Des Moines Public Schools to end early dismissals to make up for snow days


DES MOINES –  This year’s winter weather has impacted the school calendar at DMPS.

In fact, in January alone, five school days had to be changed (three cancellations, one early dismissal, and one late start), the most days in a single month at DMPS in over 40 years.

So, how is the district going to make up that lost time in the classroom? Because Iowa now counts the length of the school year by the number of hours and not days, that gives the district some flexibility in making up for lost time. At DMPS, school leaders also built in a surplus of hours beyond the legal requirement, which helps even more.

Here’s what the plan is going forward: early dismissals every Wednesday will end right after Spring Break; all schools will dismiss at their normal time every day of the week beginning Wednesday, March 27. This will make up for the time lost in January. It also allows for one more unplanned late start or early dismissal. The last day of school will remain May 30 for elementary and middle schools, and May 31 for high schools.

An important note: this plan is contingent on the cooperation of the weather. If there are additional full-day cancellations, late starts and/or early dismissals, this plan will be adjusted accordingly.

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