May 19, 2017
Happy Friday from TheWeek@DMPS. We are now down to single digits for the number of school days left in 2016-17. This morning we share the news that all five high schools are ranked on the Iowa AP Index for the fifth year in a row, feature a special ceremony that celebrated our next generation of teachers, and highlight a special event at Lovejoy Elementary School to improve students' vision. Plus, a reminder that DMPS student-athletes are competing today and tomorrow at the state track and field meet, and check out the calendar for a number of key dates between now and the end of May. Read on for these stories and much more.
High Schools Ranked High on Iowa AP Index
For the fifth year in a row all five DMPS comprehensive high schools are listed among the state's top 50 high schools on the Iowa Advanced Placement Index, with Roosevelt, North, Lincoln and Hoover in the top 20. Last year DMPS students took a record number 2,672 AP exams. The Iowa AP Index is compiled and released by the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa, and ranks how well Iowa high schools provide students with the opportunity to take college-level AP courses. Read more about the AP Index and how DMPS has broken down barriers to give more and more students access to college-level courses.
Future Teachers Sign on the Dotted Line
Just like student-athletes sign letters of intent to make their college commitments, future teachers at DMPS now do the same. Graduates of the Urban Teacher Academy at Central Campus gathered Wednesday night for a special signing ceremony as they prepare for their next step in becoming educators.  Read more about the commitment of these students to education  and how DMPS helps prepare the next generation of teachers.
Vision to Learn Launches at Lovejoy Elementary
It was a very visual event - literally and figuratively - on Monday at Lovejoy Elementary School as Vision to Learn launched their initiative to provide students with free eyeglasses. Along with our partners at United Way, the Community Foundation and Prevent Blindness Iowa, Vision to Learn is piloting their work at five DMPS schools. Read more about the program and why improved vision for these students means a greater ability to succeed both in and out of the classroom. 
At Willard Elementary, Mural Becomes Tradition
It's a new tradition at Willard Elementary School: a mural to beautify and brighten the neighborhood. After painting their first mural at the Fairgrounds Hardware store, this year a new mural - designed by 5th grader Savannah Peterson - was painted on the side of S&H Electric Company. Both pieces of public art are on East 30th Street near the Iowa State Fairgrounds, where they will be seen by millions of passersby and state fairgoers.  Click here to read and see more.
Peace Pole Project for East Art Students
Students in Joleen Weller's art class at East High School are doing their best to spread peace in the community. For the last unit of the year her introductory classes are hard at work painting "peace poles" they hope to see planted around the city. The Peace Pole Project is a global movement that's coalesced around this mantra: "May Peace Prevail on Earth."   Click here to read and see more.
Moves, Sounds of Brazil at Moulton Elementary
The moves and sounds of Brazil filled the auditorium at Moulton Elementary School late Saturday afternoon as students took part in a year-end celebration of a unique afterschool program at their school. Read more about students taking part in a program to learn Capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts that incorporates dance, acrobatics and music. 
Girls on the Run Blaze New Trail at Moore
The Moore Elementary School chapter of "Girls on the Run" celebrated a new addition to the school, a walking and running trail around the campus. Special thanks to Angela Connolly and the Polk County Board of Supervisors for making the trail possible in support of a program that promotes health and confidence for young girls.  Click here to read and see more.
Belly Scratching, Letter Signing: Big, Fun Day at East
When classes dismissed at East High on Wednesday, the best part of the school day was yet to come. In the school's community center gym, dogs from the Animal Rescue League's Therapets Team were on hand for a little play time with students. It was ARL's way of saying thanks for fundraising on their behalf by East's student government. Meanwhile, down the hall in the school's main gym, 16 soon-to-be-former Scarlet student-athletes were signing their college letters of intent.  It was a great day to stay after school at East High School. 
Student-Athletes Competing at State Track
Student-athletes from East, Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt have qualified for the State Track and Field High School Championship, and will be competing in a total of 31 different events. The state track meet got underway yesterday at Drake Stadium and continues through Saturday.  Click here for a list of qualifiers from DMPS and links to more information on the meet.
Thanks to the DMPS mobile app Iowa's largest provider of education fits in the palm of your hand. And the app is about to get even better. Later this spring Infinite Campus will be integrated with our app. This means you can access information about your students on your phone through the same app that also provides lunch menus, school calendars, directories, and more. If you haven't yet downloaded the DMPS app be sure to do so at either the  App Store  (for iPhones) or  Google Play  (for Android devices).
Rails, Riders at State Rugby
Lincoln and Roosevelt competed in the 2017 Iowa Youth Rugby Association's State Championship. The Rails went down to the wire before losing to Cedar Rapids Washington in the first round. The Roughriders won their first game over Ankeny, but fell to defending champs Southeast Polk in the semifinals.  See photos of both teams in action on our Flickr page.
Field Day a Special Day at Smouse
It's always a special day when it's Field Day at Smouse. Such was the case last Friday when students celebrated with a parade before enjoying games and activities to mark the fast-approaching end of another school year.  Enjoy photos of the fun at Smouse Opportunity School on our Flickr page.
May 24
Districtwide Programs Graduation - North High Auditorium (2:00 PM)

May 26
Scavo High Commencement - Hoyt Sherman Place (10:00 AM)

May 26
Ruby Van Meter Graduation - Ruby Van Meter School (6:30 PM)

May 27
East High Commencement - Knapp Center (9:00 AM)

May 27
Hoover High Commencement - Knapp Center (12:30 PM)

May 27
Lincoln High Commencement - Knapp Center (3:30 PM)

May 27
Roosevelt High Commencement - Knapp Center (7:30 PM)

May 28
North High Commencement - Knapp Center (7:30 PM)

May 29
Memorial Day - No Classes (All Schools)

May 30
Last Day of Classes - Elementary/Middle Schools (except Downtown School)

June 1
Last Day of Classes - High Schools

Spring Sports
Girls 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:
  • In case you haven't seen it, be sure to catch this story from KCCI-TV and reporter Eric Hanson about Roosevelt High School senior Craig Harvey, and how his deafness didn't stand in the way of him becoming the drummer for the school's popular Bridges 2 Harmony choir. Click here for Channel 8's story.
  • DMPS is proud to be the educational home to students from around the world, and to support nearly 7,000 English Language Learners. The Des Moines Register has done a series on ELL education in Iowa, featuring some of the challenges and successes of immigrant and refugee students here in Des Moines. Click here for the paper's report.
  • We shared a story above on the Vision to Learn initiative launched this week at Lovejoy Elementary School. The Business Record also reports on how the program is helping nearly 2,000 students during its pilot project at five DMPS school. Click here to read more.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced they may cut back on nutritional standards for school meals. What does that mean at DMPS? For now, nothing, as we maintain the status quo in preparing breakfasts and lunches. WHO-TV looks at the work that goes in to preparing 44,000 meals per day, talks with our food and nutrition director Amanda Miller, and visits Greenwood Elementary during lunch time. Click here for Channel 13's report.
TheWeek@DMPS is a recipient of the 2016 Award of Merit 
from the National School Public Relations Association.
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