District News


Hoover, AL to Hoover High: Refugee Support


Abdul Fattah Tameem, Ghazweh Aljabooli and their five children – the first family of Syrian refugees to find their way to Iowa – were featured in Time magazine last November, chronicling a five-year odyssey from their war-ravaged homeland to Des Moines. A family in Hoover, Alabama, noticing one of their children attended Hoover High School, sent a financial gift to the family. It’s just one of many ways support is being offered for refugee students and families at DMPS.

Meeting in school library

First Monthly Coffee Held with Legislators


Thanks to everyone who attended the first monthly legislative coffee on Saturday hosted by the DMPS Community Legislative Action Team. And special thanks to Senator Nate Boulton and Representatives Marti Anderson, Bruce Hunter, Kevin Koester, Brian Meyer and Jo Oldson for talking about key education issues in this year’s session. Be sure to mark February 9 on your calendar for our DMPS Day on the Hill. For more information on how you can support public education in Des Moines, visit the CLAT web page.

Three girls wearing bicycle helmets

Support for Walkable, Bikable Schools


Getting to school in the most healthful way — by walking or biking — will become an easier choice for students at three DMPS schools under a pilot project made possible by a $75,000 Matching Assets to Community Health grant from The Wellmark Foundation. Called “Step It Up DSM,” the pilot program seeks to address policy, programming and infrastructure barriers to active transportation for Carver Elementary School, Hiatt Middle School and East High School. Click here for more.

High school graduation ceremony

Education Key to Reversing Poverty Trend


Three DMPS parents and members of the DMPS Community Legislative Action Team – Louisa Dykstra, Joe Nolte, and Kelli Soyer – have a guest editorial in The Des Moines Register urging legislators to support public education because it’s the key to reversing the cycle of poverty. As they note: “Education, as a pathway out of poverty, is one of the smartest investments.” Be sure to click here and give their thoughtful piece a read.

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Ahart’s Testimony Leads to Federal Change


Last May, Superintendent Tom Ahart testified to the U.S. Senate about the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), the law that governs K-12 education policy, and the adverse impact a proposed part of the law could have, including forced teacher transfers. This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced it was dropping the proposal. Ahart served on a federal rule-making committee for ESSA. Click here to read and see Ahart’s testimony and click here for an earlier interview with him about the issue.

Members of FoodCorps

FoodCorps Recruiting for Des Moines


Meet Esperanza, Patience and Jenetta, all FoodCorps members serving within the DMPS Food and Nutrition department to support school wellness, farm to school and nutrition education efforts. Their adventures take them into classrooms, school gardens and they help organize school wide events with a health focus. Click here to learn more about FoodCorps, and how you could become a member.

Art teacher working with students around a table

BAH, Not Blah, at Brody After School Program


The acronym is BAH, but it is anything but blah when it comes to Brody After Hours. BAH is Brody Middle School’s branch of 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool enrichment that launches another six-week batch of programming on Monday. We stopped by as 7th graders sampled programs to sign up for ranging from musical theater to culinary arts to jazz. Click here to read and see more about how this program expands learning opportunities.

Three girls holding hands in school hallway

Weeks Hosts South Side ELL Latino Workshop


Weeks Middle School hosted the first South Side ELL Latino Workshop last night. Parents of students at all Lincoln High School feeder schools were invited to attend this informative event. The topics ranged from attendance, behavior, school rules and regulations, and more. See photos from the workshop on our Flickr page.

Girl cutting carboard

Box Night at Walnut Street School


It was a mix of cardboard, scissors and imagination last Friday night at the Walnut Street School. Students and parents got together in the school’s gym for “box night,” constructing everything from robots to houses to cars. Enjoy photos of the event on our Flickr page.

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An Ice Storm Doesn’t Stop a Movement


An ice storm that hit Iowa and most of the Midwest today meant a change in plans for many events honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. But for Movement 515 the weather simply meant moving an MLK Day spoken word poetry workshop scheduled for King Elementary School to the virtual world, with students sharing their truths on social media. Click here to read more about how students were engaged in spite of the weather.