April Newsletter

Dear Central Academy students and families,

I opened the dryer this weekend and discovered that my husband had put a load of my dress pants in the dryer and forgot about it.  I sighed in frustration at the wrinkled mess.  The thought popped in my head, “Why couldn’t he just…” Then I stopped. I know my husband would never purposefully do something to add to my workload. He is also working incredibly long hours in stressful conditions.  Then I thought, “this is an easy problem to solve. Why am I frustrated by this? Why can’t I just…” And there it was again.

I’ve been hearing that phrase a lot lately directed at students, teachers, families, friends, organizations, and even strangers.  “Why couldn’t she just…(turn in a part of the assignment)”; “Why couldn’t they just…(save the updates for summer and not when grades are due)”;  “Why couldn’t I just..(knock a few things off my ever-growing to-do list).” And the answer always boils down to the same answer: the pandemic and all the ancillary complications.  It has been over a year and, while there is real hope on the horizon, we’re not out of this yet.

For the record: this is not a normal school year. I know that I am not the only one who is feeling worn out by the updates, the changes, the new procedures, the changing conditions, the ongoing isolation, and the constant search for a vaccination appointment. It is tempting to lob the reproach “Why can’t they just…” or the self-recrimination, “Why can’t I just…”. We know the root answer to these frustrations.

So here is what I need you to do: help each other to just keep going!  The only way we get to the other side of this pandemic is together.  Now is the time to reach out to a friend or family member or teacher when you need a hand or when they might need one. Teachers want you to be successful. Talk to them if you hit a barrier.  Let’s work together to find a solution. Don’t get distracted by staring at the height of the mountain you are climbing. Instead, focus on the trail and the next step in your journey.  (And please don’t point out my wrinkled pants).


We have put together a master schedule and are starting the process of building student schedules for next fall.  We are planning for 100% in-person classes. ​

Virtual learning has worked well for some students this year and some will want to continue with this modality.  DMPS is expanding Virtual Campus enrollment for high school and middle school students (see the announcement below).

Students who enroll in Virtual Campus may still come to Academy and attend in-person for part of their day. The Academy staff is too small to be able to offer both modalities. We are aligning the schedules with Virtual Campus to open the in-person opportunities at Central to Virtual Campus students.  As always, Academy hand schedules each student.  So, if you choose to enroll with Virtual Campus we will work with them to set up your schedule.


Every year Central Academy celebrates our seniors and reflects on their accomplishments and experiences.  This year is no different.  While we will not be doing an in-person celebration so as not to conflict with graduation and prom events, we will be doing a special personalized virtual event just for our seniors.

As part of the celebration, we have the Academy seniors vote on a couple of the recognitions. Seniors, check your DMPS email for a message from Kimberly Kinney sent around March 27, 2021.  The deadline to submit your ballot is April 30.

Finally, as a memento of your time at Academy, we assemble the Academy Senior Program, which includes photos of all our seniors.  If you did not submit your photo to Ms. Kinney yet, we have used the Infinite Campus photo we have of you.  But it is not too late! Get in your senior photo to Ms. Kinney as soon as possible!


Advanced Placement exams are very different this year (because of the pandemic).  Learn more about the different exam formats on our website: https://ca.dmschools.org/adv-placement/ap-exam-information/  There are videos specifically for DMPS (and scripts of the videos if you prefer to skim and scan) and other resources.


If you haven’t picked up your Term 4 novels or math work books, they are ready in the Academy lobby. We are open on school days from 8 – 4.  You can park in the drive and run in quickly or we are happy to mail them to you.  If you want them mailed please email, kimberly.kinney@dmschools.org.  Any materials that are not picked up will be returned to Academy inventory and the fee will be removed from your account.


Des Moines Public Schools is pleased to announce that we will be offering more online learning options next school year for students in grades 6-12. The DMPS Virtual Campus is expanding to include the middle school grade levels in addition to being open to more high school students. The expansion of Virtual Campus is being made at this time due to growing interest as a result of the continued pandemic.  We will not offer a fully virtual option for elementary students.

The middle school courses at Virtual Campus will include English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Music Appreciation, and an exploratory core wheel of courses that includes Business/Technology, Health, Art, and Spanish. In addition, ELL, special education and gifted & talented programs will be available as needed. Students in grade 6-8 may participate in extracurricular activities and athletics through their home middle school.

For more information on the student experience at Virtual Campus, please visit virtualcampus.dmschools.org.  You may also view the information attached. Virtual Campus FAQ Final

Middle School:  Enrollment will be limited to 500 students.  If you are interested in this option for your student, please submit an application at this link.  At this time, we cannot guarantee enrollment and you will receive communication in May regarding your application.  The deadline for submitting your application is April 30.

High School:  Applications to request a within-district transfer to Virtual Campus will be accepted between now and April 30. Enrollment in the high school is not capped and most requests will be honored.  If you are interested in this option for your student, please submit an application at this link.

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