Add Babenhausen Elementary School to the growing list of Defense Department school closings next year.

Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe announced Wednesday that this year would be Babenhausen’s last. The school is expecting to have no more than 20 students in the area next year because of the departure and deactivation of military units, a DODDS news release stated.

Next year, students will attend Argonner Elementary School in Hanau — about a 14-mile bus ride. Middle and high school students will continue to go to Hanau middle and high schools.

On Monday, Defense Department school officials revealed the closing of the Gelnhausen and Sportfield elementary schools at year’s end, along with the plan to combine grades six through 12 at Hanau High School next year. Last week, officials announced the closing of Bad Nauheim Elementary School because of the loss of troops in the area.

Babenhausen’s closure probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most parents. The military announced plans to shut it down at a town hall meeting on Jan. 30. A second meeting to address remaining concerns is in the works.

The school is located on the Babenhausen Kaserne, a small U.S. Army post in the southeast corner of Hessen between Darmstadt and Aschaffenburg.

Teachers and staff members often refer to the school as the “ABC School” since children come from the Aschaffenburg and Babenhausen communities, according to the principal’s message on the school’s Web site.

The school has a principal, nine classroom teachers, a counselor, an information specialist, and a nurse in addition to teachers specializing in such subjects as art and physical education, according to the Web site.

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