Smith ES History

Opened: 1952

Smith Elementary School, also referred to as Baumholder Elementary School #1, was the first elementary school for the Baumholder community. The school is located on the post in the H.D. Smith Housing area.

Smith Elementary School was established in 1952 and had its grand opening on January 24, 1953. The school is named after Captain Harold D. Smith, an honored solider of WWII. Currently, Smith Elementary services students of military and civilian personnel of the local U.S. military communities of Smith Barracks and Ramstein Air Base. Students come to Smith Elementary School from base housing of Smith Barracks, Wetzel Housing, and local German communities that are in the bus zoning villages of Smith Elementary School and Baumholder Middle/High School.

The first principal of the school was Thomas T. McCord, Jr., and by the 1954-55 school year there were 854 students in grades kindergarten through eight.

The school consists of one main building containing twenty- three classrooms, a gymnasium/auditorium, a media center, music room, art room, learning resource room, reading improvement classroom, a compensatory education classroom, speech room, health rooms, counselor’s office, host nation office, supply room, teachers’ lounge, and administrative offices. For the 1981-82 school year, the staff consisted of two administrators, three kindergarten teachers, nineteen elementary teachers, specialists in art, music, physical education, reading improvement, learning development, speech therapy, host nation culture, counseling, and a school nurse. The total staff size, including administrators, totaled forty-five. The school enrollment of kindergarten through sixth grade was about 650 students. Special curriculum areas at the school included a talented and gifted program, compensatory education, and host nation culture.

By the 1987-88 school year, the enrollment had reached 680 students. By the early 1990s, the enrollment had decreased to 550 pupils. By the 1994-95 school year, Smith Elementary had a main building and an annex.

For the 2022-23 school year, there are about 290 students enrolled in Pre-K through fifth grade. The school support staff includes teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Learning Impaired Teacher, Advanced Academics Program and Service, Strategic Literacy Interventionist, Speech Language Pathologist and Math Interventionist. The electives at the school include physical education, art, library, counseling, keyboarding/technology skills, critical thinking skills, and host nation.

A wide variety of extracurricular activities are offered. These activities have included Fitness Club, Cheerleading, Spanish Club, Technology Club, Chorus, Writing Club, Homework Club, Science Club, Yearbook, Student Council and Piano Keyboarding Club. Activities each year are determined by student interest and teacher sponsorship.

Early in 2023, a new 21st century school is due to break ground at the Wetzel Housing area, with a tentative opening date of Fall 2026.

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