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Archive for October, 2013

District Recieves Teacher Leadership Planning Grant

The West Des Moines Community Schools has received $38,000 from the Iowa Department of Education to research ways to offer our teachers the opportunity to take on leadership roles in the area of instruction and receive compensation for the increased responsibilities.

In 2013, the Iowa Legislature appropriated a total of $3.5 million for planning grants that each school district in the state can use to support efforts to develop a local teacher leadership and compensation plan.The purpose of the grant is to provide the resources necessary to facilitate a local planning process. Accepting a planning grant does not commit a school district to adopting a teacher leadership system.

The funds will be used by the district Teacher Leadership and Compensation Committee to conduct the research. For more information on the committee, please click on the link below.

Teacher Leadership Study


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Board Highlights from Oct. 14

Iowa Core & WDMCS

“What did you learn today?” is a common question parents ask their children after school. A good source for the answer is the Iowa Core. The Iowa Core outlines what students in our state should know, understand and be able to do in the areas of math, literacy, science and social studies. It also includes the 21st century skills of employability, financial, health, technology and civic literacy.

During a School Board workshop held Oct. 14, WDMCS Curriculum Directors Shane Scott and Steph Wilson provided an overview of the Iowa Core. They explained that the Iowa Core was signed into law in 2008 and must be fully implemented by school districts by 2014. For the past few years, teachers and the curriculum directors have been working to ensure our curriculum is aligned to the Iowa Core. Our curriculum already covered much of what is outlined in Iowa Core. However, one change that will need to be made is in the area of mathematics. Starting with7th graders, the district will teach statistics and probability to all students by the time they graduate. The district is currently developing a plan to include these concepts in Geometry and Algebra II courses. A proposal for this addition will be presented at the November 11 School Board workshop.

For more information on the Iowa Core, please visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website at

Meeting agendas and full minutes are available on the district website: Follow informal board highlights on Twitter @WDMCS.

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National Bullying Prevention Month

Submitted by Elementary Counselors

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying and harassment is against the policy of the State of Iowa, as well as of the West Des Moines Community School District. All schools throughout the WDMCS promote procedures and practices to reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment.

Some events happening across the district for National Bullying Prevention Month:

  • On Mon., Oct. 7, students and staff will be wearing blue in support of National Bullying Prevention Month.
  • Parents and guardians are invited to join members of our community for renowned author and bullying prevention speaker, Rosalind Wiseman, on Sunday, October 13 at the Valley Community Center (4444 Fuller Road, WDM).  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 7 p.m., with a book signing beginning at 8:30 p.m. Wiseman’s book Queen Bees and Wannabes was the impetus for the movie Mean Girls.

Parents, guardians, school staff and other caring adults in your child’s life all have an important role to play in preventing bullying. Ways you can help your child include:

  • Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely.
  • Reinforce that any kind of bullying behavior (physical, verbal, emotional and/or cyber bullying) is unacceptable. Make sure your child knows how to get help and who they can go to as a trusted adult for help.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with your kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
  • Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
  • Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

We also encourage you to check out the following bullying prevention websites for many wonderful tips and bullying prevention resources to use with your child.

Topics: Counseling