Curundu ES History

Opened: 1967
Closed: 1999

Curundu Elementary School was located on the US Army Post of Fort Clayton and was adjacent to Panama City. The elementary school was a single-story, air-conditioned building completed in 1968. During the 1980s, the school was remodeled inside to include carpeting, lowered ceilings, new lighting, security lighting and security bars, outside doors for each classroom, and new furniture. Outside picnic tables were provided for students. Two mobile units were added for use as a music room and a book storage room.

The enrollment of Curundu Elementary School peaked in the mid-1980s at 923 and decreased to 421 students by January 1990. The enrollment reflected an ethnic balance of one third Hispanics, one third African American, and one third Caucasian with approximately 2% of Asian descent.

In 1981, a staff of forty-three teachers for 844 students gave a teacher-student ratio of 1 teacher to every 18 students. With approximately 800 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, the school had six kindergarten sessions, seven first grades, six second grades, four third grades, three fourth grades, four fifth grades, and three sixth grades. The principal was Vernon Caturia. After the 1989-90 school year, the enrollment began to decrease.

Curundu Elementary School sponsored a music program, an art exhibition, and a science fair annually. The after-school program offered activities such as enrichment art, Spanish, computers, mathematics, Panamanian dances, and an astronaut program which was a charter member of the President’s Astronaut Program for Young People. The parents and community members were involved in school sports activities such as field day.


Source: Schooling in the Panama Canal Zone 1904-1976, DoDDS Panama 1979-1989

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