District News


Students Learn, Share Thanksgiving Lessons


Students learn about Thanksgiving and share the lessons of the holiday in many different ways. For 35 years, Smouse Opportunity School has hosted a feast for students, staff and families. At Lincoln High Schools, students in a special education Adult Living course did everything from buying groceries to preparing a meal to celebrate the holiday with their classmates. Click here to read and see more.


Moulton Gift Means More Access to Activities


The Cowles Foundation Literacy for Life Program recently made a generous gift of $300,000 to the Children and Family Urban Movement in support of students at Moulton Elementary School. The money will be used to grow after-school and summer program offerings for students in need. To read more about the grant, click here.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley does a Q&A session with government students at East High School.

Senator Grassley Does Q&A at East


What do you get when you mix an 82 year-old United States Senator who grew up on a farm in rural Iowa with an auditorium full of high school seniors whose heritages span the globe? At East High School on Monday afternoon that was the recipe for a lively, wide-ranging Q&A between Senator Charles Grassley and AP Government students. Click here to read and see more.


Jamboree Tips Off Basketball Season


Our photographer Jon Lemons shares lots of great shots of our DMPS high schools in action on Saturday at the Kiwanis Basketball Jamboree. The boys’ and girls’ teams from East, Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt, along with 11 other metro high schools, all took to the court at Valley High School in the annual event to tip off a new season. See more on our Flickr page.

Des Moines Register publisher and North High alum David Chivers met with the Oracle staff to talk about the future of journalism.

North Alum, Register Chief Talks with Oracle


David Chivers is a North High alum and former editor of the school’s Oracle newspaper. Today, he’s also the publisher of the Des Moines Register. Chivers returned to his alma mater for a sit-down with the current student-journalists at the Oracle for a discussion about the future of journalism, and to present a donation to help them attend the National High School Journalism Convention next April in Los Angeles. Click here to read and see more.


Teachers & Staff Raise Funds for Family


You may have heard the sad news that one of our students, Nataija Watkins, 11, died with her mother in a car crash last week. Teachers and staff at Weeks Middle School have established a fund to help Nataija’s surviving siblings. If you’d like to help with a donation, click here to access a secure district site where the Weeks Middle School faculty has set up an account.


14th Annual Reading Adventures at Phillips


It was a big night at Phillips Elementary School last night as they held their 14th annual Reading Adventures with Dad program. Students and families were welcomed into 12 book-themed classrooms to hear a variety of stories read by Dads along with a few guest readers including Superintendent Tom Ahart and KCCI-TV meteorologist Metinka Slater. Enjoy photos from the event on our Flickr page.

A reminder from Superintendent Ahart about how weather-related decisions are made.

Winter is Coming: School and Weather Decisions


With tomorrow’s forecast calling for the first measurable snow of the school year, and a Winter Storm Watch in effect Friday for parts of Iowa, Superintendent Tom Ahart wants to remind everyone about how decisions are made when it comes to weather-related changes in the school day, and the ripple effect a “snow day” can have on the entire community. Click here to read more.


More Local Foods on the School Lunch Menu Soon


DMPS will soon be serving more locally grown foods in its 60 schools. The USDA announced today that DMPS is the only district in Iowa to receive the 2016 Farm to School grant. District nutrition specialists plan to use the grant to develop a strategic plan to partner with local growers and get even fresher, healthier foods onto student’s plates. To learn more, click here.

The Half Pint Poet program is expanding to XX schools this year.

Half Pint Poets Expand to 11 Schools


Thanks to the efforts of Movement 515 and the 21st Century Community Learning Center, the nationally-recognized spoken word poetry programs at DMPS are being expanded to more schools this year. The Half Pint Poetry program offers workshops for elementary schools, and this year is underway at Brody, Capitol View, Garton, Hillis, King, McKinley, Monroe, Morris, River Woods, Samuelson, and Willard schools. Click here for more about this unique arts education initiative.

District Calendar


For the Record

Thanksgiving Lessons Learned, Shared by Students

The first snowfall of the season couldn’t have fallen on a better day. Like whipped cream on pumpkin pie, it made for a prefect trimming on a holiday feast like the traditional one served on Friday at Smouse for the 35th consecutive year. It may not go back quite as far as the original dinner party … Read more »

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