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WIESBADEN, Germany — Saying the move would provide students and families a “broader scope of programs,” the Department of Defense Dependents Schools announced plans to close Bad Nauheim Elementary at the end of the school year, officials said Wednesday.

The move was announced during a town hall meeting with the U.S. Army Garrison Giessen community. The recommendation is subject to final approval of the Department of Defense Educational Activity in Arlington, Va.

Bad Nauheim Elementary currently serves 115 students, and enrollment was expected to fall below 100 for the next school year, Dennis Bohannon, a DODDS-Europe spokesman said. Beginning in August, the children will be bused about 13 kilometers — about eight miles — to Butzbach Elementary School. The trip would take between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on traffic, Bohannon said.

Although military downsizing, which reduced the number of students in the Bad Nauheim school, prompted the decision, many opinions and factors were taken into consideration before the closure was recommended, according to Diana Ohman, director of DODDS-Europe, in a DODDS news release.

“She said the process included discussing proposed changes with military leaders, local command and community support, family quality of life impact, and most importantly, the impact and quality of each student’s academic and school life,” the release stated.

The move also would ensure students have access to specialists in counseling, physical education, art, music, host nation, reading and language arts, officials said.


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