The Merrill Minute

November 30, 2018

Merrill Middle School Remodel Coming Soon!

Dear Mustang Families,

We are excited to announce that we will be starting a building renovation this spring at Merrill, bringing needed and exciting changes to our facilities. Four areas of our building will be impacted:

1. The main office area will relocate to the southeast corner of the building (the current auditorium site). The office relocation provides increased security for our students during school hours and less confusion for our visitors as all guests will enter through the main office. We have outgrown the auditorium as a performing arts venue and have been using it solely for orchestra rehearsal for several years. Concerts are currently held, and will continue to be held, in the Merrill gymnasium or the Roosevelt auditorium to accommodate the increased audience size. Thanks to parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors for supporting students and attending our events!

2. Our stellar performing arts programs will all be housed in the northeast corner of the building and receive extensive upgrades. Floor to ceiling acoustical materials will enhance the sound in those rooms dramatically. Additional storage space will allow students to store their instruments in this performing arts area, a much needed improvement.

3. The current front office space will be transformed into classrooms for design, mathematics, and special education, all of which are now located where the new performing arts area will be.

4. Finally, all five of our science classrooms, as well as our Family and Consumer Science space will be redesigned to enhance student engagement and accessibility. Students will experience state of the art labs, which will support our IB work of inquiry and advanced student learning.These rooms will also be equipped with new floors, ceiling tiles, accessible storage space, and upgraded appliances.

The scope of this project is extensive and we anticipate a very busy summer on our campus. It is likely that some aspects of the project may even begin over spring break. We thank you for your patience during this remodel.

A huge thank you to the DMPS School Board, the DMPS Operations Team led by Bill Good, and our community for supporting public education. This project will provide Merrill students amazing educational opportunities for years to come.

Yours in hard hats and ribbon cutting,


Kathryn Panek


Merrill Middle School

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Roosevelt Homework Help

Need Homework Help? Roosevelt Homework Help is scheduled for Tuesday mornings from 7:30-8:10 in the cafeteria and Thursday afternoons from 3:45-4:30 in Mrs. Vogel’s room. No need to reserve a spot, just show up with your homework or late assignments. Thank you to the Roosevelt students, many of whom are former Mustangs, for organizing and sponsoring this amazing partnership!

Wear your Merrill T-Shirt on Monday!

All students are encouraged to wear their new Merrill t-shirts on Monday when the Mustang basketball team takes on Brody at 4:15 and 5:15, a highly anticipated contest. All students who wear their new t-shirts will receive free admission to the game. #gomustangs

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Mock Trial Teams Celebrate Success

It was another big year for the Merrill Mock Trial teams. Five teams from Merrill Middle School prepared for months and demonstrated their talents at both the district and state competitions over the course of the last few weeks. Two teams, Merrill Orange and Merrill Gold, qualified for the state competition. The Merrill Gold team finished 3rd overall and earned the Judge Anthony Critelli Award in recognition of their civility and courtroom decorum. Congratulations to all of our middle school barristers - and their parents and volunteer coaches - on making this program one of the best in Iowa.
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Best Buddies Visit Ruby Van Meter

This year Merrill Best Buddies has the privilege to partner with Ruby Van Meter. On Tuesday, 39 Merrill students traveled to Ruby Van Meter for their first associate member visit. Students engaged with their new friends during art, music, PE, FACS, and work experience. This was the first of many outings with our new friends. Our partnership with Ruby Van Meter will continue to grow as we prepare for the upcoming Des Moines Unified Sports Day in April.

Here are some of the reflections from our associate members after their visit on Tuesday:

  • I learned that the people who I met are just the same as everyone else and that they are hilarious. They have a great sense of humor.
  • I have learned to respect and include all. Even if they are different, they are still people. I have gotten love and happiness from this experience.
  • It is really fun to hang out with them (our friends at Ruby). They make me smile.
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