This is a page from the collection "Bicentennial Reflections: History of Des Moines Public Schools, 1876-1976" by Dr. Robert R. Denny, published by the Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa in 1976.
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17 1880 was the first year that a teacher of business was made a regular member of the high school core of teachers. At this time Mr. Clay Slinker was engaged to teach business subjects—drawing, penmanship, physiology and civil government. To fill in his spare moments he taught club swinging, fencing, etc. 1882 - Science became an elective for the Latin course Bookkeeping was a seond elective and students wishing to take the subject were required to remain after the regular school hours in order to take it and also to pay extra tuition. 1884 - 1885 German was an elective for Virgil and Cicero American Literature and commercial arithmetic were also electives. Physics Etymology Greek French Ancient Geography Illiad 1884 - Kindergarten established in Des Moines In the fall of 1886 Mr. J. M. Meham, instructor in a business college in Des Moines, was engaged to come to West High to give instruction in bookkeeping. 1888 - Solid Geometry Stenography Commercial Geography - An elective - banking 1888 - Physical culture classes established (forerunner of P.E.) 1889 - Drawing classes established (art) In 1889, Mr. Clay Slinker with the cooperation of Mr. C. S. Dahlburg introduced shorthand and typewriting. West High School was the first high school in the country to establish permanently a course in shorthand and typewriting. Domestic science was first placed in the curriculum in 1889. Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Miller of the Toledo Public School were employed by the Board of Education to introduce their new methods. Domestic science became so popular that boys were admitted to this department. 1890 - Manual Training classes established 1891 - English History 1892 - Music classes began 1893 - 1894 Office Practice and Bookkeeping Advanced Stenography 1896 Modern and Medieval History 1897 Advanced Shorthand and Advanced Typewriting 1897 - East Des Moines Schools Voted free textbooks 1899 -West Des Moines Schools voted free textbooks. Free texts are voted by the people and can be changed only by vote of the people. 1901 - College Preparatory Course based on Latin was offered and Greek was discontinued. 1901 - Stone part of West High was added. 1905 - A requirement was made that all students must take English each year in high school. The Latin Department enrollment showed that over 50% of the students took Latin. Music was conducted on a more systematic basis and was counted as a regular recitation for which credit was given. A course in physical culture was more complete in 1905 than in previous years since their work had been expanded. Courses consisted of running, work with dumbells and clubs and calisthenics. This department also gave both boys' and girls' gymnastic training. 1907 - Big consolidation resulted in the Des Moines Independent School District. 1909 - Business Organization based on the economics of business was added to the commercial course. 1913 - Clay Slinker, first director of Business Education in U.S. 1913 - Office Practice and Shorthand and a two-year course in Business English were added. 1914 - Salesmanship 1914 - 1915 Normal training department was established. Classes in pedagogy were given. John Greenleaf Whittier SchooL (Photograph) E. 14th and Washington West High School (Photograph) 15th and Center East Woodlawn School,(Photograph) West 30th and Euclid No pictures available of: Lower Agency School Plum Grove School, Southwest Des Moines Rawson School (frame) 43rd and Franklin Sand Hill School, S.W. corner Grandview Park Walnut School, 49th and Grand West Woodlawn School, Beaver and Madison