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Old 04-08-2010, 12:25 PM
 
Location: MO
3 posts, read 5,670 times
Reputation: 11
Default Information on N. West Des Moines

I am looking at listings in the area... considering a relocation from Missouri.... anyone have any input on the area? Safe? Considerate? Progressive? Any info on teacher salaries? Anything would be helpful as I have NO familiarity with your area. Thank you!!!
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:10 PM
 
Location: North of Grand neighborhood, near Dahl's.
33 posts, read 106,636 times
Reputation: 20
I'll let others speak first on the area characteristics, as you'll likely get a lot of replies on that. Here are some links to get you started...

What subject(s) do you teach? We're going through some budget issue, so it's probably not a great time to find open positions, but it would depend on the subject area. DM Public School Salary Schedule and open positions can be found here on the DMPS site (other tabs for school info/boundaries/site links, etc): Career Opportunities, Des Moines Public Schools, Iowa I and others can give you more info on individual schools in other posts, but know that you can get positive and negative comments on all of the schools (suburbs included), depending on people's experiences.

DM Neighborhood map is here (you'll get a lot of neighborhood references on this forum site, so this will help...and you can map the schools to the neighborhood): City of Des Moines - Des Moines' Neighborhoods (http://www.dmgov.org/departments/cd/ND/neighborhoods/ - broken link) I'm in Des Moines proper, in the North of Grand neighborhood and love it.

Des Moines is surrounded by suburbs with their own districts (and if you were driving around, other than a sign posted, you may not feel the change in district). All together, it's called the "Des Moines Area", but those areas officially outside the boundaries have their own school districts with separate websites/job postings/salary schedules. In case other school districts are mentioned, here are the largest ones (you can Google map these suburbs to see proximity to each other):

Urbandale (just west of DM's northwest side): Home - Urbandale Community School District
West Des Moines (just west of DM's west side): West Des Moines Community Schools: Home
Waukee (west of Urbandale and WDM): Waukee Community School District - Committed to Excellence, Dedicated to Quality
Ankeny (far north of DM's northeast side): Ankeny District Office - Home
Johnston (just north of DM's northwest side): Johnston Community School District
Southeast Polk (in Pleasant Hill, just east of DM's east side): Southeast Polk Community School District

As a rule, if you're looking at public schools, you go to the schools in the district in which you reside, but you are free to "open enroll" (must be approved) in another school. Parochial schools are open to anyone. Over the decades, a ton of money has gone into the suburbs and their schools, so they will tend to be newer buildings or have very nice additions, etc, whereas DM's public schools probably have a nice wish list going for repairs/updates (which are slowly being attended to); they're simply older. In general, there are fine teachers in all of the schools. And in general, the futher east you go (East HS, North HS, SE Polk HS), the "rougher" around the edges it is.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: North of Grand neighborhood, near Dahl's.
33 posts, read 106,636 times
Reputation: 20
BTW, my wife is an educator (French), currently at the HS level, but also specializes in language acquisition in the early years, and although I'm "Quality Assurance" guy during the day, outside of the day gig I'm a pro musician (10 yrs in Boston & NYC) who's very involved with many schools in and out of the DM area, and we have friends at all levels of education/administration here, in case you have specific questions (which we may handle offline,depending).
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Iowa
1,270 posts, read 1,493,250 times
Reputation: 996
NW Des Moines covers everything north of Grand Ave all the way up to I80/35, and everything west of 2nd Ave all the way out to 63rd or Merle Hay Rd. If you see a listing that vaguely says "NW Des Moines" it could be really nice or pretty bad. That quadrant of town varys greatly as do the mixture of kids that attend the schools in NW DSM......Hoover, Roosevelt or North High.

If my wallet could open wide enough for any real estate in that section, I would choose a location west of Polk Bvd out to but not including 63rd st, and staying south of University down to Grand. The Waterbury neighborhood off 56th is especially nice and would be my first pick. The Beaverdale neighborhood is what I think of first for geographic "NW DSM" and is also a very nice area. It's an island type neighborhood that remains nicer than the area along Merle Hay, north of Douglas or east of 30th. Even the area just south of Beaverdale drops off a tad before it gets better again south of I-235.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
1,763 posts, read 1,858,416 times
Reputation: 792
If this is a requirement, the very northwest neighborhoods of Des Moines proper are in the highly regarded Johnston school disctrict.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:32 PM
 
Location: MO
3 posts, read 5,670 times
Reputation: 11
Wow... thank you all!!! This is very overwhelming!! I have NEVER moved from a state and am glad I am starting with the info early!!! Thank you tptvosox! I will be contacting you for more info on the school positions!! I will use your links for researching the areas. My partner and I are basically looking for a very nice neighborhood, not uppity, good school, not a big house but comfortable for a growing family. The zips I have recieved so far are...
50313 Des Moines
50322 Urbandale
50023 Ankeny
50314 Des Moines
50313 Des Moines
50311 Des Moines
50131 Johnston
50312 Des Moines

I live in a suburb community of st louis. Maily caucasian middle class. Very comfortable and very little crime worries. I would like to find as much there.
Thanks again !!!!
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:54 PM
 
2,268 posts, read 5,472,942 times
Reputation: 1188
If you are looking for a suburban community, every suburb in the Des Moines area is quiet, safe, and has good schools. I have to disagree with tptvosox about S.E. Polk being part of the "rougher around the edges" school districts. The students that attend SEP, are typically from Altoona or Pleasant Hill, both very nice suburbs where home values are high. SEP also just built a brand new ginormous high school, that will inevitably be too small in ten years or so.

That being said, many prefer the western burbs, mainly due to their proximity to everything.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
1,763 posts, read 1,858,416 times
Reputation: 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyjewel View Post
Wow... thank you all!!! This is very overwhelming!! I have NEVER moved from a state and am glad I am starting with the info early!!! Thank you tptvosox! I will be contacting you for more info on the school positions!! I will use your links for researching the areas. My partner and I are basically looking for a very nice neighborhood, not uppity, good school, not a big house but comfortable for a growing family. The zips I have recieved so far are...
50313 Des Moines
50322 Urbandale
50023 Ankeny
50314 Des Moines
50313 Des Moines
50311 Des Moines
50131 Johnston
50312 Des Moines

I live in a suburb community of st louis. Maily caucasian middle class. Very comfortable and very little crime worries. I would like to find as much there.
Thanks again !!!!
50310 is the northwestern part of Des Moines I referenced earlier. Definately worth a hard look IMO.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:33 PM
 
Location: North of Grand neighborhood, near Dahl's.
33 posts, read 106,636 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
If you are looking for a suburban community, every suburb in the Des Moines area is quiet, safe, and has good schools. I have to disagree with tptvosox about S.E. Polk being part of the "rougher around the edges" school districts. The students that attend SEP, are typically from Altoona or Pleasant Hill, both very nice suburbs where home values are high. SEP also just built a brand new ginormous high school, that will inevitably be too small in ten years or so.

That being said, many prefer the western burbs, mainly due to their proximity to everything.
Yeah, I wasn't so sure about including SEP in that comment after posting it...my recollection of that area is from the 80's before we moved away for quite a while, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's nice. I usually defer to the "experts" on those towns that are a little further out. And I had forgotten that they just got the new school. I stand corrected on that one.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:43 PM
 
173 posts, read 132,220 times
Reputation: 101
50265 West Des Moines
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