Bloomingdale Elementary School

1300 Orchard St, Fort Wayne, IN 46808 | (260) 467-6700
  • Grades: PK-5
  • Student Enrollment: 317
Not Available

5 out of 5 | 1 Review
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School Description

School Summary and Highlights
Additional Contact Information
  • Principal or Admin: Schaefer Rebecca
  • Fax: (260) 425-7167
School Operational Details
  • Title I Eligible
    All students of this school are eligible for participation in authorized programs.
School District Details

Faculty Details and Student Enrollment

Students and Faculty
  • Total Students Enrolled: 317
  • Total Full Time "Equivalent" Teachers: 18.9
  • Average Student-To-Teacher Ratio: 16.8
Students Gender Breakdown
  • Males: 153 (48.3%)
  • Females: 126 (39.7%)
Free Lunch Student Eligibility Breakdown
  • Eligible for Reduced Lunch: 13 (4.1%)
  • Eligible for Free Lunch: 268 (84.5%)
  • Eligible for Either Reduced or Free Lunch: 281 (88.6%)
Student Enrollment Distribution by Race / Ethnicity
Bloomingdale Elementary School Student Race Distribution
  Number Percent
American Indian20.6%
Number of Students Per Grade
Number of Students Per Grade For Bloomingdale Elementary School
  Number Percent
1st Grade5015.8%
2nd Grade4213.2%
3rd Grade4413.9%
4th Grade5417.0%
5th Grade3410.7%
Source: IN Department of Education, Source: NCES 2009-2010

School Ratings and Reviews

Overall Rating: 5

5 out of 5 | 1 Review
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1 review for Bloomingdale Elementary School

  • Reviewed by Former Student on January 27, 2009
  • Rating: 5 (5 / 5) Flag as inappropriate
  • I lived at 423 West 4th St. from 1948 to 1956 and went to Bloomingdale Elementary, starting in 1948 (through the alley, over to 3rd, down the block and across the street, as I recall) and Franklin Jr. High from 1954-1956. They have since tore down the old Bloomingdale school and built a more modern building there and Franklin is now gone. Then I moved to Michigan in 1956. My dad worked for the Wayne Pump Company for 18 years and when they moved out of state, he worked for Dana Corporation. My brother was 3 years younger but we got along like brothers do. I remember Precious Blood church and school were at the end of our street. I had a lot of friends who went there. I re-visited the old neighborhood a few years ago and walked down “memory lane(s).” There were a bunch of people with green and orange hair living in my old house with motorcycles parked out front. I remember Murphy's IGA and Rooney's Market, across the street from each other, on Wells. And, of course, the old Wells Theatre. I saw a lot of movies there for a quarter. Used to play ball and swim at the pool in Lawton Park. I walked all the way down and around Precious hasn't changed much in the nearly 50 years I've been gone. Still has the twin spires and the old red bricks.

    The spelling on these names may not be totally accurate, but when you’re a kid, you don’t pay much attention to spelling people’s last names. I’ll try to list the ones I remember. The Havilland family lived 2 doors east of us. I used to play with Danny Roddenbach. His folks owned the "Tot Shop" for kids on Wells St., between the theatre and the fire station, and lived above the store. Being a "rich" kid, he always had more toys and we hung out there a lot. There was a drug store, with a full soda fountain and candy counter on Wells, I think. We used to stop there on the way to and from Bloomingdale and fill our pockets with all the candy we could buy for a nickel, which was a lot, in those days. My music teacher at Bloomingdale and at Franklin Jr. High was Mrs. Boston. She also led the band at Franklin. I remember some of my teachers at Bloomingdale...Mrs. Aiken, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Roebke, Mr. Lighter and Mr. Hall. Mr. Lighter, my 4th and 5th grade teacher, was a professional story teller (before there was such a vocation). He used to make up these wonderful tales, spontaneously, and during recess or lunch, he would entertain any of us who wanted to stay in and listen (most of us did). He had a character called "Little Albert" in many of his stories who became so real to us that we all started to believe that he was part of the class. He told us a real scary story right before Halloween that was very similar to the movie, “The Blair Witch Project.” It scarred the devil out of all of us.

    Mr. Hall, my 6th grade teacher, used to hold “cipher” drills every Friday afternoon. He would send all of us to the blackboard and give us math problems to solve (long division, multiplication, etc.). We did all our arithmetic the long way, by hand, and in our heads. I still like to add up a column of figures in my head, even today. At Bloomingdale, the “3 R’s” wasn’t just a cute title of a song, but a disciplined, proved teaching method that had far-reaching and long-lasting results. A pity more attention isn’t paid to it today.

