Profile of Our District
WHO ARE WE?
It’s easy to picture a school classroom as filled with students and led by a dedicated teacher, but we’re much more than that. We are a learning community comprised of involved parents, agency and business partners, volunteers, and caring citizens who, together with our students and staff, make Davenport Community Schools a district of distinction.
DAVENPORT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS AT A GLANCE
Communities Served: We serve the communities of Blue Grass, Buffalo, Davenport, and Walcott. This total land area covers 109 square miles.
- 4 High Schools
- 4 Intermediate Schools
- 1 K-8 School
- 17 Elementary Schools
- The Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities
- Keystone Academy
- A network of Early Childhood Learning Centers
- 1 Athletic Stadium
- 1 Operations Center
- 1 Achievement Services Center
Budget: A highly trained staff of financial experts maintains a budget of over $200 million to ensure the effective use of funds. Accolades include the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Association of School Business Officials International.
Economic Impact: Nearly 3000 employees – one of the top ten employers in the Quad Cities.
Student Enrollment (preschool-12th grade) – 15,810 students (October 23,2015 – Official Enrollment Count Day)
- 56% White
- 18.9% Black of African-American
- 14% Hispanic
- 9% Multi-racial
- 1.8% Asian
- 0.2% American Indian or Alaskan Native
- 0.1% Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
High Quality Teachers
- A highly structured mentoring program pairs new teachers with an experienced teacher as mentor for two years. At the end of this intensive coaching and portfolio review process, new teachers receive their standard teaching license.
- All teachers receive ongoing coaching and professional development by a staff of Curriculum & Instruction Specialists and other experts from around the nation
- Weekly “collaborative time” allows teachers to engage in professional issues and plan for student needs
Professional Employees’ Credentials
- Bachelors’ Degrees – 100%
- Masters’ Degrees – 54.4%
- Specialist or Doctorate Degrees – 1.7%
Guidelines for Elementary Class Sizes
- Kindergarten through first grade – 20 students
- Second grade – 21 students
- Third grade – 22 students
- Fourth through fifth grade – 26 students
Computers and Technology
- We are a 1:1 school district with over 25,000 devices serving our students and staff
- All elementary classrooms have interactive whiteboards, with many intermediate and high schools utilizing the technology
- Google Apps for Education workspaces facilitate “anytime, anywhere” learning for students
Operations and Facility Maintenance
- Recognized as environmental leader receiving Governor’s Iowa Environmental Excellence Award, Iowa Recycling Award, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year
- Facilities upgrades of nearly $130 million over the past 12 years, earning the Association of School Business Officials International Facilities Masters Award
Food Service: Highly trained nutrition experts serve every building in the school district. Each day nearly 20,000 meals are served to students in over 30 locations. Summer meal sites across the community serve an additional 35,000 meals annually.
ACT (American College Testing) Entrance Exam: Average composite scores consistently above national norms among district’s college-bound high school students
- Central High TAG (Talented and Gifted) teacher Gail Heninger finished in the top five finalists of the 2016 Iowa Teacher of the Year Award. Wood Intermediate music teacher and choir director Andy Tadlock was also recognized as a state finalist.
- Creative Arts Academy instructor Clint Balsar received the “Outstanding Educator” Lloyd Schoeneman Community Impact Award through Quad City Arts. Mr. Balsar was also one of ten finalists in the Worldwide Photo Walk Leader Competition for his photo, Colorful Kicks. Mr. Balsar was one of only two photographers recognized from the United States.
- Smart Intermediate teacher Daniele Busher and Garfield Elementary teacher Janelle Weinstein were both recognized as a National Board Certified Teacher. The certification entails challenging coursework and is considered the “Gold Standard” of excellence in the education field.
- West High teacher Jason Franzenburg received the 2015 STEM Education Award for the Southeast Region for Inspiring Teaching by the Governor Branstad’s STEM Advisory Council.
- Central High’s Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Joe Moralez was honored in Des Moines with the Excellence in Mentoring Award, as an individual who exemplifies advocacy, leadership, innovation, impact, and commitment.
