March 18 – DMPS Closure Update

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.

Many of you have reached out to us regarding your concern for the 5,000 teachers and hourly workers who rely on DMPS for income. Our Human Resources and Business and Finance teams have been coordinating a response to these challenges over the last few days, and the district can report that all non-temporary staff will receive pay through our anticipated reopening on April 13. Details are being shared with our employees tomorrow.

Additional information about the district closure will be shared as soon as it is available, but at this time DMPS can share the following updates and reminders about the current closure:


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.


Food distribution sites are available at several DMPS schools for the next several days, while DMPS will begin providing grab-and-go meals next Thursday, March 26.

  • The Food Bank of Iowa and Des Moines Area Religious Council will have food available for students and/or their families at different school sites on weekdays continuing until next Wednesday, March 25. Click here for locations, dates and times.
  • DMPS is activating the district’s Summer Food Program beginning March 26 and extending the through 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.


Virtual Campus learning is continuing as normal. DMPS is exploring online resources and options for additional remote student learning. In addition, 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. State guidance indicates the district can only recommend, not require, students to use educational resources during the closure.


To keep you apprised of some of what continues to take place during our closure, we’re sharing links to some behind-the-scenes stories about the district.

Sea Life Goes On Even in the Middle of a Pandemic
A diversion from the usual Coronavirus news: sea life goes on, even during a pandemic. Instructors in the Marine Biology program at Central Campus drop by school each morning to make sure more than 140 different species in one of the nation’s largest educational aquariums are fed and well, as the school district remains until at least April 13. Read and see more here.

Spring Cleaning is a Deep Subject During Shutdown at DMPS
While Des Moines Public Schools is shut down until at least April 13 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, custodial staff along with our IT department are doing a district-wide deep clean of everything from doorknobs and bathrooms to computers and telephones. We stopped by North High School as staff was making sure everything was clean and safe for the eventual return of students and staff. Visit our web site to read and see more of some important work underway while schools are closed. Read and see more here.


In addition to regular emails, for additional information, updates and reminders about what Des Moines Public Schools is doing to support our students, staff and families please visit In addition, if you are on social media, be sure to follow DMPS on Facebook and/or Twitter.