District News

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

School Begins for ATC Teachers at DMPS

2/5/2016

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

2/5/2016

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.

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Red Bull Battalion Brings Home Trophies

2/4/2016

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.

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Kindergarten Sign Up Scheduled for April

2/4/2016

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.

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Cowles Students Building Butterfly Sculpture

2/2/2016

Students in Kara Dare’s art class at Cowles Montessori School are working with local artist Richard Wright to create a sculpture for the school’s butterfly garden. Students are making copper butterflies that will hang from a 10 foot sculpture installed later this spring. Through a partnership with the Des Moines Arts Festival, the Cowles Montessori Parent Group volunteers each year to raise funds for art projects and other opportunities. Click here to see more.

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ISU 4U Promise Students are “Shining Stars”

2/2/2016

Students in the ISU 4U Promise program at King and Moulton schools were the “shining stars” the other day at the rededication of the planetarium at the Science Center of Iowa. ISU 4 Promise is partnership between the schools and Iowa State University to provide tuition awards to students who qualify for admission to ISU. Click here to read and see more of this special event for our students.

Students at Roosevelt High School visit C-SPAN's "Road to the White House" tour bus.

From the School House to the White House

2/1/2016

When the C-SPAN “Road to the White House” tour bus pulled into the parking lot at Roosevelt High School this afternoon, it marked the end of a long list of caucus-related experiences for students before the actual event tonight. The Iowa caucuses are not only a significant political event, they are also a unique opportunity for students to learn and become involved in the small-d democratic process. Click here to read more about DMPS and the caucuses.

From precinct captains to poll watchers, the Cookie Caucus at Hillis Elementary School had fun with a serious lesson.

Cookies Counted, Not Crumbled, at Hillis

2/1/2016

From precinct captains to poll watchers, the Cookie Caucus at Hillis Elementary School had fun with a serious lesson about democracy. Rather than candidates, the caucus at Hillis was a hard fought campaign with no wrong choices on the ballot: chocolate chip, M&M, sugar and Lorna Doone cookies. Click here to read and see more about the first caucus of the day.

Iowans of a Different Hue:
Public schools in Des Moines are teaching the teachers how to teach an increasingly diverse student body.

National Journal: DMPS is an Innovator

1/30/2016

“Iowans of a Different Hue” is the headline of a story in the National Journal which profiles Des Moines Public Schools as an innovator for our work at teaching teachers how to teach an increasingly diverse student body. The story also highlights our new one-of-a-kind master’s degree for DMPS educators developed with our partners at Drake University. Click here to read the full article.

Kal Penn and members of the Harding Breakerz, a dance group at the school.

Penn Back at Harding for Arts, Academics

1/29/2016

Actor Kal Penn made his third trip back to Harding Middle School this week (pictured at left with the Harding Breakerz, a school dance group) as part of the school’s participation in Turnaround Arts. From students learning about homeostasis by getting out from behind their desks to a regular “brain dance,” Penn saw how the arts have been integrated to support all areas of learning. Click here to read and see more.

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For the Record

School Begins for ATC Teachers at DMPS

The Alternative Teaching Contract (ATC) offered by Des Moines Public Schools is attracting national attention and rightly so. Most recently it was highlighted by The Atlantic and its sister publication, the National Journal, in a report of innovative programs around the country. It offers incentives designed to attract and retain promising newcomers to the profession. … Read more »

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