March 10, 2017
Best wishes to our students, staff and families for an enjoyable Spring Break. A reminder that there are no classes today through March 17. Schools and classes resume their regular schedule on Monday, March 20, and TheWeek@DMPS will return to your inbox on March 24.

This morning we share stories on North High's historic basketball season that ended at the state tournament, a record-setting showing at the annual DMPS Art Exhibit, and the spring schedule for the Central Café. Plus be sure to see reminders about preschool registration and the proposal to improve school hours. Read on for these stories and much more. 
North's Historic Season Ends at State Tourney
It's been more than a quarter century since North High School appeared at the state basketball tournament, but spurred on by a 12-game win streak the Polar Bears returned on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, in a game that went down to the wire, North lost 57-55 to Valley to bring their historic season to a close. Thanks to the Polar Bears for a great season and for rallying the entire community behind their team and school. Click here for photos of the game and a report on a school pep rally.
Sign Up Now for Preschool at DMPS
An early childhood education at Des Moines Public Schools provides a great start to learning and promotes the social growth of young children. We offer several free preschool options to meet the needs of families, with a variety of locations, class times and half or full-day classes. Applications for 2017-18 are now being accepted. Please visit our preschool web site for more information and to apply online
Record Participation in Annual DMPS Art Exhibit
The popularity of the annual DMPS Art Exhibit is growing, as hundreds more students submit entries to display at Capital Square. The variety of art is as diverse as the students behind the pieces, and comes from every one of the district's 60 schools. This year more than 1,200 students had works on display, an increase of 500% over the past four years!  Click here to read more about the show and see photos from opening night.
Central Café Announces Spring Dates
Culinary Arts students at Central Campus are preparing for another run, providing a fine dining experience at the Central Café , which is open to DMPS staff, students and the public. Reservations are recommended for this popular lunch spot. 
Click here to see the café dates, and find out how to connect.
March is always a big month for basketball, and on Tuesday players from the Iowa Energy visited Lincoln RAILS to play some "pig" and a little two-on-two, plus give away free tickets for an upcoming NBA-D game. The Energy and the Iowa State Education Association partnered to distribute free tickets to students at several DMPS schools.  Click here to read and see more .
How to Play Hockey Lesson at Howe
How many Buccaneers does it take to beat a class of 5th graders in hockey at Howe Elementary School? Three. There was no ice in the gym and no checking into the boards, but Des Moines Buccaneers Nick Leitner, Mario Ferraro and Scooter Brickey helped teacher Stephen Lewis with a hands-on lesson this week for the hockey unit in his PE class.  Click here to enjoy photos from the class.
As we've shared over the past month, DMPS is considering a plan to improve our bell times, or school hours, to better match the healthy sleep patterns of students at different ages. The plan would flip the current hours, so elementary students begin the day earlier while middle and high school students would start later. 

Be sure to learn more about this plan by visiting our School Hours web page. There you can view a video discussing how the plan would work and the health benefits of the change, see some of the scientific research that points to the health and academic reasons for the proposal, and review an FAQ that addresses many questions about the plan. Today is also the last day to complete the online survey about the proposal; if you haven't already taken part, please do so at the above link by 5:00 PM today.
Teachers Talk Schools for Rigor
We've reported throughout the year on the Schools for Rigor initiative underway at DMPS, including six schools that are piloting the project this year. We spoke with teachers at those schools to get their impressions on what this change means for them and their students. Click here to watch the video on the DMPS-TV YouTube channel.
Why Change School Hours?
See our latest video on the proposal being considered to improve school hours at DMPS. Superintendent Ahart explains why the proposal is in the academic best interests of students and a pediatrician talks about why it supports the health and sleep needs of teenagers. Click here to watch the video on the DMPS-TV YouTube channel.
March 10
No Classes  - All Schools

March 13-17
Spring Break - NO CLASSES (All Schools)

March 18
Coffee with Legislators - Hubbell School (9:00 AM) - click here for more information

Spring Sports
Girl's 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:
  • The Des Moines Register reports on the school district's proposal to change school hours, including a look at the positive difference the change has made at other school districts, and talks with a researcher at the University of Minnesota who pioneered research on school start times two decades ago. Click here for the paper's story.
  • It's been a big week for basketball in Des Moines. Hoover senior Doug Wilson and North sophomore Tyreke Locure were selected to the Des Moines Register All-CIML basketball team and North senior Jal Bijiek was a 2nd team selection. The Register also shared the story of Tyreke, not only his talent on the court, but also how his family resettled in Des Moines following Hurricane Katrina. Click here for more about the All-CIML selections and click here to read about Tyreke Locure
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