February 10, 2017
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS. Another busy week around DMPS as the School Board gave support to our immigrant and refugee students, supporters of the district spent time at the State Capitol to advocate for public education, and we announced details of our 2nd annual Summit on School Climate and Culture. Plus, a reminder that kindergarten registration begins on Monday and good luck to our swimmers competing tomorrow at the State meet. Read on for those stories and much more. 
Board Backs Support for Immigrant, Refugee Students
On Tuesday the Des Moines School Board unanimously approved two resolutions in support of immigrant and refugee students. The resolutions set a protocol for responding to Immigration & Customs Enforcement officials, voiced support for DACA, and above all reiterated that all students are welcomed at Des Moines Public Schools. Thank you to everyone who attended the School Board meeting, who spoke in favor of the resolutions, and most importantly, who shared their support and hope and love for all DMPS students.  Click here for more .
It was a rough week for public education at the State Capitol as legislators approved just a 1.1% budget increase for Iowa schools, but that didn't stop supporters of DMPS from speaking out. On Monday, School Board members along with our Community Legislative Action Team spoke at a legislative hearing on the budget. Then on Thursday dozens of people took part in DMPS Day on the Hill, talking with legislators about the importance of ELL, preschool and school infrastructure funds. Click here for more about the budget hearing, and click here to read about and see our Day on the Hill.
DMPS swimmers made splashes in district meets over the weekend. Congratulations to swimmers from East, Lincoln and Roosevelt high schools who qualified for the boys' state meet tomorrow in Marshalltown.  Click here for a complete list of DMPS qualifiers  and a link for more details on the state meet.
Polk County Presents $458,000 to DMPS
Thank you to Polk County and Supervisor Angela Connolly for presenting Des Moines Public Schools with a check for more than $458,000 between the East-Hoover basketball games last Friday night. The funds, from revenue the county earns from Prairie Meadows, supplement the district's general fund and help with various educational programs.
Roosevelt's STEP program performed for the first time during the halftime of the boys' basketball game against North last Friday night. STEP performances involve dancing, clapping, stomping and chanting, and are aimed at providing students with focus and excitement. The basketball scores were split with a Roosevelt 51-21 win for the girls and an 87-56 win for the North boys.  We took photos of both the dancing and the games, and have shared them on our Flickr page.
DMPS is already excited for the 2nd annual Summit on School Climate and Culture, to be held August 7-8 at the Iowa Events Center. Last year more than 1,200 people attended the event, which helps educators improve school climate and culture through professional development, skill-building and application of best practices and research. Keynote speakers this year include Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized authority on creativity and innovation in education  and business; Dr. Christopher Emdin, an associate professor at Columbia University and author of For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood; and Principal Baruti Kafele, recipient of the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award and the author of eight books on education. Visit our web site for more information.
The first day of Kindergarten 2017-18 will be here before you know it! It's an exciting time for staff, parents and students, but it all starts with registration. Sign-up begins this Monday, February 13. To find out where to register and what to bring,  click here.
East, Hoover Split Basketball Games
East visited Hoover for a basketball doubleheader last Friday night that resulted in a split decision. The Scarlets came from behind to win the girls' game 46-37 while the #5 Huskies led throughout the boys' game, ending up with a 62-48 win and improving to a 14-3 overall record.  Click here for photos of the games.
Secret Donor for Hidden Figures
An anonymous donor from John Deere paid for 200 middle school students to see the inspirational movie "Hidden Figures." The students will now write essays. The best ones will be sent to the donor and ten students will be invited to have lunch at John Deere, tour the business, and talk about STEM careers. See more on our Flickr page.
Week of February 13
Roosevelt Feeder School Conferences - more details available at schools

February 13
Kindergarten Registration Begins - click here for more information    

February 18
Monthly Coffee with Legislators - Hubbell Elementary (9:00 AM) -  click here for more

February 21
School Board Meeting  - Central Campus (6:00 PM)

Winter Sports
Basketball/Bowling/Swimming/Wrestling | Visit athletics.dmschools.org for schedules 
Recent items in the news or online about or of interest to students, teachers and parents at Des Moines Public Schools:
  • The support shown by our school district and community for immigrant and refugee students received a good deal of media attention. Iowa Public Radio reports on the School Board's unanimous passage of two resolutions, the Des Moines Register also covers the issue, noting that many students are facing fears and anxieties; and Superintendent Ahart talks with WHO-TV about how an Iowa congressman is wrong in making accusations against DMPS. Click the bold links above for the stories.
  • Sports at North High School were in the news, not only for their success but also as an example of how DMPS serves students from around the world. WHO-TV shares the story about senior Meshach Zarwie, whose family fled civil war in the Ivory Coast and, with support of a refugee agency, were able to eventually settle here in Des Moines. Today, Meshach is one of the state's top high school wrestlers and has a full academic scholarship to study engineering at Iowa State University. WOI-TV visits the Polar Bears basketball team, whose success on the court is thanks to students from around the world. Click here for Channel 13's story and click here for Channel 5's story.
  • School Board vice-chair Cindy Elsbernd writes in the Des Moines Register about Education Saving Accounts, a proposal being considered by the state legislature that would divert money from public schools, and why the notion "is not good for the economic and social prosperity of our communities or of our state." Visit the Register's web site to read her entire guest editorial.
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 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 isaiah.mcgee@dmschools.org.