Grissom ES (formerly Hill School) History

Opened: 1967
Closed: 1991

Virgil I. Grissom Elementary School was located on the west section of Clark Air Base. The facilities were modern and well-equipped. The school was located on spacious grounds and in a setting with a mountainous area immediately west of the school complex. The classrooms were air-conditioned. The facilities consisted of single, self-contained units and multi-class areas. The school complex had a separate multipurpose room and a library/media center.

The school was originally the Hill School and was located at the corner of Mitchell and Dyess Highways. The school opened for the 1967-68 school year. The Hill School was renamed the Virgil I. Grissom Elementary School after Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, one of the astronauts killed in the Apollo 1 command module fire. The first year the school had students in grades three and four. In the fall of 1969, due to a base enrollment of nearly 8,000 students, double sessions were in effect for grades 4–12. Grissom housed 1,600 students in grades four and five that year and a small section of sixth grade. Team teaching was expanded to include grades four through six in the same non-graded team, although self-contained and departmentalized classes were also available. In September 1972, two modulux-type buildings were added to Grissom’s campus. This was the year double sessions were dropped and Grissom adopted a one-session schedule for its population of grades three, four, and special education.

February 14, 1973, was an eventful and historic day at Grissom Elementary School as some of the newly released POWs from Vietnam visited the school. This was the first of many visits by returnees from Vietnam during Operation Homecoming.

In 1980, the Clark schools were reorganized. Grissom school now served students in kindergarten through grade four.

Two years later there were forty-two educators for 700 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. The enrollment reached 750 students for the 1987-88 school year.

In 1991, the school closed.


Information from DoDDS School Information Guides and DoDDS-Pacific Region 1946-1986

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