AFNORTH ES (formerly AFCENT Intl. ES) History

Opened: 1967

AFNORTH International Elementary School was originally called AFCENT International Elementary School. AFCENT International Elementary School was founded in 1967 as a result of the relocation of HQ AFCENT from Fontainebleau, France, to Brunssum, Netherlands, when the United States removed all military bases from France. The new AFCENT Elementary School was located in Brunssum about thirty minutes from Aachen, Germany; two hours from Brussels, Belgium; and three hours from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

In the early eighties, the school complex was described as very modern. Four national groups maintained their schools within the buildings: American, British, Canadian, and German. Many of the school facilities were shared, which added a truly international dimension to the school program. Classrooms were modern and well equipped. The elementary school had its own library, a shared gymnasium, a multipurpose room with a stage, and administrative offices for the principals and headmasters. For the 1981-82 school year the staff included a reading specialist, a speech therapist, a learning disabilities teacher, and a school nurse. There were appropriate school playgrounds and sports fields. There was a special annex facility of sixteen classrooms especially designed for grades kindergarten through second grade. The curriculum in the elementary school was a multi-national mix of Canadian, British, and American offerings. There were French Immersion classes for grades three through six during the early years.

The enrollment in the elementary school during the eighties ranged from 400 to 500 students with enrollment dropping to just over 400 students by the early nineties and then increasing again.

The school’s name was changed from AFCENT to AFNORTH for the 2000-01 school year. The current school serves the Military Schools System of Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. AFNORTH Elementary School serves the educational needs of the children of personnel assigned to the military sites in the Tri-Border area of Belgium (Glons, Kline Brogel, and Zutendaal), Germany (Geilenkirchen, Monchengladbach, and Rheindahlen), the Netherlands (AFNORTH, Schinnen, and Kerkrade) as well as families connected with the different multinational corporations in these areas.

The students come from countries such as Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Poland, Turkey, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the USA. A Board of Governors is appointed to represent each of the sponsoring nations. The members meet with the school administrators twice a year to establish school policy. Each national section has its own principal or head teacher who is responsible for the students in that section. Responsibility for the administration and coordination lies with the director who works in close cooperation with the principals or head teachers. The teachers at AFNORTH International School come from the different founding nations and they meet state, province, DoDEA, and North Central Accreditation standards. Their respective governments recruit them in order to meet the educational needs of military families serving abroad.

The school mascot is Afi, the lion, and the school colors are red and green. The administrators for the 2021-22 school year were principal Ms. Kristi Fountain and assistant principal Dr. Donald Rush.


Information from DoDDS School Information Guides, school yearbooks, and websites

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