For Immediate Release — June 30, 2011 | Europe
Bob Purtiman: DoDDS-Europe Public Affairs | DSN: 338-7612
WIESBADEN, GERMANY — June 30, 2011 — The Department of Defense Education Activity announced today the establishment of a high school in the Schweinfurt community. Students from the Schweinfurt military community have been commuting long distances to attend Bamberg High School since Würzburg High School closed in School Year 2008-09. Dr. Clifford Stanley, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness approved the establishment of a new high school, which is slated to be ready for the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.
The Department of Defense Dependents Schools Europe leadership is working feverishly with the Schweinfurt Garrison to prepare the school for the fall 2011 school year. The new school will utilize what is now Schweinfurt Middle School. The middle school will be combined with the elementary school to form an elementary/middle school. A majority of the renovations required will occur at the new elementary/middle school.
The establishment of the high school will increase the overall DoDEA budget by approximately $1.1 million per fiscal year. An additional $2.4 million will be required for fiscal year 2011 for facilities modifications and renovations and start up costs.
"This is great news for the students in the Schweinfurt community," said Dr. Nancy Bresell, director of DoDDS Europe. "The establishment of the high school is consistent with our responsibilities to our overseas communities, particularly highly deployed ones." "We conducted a comprehensive review of the request by the Army to open the school," she added. "We made the determination that the establishment of the school would be in the best interests of the more than 170 students."
The Schweinfurt Garrison commander, Lt. Col. Everett Spain, said the Schweinfurt community is deeply grateful to the Bamberg High School faculty, staff and students and community for embracing the students over the past several years.
"The news of the recent authorization to open Schweinfurt High School is a great opportunity for the students and parents of our highly deployed community," Spain said. "Understanding that we have only two months to finish preparations for opening day, our community's leadership, families, students, and partner units and organizations remain dedicated to working closely with our DoDDS Europe colleagues to ensure success. The community looks forward to opening a high school founded on academic and character excellence that actively prepares our students to be America's leaders of tomorrow."
With less than two months to make the school a reality, DODEA headquarters has made this one of their top priorities. The DODEA acting director Marilee Fitzgerald is excited about establishing a school in Schweinfurt and says it is a great story for the community and the children. "To the extent possible, when DoDEA schools are located in communities close to where families live, it creates opportunities for them to become more involved in school, for students to participate more in school, and the building of a stronger connection with the school," she said.
"I see this as an important milestone in improving educational opportunities for military children and for the children of our military families in Schweinfurt," she added. "I look forward to an exciting opening day this fall."
One of the biggest challenges will be the personnel actions needed to staff the school. DoDDS Europe has set a priority for teachers in the Bamberg and Schweinfurt communities who would like the opportunity work at the new school.
The logistics of setting up the school is being made easier with the availability of equipment, furniture and supplies from Mannheim High School, which closed at the end of the school year. "The separation of Bamberg and Schweinfurt communities created challenges for the Schweinfurt students and families, many of whom are affected by deployments," said Bresell. "This decision removes all barriers to a high quality high school experience for the much deserving students.