March 31, 2017
Welcome to another edition of TheWeek@DMPS. This morning two important reminders are included below: the Iowa Assessments get underway on Monday for students in grades 3-11 and there is a new vaccination requirement for all students entering grades 7 and 12 in August. Plus we include stories on a presentation two students made yesterday to the State Board of Education and a new approach Hoover High School is taking when it comes to study halls . Read on for these stories and much more. 
North High's Robert Nishimwe is the student representative on the State Board of Education. At Thursday's meeting of the Board, he was joined by Roosevelt student Victoria Yin to advocate for the Community for Racial Equity program. CORE has chapters at both of their schools, and they urge expanded support of its effort to bring greater equity in educational outcomes among students of color in Iowa.  Click here to read about two students advocating for the needs of others.
Exam Time Nears for Iowa Students
Between Monday, April 3 and Friday, April 14, Iowa students in grades 3 through 11 will take the Iowa Assessments. The results will give teachers a clearer picture of where a student stands academically and can guide instruction decisions. DMPS recommends students get plenty of rest over the next two weeks and eat a good breakfast before the test.  Click here to learn more about the Iowa Assessments.
Husky Excursions Change Study Hall at Hoover
Two years ago Hoover High School dreamed of a better Husky Time. Now the half-hour period is used for 12-day "Excursions" designed to spark student interest and support different programs throughout the school.  Click here to read and see more, including a student-produced video about the initiative.
Central Education Sits at a Global Crossroads
Not only do Central Academy and Central Campus serve students from across the district, they also sit at a global crossroads. Last week a delegation of students returned from a 10-day educational junket to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Students annually travel between here and Japan. In October, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the U.S. made a visit to campus. And last fall Central Academy students continued a longstanding exchange program between DMPS and Hjorring, Denmark. This week the favor was returned as DMPS hosted the Danes.  Click here to read and see more .
New, Expanded Hours for DMPS Welcome Center
To better serve families, the DMPS Welcome Center is undergoing changes that include expanded hours, adding more bilingual staff, and a broader approach to providing information. The district looks forward to better serving families and making their first contact with Des Moines Public Schools an enjoyable and fulfilling one.  Click here to see the new hours and learn more about registration.
Congratulations to four DMPS alumni who are members of the Southwestern Community College basketball team that just won the NJCAA national title. Roosevelt grad Jordan Johnson along with Hoover grads Khalid Edwards, Nate Lee and Alijah Thomas all play for the Southwestern Spartans. This was the school's first-ever national title.
Students who will be entering 7th and 12th grades without a new state-required vaccination for meningococcal disease (or a waiver) will not be able to attend class in the fall. This new state requirement impacts more than half of current DMPS 6th and 11th graders. Please click here to learn how to act now, or talk to your school nurse.
CR Looks at Culture & Climate Work
Thanks to our colleagues from the Cedar Rapids Community School District for visiting DMPS to learn about our efforts to revamp school climate and culture. Our guests were in town to learn more about our Multi-Tier Behavior Framework with an agenda that included administrative briefings on the initiative and tours of five schools to see the plan in practice. Click here for more.
Students Participate in Tornado Drill
Students and staff in schools across the district participated in Iowa's statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch at 10:00 AM, followed a short time later by a tornado warning.  Click here to see photos of staff helping students learn to be prepared in case of an emergency.
April 1
Budget Forum - Lincoln High Auditorium (9:00 AM) - click here for budget information

April 3 - 14
Iowa Assessments - All Schools (Grades 3-11) - click here for more information

April 4
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)

Spring Sports
Girl's Golf/Soccer/Tennis/Track & Field  - Visit for schedules
Recent items in the news or online about or of interest to students, teachers and parents at Des Moines Public Schools:
  • Our Urban Leadership class at Central Campus helps students to think critically about some of the most critical - and controversial - issues of the day. The Des Moines Register visited class recently to see how students and teachers engage to discuss and debate multiple opinions. Click here to read the newspaper's report.
  • Parents for Great Iowa Schools, a grassroots group in support of public education, hosted a forum Monday night at the Wellmark YMCA. The Des Moines Register covered the event which featured Superintendent Tom Ahart along with State Representative Sharon Steckman of Mason City and Davis County Community Schools Superintendent Dan Maeder. Dr. Ahart noted that the legislature's low funding for education means there aren't any margins left when it comes to making cuts in the future, and that Iowa needs to do a better job at measuring the growth students make in the classroom. Click here to read the newspaper's report.
  • Most people have probably heard of Schindler's List, the iconic movie about a businessman who saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Did you know the youngest of Schindler's survivors went on to attend North High School? Be sure to read the inspired story of Celina Biniaz in the Jewish Journal, one of thousands of refugees students who have been welcomed and educated over the years here in Des Moines. Click here to read her story.
TheWeek@DMPS is a recipient of the 2016 Award of Merit 
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 (or your child) have been discriminated against or treated unjustly at school, please contact Anne Sullivan at 2323 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312 or 515-242-7709 or