May 12, 2017
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS as we are now within three weeks of the last day of school (and less than two weeks until the start of graduation season). This week we highlight major science partnerships that DMPS has with the World Food Prize and Iowa State University, report on some great work by alums of Greenwood Elementary School, and share the generosity of students at Studebaker Elementary School. Plus tonight both Lincoln and Roosevelt play in the state rugby tournament. Read on for these stories and much more.
Rails, Riders Play Tonight at State Rugby Tourney
Congratulations to the Lincoln and Roosevelt boys rugby teams on making it to the Iowa Youth Rugby Association's State Tournament, held TONIGHT at East High's Williams Stadium. The Rails face Cedar Rapids Washington in their first round game at 5:50 PM while the Riders take on Ankeny at 6:10 PM. Visit the IAYRA web site for more information.
Greenwood Elementary Alums Return, Bearing Books
In late March five 8th graders at Callanan Middle School - Zoe Zmolek, Claire Bissmeyer, Natalie Bennett and Grace & Ella Sundstrom - launched a project to provide free books for summer reading to all students at their elementary alma mater: Greenwood. United Way and Half Price Books came aboard as sponsors, and Tuesday the girls delivered nearly 900 books for every student at their old school.  Click here to read and see more .
Paying it Forward at Studebaker Elementary
Studebaker 5th graders in Paula Banowetz's class recently read the story "Pay it Forward," about a boy named Trevor who plants a tree of kindness that branches out far and wide. For a project related to the book, one group of students decided to take action in the spirit of the assigned theme: Spread the Kindness.  Read and see more about a food drive organized by students Natalee Richardson, Lexie Bingham, Eric Millard, Jack Huffman, Kennedy Hopkins and Aiden Rinker.
Engineering Partnership with ISU a Success
Initial results of Trinect - a five-year collaboration between Iowa State University and the Des Moines Public Schools funded by a $4.5 million National Science Foundation grant - show that elementary school teachers and their students are developing a better understanding of engineering, while engineers are learning how to better communicate their craft. The partnerships have opened up a whole new world of discovery.  Click here to read more on the ISU web site .
Students Present at World Food Prize Institute
Students from Central Academy and Central Campus along with East, Hoover and Roosevelt high schools shared their research at the recent World Food Prize Youth Institute, held on the campus of Iowa State University.  Click here for a list of DMPS students who took part in the event and learn more about this major STEM conference for Iowa high schools.
The 4th annual Stellar Awards began with limo rides and red carpet and ended with honors and recognitions for students from each of our DMPS middle schools. Held at North High School, the event recognizes students for their success in a variety of categories, from scholar-athletes and musicians to positive peer pressure and community service. Enjoy photos from the special ceremony, including a portrait of each of this year's award winners,  on our Flickr page .
Student-Poets Shine at Teen Poetry Slam
The artistry and passion of the student-poets of Movement 515 was on full display Friday night at the 5th annual Teen Poetry Slam. Congratulations to Maddie Johnson (Roosevelt), Julio Delgadillo (North), Elhondra Brazzle (East), Jaleesha Johnson (East), Shaddai Johnson (Roosevelt), Miavliag Lee (Lincoln) and Tiana Warner (East) for earning spots to represent Des Moines at this summer's Brave New Voices Festival in San Francisco.  Enjoy photos from the performance.
Mural Dream Becomes Reality at Perkins
On a Saturday morning that was perfect for outdoor work, 5th graders at Perkins Elementary School set out to paint a new mural that will be installed near the school's front entrance. The city's latest public art project was designed by the students and depicts scenes from the community, as well as words such as "Respect" and "Caring," reflective of being a pilot school for the district's Schools for Rigor initiative.  Click here to read and see more.
A Colorful Spring for the Perkins Penguins
It's been a colorful spring for Perkins Elementary School. After painting a mural last weekend that will be displayed at their school on Thursday, with help from the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, they dug in to plant a new butterfly garden.  Click here to read and see more  about these hands-on lessons underway at one of the district's first Schools for Rigor.
Des Moines Public Schools, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will once again offer no-cost breakfast and lunch to children under the age of 18 at 31 locations throughout the district this summer.  Most meal sites begin serving June 5. Click here for more details including locations as well as dates and times.
Riders Sweep CIML Track Titles
It was a near-perfect night for a track meet, whether you were running, jumping, throwing ... or just watching East, Hoover, Lincoln, North, Ottumwa and Roosevelt compete in the 2017 CIML Metro Conference track and field championships. Congratulations to the Riders on winning both the boys and girls team titles.  We've posted lots of photos from the meet to our Flickr page.
350 Perform at Northside Band Night
Nearly 350 student-musicians from Cattell, Findley, Garton, Madison, Moulton, Oak Park, Harding, Goodrell, and North schools gathered in the North High auditorium on Tuesday night to perform in the Northside Bands Night. The arts have been alive and well on the Northside as these schools form the core of the Turnaround Arts initiatives at DMPS.  Enjoy photos from the concert on our Flickr page .
May 13
Oak Park Elementary 5K Run - Oak Park School (10:00 AM) -  click here to register

May 16
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)

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)

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:
  • Be sure to catch this story from WHO-TV on the North High School girls soccer team. After losing 76 straight games, the Polar Bears start this season 5-4 and are led by Class 3A's leading scorer, sophomore Vanessa Perez, who has already scored 25 goals. Click here for Channel 13's report. 
  • Last night the documentary "I'm Not Racist ... Am I?" was shown at Roosevelt High School. The film follows 12 teenagers from New York City who come together during one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and conversations with friends and family members. Iowa Public Radio's Talk of Iowa program spoke with the film's director as well as DMPS high school students D'Layja Nicks and Nosa Ali about the topic. Click here for IPR's discussion. 
  • Superintendent Ahart was a guest on local radio show Insight on Business earlier this week, talking with host Michael Libbie about what's new at Des Moines Public Schools, the value of the relationship between education and business, and some of the challenges created for public education in Iowa by the legislature. 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 (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