About

History

For more than 100 years, St. Anthony Catholic School has provided a quality Catholic education to students in preschool through eighth grade. The only school in the Diocese of Des Moines to offer a language immersion educational track, St. Anthony is essentially two schools in one offering both traditional classroom learning and Two-Way Language Immersion (TWI) through a partnership with Boston College. 

Honoring our rich, culturally diverse history,  St. Anthony’s church and school community aspire to be an inviting and vibrant spiritual home where all are welcome to learn and grow in their Catholic faith while experiencing the love of Jesus Christ.

 

Spanish Immersion / Two-Way Language

At St. Anthony Catholic School, students are experiencing classroom learning in a whole new way through the school’s Two-Way Language Immersion (TWI) program. In essence, St. Anthony is two schools in one, offering two different learning tracks for students — traditional classroom learning and TWI.

The TWI track began in 2010 and is available to students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. Students in the TWI track experience core subjects like reading, science, math and social studies in both English and Spanish. The goal is to provide students with an opportunity to become bilingual and biliterate by the time they reach middle school.

The TWI program at St. Anthony is taught by six faculty members from a variety of Spanish speaking countries including Honduras, Spain, and Puerto Rico. The diversity of the faculty helps expose students to multiple dialects, cultures and traditions as part of the program.

Through this comprehensive language immersion program, St. Anthony Catholic School is not only helping give its students a leg up academically, but is bridging the divide between the Catholic Church and its fastest growing US population — Catholic Latino families.

What is Two-Way Language Immersion

Two-Way Language Immersion (TWI) provides students the opportunity to develop language fluency in two languages. Providing students with core class instruction in two languages helps students excel academically, while developing cross-cultural skills and understanding.

Two-Way Language Immersion Video
What Two-Way Language Immersion is NOT

TWI is not just for English Language Learner (ELL) students. All students can benefit from a multilingual approach to instruction, even those who struggle academically or those who have never been exposed to a language other than their native language.

Why is Two-Way Language Immersion Important?

TWI programs are known to provide students with educational, cognitive, sociocultural and economic benefits. Among these benefits are enhanced memory, visual-spatial reasoning, creativity and enhanced cultural understanding.

Moreover, research demonstrates that, “Bilingual students outperform monolingual students on tasks that require divergent thinking, pattern recognition, problem solving and multi-tasking,” (Boston College, 2019).

This unique learning track at St. Anthony Catholic School is a partnership with Boston College’s Roche Center for Catholic Education and the TWIN-CS (Two-Way Immersion
Network for Catholic Schools). TWIN-CS is a national initiative to share research, ideas, techniques, and resources to enable some of the most socially and economically challenged students to become bilingual and biliterate.

St. Anthony Catholic School is the only school in the Diocese of Des Moines to participate in this collaborative with Boston College. Through this partnership, St. Anthony is able to access the resources necessary to implement a leading-edge multilingual educational model for nearly a third of its students.

Boston College. (2019). Benefits of Two-Way Immersion. Retrieved December 9, 2019

How Can I Learn More

To discover if the TWI program is right for your child, contact Jennifer Raes, Principal, at JRaes@stanthonydsm.org or 515-243-1874 to schedule a tour.

Mission

Our mission is to provide a quality education program through the parish, with a focus on Christ as the reason for the school – the unseen but ever-present teacher in its classes, the model of its faculty, and the inspiration of its students.

Fast Facts

400+ Student's in PS-8
60% Receive Tuition Assistance
1:15 Teacher to Student Ratio
72% Diversity
30% Students in TWI
500+ Middle School Service Hours

Frequently Asked Questions

What grades does St. Anthony serve?

St. Anthony serves students in Preschool (age 3) through 8th grade.

What is the cost to attend?

We are in the process of setting our tuition rates for the upcoming school year. For more information, please contact the school office at 515-243-187. Your student may qualify for an Education Savings Account that covers the cost of tuition. 

