December 16, 2016 
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS. Just one week until the Winter recess begins (and five days until the official start of Winter). This week actor Kal Penn returned for his Turnaround Arts work at Harding Middle School, a new TV series is wrapping up filming at Roosevelt High School, and the Half Pint poets of Movement 515 took to the stage. Read on for those stories and much more. 
Actor Kal Penn was back at Harding Middle School on Wednesday, part of his work with the school's participation in the Turnaround Arts program. This time the focus was on math, specifically integers, and demonstrating how integrating the arts into the subject can help students learn in an entirely new way.  Visit our web site to read and see more about Penn's work at Harding and the Turnaround Arts program .
A new TV series, Play by Play , is being filmed in Des Moines and DMPS is playing a starring role. Much of the show, about a sportscaster looking back on his high school years, is being filmed at Roosevelt High School and several students have been cast as extras, including Merrill 8th grader Noah Anderson (pictured at right) who even landed a speaking role.  Be sure to read and see more about Hollywood's work in the Heartland .
Students from Capitol View, Findley, Garton, Hillis, King, Morris and Stowe elementary schools gathered last Friday night at Central Campus for the Half Pint school vs. school poetry slam. It was a performance to be remembered by these young spoken word artists, part of our Movement 515 program. And congratulations to the crew from Stowe for earning the coveted Golden Boom Box.   Read and see more about an amazing night.
The notion of secrecy used to be almost implicit in the word codeNot anymore. AP Computer Science Principles is a new course being taught at East High School, and students recently joined with peers in 180 countries around the world in the Hour of Code, part of Computer Science Education Week to raise interest in programming and technology.  Click here to read more about East's leadership in computer science education .
Congratulations to the DMPS Research and Data Management department on again being recognized as national leaders in K-12 education data analytics, this time at the International Tableau Conference 2016 in Austin, TX. Kimberly Martorano and Gene Denny (pictured at right) presented on how DMPS analyzes, shares and presents data to improve decision-making by teachers and schools. Visit our web site to read more
DMPS partners with DART to provide thousands of bus rides to our students each week. Would expanded bus service, increased frequency, or longer hours of operation benefit you or your student s ?  DART is now collecting feedback from the public on three transit plans for the future. Visit the DART web site between now and December 20 to learn more about the proposed plans and complete a brief survey to provide your input and feedback.
Sounds of Season Rung in by East
The sounds of the East High School Bell Choir filled the State of Iowa's Ola Babcock Miller Building with holiday music. Schools throughout DMPS are performing holiday concerts this month. The Lincoln Chamber Choir performs next Tuesday and the Roosevelt Choir on Thursday; both performances begin at noon at the Miller Building.   Enjoy photos of East's performance on our Flickr page.
Hoover, North in Epic Match-Ups
The North Polar Bears traveled across town to face the Hoover Huskies for what amounted to two epic basketball games and two wins for the visitors. The North girls' team held off a last second shot for a 44-43 win. In a match-up between two of Iowa's top boys' teams it took overtime to determine the winner, with the Polar Bears ending up on top 65-61.   See photos from the games on our Flickr page.
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  

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:
  • We reported above on actor Kal Penn's day at Harding Middle School as part of the Turnaround Arts program. WOI-TV stopped by and caught Penn's time with the Harding Breakerz, a dance group at the school which performed at the White House earlier this year. Click here to see Channel 5's report.
  • "Institutionalized racism is destroying minority youth and we must decide to either continue to destroy children and double-down on a system that hasn't worked, or destroy the system and double-down on our children. DMPS is choosing the latter." Jake Troja, the director of school climate transformation at DMPS, wrote in Sunday's Des Moines Register about why there is a moral imperative for a new approach to student behavior and discipline in our schools. Click here to read the complete 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