School News

Linda Cunningham, a jeweler and grandparent of student Corinne Hyman (age 8) shows students her collection of fossils including ammonites, petrified wood, brachiopods and crinoids.

Experts Help Students Study Rocks, Minerals


Jessica Watson’s 7, 8 and 9-year-old students are learning about rocks and minerals from expert speakers focused on the geographical history of Iowa, the rock cycle, fossils found in Iowa, the properties of minerals and how different types of rocks are formed. Click the image for more.

Homepage Feature

Proposed 2015-2016 Schedule Now Available


Many of you know we are waiting on the Iowa Legislature to decide the future of school start dates. Because there is no timeline for their decision, and many families make plans months in advance, we are releasing the school’s proposed 2015-2016 calendar. Please click on the headline to read more.


Happy February Intercession!


Teachers and students at The Downtown School are on a break during February intercession. We’ll see everyone back in class on February 16. And thanks to the Sadler family for the great Valentine’s Day holiday decorations!


Downtown Welcomes Scavo H.S. to Campus


When the Scavo High School students arrived for their first day of school at Central Campus, Downtown School students were ready. Mrs. Arbogast and Mrs. Donovan’s students made signs to welcome their new friends to the newly renovated 4th floor of Central Campus. Welcome, Scavo students!


Thank you, Parent Teacher Assocation!


The staff and students would like to take this opportunity to thank the Downtown School PTA for their support this year. Click on the image to read about some of the amazing things our parent-teacher association has pulled together for Downtown students!


5 & 6-year-olds Sing About Winter Fun


The Downtown School 5 and 6-year-olds sang about “Mitten Weather”, the “Gingerbread Man”, “Jingle Bells” and the love that goes along with the holidays in the Central Campus Auditorium this week. Everyone agrees they did an excellent job.

Upcoming Events

Feb 27
Sing Along
Mar 06
PTA General Meeting
Mar 11
Kindergarten Sign Up
Mar 13
No School
Mar 16
Spring Break - No school

1800 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
P: 515-242-8422 | F: 515-242-7391

Bulletin Board

Kindergarten Sign-Up – March 11, 2015

(Child must be 5 years old on or by September 15, 2015 to enroll.)


Families of our pre-selected students are asked to sign-up between 3:00pm and 7:30pm on Wednesday, March 11.  Parking is available in our circle drive or the parking lot at 1800 Grand Ave across from Central Campus.


* If your student or a family member has been enrolled in the Des Moines School district, such as preschool, you will sign-up at the Downtown School site, 1800 Grand Ave.


* If your student is totally new to the Des Moines School district, you will contact the Welcome Center at 242-7371 or 242-7233 to set up an appointment.


Please bring the following:

1) Two documents proving established residency. This may include a purchase contract with possession date or closing date, mortgage statement, rental agreement, or utility bill, credit card statement.  Post Office boxes and Driver’s License do not qualify.


If living in another person(s) home, provide a notarized statement from that person stating you and your child(ren) are living there with their name and address on it, as well as a utility bill in their name.


2) Birth Certificate


3) Child’s Immunization records


4) Photo ID, such as driver’s license, passport


5) Guardianship papers, if applicable


If you have questions regarding the Enrollment Process, please contact the Downtown School at 242-8422.



Enroll at the Downtown School



New families interested in enrolling at the Downtown School for 2015-2016 will need to follow and complete the Des Moines Public Schools’ Within District Transfer paperwork. This information is located on the District website using the following link: For any questions regarding this process please contact the district enrollment office at 242-7353.

Academic Calendar

We have two versions of our academic calendar – the 2014-15 Academic Calendar lists important dates for the 2014-15 school year.

Our horizontal calendar shows all months of the school year, using a Monday – Friday weekly layout.

Downtown School Dispatch

Read the latest edition of Mr. Johnson’s Downtown School Dispatch here.



Calendar of Events


About Downtown School

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1800 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309

P: 515-242-8422 | E: 


We provide an educational experience for kindergarten through fifth grade children based on what research has shown to be the best practices in elementary education.  Read More…

I am happy that you found our web site. I hope you will find it useful and interesting.

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