Frankfurt ES (aka Plattenstrasse ES and Frankfurt ES #1) History

Opened: 1946
Closed: 1995

Frankfurt American Elementary school was one of the original elementary schools opened in Germany after World War II. The school opened in September 1946 with sixty-eight students from kindergarten through sixth grade and was originally located on Fuerstenberger Strasse. The school was in the middle of the Abrams military compound. When opened the school was fenced from the Adickes Alle to Dornbush Strasse up to Grueneburg Park. The children were taken by buses to the school from the military compounds at Hoechst and Bad Homburg. The students went to lunch in the Abrams building, which at that time was called the IG Farben building. Later the school was combined with the Elizabethen Schule, and a cafeteria was installed in the basement. The school then served students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

When the new housing areas of Platen, Huegel, and Von Steuben were built, the new Frankfurt Elementary School was also built. This was the final Frankfurt Elementary School. When the new Frankfurt Elementary School was opened it was the most modern school in Frankfurt. In September 1953, the school opened its doors to students in K-8. The children walked to school from nearby housing areas and were transported by bus from Oberursel, Bad Homburg, Hoechst, Fischstein, and Roedelheim. The new school had a large cafeteria, where the children and staff had a hot lunch available. The Atterberry School was also opened in 1953.

The school principal for the 1954-55 school year was Mary M. Merchant and there were 1,447 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.

In the forties and fifties, an annual banquet to welcome teachers was held. Parents were asked to attend and sit at the table with their child’s homeroom/classroom teacher.

Frankfurt American Elementary School was a large two-story school building and several prefabricated buildings located in the Platenstrasse Housing Area. The buildings contained fifty-four classrooms for grades kindergarten through sixth grade. The school had a gymnasium/auditorium, Education Resource Center, art room, music room, supply room, offices, teachers’ lounge, and a mailroom.

In the 1980s there were two classes for educable mentally handicapped children. The school had five host nation teachers, learning development teachers, a nurse, a music teacher, a physical education teacher, an art teacher, two reading improvement specialists, a speech therapist, an Education Resource Specialist, two counselors, and teacher’s aides for special education and kindergarten. The school also had the assistance of a social worker and a school psychologist. For the 1981-82 school year there were 1,600 students in the school. During the late 80s there were three administrators for the school and two specialists for art, music, and physical education. There were also two media specialists, a teacher for talented and gifted, and four learning development teachers.

The enrollment dropped to 1,500 students for the 1989-90 school year and the school now served kindergarten through fifth grade. There were six kindergarten teachers and fifty elementary classroom teachers. The number of host nation teachers was reduced to three and there was an additional part-time counselor.

For the 1993-94 school year, the enrollment had dropped to 900 students in grades kindergarten to five. The final year of the school, 1994-95, there were 740 students enrolled in pre-school through fifth grade. The staff included two administrators, a guidance counselor, one specialist for each area, twenty-three classroom teachers, two kindergarten teachers, two learning development teachers, and a teacher for pre-school handicapped students.

The school was closed at the end of the 94-95 school year.


Information from a speech given by Jolly (Jolan) Boehm at the closing ceremony for FES, May 18, 1995, DoDDS School Information Guides, and the internet

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