November 18, 2016 
Early good wishes for the Thanksgiving holiday from TheWeek@DMPS. A reminder that there are no classes next Wednesday, and school and district offices are closed on Thursday and Friday. This week we share how students across the district were honoring veterans, look at how Lincoln High is a national model for the AVID program, and report on the district's support of the speech rights of students. Read on for those stories and more. With next week's holiday, TheWeek@DMPS will be back on December 2.
November 11 is designated as Veterans Day in America but at DMPS it's more like Veterans Week. Observances at schools around the district began with an assembly last Wednesday at Goodrell Middle School and culminated seven days later with ceremonies featuring the Marine JROTC corps at North High School. We dropped by a couple of Friday's observances.  Click here to read and see more of how DMPS students honor our Vets .
For the second year in a row Lincoln High School was chosen as the only showcase school in Iowa by AVID, a national program aimed at college readiness for students who represent the first generation of their families to pursue post-secondary degrees. Established in 2011 at Lincoln, AVID grads numbered 40 in the school's Class of 2016, and were offered in excess of $2.8 million worth of college scholarships.  Click here to read and see more about how Lincoln is setting the bar for college readiness.
This year marks the 33rd annual mock trials sponsored by the Iowa State Bar Association and two teams, the Blue and the Green, from Merrill Middle School advanced to the state tournament this week at the Iowa Events Center. Merrill's Blue team finished 9th overall and earned the Critelli Award for Sportsmanship, Civility and Courtroom Decorum. Read and see more about these junior barristers.
Wolf Trap is a national park in Virginia dedicated to the arts. This week their foundation's Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts began a residency at DMPS with their first stops on Monday at Cattell and Madison elementary schools, two of the district's cohort of Turnaround Arts schools. The program benefits children from infancy to kindergarten with an approach that emphasizes teacher training, student engagement and measurement of impact.  Visit our web site to read more about another unique opportunity in support of arts education at DMPS.
Tuesday's School Board meeting was standing-room only as people spoke on last week's walk-out by students after Election Day. DMPS is thankful for everyone who took the time to attend the meeting, and appreciates that there are a variety of opinions on the topic. Several students talked about the concerns they have for friends and family, and parents, community members, and elected officials spoke in support of the students and expressed their appreciation for the school district recognizing the rights of students. Click here to read more .
At the end of Tuesday's School Board meeting, Superintendent Tom Ahart thanked students for their civic engagement, noting an educated citizenry is vital for a democracy to thrive. He added that while it has been a challenging year, including the deaths of three students and killing of two local police officers, there is much for which to be thankful. (The artwork at right by Lincoln senior Zhaoying Qin is featured on the Superintendent's Thanksgiving card.) Click here to read Superintendent Ahart's statement.
Next week's Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. A reminder that there are no classes on Wednesday, November 23. On Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 all schools and district offices will be closed for the holiday.
Students Continue Tributes to Police
Students continue to pay respects to law enforcement. On Tuesday, Harding Middle School surprised SRO Rebecca Peppmeier with hundreds of cards and a gratitude line. After Officer Peppmeier walked through the school receiving hugs and flowers, two blue balloons were released outside in honor of fallen officers Justin Martin and Anthony Beminio, a former SRO at DMPS.  Visit our Flickr page for photos of recent police tributes by students throughout Des Moines.
Blue for Blue Supports Officer
As the community continues to mourn the loss of DMPD Sgt. Tony Beminio, a former SRO at the school district, and Urbandale Officer Justin Martin, Roosevelt High School launched the Blue for Blue campaign. The effort is raising funds for the families of both officers through the sale of special edition t-shirts and Rider Root Beer. (NOTE: root beer is sold out but t-shirts are still available at Roosevelt.) Click here for photos from the launch of Blue for Blue.
November 23
No ClassesAll Schools 

November 24-25
Thanksgiving Holiday - No Classes/Offices Closed  

December 10
CLAT Legislative BreakfastCentral Campus (9:00 AM) - click here for more information 

December 13
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)  

Winter Sports
Basketball/Bowling/Swimming/Wrestling | Visit for schedules 
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from the National School Public Relations Association.
It is the policy of the Des Moines Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you believe you have (or your child) has been discriminated against or treated unjustly at school, please contact the Equity Coordinator, Isaiah McGee at 2323 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312 or 515-242-7662 or