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LOUISVILLE, KY. — Four DoD schools for military children at Fort Knox, Ky. — half of the schools at that installation — will close at the end of the school year, officials said, as a result of the Army’s inactivation of the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
There will be about 700 fewer students at the base as a result of the inactivation, said officials with the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools area service center, which is part of the Department of Defense Education Activity. About 3,500 soldiers and their families are being relocated from Fort Knox.
The schools that will close are Kingsolver Elementary School; Mudge Elementary School; Pierce Elementary School and Walker Intermediate School. Students will attend one of four other schools on the installation, and district officials are adding buses for students who will no longer be within walking distance of their schools. If an elementary student lives more than a mile from the school, the student should ride the bus; if a middle- or high school student lives more than 1.5 miles away, that student should ride the bus, said DDESS spokeswoman Cindy Gibson.
Officials are restructuring the grades at three of the four remaining schools for the following school year.
■ Scott Middle School will serve grades 6 through 8. It currently serves grades 7 and 8.
■ MacDonald Intermediate School will serve grades 1 through 5. It currently serves grades 4-6.
■ VanVoorhis Elementary School will serve grades PreK through 5. It currently serves grades PreK to 3.
■ Fort Knox High School will continue to serve grades nine through 12.
As a result of the closings, a reduction in force is expected to affect more than 100 DoDEA employees, officials said.
Elizabeth Middlemiss, DDESS’ interim director, said that taking care of school employees and continuing to ensure a quality education for students “would be the center of focus” at the installation.
“School closures and the second and third order effects that come with them are measures we do not take lightly,” she said, in the announcement about the closings. “We owe it to our employees, our students and their families to ensure that throughout this difficult process we continue to be thoughtful, deliberate and thorough in all of our actions and decisions.” She said human resources officials will visit the installation to provide employees with detailed information about programs and options.
As of Feb. 21, there were 192 students at Kingsolver Elementary; 248 at Mudge Elementary; 168 at Pierce Elementary; and 269 at Walker Elementary.
DDESS currently operates 65 schools on 16 installations at certain bases in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Virginia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and Cuba.