UPDATED: Tuesday, March 22, 2022

In response to the CDC’s updated guidelines on face coverings in indoor spaces, including school settings, Des Moines Public Schools will now take a “masks optional” approach. This change goes into effect at schools, district office buildings, and on school buses.

This now applied to ALL grade levels, including DMPS preschools serving students under the age of five. Masks are optional at all DMPS locations, including the district’s four early childhood centers – McKee, Mitchell, Taylor and Woodlawn – along with five elementary schools that are home to preschool classrooms: Capitol View, Cowles, McKinley, Moulton, and Walnut Street.

The new CDC guidelines indicate that masks are not required in communities with low or medium community levels. Polk County is currently in the “low”  category.  The CDC notes that people may choose to mask at any time, and that people with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

Masks have been an important tool in preventing and slowing the spread of COVID-19. DMPS encourages students, staff and visitors to schools to continue to wear masks if they feel that is best for themselves and those around them.

To find out the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level in Polk County or anywhere else in the nation please use the form below.

Additionally, DMPS will continue to take or encourage steps in support of the health and well-being of students and staff:

    • The COVID-19 vaccination is readily available to everyone age 5 and up. This is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus. DMPS encourages everyone to get vaccinated and, if eligible, to get the booster shot.
    • Students and staff need to stay home if sick, whether it is COVID-19 or any other illness. The DMPS partnership with Nomi Health for COVID-19 testing will continue until further notice.
    • Students and staff are encouraged to practice good health hygiene, such as covering coughs or sneezes and washing or sanitizing hands regularly.
    • DMPS is continuing to make HVAC improvements throughout the district to improve ventilation and create healthier and more comfortable learning environments.

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