Skip to content
Blog

Archive for 2011

WDMCS School Board Approves Courses, DINA Plan, Facility Project Bids

The WDMCS Board of Education held a regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 12, 2011, and took the following action:

  • accepted all the K-9 Curriculum Cycle, Indian Hills and Stilwell, and Valley Southwoods 2012-13 Program of Studies proposals. (more…)

Topics: Education

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Success Being Redefined

As we find ourselves approaching the holidays, it provides me a great opportunity to reflect on the work we are doing to improve student learning.

I shared with you earlier that one of the district’s challenges is our community’s changing demographics and what that means for the way we teach.

This identified challenge was reaffirmed earlier in the school year when we were once again identified as a District In Need of Assistance (DINA) under the federal guidelines of No Child Left Behind.

Because this was the fourth year of the DINA designation for WDMCS, we are required to develop an improvement plan to address the areas where students are demonstrating proficiency.

We took the opportunity build the DINA Plan around the work we already have begun and develop some improvements to our current practices.

What I have been sharing with staff, parents and the community is that the West Des Moines Community Schools are and have been successful over the years, but it is time to redefine what it means to be successful.

(more…)

Topics: Education

WDMCS Board Meeting Summary

The following is an informal summary of the actions of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education at recent meetings. This is provided as a service to district staff and the public. This is not the official minutes of the board meeting, but a quick rundown of action taken. Official board minutes must be approved by the board per Policy 212.1 and then are posted on our website (www.wdmcs.org).

The WDMCS Board of Education held a regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, and took the following action: (more…)

Topics: Education

Tags: , ,

Outstanding Accomplishments in the WDMCS – Nov. 2011

Senior Alli Hornbrook was named to the first-team all-CIML Iowa Conference volleyball team.

Periodically throughout the school year, we compile a list of special honors and awards received by our students and staff. These outstanding accomplishments are presented to the School Board as Board Recognition. Check out all the great things our students and staff have accomplished!

STUDENTS
Academics
The Indian Hills Junior High mock trial team of eighth graders Andrew Austin, Julian Castillo, Taylor Igram, Olympia Manning, Nicole Nucaro, Gabe Rumsey, Sarah Suh, Sammy Throm and Maggie Wildermuth advanced to the state competition. They competed Nov. 17-19.

Art
Artwork by Jordan Creek third grader Dorothy Junginger, Indian Hills eighth grader Emily Carr and Valley senior Rachel Purcell was selected to be displayed at Hy-Vee Hall during the Iowa Association of School Boards’ annual convention.

Indian Hills seventh grader Carla Lacey was honored by the Des Moines Art Center as an Outstanding Scholarship Student.

Debate
Valley debate closed out the final round of Lincoln-Douglas, with senior Moses Sloven placing first and junior Jon Langel placing second at the Iowa Caucus tournament at Cedar Rapids Washington. Sloven received his second bid to the Tournament of Champions and is now fully qualified to attend the event in the spring. Langel received his first bid to the Tournament of Champions at the event. The team of senior Sam Schulte and junior Lucy Korsakov won the public forum. (more…)

Topics: Education

WDMCS Board Reviews Program of Studies & More

The following is an informal summary of the actions of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education at recent meetings. This is provided as a service to district staff and the public. This is not the official minutes of the board meeting, but a quick rundown of action taken. Official board minutes must be approved by the board per Policy 212.1 and then are posted on our website (www.wdmcs.org).

Crestview Spanish teacher Tammy Dann works with her students.

Workshop

The WDMCS Board of Education held a workshop on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. No action is taken at workshops. These meetings, which are open to the public, provide a time for board members to learn more about a topic or area of the district. During the November 7th meeting, the district’s Teaching & Learning Services department reviewed the Program of Studies Proposals for 2012-13. The documents presented are available here.

The program of studies includes courses or subject areas taught in grades K-12. The program of studies is reviewed each year. For the current review process, staff members submit course proposals, which are then reviewed by administrators, the Site Curriculum Council, the Teaching & Learning Services Advisory Council, the Teaching & Learning Services department, and the Superintendency. The district also conducts a regular review of curriculum used by the district. This review – or curriculum cycle – is included in the process (more…)

Topics: Education

Tags: , , , ,

Students Approved to Travel to China & Other Action at WDMCS Board Meeting

The following is an informal summary of the actions of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education at a recent meeting. This is provided as a service to district staff and the public. They are not the official minutes of the board meeting, but a quick rundown of action taken. Official board minutes must be approved by the board per Policy 212.1 and then are posted on our website (www.wdmcs.org).

