September 9, 2016 
We hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend, and a good shortened week back at school. In today's newsletter be sure to read about our new MAP test to better measure student growth, two students head to Washington, DC to perform at the National Book Festival, and it was the first week of school for more than 1,600 preschoolers. Enjoy these stories and more in this edition of The Week@DMPS! 
Embracing and Measuring Growth at DMPS
At Des Moines Public Schools, we embrace growth. In other words, we want to know whether our students are making gains academically throughout the school year. Because we value our students' growth in the classroom, this year we begin a new and improved way to measure their progress: the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP test, which provides a timelier tool for both teachers and students.  Click here for more about this important new educational tool.  
Fresh off  reaching the  NBA  finals  and winning an Olympic gold medal, basketball star and Iowa native Harrison Barnes cast some future shade at East High School yesterday. Barnes, joined by students from East and nearby Capitol View Elementary, planted trees on the high school campus as part of a community initiative sponsored by Hy-Vee.  Click here to read and see more about the event .
Senior poets Julio Delgadillo from North and Elhondra Brazzle from East are going places! Both have already represented DMPS at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival. Now they're bound for the National Book Festival in Washington D.C., sponsored by the Library of Congress, where they'll "slam" on September 24th. Their trip is being support by Split This Rock, a D.C. organization that produces poetry workshops for youth. Major kudos, props, congrats and snaps to Julio and Elhondra for making DMPS voices heard on the national stage!
Support Our Students, Schools at the State Capitol
At this week's School Board meeting, members discussed priorities for DMPS at the 2017 legislative session. Top issues included funding for ELL, expanding accessibility to preschool, better support for at-risk students, and continuing the sales tax to support school facilities. Parents and residents can take part and help DMPS be heard at the State Capitol by joining the DMPS Community Legislative Action Team. Visit our web site to learn more about this grassroots effort in support of Des Moines schools and students
Governor Branstad holds weekly press conferences and chose Jackson Elementary as the site for this week's on Tuesday morning, where he announced his hope for an increased emphasis on teaching Iowa history in Iowa schools. Joining the governor at the podium was 3rd grader Owyn Bucklin, a big fan of history and education. Click here to read and see more.
Students stamped their passports on their way around the school at the recent Findley Elementary School open house. In addition to college partners Iowa, Drake, DMACC, Grand View and Central, community partners including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, DMARC, Backpack Buddies, Shoes that Fit and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Iowa greeted families in the hallways.  Click here to see photos of the event.
Caring for students before and after school, during breaks and over the summer is a big part of what we do at Des Moines Public Schools. Our Metro Kids Care program is expanding and new caregivers are needed. Apply now for a fun, rewarding job with competitive pay, or share with family or friends who might be interested! Click here for more information about Metro Kids career opportunities and to complete our online job application.
First Day for DMPS Preschoolers
Thursday was the first day of school for more than 1,600 new DMPS students: our preschoolers! We visited Woodlawn Education Center to capture nervous students and excited parents (as well as excited students and nervous parents) arriving, finding lockers and classrooms, snapping first day photos, getting hugs from teachers, and taking their first steps in education.  Click here to see photos.
Cowles Celebrates Peace Walk
Cowles celebrated Maria Montessori's birthday with their annual peace walk. Principal Gregory Grylls, Windsor Heights Mayor Diana Willits and the fire department's newest member, a dalmatian named Ember, led the walk as students carried flags of every country represented at the school.  Click here to see more photos of the walk.
September 20
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 for schedules 
Recent stories in the news about students, teachers and events at Des Moines Public Schools:
  • "We want to make sure students feel comfortable and feel valued. And the food we serve has a lot to do with that."  The Des Moines Register  looks at the work of our food service staff to provide menu options that are as diverse as the students we educate at DMPS. Click here to read the paper's story. 
  • Also in the Register, East High teacher Natalie Niemeyer has a letter to the editor with an important message for all: stop making derogatory comments to teachers about the schools where they work to educate and support our kids. Be sure to give her letter a read ... it's a good lesson to remember about East and every school.
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