “age-old” traditional teacher-led education to provide more opportunities for students to actively engage in their own learning. This requires a dramatic change in how we educate, and our core beliefs guide this process. We believe students come first; with focus, research and reflection, innovation and excellence occur in a school culture; developing strong partnerships is based on trust and honest communication; and students need to be challenged with high expectations as life-long learners. In accordance with our 21 st Century focus and core beliefs, Perkins is a One-to- One Laptop district, recognized nationally by Apple, Inc. as one of a select few districts named an Apple Promising District.
The Perkins Local School District is located in Perkins Township but contain parts of five contingent townships. Originally a rural school district, most of the district’s approximately 2400 students live today in a suburban setting. The district has four buildings: Furry Elementary, PK-2; Meadowlawn Intermediate Elementary, 3-5; Briar Middle School, 6-8; and Perkins High School, 9-12. Since open enrollment was initiated four years ago, Perkins has gone from zero to close to 500 students open enrolled this past school year. The district offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of all of its students.
Furry Elementary School
Along with the core curriculum outlined by the state of Ohio, Furry Elementary School offers many opportunities for our children to start their education as a Perkins Pirate. Furry is in its third year of housing a half-day preschool program, Little Treasures. Furry also has a half-day Pre-Kindergarten program, Little Pirates, for our younger kindergarten students who may not be ready for full-day kindergarten. Furry Elementary School offers various opportunities for our children to learn and grow as our entire staff works together to create an environment where each child learns to be successful.
Various curriculums are in place to support the high expectations we have for our students. All of our teachers use Fundations in their classroom to support phonological/phonemic awareness and spelling, which in turn, will help us become fluent readers. Our Title I program services those who struggle with reading by using Fundations and/or Wilson Reading. Our district adopted Go Math, a very aggressive math program that pushes our students to learn various strategies to master math skills.
Our children have access to various technologies throughout the day. Each of our teachers have Smart Boards in their classrooms that allow our children to interact with the learning taking place. Most of our classrooms have iPads and/or iPod Touches, as well as access to MacBook Airs and a Mac Lab that can be used in one way or another during the school day. Through the use of technology we are able to utilize various apps and programs to help us learn the required skills in multiple formats. The staff at Furry Elementary are very aware that they are the foundation for life-long learning and they strive make that learning fun and focused while taking each child’s abilities and interests into account.
Meadowlawn Intermediate School
Meadowlawn Intermediate offers a Multi-Age Program that loops grades 2 and 3 and 4 and 5. The students stay with the same teacher for two years and set their own goals for each year with their teacher and parents. About half of the school utilizes this type of schedule. Meadowlawn is a Title 1 Reading school and offers System 44 and Read 180 for special needs students. The school offers sessions of Mandarin Chinese Language as part of its “Specials” rotations, which also includes Art, Computer Technology, Music, and Phys Ed. In 2014 Meadowlawn became a 1 to 1 school, with every student in the building having a portable MacBook Air laptop to help build and develop 21st century skills.
Briar Middle School and Perkins High School
Briar Middle School and Perkins High School are both 1 to 1 Apple Laptop Schools. Both schools started with MacBook Laptops in 2010, and in March of 2012 the district switched all their computers for students to MacBook Air Laptops. All students in grades 6-12 can take their computers home with them each night. The computers are collected at the end of the school year for updates and maintenance. In 2012 Perkins Local School District was named ’An Apple Distinguished School District’, one of two in all of Ohio.
Both Briar and PHS are STEM Schools and are partners in the OSLN (Ohio STEM Learning Network) for the past four years. Briar has followed the middle school teaming concept for the past three years. Each grade level team cooperatively puts together a STEM Project each semester with a business partner. Past examples include the Cleveland Indians, Cedar Point Amusement Park, and NASA’s Plum Brook facility in our school district. Briar offers Algebra 1 for high school credit, along with a gifted Reading class. Mandarin Chinese, French, and Spanish languages are offered, along with Health, PE, Band, Choir, General Music, Art, Personal Finance and Engineering. Read 180 and Transmath are used by the Intervention Specialists for special needs students.
This is the first year for the 9th Grade Level Team at Perkins High School. Their first STEM Project was on Energy Sustainability. Next year there will be 9th and 10th Grade Level Teams and starting in the 2013-2014 school year, the 11th and 12th grades will be split into their choice of three Academies – Arts, Humanities, and STEM. The high school currently has a range of courses: honors and college preparatory classes, AP Classes, AP testing opportunities, fine arts, business, technical, family and consumer science classes and general studies. Perkins High School offers 17 Honors Courses, 3 AP Courses, and 6 University of Findlay Dual Enrollment Classes. PHS students have the opportunity to take four foreign languages for credit, four years of French and Spanish, or two years each of Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. Some fast facts about PHS: about ten percent of the students attend EHOVE Career Center; eighty-seven percent of PHS students participate in extracurricular activities; the collective ACT Composite is 21.6; senior surveys indicate 66% plan to attend a four year College/University and 18 % plan on going to a two College or Tech Center after graduation.