April 14, 2017
Welcome to a new edition of TheWeek@DMPS. The big news this week is the graduation rate which, according to figures released by the Iowa Department of Education, is up at DMPS ... including a new high at our five comprehensive high schools. Speaking of high schools, Kathie Danielson will serve as interim principal at Hoover next school year and East students are sewing a path into the spotlight.  Plus, today is the first day of the annual spring plant sale sponsored by Central Campus FFA. Read on for these stories and much more. 
The district's five comprehensive high schools each saw an increase in their graduation rate for the Class of 2016, according to numbers released this week by the Iowa Department of Education. Combined, the five high schools graduation rate of 87.67% is the highest since the state's graduation rate formula went into effect in 2009. The overall graduation rate for DMPS has increased nearly 9 percentage points during that time.  Click here to read more.
Danielson to End DMPS Career Where it Began
Kathie Danielson, director of high schools at Des Moines Public Schools, will end her career with the school district where it began: Hoover High School. Danielson takes over next year as interim principal at Hoover as veteran secondary administrator Cynthia Flesch prepares to retire later this spring.  Click here to read more about two outstanding DMPS educators .
Harris Graduates from Middle to High School Director
The director of middle schools at DMPS, Corey Harris, will become the district's new director of high schools. Harris replaces Kathie Danielson, who will serve as interim principal at Hoover High School next school year before she retires. Harris's influence at the middle school level has ranged from improving student engagement through more extracurricular opportunities to creating the annual Stellar Awards.  Click here to read more about his experience.
East Students Sew Path Into the Spotlight
More than 160 students are enrolled in one of six levels of sewing offered at East High School. Two of the classes are comprised of new immigrants, teacher Deann Herbert said. She's lost track of the number of languages she's heard spoken in class but, in one class, half of the students are boys. Read and see how students in the class are not only learning a skill but are giving and receiving in fun and surprising ways under the leadership of an educator who is soon to retire. Click here to read and see more.
Four Schools Awarded STEM Scale Up Grants
Four DMPS schools - Brody, Cowles, Harding and Morris - along with a Boys & Girls Club chapter housed at McCombs Middle School have been notified they will receive STEM Scale Up awards from the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council for the 2017-18 school year. The grants will support Making STEM Connections,  a teaching curriculum supplement developed in conjunction with the Science Center of Iowa for students in grades 1-8.  Click here for more .
East's McPhee is Named an Emerging Journalist
Congratulations to East High's Toni McPhee on being named one of Iowa's Top Ten Emerging Journalists by the Iowa High School Press Association. The program identifies up and coming journalists who, in grades 9-11, show promise in the many disciplines related to high school media. In addition to the recognition, honorees receive a scholarship towards participating in the Iowa Summer Journalism Workshops. (Photo courtesy of Kyleana Whitmore, a 2016 Emerging Journalist honoree.)
It's time for the Des Moines FFA Annual Spring Plant Sale. The sale begins today and runs through June 3. The  Central Campus Greenhouse & Nursery is located at  201 SW County Line Road  (next to McCombs Middle School). Hours are  8:00-6:00 Monday through Friday and 8:00-4:00 on Saturdays (closed Sundays). The annual sale features  hanging baskets, bedding plants, vegetables, perennials, a variety of hostas, fruit trees, brambles, evergreen trees, shrubs, shade trees, trellises and planter benches.  All proceeds support agriculture education programs at Central Campus.
Globetrotters Fly Into McKinley
Harlem Globetrotter Zeus McClurkin and Wells Fargo volunteers recently visited McKinley Elementary School, delivering an anti-bullying message and impressive slam dunks, as well as tickets to see the Globetrotters play in Des Moines. Enjoy photos from the event on Flickr.
Spring Sports in Full Swing
Tennis anyone? Sunshine and more pleasant temperatures is making for an even more enjoyable spring sports season. We stopped by to take some photos of recent tennis matches between the East Scarlets and Lincoln Rails. Click here to see more on our Flickr page.
April 18
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)

April 19
No Classes for Grades 9, 10, 12 ONLY - Grade 11 attend for morning ACT test

April 20
No Classes for Grade 11 ONLY

April 24-28
Central Campus Block Party - click here to view the event's poster

April 29
U.S. Navy Sea Chanters - Roosevelt High School (7:00 PM) -  click here for free tickets

Spring Sports
Girl's Golf/Soccer/Tennis/Track & Field  - 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:
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers provide after school and/or summer programming at 15 DMPS schools. The program is in jeopardy if current federal budget proposals are enacted. WHO-TV visited Howe Elementary School to see what the program offers and spoke with our 21CCLC director Heidi Brown about how it supports students. Click here for Channel 13's report.
  • Superintendent Tom Ahart, School Board chair Teree Caldwell-Johnson, and School Board vice chair Cindy Elsbernd joined 51 school superintendents from the Heartland AEA region in signing a letter to the Des Moines Register in support of continuing the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund. SAVE is the one cent sales tax, enacted in 2008, that supports critical school infrastructure needs, including technology and safety. Click here to read the letter.
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 anne.sullivan@dmschools.org.