June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and Des Moines Public Schools has joined state and local governments across the country in approving a resolution to make the recognition official. The School Board unanimously approved the resolution below at their meeting this week.
As School Board member Rob Barron noted: “In our district the impacts that immigrants make, both as students in the classroom and as staff, are really significant and set us apart from the other districts in this state in a meaningful way … that we should be celebrating.”
From the very start of a school district immigrants have been a significant part of DMPS as students, teachers and staff, coming to Des Moines from a hundred different nations. Today over 12% of the students at DMPS were born outside the United States while more than one out of five are English Language Learners.
“We’re not a district that measures ourselves against the other districts in Iowa,” added Barron. “We measure ourselves against other districts all over the country. We need to tell our story that Iowa isn’t necessarily what people on the coasts think … Des Moines is a district where 4,000 of our kids were born in another country and many more are children of parents who were born in another country.”
Recognizing June 2019 as Immigrant Heritage Month
WHEREAS, since our state’s founding, immigrants have made significant contributions to the economic, educational and cultural vitality of Iowa; and
WHEREAS, the city of Des Moines is highly regarded for its quality life, made better thanks to the diverse immigrant population who call this community home; and
WHEREAS, for nearly a half century our state and community have a well-earned reputation for welcoming immigrants and refugees fleeing conflicts around the world; and
WHEREAS, more than 4,000 students at Des Moines Public Schools were born outside of the United States, from more than one hundred different nations; and
WHEREAS, more than one out of five students at Des Moines Public Schools, as immigrants or the children of immigrants, are English Language Learners; and
WHEREAS, Des Moines Public Schools has created the New Americans Center and works with multiple community partners in order to help new immigrants make a better life in our community; and
WHEREAS, the Des Moines School Board is on record supporting DACA and setting a protocol for responding to federal immigration officials; and
WHEREAS, when government leaders propose policies that would curtail immigration, Des Moines Public Schools has consistently voiced support for our immigrant students and their families;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE DES MOINES SCHOOL BOARD that this body recognizes June, 2019 as Immigrant Heritage Month in honor of the countless contributions and accomplishments immigrants and their children have brought to our state, our community, and our school district.