Flensburg ES History

Opened: January 1975
Closed: 1992

Flensburg Elementary School was located on a German Kaserne. The school opened January 1975 and closed at the end of the school year 1994. The school was across the street from the two apartment buildings. It was one story and pretty much square with lots of windows. On the east side there were two standard-sized classrooms with a folding wall between them. On the north was one long room which housed our “library”, the principal’s office, the secretary’s desk and the teachers’ lunch corner. The west side had two restrooms/male/female, the small Kindergarten room and access to the basement.

The main entrance for everyone was on the south between the eastside classrooms and the stairwell to the basement on the west. There was a blacktop area to the south for a playground. The hall was wide enough that one teacher reported having students use it for “square dancing” on really bad weather days. There was a wall of windows along the eastside of the classroom, which was great as school started about 8:30 and the sun was just coming up over the horizon. You could also watch it snow and rain horizontally as Flensburg’s peninsula does sit between the North and Black Seas.

The school had a teaching principal and several combination grades. One example was a teaching couple. The husband was the principal and taught 3rd and 4th grade halftime and the wife taught a combination one-two class. There was an additional half time teacher for the three-four combined class, a half time kindergarten teacher and a teacher who taught grades five through eight.

The support facilities for the complex were quite small. For example, the PX was a little portable trailer. Bremerhaven was the nearest US military support. There was a small (even smaller than what was at Flensburg) NATO unit at Rensburg which was on the canal connecting the Baltic and North Seas.  There was also a Coast Guard “unit” (yes, American) on the island of Sylt (west coast of Schleswig-Holstein) that had about 12-13 Americans. They ran the Loran C Station that was part of a network that helped ships at sea navigate.

The sense of community was strong and people supported each other. People were good about not buying all of an item in the commissary so something could be had by everyone. This strong community aspect was very special in the community and at the school.


Information provided by Helen Mathey-Horn

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