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What are Education Savings Accounts?

Governor Reynolds signed Education Savings Account (ESA) legislation into law on January 24, 2023. This legislation allows families that meet the eligibility guidelines below to receive an ESA in the amount of approximately $7,600 annually to enroll their child at the accredited school of their choosing. Students accepted for enrollment will be able to use their ESA funds toward tuition at St. Anthony.

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Is St. Anthony accredited?

Yes. Our school is fully accredited through the state of Iowa and meets or exceeds the education standards of Iowa Code section 256.11.

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What credentials do your teachers have?

All teachers are licensed by the state and certified to teach in their assigned areas. In fact, 29 percent of our faculty hold advanced degrees. Special endorsements held by teachers include reading, mathematics, social studies, early childhood, English, middle school, ESOL and coaching.

What curriculum is used?

Standards and benchmarks are used in each subject area to guide teacher instruction and student assessment. Students are assessed on these standards and benchmarks using a standards-based reporting system. Currently, all Diocese of Des Moines Catholic Schools, including St. Anthony, follow the Iowa Core mandated by the State of Iowa.

What if my child has diverse learning needs?

We are committed to working with all learners to the best of our ability, including children who may require additional academic support. Our school has faculty endorsed in special education to meet the needs of diverse learners. Moreover, all faculty benefit from professional development designed to aid our schools in differentiating instruction to ensure academic growth and success for all students. Our ultimate goal is to ensure all students receive an education that leads them to discover their individual strengths and abilities in order to reach their God-given potential.

We look at each student and their individual needs. If they have or need a 504 or IEP, we will look at their needs to make a decision if we are able to meet those within our school.

Do you have to be Catholic to attend?

While the Catholic faith is integral to all aspects of school life, we welcome families of all faith traditions into our school community.

Are students involved in service projects?

We value service to God and others. Our students discover servant leadership by participating in various service projects throughout the school year. Projects benefit a variety of non-profit organizations and social causes throughout the Des Moines community.

How is technology used in the classroom?

innovative applications of technology. Desktop computers, laptops, iPads, tablets, interactive whiteboards, and other equipment are integrated into the classrooms. Additionally, St. Anthony has received several STEM and computer science grants to enhance the technology experience for students.

Are extracurriculars offered?

Yes. We offer opportunities for students to participate in numerous academic, fine arts, leadership, service, and enrichment activities. Please visit the Student Life page to learn more.

Leadership Team

Fr. Chris Reising

Pastor

Father Chris Reising, pastor of St. Anthony Parish, was ordained in 2006. After initially serving in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake, he went to Mexico in 2007 to learn Spanish. Upon his return, Fr. Reising became involved with Our Lady of the Americas Parish in Des Moines, eventually serving as its administrator and pastor. He later served as the pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Perry for three years before overseeing parishes in Osceola, Grand River, and Mt. Ayr in 2019. Father Reising joined the St. Anthony team in 2023.

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Jennifer Raes

School Administrator

Jennifer Raes, administrator at St. Anthony Catholic School, brings two decades of education experience, starting as a middle school math teacher at St. Pius X Catholic School. A product of Catholic education, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Raes also earned a coaching endorsement from Drake University. After serving as an assistant principal for three years at St. Pius X, she spent six years in the same role at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School before joining St. Anthony Catholic School in 2018.

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Mark Paris

Business Manager

Mark Paris, Business Manager at St. Anthony Parish since 2008, has been a registered member since 1999. With a deep family connection to the parish and school, Mark and his wife Gia, a St. Anthony School graduate, were married at St. Anthony’s. Their children, James and T.J., also attended St. Anthony School.

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Faculty and Staff

Careers

Want to discover the Catholic school difference by working at St. Anthony? We are always seeking high-performing educators and staff with passion and purpose! Contact our school administrator at jraes@stanthonydsm.org or call 515.243.1874 for more information. To learn more about working for the Diocese of Des Moines Catholic Schools click the button below.

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