March Academy Newsletter

Dear Central Academy students and families,

The meteorologists keep promising that spring is around the corner, but wow, it has been a cold March so far!  Spring break begins on March 15 (no classes on that Friday) and classes resume on Wednesday, March 27.


Starting on March 27, DMPS will no longer have early dismissal on Wednesdays to make up for the lost instructional time due to weather. Read more about this HERE.  Central Academy bell and bus times will be the same on Wednesdays as they are every other day of the week.


Iowa Assessments are required by the State of Iowa.  This year DMPS students will be taking their exams online and during their corresponding classes instead of having all of their exams in one big day.

Central Academy will only test DMPS students in grades 7 – 11. We will not test Out of District students. We will only administer tests to those students who take the class with us.  For example, if students take mathematics at Central Academy, they will also take their Iowa Assessment Mathematics test.  But if that same student takes English at Hoover, the student would take their Language and Writing test as well as their Reading test at Hoover.

​TEST ​Class administering test ​Grade Level
​Language & Writing ​English ​7 – 11
​Reading ​English ​9 – 11
​Reading ​Social Studies ​7 – 8
​Mathematics ​Mathematics ​7 – 11
​Science ​Science ​8, 10

The ‘Testing Window’ is March 27 – April 26.


We are now taking orders for high school AP exams. DMPS students order and pay for their AP exams at their home schools, even if they take the class or the exam at Academy.  Out of district students order and pay at the Academy office.   Final payment for all AP exams must be received by March 27, 2019 in order for exams to be ordered. More information about exams for Central students can be found on the Central Academy website or here: Academy AP Exam Information

Here is the AP Exam Schedule it includes the dates, times, and locations of all DMPS exams.


Last August we had a good response to our Parent survey and it generated a lot of ideas about what we could do to improve the Central Academy experience for our students and families.  People shared what they really liked and why, areas in need of improvement, and great ideas for addressing these issues.  So, this spring, with so much change on the horizon for next year, we thought we’d provide comment cards to help us focus our efforts this spring as we prepare for next year.  Submit your thoughts at

March 5 (tonight): Academy parent teacher conferences from 3:30 – 7:30.

March 15 (Friday)- March 26 (Tuesday): No school: Spring Break!

March 27
(Wednesday): Classes resume.

March 27 (Wednesday): Last day to order and pay for AP Exams.

March 27 (Wednesday): Iowa Assessment testing window opens.

April 7 (Sunday): Central Academy Senior Recognition Ceremony, 2 PM, Temple of Performing Arts.

May 6 (Monday): AP and IB DP testing begins. See the testing calendar for the date time and location of your tests.


Shortly after I sent the parent newsletter last month, Governor Reynolds signed a bill that set the Supplemental State Aid (SSA) at 2.06% for next school year.  This was more than double the SSA legislated last year (which was 1%).  But still, 2.06% doesn’t keep up with ‘historic’ rising costs (aka inflation), especially after years of 0 – 1% SSA.

We are thankful and relieved, however, that the SSA was set in February because it helps us develop a strategic plan. For several of the last few years, the legislature would not set our budget until very late– May or June– that left us guessing how much we had to work with.  The timeliness of the decision this year is helpful.

But setting SSA is only one part of the budgetary picture. Expanding support for our English Language Learners, expanding pre-school funding, extending the existing SAVE sales tax for schools, and revising the at-risk and drop out prevention funding are all measures which could ease the pressure on our general fund budget.  Those proposals are still very much alive in the legislature as we move towards the next funnel of bills. Learn more about DMPS positions on these initiatives here:

Get updates from Des Moines-area legislators on education-related issues at the Community Legislative Action Team (CLAT) monthly coffees, held on the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. starting in January.
Upcoming dates are:

  • Saturday, March 9 – East High School, 815 East 13th St.
  • Saturday, April 13 – Lincoln High School, 2600 SW 9th St.

What can you do to help?

Finally, if school funding is an important issue for you, consider contacting your legislator. Writing letters or calling the legislators on the Education committees in the Senate and the House to share your viewpoint is helpful. Letters from individuals– not form letters– make a difference. Any help you can give us to prevent the need to reduce our teaching staff further would be greatly appreciated.

Bills under consideration in the Iowa Senate’s Education committee are listed here:

You can find your representative in the Iowa Legislature at The President of the Iowa Senate is Charles Schneider.  Members of the Education Committee in the Iowa Senate are:

Bills under consideration by the Iowa House of Representative’s Education committee can be found here:

The Speaker of the Iowa House is Linda Upmeyer.  Members of the Education committee in the Iowa House of Representatives are:

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