District News

A zombie flash mob is one of many ways the arts - such as live performance - is being incorporated at several DMPS schools in the Turnaround Arts program.

Turnaround Arts Matter at DMPS Schools


From musical master classes to art installations to live performances (such as the zombie flash mob by Harding students pictured at left), DMPS schools in the Turnaround Arts program are using the creative arts to support and improve learning throughout their classrooms. Click here for an update on how this federal program is making a difference.

An Iowa Department of Education grant will support a pilot project for ELL education.

DMPS Awarded State of Iowa ELL Grant


The Iowa Department of Education announced that Des Moines Public Schools is one of three Iowa districts awarded grants to boost the literacy skills of students who are English Language Learners. Through the grant DMPS is partnering with the Diocese of Des Moines to pilot a comprehensive language and literacy development framework for students. Click here to read more.


Website Helps Teachers Fund Special Projects


This paint drying rack now sits in an Edmunds Elementary classroom because of donations made by strangers who felt compelled to help David Borzo’s art students succeed. The website has helped more than 200,000 teachers fund special projects in the classroom. To read more and see what other DMPS teachers need, click here.

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Merrill/Cowles Heads to State Mock Trial


Congrats to the Merrill/Cowles team for advancing, for the 2nd year in a row, to the Middle School Mock Trial State Tournament. The team is coached by Christina Thompson. Members are Chloe O’Connor, Louise Bequeaith, Ellery McAlister, Nyah Noyes, Helena Anderson, Bobby Briggs, Alice Medick, Jane Romp, and Rachel McNerny. The tournament begins November 17 in Des Moines.


Ghoulish Flash Mob by Harding Students


A little something for Beggars’ Night and Halloween: a ghoulish flash mob courtesy of students from Harding Middle School. Students in the school’s performing arts troupe put on their best scary faces for a spontaneous performance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at Capitol Square. Enjoy photos on our Flickr page.


Harding Student is “Honorary Fire Fighter”


When the Des Moines Fire Department paid a visit to Harding 6th grader RJ Adams home for a small fire recently he not only paid close attention to their work but then made sure smoke detectors were installed in his home. The DMFD paid a visit to his school today, this time to honor him as an “Honorary Fire Fighter.” Click here to read and see more.


Roosevelt Riders Head to State XC Meet


Good luck to the Roosevelt girls cross country team as they compete for a team title at the 2014 Iowa High School Cross Country Championship. The Riders are led by senior Megan Schott. On the boys’ side, two Roosevelt runners – Evan Haugh and Abdisalan Omar – also qualified individually for the State championship. The meet is this Saturday in Ft. Dodge.

Sen. Harkin visits with 3rd grade students at Brubaker Elementary School.

Sen. Tom Harkin Visits Brubaker Elementary


Longtime friend of DMPS, Sen. Tom Harkin visited Brubaker on Wednesday to have a snack with students and talk to 3rd graders about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. Sen. Harkin is an author of the federal Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program, a catalyst for change in the fight against childhood obesity. Read more here.


“Addams Family” Takes the Stage at North


Gomez, Morticia and the entire Addams clan takes the stage this week as North High School presents “The Addams Family,” a musical comedy, from Thursday, October 30th through Saturday, November 1st. Shows are each evening at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $6 for students and $8 for adults. Enjoy a preview from a recent dress rehearsal on our Flickr page.

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Lucia Ruppert Earns Hoover Scholarship


Roosevelt senior Lucia Ruppert (pictured at left) is one of three Iowa students to win the Hoover Presidential Foundation’s Uncommon Student Award, a $5,000 scholarship. Lucia authored and self-published a book to raise money for the American Red Cross. Click here to read more about her project and why she was honored as an “uncommon student.”

District Calendar


For the Record

Turnaround Arts: Making a Difference for Northside Schools

Maybe some of the folks passing through Capital Square Wednesday over the noon hour wondered why all those spooky kids weren’t in school instead of flashmobbing downtown. But they were. It was the Harding Middle School Drama Club that was responsible for the reenactment of Michael Jackson’s iconic Halloween music video, “Thriller.” The club is … Read more »

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