John R. Cummings ES History

Opened: 1990
Closed: 2015

Cummings Elementary School opened its doors in August 1990, in the north housing area of Misawa, Japan. Misawa is located on the northern tip of the island of Honshu. The school served the Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force dependents in the housing area, and it had three bus routes.

The school had a full cadre of specialists and pupil personnel services. It also sported a large playground and backed onto the base golf course.

For the 1994-95 school year there were 490 students in grades K–6 and twenty classroom teachers. Additionally, the faculty included a guidance counselor, compensatory education teacher, language and learning impaired teachers, reading improvement specialist, nurse, media specialist, and teachers for art, host nation, music, and physical education. An itinerant school psychologist served the school.

A news article in the Stars and Strips reported on the school’s news network, Cummings News Broadcast Channel. The news show was believed to be the only live news broadcast, at the primary level, using an analog feed in DoDDS in Japan, if not the entire Pacific. During the broadcast, sixth-grade staff delivered information vital to the young students such as the lunch menu, daily weather, school announcements, and which students have birthdays or are moving. Many days the broadcast is enlivened with science trivia, Japanese culture tidbits, book reviews, and more to fill up the ten minutes of airtime. The program was started in 2001 by sixth grade teacher Leesa Rompre and, later, was overseen by Jim Moody, the school’s educational technologist.

In 2000 approximately 165 children participated in a modified version of the “Lift, Link, Love” effort established by Like it For Time, an organization created to raise public awareness of the one percent of the American population shouldering a decade of continuous war.

In 2001 Cummings Elementary was closed for two days because of damaged heating coils and burst water pipes, which partially flooded the school. The problem began on a Friday when the school lost heat in the gym and cafeteria. The 35th Civil Engineer Squadron personnel worked around the clock to repair the damage.

The school was closed in 2015.

 

Information from DoDDS School Information Guides and Stars and Stripes articles

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