Kaiserslautern High School

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Kaiserslautern High School
Kaiserslautern, Rheinland Pfalz
Type DoDDS Secondary
Established March 12, 1953
Principal Dr. Barriett Smith
Faculty 62 (+9½ day)
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 800 (August 2012)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Red and White
Mascot Raider
Yearbook Der Kämpfer

Kaiserslautern High School, (formerly known as Rhine High School or Kaiserslautern American High School) also known as “K-Town” or simply “KHS” is a Department of Defense (DoD) operated international school in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The school, which serves over 800 students with 62 full-time educators (11:1), is located on Illinois Place in Vogelweh.

KHS is part of the DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) as well as DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependents Schools) system. KHS is located in the Kaiserslautern District, one of the six European school districts run by DoDEA, and is one of the largest DoDDS schools by population in Europe. KHS serves students of the KMC (Kaiserslautern Military Community). With approximately 50,000 American inhabitants, KMC is the largest community of Americans outside the continental US.

Shortly after the development of Western Area Command (WACOM) in 1952, when Americans took over the western area of Germany from the French, KHS was housed in a converted apartment building. On March 12, 1953, the school moved into an old hospital building, and expanded continuously over the years.

From 1953 to 1958, the school included a dormitory for approximately 150 French and German students. The school was originally known as Rhine High, not being referred to as "KAHS" until the early sixties, and "KHS" fairly recently. The school grew quickly, and prior to the construction of Ramstein High School in 1982, KHS (with an enrollment of more than 1600 students) was the largest military-operated high school outside the continental US.

Today, Kaiserslautern High School’s enrollment has increased due to the relocation of military forces in Europe. Nevertheless, KHS is known for providing excellent education, and has a graduation rate of over 85%. When compared to other DoDEA schools, KHS ranks first in standardized test scores. With an annual tuition of approximately $17,000, KHS is also a rather expensive institution. However, dependents of the military, Department of Defense contractors, NATO members and retired military dependents are exempt from paying.

KHS is fully accredited by the North Central Association for Accreditation (NCAA). Every five years the school is visited by North Central to assess the success of the school's individual school improvement plan. The professional and auxiliary staff members at the school complete an in-depth report which addresses one affective and one cognitive area that the school has chosen to address in an outcomes based school improvement plan. This self-study is submitted to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for their review and evaluation.

In 2012, Dr. Barriett Smith replaced Dr. Jennifer Beckwith as principal. Smith transferred from Ramstein High School, one of the largest schools in the DoDDS system. In 2011, the former vice principal Ms. Claudette DeWitt was replaced by Mr. Dana Francis.

Central Kaiserslautern from the town hall building


KHS currently comprises three main academic buildings, two gymnasiums, and one private weight room. The main building is built in the shape of an "E", with three main wings, each standing two stories tall. KHS is connected to the middle and elementary school on both ends of each exterior wing. The main entrance is on the far end of the middle wing.

The two gymnasiums are different in size, one being significantly smaller than the other. The smaller gym is used for high school physical education classes, whereas the large gym, which seats approximately 450 people, is used for middle school physical education classes. The large gym, previously known as the "Boys' Gym", is often referred to as the "big gym" by students (the smaller gym was formerly known as the Girls' Gym). It is also the home court for the KHS Raiders boys' and girls' basketball teams.

A separate building includes JROTC classes, architectural drawing studios, CISCO-Networking laboratories, and a music room. Another building, on the far east of the campus, includes classrooms for speech pathology and a few professional technical courses.


KHS runs on a two-day block schedule, each day having four classes 85 minutes long. The first period starts sharply at 8:20 AM and instructional periods end at 3:00 PM each day. All students are required to take four years of English, two years of a foreign language, four years of mathematics, four years of science, one semester of health, two semesters of physical education, three years of a social-studies-based course, and several electives. The current graduation requirement is a GPA of 2.0 as well as 28 credits. KHS has a student-to-teacher ratio of 11:1.


  • Seniors 152
  • Juniors 186
  • Sophomores 212
  • Freshmen 250
  • Staff 72


During the school year 2009/2010, KHS sports teams competed in the DoDDS-Europe Division I, including schools from Wiesbaden, Ramstein, Heidelberg, Patch, and Vilseck as well as Region II in regional play. All teams compete in the European Championships at the end of each season. KHS is known for the exceptional Girls basketball as well as Track & Field teams.

  • Fall season (September – November)
    • Golf (boys, girls)
    • Volleyball (girls)
    • Football (boys, girls)
    • Cross Country (boys, girls)
    • Tennis (boys, girls)
    • Cheerleading (boys, girls)
  • Winter season (November – February)
    • Basketball (boys, girls)
    • Cheerleading (boys, girls)
    • Wrestling (boys, girls)
  • Spring season (March – May)
    • Soccer (boys, girls)
    • Track and Field (boys, girls)
    • Baseball (boys)
    • Softball (girls)


  • Anime Club
  • Brain Bowl
  • Chess Club
  • Class Activities (9th −12th)
  • Concert Band
  • Drama Club
  • French Club
  • Future Business Leaders of America
  • German Club
  • German National Honor Society
  • Interscholastic Sports
  • Intramurals
  • Jazz Band
  • JROTC Color Guard
  • JROTC Drill Team
  • K-Raider Staff
  • Literary Magazine
  • Multicultural Club
  • Model US Senate
  • Model United Nations
  • National Honor Society
  • Rainbow Club
  • Red Raider Chorale
  • Spanish Club
  • Student Government
  • Tri-M (National Music Honor Society)
  • Poetry Club
  • Yearbook
  • STEM Club
  • String Ensemble
  • Dance Club
  • Spanish Club
  • Homework Club
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions
  • Technology Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Cyber Patriots

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable guest speakers[edit]

  • Robert Gates, 22nd United States Secretary of Defense, spoke at the Graduation ceremony for the 2010 graduating class.
  • Josh Simpson, professional soccer player, formerly on the local team 1. FC Kaiserslautern spoke at the school several times.
  • Luis Robles, professional soccer player, formerly on the local team 1. FC Kaiserslautern spoke at the school several times and assisted with the school's boys soccer team.
  • Chuck Yeager, spoke to the graduating class of 1988.
  • Umut Balli, spokesman for the Republican People's Party (Turkey).
  • Gen. Sir John Hackett, author of The Third World War: August 1985. Spoke at the school between 82-85.

External links[edit]