DeWitt is a community that highly values education. The community’s schools, both public and private, are filled with activity. A multitude of programs are available to help students strive for successful futures, no matter what their particular talents and interest are. DeWitt is home to four preschools and two day care centers and is surrounded by nearby higher education choices. Within a 20-minute drive, students can choose from nearly 15 different community colleges and four-year universities. Over 40 colleges and universities can be found within a 90-minute radius of DeWitt.
Central DeWitt Community School District:
A destination for innovative learning
Central DeWitt Community School District is a rural school district covering 179 square miles (including the communities of DeWitt, Grand Mound, Welton and Low Moor). The Central DeWitt Community School District prides itself in providing a rigorous and innovative education to approximately 1,600 students in preschool through grade 12.
In recent years, the district has become well known for the high caliber of its instruction, which actively embraces new technology and focuses on the development of the whole student.
“We are very purposeful about how we teach, what we teach and assessing student achievement. We continually look for innovative approaches to capitalizing on each student’s unique talents and interests through our extended learning programs.” said Superintendent Dr. Dan Peterson.
Student opportunities are impressive and evident with the combination of exemplary teachers delivering high-quality instruction throughout the district, technology integration in the classroom as well as 1:1 computers for all district students. Many clubs and programs are available to students, including Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, robotics, band, sports, performing arts and much more. Also offered to high school students through concurrent enrollment are 32 college-level classes that provide the opportunity to earn up to 50 of the 60 credit hours required for an associate degree prior to graduation.
Central DeWitt Community School District’s facilities are expansive, updated and a pillar of pride for the community. Those interested in the arts enjoy the use of the state-of-the-art Central DeWitt Performing Arts Centerat the high school. It is available not only to district students, but also for rental by dance studios and other private groups. The performing arts center also books performances by a variety of arts groups and performers from around the country and the world, expanding cultural opportunities for all residents in the area.
The district works hard to connect community members to student success through various volunteer programs. Examples include an active Central DeWitt Parent Teacher Organization, Athletic and Music Boosters and Future Farmers of America Alumni; the Watch D.O.G.S. program at the elementary school where dads and father-figures volunteer in classrooms; the Lunch Buddy Program that connects positive community role models with our students while expanding their social skills and adding to a supportive learning environment; and numerous partnerships with the business community which provides in classroom presentations, business expos, job shadows and internships.
St. Joseph Catholic School
St. Joseph Catholic School, one of the oldest schools in eastern Iowa, has educated students in DeWitt and the surrounding communities for over 150 years. St. Joseph Catholic School proudly puts “faith in education.”
Accredited by the state of Iowa, there is one classroom per each Preschool through eighth grade with an average of 19 students per class. Full-time classroom aides are present in both the preschool and kindergarten rooms.
The Iowa Core standards are taught through a rigorous curriculum and homework is a classroom expectation in all grades. In addition to religion and the core subjects, students are taught music, art, and physical education. Opportunities exist for students to participate in reading enrichment, a gifted program, and band. School sponsored sports beginning in the sixth grade.
While the Catholic faith is part of school life, students of all faiths are welcomed. All students are involved in weekly school Masses and are assigned to various Mass ministries. Students also participate in other service-related activities. Sending notes to homebound parishioners and raising money to package meals for Kids Against Hunger are favorite school traditions.
Technology is also a vital part of school life. Each middle school student has a laptop and students in grades 3-5 have chromebooks. Kindergarten through second grade students have access to iPads and chromebooks for their learning.
Thanks to the support of its parish community, St. Joseph Catholic School is able to boast the lowest tuition in the Diocese of Davenport. Tuition assistance is available for anyone who qualifies.
“Students deserve the best possible future, and for that they need a solid foundation in the basics, the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world, and positive role models who are living examples of their faith. We provide for that at St. Joseph Catholic School.” – A St. Joseph School teacher
Half-day, morning or afternoon preschool is offered at no cost to all 4-year-olds at multiple locations in DeWitt, including Ekstrand Elementary School, Central DeWitt Preschool at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Grace Lutheran Church and St. Joseph Catholic School. Contact the Central DeWitt School District for information on preschool registration.
Child Care Centers
Creative Learning Center has served in the DeWitt community since 1974. A nonprofit child care center, Creative Learning Center provides comprehensive quality care to all children, with more than 100 students enrolled.
Child care is offered for children ages six weeks to up to 12 years old. Teachers and staff members at Creative Learning Center focus on the four areas of child development – social, emotional, cognitive and physical – and on providing children with structured play, as well as more academic learning units like math, science, reading and writing.
Creative Learning Center has a structured daily schedule in each room, with weekly lesson plans for every room as well. The Center welcomes new families to come in and tour the center at any time. Welcome to DeWitt.
Kids’ Business is a child care center for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. They currently have 74 students and 21 staff members and have been in existence since 1996.
“Our mission at Kids’ Business is to provide young children with high-quality early learning experiences that focus on the development of the whole child,” said Center Director Tricia Ludrof. “We are committed to providing exceptional care for children to help them develop to their fullest potential: physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. Our professional staff provides a safe and loving atmosphere so each child can develop a positive healthy self-image.”