December Newsletter

​Dear Central Academy students and families,

We have an excellent support staff at Central Academy.  We are lucky to have Amy Cummings join our team as our second counselor this year. She brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the position and, working with Kris Hilton, has expanded our support services to students and staff this semester.  It has made a world of difference and we are very grateful to have such a dream team in our counseling office.

Jami Powers, our counseling assistant, has gotten a promotion within DMPS!  We are so excited and proud for her.  Luckily, we found Suleyma Reyes to fill the vacancy in our Counseling department.  Ms. Reyes is coming from the business world and has been rapidly learning the ins and outs of scheduling and Infinite Campus.  She is bi-lingual Spanish/English and has a lot of good ideas.  Please stop by the counseling office to say hi or send a welcoming email to the newest member of our team.

Finally, Kim Kinney, our Office Manager, has decided to be a fulltime Grandma starting in 2022.  Her last day at Academy is December 29.  Ms. Kinney has been with us since 2008 and many of you have spoken with her at one time or another.  She is so knowledgeable, friendly, and kindhearted.  We will miss her greatly.  We are actively seeking someone to fill the vacancy and hope to hire before winter break.   Please send a card or email to wish Ms. Kinney well on her next “Grand” adventure!  1912 Grand Ave. Des Moines, IA, 50309 or


December 10– No classes.  Professional Development for teachers

December 21– Last day of classes before winter break

December 22– Winter break begins

January 3– Classes resume

January 14– Last day of First Semester

January 17– MLK Observance, no classes

January 18– No classes, Teacher Professional Development

January 19– No classes, Teacher Professional Development

January 20–First day of second semester classes, follow the 7-period day schedule, First semester grades are due from teachers.


Our major goal is for students to earn a B or higher their Academy classes each semester. Students and teachers have been working hard all semester to reacclimate to learning in-person again. It has at times been both exhilarating and exhausting.  I know that people are genuinely tired from the effort.  But this is the month when students’ scores really begin to shift upwards.  Their earlier attempts in the topics are being replaced with their newfound mastery of skills and concepts.  Interventions and reassessments are being evaluated and staff are racing to update topic scores as fast as they can go.  We were in a strong position just before Thanksgiving with more than three-quarters of in-progress grades at a B or higher and I’m excited to see the upward shift already begin to occur this week.

There has been a long-standing rumor that if a student doesn’t earn a B or higher that they cannot return to the Academy second semester.  Frankly, that is just NOT TRUE.  We want students to stay with us and we will work just as hard as you do to ensure students are ready for the next level. There are a lot of good reasons capable students earn Cs or lower.  Keep in mind, second semester is a fresh start. So, if you had a rocky beginning to this school year, I urge you to squeeze out as much learning as you can in the last month and a half of this semester, even if you land short of the goal.  This way you’ll be in the strongest position possible to take advantage of the fresh start in January.

At the end of the second semester, if you still earn a D or F in a subject, you should take that subject at the normal pace at your home school.  But that would not preclude you from taking other accelerated subjects at Academy where you have done well.  If you end the spring semester with a C in a subject our counselors will conference with you about it before decisions are made about your fall schedule.   We want you to be successful.  And there is a lot of time between now and then to work through the barriers and difficulties together. Because at Academy we hold ourselves to the highest standards and support each other in our lowest moments.

My friends, I hope you have a wonderful 3-day weekend and are ready to make the most of our seven days of class before winter break!

And a big shout out to our senior class, the class of 2022!  I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

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