Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo Logo Commander, Navy Region Japan  |  Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo
Commander, Navy Installations Command

Find Your Region or Installation

Operations and Management
Fleet and Family Readiness
Sasebo News
New COMUSJAPAN Liberty Policy
Sasebo Firefighters Celebrate the New Year with Dezome-shiki
Sasebo Community Honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy
Sasebo Families Prepare for the Worst in Evacuation Exercise
A Corsair Comes Home
The Newest Technology in the Oldest Building
No PowerPoint Necessary
Remembrance Ceremony for 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake Victims
CFAS and Local Community Remember Soto Dam POWs
Sasebo USO Completes Home Away from Home Renovation
USFJ Liberty Policy
U.S. Military Vessel Embarks JGSDF Vehicles for First Point-to-Point Shipment
Pure Training
U.S. Military Vessel Embarks JGSDF Vehicles for First Point-to-Point Shipment
CFAS Celebrates Fire Prevention Week
Wrapped Angels
CFAS Security Honors Late Four-Legged Partners
Guard & Protect 2016 Commences at CFAS
Army Inspects Naval Nutrition
Plunging for a Purpose
New Memorandum Allows JMSDF Transit through NMC Maebata
CFAS Remembers Great Tohoku Earthquake Victims
Celebrating Certification
CNIC Vice Admiral Jackson Visits CFAS
Sasebo Community Honors Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Soto Dam POWs Remembered by CFAS and Sasebo
CFAS Commemorates 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway
CFAS Holds Change of Command Ceremony
Sasebo Sailors Share the Language of the Seas
Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Need
Sasebo Sailor Saves Shock Victim
Sasebo's CDC Santa
Red Cross Opens First CFAS Branch Office
African-American Service and Struggles Remembered at CFAS Black History Month Celebration
Sharing Support across Services
CFAS Turns Over Recently Discovered Navy Artifacts to Sasebo Board of Education
USS Chief First US Ship to Participate in Sasebo Seaside Festival
CFAS Sailors Anchor Up!
Waterfront Women's Symposium
Sasebo Elementary School Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for First Elementary DODEA 21st Century School Building in Japan East District

Sasebo Elementary School Holds Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for First Elementary DODEA 21st Century School Building in Japan East District



By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum

SASEBO, Japan (Sept. 25, 2019) After five years of planning, preparation and construction, Sasebo Elementary School inaugurated their new building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Sept. 25, 2019.

The ceremony was attended by students, faculty and parents with speeches by Sasebo Elementary School Principal Hattie Phipps, Department of Defense Educational Activity Director Thomas Brady, DoDEA Pacific Director for the Center of Educational Excellence Lois Rapp, Japan East District Superintendent Dr. Judith Allen, and Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo Chief Staff Officer Cmdr. Douglas Kennedy.

Rounding out the event was a Taiko drum performance and speeches from teacher Craig Long and student Joanne Tanaka. Long is one of the school’s longest serving teachers and Tanaka, a senior high school student, grew up in the Sasebo DODEA schools. The last segment before the ribbon cutting was the filling of a time capsule for future Sasebo Elementary Students to uncover.

The new 51 million dollar facility is the first DODEA Pacific East Elementary 21st Century School built in Japan. The 21st Century School initiative involves renovating or replacing older schools with new ones designed to facilitate modern learning methods and concepts as well as meeting standards for supporting all students.   The facility is energy efficient able to monitor electrical and water conservation standards daily. Because of Japan’s location on the Ring of Fire it can also withstand 100 mph wind and is built to code for earthquake survivability.

The new school can accommodate 250 students from Sure Start/Kindergarten to 6th grade. It has a more open lay out, replacing traditional classrooms with studios that open into neighborhood hubs and one-on-one rooms. Tables have replaced desks and seating is flexible, spaces can be reconfigured as necessary for the class at hand. According to school Principal Hattie Phipps it allows for a more collaborative approach to education.

“Teachers will no longer teach in isolation,” said Phipps. “They will work collaboratively as a team ensuring every child at every grade level are receiving the same standards of instruction thereby consistency across the curriculum.”

It’s a far cry from the Quonset hut the “Dragon School” occupied when it was established in 1948. The previous school building was erected in 1978 and in the interim from its demolition to the new building’s completion classes were held in adjacent MWR building, which was the former Imperial Japanese Navy hospital, and at E.J. King High School.  Off base students were bussed to Darby Elementary School during the construction phase.