Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

047_McKee School


047_McKee 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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Peter J. Cunningham was assigned as the first principal at Horace Mann School in January, 1962. Vi Coldren was assigned as principal in September 1962, and continued until her retirement in June, 1971. Lyla M. Lynch was assigned as principal July 1, 1971 and is continuing at the present time. Horace Mann officially became an IGE ungraded Multi-unit School in 1972. Individualized instruction is offered to all students in the areas of Math, Reading, Speclling and writing. At present planning for individualization in the areas of Language instruction and communication skills. Horace Mann was one of the pilot schools in Elementary Career Education in 1973. The fifteen Career Education clusters are presented on a rotating basis in order to build awareness at both primary and intermediate levels. We work closely with the McCombs Jr. High in Career Education to the mutual advantage of students in both schools. Criterion Referenced Testing (SCORE) was piloted in Social Studies in 1973-74. Score was also piloted in Science processes in 1974-75. The school offers students special help in Speech and Learning Disabilities. Parents form a strong volunteer force and participate actively in the activities of the school. McKEE SCHOOL East 38th and Easton Blvd. Grades K-5 Dates of construction—1928 Wooden annex moved to site 1949 1st unit of new building 1960 eight classroom addition Site—5.0 acres Late in the summer of 1928 one of the famous Camp Dodge housing units was moved to the present McKee School grounds. It was christened "Four Mile School11 probably out of deference to the infamous creek of that name that is nearby. 45 In May, 1931, the Board of Education renamed the structure, in honor of the late Edwin T. Meredith. The formal dedication took place on Arbor Day, 1932, with Mrs. Meredith present. On March 30, 1948, bids were taken for a new nine-room school with gymnasium and auditorium. The building cost was more than $591,000 and was to house 300 children. The name of Meredith School was changed to Margaret McKee School in 1959. Miss McKee was a former physical education director of the Des Moines Public Schools. The Meredith name was transferred to a new Junior High School at West 47th and Madison. The Meredith family had given about 50 acres of land that would ultimately house not only Meredith Junior High School but also Hoover Senior High. It is estimated that the land value of this gift was in the neighborhood of $300,000. In 1960 eight additional classrooms were added to the south end of McKee School. With the opening of Hoyt Middle School in September, 1972, the sixth grade of both McKee and Douglas School was transferred to the new structure. At this point, McKee then became an elementary school, K-5. It also has two rooms for the educable mentally retarded pupils. There is very heavy participation in the community cultural recreation program for this area. Extensive night school classes are operated in the building with a great deal of participation. Since Four Mile Community Center opened we have no night classes-only after school classes for children. A class for the Hearing Impaired is being added in September of 1975. Principals who have served at McKee are: 1928-1937 W. Lee Jordan 1937-1939 Edna L.E. Peterson 1939-1943 Ruth Pritchard 1943-1945 Almeda Nelson 1945-1952 Edith Patterson 1952-1957 Kenneth Smith 1957-1958 Lorraine Kimball Reed 1958-1964 James Wise 1964-1965 Marjorie Schwien 1965-1972 James Daugherty 1972-1974 Lydia Rogers 1974 Ruth Collins McKee (Photograph) McKinley (Photograph) Mitchell (Photograph) Monroe (Photograph)