March 17 – DMPS Closure Update
Dear DMPS families:
The district is committed to keeping you updated during the Des Moines Public Schools COVID-19 closing, which began on March 13, with a reopen date tentatively scheduled for Monday, April 13.
Governor Kim Reynolds this morning issued an order closing bars, restaurants (except for delivery, take out and drive through), theaters (movie or live), fitness centers, casinos and adult care facilities, and any other organized gathering of more than 10 people through March 31, 2020. The order does not affect DMPS, because we are already closed until April 13.
Additional information will be shared as soon as it is available, but at this time DMPS can announce the following about the current closure:
SCHOOL CALENDAR/LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
Iowa lawmakers have passed legislation excusing school districts from needing to make up days missed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. School end dates have not changed, assuming school resumes on April 13.
With nearly three-fourths of DMPS students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals, access to food is an important issue when school is not in session.
- DMPS is activating the district’s Summer Food Program beginning March 26 and extending the duration of the district’s COVID-19 closure. Grab-and-go meals will be available from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM weekdays at all DMPS middle school locations.
- In the interim, the Food Bank of Iowa and Des Moines Area Religious Council will have grab-and-go meals at different schools weekdays continuing until next Wednesday, March 25. Click here for locations, dates and times.
Virtual Campus learning is continuing as normal. DMPS is exploring online resources and options for additional remote student learning. Further details will be announced later.
District academic leadership is working in coordination with building administrators to develop a list of free resources for parents who wish to infuse educational time into their child’s day during the closure.
ADDITIONAL CHANGES DUE TO CLOSURE
- Metro Kids care will not be offered.
- All parent/teacher conferences are canceled.
- Programs housed at DMPS schools, such as the Boys and Girls Club, will not be open.
- Rental of DMPS space by outside organizations is canceled.
- The Welcome Center, which enrolls and registers students, will be closed.
- Teachers and staff, except for staff designated by district administration, will not be allowed into school buildings.
- Additional changes may be implemented.
ADDITIONAL PREVENTIVE STEPS
DMPS is also taking the following steps in response to Coronavirus:
- The district has convened a core leadership team to meet daily to be updated on COVID-19, engage or interact with Polk County Public Health, Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control for the latest guidance, and plan for the system of supports for students, staff and families.
- During this time, DMPS operations staff will do deep cleaning of all school buildings, above and beyond the additional cleaning that has already been in place. Technology is also taking this time to clean and repair all school laptops and computers.
- Of the district’s school nurses, 12 work on a part-time basis; they will be full-time for the foreseeable future.
- Iowa has established a medical hotline for people with questions about mild symptoms and if testing is necessary. The 211 line should be used the same way an individual would contact their healthcare provider.
- For additional information about what Des Moines Public Schools is doing to proactively support our students, staff and families please visit dmschools.org/coronavirus.