Des Moines Public Schools
|Des Moines Public Schools|
Think. Learn. Grow.
|Type and location|
|Established||May 21, 1907|
|Location||Des Moines, Iowa|
|Superintendent||Dr. Thomas Ahart|
|Accreditation||North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges
The Iowa Department of Education
|Budget||$450 Million |
|Students and staff|
|Staff||5,000+ (Inc. teachers)|
|Athletic conference||Central Iowa Metro League|
The Des Moines Public Schools (The Des Moines Independent Community School District, or DMPS) is the largest public school district in Iowa. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges and the Iowa Department of Education.
- 1 Area
- 2 History
- 3 List of schools
- 4 Administration
- 5 Media
- 6 Facts and Figures
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The district currently serves most of the city of Des Moines as well as parts of suburban Pleasant Hill and Windsor Heights. The city is split into four different area districts. District one covers the west, two covers the north, three covers the east, and district four the south.
For over 100 years, Des Moines Public Schools has been educating the students of Iowa’s capital city. Today, it is the largest provider of public education in Iowa, with more than 33,000 students and nearly 5,000 teachers and staff at work in more than 60 schools throughout the community.
Advanced Placement Program and International Baccalaureate Programme
The school district has a well-established Advanced Placement program. Headquartered at Central Academy, the program began in the mid 1980s and is among some of the best in the United States. The program has continued to expand greatly over the last few years at all the area high schools. In 2014 alone there were over 2,500 Advanced Placement tests taken in the district, a 250 percent increase from 2011. Since 1991, 36 State of Iowa AP Scholars have been produced by DMPS. Additionally, over 2,600 DMPS students have earned some variation of the AP Scholar award as of 2014. As of 2015, all five comprehensive high schools have earned a top 50 spot on the University of Iowa's Advanced Placement index three years running. Roosevelt High School has consistently been ranked in the top ten, Hoover High School in the top 20, and the district's Central Academy has been singled out for special recognition as the best in the state.
In 2008, Des Moines Public Schools became the first and only school district in Iowa to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme as another approach to learning for students. In just a few years, the IB program in Des Moines has grown to include ten schools serving more than 5,000 students. The school district is currently home to ten IB World Schools, with the hope of expanding it to several others. IB is a school-wide program providing a framework for teaching and learning that engages students in guided inquiry centered on universal concepts. Guided inquiry emphasizes students’ natural curiosity and provides them with an opportunity to ask questions and seek answers in a collaborative classroom where students and teachers work together to explore the curriculum. At the middle school level, IB students experience the district curriculum enhanced with rigorous international standards across eight subject areas.
List of schools
High ("Secondary") schools
- East High School - Serving students located in the east segment.
- Hoover High School - Serving students located in the northwest segment.
- Lincoln High School - Serving students located in the south segment.
- North High School - Serving students located in the north segment.
- Roosevelt High School - Serving students located in the west segment.
Special schools & programs
- Scavo Campus — An alternative high school program serving 300 students, named after Vincent C. Scavo located at Central Campus downtown.
- Ruby Van Meter School - A special secondary school serving students who have moderate and severe disabilities.
- Central Academy (Est. 1985) - A highly selective public magnet school located in downtown Des Moines nationally-recognized for its academic achievements.
Gifted & Talented Program
The DMPS Gifted and Talented Department screens students each year in the fall for possible identification and subsequent gifted and talented programming and services. The program was established by the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at The University of Iowa. DMPS supports research-based continuing staff development opportunities so that all district teaching and administrative personnel may, through their teaching and educational leadership, ensure gifted and talented students learn and achieve at levels commensurate with their exceptional abilities.
