Welcome to the Southeast Polk Community School District

Southeast Polk School District is an exciting place to be!  Located in the vibrant, growing, and thriving central Iowa area, we are a community of communities offering endless academic, career, entertainment, dining, and shopping opportunities. 

Our growing district serves more than 7,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade and is projected to continue to flourish.  We serve the communities of Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Mitchellville, Runnells, Des Moines, and surrounding areas, covering 114 square miles in southern Polk county. We employ roughly 1031 talented professionals.

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

Our district is committed to fostering academic excellence, leading students to succeed in college, career and civic life. We engage all students in learning a challenging curriculum that’s delivered through quality instruction by our exceptional staff. We consistently have one of the highest graduation rates in the state and offer multiple opportunities throughout our students’ academic careers to advance to post-secondary education, apprenticeship, or the military immediately following graduation. 

We pride ourselves on providing quality learning experiences to build the foundation for future success. Three of our elementaries have won the National Blue Ribbon Award.  Starting with our youngest students all the way through graduating seniors, we offer opportunities to strengthen core academic skills, collaborate with others to solve problems and create new ideas utilizing multiple resources, including the latest 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 a variety of unique learning opportunities including our Environmental Learning Center, available through a partnership with Metro Waste Authority and Drake University. Students participate in hands-on learning and research opportunities on the acres of land in the Camp Creek watershed building the skills they need to be the next generation of problem solvers and thoughtful land stewards. 

Another hands-on, real-world class we offer to our high school seniors is RISE. The project-based curriculum has our students working with local businesses and institutions in an internship-like setting. Want to learn more about who we are? Check out the Culture of SEP video this class storyboarded, filmed, edited and produced!

As we continue to grow, we continue to challenge ourselves to ensure that our students receive the highest quality education. We are thrilled that our communities voted to pass the 2020 Referendum. This bond includes several new buildings and making improvements to existing facilities. Every classroom was upgraded with state-of-the-art teaching technology to start the 2021-2022 school year. We’ve broken ground on the new multi-purpose stadium that will benefit hundreds of our athletes, band members, and high school students. The new 6-7 grade building will provide the relief we need to accommodate our growing student population and keep us together as a community. These are just a few of the approved projects that will enhance the learning experience for all of our students. We invite you to follow our progress and success on social media @SEPSchools or by searching #1SEP and bookmarking our website!

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 FY23