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DMPS calendar proposed for next school year to reduce 'summer brain drain'

The proposed calendar stretches the school year to mid-June with more breaks and holidays.


Thousands of Des Moines Public Schools students could be getting more days off but staying in class through mid-June next year.

District leaders are asking staff, students and parents to weigh in on major changes to the 2022-23 academic calendar. The proposed adjustments would push back the last day of school to June 14, 2023 at the earliest and June 22 at the latest, depending on how many snow days need to be made up.

The district said the goal is to reduce "summer brain drain" so students are more prepared for the upcoming school year.

Other big changes include: 

  • Adding more days off, like Election Day, and observing more inclusive holidays like Yom Kippur, the Lunar New Year, and Ramadan
  • Adding a week off in May
  • Extending winter break to a full two weeks
  • Extending spring break by two days

School would still start the second-to-last week of August, and graduations would be moved off Memorial Day weekend.

If implemented, the DMPS calendar would be different than most Iowa school districts. Des Moines is the largest and most diverse school district in the state.

The community has until Sunday, Oct. 31 to submit their thoughts on the proposed calendar in an online survey which can be found here.

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