ERIC Number: ED402383
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Downtown School Community Report. Connecting Learning with Life.
Lacey, Kelly; Drees, Jan
In August 1993 the Des Moines (Iowa) community created a new type of neighborhood school by placing an elementary school close to where the parents work, rather than where they live. This school, the Downtown School, serves a diverse community of students, emphasizes parental involvement, and implements current research in education. This report reviews its first 2 years of operation. Founding principles for the Downtown School were that it would require parent involvement and communication and that it would have small classes, with an integrated curriculum in multiage classes featuring experience-based active learning. The Downtown School was planned with a year-round calendar, portfolio assessment, and parent-teacher-student conferences three to four times a year. The school opened with 45 students, and serves 96 in its third year. Students from low-income households account for 34% of the enrollment, and students from minority groups make up 27.5% of the student body. A look at the program after 2 years shows that the school has been welcomed by the community and has created effective partnerships with the business community. Its self-evaluation efforts have targeted areas for improvement. Although the Downtown School has been open for only a brief time, student achievement measured by standardized tests has been above national and district averages. (Contains 10 tables, 19 figures, and 42 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Class Size, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Change, Educational Research, Elementary Education, Employment, Low Income Groups, Minority Groups, Mixed Age Grouping, Neighborhood Schools, Parent Participation, Program Implementation, Urban Schools, Year Round Schools
Des Moines Business Education Alliance, 501 Locust, Suite 200, Des Moines, IA 50309; e-mail: LaceyKe@dmps.des-moines.k12.ia.us; fax: (515) 284-0890.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Des Moines Business Education Alliance, IA.