District News

Holocaust survivor hugs a student after her presentation at Goodrell Middle School.

Holocaust Survivor Shares Story at Goodrell


A survivor of the Holocaust of Nazi Germany, Marion Blumenthal Lazan has written books, made documentaries and travelled the world to make sure people, especially the young, never forget. Today she made what was her fourth trip over the years to Goodrell Middle School, sharing her story and message of hope with students and teachers. Click here to read and see more.

Lincoln High School was selected as the host site of a National AVID Showcase Day.

Lincoln Hosts National AVID Showcase


AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a global nonprofit organization that operates with one guiding principle: hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge. For the past four years, Lincoln High School has been an AVID school, and today they hosted a national showcase on how the program has contributed to student success. Click here to read and see more.

King Elementary principal Peter LeBlanc will be the new principal at Goodrell Middle School beginning July 1.

King’s LeBlanc Named Goodrell Principal


Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce that Peter LeBlanc will be the next principal at Goodrell Middle School, one of the district’s International Baccalaureate World Schools. LeBlanc is well known in the DMPS community. He served as principal of King Elementary School since 2011, where he saw an increase in overall enrollment and English Language Learner students and led efforts that increased attendance and achievement. Click here to read more.

The district's new aviation technology facility was the crime scene for the Central Campus criminal justice class.

Central “Crime Wave” Continues for Class


Students in the criminal justice program at Central Campus are back on the case as they begin a new investigation of a mock crime scene. The latest is a triple homicide at the district’s aviation technology facility. Involving not only criminal justice students but also their peers in aviation, broadcasting and film, and biotechnology, it’s a unique hands-on lesson for future law enforcement officers. Click here to read and see more.


North’s Schwendau: AP Teacher of the Year


The College Board has named Jean Schwendau, an Advanced Placement biology at North High School, 2016 AP Teacher of the Year. She was selected for the honor from the College Board’s 13 state Midwestern region. As the nomination of her notes: “All students deserve an opportunity to rigorous coursework, and all students deserve a teacher like Jean.” Click here to read more about why she’s being honored for her great work at DMPS.


Iowa Energy Team Up with Meredith Huskies


Meredith 8th graders will attend tomorrow’s Iowa Energy Education Celebration game at Wells Fargo Arena. The outing is a tie-in with Meredith’s student behavioral theme of Celebrate What’s Right. A goodwill delegation from the Energy, an NBA D-League franchise came to Meredith for a shoot-around in the gym followed by some community outreach where they posed for selfies with students and autographed posters. Click here to see photos.

East High English teacher Kortny Williamson (center) at the first session of ATC teachers earlier this year.

School Begins for ATC Teachers at DMPS


The Alternative Teaching Contract offered by Des Moines Public Schools is attracting national attention and rightly so. Designed to attract and retain promising teachers for urban schools, it includes a one-of-a-kind, tuition-free master’s degree crafted jointly with Drake University. Last fall we asked one member of the first ATC cohort, East High English teacher Kortny Williamson, if she would let us in on some of her experiences and impressions. Click here to read more.

Infinite Campus is an important tool for DMPS students, parents and teachers.

Infinite Campus: Gateway to Support Student Learning


Infinite Campus is a useful and versatile tool that enables parents to get an extensive view of their student’s education. It empowers parents to have an active role in their student’s educational journey. Click here for a reminder about how to use Infinite Campus, update your information, and more.


Red Bull Battalion Brings Home Trophies


There aren’t many high school activities that require a student to wake up well before dawn, be dressed and ready to move on command.  The Central Campus JROTC Red Bull Battalion practice schedule is grueling, but it paid off recently in Nebraska, where the team took home seven trophies. We caught up with them at one of their early morning practices.  To see and hear about their experience, click here.


Kindergarten Sign Up Scheduled for April


The first day of kindergarten will be here before you know it!  It’s an exciting time for staff and students, and it all starts with sign-up beginning on Wednesday, April 20. Where you sign up depends on whether you already have a student in the district. To find out where to go and what to bring to start kindergarten in the 2016-17 school year, click here.

District Calendar


For the Record

Holocaust Survivor Shares Story with Goodrell Students

Not long after Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s last visit to Goodrell Middle School three years ago her mother, Ruth, passed away at the age of 104. The mother who was liberated, along with her husband Walter and their children, Marion and her brother Albert, in 1945 while riding a Nazi transport train between concentration camps. At that … Read more »

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