- North High’s Mr. Wachal was named 2015 Baseball District Coach of the Year, and Girls Basketball Coach Ron O’Brien was selected as the 2015 Class 5A Regional Coach of the Year.
- West High’s Coach Heller was named Girls’ MAC Swimming Coach of the Year.
- Sudlow Intermediate business education teacher Melanie Adams was named a Master Teacher in Green Architecture for the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. Master Teachers are exemplary instructors appointed by PLTW to facilitate training events that fit within PLTW’s three-phase professional development model (Readiness, Core, and Ongoing Training).
- North High business teacher Steve Verdon was selected as the 2015 Iowa Business Education Association’s Outstanding Secondary Business Educator of the Year. At the annual IBEA conference in Des Moines, Mr. Verdon was also the recipient of the AEA 9 Outstanding Secondary Business Educator Teacher of the Year. Mr. Verdon also earned his ninth Iowa Best Award in 2015 for recognition of educators for achievements in their community and their profession.
Program & School Top Awards
- Davenport Community Schools is one of only two districts in the state of Iowa to receive a 2016 Best Community for Music Education Award from the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation. This designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
- The four-year cohort graduation rate is holding steady and the five-year cohort graduation rate has increased by 2.67% for the 2014-2015 school year. The district’s dropout rate has dropped to 3.9%, the lowest rate since 2003-2004.
- Davenport Community Schools was honored as one of the 12 recognized districts in Iowa on The College Board’s 5th Annual Advanced Placement District Honor Roll. This year’s Honor Roll contains 547 districts across the U.S. and Canada, each honored for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.
- Mid City High received a Silver Citation award in the American School and University 2015 Educational Interiors Showcase. Jurors from across the country judged designs based on criteria such as 21st century learning environments, innovation, safety and security, and community connectivity.
- Buffalo Elementary received a Scott County Regional Authority grant for $76,000 to create a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Lab for the integration of STEAM education into students’ daily learning experiences.
- Truman Elementary received a $4000 grant from James Patterson and the Scholastic Reading Club to help their school library. Truman was one of only two schools in Iowa to receive the grant, which helps get books into the hands of students.
- The Iowa Department of Education presented Central High with an Iowa College and Career Readiness Award. Central was the only school in the state of Iowa selected to receive the “College and Career Transition Award.”
- Iowa FINE – First in the Nation in Education – Awards
- U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award
- Iowa Diversity Award
- American Association of School Administrators Leadership for Learning Award
- American School Board Journal Magna Award
- American Red Cross National School and Community Award for Youth in Health and Safety
- Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association and Association of School Business Officials
- National Association of Partners in Education Outstanding Partner Awards
- National School Public Relations Association Communications Awards
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Lights School System Partner of the Year
- Central High student Graham Atkinson scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test, placing him above 99.9% of all the nation’s test takers.
- The North High girls basketball team completed their historic season with a 15-1 record in the MAC conference, winning their first MAC Championship. The team also earned its first appearance at state, where the girls played hard but fell just short against eventual 5A State Tournament champs Ankeny Centennial. During this season, superstar Jinaya Houston gave her verbal commitment to the University of Iowa Women’s Basketball program and Coach Ron O’Brien was named Class 5A Regional Coach of the Year.
- West High’s Tyler Gerdts made history as the first student athlete in Iowa to participate in sports with a service dog. He and his dog Hugo were inducted into the Iowa Hall of Pride, a program of the Iowa High School Athletic Association.
- 128 Wood Intermediate students participated in the Music In The Parks competition, held at Six Flags Great America in Chicago. Wood was the only Iowa school competing amongst the 23 other schools, and their choirs earned a school-record 7 trophies (5 first place and 2 second place). Wood also won the prestigious Esprit d’ Corps trophy for a second consecutive year. In the 35 years at the Chicago site, no other school has been recognized in back-to-back years.
- Central High senior Emily Delleman and her teammates won a bronze medal in the quadruple sculls event in Rio de Janeiro at the Junior World Rowing Championships, a worldwide competition involving more than 500 rowers from over fifty countries. Emily also set the new American record at the CRASH-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships held at Boston University’s Aggaanis Arena, finishing the junior women’s open race ahead of nearly 400 other competitors. Emily is attending Stanford University this fall.
