December 2, 2016 
Happy December from TheWeek@DMPS. We hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday and is ready for the final 15 school days of 2016. This week we report how enrollment continues to grow at DMPS, share a story about the homebuilding program at Central Campus making good use of old bleachers, and post a note from the Superintendent about winter weather and school days (it is December, after all). Read on for those stories and more. 
Last week was a short week at Des Moines Public Schools, but plenty long enough for a variety of traditional holiday mood-setting activities around the district. From Smouse hosting its 36th annual Thanksgiving feast to Lincoln using the holiday as a teachable moment in its Adult Living class to Oak Park students supporting a community meal,  click here to read and see more  of how students and schools marked the holiday.
Enrollment trends continue to show growth at Des Moines Public Schools. While many urban school districts across the country have seen enrollment declines in recent years, DMPS has grown by nearly 400 students over the past year, now totaling just under 33,000 K-12 students. DMPS had a 1.2 percent increase since last school year, and a 5.6 percent increase in enrollment over the past ten years.   Click here for more about enrollment and demographics at DMPS.
Last month Ben Molloy and his Central Campus homebuilding class removed bleachers from what used to be the Tech High natatorium. But they didn't let all of that lumber and history go to waste. The class used the repurposed planks to build two playhouses that will go up for auction on eBay. And there's enough wood left over to use in a full-scale house that the class is constructing near Easter Lake.   Click here to read and see more.
Congratulations to our high school football players who earned All-State recognitions from the Iowa Newspaper Association. North senior defensive lineman Calvonte Stallings and East senior linebacker Rory Walling (pictured at right in his other role as the team's quarterback) both earned First Team honors. Roosevelt junior linebacker Kendell Jackson was a Second Team pick and East senior offensive lineman Anthony Arroyo was a Third Team selection.
The official start of Winter is nearly three weeks away, but weather doesn't always check the calendar. With colder temperatures and snow flurries in Des Moines, Superintendent Tom Ahart shares his annual reminder about how decisions are made when it comes to school and weather, as well as how you can receive notices of weather-related changes to the school day.  Click here to read more about school days and weather .
DMPS emphasizes growth. We want to know the precise extent of our students' academic gains throughout the school year. To better track growth in the classroom, this year we begin a new and improved way to gauge learning: the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP test, which provides a timelier tool for both teachers, students and parents. Students will take the second round of the MAP test at various times between December 12 and January 31. Visit our web site for more information.
Basketball Season Takes Off
The basketball season began for many teams in metro Des Moines at the Kiwanis Basketball Jamboree, held November 19 at Valley High School. Boys and girls teams from East, Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt all competed at the event. Proceeds from the jamboree went to the Ronald McDonald House.  Click here for photos of the DMPS high schools in action .
Students Jam at Jazzfest
Jazz bands from all five DMPS high schools gathered at Lincoln High School recently for the 17th annual All-City Jazzfest. Student-musicians performed before a full house in a unique event that brought together ensembles in a non-competitive setting to celebrate the art of jazz.  Enjoy photos from the event on our Flickr page.
December 10
CLAT Legislative Breakfast - Central Campus (9:00 AM) -  click here for more information

December 13
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)

December 23 - January 2
Winter Holiday Recess - No Classes (offices closed December 26, 27, 30 and January 2) 

January 3
Classes Resume - All schools  

Winter Sports
Basketball/Bowling/Swimming/Wrestling | Visit for schedules 
Recent items in the news or online about or of interest to students, teachers and parents at Des Moines Public Schools:
  • Earlier this week the State of Iowa released a report on the need to address chronic absenteeism in school. KCCI-TV spoke with King Elementary School principal Kisha Barnes about why this is important for students and parents, and how DMPS has already been working hard on this issue. Click here for Channel 8's story.
  • Following a tragic bus accident in Chattanooga, TN that resulted in the death of six students, KCCI-TV and WOI-TV visited our transportation department and looked at how DMPS is testing seats belts on busses. Click here for Channel 8's report and click here for Channel 5's story.
  • Over the past couple of years, DMPS has installed more than 2,100 interactive projectors in classrooms throughout the district. See this article from The Journal, a magazine on education and technology, on how this has changed and improved the way information is shared and presented in our schools.
  • The first family of Syrian refugees in Des Moines, whose children attend DMPS schools, appreciate what it means to gives thanks. Read more about them - and their experiences settling into new ways of life - in the Des Moines Register.
  • The Des Moines Register also presented DMPS with a rose for "helping provide students with a valuable lesson in civics" following last month's election. Click here for the paper's comments.
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