February 24, 2017
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS. This week's edition includes two very important items. First, information about new state vaccine requirements for 7th and 12th grade students. Second, an invitation to participate in a survey about the school hours proposal that we announced last week. 

In addition, we share reports on our students succeeding on the statewide stage, including all seven DMPS wrestlers finishing on the podium at the state tournament, a member of the Lincoln girls' bowling team winning a state title, and boys' basketball teams heading into the postseason. Read on for these stories and much more. 
Important Vaccine Info for 7th and 12th Graders
Before our incoming 7th and 12th grade students can begin school in the fall, they must meet a new mandatory state vaccination requirement. Students without proof of vaccination or an exemption will not be allowed to attend classes.  Click here to read more about what is needed, and where students can find assistance meeting this requirement.
All DMPS Wrestlers Finish on the Podium
Seven DMPS wrestlers competed at the State tournament and seven finished on the podium! Congratulations to East's Matthew Jordan (4th - 132lbs), Brock Espalin (5th - 126lbs) and Deville Dentis (6th - 138lbs); Lincoln's Nathan Kahoe (7th - 106 lbs), Shawn Brown (8th - 152 lbs) and Tad Griffith (7th - 160 lbs); and North's Shadrach Zarwie (7th - 126 lbs).  Click here for photos from the State tournament.
Bowlers on a Roll at State Tournament
In recent years, bowling has gone from a recreational pastime to a competitive sport for high school students, and bowlers from East, Lincoln and Roosevelt qualified to compete in this week's State Class 3A Coed Tournament. Lincoln's Hannah Duver (pictured at right) captured the state individual title as her team made their 4th consecutive appearance at the state tournament. It should be noted Hannah bowled a 500 over two games, which would have also won the boys' competition.  Visit our web site for more about the event and the results.
As the boys' basketball season turns its attention to the postseason, two DMPS schools have been impressive in the stats column: Hoover (16-5) is the state's top defensive team in Class 4A while North (16-5) is second in offense. Tonight, Hoover hosts Roosevelt and North hosts East in the Substate semifinals. Both games tip-off at 7:00 PM.  Click here for more details.
Some of Iowa's top high school debaters, and their coaches, were on hand at this week's School Board meeting for a resolution declaring March 3 as National Speech and Debate Education Day. By many measures, DMPS is working to become a model for providing students the opportunity to participate in high quality speech and debate programs. From a growing number of high school students competing at the national level to now having debate in all of our middle schools, the school district is committed to making an activity that provides experience in skills such as research and critical thinking accessible to more and more students.
As we announced last week, an idea currently being considered at DMPS is a change in our bell times, or school hours. The plan would flip the current hours, so elementary students begin the day a little earlier while middle and high school students would start a little later.  Research points to how these changes would help students by better match-ups with the sleep patterns of children at different ages.  

DMPS realizes that these proposed changes would affect nearly everyone in the school district, from students and their families to our teachers and staff, and would like to invite you to participate in a survey. To do so simply  click here to visit our web site and select "Survey" in the right-hand menu. (NOTE: if you are a parent or DMPS employee you should also be receiving a separate email about the survey.)

Be sure to scroll down through this e-newsletter for a video with Superintendent Ahart talking about this issue, a list of upcoming community meetings on the proposal, and links to recent news media reports about school hours.
Superintendent on School Hours
Be sure to watch our DMPS-TV video, and comments from Superintendent Ahart, on a proposal under consideration to change school hours. The plan would essentially flip the current elementary and secondary school hours, an idea that has been discussed on and off over the years, as a research-backed way to better match class scedules with the sleep patterns of children at different ages. Click here to see the video on YouTube.
Park Ave. Hosts Night for the Arts
Park Avenue Elementary School recently hosted "A Night for the Arts." The theme for the evening at Park Avenue, an IB school, was Love/Peace/Finding Unity in the World. In addition to a musical program, the event featured art work by 4th and 5th graders, a video installation of students introducing themselves in Spanish, and free Love Peace Rock, small clay hearts created by 4th grade students to share the evening's theme.  Click here to enjoy photos.
February 25
RunDSM Teen Summit - Drake/Harmon Fine Arts Center (1:00 PM) - click here for more 

Week of February 27
Lincoln Feeder School Conferences - more details available at schools 

February 27
School Hours Community Meeting  - Windsor Elementary (6:00 PM) - click here for more

February 28
School Hours Community Meeting - North High (6:00 PM) - click here for more

March 2
DMEA's Read Across America  - Merle Hay Mall (5-7 PM) - click here for more

March 2
School Hours Community Meeting  - Hoyt Middle School (6:00 PM) - click here for more

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:
  • Be sure to catch this report from WHO-TV on our intensive ELL program at Meredith Middle School. Reporter Justin Surrency shares the stories of why refugee and immigrant students settled in Des Moines, and how ELL teachers are helping students not only learn English but also settle in to life in Iowa. The report notes the size of the ELL program in Des Moines (more students than the total in eight entire states) as well as its success (a graduation rate just above the district average). Click here to view the Channel 13's story.
  • As DMPS considers a proposal that would change school hours, both KCCI-TV and WOI-TV spoke with the school district about the issue, got reaction from parents, teachers and students, and let viewers know how to learn more, or have input, about the plan. Click here for Channel 8's report and click here for Channel 5's report.
  • At their meeting this week, the School Board voiced support for our black students, who account for nearly one out of five students at DMPS, by wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts. The Des Moines Register covered the meeting and included comments from several Board members about the importance of letting all students know they are welcomed and supported at DMPS. Click here to read the newspaper's report.
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.