March 3, 2017
Good morning from TheWeek@DMPS. This week we share big news from North High about their first State basketball tournament trip since 1991, highlights from last weekend's Teen Summit, and a birthday party for Dr. Seuss at Greenwood Elementary School.

In addition, be sure to review more information about the plan being considered to change school hours. We include a report on a community forum held this week, include a reminder about how to learn more about the proposal and participate in a survey, and feature an interview with a local pediatrician on the science and health of teen sleep who notes "having a later start time for teenagers means we're putting the child's health and their education first." Read on for these stories and much more. 
The North Polar Bears have been waiting 26 years for the chance to celebrate with a banner that reads "Basketball State Qualifier." Riding the wave of a 12-game win streak, North defeated Ankeny 88-68 to punch their ticket to State for the first time since 1991.  Click here to read and see more  about a big win for North and everyone in Polar Bear Nation. North will play Valley High School in their first round game next Wednesday, March 8 at 8:15 PM at Wells Fargo Arena.
School Hours Plan Discussed at Forums
There was a good turnout for the first of four community forums about the district's plan for improving school hours Monday night at Windsor Elementary School. The forums are one of several ways that DMPS is sharing information and gathering feedback on a proposal under consideration to change school hours to improve academics.  Click here to read more  about the forums and a reminder to take part in the district's online survey.
Contemporary Issues, Urban Art Launches Teen Summit
Last weekend's 4th annual Teen Summit, brought to you by the Central Campus Urban Leadership program (with a little help from their friends at United Way, Gateway Market, Des Moines Social Club, Drake University and Brad & Kelly Edmister) kicked off with sessions that ranged from contemporary issues to urban arts.  Click here to read and see more.
At Greenwood Elementary School Thursday morning, a couple of "Things" were on the loose. They had something to do with a doctor named Seuss - and another named Ahart. As the school celebrated Read Across American Day and the birthday of Dr. Seuss, Superintendent Ahart read his favor Seuss story - "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew" - at a school assembly.  Click here to read and see more of the celebration of books.
Gifted and Advanced Science Fair Held at Central
Gifted and Advanced Learning Program students from all elementary schools gathered at Central Campus on Tuesday night to show off weeks of work on science projects they chose themselves and completed outside of school. Judges chose the top three from each grade level to receive awards. DMPS currently has more than 1,000 elementary students identified as gifted and advanced learners. Click here to enjoy photographs from the event.
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 a little earlier while middle and high school students would start a little 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, review an FAQ that addresses many questions about the plan, and participate in a survey.

Also, scroll down through this e-newsletter for a video with a local pediatrician who talks about the science and health behind the sleep patterns of children as well as information on two community forums next week about this issue.
Pediatrician on Teen Sleep, Health
As DMPS considers new school hours, we spoke with Dr. Nathan Boonstra of the Blank Children's Pediatric Clinic. He explains the science and health behind the sleep patterns of children, and why "having a later start time for teenagers means we're putting the child's health and their education first."   Click here to view an interview with Dr. Boonstra  and learn more about this issue.
Art Exhibit Grows 500%!
The annual DMPS Art Exhibit opened last night with a reception at Capital Square. Thanks to more than 80 teachers who have made it possible for the work of over 1,200 students to be on display this year - an increase of 500% in the last four years! The exhibit is on display through March 7. Building hours at Capital Square are 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM. Click here for photos from the opening night reception.
March 7
School Board Meeting  - Central Campus (6:00 PM)

March 9
School Hours Community Meeting 2100 Fleur Drive (8:30 AM) -  click here for more
School Hours Community Meeting - Weeks Middle School (6:00 PM) - click here for more

March 13-17
Spring Break  - NO CLASSES (All Schools)
Recent items in the news or online about or of interest to students, teachers and parents at Des Moines Public Schools:
  • Lincoln High School senior Cullen Trover doesn't wear a cape or mask, but he has earned the right to some super hero garb. He and a friend were driving on the south side Wednesday when they witnessed a minivan lose control and crash into a utility pole. They pulled over, and Cullen rushed to the scene to help pull a man, woman and toddler out of the minivan before it burst into flames. Be sure to see KCCI-TV's story, including some dramatic footage of the accident scene. And great work, Cullen! Click here for Channel 8's report.
  • WHO-TV's Megan Reuther visited Meredith Middle School to see our new approach to physical education and fitness. The initiative is about getting students active in things they can do throughout life. Visit Channel 13's web site to see the complete report.
  • The Business Record reported on Central Campus gearing up for the launch of our new Skilled Trades Academy, a partnership with community and business leaders to increase student exposure to career opportunities in the building trades through a high quality pre-apprenticeship. Click here for the paper's story.
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