October 7, 2016 
As we wrap up the first week of October, Autumn is in the air at our schools. This week, DMPS joined with other large midwestern school districts in featuring locally grown foods, several schools begin the new school year with new front doors, and many students got in the spirit of Bullying Prevention Month. Plus a reminder that parent-teacher conferences get underway in October. Enjoy these stories and much more in this edition of The Week@DMPS! 
Thursday was Midwest Menu Day! DMPS joined with school districts in Chicago, Detroit, Omaha and Minneapolis in an effort to feature foods that are healthier, more sustainable, and regionally grown. What was on the menu here in Des Moines? More than 20,000 lunches were served featuring  sweet corn and apple crisp from Iowa Choice Harvest, s weet potato golden rolls (made with regionally sourced butternut squash and sweet potato),  chicken drumsticks from Preferred Meals, and m ilk from AE Dairy. Click here to read and see more about the home- grown feast.
The new school year at DMPS unveiled new or reconfigured entrances at 15 schools across the district. The ongoing initiative is to make schools more welcoming for visitors while also enhancing safety and security. We stopped by Greenwood Elementary School and Brody Middle School to see the new "welcome mats" that were rolled out.  Click here to read and see more about this work to make schools more welcoming and safer .
Congratulations to the 2015-16 Hoover Husky yearbook staff! The group received a letter from Walsworth Yearbooks praising their "superior examples of coverage, design, photography and copy." The Hoover yearbook has been included in the Walsworth Gallery of Excellence, and will be used as an example nationwide for other high schools to follow.
Bullying Prevention Blues at McCombs Middle School
They've got the bullying prevention blues at McCombs Middle School - and that's a good thing. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Monday morning it began with a burst of the color blue at McCombs because October 3rd was designated as the 8th annual Blue Shirt Day across the country.  Click here to read  how McCombs students are working to raise awareness about this important issue.
Lovejoy, Lincoln Team Up Against Bullying
Also in observance of Bullying Prevention Month, Lincoln High School and Lovejoy Elementary School joined together to learn about the importance of being a team. Members of the Lincoln Rails football team came to Lovejoy to talk with students about teamwork, friendship and being a buddy. Lovejoy students also got to play games with the players and ask questions about high school. According to staff at Lovejoy, the football players will forever be celebrities with their students!
Talk about thinking on your feet! Wednesday was the annual Alphabet Parade for nearly 90 kindergartners at Jackson Elementary School. For the first 26 days of school, kindergarten students are taught a letter of the alphabet. Each then decorates a vest with an assigned letter to wear during their march through the halls of their school. The event is a fun way for our youngest students to work on letter recognition.  Click here to enjoy photos .
Parent-teacher conferences are underway this month. Schools in the Hoover and North feeder patterns held conferences this week. Schools in the Roosevelt feeder pattern will hold conferences the week of October 10-14; the Lincoln feeder pattern is the week of October 17-21; and the East feeder pattern is the week of October 24-28. Parents, please make time to take advantage of the opportunity to visit your child's school and talk with their teachers. If you have any questions, please contact your child's school.
A social media hoax involving clowns has spread across the nation, including here in Des Moines this week. DMPS wants people to understand that while "clown danger" is a hoax, threatening a school - even if it's part of a prank - is a crime. We encourage parents to read our statement, and to talk with your children about why there's nothing to be afraid of and why it's also serious to take part in this hoax. Hopefully this issue has run its course, and not waste any more time or cause any unnecessary concern.
East Flies High at Homecoming
The smiles were so big and the cheers so loud at the pep rally it was as if East High School students knew they were destined for a Homecoming win! The Scarlets went on to beat Sioux City North 35-7 last Friday night at Williams Stadium.  Click here to enjoy pep rally photos.
Gourd Extravaganza at Merrill
As the culminating event for their measuring unit, more than 200 6th graders designed and raced gourd-karts on the parking lot at Merrill Middle School. The annual race started five years ago as a way to promote science and curiosity. Click here to see photos of the creative designs.
October 9
DMPS Community Legislative Action Team - Central Campus, 1800 Grand Avenue (1:30 PM) 

October 18
School Board Meeting - Central Campus, 1800 Grand Avenue (6:00 PM) 

October 28
Teacher EQ Development Day - No Classes (ALL Schools) 

Fall Sports
Football/Cross Country/Golf/Volleyball/Swim  | Visit athletics.dmschools.org for schedules 
Recent items in the news or online about or of interest for students, teachers and parents at Des Moines Public Schools:
  • Fez Zafar is not only a freshman at Roosevelt High School, he's a budding filmmaker. And one of his short films, "Road to Unity," was honored last weekend at the White House Film Festival. WHO-TV spoke with Fez about what attracts him to filmmaking and what it's like to be recognized by the White House.  Click here to view Channel 13's interview with Fez as well as his short film.
  • Findley Elementary School and the I Have a Dream Foundation are working to make students' dreams about their futures come true, with a program to help families save for college. KCCI-TV stopped by school to learn more about the program. Click here to see Channel 8's report. 
  • In news stories, why does the media link the location of crime scenes to schools that have nothing to do with a crime? It's unfair to the schools, and the people who learn and work at them. Our communications director, Phil Roeder, had a letter to the editor in Sunday's Des Moines Register on why the media should report the facts, such as the actual address of a crime, and stop the biased practice of linking crimes to schools. Click here to read the letter.
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.