Fort Dodge Community School Disctrict


Insert picture hereAbout Us 

The Fort Dodge Community School District is a valued and dedicated district with nearly 3,500 K-12 students, committed to serving the Fort Dodge Community and surrounding areas. 


Superintendent Doug Van Zyl leads the Fort Dodge Community School District to ensure that our schools are delivering excellence, efficiency, and engagement. 


View the District Profile: A Look Inside the Fort Dodge Schools


Our School

The Fort Dodge Community School District offers the advantages of both a large and small school.  Classified as the largest district in the area, our low student-teacher ratio allows teachers to focus on the needs of each child while providing students with numerous academic and extra-curricular opportunities, focusing on 21st century learning.  Students consistently exceed the national percentages in reading and math on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development.

The Fort Dodge Community School District works hard to meet the individual needs of each student.  We provide every learner with an engaging curriculum including:  Insert picture here

  • Differentiated Instruction
  • English as a Second Language
  • K - 12 Talented and Gifted
  • Special Education

Our District takes pride in our highly qualified educators:

  • 100% of our teachers are certified by the state of Iowa in their specific field
  • 50% of our teachers hold a Master's Degree in Education


Elementary Schools 


Our elementary program is designed to provide students with the essential elements on which to build a successful educational career. A clear, well-articulated and developmentally-appropriate curriculum is the strength of our schools.

Our four elementary schools house grades K-4 and provide students with instruction in basic skills: Insert picture here

Literacy                                            Math

Science                                            Social Studies

Physical Education                         Art

Music                                                Technology


The Riverside Early Learning Center houses all of our preschool and Transitional Kindergarten students in an environment that revolved around the specific needs of young children.


Middle School


Our new middle school houses students in fifth through eighth grades. The state-of-the-art facility provides our middle school students with a 21st century learning environment with well-rounded and rigorous curriculum.                       


Core Classes         Exploratory Classes                                          

English                     Art                          

Math                         Family Consumer science

Science                   Health                                       

Social studies         Technology/Computer

Literature                 Physical Education

                                 Music(chorus,band, orchestra) 

                                 Music Appreciation



Our middle school team structure provides opportunities for individual instruction and support. Students learn each day with the same group of teachers and students, allowing them to work daily in a learning community, a cohesive and familiar environment.  


Throughout their middle school years, students may also participate in athletics (grades 7-8), clubs, and community service projects. 




High School


Fort Dodge Senior High has a reputation for offering one of the most extensive learning experiences in the area.  In addition to traditional classes, our broad choice of electives allows students to prosper in relation to their interests and future plans.  Our comprehensive program is designed for students in grades 9 - 12 with differing abilities and goals.

Our program includes:

  • Over 200 courses
  • 5 Advanced Placement Courses
  • 30 Dual College Credit Classes from Iowa Central Community College
  •  Honors Courses
  • Vocational Articulation

 Students from surrounding districts come to FDSH to benefit from our college classes every semester. On average, students graduate with a semester of college completed. Our trimester schedule means that students have three 60-day 6-class terms to experience in-depth engaging instruction.  


Over 25 extra-curricular activities provide students opportunities for personal expression and growth:

  • 19 athletic teams
  • 8 Musical Groups
  • 9 Clubs
  • 12 Activities






Want more information about the Fort Dodge Community School District? Contact the following:

Doug Van Zyl Superintendent of Schools
Robert Hughes

Assistant Superintendent/Board Secretary - Contact for Human Resources and Administrative inquiries

Brandon Hansel

Director of Financial Services

Stacey Cole Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Lis Ristau Director of Special Needs
Travis Filloon Director of Buildings & Grounds
Jeremy Pearson Director of Technology
Marcy Harms Director of Student Services and Interim Transportation Director
Jennifer Lane Director of Communications and Community Relations
Brenda Janssen Director of Food Services
Dave Keane Senior High Principal
Matt Elsbecker Activities and Athletics Director
Kevin Astor Senior High Assistant Principal
Allison Emery Senior High Assistant Principal
Lynnae Harvey Senior High
Ed Birnbaum Middle School Principal
Mark Johnson Middle School Assistant Principal
Ryan Flaherty Middle School Assistant Principal
Jerry Brown Butler Elementary Principal
Bruce Hartley Cooper Elementary Principal
Pat Reding Duncombe Elementary Principal
Nancy Cross Feelhaver Elementary Principal
 Lis Ristau  Riverside Early Learning Center Principal


































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