District News

Artist Chris Vance is working with Oak Park students to create murals for their school.

Oak Park Alum Back as Artist-in Residence


It’s been a big week for the arts at Oak Park Elementary School. First, Tony Award winning actor John Lloyd Young spent a day working with students and teachers through the Turnaround Arts program. And now artist (and Oak Park alum) Chris Vance is working with students to develop murals to permanently display at their school. Click here to read and see more.


At 90, Gloria Bumpus Still Making Her Shots


How did the oldest employee at DMPS celebrate her 90th birthday today? By shooting hoops, of course! Congratulations to Gloria Bumpus on her special day, and thanks for her great work and dedication to students in the Metro Kids program at Hubbell Elementary School. Visit our Flickr page to enjoy photos of Gloria’s party this morning at Hubbell complete with cakes, balloons and basketball.


Turnaround Arts: John Lloyd Young at Cattell


A second educational (and fun) day at DMPS thanks to Turnaround Arts. Tony and Grammy award winner John Lloyd Young spent another day in his new role as “teacher,” this time working with students and teachers at Cattell Elementary School to highlight how the arts in schools can support success in all areas of education. Enjoy photos of his time at Cattell on our Flickr page.


Central’s Cain Earns STEM Teaching Award


Congratulations to Kacia Cain, an anatomy, physiology and biotechnology teacher at Central Campus, on being presented with the 2015 STEM Education Award for Inspired Teaching by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Kemin Industries. The award is given to those who increase interest and achievement in STEM fields and careers. Click to see more.


Lincoln Show Choir Earns 1st at Contest


Congratulations to Lincoln High School’s Infinity Show Choir for earning first place honors in Class 4-A at the Indianola Show/Jazz Encounter this past weekend. In addition, junior Grace Zarway was named Outstanding Female Soloist at the competition; Grace is a member of Lincoln’s Omega Show Choir. Directors are Christian White, Mike Walag, and Patrick Smith.


School Board Interviews District 2 Finalists


Last night the Des Moines School Board interviewed four finalists for the District 2 seat: Nathan Blake, Ramon Christopher, Ed Linebach and Thatcher Williams. The vacancy was created with the recent resignation of Toussaint Cheatom. The Board will meet on Thursday, February 26 to make their selection. The new Board member will be sworn in to office on Tuesday, March 3. Click here to see photos from the interviews.


Turnaround Arts: John Lloyd Young at Oak Park


Tony and Grammy award winning performer John Lloyd Young played a new role of sorts on Monday: a teacher at Oak Park Elementary School. He spent the day with students and teachers thanks to the Turnaround Arts program, an initiative at five DMPS schools to integrate the arts into other curriculum areas. Click here to see more of his time at Oak Park school. On Tuesday, he will spend the day at Cattell Elementary School.


Merrill Hosts Chinese New Year Event


Merrill Middle School hosted the 12th Annual Iowa Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday, sponsored by the Chinese Association of Iowa. A large crowd was entertained in Merrill’s gym in the afternoon with performances ranging from martial arts to cultural demonstrations, followed by a reception, dinner, and dancing. Click here to enjoy photos.

Scholastic 2015

Central Academy Writers Honored for Works


Twenty-one Central Academy student-authors received regional recognition in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The students are part of the Independent Study Creative Writing class at Central Academy, facilitated by teachers Sherry Brooks, Darci Kellen, Cate Miller, and Diane Morain. Click here to read more, including a list of the honorees.


Walnut Street Marks Chinese New Year


Students, staff and parents at the Walnut Street School – an International Baccalaureate World School which teaches the Chinese language – held a Chinese New Year celebration on Friday. The event was complete with songs, activities and a Dragon Dance. Enjoy photos on our Flickr page.

District Calendar


For the Record

Former Oak Park Panda Returns as Artist-in-Residence

As an art teacher, Sarah Skidmore has hit the jackpot! The first year art teacher at Oak Park Elementary came on board just as the school joined a cohort of DMPS schools in the federal Turnaround Arts program. The essence of Turnaround Arts is integration of fine arts into all curricular areas. Research shows that … Read more »

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