Middle ("Intermediate") schools
- Brody Middle School
- Callanan Middle School
- Cowles Montessori School
- Gateway Secondary School
- Goodrell Middle School
- Harding Middle School
- Hiatt Middle School
- Hoyt Middle School
- McCombs Middle School
- Meredith Middle School
- Merrill Middle School
- Moulton Extended Learning Center
- Weeks Middle School
Elementary ("Primary") schools
- Brubaker Elementary School
- Capitol View Elementary School
- Carver Community School (est. 2007)
- Cattell Elementary School
- Cowles Montessori Elementary School
- Downtown School
- Edmunds Elementary School
- Findley Elementary school
- Garton Elementary School
- Greenwood Elementary School
- Hanawalt Elementary School
- Hillis Elementary School
- Howe Elementary School
- Hubbell Elementary School
- Jackson Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary Traditional School
- King Elementary School
- Lovejoy Elementary School
- Madison Elementary School
- McKinley Elementary School
- Monroe Elementary School
- Moore Elementary School
- Morris Elementary School
- Moulton Extended Learning Center
- Oak Park Elementary School
- Park Avenue Elementary School
- Perkins Elementary School
- Phillips Elementary School
- Pleasant Hill Elementary School
- River Woods Elementary School
- Samuelson Elementary School
- Smouse Elementary School
- South Union Elementary School
- Stowe Elementary School
- Studebaker Elementary School
- Walnut Street School
- Willard Elementary School
- Windsor Elementary School
- Wright Elementary School
School board elections are held every year to fill in vacant seats on the school board. The school board meets regularly at 6:00 PM Central Time on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. These meetings are held at Central Campus downtown, located at 1800 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. In addition, the School Board holds special meetings and work sessions throughout the year as needed. These meetings are broadcast on television and archived on the district's YouTube channel as well.
School Business Partners
Almost all of the schools in DMPS have an area business partner. These partners help their local communities and sponsor several events throughout the year. Some of the larger partners include but are not limited to Aviva, Des Moines University, Hyvee, Principal Financial Group, and The Des Moines Register.
|#||Superintendent||Start of term||End of term|
|13||Dr. Thomas Ahart||May 15, 2012||Present|
|12||Dr. Nancy Sebring||July 1, 2006||May 10, 2012|
|11||Dr. Eric A. Witherspoon||1998||July 1, 2006|
|10||Dr. Gary Wegenke||1988||1998|
|8||Dr. Dwight M. Davis||1964||1980|
|7||Dr. John H. Harris||1957||1964|
|6||Cress O. Hoyt||1956||1957|
|5||Newell D. McCombs||1941||1956|
|4||A. W. Merrill||1937||1941|
|3||John W. Studebaker||1920||1937|
|2||Z. C. Thornberg||1913||1920|
|1||W. O. Riddell||1907||1913|
- Channel 12 is the school district's Educational-access television cable TV channel, which is provided through Mediacom Cable Television as part of a franchise agreement with the City of Des Moines. The district televises their school board meetings through this network. Additionally, the school district operates its own social media outlets.
Facts and Figures
|Year||District-wide||High schools||Middle schools||Elementary schools||Other programs & adjustments|
- Note: The table rows shown in red represents data that was cited directly from the Des Moines Public Schools enrollment reports. Some of this data conflicts with data from the Iowa Department of Education annual reports. This is because the underlying data is complex, and the table above is a summary of the data collected from the two sources.
High school graduation requirements are determined on a district-wide scope by the School Board. The district has been pressured to make graduation requirements more challenging, as students must be adequately prepared for higher education or competitive enough to work in today's business world.
Credits are units of measure in determining an individual student's progress through High School. For each course semester in which a student completes (with a grade of D- or better), they are awarded one-half credit unit, with the exception of Physical Education (one semester of P.E. is equal to an eighth of a credit).
Under Iowa law, beginning with the class of 2017, all students must complete coursework in Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, Technology Literacy, and Employability Skills.
In order to be considered on track to graduate in four years, students must meet the following credit requirements each year:
6.0 credits going into Sophomore/10th grade year 12.0 credits going into Junior/11th grade year 18.0 credits going into Senior/12th grade year
The table below shows the graduation requirements for each of the graduating classes by year:
|Graduating Year||Total Req.||Social Studies||English||Mathematics||Science||Fine/Applied Arts||Physical Education|
- Des Moines Public Schools (2006). "Enrollment Report as of October 2, 2006" (PDF).
- Des Moines Public Schools (2005). "Enrollment Report as of September 16, 2005" (PDF).
- Des Moines Public Schools (2004). "Enrollment Report as of September 17, 2004" (PDF).
- Iowa Department of Education (2001). "Certified Annual Reports for FY01-02 (Spreadsheet)".
- Iowa Department of Education (2000). "Certified Annual Reports for FY00-01 (Spreadsheet)".