Feltwell ES History

Opened: 1972

Feltwell Elementary is located on Royal Air Force Base Feltwell right in the middle of the Norfolk fens, a flat agricultural wetland area in East Anglia, United Kingdom. RAF Feltwell is a small communications base established in 1938. Feltwell Elementary opened in 1972 and celebrated its fortieth anniversary, Ruby Jubilee, in 2012. The school is part of the greater US Air Force Lakenheath/Mildenhall complex, homes of the 48th Fighter Wing and the 100th Refueling Wing of the United States Air Force. The school primarily serves the dependent children of US Air Force service members who live either on RAF Feltwell or in neighboring villages and towns, as well as the dependents of DOD civilians and Air Force contractors.

Feltwell is a walk-in school for dependents of the former air base at RAF Feltwell and students are bussed from the surrounding economy areas. For the 1981-82 school year, the school had four teachers and an administrator and a secretary who served as the librarian. The school was located in a building adjacent to the Lakenheath Middle School complex.

By the 1987-88 school year, there were 125 students in kindergarten through fifth grade with seven teachers, an administrator, and a school secretary. The enrollment increased to 170 students by the next year. Enrollment continued to increase, and by the 1993-94 school year there were 200 students in grades K–5 with eighteen classroom teachers plus specialists in art, music, physical education, talented and gifted, reading improvement, reading recovery, special education, compensatory education, communication impaired, library/media, guidance, and two school nurses.

For the 1995-96 school year, Sharon Freed was the principal, and Martha Parsons was the assistant principal. Ms. Rainey was the assistant for the 1999-2000 school year. For the 2000-2002 school years, Ben Benoit was the principal, and Sue Gurley was the assistant principal. Ms. Simmons became principal from 2002–2005. Then Tom LaRue became principal for six years. Miles Shea was the principal from 2011–2015. He was followed by Ron Lathrop who was principal from 2015–2019. Bernadette Schlueter became the principal for the 2019–2020 school years.

The specialists at the school included enrichment, art, host nation, reading improvement, music, compensatory math, library, nurse, learning development, physical education, speech and language, and guidance counselor. Students were able to participate in a variety of after-school activities. These included band, dance, drama, safety patrol, chorus, science, and art. Students also produced a school newspaper and provided artwork for the yearbook. In the late nineties, the Odyssey of the Mind program was begun at the school. Later, students had a Spanish club and a computer club. By the 2002-03 school year students were actively involved in Destination Imagination, a gardening club, and a French club. Robotics was an extracurricular activity by the 2014-15 school year, and students were on the Barracuda Swim Team. A sign language club was added for the 2016-17 school year.

The school has developed a strong Home–School–Community Partnership with programs such as “Dads and Donuts”, “Moms and Muffins”, “Hedgehog Hangout”, Parent Teacher Organization, and field trips to base facilities. Students also were involved in local host nation field trips to enjoy afternoon tea, visit the Crooked House and pumpkin patch, visit the Bressingham Train Museum, and participate in the Jason Project.

The first full day kindergarten was started for the 1999-00 school year and Sure Start was added for the 2021-22 school year.

In the late 1990s, the school enrollment was approximately 500 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The enrollment began to drop by the 2003-04 school year and was less than 400 by the 2010-11 school year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the enrollment dropped to about 320 students. For school year 2021-22, the school had 327 students in grades kindergarten through five. For the 2023-24 school year, the school had 325 students in prekindergarten, Sure Start, and kindergarten through fifth grade.

The school mascot is the Hedgehog.

During the 2022-23 school year the school celebrated fifty years. The school is still open.


Information from school website and the DoDDS School Information Guide

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