The Traditional School

The Des Moines Public School District strives to provide a variety of choices for parents and students.  Phillips Traditional School is one of the many choices offered to meet the ever-changing needs of families.

Phillips Traditional School offers students the opportunity to learn in an environment where respect and responsibility are as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Phillips offers students additional minutes per week to study basic skills.  Homework is a required part of a student’s grade.  The emphasis on discipline and order provides the ideal environment for students to concentrate on their studies.  Phillips is the only school in the Des Moines area to offer the Core Knowledge Sequence.  Parent support at Phillips is critical to its ongoing success.

Phillips asks for a commitment from parents to adhere to the homework, discipline, and dress code policies. 

At Phillips Traditional School we:

  • Teach basic skills
  • Emphasize discipline, responsible citizenship, and respect.
  • Recognize the influence of dress codes.
  • Require homework from all students.
  • Focus on home-school relations.
  • Allocate more time for teaching basic skills.
  • Offer the Core Knowledge Sequence.

How is traditional school different from the elementary school in my neighborhood:

    • Additional instructional minutes are allotted to mathematics, reading, and writing.
    • Students participate in art, music, and physical education one time per week.
    • Students are expected to follow a dress code.
    • Students are assigned homework three nights per week.
    • Parents review and sign homework.
Phillips Traditional School offers The Core Knowledge Sequence.  The sequence is developed by the National Core Knowledge Foundation, is based on E.D. Hirsch’s book, Cultural Literacy.  The Core Knowledge Sequence outlines specific content for elementary students in the areas of language arts, American and world civilization, American and world geography, science, mathematics, visual arts, and music.  It extends and supplements the regular elementary curriculum by approximately 20 percent.

Over 700 schools in the nation offer The Core Knowledge Sequence.  However, Phillips Traditional School in one of only two schools in Iowa to offer the Core Knowledge Sequence.  Core Knowledge provides elementary students at Phillips a unique opportunity to extend their learning in world civilizations and world geography.