March 20 – 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.


  • Does your child keep a medication at school? No problem. If you need to retrieve it during the closure, email your school nurse or principal to set up a time to pick it up.
  • Practice good hygiene. Don’t forget to wash your hands for 20 seconds, cover your cough/sneeze, and stay home if you’re sick. Also, practice social distancing – 6 ft. between you and everyone else when you’re in public.
  • If you have questions about mild symptoms you are experiencing, use the statewide COVID-19 hotline by dialing 211. Many DMPS nurses are volunteering to answer phones and be among those answering your health questions. If you are having trouble breathing, call the emergency room.


Food distribution will continue for the duration of the COVID-19 district closure.

  • The Food Bank of Iowa and DMARC continue to have food available for students and their families at different school sites on weekdays until Wednesday, March 25. Click here for locations, dates and times.
  • DMPS will offer meals weekdays beginning on March 26 from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM outside all DMPS middle school locations. The district will offer a grab-and-go lunch and breakfast for the next day. On Fridays, staff will send home additional food for the weekend.
  • Wish to donate to the ongoing effort?  Revtrak now has an online donation option.


  • School end dates have not changed, assuming school resumes on April 13.
  • All buildings are closed to everyone except essential operations staff until April 13.
  • The district is working on a list of high-quality educational resources for families. Parents and guardians are not expected to replace teachers. All resources are optional.
  • The state currently does not allow the district to require online learning.


A Busy Bus Garage
On a normal school day, Des Moines Public Schools’ fleet of school buses would be rolling along the streets of the city, transporting more than 10,000 students to and from school. But today isn’t normal. All 132 buses are sitting idle, lined up to form a neat herringbone pattern in the parking lot at the DMPS transportation facility on Prospect Road. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t work being done. Repairs and maintenance are underway throughout the fleet, as the mechanics are hard at work, from under the hood to rear wheel wells and every place in between. And just like a “deep clean” is underway at every DMPS building, each bus is being cleaned and disinfected, one more step in the response to Coronavirus. Someday school will be back in session. When that day comes, our staff is making sure every bus is clean, safe and ready to roll once again along the streets of Des Moines. Visit our Flickr page to see more of the work underway. 

Activities for Home
Did you know even everyday activities like cooking and cleaning have math, science and social lessons built in? DMPS Visual Arts Coordinator Ben Heinen shares what he’s been doing at home with ABC-5 News. See the report 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, and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit In addition, if you are on social media, be sure to follow DMPS on Facebook and/or Twitter.