The Board of Education of the West Des Moines Community School District held a regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, and took the following action:

  • approved the consent agenda including minutes from the Oct. 4, 10, and 12 meetings, personnel resignations, recommendations, support staff new hires, certified staff initial contracts, and two student trip requests: the Spotlight (Newspaper), Tiger Tales (Yearbook), and committed journalism students to travel to Iowa City, Iowa, on October 27, 2011 for the Iowa High School Press Association Fall Conference with costs covered by the Language Arts Department and Yearbook account; Indian Hills and Stilwell Junior High string students to travel to the People’s Republic of China – Beijing and Shijiazhuang March 14 – 22, 2012, with travel costs covered through  the Chinese Grand and student funding; (more…)

Topics: Education

Tags: , , ,

Outstanding Accomplishments in the WDMCS

Valley Marchmasters

The Valley Marchmasters had a great season, capped off by earning their 50th consecutive Division I rating at the IHMA contest. The drum majors are pictured with their award for best drum majors at the the Bands Across the Prairie Marching Band Festival.

Periodically throughout the school year, we compile a list of special honors and awards received by our students and staff. These outstanding accomplishments are presented to the School Board as Board Recognition. Check out all the great things our students and staff have accomplished!

STUDENTS
Academics
Valley had 12 seniors named as semifinalists for the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Competition: William Chrichton, Kathryn Hoemann, Tarun Kadaru, Xiaoxue Liu, Elaine Mou, Daniel Pisman, Bernhard Saggau, Samuel Schulte, Moses Sloven, Edward Tannenbaum, Mary Tobin and Luchang Wang. These students will have the opportunity to be named finalists, with any finalists being able to earn the National Merit Scholarship. Commended students in the program were Jessica Au, Katrina Bopp, Trevor Bridge, Keegan Brown, Stephen Davick, Philip Dobrinov, Aleksey Gubyn, Andrew Halterman, Tasha Himes, Hanna Howard, Scott Johnson, Nathan Marshall, Grace Seidlin and Takashi Yanagi.

(more…)

Topics: Education

WDMCS Board Reviews Community Education, Valley High School Bids

Meeting Summaries – Oct. 4 & Oct. 10

The following is an informal summary of the actions of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education at recent meetings. These are provided as a service to district staff and the public. They are not the official minutes of the board meeting, but a quick rundown of action taken. Official board minutes must be approved by the board per Policy 212.1 and then are posted on our website (www.wdmcs.org).

The Board of Education of the West Des Moines Community School District held a workshop session on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. The meeting was informational only, providing an orientation session for new board members. No action was taken.

West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education

The Board of Education of the West Des Moines Community School District held a regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, and took the following action:

  • approved the consent agenda including minutes from the Sept. 19, 2011 annual & organizational meetings and the Sept. 19, 2011 and Sept. 28, 2011 special meetings, personnel resignations, recommendations, support staff new hires, certified staff initial contracts, and the Valley Voices and Valley Vox High School singers trip request to travel to St. Charles, Ill., March 9- 12, 2012 for a jazz festival for Vocalese and Vox ensembles;
  • held a public hearing on the proposed sanitary sewer easements at Valley Southwoods, which was publically noticed on Sept. 26, 2011. No objections were filed.
  • approved the Community Education Advisory Council roster for 2011-2012, which includes: (more…)

Topics: Education

Tags: , ,

Three Meetings, One Night: New WDMCS Board members, officers, and more

The following is an informal summary of the actions of the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education at recent meetings. These are provided as a service to district staff and the public. They are not the official minutes of the board meeting, but quick rundowns of action taken. Official board minutes must be approved by the board per Policy 212.1 and then are posted on our website (www.wdmcs.org).

The evening of Sept. 19 saw the transition of the WDMCS board. Current board members are (back row, from left) David J. Brown, Kevin Carroll, Jill Hansen, Milton Cole, Elizabeth Brennan, Andi Lipman and Mark Lagomarcino. Retiring board members are (front row, from left) Mark Lyons, Terry Tobin and Tom Suckow.

The Board of Education of the West Des Moines Community School District met in special session on Monday, September 19, 2011, and took the following action: (more…)

Topics: Uncategorized

Positioned Perfectly to Address Our Challenges

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NLn7yQumvo]I began my work in the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) on July 1 meeting with the school board, with staff and some community members. I have also had the opportunity to participate in several statewide education-related activities like the Governor’s Education Summit.

I recently had the opportunity to share with the district staff the five challenges for the WDMCS in the coming months and into next year that I have been able to identify so far:

  1. Changing leadership;
  2. Changing demographics;
  3. State/federal budget reductions;
  4. State educational reform; and
  5. NCLB reauthorization. (more…)

Topics: Education

Tags: , , ,