Enrollment Procedures

How to Enroll Your Child

Families new to the district must visit the Welcome Center at 2100 Fleur Drive to enroll their children. Please call 242-7371 or 242-8102 (ELL) to make an appointment.

Children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before September 15 of the school year. Children entering first grade must be six years old on or before that date.  Parents or guardians must be present at the time of enrollment to furnish the child’s birth certificate or other proof of birth.

State law requires that all students enrolling in Iowa schools furnish a certificate of immunization for diptheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, rubella and hepatitis B. Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccination is only required for children entering preschool or day care. In addition, students who have lived in a country other than the United States within the past calendar year must provide proof of tuberculosis status before attending schools. The Mantoux test is requested.

The Des Moines Public Schools requests that all new students have a physical examination. Physicals are also requested when students enter preschool or kindergarten and third, sixth and ninth grades. Copies of the immunization and physical examination forms are available at all schools. The immunization requirement may be waived for religious reasons.

Enrollment Options

Students may enroll in schools other than those in their neighborhood through the With-In District Transfer process. Students choosing open enrollment have two options:

WITHIN-DISTRICT: Within-district transfers are for Des Moines resident students who want to enroll in a Des Moines school other than their assigned school. A formal application must be completed and submitted between July 1 and March1 of the year prior to enrollment. With-in District Transfers are granted on space availability in the order in which the applications were received as long as it does not impact the district’s diversity plan. For additional information, please visit the Within-District Transfer page in the menu to the right.

2018-19 Within District Application 

BETWEEN-DISTRICT: Between-district open enrollment is for students from other school districts who want to enroll in the Des Moines Public Schools. They must submit an application to their resident district by March 1 to be considered for the following year. Those enrolling in kindergarten have until September 1. Below is the application link to open enroll between districts.

2018-19 Open Enrollment Application

Preschool Des Moines Public Schools provides a large number of preschool options throughout the community. For a list of preschool locations at schools, please visit the Preschools link in the Schools section of the menu at the top of this page. To enroll into the Walnut Street Preschool click on the link below.

2018-19 Cowles/Walnut Street Preschool Application


If you would like to apply for preschool, call Janet Riggle at 242-7588 or stop by the Welcome Center at 2100 Fleur Drive.