Itazuke Dependents School (formerly Itazuke ES) History

Opened: 1946
Closed: 1972

The original Itazuke Elementary Dependent School was activated in 1946. The school consisted of only two rooms in the Headquarters Building. Enrollment was thirty students and two teachers. In November of 1947 after the completion of the new section of Itazuke Air Base, the school was transferred to a new location. By then, the school consisted of five classrooms and an administrative section. The total enrollment for grades one through six was less than a hundred. High school students attended Fukuoka American High School near the Sports Center in Fukuoka City. Five years after the establishment of Itazuke Elementary Dependents School, the enrollment increased and by 1952-53 the enrollment was about 250 students. That same year the Fukuoka American High School was deactivated. The elementary school became Itazuke Dependents school with an enrollment of approximately 350 students in grades one through 12.

The Itazuke Air Force Dependents School began as a kindergarten through twelve school in September of 1952, when the senior high moved from its former location in Fukuoka City. Prior to 1952, there was only an elementary school on the base proper. From its humble beginnings, the school grew in every way. From a total enrollment of about 200 students in 1952 to more than 650 students during the 1955-56 school year. In 1953 a new building was added to the high school. In 1955 the old hospital was remodeled. One hundred fifty fifth and sixth grade students were in this building. In 1955-56 six new classrooms three blocks south and east of the main school had a “head teacher” to supervise the intermediate grades assigned to the facility. During the year twenty-five major physical improvements were made to existing buildings and planning was done for more classroom space for the next school year.

In 1955-56 students came from base quarters and as far away as Fukuoka City and Camp Hakata. During the 1955-56 school year 48 different classes to high school students. These included eleven new courses in the areas of home economics, manual arts, instrumental music, shorthand, Japanese and art. There was a new library for the elementary school complete with 1500 new library books and a school librarian.

The school newspaper, Cobra Charmer, had regular and special additions. A National Honor Society was begun in 1955-56. The first school play “The Man Who Came to Dinner” was performed at the Annex Officers Mess and at the school. The music program included a high school band, one of the few in the Far East Command and a beginner’s band.

The sports program included boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. The boys team played in their first tournament in December 1955 where they placed second. At a second tournament in February 1966, the team also placed second.

The 1954-55 faculty of the school initiated an award to be presented to the member of each graduating class who displays outstanding characteristics of leadership, scholarship, citizenship and service. There was a permanent plaque which remained at the school and a small replica for the winning student.

The next addition was in 1957 when the first grade wing was completed. By the 1958-59 school year, the total enrollment was 938 students grades kindergarten through high school and the faculty consisted of thirty-eight teachers.

For the 1962-63 school year the school was divided into two schools, Itazuke Elementary and Itazuke High School.

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