- North High students PJ Hilligoss and Kelsi Massengale performed in the New Year’s Day Parade in London, England, as All-Americans for Dance and Cheer.
- Three West High students qualified for Speech and Debate Nationals in Salt Lake City: Jim Heinrichs qualified in Humorous Interpretation, Alleyah Melendez qualified in Original Oratory, and Wylie Halferty qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking.
- Sudlow Intermediate competed in the local FIRST Tech Challenge, a robotics competition, against teams from area high schools, including Muscatine, Davenport West, Pleasant Valley, North Scott, Bettendorf, Durant, Wilton, and Rivermont Collegiate. Sudlow was the lone intermediate school at the event, and finished in 5th place out of a total of 20 schools.
- Central High junior Mickey Sloat qualified for both the state-level and national-level National History Day competition for 5 years in a row, each. This year she travels to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Individual Performance category with her project “To Boldly Go: Star Trek’s Exploration of Culture through its Encounters and Exchanges.”
- Several DCS students received awards at the 2015 State Thespian Festival held at the University of Northern Iowa. Central High winners were Ben Greiner, 2nd place in Stage Management; Emily Beck, 2nd place in Scenic Design; and Ajay Williams, 2nd place in Monologues. North High winners were Pierre Young, 2nd place in Solo Musical Theatre; and Taylor Reising, 3rd place in Stage Management. In addition to those honors, the following students advanced to compete at the International Thespian Festival: Central High’s Ben Greiner, Jack Theiling, Ajay Williams, and Jeremy Weinstein; and North High’s Pierre Young. North’s Nik LaMaack was one of only seven students statewide elected to the Iowa Thespian Board and will serve throughout the upcoming year as a Student Thespian Officer.
- The Combustible Lemons, a robotics team from West High, qualified for their third straight Super Regional tournament after a strong showing at State. Their season was filled with many triumphs, with the team earning multiple awards and West student Rachel Eckert being named one of four students from Iowa selected to the Dean’s List. The Combustible Lemons will be traveling to Kenya this summer to teach hundreds of Kenyan youth STEM knowledge and skills.
- Wood Intermediate 8th grader Jack West was a finalist for the National Geographic State Geography Bee, held in Cedar Rapids.
- DCS ProStart culinary teams competed in the 2016 Iowa ProStart Invitational in Des Moines, where the management team of Emma Petri, Caleb Howlett, and Andrew Welch won 1st place with their original restaurant concept prix fixe. The team advanced to the National ProStart Invitational in Dallas, Texas.
- The Marine Corps JROTC earned 1st place overall at a Des Moines drill, shooting, and physical fitness competition. The Army JROTC Battalion won the Best Youth Group Award in the 2016 Bi-State St. Patrick’s Day parade. This parade is the 4th largest parade in the United States, with over 100 entries competing for awards.
- After a very successful competition season, Central High’s Marching Blue Devils competed at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, placing 12th in their class out of 31 bands and finishing 55th overall out of the top 97 bands from across the nation. The band was selected to represent Iowa in Washington D.C. during the 2015 National Independence Day Parade.
Elementary (K-Grade 5)
- Preschool opportunities
- Concept Based Brain Compatible (CBBC)/”Brain Friendly” Classrooms
- Skills for Life initiative
- Emphasis on reading proficiency in primary grades
- Balanced Literacy approach
- Special, visiting artists programs
- Vocal music performance opportunities
- Instrumental music program beginning in 4th grade
- Departmental instruction in 4th and 5th grade in art, mathematics, music, physical education, science, and social studies
- Special education programming
- Talented and gifted programming
- State-of-the-art library media centers – the first library media centers in elementary schools in Iowa and west of the Mississippi River
Intermediate (Grades 6-8)
- Individual school-based middle school programming
- Writing across the curriculum
- Multiple-year sequence in French and Spanish
- School-to-Work programming
- Individual student lessons in instrumental music
- Special education programming
- Talented and gifted programming
- State-of-the-art library media centers
High Schools (Grades 9 – 12)
- All high schools have Talented And Gifted teachers who support the unique learning needs of our gifted students. No other district in the area has this strong of a TAG program presence.