    Every spring Bloomingdale held a carnival at the school to benefit the PTA. It was a lot of fun, the highlight of the school year for us and just about all the families in the neighborhood came. There were talent shows, the “fish pond” and the ever popular “cake walk.” One year I won 4 cakes but my mother made me take 3 of them back to give the other folks a chance to win and to cut down on cavities.

    I remember our school went to the Shrine Circus downtown at the Masonic Temple one year and we all rode together on busses. I was in the 4th or 5th grade and our class had a new student from Germany (a war refugee). Her name was Ellen Schoen; she was blonde, blue-eyed and wore her hair in braids. I sort of befriended her, because she couldn't speak very much English and was very shy. We rode together on the bus downtown and back and I made sure she didn't get lost at the circus. (The things you think of that happened over 50 years ago).

    A group of my chums once stayed after school for a scrub baseball game on the playground behind Bloomingdale. I remember one of us hit a homerun into the kitchen window of the house next to the school. When we heard the glass break, everybody took off on the run...but me. Since it was my baseball, and I didn't want to lose it, I had to reluctantly walk over to the house, confront the owner, and admit to the damage. I got my ball back but had to borrow $5 from my mother to pay for the new glass and worked it off at $.25 a week.

    The Burkheiser family lived across from Bloomingdale. Jeanette and Julia were identical twins and we were in the same classes. Even though the family was Precious Blood parishioners, they sent their kids to Bloomingdale through the 6th grade. I'm glad they did. I had a crush on both of the girls and the only way I could tell the two apart was one (I can't remember which one) had a small mole on her face. I was often later getting home from school than the other kids. After Bloomingdale, they went to Precious Blood for 7th and 8th grade and I went to Franklin. I have often wondered what became of them.

    One of the saddest memories I have is when the little boy 3 doors west of us drowned in the river at Lawton Park around 1952. His first name was Roger, I think, and he was about 6 or 7 and his family was Precious Blood parishioners. I remember about 7 or 8 of us from the neighborhood were playing at the park by the river, just below the dam, when Roger fell in and was sucked under by the strong undertow. None of us could get to him. We waded into the water with sticks and tree branches we found along the bank but couldn’t get close enough and then he disappeared. After the fire department came and launched a boat to find him, I ran all the way home, crying, and told my mother what had happened. I remember she walked 3 doors down to tell his mother, who bolted out of the house and ran down 4th and across Wells, screaming and sobbing, nearly being hit by a car as she crossed Wells. We attended the funeral and I can still see Roger, reposed in the small casket, holding his crucifix between his fingers. The memory of that day haunted me for a long time. His older brothers and sisters were all friends of mine.

    I also remember riding my bike down one of those hills at Hamilton Park and half way down, I suddenly encountered a long row of concrete steps built into the hill that wasn’t supposed to be there and I had no choice but to ride the steps, bumpity-bump, all the way to the bottom, hit a tree, and flew over the handle bars. It was a miracle I escaped with my life and no broken bones. I recall walking home, a bruised and bloody mess, with a badly bent bike. We were about the only Protestant family on the block and a lot of my friends attended Precious Blood. We used to have "religious discussions" that sometimes got very heated but always cooled down and never interfered with our friendships. I used to ride my bike to Jr. High or when I had to carry my trombone case, I rode the trolley busses, which still ran on electricity then. You could ride for a quarter and transfers were a nickel. When I toured the old neighborhood a couple years ago, I noticed how much smaller things were and how much shorter the distances between landmarks were than I remember them as a kid. I can't believe we lived in such a small house on a 40 foot lot but, at the time, everything was bigger than life.

    4th and Wells was a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in. Besides the closeness of the schools, there were a lot of city parks we could walk or bike to (Lawton, Hamilton, Guildin) with plenty of places to play ball and swim and enjoy the summer. The Little Turtle Public Library was close enough to walk to. And we had something that today’s kids, at least in the suburbs and medium-size cities, have probably never seen…alleys. We had an alley just to the east of us that bisected the block between 4th and 3rd and another one behind us that ran parallel to 4th, between Wells and Barthold. These alleys served as accesses to garages, barns and sheds, because nobody had driveways (the lots were too narrow). They were easements for the telephone and power poles and the garbage trucks used them, too. They also were great places for kids to play, because there wasn’t much traffic through them. I learned to ride my bike in the alley behind our house. And alleys were always shortcuts to school or your friends’ houses. If we were in a hurry, we cut through an alley. I remember one winter they found a hobo in our alley, frozen, with a half-empty whiskey bottle beside him. My dad said if he had managed to drink the whole bottle, it might have kept him from freezing. Our whole neighborhood was bustling with kids, so there were always boys and girls to play with. In the summer, we used to ride our bikes out Sherman Blvd. to Franke Park and the Children’s Zoo. In the winter, one of the parents used to bundle a lot of us into the car with our sleds and drive up to Franke. They had a lot of good, steep hills for sled runs and I recall they used to ice down one or two of the steepest. There was the Wells Theatre, two markets, a drug store with a soda fountain and candy counter and the Lawton Park swimming pool in the summer…what more could a kid growing up in the 1950’s want?!?

