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Public district
Des Moines, IA
Students enrolled: 301

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901 Walnut St
Des Moines, IA 50309

(515) 242-8438
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Walnut Street School address.

September 01, 2015
This year they have a drop off lane for the kid, which is a plus, if they can do this for pickup too it would be great. They also have a lot of staffing changes this year, hopefully good changes to help pull up test scores, The test scores of the children in this school really concern me, especially 5th grades. How will the kid prepare for middle school if they barely pass the test for 5th grade(55% in math?) But I have big hope for the new principal when seeing a lot of changes he brings to Walnut Street school. Comment in 2014: Only start school for few days and already hate the parking for pick up and drop off. They have hundreds of students and only 20 parking spot available for pickup/drop off, and no pickup/drop off drive way, how is that going to work out? no matter if we came early or later than school start time/end time we still struggling to find parking, unless you have 2 persons to drop off or pickup the kid, one to bring the kid in/out while the other driving around to find parking, you will be late for school/pickup time. The teacher and staff are nice and responsive though. Fix this issue then I'll change my rating for this school.

- submitted by a parent
Develops empathy: Neutral
September 01, 2015
From the work that brought home and what my son told me what he's doing in school I can tell that he's having choices to learn his own way instead of being force to do in certain way, which is good things and he did learn a lot and can complete un-finish work from his practice books that he brought home and I use it to review for him over the summer. But they need more staffs to watch over the kids during lunch and need to pay more attention. My son sometime doesn't eat his lunch because his friend make fun of his food even I brought him just sandwich and water, sometime grill chicken salad. And when i went to have lunch with him, I see kids would pull milk over his own food and the staffs don't even know and when they know, they just said stop it. Doesn't bother to have a talk with him or throw away the tray and let the him continue messing with his food and get it splash all over table. One time I see one kid pushing and messing with other kids and I think it's almost like bully him, but the staffs didn't do anything, when i get her attention, she just said stop it. She didn't even separate them out or have a talk with the other kid. But this is last year in 2014. Hopefully they improve this year.

- submitted by a parent
Teacher effectiveness: Very effective
September 01, 2015
Love my son's kindergarten teacher, she pays attention to the kids (e.g. she let me know she put my son jacket in his backpack because she afraid it's going to get paint on during his art class) and she responses very quickly to my email when i have question or concern. Thanks Mrs. Leek for a great year.

- submitted by a parent
Amount of homework: Don't know
September 01, 2015
don't have real homework yet, only tell to read to him 20 minutes each day. or play some counting with him since he's only in kindergarten last year.

- submitted by a parent
Develops respect: Disagree
September 01, 2015
I don't know how inside the classroom but what i see during lunch time is kids do not show respect to each other and staffs don't even care...

- submitted by a parent

April 30, 2014
The school does a great job and has made many improvements in its short 10 year history. Academic achievement has been increasing each year, but gains are still needed and it seems like the effort by staff is targeted. Certainly there are things that can continue to improve, as with any school. Interestingly, some of the comments below are completely wrong and actually malicious. The current principal did not resign, he accepted a promotion. Why wouldn't that be a celebration versus a slam?! Also, he did withdraw one of his children from the school, but his other child still attends there. Why is that a problem, or even a point of public concern? Do we even know, or need to know, the reasoning? It seems like the parents venting on this site are forgetting that this is a school of choice. We all selected this school for various reasons and the vast majority of us parents are very happy. Those that are unhappy, should reconsider their choice and perhaps return to their neighborhood school. Posting negative comments is unfair to those of us who appreciate and support the school. Thanks WSS for all you are doing for our kids!

- submitted by a parent

April 24, 2014
Principal took own child out of the school, not much more needs to be said.

- submitted by a parent

April 19, 2014
my school is walnut street school and i think its a fantastic place it safe and secure and i think that parents should take their kids there and i hope they do

- submitted by a community member

February 27, 2014
As another parent predicted (wow!), the principal resigned, after pulling his own child out earlier in the year. We have had kids at WSS for many years, it has gone down hill fast ever since IB endorsement was given. Don't get me wrong - we supported IB, we were thrilled with the idea and the lead up to it was great. The implementation has been poor. As soon as the endorsement was given and the school became IB, it was as if the entire staff stopped trying, mission accomplished. I think in addition to the other parent saying the principal is building his resume by moving to another school, he was building his resume by implementing IB, once he had it checked of his to do list that was it. Test scores are down, communication is non-existent, there are no afterschool activities anymore, teachers are out the door as soon as the kids are - unlike my middle schooler, where the teachers are active in running activities for the kids, staying to tutor, etc. The principal wants the teachers only available during their contract hours to the second and out the door-definitely no lighted school house here. I hope new leadership will bring new committment to kids, IB, families & education!

- submitted by a parent

February 19, 2014
My children have all attended WSS, and unfortunately over the past 3 years it has really gone downhill. We came for the IB program and were here prior to WSS receiving the designation. During the process of working toward IB accreditation the school community - teachers, parents and staff all worked hard together in the implementation. Since becoming IB, parents have been shut out of the school, the integration that was supposed to be a part of IB isn't there and the good teachers are leaving because they see what parents are seeing. The principal answer to any parent concern is to tell the family "maybe this isn't the school for you". The replacement teachers have primarily all been first year teachers - more moldable by the principal. We were all so excited and optimistic about what we were creating together for our kids. It is sad to see the shriveling hollow vine it has become with IB taped on the side. To see the opportunities we threw away for our kids, in trying to create this and now we are left with a substandard education for our kids - when we were trying so hard to make a better choice.

- submitted by a parent

October 11, 2013
My child attends this school and it is OK. I've had issues with misplaced paperwork and rude staff (especially on the first floor to operate the elevators) who scoff at you for not knowing protocol in every situation. Parking is an issue, but everyone has to contend with the downtown parking situation. I'm worried by the low math/science scores reported on this site. Otherwise, it seems like a good and diverse school.

- submitted by a parent

February 08, 2013
We love Walnut Street. Great school. Wonderful staff, lots of love and caring for the students.

- submitted by a parent

August 27, 2012
I am a former employee of the preschool program ( i spent 5.5 years with them) as well as a parent (my daughter attended the program as an infant). I truly loved working there& I feel that they have an exceptional group of staff members, although there were things that I found lacking. The support from management was inconsistent and "problem" employees were allowed to stay for years before being terminated. I felt that overall they thoughtfully hired& maintained a strong place for growth and learning, but when issues would arise, it would take a ridiculous amount of time & effort to get it solved. (even with large volumes of complaints). I found this to be an issue with more that one principal/director (i was present for the last 4, ending with Craig Leager). Looking from the inside out, I would tell parents that this is a great school, but in the end you always need to be vigilant. Visit during lunch hours, look at the food provided for your child& the rules& regulations regarding it. How long can they eat? Can they take uneaten food home?

- submitted by a community member

May 12, 2011
We absolutely love Walnut Street School. The principal, teachers and staff are wonderful, caring individuals who are truly dedicated to your child's education. This really is the place to learn, thrive and love.

- submitted by a parent

November 02, 2010
This is the hidden gem in the Des Moines Public Schools! It is an IB school, where students have just begun learning Mandarin! Excellent leadership among teachers and admin. Great diversity! Wonderful community among teachers, students, and families.

- submitted by a parent
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Last modified: September 1, 2015

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Walnut Street School
901 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA  50309
(515) 242-8438
Last modified Walnut Street School is a Public school that serves grades PK-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 3 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Walnut Street School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 16 reviews. Top