History of Albert Schweitzer School, Offenbach

From a Young Ladies’ School to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule

1830: Parents propose foundation of a Young Ladies’ School in Offenbach.

1853: March: school licence granted; Sept.: Young Ladies’ School opened in Geleitstraße.

1855-1873: School grows to include nine classes.

1865: The City of Offenbach acquires the rented building.

1883-1884: School building expanded for the first time; Sept.: opening ceremony for the new building.

1886: March: Demolition of the old building, opening of the new gym and a playground.

1896: In accordance with parents’ desire advanced upper level courses are instituted in German, French, English and Art History.

1907: Further expansion of school building, which now houses 512 female students.

1910: Curriculum reform: part of the senior students are for the first time instructed in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry according to the high school curriculum for boys. This will enable them to continue their education in class 11 of the “Oberrealschule” and obtain the general school-leaving certificate (“Reifeprüfung”).

1913: Increase of Student numbers due to the closure of the Heintzenberg Institute, a private Young Ladies’s School.

1916: Further expansion of the school building.

1926: The school comprises now nine grades, starting with “Sexta” (grade 5) and finishing with “Oberprima” (grade 13).

1927: The first school-leaving exam (“Reifeprüfung”) is being conducted; 15 female students qualify for university education,

1933: In the wake of Hitler’s seizure of power various members of the teaching staff retire or are dismissed for political reasons,

1943: Due to the school building being damaged during the war, classes are now being held alternately at the Boys’ Academy in Waldstraße.

1944: The school building is confiscated for the accommodation of local offices; all classes are now moved to the Boys’ Academy in Waldstraße which temporarily becomes a co-ed school,

1945, March to May: After the occupation by US forces the school is closed down; the building is again used by local officials; in Sept. classes are reopened; students are temporarily housed at the Boys’ Middle School in Parkstraße.

1946: The female students return to the building in Geleitstraße.

1947: The school now accommodates 405 students; 27 pass their school-leaving exam (“Abitur”).

1956: The school is moved to the building at Waldstraße and renamed “Albert-Schweitzer-Schule”. Extensive restructuring and renovation programs are implemented, involving staff rooms, a conference hall, a film hall, a library, the science collection, the gym, shower rooms, a track-and-field facility, a schoolyard. The overall costs amount to DM 260,000.

1957: Co-ed schools are introduced in the entire state of Hesse. 165 Fifth-graders are enrolled at Albert-Schweitzer-Schule. Two girls’ classes, one boys’ class and one co-ed class are formed, the average class size amounting to 41 pupils.

1958: A one-week school excursion to Berlin for final-year students is organized for the first time.

1964: Numerals 1 – 13 for class designation are introduced, replacing Roman numerals VI (“Sexta”) to O I (“Oberprima”).

1966: The school is renamed “Albert-Schweitzer-Schule, Gymnasium” (grammar school), dropping the supplement “for girls”. For the first time boys take their Abitur exam at ASS.

1968: ASS is equipped with a language lab, the remnants of which have only recently been removed from room B 204.

1971: Reform of the senior classes (“Oberstufe”), which is still in effect.

1973: Abitur graduation of the first reformed senior class.

1975: A new modern science wing is put up where today the school administration and the cafeteria are accommodated.

1976: The last all-girls class graduates from ASS.

1978: Celebration on the occasion of the school’s 125th anniversary.

1984: A student exchange with Lycée Hoche in Versailles (Paris) is initiated.

1986: A new, modern gym (later named “Volker-Heim-Halle”) is added to the school premises so that all sports classes can now be taught on site.

1987: A devastating fire destroys large parts of the roof truss of the southern wing which housed the school library

1991: Albert-Schweitzer-School is admitted to the worldwide network of UNESCO schools.

1992: Opening of the reconstructed southern wing including the new teacher-student library.

1993: First implementation of computers at the school library.

1994: Opening of the school cafeteria (now room A 0.01: conference hall).

1996: Singer and songwriter Herbert Grönemeyer visits ASS, entertaining the students with a music lesson and a little concert in the old gym. His authentic autograph can still be admired on the wall in room A 305.

2002: Inauguration of the renovated “old gym”.

2003: The school’s 150th anniversary is celebrated.

2009: Inauguration of a new building containing modern science labs and additional classrooms

2010: The school administration moves to the ground floor of the new annex; the new media center with student internet access is opened on the third floor. With the opening of the new dining hall and cafeteria in the annex the first stage of the school renovation is completed.

2011: The modern ASS gym is renamed “Volker-Heim-Halle” to commemorate a former deputy principal of ASS and a meritorious Offenbach sports official.

2011: Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the old building.

2012: ASS is awarded the label “MINT”-school.

2013: The Junior Engineering Academy is established.

2014: ASS is awarded the label “Schule ohne Rassismus – Schule mit Courage” (“School without Racism”) under the patronage of swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michael Gross, whose native city is Offenbach.

Peter Koch / Dr. Dirk Lemmermann
transl.: Dr. Ursula Lorenz / Beate Carmichael    [4/2015]