Welcome Home, Central Academy!

Dear Central Academy Students and Families,

Welcome and Welcome back to a new school year! One of our goals this year is for students to earn A’s and B’s in all of their Academy classes. Our course work is challenging because it is accelerated and often at the college-level. For students new to Academy, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Some students feel like they must “prove” themselves at Academy.  But really, they have already demonstrated a need for advanced, accelerated, or unique course work– that’s why they are here.

Our motto is “We hold ourselves to the highest standards and support each other in our lowest moments.” Our teachers and staff will work alongside you to guide you through the rough parts and celebrate your victories.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the work, rest assured, you are not alone, and we will help you. But help won’t mean giving you the answers; instead, we’ll help you explore your own thinking and develop your own ideas.  It’s hard work and so much more interesting and fulfilling.

Recently, the Podcast, Hidden Brain, aired an episode that truly speaks to the attitudes, thought processes, and behaviors of our most successful students.  Give it a listen.  Then bookmark it, and listen again in October, when, for most people, the coursework begins to feel difficult.  https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/learning-from-your-mistakes/ 

The Academy staff is pleased to welcome several new members.

  • Associate Principal, Janelle Danner, is joining us from Hoover High School.  Ms. Danner is an experienced school administrator with energy and enthusiasm.  She recently attended a workshop for administrators of Gifted Programs at the University of Iowa’s Belin Blank Center.
  • Kelly Randleman is stepping into the position of Advanced Learning Consultant at Academy as Data Lead.  She joins us from the elementary ALP team as an experienced consultant.
  • Sam Blum is joining our English department. He is coming from Earlham High School where he did just about everything from speech to drama to all levels of English. He has a master’s degree in creative writing and also participated in the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.
  • Francesco Dalla Vecchia is joining our World Language Department teaching Italian.  He is a native speaker of Italian and has recently taught first and second year Italian at the University of Iowa.  He is a talented musician with a doctorate in musicology and music theory as well as a bachelors degree in Italian Literature.
  • Karen Griffin is joining the expanding Academy Science department from Pennsylvania.  She brings with her a robust background in mathematics and sciences having taught AP Calculus and AP Chemistry.  She held several teacher leadership positions and was part of several different curriculum revision teams.  She served students with ACT and SAT preparation, National Honor Society sponsor, and many tutoring supports.
  • Jamie Trogdon is joining the office team as the Attendance Clerk.  She brings strong clerical skills from her work in medical and judiciary organizations and a joyful demeanor.


Classes for students in grades 7 – 12 start on Wednesday, August 23.   Here is the Calendar for the School year. 2023 24 DMPS Calendar

An Orientation Open House is scheduled for Monday, August 21 from 4 – 6 PM.  Drop by and meet your teachers, find your classrooms, and go on a scavenger hunt for popular places and people at Academy.   If you are not able to attend during the event, the building is open from 8 – 4, M – F; just stop by the main office and request to look around.  Teachers will be in meetings and may not be able to meet with you outside of the Orientation Open House event.  You can always email teachers to share information about yourself or your child.  Email addresses are found on our website.

The Academy building is easy to navigate, and I am confident that we can help you find your way on the first day of classes.  Use this map to help you orient.  Academy Map FY2024

The Academy teachers will be making welcome videos over the weekend. As they complete their videos, I will be posting them on our webpage from the Academy YouTube Channel.  Last year’s videos will remain up until the new ones are produced.


Remember, Academy classes begin on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 23. High School students will be following the 8-period schedule for bell times and shuttle buses.  FY2024 Central Bus and Bell Times

Middle school bus and bell times are easier than High school.  FY2024 Middle School Bus and Bell Time Poster


Middle school students eat lunch at their middle schools.

High school students eat lunch at Central if they take Central classes in periods 3 and/or 5.  See the schedule for when your catch your bus to and from Central.

Every student served by DMPS will be able to eat school meals for free.  Once the scanner system is re-installed, you will scan your DMPS school ID or enter your 6-digit DMPS school ID number at the cashier’s station.  Sometimes students lose their ID or do not want to dig it out at lunch time.  TIP: if you take a photo of your ID on your phone, you can scan the photo. Scanners should be up and running sometime soon– they were disabled in the district-wide cyber-security event last semester.

