Central Campus Newsletter

March 2023

A note from the Director

We are excited to launch our Campus Newsletter. Central Campus is a Regional Career Academy serving Des Moines Public Schools and over 20 surrounding school districts in Career and Technical Education. We have 30 unique programs aimed at helping students explore careers, learn business and industry skills, obtain professional certifications, and enter their career pathway prior to graduation.

A huge part of the Central Campus experience is engaging our learners in Work Based Learning opportunities both within and outside the classroom. We have hundreds of business partners in Human Services, Health Science, Ag and Natural Resources, Applied Technology and Skilled Trades, and Information Technology industries who provide guest speakers, job site tours, facilitate workshops, and offer internship and apprenticeship opportunities for our high school students.

Campus students will leave DMPS with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make informed career choices, enroll in a post-secondary pathway, and have established relationships with local employers in their chosen career pathway. Our “Earn and Learn” programming allows students to get real-world, hands-on experience with the opportunity to have paid internship and apprenticeship opportunities with local employers before graduation, so families save time and money in helping their graduate successfully navigate their transition into adulthood.

I would be remiss to not mention the incredible staff at Campus who make all these wonderful opportunities happen for our students. Our team is creative, innovative, and passionate about helping youth discover their unique talents and gifts through experiential learning, skill-based curricula, and post-secondary planning and training.

We want to share these successes with you as well as invite you to be a part of our journey to have every high school graduate have access to a family sustainable wage, healthcare and benefits, upward mobility and happy and healthy life. We welcome you to come and explore Central Campus- where learning leads to earning.

Tascha Brown

Director of Career and Technical Education and Central Campus

1800 Grand Ave

Des Moines, IA 50309



Big picture

Important Dates - March

March 9: Central Campus Hiring Fair, Central Campus Seniors

March 13-17: No School, Spring Break

March 20-21: No School, Professional Development Days

Student Attendance

When your student will not be at school, please make sure to contact your child’s home school and also Central Campus. Our attendance systems do not share information between schools.

We strongly encourage students to initiate contact with their teachers when they are gone from school to ensure they are staying on top of classwork.

CC Hiring Fair

Central Campus had a Hiring Fair on Thursday, March 9th. Central Campus seniors who are looking for employment directly after High School or a summer job attended. We had great success and will be sharing more about the success in our next newsletter!
Big picture

Teacher Feature

Dr. Greg Barord - Marine Biology

DMPS teachers are superheroes by day, but many also have very active interests outside of the classroom. Dr. Greg Barord, who instructs the Central Campus Marine Sciences program, is also a noted marine biologist in the Nautilus conservation community. In addition to helping high school students find their passion for studying marine life, Dr. Barord – and his team – made their own find that is generating news in the scientific community. They uncovered three new species of nautiluses. Read more here...

Program Spotlight

Certified Nurse Aide - Health Sciences Pathway

Central Campus' Health Sciences pathway offers a variety of Health Science programs. Our Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) program gives students the opportunity to learn the necessary skills and training to work in various health care settings. Students experience classroom and laboratory instruction along with supervised clinical experience in local long-term care (nursing home) and Des Moines area hospitals. Students can earn college credit in addition to their high school credit. And those students who complete the Advanced CNA program can obtain their BLS certification.

Recently, our CNA program was awarded a grant which allowed the program to purchase a Laerdal mannequin computerized simulator - Annie. With a click of the button Annie comes to life. Our CNA Advanced students then test their skills with providing Annie care with physiological features like vital signs, patient sounds, IVs, and more.

Stop by Center Campus and tour our incredible CNA lab. We have amazing students who are health care providers in the making!

Certified Nurse Aide Business Partners

Wesley Acres


UnityPoint Training Center

Iowa Donor Network

Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home

Valley View Village


Mock Interview Week for Seniors

The week of February 20th, all seniors at Central Campus had an opportunity to participate in our Mock Interviews. It gave our students great practice for the future and for our Hiring Fair we will be having on March 9th. We received great feedback from students and our volunteer interviewers.

Message from the Nurse

Greetings Central Campus,

I am Jasmine Lester, and am serving my 8th year with DMPS, and 2nd year with Central. I am excited to serve the students, staff, and visitors of the Central Complex, which houses many unique programs! I am thankful the current flu season is wrapping up, which generally runs from October to the end of March, and that while hospitals saw increases in RSV and other illnesses this fall, we seem to be seeing a reprieve. Included is a chart outlining symptom comparisons of common illnesses plus allergies.

The main thing is to remember that exposure is inevitable as we get out and about. Why is it that some people do not become ill? Maintaining body system homeostasis through hydration, adequate nutrition, sufficient sleep, and embracing calm will promote physical and mental health, helping to keep illnesses at bay. Embrace activities that rejuvenate your body such as taking walks, listening to music, reading a good book, working out, meditating, spending quality time with others, anything that brings relaxation and rejuvenation. Avoid activities that drain you of your precious resources of time, money, or energy.

Please reach out with any questions you have, email, call, or stop by.

Jasmine Lester, BSN, RN 515-242-7779

Jasmine.lester@dmschools.org Office # 2503

Career Readiness

Course Requests for SY 23-24

The course request link for students new to a program at Central Campus is open.

  • The link can be found here for current students who attend a DMPS HS or MS.

  • Students who attend out-of-district or private schools should ask their home HS counselors for their unique link.

  • Seats will be given on a first come, first served basis.

DMACC Drop Dates

Classes that offer DMACC credits have the following drop windows:

  • No Transcript Penalty – Jan 19 – Feb 27

  • Drop with “W” (Withdrawal) – Feb 28 – Apr 17

  • Drop with “F” (Failing) – Apr 18 – June 2

Grades for these classes are recorded on both the DMPS and college transcripts.

John Hickling, School Counselor, Student Last Names A-L, John.Hickling@dmschools.org

Jennifer Scott, School Counselor, Student Last Names M-Z, Jennifer.Scott@dmschools.org

Mary Moua, Counseling Assistant, Mary.Moua@dmschools.org

Diana Lovan, Future Ready Coach, Diana.Lovan@dmschools.org


Central Campus

Discover Central Campus & discover your future. Eight advance career academies, 33 specialized programs offer multiple pathways to career readiness.