This web site serves as a guide for students and parents/caregivers to how Des Moines Public Schools will begin the 2020-21 school year. It outlines general expectations that will apply to both students and teachers as well as the framework for a typical school day during these atypical times.

For the overwhelming majority of students, the school year will begin with virtual learning across all grade levels, from preschool through 12th grade. A small percentage of students – including those at Orchard Place, some Special Education students, and some Central Campus classes – will have in-person instruction.

Please review the information in the pages listed in the right-hand menu. Information for the different grade levels is listed first followed by other related topics.

None of us have ever been where we are about to go. Together, we will find our way forward from an unprecedented challenge to unforgettable achievement.


On August 25, Des Moines Public Schools filed a petition in Polk County District Court, asking the Court to issue an injunction to set aside the State’s rejection of the DMPS Return to Learn plan as well as review the State’s authority to override the authority granted under Iowa law to locally elected school boards. Updates of any action or decisions by the Court will be shared with the DMPS community. Click here to read a statement from DMPS about our legal action and download a copy of the petitions filed with the Court.