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About Dowling

At Dowling Elementary School we work to provide a social and academic climate that gives all students a strong sense of belonging. 

Brick school building with trees

3900 West River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Fax: 612-668-4420

Grades: K-5

Principal Kari Page

Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

At Dowling Community School, a K through 5 Elementary school, we work to provide a social and academic climate that gives all students a strong feeling of belonging. Our staff is highly qualified, extremely motivated, and experienced. We have high expectations for student achievement. Our Dowling Standards include: Show Respect, Make Good Decisions, and Solve Problems. In addition to our strong core curriculum of literacy, math, science, and social studies, students at Dowling have specialist teachers of Environmental Education, Visual Arts, Physical Education including swimming in our pool, music with band for 5th graders and Media.  

Our school is privileged to have highly involved parents who provide outstanding support and feedback to help us improve.  Dowling has a history that is unique in the Twin Cities. Our roots go back to 1924 when the school was founded to provide education to children with disabilities in the city of Minneapolis. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt came to Dowling and dedicated our therapeutic swimming pool. 

Since that time, thousands of students have learned to swim in its warm water.  Dowling remains one of the strongest schools in the metro area in the area of special education. Programs serving children with a wide variety of disabilities coexist with regular education classes. 

Dowling is located on the River Road overlooking the Mississippi River. It features 21 acres of land with wonderful environmental diversity, including several large playground areas, a host of trees, a secluded nature area, an orchard, and the second oldest community garden in the United States. A strong environmental program K-5 is also a part of the school’s promise for the future of Dowling students. Our distinction is our environmental involvement, our special education programs, a highly qualified and experienced staff, our history, and our unparalleled desire to have fun with learning.

Student petting a turtle with adult assistance

We offer

  • Outdoor learning opportunities
  • Advanced learner support, including Telescoped Math
  • Swimming
  • Service learning
  • EL programming
  • Special Education services with highly specialized developmental/cognitive programming
  • After-school activities 
  • Minneapolis Kids school-age care 
  • Minneapolis Jr’s program for 4 and 5 year olds