The middle and high school campus at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

The middle and high school campus at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)

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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Students at Spangdahlem Air Base won’t be returning to in-person classes after all on Monday.

School and base officials said Friday night that Department of Defense Education Activity schools at Spangdahlem will continue remote instruction through at least Feb. 12, as will all other DODEA schools in Germany.

There will be no instruction Monday or Tuesday and Spangdahlem principals will provide information on preparations to continue remote learning, Kent Worford, DODEA Europe West superintendent, said in a letter Friday night to staff members and families.

The announcement came a day after DODEA-Europe said Spangdahlem students would return to classes next week, while all other DODEA schools in Germany would stay remote for at least two more weeks.

“I apologize for the seemingly continual changes to the plan, but we must react to the evolving concerns of our State government over a potential new strain of the virus in a neighboring state,” Col. David Epperson, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, said on the base’s Facebook page Friday night.

Both Rheinland-Pfalz and Baden-Wuerttemberg postponed next week’s phased reopening of some day care centers and primary schools.

A mutation of the coronavirus was detected this week in two children at a day care center in Freiburg and at least 18 other children and educators in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the state said in a statement Thursday. In Rheinland-Pfalz, officials said Friday a variant first found in the United Kingdom has been confirmed in test samples from eight adults.

Both variants have been shown to be more transmissible and have sparked fears that they may be more resistant to vaccines.

Epperson asked families to “be patient,” as it may take the schools “a few days to get our students back into virtual learning.”

Commanders will continue to provide flexibility where possible for parents to accommodate their children’s schooling needs, he said. Twitter:@stripesktown

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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