January 27, 2017
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS. This week we announce a new skilled trades program at Central Campus, look at the generosity shown towards refugee students and families, and include information on understanding the MAP test results. Read on for those stories and much more. 
Central to Launch Skilled Trades Alliance
Des Moines Public Schools and Central Campus will expand its skilled trades programs beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, creating more opportunities for students seeking employment after high school. The partnership with construction industry leaders and labor organizations creates a Skilled Trades Alliance, with the goal of creating a model program of work-based learning with hands-on applications for students.  Read more about this exciting new program.
Abdul Fattah Tameem, Ghazweh Aljabooli and their five children - the first family of Syrian refugees to find their way to Iowa - were featured in Time magazine last November, chronicling a five-year odyssey from their war-ravaged homeland to Des Moines. A family in Hoover, Alabama, noticing one of their children attended Hoover High School, sent a financial gift to the family. We also caught up with the Interact Club at Hoover, a Rotary Club affiliate for students, to learn more about how they are also leading efforts to support their refugee classmates (Hoover had 92 new refugee students during the first semester, an average of one per day).  Read more about support for refugee students and families at DMPS .
Energy Efficiency Pays Off for DMPS
It's no secret that DMPS has made energy conservation a top priority, and is a national leader among school districts. The effort is paying off, both figuratively and literally, as it's the right thing for the environment and the bottom line. At this week's School Board meeting, MidAmerican Energy stopped by to present DMPS with its 2016 energy efficiency rebate check in the amount of $896,780.85!
Support for Walkable, Bikable Schools
Getting to school in the most healthful way - by walking or biking - will become an easier choice for students at three DMPS schools under a pilot project made possible by a $75,000 Matching Assets to Community Health grant from The Wellmark Foundation. Called "Step It Up DSM," the pilot program seeks to address policy, programming and infrastructure barriers to active transportation for Carver Elementary School, Hiatt Middle School and East High School.  Click here for more.
The American School Counselor Association announced that Findley Elementary School is a Recognized ASCA Model Program school for delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment. Findley is the fourth school at DMPS, and only the sixth school in all of Iowa, to earn this national honor for its counseling program.  Click here to read more  about the work of principal Barb Adams and counselor Jackie Dehner.
The middle school debate season began with a tournament hosted by high school powerhouse Roosevelt on Tuesday afternoon and a milestone was achieved. This year, for the first time, all DMPS middle schools have a debate program. Students will have three more oratorical face-offs between now and early May. Visit our web site to read and see more about our middle school debaters.
This school year, DMPS began using a new reading and math assessment called Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP. Over the next few weeks, students will bring home their first set of test results. To read up on the benefits of using this assessment, and see a video walking you through the results, please click here. 
Monthly Coffee with Legislators
Thanks to everyone who attended the first monthly legislative coffee on Saturday hosted by the DMPS Community Legislative Action Team, including Senator Nate Boulton and Representatives Marti Anderson, Bruce Hunter, Kevin Koester, Brian Meyer and Jo Oldson, who spoke about key education issues in this year's session. Click here to see photos from the legislative coffee .
Findley Sings in Arts Advocacy
Wednesday was Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, as students, teachers and parents gathered to urge legislators to support the arts. Students from Findley Elementary School kicked off the day as they sang in both chambers of the state legislature first thing in the morning.  Click here to see more of the Findley students performing at the State Capitol.
Week of February 6
Hoover/North Feeder School Conferences - more details available at schools

February 7
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)    

February 9
DMPS Day on the Hill - East High/State Capitol - click here for more information  

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 Business Record writes about a new initiative announced by Broadlawns Medical Center to address social determinants of health for residents in neighborhoods near their medical campus. One part of their program is Training and Education for a Career in Healthcare, a six-month paid internship program for students selected from Hoover and North high schools interested in careers in health. Click here to read the paper's story.
  • 22.1 points is the average ACT composite score for Iowa students, above the national average of 20.8. The test includes English, math, reading and science reasoning, and has a possible 36 points. Roughly 68 percent of eligible Iowa students took the exam, but in Des Moines Public Schools nearly 100 percent participated. The Des Moines Register highlights 10 facts about Iowa's public schools from the state's recent Condition of Education report. Click here to read more.
  • One of the many partnerships between DMPS and Iowa State University is the ISU 4 Promise initiative. The Iowa State Daily reports on how this program is working to make the dream of going to college a reality for students at King and Moulton elementary schools. Click here for the story.
  • Louisa Dykstra, a parent and one of the organizers of the DMPS Community Legislative Action Team, was a guest this week on the Insight on Business radio show. She spoke about the importance of parents learning more about public education and becoming advocates for their children's schools. Click here to listen to the interview.
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.