School News


Two Iowa PAEMST Finalists Teach at DTS


For the third year in a row, two of Iowa’s finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are from DMPS. Molly Sweeney and Jessica Watson – both teachers here at the Downtown School – are among seven Iowa teachers nominated for the nation’s top science and math educator award. Click the headline to learn more about them.

Ballot voting

Downtown Students Cast Ballots on Election Day


Downtown School students made ballots, registered voters and created a video showing younger students how to vote on Election Day. Mrs. Arbogast was instrumental in helping students learn about the process. Be sure to ask your child how they voted for Governor, U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative. Click the image for more photos from Merrill and Downtown.


What’s for Lunch? Ask the DMPS Mobile App


You can now find out what’s for breakfast and lunch at every school on every day of the year. You can even find out nutritional information. Just visit the Dining section on the new DMPS Mobile App. If you don’t yet have the app, click the header to download it for Apple or Android and learn more about its many features.

Downtown picnic

Downtown School Picnic at Union Park


Eight-year-old Truman rockets past his friends at Union Park during the annual Downtown School picnic. Students and their families gathered to play together, enjoy the beautiful fall temperatures and climb on board the carousel for free rides! Thank you to the Downtown School PTA for sponsoring this fun event.

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Students Learn About Apples at the Orchard


Kindergarten and first-grade students are visiting the Center Grove Apple Orchard for hands-on experience during their apple unit. In the photo, Sayde Soyer learns how the orchard weighs down the branches of an apple tree so more of the leaves can receive the sun’s healthy rays!


Students Study Butterflies at Gray’s


Downtown School students Corinne Hyman and Callahan Stone use insect nets at Gray’s Lake Park to catch butterflies, examine them and identify characteristics that make them similar and different. The 7/8 year old age group is also studying the reason behind the decreased population of Monarch butterflies and the life cycle of the insects.

Upcoming Events

Nov 27
Thanksgiving Day
Nov 27
Holiday - No school, offices closed
Nov 28
Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec 22
Winter Recess
Dec 22
No School - Winter Break

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

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.


Elementary Registration

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

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…

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