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
- 2 K-8 Schools
- 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
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
Employee Top Awards
- 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.
- Guy Dierikx, Davenport North’s Head Football Coach and Physical Education teacher, was invited to the NFL High School Character Development Summit, a seminar that focuses on student leadership and character development, in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Dierikx was also selected to the coaching staff of the 15-Under team at the U.S. International Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
- Candy Reed, counselor at Garfield Elementary, was named the 2014 Iowa Elementary School Counselor of the Year. Ms. Reed, who has been a counselor at Garfield since 2006, was recognized by the Iowa School Counselor Association for the outstanding counseling program she has developed at the school. Ms. Reed has also been named Gilda’s Club Volunteer of the Year in 2010, received national recognition from the American School Counseling Association in 2010, and won the Excellent Educator Award in 1990.
- Business Education teachers Meredith Tangen and Steve Verdon were honored at the Iowa Business Education Association (IBEA) State Convention. Meredith received the “Outstanding New Secondary Business Educator” award; she was nominated by 30 of her former students and several of her colleagues. Steve received the “Excellence” award for 15 years of service. Both teachers received the “IBEA Best Award.”
Program & School Top Awards
- The official Dropout and Graduation Rate for Davenport Community Schools showed improved graduation rates again this year, up nearly 4% from the previous year.
- 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
Student Top Awards (Just a few from the 2014-15 end of year wrap-up!)
- West High’s Kyle Verdon was named one of the two Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winners in the state of Iowa. Kyle is a multi-sport, 4.0 GPA, student athlete that participates in football, swimming, track and baseball. Kyle was also recognized at the Iowa High School Athletic Association Governor’s Scholar Program.
- Jacionna Stowers and Jinaya Houston, two members of the North High Girls Basketball Team, received All-State honors from the Iowa Newspaper Association. The Lady Wildcats set a new single-season win mark of 17 this year, and their season started off with a 13-game winning streak, during which they were ranked #7 in the state.
- North High swimmer Brennan Bladel was crowned District Champion in the 100m Butterfly, and went on to compete at the State swim meet where he placed 6th in the 100m Butterfly and 10th in the 100m Backstroke. In addition, Brennan is North’s new school record holder in the 100m Butterfly.
- The West competition cheer team won the Iowa High School Coed State Cheerleading Championship title for the fourth time in the past five years. The team also had two individual coed stunt groups place first and second against the other individual stunt groups. In addition to the success at State, the team competed at the Triton Challenge in Fort Dodge, where they won Grand Champion.
- Wood Intermediate’s award-winning 7th-8th grade select choirs had record-setting performances in the Music in The Parks Competition held at Six Flags Great America. Twelve schools representing six states were in attendance, and Wood choirs won many awards including three 1st Place awards and the prestigious Esprit de Corps Trophy.
- Four DCS students were named statewide winners in the 2015 Martin Luther King Jr Writing Contest. Jimmy Brooke, first grade student at Eisenhower Elementary, took first place in the age bracket of 1st and 2nd graders. In that same age bracket, Arianna Miranda, a second grade student at Adams Elementary, won second place. Oliver Klipsch, a fourth grade student at Washington Elementary, won first place in the 3rd-4th grade age bracket. Calvin Moulton, a sixth grade student at JB Young K-8, placed second in the 5th and 6th grade category.
- Central High and Creative Arts Academy students Chloe Thompson, Lily Castel, and Taylor Chandler are recipients of three of the four 2015 Brand Boeshaar Scholarships. This highly competitive scholarship awards $12,000 over four years to students pursuing degrees in art-related fields of study.
- The North High Wildcat Thespians’ studio version of “Children of a Lesser God” won the Chapter Select designation at the Iowa State Thespian Festival, and advanced to the International Thespian Festival. Central High’s competitive acting troupe #2951 (aka “The Rhinocorns”) also competed at the State Festival, where Ben Greiner received 2nd place for Stage Management and advanced to the International Festival.
- Central High’s Marching Blue Devils received a Division I rating at the State Marching Band Festival. They also delivered an amazing performance at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, where they finished 9th in their class. The Band was selected to represent Iowa in Washington D.C. during the 2015 National Independence Day Parade.
- West High senior Solomon Yoke was named a national winner in the 2015 Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photo Contest. Solomon was one of 28 winners from across the nation recognized in the Feature Writing category.
- West High seniors Olivia Grubbs and Mitchell Dunn both qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament. This was Olivia’s 4th time qualifying in Original Oratory, making her the first student in West High history to qualify for Nationals during all four years of his or her schooling.
- Mid City High student James Salkil attended iJAG Legislative Day at the state capitol. Out of 30 visiting students, James was one of the eight chosen to meet with Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. he was also named top iJAG candidate for the day.
- Central High student Juls Hance was crowned National Miss Amazing Teen Queen at the National Miss Amazing Pageant. During the National pageant, Juls performed an a capella rendition of “For Good” from the musical Wicked, and discussed school issues in front of a panel of judges. As part of her duties as Miss Amazing, Juls will be helping at food pantries and other community service events.
- West High’s “Combustible Lemons” engineering & robotics team had another successful year in competitions, ultimately qualifying for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship in St. Louis. During their qualifying state and regional competitions, the team won the Inspire Award and Connect Award, was crowned Winning Alliance Captain, and team Co-Captain Stephen Eckert received the Dean’s List Award.
- The West High student engineering team “Endotherm” was one of only 15 teams in the nation to receive the prestigious Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant to invent a product. Tasked with creating a product that would change the world and save lives, students focused on the problem of vehicular heatstroke and the death of children and pets, developing a bracelet and collar that alerts the parent or pet owner when the wearer is reaching dangerous temperature levels.
- Central High’s Pablo Haake was selected as a Bezos Scholar. Pablo met with 11 of the nation’s other top public high school juniors during a week of exploration, dialogue and debate, while working with leaders and innovators from around the world. Pablo was also one of two students in Iowa selected to receive the prestigious U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship. He and 101 other students participated in the program’s 52nd annual Washington Week, where Pablo met President Obama and visited Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Supreme Court.
- The Sudlow Intermediate Destination Imagination Team represented the state of Iowa at the 2014 Global Finals, where they competed against teams from more than 40 states and 12 countries.
- Greg Smith, a Project Lead the Way Instructor at West High School, was chosen as the 2014 STEM Teacher of the Year by the Quad City Engineering & Science Council.
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.