Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

073_Hiatt and Hoyt Middle Schools


073_Hiatt and Hoyt Middle 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.

File Name



71 Hovt Middle School 1700 E. 42nd Street Hiatt Jr. High (Photograph) Amos Hiatt Junior High School was established September, 1918, following reorganisation of the Grammar School. Mr. R. J. Cornell, its first principal, pioneered the junior high school movement in Des Moines. During the summer of 1918 the Parent Teachers1 Organisation cooperated with the school officials in the selection of a name for the school. The name of Mr. Amos Hiatt, 18 years Superintendent of East Des Moines Schools, was chosen and permission to use his name was obtained. Announcement of Mr. Hiatt's letter of permission was made at a student assembly and this assembly then voted on the school colors, green and gold. During the 1967-68 school year Amos Hiatt celebrated its 50th Anniversary. The PTA planned several events in honor of the celebration with all activities culminating on April 23, 1968. At that time an open house was held so that former pupils teachers, adminstrators and patrons could meet for an evening of reminiscing and renewing of past friendships. During this period of time typing was initiated to the junior high program and a work experience program which gives on the job training at the junior high level was instituted. Both have proved to be popular and productive courses. The attendance at Hiatt has declined somewhat in the past few years and in 1975 has an enrollment of about 630 students. Their programs include Title I Spelling as well as Title I Reading. They have an active New Horizons program. They have the World of Manufacturing as well as the SPELL program. They have the community cultural recreational program as well as the Police-School Liaison program. Principals who have served at Amos Hiatt are: 1918 - 1923 R. J. Cornell 1942 - 1946 Elmer Betz 1923 (Jan.-June) Mae Goldizan 1946 - 1960 L. L. Wires 1923 - 1929 R. I. Grigsby I960 - 1961 Robert Denny 1929 - 1935 S. E. Thompson 1961 - 1964 Gareld Jackson 1935 - 1939 C. O. Hoyt 1964 - 1966 Bruce Gardner 1939 - 1942 Victor Mastin 1967 - Phillip Cooper Hoyt Middle School opened as an elementary building in September, 1968. The building was designed as an elementary building that later could be expanded to a junior high school structure. This was done with an eye to the future and an analysis of the enrollment trends. It was seen that a junior high school building would be needed to relieve the enrollment pressures that were taking place at Goodrell and Wilson Junior High Schools in the eastern part of the city. Hoyt was an elementary school from 1968-1972. A great deal of work planning and study went into the matter of developing a middle school at the Hoyt site. The result was that the Hoyt Middle School was opened in September, 1972. The new Hoyt Middle School addition consisted of 21 classrooms, an auditorium, cafeteria, gym and a library. The total amount spent on construction was $1,684,000. In August, 1974, a contract was let for an addition of a music room and practice areas in the amount of $103,500. In 1975 still another addition was contracted for expanding the industrial arts shop area and the amount of the budget allocated for this project was $120,000. The open areas of the new Hoyt Middle School presented a different organizational pattern and team teaching situation. The Citizens' Planning Committee that worked on this decided they would like the head of the school called an executive coordinator with the other jobs indicated as an administrative coordinator, coordinator for instruction, coordinator for pupil affairs, and a coordinator for community affairs. In this last respect a very active adult program is taking place at Hoyt with hundreds of students and adults from the area participating in the nighttime use of the building. The 1975 Hoyt curriculum includes four general related areas of study taught by teaching teams. I Math/Science - Continuous progress and ungraded. Outdoor class room and problem solving techniques incorporated. II Language Arts/Social Science - The Social Science vehicle is used to teach Language Arts. This team has a four year teaching cycle and a highly organized basic skills program. III Fine and Applied Arts - Art, Music, Career Education Exploration, Business Education, World of Manufacturing, World of Construction, Consumer and Family Education. IV Health/Physical Education/ Recreation (co-educational) * Physical Education, Health, career approach to Communication Media as well as the Hospitality and Recreation cluster, Leisure Reading, Group Guidance. There will be a Learning Disability program, Pupil Services as well as full extra curricular and club program, Hoyt continues to individualize instruction and offer options. The staff is differentiated. The philosophy embraces field trips, volunteer workers and extensive community input through an active Community Advisory Board and P.T.A. Hoyt maintains a business alliance project with John Deere. The organization since 1973 has continued to include sixth graders from the area,