In order for the meal students choose to qualify for the free program it must meet these requirements. Some foods, like chips, rice crispy treats, and sugared drinks, cost extra.  Student may purchase a slice of pizza for $1 with any free lunch (daily limit: 1 slice per person).

If you are getting a lunch at the Campus Cafeteria, you may request a disposable tray to bring your meal over to Academy to eat. We have increased our hallway and student lounge seating this year. Academy also has a microwave station for student use on the second floor. Or you may use a red tray and eat in the Campus Cafeteria, also with expanded seating.

The CAMPUS CAFETERIA has been remodeled to include 4 lunch lines and additional seating.  Campus Lunch Map

  • Lines 1 and 2 have all of the menu choices.  Form one line and split when you get to the door.  Over the door is a screen that displays the menu options in each line.
  • Line 3 is the Quick Hot Lunch Line.  This line has only one of the hot lunch items plus pizza, so it should be quicker.  The screen over the corner cashier will list what item is being offered.
  • Line 4 is the Cold Lunch Line.  Salads, and other cold lunch items and pizza will be available in this line.


Students who attend a DMPS school will be issued a student laptop by their home schools.  They should bring their laptops fully charged to school every day.  They will be used in their Academy classes.  We know that some schools are not able to distribute computers on the first day.  We are planning our lessons in the first couple of weeks to be accomplished with or without a computer.

Out of district students who attend Academy will be checked out a student laptop by Academy.  See Mr. Jacobson in room 3021 to pick up your DMPS computer.  He will be available during the Orientation Open House Monday night or you can stop by and see him when school is in session.

Right now, we are still using an open WiFi system.  However, soon– maybe by the time school starts– we will begin using a password protected system.  It may make using a DMPS computer much easier than using a personal device.


With our high school 8-period schedule, we have economized our bus routing so that we do not need as many buses at the same time. This should make finding your bus when you leave Central easier.   Check out this map to see where to catch your bus.  Bus Map FY2024


Central Academy and Central Campus are fortunate to have some space available for qualifying students to park their vehicles. The following information will provide answers on how student parking works at Central Academy and Central Campus. Parking 23 24 rules will be strictly enforced to ensure the safety of our qualifying students and staff.    Here is a Central Student Parking Map. Parking in a Central parking lot requires the use of a parking tag.  There is no cost for a parking tag.  And having a parking tag does not guarantee a parking space will be available.

Remember, parking lot space is limited.  But nothing prevents you from parking on the street a block or two away on Ingersoll or just north of there.


Academy generally does not require any special supplies.  You’ll need your DMPS computer, paper, pens, pencils, and a way to stay organized.  Most other supplies are provided in your classes.  If your class requires special supplies, teachers will share that information at the Orientation Open House event or the first day of school.

English novels will be automatically charged to your Infinite Campus account.  Students who receive a textbook fee waiver will also have the fee for their English novels waived.  Those who qualify for a reduction of their textbook fees will be charged half price for their English novels.  Those who want to provide their own copies of the English Novels should notify Office Manager, Herkisha Burkett, to get their fees removed.  Herkisha.burkett@dmschools.org.  More information can be found HERE.


The Governor’s new Education Omnibus Law, SF496, requires school staff to use the student’s name and pronouns listed in Infinite Campus.  So, if a student’s name in IC is “William” but the student goes by “Mitchell” or “Bill” or “Billy”, a school administrator must notify the primary parent or guardian and tell them of the request.  If students request we use pronouns that do not match the gender listed in IC, an administrator must notify their primary parent or guardian.

If you know you would like your child’s nickname and pronouns listed in Infinite Campus so we don’t have to call you, you can contact Suleyma.Reyes@dmschools.org.  She will make the notation in IC and you will not receive a call.


Our School Nurse is Jasmine Lester, 515-242-7779, jasmine.lester@dmschools.org.  You can find her office behind the Campus main office. Map to Nurses Office

We are so looking forward to seeing you in person next week!

-Dr. Gogerty, Director of Advanced Learning

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