January 13, 2017
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS. A reminder that Monday is MLK Day and there are no classes at all DMPS schools. We share below some ways students can be engaged to commemorate the day. Also, more national recognition for DMPS: US Secretary of Education John King called a Roosevelt teacher to personally thank her in observance of Teacher Appreciation Week and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program honored Edmunds Elementary School for their efforts to keep students physically active. Read on for those stories and more. 
While there are no classes on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there are opportunities for students to commemorate who and what the day represents. DMPS is a co-sponsor of the MLK Youth Summit for middle and high school students. The event, to help students prepare a script for their own positive future, is from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the Elim Christian Fellowship, 525 E. 9th Street. In addition, Movement 515 is holding a spoken word poetry workshop from 2:00 to 3:30 PM on Monday in the gym at King Elementary School. Students and families are invited to attend and participate.
Shortly after school dismissed Thursday, Roosevelt High School teacher Loan Nguyen received a phone call. It was U.S. Secretary of Education John King calling to tell the second year teacher how inspired he was by what he has heard about her work.  Read more about why the nation's top education official took time to call a DMPS educator during Teacher Appreciation Week .
Let's Move!  Active Schools, part of First Lady Michelle Obama's health and fitness initiative dedicated to ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity a day in K-12 schools, honored Edmunds Elementary School with the 2016 Let's Move!  Active Schools National Award for its outstanding efforts in creating an Active School environment. Edmunds is one of only three schools in Iowa to earn this recognition.  Click here for more about the award-winning physical education program at Edmunds.
DMPS is becoming a lean (but not mean) educational machine thanks to the efforts of lots of people, but Emma Knapp (pictured at right) has earned an exclusive bit of personal recognition. In her role as the district's Continuous Improvement Coordinator, Knapp recently achieved Black Belt certification in Lean Six Sigma, a methodology for collaborative team effort to improve organizational performance by removing waste.   Click here for more about these efforts.
Ag Students Sell the Fruits of Their Labor
These Des Moines Public Schools students exist far from the stereotype of "city kids." They dig in each year, growing plants, raising animals, and learning the business of farming and producing. Now they're ready to sell you meat and eggs for a hearty breakfast and dinner .  Click here to learn about what they're selling and how you can support them.
DMPS is hiring! Be part of the team that makes sure our students are safely transported, have a clean environment to learn in and access to healthy food. We also need substitute teachers and associates to support learning in the classroom. Attend our job fair on Wednesday, January 18 from 10 AM to 2 PM at at the Evelyn K. Davis Center (801 University Avenue) to apply for open positions. Or visit jobs.dmschools.org at any time to learn about career opportunities with DMPS.
Preschool Earns Support for Books
Thanks to KCCI-TV and EMC Insurance for  visiting the Jessie Franklin Taylor Preschool and donating $1,000 to their library as part of the Read With Me program. The funding will go toward the purchase of new books. Enjoy photos from Tuesday's event on our Flickr page
Educator Career Fair a Big Success
Almost 400 teachers learned more about DMPS last weekend at the annual Educator Career Fair. The district talked with dozens of highly qualified candidates for high-demand positions like ELL and Special Education. Thanks to everyone who attended, and  see photos of the career fair on our Flickr page.
January 13
Last Day of First Semester

January 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No Classes (All Schools)

January 18
Job Fair - Evelyn Davis Center (10:00 AM - 2:00 PM) - click here for more information  

January 24
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)    

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:
  • Born in Sierra Leone and educated in Ukraine, for the past two decades Vidal Spaine has been a teacher at East High School. He is one of the Des Moines Register's people to watch in 2017. Vidal is also a member of the Sister Cities Commission and teaches ELL courses for adults at DMACC. As he notes, "The more you're able to get to know people in the world, it removes all your prejudices, your insecurities, your fear, your preconceived notions about a particular culture." Read more about another outstanding DMPS educator.
  • Each year, DMPS begins our work early to fill teaching positions for the upcoming school year, including hard-to-fill roles in areas such as special education and ELL. Both Iowa Public Radio and the Des Moines Register look at the shortage of teachers the state is facing, and our efforts in Des Moines to make sure we attract the best candidates to meet the needs of our students and schools. Click hear for IPR's report and click here for the newspaper's story.
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.