Diversity Enriches and Strengthens Our Schools

Diversity has long been a cornerstone of the Des Moines Independent Community School District and a key component of the quality education we provide. Students are better prepared when they attend school in a setting that reflects society. Diversity enriches the climate and strengthens the effectiveness of our schools. All aspects of education are enhanced by different viewpoints and perspectives that spring from economic, racial and ethnic diversity.

We believe it is in the best interests of our school district to develop an employee culture reflective of the greater society. Doing so serves the student population and makes maximum use of available human resources.

Helping Everyone Learn, Thrive and Belong

Serving a community rich in diversity – in every measure of the term – Des Moines Public Schools is dedicated to making our students, staff, parents, volunteers feel welcomed and supported. This page shares the vision we strive to achieve each and every day in our schools and classrooms.

20171017 Visual updated 1 1At Des Moines Public Schools:

  • We are committed to ensuring an equitable educational experience for all.
  • We strive to live inclusively by embracing the diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, ability level, age, citizenship status, military or veteran status, and language.
  • We believe that when we engage families and the community as authentic education partners, the learning becomes more dynamic, and students can grow academically, socially, and emotionally.


Our equity strategies are organized around three core areas of focus:

  • Learning: Providing students with essential knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Thriving: Ensuring each student reaches their maximum potential through enriching relationships.
  • Belonging: Working in partnership with our students, families, and community to create connections that increase student success.


In order to apply an equity lens consistently, the Des Moines Public Schools utilizes an Equity Analysis Framework. When making a decision or reviewing current practices, policies, and procedures, DMPS staff will consider the following questions:

  1. Who benefits or is advantaged by the current system? What is the impact on this group of people?
  2. Who is disadvantaged? What is the impact on this group of people?
  3. How is it a systemic and/or institutional issue?
  4. How does it represent our Equity Vision? How is it out of line with our Equity Vision?
  5. Why hasn’t it been addressed? Or, how has it begun to be addressed?

Additional questions to use to help find the solution to the issue:

  • How is this culturally informed or influenced?
  • Who else should be included from our school community?
  • How can our actions maximize educational benefit to more students while minimizing unmet educational needs or disadvantages?