    We made or improvised our own toys. It was more fun, gave us something to do during the long summer and was easier on our parent’s budgets. Right after the movie “Ivanhoe”, with Robert Taylor, George Sanders and Elizabeth Taylor came out (and we all saw it at the Wells), our whole gang started playing “knights of the round table.” We made our own armor out of cardboard boxes and duct tape. We fashioned our swords and spears from whatever lumber, broomsticks, mop handles we could scrounge from the alleys or garages, basements and backyards. For shields, we used the lids off bushel baskets, with a couple of rope loops for handles. We separated ourselves into “white” knights and “black” knights and all the girls were princesses and damsels in distress. We re-enacted all the great battles, pounded each other with our wooden swords and fended off the blows (most of them) with our peach basket shields and makeshift cardboard armor. We even re-enacted the jousting scenes, using our bikes for the trusty steeds and sawed-off broom sticks and mop handles for lances. Until our mothers saw what we were doing and quickly put a stop to it (thankfully) before we killed each other.

    In those days, entertainment was fairly simple but far from unexciting. Besides the movies, there was radio, in all its glory with its ability to spark our imaginations and transport us to far-off places of adventure, danger and laughter without ever having to leave our living rooms. We had a Philco radio/phonograph console in our dining room and a Zenith table model which set on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen. In the days before television (we didn’t get our first set until 1954), radio was the main form of at-home entertainment. Even now, when I hear the opening stanzas of the “William Tell Overture,” I immediately think back to those days listening to the “Lone Ranger,” with the deep, booming voice of Brace Beemer, broadcasting from the studios of WXYZ radio in Detroit. “The Green Hornet,” Sgt. Preston of the RCMP,” “Sky King,” “The Shadow,” (“what evil lurks in the hearts of men…the shadow knows)”, “Gangbusters,” Mr. Keene, Tracer of Lost Persons,” “The Whistler” and, of course, the very scary “Inner Sanctum”…all of these productions gave us infinite entertainment and our heroes. Radio gave us the voices, story lines and sound effects and we provided our imaginations to create adventures, mystery, drama and excitement, transporting us out of our little neighborhood of 4th and Wells. There was Jack Benny, Groucho Marx, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy to make us laugh. We listened to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and heard the news of Edmund Hillary’s conquering of Mt. Everest on the radio. Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile on radio.

    I remember our first television set came with rabbit ears and only one channel in 1954. Broadcasting didn’t begin until 4:00 and I remember coming home from school a little before, turning on the set and watching the test pattern until the first show came on the air. “Two-Gun Playhouse” showed all the “B” westerns, with stars like Johnny Mack Brown, Bob Steele, Ken Maynard, John Wayne, Lash LaRue and Gene Autry. Eddie Fisher had a 15-minute live show in the afternoon, sponsored by Coca-Cola. Even the commercials were done “live.” A woman bringing in a tray of Cokes to serve to her family accidentally tripped and spilled several bottles on the carpet…all on “live” T.V. Charlie Foster did the local commercials for Azar’s Big Boy, live, by biting into one of those delicious-looking double-decker hamburgers or a piece of strawberry pie, with silver-dollar size strawberries. My mother used to set up the T.V. trays in the living room on Sunday night so we all could watch the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans show while eating supper.

    The Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons was our only professional sports team during the 1950’s and they played all their early games at North Side High School, I think, before they moved into the brand new War Memorial Coliseum. I remember one year some of the team, including Larry Foust, Fred Schaus and George Yardley, visited Bloomingdale, and we all were in awe of how tall these guys were. There weren’t very many teams in the NBA then and they weren’t in cities like they are today…the Syracuse Nationals, Rochester Royals, big George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers, Bob Cousy and the Boston Celtics, the St. Louis Hawks had Bob Petit. As I recall, the Pistons won the Western Division in 1956 and were beaten in the NBA finals by the Philadelphia Warriors. The next year, Fred Zollner, the owner, moved the franchise to Detroit.

    I owe a lot to that neighborhood and Bloomingdale. I feel I received one of the best educations available from a group of very dedicated and caring teachers that ably prepared me for the future. It was a wonderful time to be a kid. We had a ball growing up at 4th and Wells!

    ---Submitted by:
    Stephen W. Allen
    Bloomingdale Elementary Class of 1954
    [email protected]

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