As we embark on a new way of educating students during this unprecedented time, we are sure you have questions. The following addresses frequently asked questions but we must also acknowledge the dynamic environment we are in and that information is changing rapidly. We will continue to do our best to keep you updated and informed.
In addition, if you need to contact your school with any technical questions, we have listed email addresses and phone numbers at the bottom of this page.
Why is learning considered optional at this time?
Under current guidance from the state, every district in Iowa was required to submit an ‘optional’ or ‘mandatory’ learning plan. While it is our desire to move to mandatory learning, we do not yet have the necessary infrastructure to meet the requirements as laid out by the Iowa Department of Education. Our first priority is getting every student access to a device and internet and DMPS has deployed more than 20,000 devices. We are continuing to build our infrastructure so that we are prepared for mandatory learning, should we be in a situation that demands it.
Will my student receive credit for second semester courses?
Yes, if the student has a passing grade. Every student should have received a survey that asked him/her to indicate which grading option they are selecting for each second semester course. The following options were given for high school credit only courses:
- Take the updated grade as of March 30th and still earn semester 2 credit for the class.
- Work with the teacher to improve posted grade by engaging in additional opportunities to demonstrate learning from content that was delivered BEFORE March 13th. Students who take advantage of this option will submit work to their teacher to be graded and will receive an updated grade and credit for semester 2.
- Pass/Fail will be an option at the end of the course for Grades 9-11 on a case by case basis with administrative approval. This option should be utilized for outlier circumstances.
- 12th Graders only: change the grade for the class to a pass/fail and receive credit for semester 2; no additional work will be required.
- Students could withdraw from the course and not receive credit for the class this semester. Students and families would have to decide by April 30th to withdraw from a class without penalty.
Why does my senior still need to complete coursework to graduate if the governor waived graduation requirements?
The governor did allow for more flexibility in graduation requirements and has allowed for local decision making. Certain requirements (like CPR) have been waived and will not be required by DMPS to graduate. However, if a student had a course in progress to fulfill a grad requirement, the above options will apply. We are encouraging all students to continue to engage in learning to improve grades (and GPA) until the end of May and current graduation requirements still stand (with a few exceptions on a case by case basis). Please work with your counselor to discuss your options.
What should I expect from my student’s teachers at this time?
Once the student completes the course credit survey, he/she should be contacted by a school official (teacher, counselor, administrator) to ensure the student made a wise choice. Students are allowed to change their minds once the survey is completed and should work with their teacher directly to get this changed. If students select option 2 (see above), teachers will be in contact to determine what learning is still needed to improve the grade. Learning can take many forms – Canvas modules, video instruction, assignments, or group work. At this time, teachers have the ability to identify how they will interface with students to make up missed learning.
Why is my student not getting new learning?
Currently, DMPS has selected the optional learning model, which doesn’t allow for new learning. If we move to a mandatory model, new content will be taught and assessed.
What do I do if my student has an IEP or needs language supports?
Special education teachers have been busy meeting to review IEPs and update as necessary. While it is impossible to provide the face-to-face accommodations, teachers should be in frequent and regular contact with students to ensure their needs are being met to the best of our abilities. Teachers of English Language Learners are also working to contact every student to identify supports and remove barriers for students. If your student needs additional support, please work with the school to problem-solve.
How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the start of the next school year and the material my student missed?
Every district is required to submit a “Return to Learn” plan in July. We do not yet know how we will handle missed content.
What do I do if my student has technical problems with their device?
If you are experiencing technical problems with your device, please email:
For emergency support, please call:
- East: 515-706-3163
- Hoover: 515-706-3251
- Lincoln: 515-706-3167
- North: 515-706-3150
- Roosevelt: 515-706-3169
- Scavo: 515-706-3176