School News


Kindergarten Musical Features Farmers


Mrs. Wheeler’s kindergarten students dress up to hoedown! The musical featured farmers, worms and everything you want to know about los pollitos. The students have been learning about animals and life on the farm. To see more fun photos, click on the picture!

2014-04-17 Downtown School Grant Recipient

Downtown School PTO Receives Grant


Downtown School’s PTO received a $5,000 grant from the Rotary Club of Des Moines today. The money will be used for new library furniture. RCDM members often read to Downtown School students and donate books weekly to the library in honor of their keynote speakers.

Zebra Club

Great Minds Think Alike


Six Downtown School teachers found themselves in the Zebra Club on Tuesday. Principal John Johnson says it’s a record! Click the picture to see the fun we had with our dress-alike teachers.

Traveling Museum

Students Create Traveling Museum


Downtown students create a handmade traveling history exhibit for rural kids who don’t get to visit Des Moines very often. To read more about it, click the picture!


Downtown S.C.U.B.A. Experience “Epic”


Students at the Downtown School dove into the pool for a lesson they say will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Click Ander Milner’s photo at left to see and read more about how this unconventional lesson plan will help them become better writers … and divers!


DMPS Considers New Attendance Areas


It’s been more than 25 years since DMPS made comprehensive changes to elementary school attendance areas. A lot changes in a quarter of a century, and to better serve students and meet the needs of schools the district is considering new attendance areas for many elementary schools. Click the headline to learn about the plan and share your opinion.

Upcoming Events

Apr 24
April Sing Along
Apr 30
Temple Theater - 7/8 year old Learning Groups - 10:00 show
May 01
Trey McIntyre - 9/10 year old Learning Groups - 10:00 show
May 06
Musical - Buckner/Miller Learning Groups
May 09
Clark/Sweeney Learning Group Musical

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

Bulletin Board

Enroll at the Downtown School


New families interested in enrolling at the Downtown School for 2014-2015 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

The 2014-15 Academic Calendar is now available.

2013-14 Academic Calendar.

Downtown School Dispatch

The current Dispatch from Mr. Johnson, as well as archived editions, are available.

Kindergarten Sign-Up – March 26, 2014

Kindergarten selections for the district’s “Schools of Choice” have been completed.  Selection letters have been sent to families.  Families of our pre-selected students are asked to sign-up between 1:00pm and 7:00pm on Wednesday, March 26.  Parking is available in the Grand Parking at 1800 Grand Ave across from Central Campus. After 2:00pm, parking will be available in the circle drive.

* 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 stating 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 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. Immunization records
4. Your official photo identification, 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 or

Suggested Classroom Supply Lists

2013-14 Supply Lists

Calendar of Events


About Downtown School

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1800 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309

P: 515-242-8422 | E: 


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