A Welcome Message From the Superintendent
Welcome to our new website! My name is Deron Durflinger and I am the superintendent of Van Meter Schools and the principal of the high school. I would like to welcome you to our outstanding district.
Van Meter is a small, progressive school district about 15 miles west of West Des Moines and just south of Interstate 80 off of exit 113. The mission of Van Meter Schools is to personalize learning for each student's success, today and tomorrow. The district is housed in one building for all students in grades K-12. This one-school model allows our approximately 750 students to learn in an environment that is adaptable to each learners’ needs, and it is a common occurrence for students to be in classes with students from multiple grade levels as students advance at a pace that works best for them.
Van Meter students have consistently scored above the state average on the ACT. Students averaged a composite score of near 23 over the last ten years. Van Meter students have also performed well on the Iowa Assessments as evidenced by over 90% of students in grades 3-11 being proficient or above in math and over 85% of students in grades 3-11 being proficient in reading. More information on how Van Meter students and staff perform can be found at the Iowa School Report Card developed by the Iowa Department of Education.
The Van Meter Community School District is committed to providing the best education possible for each of its students. Through collaborative efforts with Iowa Learning Online, DMACC, Kirkwood, Graceland, Iowa State, Central Academy, Madison County Academy, and Waukee’s APEX program Van Meter Schools are able to offer students classes in almost any area they are interested including: Virtual Reality, Project Lead The Way, Culinary Arts, Construction, Business, Technology and Communications, Human Services, Bioscience and Advanced Placement classes to name a few. This commitment to helping students learn within areas they are passionate about helps prepare all Van Meter graduates for careers and/or college.
With ample opportunity to participate in activities, Van Meter students have performed well outside of the classroom as well. This is evidenced by excellent drama productions, SLT, NHS, our State Qualifying Jazz Band, our National Qualifying FCCLA program, successful sports teams, and many other quality extra-curricular programs.
The 2016 seasons saw the football team make it to the 1A State Semifinals of the playoffs, the girls’ basketball team make it to the 2A Regional Final, the baseball team won its 5th straight WCAC Championship and made it to the 2A Substate Final, and the softball team was crowned the 2A State Softball Champions! Because of our supportive environment, students can easily find their niche or be an active member of many organizations, whichever they prefer.
Van Meter Schools are actively involved in implementing the Multi-Tiered System of Supports philosophy of instruction and the elementary was selected by the Iowa Department of Education as a pilot school for this model of teaching. To better personalize learning reports, Van Meter Schools uses a standards based grading approach that not only focuses on content knowledge and skills but also the dispositions and characteristics students need to be successful.
Van Meter is second to no other district when providing opportunities to learn while using technology. All students are provided with a MacBook Air in grades 6-12. Fourth and fifth graders each get an iPad mini as a resource, and mobile computer, iPad, and iPod carts are available for student use in grades K-3. The Secondary building has been identified as an Apple Distinguished School for its work. The Van Meter staff believes that providing students with the best tools enhances the learning opportunities we can provide.
Students have Spanish classes everyday from Kindergarten through 8th grade as we push to help students be ready for a global community. Van Meter Schools is committed to developing the whole child and a focus on developing well-rounded, good people. Combined with quality instruction focused on student-centered classrooms, assessment for learning, rigorous curriculum, teaching for learner differences, and teaching for understanding, Van Meter students are challenged and taught in an environment designed to develop global, digital citizens who can collaborate, communicate, create, and think critically. For it efforts to teach and learn in today’s ever changing world, Van Meter Schools was also recently recognized by Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a exemplar school in its Patterns of Innovation program.
Our newly released website is designed to provide you with information about our school and the many great things we have going on in the classrooms and beyond. Be sure to check out the daily announcements and Infinite Campus for important information as well. We welcome your input on ways we can improve communication and sharing of important information, and you are welcome to visit our building to see what is taking place at Van Meter Schools. I look forward to working with you in providing the best education possible for the students of Van Meter.
Deron Durflinger, Superintendent/High School Principal