Two schools in Iceland to close amid troop cuts
Two Defense Department schools in Iceland will close at the end of this school year due to plans to withdraw U.S. forces from the country.
The Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe has recommended the closure of the Alfred T. Mahan Elementary and Alfred T. Mahan High schools in Keflavik, said Dennis Bohannon, a DODDS spokesman in Germany.
Diana Ohman, director of DODDS-Europe, made the recommendation to the Department of Defense Education Activity after the U.S. State Department announced last week that the military would remove Air Force fighter jets and a rescue helicopter squadron from the military base in Iceland this fall.
DODEA is expected to approve the request, according to a news release. Bohannon said a final decision could come in about two weeks.
The closure of the schools adds to the growing list of Defense Department schools shutting down after this school year. Earlier this year, school officials announced plans to close Gelnhausen and Sportfield elementary schools in Germany at year’s end, and combine grades six through 12 at Hanau High School next year. Babenhausen and Bad Nauheim elementary schools also are scheduled to close at the end of the year because of troop cuts and transfers in Germany.
In Iceland, there are currently 509 students — including 349 pre-kindergarten through 6th grade students — enrolled in the two schools. All of the students will transfer out of the Keflavik area with their families as part of the troop changes.
School teachers and administrators will be eligible for similar positions within DODDS-Europe or other DOD schools across the globe, a release said. The two schools employ 40 elementary teachers, 26 secondary teachers, two principals, one assistant principal and 15 support personnel, according to DODDS-Europe. The Keflavik schools opened in 1951.