- Over forty advanced placement and dual credit college courses are offered at our high schools
- High quality fine arts, extracurricular and athletic programs
- Nationally-recognized Project Lead the Way engineering program
- Award-winning ProStart culinary arts program
- Junior ROTC programs, numerous school and community clubs, and service learning opportunities
- Options within required course areas
- Foreign language offerings in French, Spanish, German, and some Latin & Greek
- School-to-Work programming
- Special education programming
- State-of-the-art library media centers
Transportation Services: Free district bus transportation provided to students when the district from their homes to schools exceeds the following:
- Elementary School – 1.5 miles
- Intermediate School – 2 miles
- High School – 3 miles
Parents as our Partners
- Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) enlists fathers to volunteer at their child’s school by interacting with students before & after school, during lunch, and in classrooms
- Parent engagement, PTA and PTO opportunities at all of our schools
- Online Parent Portal and other communication tools ensure families have regular contact with classroom teachers
- Title I Parent Involvement activities engage parents as volunteers and education supporters
- Home School Assistance Program offers academic and enrichment supports for families choosing to home school their child
Collaboration with Community Leaders and Agency Partners
- Leading a network of over 20 preschool partners to provide access to high-quality early learning opportunities for all of Davenport’s 4 year-olds
- Davenport Schools Foundation scholarships and Great Minds enrichment activities for all students
- After-school and summer program expertise in partnership with ISU Extension, Davenport Parks and Recreation, YMCA and others
- Free CitiBus service on all City of Davenport transit routes 7 days a week
- Agency-led community-to-classroom program partnerships with ISU Extension, Jr. Achievement, Figge Art Museum, Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates, and more
- Learning Supports partners from the youth development and faith communities provide academic and social supports for students and families
- Postsecondary collaborations prepare students and families for life after graduation
Safe and Supportive Schools
- Every building has a full-time licensed school counselor and implements the American School Counselor Association model. In 2014 a DCS counselor was named Iowa Elementary School Counselor of the Year. Our district is also a signatory with the Military Child Education Coalition.
- Olweus Bullying Prevention Program integration in all schools
- Specialized Dropout Prevention & Learning Supports staff
- Outreach and collaboration among emergency responders, civic leaders, and neighborhood groups to ensure safety and security in school facilities and on school grounds
History of Davenport Community Schools
The mission of Davenport Community Schools is to enhance each student’s abilities by providing a quality education enriched by our diverse community.
The Independent School District of Davenport was founded in 1858 for the purpose of educating the youth of the Davenport community. Curriculum was developed to program the community’s first high school and a Training School for Teachers, both founded in that year. By the turn of the 20th century, enrollment had risen with 50 students graduating in the year 1901. In 1915, the Training School for Teachers closed and the district focused resources on expansion of the curriculum for younger children. In 1917, three intermediate schools were built, and in 1939, six elementary schools were constructed for a total of eleven. Since its earliest inception, the growth and the progress of Davenport Community Schools has paralleled that of the community it serves. In 1959, the Independent School District of Davenport merged with Davenport Township and Rockingham Township School Districts. With the addition of Walcott in 1965 and Blue Grass, Buffalo and Linwood Schools in 1966, the district grew to form the current Davenport Community School District. At the turn of the 21st century, the district had 35 separate sites and served nearly 16,000 youth in the communities of Blue Grass, Buffalo, Davenport and Walcott, making it the third largest school district in Iowa.
Programming in our elementary, intermediate and senior high schools is unique to the youth served. Elementary schools have a strong, hands-on learning program to encourage curiosity and independent discovery. Intermediate schools approach each student understanding the affect of adolescence on student learning styles. Our senior high schools offer an array of learning choices for students who have a variety of lifetime goals.
This award-winning school district has received national accolades for its staff, including an Iowa Teacher of the Year, Iowa Principal of the Year, Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year, Iowa Administrator of the Year and two national Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winners. The district’s programming is also groundbreaking, with fifteen schools and programs having received Iowa’s First in the Nation in Education (FINE) Award and one of the elementary schools recognized as a national Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The district has also been recognized by the American School Board Journal for its exemplary reading instructional programming.