Madison Elementary is a Turn Around Arts school that serves approximately 300 students in North Des Moines.  As a Turn Around Arts School, classroom teachers work with our arts leader to integrate arts based teaching strategies into your student’s learning.  Along with integrating arts into our daily instruction, we have various arts-based after school activities.  This includes Turn-Around the Night, Boogie on the Blacktop, Cultural Night, and our Drama Club performances.

Along with being a Turn Around Arts school, our school uses Responsive Classroom training to support our students.  This training centers on meeting students’ emotional and behavioral needs.  With Responsive Classroom, we start our day with a Morning Meeting.  During this time, students have a chance to talk about their lives with peers, participate in a game that focuses on connecting with the teacher and other students, and preview what will be taught during the school day.

Finally, we use a grading system that is referred to as Standards Based Reference grading.  The purpose of this system is to provide you with detailed information regarding your child’s ability to perform the grade level skills.  For more information regarding Standards Based Reference grading please take a minute to review the parent letter in the link below.


The Madison is known across Des Moines Public Schools for working hard to support our students and families, taking on new practices in teaching, and as being a high performing title school.  We are excited to work with your family in the upcoming school year.