Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

030_Edmunds School


030_Edmunds School


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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28 For twenty years Flora Dunlap served as director of Roadside. During World War I she served two years with the War Camp Community service the U.S.O. of that time. Retiring as director of Roadside in 1924, she continued to serve on the board until leaving Des Moines in 1943. But Flora Dunlap's interests were much broader than her immediate job at the settlement house. Her influence was great and beneficial to the community m the fields of education, women's rights, politics, and public health. Her service to the community reflects this wide influence. In 1909 she became a charter member of the board of the Public Health Nursing Association and in 1912 she was the first woman to be elected to the school board in Des Moines. During the years from 1913 to 1915 Miss Dunlap was president of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association and was legislative chairman of the Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs. From 1919 to 1921 she served as the first president of the Iowa League of Women Voters. For ten years, from 1933 to 1943, she was busily engaged serving her community as chairman of the women's division of the WPA in Iowa, and she also served as a member of the Polk County Social Welfare Board, again being the first woman to hold such a position. She also< was a member of the Community Chest board of directors from 1932 to 1938. In 1922 and again m 1940 she was president of the Polk County Women's Democratic Club, and in 1936 she served as a member of a state committee to study social welfare legislation for Iowa, and then worked on a committee of five to draft social welfare bills for the state. In 1943 Miss Dunlap returned to her girlhood home in Circleville, Ohio. On August 26, 1952, death interrupted her service to the people she loved. The Flora Dunlap Elementary School, at S.E. Eleventh Street and Railroad Avenue, was completed before her death. In the mid-1970's Dunlap elementary school has the undepartmenta- lized program. With the closing of Scott* elementary school at E. 25th and Maury, those youngsters are now brought by school bus to Dunlap which is their new attendance center. In the mid-1970's Dunlap has the following compensatory programs for students: Title I Reading, K-6; Title I Math, K-4; Follow Through, K-3 as well as Head Start Classes. There are also classes for the educable mentally retarded. Dunlap is a school in the community action program that involves a great deal of participation by parents in after-school activities. One of the innovative programs that has received nation-wide recognition has been the family learning center. It is an active participant in the community cultural recreational activities program. Past principals of Dunlap include: 1952 - 1960 Florence Weisbrod 1960 - 1962 Phernn Dowell 1962 - 1968 Patience Guthrie 1968 - 1971 Dale Jacobus 1971 - Robert Langbehn EDMUNDS SCHOOL 1601 Crocker Street Grades K-6 Date of constrution—1974 Site—-3 acres For the 1973-1974 school year, Edmunds School was housed in two former elementary schools that were forerunners of Edmunds. These were Bird School at Harding Road and Woodland and Grant School at 23rd and Cottage Grove. Bird School was demolished in 1975. Grant School was one of the oldest school units in the district having been built originally in 1885 with additions in 1895 and 1910. Grant was sold in 1974. Each of these had been K-8 units in the old West Des Moines school district that existed until 1907 when the general merger of school districts took place. Thus, these two former schools possessed a proud heritage that formed the background for a striking new educational unit that was soon to be built-Edmunds, which was based upon an open-space philosophy of education. Along with this educational idea was the philosophy that the school board used for all of the schools in the 1970's and that was input from the school community as to the type of school facility that the individuals who lived in that neighborhood wished to have built. In the case of Edmunds and King, a unique planning process called the Educational Charrette was utilized. It was the first one in the State of Iowa and in the midwest. The idea was espoused by the U.S. Office of Education and endorsed by the State Department of Public Instruction. The history of Edmunds School goes back to two elementary schools- Bird School at Harding Road and Woodland and Grant School at 23rd and Cottage Grove. Generation upon generation had passed through the halls of these two buildings that were to become Edmunds School. In 1968, plans were beginning to take form which would eventually result in a new, single educational facility to replace Bird and Grant. The Board of Education and other concerned citizens were taking a new look at processes used for new school development. In 1971, a Charrette was held to begin the final stages of planning for the single facility. Charrette was defined as a vehicle including parents, senior citizens, students, teachers, administrators, businessmen, agency representatives, religious leaders, university personnel and special consultants. Dr. Charles Link and Dr. Donald Brubaker served as coordinators of the Charrette process and were responsible for the developmental team selected to interpret the educational findings of the Charrette participants from the Bird/Grant community. From the Charrette came a humanistic, multi-cultured direction to program development and facility planning. The process produced an educational facility which was to: (1) provide a curriculum of relevancy. (2) provide for development of self-worth and pride through the educational programs. (3) serve the recreational and health needs of the total community. (4) draw students from other communities in an effort to create a multi-cultured educational setting. The school was to be an open-spaced building with an individualized approach to learning. The learning design was to serve adults as well as children. The citizens of the Des Moines Independent Community School voted bonds for the construction of the new building and in 1972 began to build this fine new structure. Edmunds School opened its doors in September of 1974. Principals of Edmunds School include: 1973 - Don Brubaker