Putnam Middle School
|Putnam Middle School|
|Birmingham City Schools|
|Location||1757 Montclair Road, (map)|
|Colors||blue and white|
William E. Putnam Middle Magnet School is a middle school in the Birmingham City Schools system located on a 9.5-acre campus at 1757 Montclair Road in the Eastwood neighborhood. The principal is John Plump.
The design for a new elementary school was commissioned in 1960 from Allen Bartlett of Greer, Holmquist & Chambers architects. It was named in honor of former Birmingham Board of Education research director William Putnam. The building, with 12 classrooms, an office and a cafeteria, was completed in 1961 by the Perusini Construction Co..
Putnam Elementary School was converted into a middle school in 1980. During the 1980s science teacher Leroy Washington inaugurated an "outdoor animal habitat" populated by wooden cut-outs created in Rachel Staggs art classes. The project was part of the "Zooconomy" curriculum promoted by the University of Alabama-based Council on Economic Education.
In the 1990s, Putnam science teacher Claire Datnow created a walking trail and outdoor classroom area in the wooded buffer south of the school's athletic fields. Jones Valley Teaching Farm created a school garden surrounding the school's tennis court. In 2018 JVTF staffer Kelly Baker contacted Alabama Audubon naturalist Ansel Payne about restoring the trail and outdoor classroom. The school worked with Audubon and Desert Island Supply Co. to bring wildlife studies into the curriculum and, with grant funding, improved the outdoor area, now called the "Audubon-Datnow Forest Preserve."
In March 2012 the school closed for a week due to possible widespread contamination from a mercury spill in a science laboratory.
Under a consolidation plan proposed by Superintendent Craig Witherspoon in early 2013, Putnam would close with some students transferring to Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School and others enrolled in a new program for 7th and 8th graders at Woodlawn High School.
In 2013, under the terms of the Alabama Accountability Act, Putnam Middle School was deemed a "failing school", permitting parents to claim tax credits to transfer students to another school. The school remained on the updated list released in 2016. It did not appear on the 2017 or 2018 lists, but fell back in 2019.
- Edward Eubank, 1961–1976
- Lillie Mae Hagler, 1976–1980
- David Newell, 1980–1997
- John Ippolito, 1997–2003
- Jeanine Bell, 2003–2004
- Michael Scott, 2004–
- Brenda Dial, –2016
- Sakema Porterfield, 2017
- Terrell Brown, 2018–2019
- John Plump, 2019–
- "Five schools to be built in local area" (August 23, 1960) The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- "Schools Adding Near $3 Million In New Facilities" (January 21, 1961) Birmingham Post-Herald - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- Kindred, Ingrid (February 19, 1989) "Zoo-plus-economics blend into class" The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- Chandler, Kim (June 18, 2013) "Alabama Accountability Act: 78 schools listed as failing/ Current private school students not eligible for tax credits." The Birmingham News
- Phillips, Ryan (February 11, 2016) "Birmingham City Schools see staggering number of failing schools." Birmingham Business Journal
- Webb-Henn, Katherine (March 26, 2019) "At This Alabama Middle School, the Birds Belong to Everyone" Audubon.org