Bonn ES (formerly The American School on the Rhine) History

Opened: 1971
Closed: 1997

Bonn American Elementary school was originally part of Bad Godesberg American School which was also known as The American School on the Rhine. The school was one of two schools located in Bad Godesberg, which was a suburb of Bonn, Germany. The elementary school was in a separate facility when there were enough students for a high school in 1971. The elementary building had grades kindergarten through three when it first opened, and by 1983 the fourth and five grades had been moved from the high school building.

The elementary school had fifteen classrooms. There were six rooms in a former apartment house, and the remainder of the classrooms were a Quonset-type construction. The school was international in character, with more than forty-five different nations represented in the K–6 enrollment of 300 for the 1981-82 school year. In addition to the classroom teachers, Bonn American Elementary School had a reading improvement specialist, a learning development specialist, a speech therapist, a nurse, and a media specialist. In 1981-82 there were twenty staff members at the elementary school.

By the nineties the school had become a kindergarten through five school with between 180 to 200 pupils. The principal for the 1991-92 school year was Steve Hain followed the next year by Susan Cothran who was the principal for the next five years.

By the 1993-94 school year, the elementary school was located in two newly renovated apartment complexes. There were ten general purpose classrooms and sixteen specialists’ rooms. The school now had specialists in talented and gifted, physical education, reading improvement, learning development, and speech therapy. Additionally, there was a full-time nurse and a librarian. The enrollment had dropped to 185 students in grades kindergarten through five.

The following year, a developmental preschool for three- and four-year-olds was added, as was an English as a Second Language program, a computer resource program, and an elementary German language program. The number of students continued to drop with the military drawdowns in Europe.

In addition to many local study trips, students participated in district and regional events such as Math Olympiads, Special Olympics, Outdoor Education, Reading Festival and Young Authors. Local school activities included student council, a school store, a school newspaper (Rhein Currents), a computer club, drama club, art club, and multi-cultural club. The school celebrated its diversity with International Days and assemblies featuring different cultures. The physical education program was supplemented with a jump rope activity, bowling, and ice-skating lessons. The school had an active music program. One fifth grade class was a German immersion class.

Bonn Elementary School closed in 1997.

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