December 23, 2016 
Happy holidays from TheWeek@DMPS. We hope everyone has an enjoyable Winter break. In this issue we visit the annual Cardboard Regatta, talk with young women at Lincoln who compete in high school wrestling, and introduce a McCombs student who turned a school writing project into her first novel. A reminder that classes resume on Tuesday, January 3. TheWeek@DMPS will take next week off and return to your inbox on January 6.
Closure of the pool at Central Campus threatened to sink an annual tradition, the Prep Academy Regatta. But thanks to the hospitality of North High School, the cardboard fleet set sail on December 20 for the 14th year in a row, this time in the Polar Bear pool. The event, which involves more than 100 7th graders from all DMPS middle schools, combines teamwork, engineering skills, and more than a little fun.  Click here to read and see more.
A couple of weeks ago we shared a story about an increase in the number of young women taking part in high school wrestling in Iowa. In fact, Lincoln High School leads the state with five female members of the wrestling team. We stopped by a recent practice and meet to talk with the wrestlers and their coach about the drive to compete.  Click here to read and see more about these Rails' grapplers.
Zakiya McPherson is a 7th grader at McCombs Middle School. And as of this month she's also a published author. What started as a teacher's encouragement to participate in a program called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and work towards a word count goal kept going and going until it became 20 Daysa 185 page, 25k word+ thriller about Jade, a 13-year-old girl. Click here to learn more about this new author.
DART, the United Way and DMPS are teaming up to focus on attendance as the New Year begins. A new pilot program offers free rides to students at Hiatt Middle School to see if a free transportation option increases the time students are in class.  Click here to read more about this new partnership.
An exclusive holiday boutique wrapped up its limited run on Tuesday at Perkins Elementary School where the PTA annually sponsors a shop that offers students a convenient and affordable opportunity to buy gifts for their families and friends during the last week of classes before the Winter break. With Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's fast approaching,  read and see how the Perkins market has become a traditional stop for students to find gifts .
With yesterday being the last day of school before Winter break, a little holiday fun was mixed in with studies. At McCombs Middle School it was time for their Reindeer Games. In addition to pie throwing and egg relays, the school used the event for some holiday sharing, raising more than $1,400 for people in Haiti who suffered losses during Hurricane Matthew. Click here to see McCombs students and staff having a good time while giving to those in need.
Lincoln Choir Shares Holiday Sounds
Lincoln High School's Chamber Choir took to the streets of Des Moines on Tuesday for a series of performances throughout the city, spreading holiday cheer with carols. We caught up with the singers to share  photos of their final performance of the day for students at Morris Elementary School .
Roosevelt Sings in the Holidays
The Ola Babcock Miller building may be home to the State Library, but nobody was shushing sounds coming from the rotunda as the Roosevelt High School choir presented a lunch hour concert on the last day of school before Winter break.  Visit our Flickr page to enjoy photos of the performance.
December 23 - January 2
Winter Holiday Recess - No Classes (offices closed December 26, 27, 30 and January 2) 

January 3
Classes Resume - All schools  

January 7
Educator Career Fair - Iowa Events Center (8:00 AM) - click here for more information  

January 8
Community Legislative Action Team - Central Campus (1:00 PM)  - click here for more

January 10
School Board Meeting - Central Campus (6:00 PM)  

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:
  • After considering the demolition of pedestrian bridges near elementary schools, the Des Moines Register reports that the City of Des Moines plans to make repairs to the structures near Howe and Windsor elementary schools. Click here to read more about how the pedestrian bridges will remain for at least the near future.
  • The Atlantic magazine looked at how "snow days" vary from state to state, finding that places with the least snow often times have the most school days cancelled. Superintendent Ahart was quoted in the article, noting "the ripple effect a 'snow day' has on the entire community: not only for our 33,000 students and 5,000 employees, but for tens of thousands of parents and family members, many of whom must go to work no matter the weather." Click here to read the entire article.
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