Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

025_Adams and Brooks Schools


025_Adams and Brooks Schools


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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24 ADAMS SCHOOL East 29th and Douglas Grades K-5 Site--4.1 acres Dates of construction 4917 frame building (3 rooms) 1924 first wing of present building 1951 first addition 1961 second addition 1971 addition of 2 classrooms The first Adams School was located at East 27th and Douglas. This three room wooden building was moved to the present site and subsequent construction is listed above. This school was named for John Quincy Adams. A complete history of Adams School, teachers, principals, P.T.A. officers and minutes of P.T.A. meetings has been compiled and is in a bound book at Adams School. This book contains pictures of the buildings, teachers, pupils and P.T.A. officers. It also contains many newspaper clippings including an obituary of Mr. Jordan, the principal who* died in 1937. P.T.A. minutes record that at the September meeting in 1937, "about 40 were present and very sad, as Mr. Jordan, our principal for twenty years was very ill in the hospital. Flowers were voted to* be sent him." Then at the October meeting the following notation was made; "October 13 about 49 members met in the evening for our regular meeting. Members were very sad as Mr. Jordan had passed away." The obituary of Mr. Jordan states that at one time he had charge of the following ten schools: Perkins, Adams, Barton, Bly, Jefferson, Monroe, Riley, Windsor, Douglas and Meredith. More recently he was principal of a group of five schools including Adams. When the first frame building was opened in 1917 there were two teachers, Miss Marguerite Hanke and Miss Genevieve Schultz. Mr. J. O. Mitchell was principal. In the first brick building built in 1924 there were four rooms, in addition to a frame building. The enrollment was 183. Mr, W. L. Jordan was principal. From then through two additions to the original four rooms. Adams has continued to grow and expand. Through these many years more and more new homes have been built each producing boys and girls to be educated. As mentioned above, more detailed history of Adams will be found in the bound book kept in the school office. In 1971 an addition of two rooms was added to the west wing of the building. This cost was $57,000. New housing developments have enabled Adams to keep a substantial enrollment in contrast to the declining population in many schools. Principals of Adams School— 1917-1919 J. O. Mitchell 1919-1937 W. Lee Jordan 1937-1939 Edna L. E. Petersen 1939-1944 Ruth Pritchard 1944-1945 Almeda Nelson 1945-1964 Edith Patterson 1964- Mildred Shay BROOKS SCHOOL East 21st & Des Moines St. Grades K-6 Dates of construction- -1909 One half 1914 First addition 1925 Second addition 1975 New gymnasium. Site 3.6 acres Brooks School was named for Dr. Thomas K. Brooks. Dr. Brooks was the first physician and postmaster in Des Moines. He lived near Brooks Lake, and it was his earnest desire that the county seat of Polk County would be located near the present site of Brooks School. The 1970's presented a challenge to Brooks School to change the fore- mat of the educational program in order to more nearly meet the academic needs of each individual student. In 1971, an individualized approach to learning was begun in the upper grades. Children of grades 4-5-6 were mixed and thus an ungraded program was begun. With this concept, a child could progress as fast as he is able in the areas easiest for him and still take the time he needs in areas he finds more difficult. Upper unit teachers specialized in areas of their teaching strengths and developed a totally departmentalized program. The development of behavioral objectives and the concept of teaching to them became a reality and a basic part of the program. In 1972, Brooks became officially one of the thirteen IGE schools in the district and our goals for an individualized approach for teaching children were enhanced. The school was divided into four units and a team leader for each unit was appointed. Children were assigned to units rather than grades and the total school became dedicated to meeting the needs of each child. Our program has since then progressed and now includes as a part of every subject, Career Education. During the 1974-75 year we were able not only to combine career education with all subject areas but in addition to provide actual learning experiences that afforded the children a way 'to actually see how the skills they were learning in school would be a necessity for operating in the world of work. The Brooks program is concerned with not only individualization but also with the humanizing influence. Activities which promote positive human relationships have become an integral part of the over all plan. Title I Reading and Math program began in September 1973. In 1975,-two Learning Disability self contained classrooms were added as well as one Learning Disability resource room. On March 4, 1975 the Board of Education awarded a bid to Jorge Construction Company for $74,000 for a physical education facility addition at Brooks Elementary School. The total of the other contracts for mechanical and electrical brought the total construction cost to $105,409. This addition made possible a full gymnasium facility for Brooks School and eliminated the need for the use of the small gymnasium that had originally been a part of the old building. Principals of Brooks School— 1910 - 1913 Mr. Warren 1913 - 1918 J. O. Mitchell 1918 - 1937 Minnie Walker 1937 - 1939 James Burr 1939 - 1957 Clarence I. Pease 1957 - 1964 Frances Meneough 1964 - 1968 Harry Elder 1968 - 1974 Donald Williams 1974 - Marly Davis