Welcome to the Southeast Polk Community School District

Southeast Polk is a community of communities. Located in the vibrant, growing, and thriving Des Moines Metro area where new businesses are breaking ground and families are setting down roots. Our communities offer endless entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities, and draw 5 million adventure seekers each year. Add in the 20 miles of bike trails and 200 acres of recreational space throughout the region and it’s easy to see that quality of life here is truly one of a kind.

Our district serves over 7,000 students from preschool through grade 12 and is the 14th largest public school district in Iowa.  Covering 114 square miles and serves the communities of Pleasant Hill, Altoona, Mitchellville, Runnells, Des Moines and surrounding areas. The central campus, consisting of the high school, junior high, sixth-grade building, bus maintenance facility, and buildings and grounds department – is located in the geographic center of the district, with eight elementary schools located throughout the district.  We employ roughly 1000 talented people and operate with a general fund budget of $80 million.

The Southeast Polk school district has a rich tradition of community pride.  Our mascot is the RAM, which is an acronym taken from Runnells, Altoona and Mitchellville – the three original communities with high schools that consolidated to make the Southeast Polk Community School District in 1961.

Our District is committed to fostering academic excellence, leading students to success in college, career and civic life.  It’s why Southeast Polk has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the Des Moines metro area, 98 percent. More than two-thirds of our graduates enroll in higher education.

Southeast Polk provides quality early learning experiences to build the foundation for future success. From preschool through grade 5, students have the opportunity to strengthen core academic skills, collaborate with others to solve problems and create new ideas with multiple resources, including technology.

We are a leader in the state in providing our students at every grade level with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. We offer unique learning opportunities like the Environmental Learning Center.

Southeast Polk District Vision and Mission 


Success for college, career and civic life. 

Engage all students in learning a challenging curriculum delivered through quality instruction.

Core ValuesPrint

    • Students first
    • High expectations
    • Collaboration
    • Integrity
    • Stewardship
    • Adaptability
    • Respect


    • High Academic Achievement
    • Fiscal Responsibility and Stability
    • Effective and Engaging Communication

Strategic Plan Priorities FY21