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Duke Brigade inactivation forces DoDEA to close four Knox schools

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By CINDY GIBSON
DoDEA Public Affairs
Four Department of Defense Education Activity schools located on Fort Knox will close at the end of school year 2013-2014 due to a decrease in student enrollment resulting from the inactivation of the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.
The schools, part of DoDEA’s school operations in the United States—the Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary School school system—scheduled for closure are:
* Kingsolver Elementary School
* Mudge Elementary School
* Pierce Elementary School
* Walker Intermediate School
The following schools will remain open with these grade structures:
* Fort Knox High School—Grades 9-12
* Scott Middle School—Grades 6-8
* MacDonald Intermediate School—Grades 1-5
* VanVoorhis Elementary School—Pre-K-5
The inactivation of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division will result in the relocation of 3,500 Soldiers and their Families. School enrollment is projected to decline between 700-800 students. As a result of these school closures, a Reduction in Force is expected to impact more than 100 DoDEA employees.
“Steps have already been taken to mitigate the impact of the RIF on civilian employes by offering (Voluntary Early Retirement Act) and (Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay),” said Dr. Elizabeth Middlemiss, DDESS interim director. The final determination of which employees are eligible to receive the separation incentive has not been made.
Middlemiss stressed that taking care of school employees and continuing to ensure a quality education for students would be the center of focus at Fort Knox.
“School closures and the second and third order effects that come with them are measures we do not take lightly,” she said. “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,” Middlemiss added.
Bryan Weekley, Human Resources Division Chief, will visit Fort Knox next week to provide employees with detailed information about programs and options that will be offered.
“I encourage all school employees to participate in these meetings and I also want them to know that our team will meet with employees on an individual basis to answer questions or provide specific guidance tailored to their personal needs,” Middlemiss added.
Dr. Frank Calvano, DoDEA superintendent of the Kentucky District, said, “Students attending school year 2014-2015 can be assured of the same high quality of education. The impact on the kids should be seamless.”