Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

005_To the Fifth Grade Pupils


005_To the Fifth Grade Pupils


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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TO THE FIFTH GRADE PUPILS-- In 1976 our nation is observing its bicentennial and for the Des Moines Schools it will mark our 130th birthday. In marking the ages of political institutions both dates note longevity. In the balance of ages of civilization, it is a short interval. Our bicentennial is a time for joy in our accomplishments and for solemn reflection on the future. As students you will learn many things in your study of Iowa history and the geography of the state. In various books you will learn about historical events pertaining to the entire state. This supplementary booklet will provide many historical highlights of the development of schools within the city of Des Moines. This local history will give many details that could not be incorporated in books used throughout the state of Iowa. Through the years the citizens of Des Moines have demonstrated their belief in the values of education by providing excellent school buildings, adequate textbooks and a well-educated staff of teachers. The chances are that you have always accepted the fact that you had a school to attend. It was there. It had a name, possibly for some president such as Washington, Jefferson or Jackson, or for some local person such as Rice, Hubbell or Watrous. Did you ever stop to observe that most Des Moines Schools have had one or more sections added at one time or another? When were they built? Where did the names come from that were used for the buildings? These are a few of the questions that might be asked. On the following pages you will find a history of the Des Moines Independent Community School District. You will find that this name is a very recent one since it was acquired only in 1957. The history on the ensuing pages covers the period 1846-1976. You will discover that the present school district includes all or part of different school districts that formerly existed. A proud school heritage is yours. There is a past filled with change and new ideas. You will find the Des Moines Schools have kept pace with the challenges of a new community, a new state, and a new nation. Dr. Robert R. Denny Assistant Superintendent for Education 24