Keeping Kids After Class

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Band is one of the options offered for an after school activity at some schools. (WHO-HD)

Music is one of the options offered for an after school activity at some schools. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — As more than 30,000 students wrap up their first week of school, Des Moines Public Schools is working hard to keep students after class, particularly its middle school students.

Some of the newest activities added include debate, drama, and a few new sports. Available activities vary from school to school, but all schools have student athletics for 7th and 8th grade. Some of the other activities include: music, journalism, and student government.

Officials have been working on this project since 2008. In the past two years student participation has increased by 40 percent, but that’s still just a quarter of the student population. Officials hope to change that this year with new activities and uniforms, costing students just ten dollars for the season.

Superintendent Thomas Ahart says middle schoolers in particular need after school programs. “Often times there’s sort of a dead zone where they may not have parents at home yet, because they’re not home from work yet. So there’s a lot of unstructured time that isn’t necessarily used productively and we think that that’s a great opportunity for us to spend some extra time with them, not just hitting the books for another half an hour or two hours, but finding some other things that they have a genuine passion for,” said Ahart.

It’s not too late to sign your child up for those extracurricular programs.

Middle School Activities

(varies by school)

  • Sports:
    • Athletic (7th and 8th grade only)
    • Cross Country (Boys and Girls)
    • Football (Boys)
    • Volleyball (Girls)
    • Swimming (Boys and Girls)
    • Wrestling (Boys and Girls)
    • Basketball (Boys and Girls)
    • Track (Boys and Girls)
    • Soccer (Boys and Girls)
    • Cheerleading (Girls)


  • Other Activities:
    • Music
    • Drama
    • Debate
    • Journalism
    • Student Government