Des Moines public school is now offering classes in real estate … – Des Moines Register

Luigi Guzman, a Des Moines Public Schools junior, is considering a career as a real estate agent like his mother, and Perla Arce, also a junior, wants to learn how she can help with her family’s year-old roofing business.
“Since they’re both immigrants from Mexico and don’t really know how a lot of the economy here works … I was thinking of working with them,” Arce said.
Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus, which focuses on teaching high school students job and technical skills, will allow Guzman and Arce to learn those skills. 
Helping students reach their goals is exactly what teacher Tim Brickley, a long-time business teacher, wants to do. New this year, he is teaching an investment and real estate class.
“I’m excited to help students,” he said. “And it’s not even just finding their career path, but finding a way that they can help their family, they can help their friends or they can help themselves.”
Guzman decided to take the real estate class to learn more about the industry, including basic terminology.
This school year, which started on Wednesday in Des Moines, students were also offered classes on small business start-ups, social media marketing, content marketing, e-commerce entrepreneurship, and hospitality and tourism management.
The school offers classes in marine biology, engineering and industrial technology, transportation, and agriculture sciences among others. The classes are often paired with internships and apprenticeships.
“We’re able to put kids in a position where they are studying aspects of their future career and they’re seeing the immediate application of those interests and those desires for the rest of their lives,” said interim Superintendent Matt Smith. 
Tascha Brown, director of career and technical education and Central Campus, said the school has offered classes to prepare students for health care industry jobs and “had a huge waitlist.”
In the spring, the district and Des Moines Area Community College will be teaming up to offer an EMT class. 
“We’re just really making sure that not only do they have the technical skills, but are getting college credit, and industry recognized certifications,” Brown said.
Gov. Kim Reynolds’ 2018 Future Ready Iowa Act influenced the class offerings. The initiative’s goal is to have 70% of Iowans receive training or education beyond a high school diploma by 2025. 
The initiative has also opened up funding for the district, and the businesses and organizations it partners with.
“(Reynolds’) people have been very, very supportive of helping fund and get more resources for both employers and schools engaging in these partnerships,” Brown said.
The district does not simply want to graduate students, she said. 
“We need to be more intentional about what are the hopes, dreams and aspirations of our students and their families and our community,” Brown said. “And really making sure that the time that they’re spending with us … is truly setting them up for the pathway of their choosing instead of just here’s your schedule.”
Samantha Hernandez covers education for the Register. Reach her at (515) 851-0982 or Follow her on Twitter at @svhernandez or Facebook at


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