Skip to content
Blog

Archive for September, 2015

Poole Elected School Board President

our school board  members_Poole

Dr. Vicky Poole

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education elected Dr. Vicky Poole as its president and Tali Greenspon as its vice president on September 21.

Each year, the school board chooses a president and vice president. The president preside at all meetings of the Board, signs contracts and school district warrants approved by the board, and more.  The vice president serves in the absences of the president.

our school board  members_Greenspon

Tali Greenspon

Poole was elected to the school board in 2013 and is retired from the West Des Moines Community School District, where she served as principal of Valley High School (2000–2011) and as associate principal (1996–2000). Greenspon was also elected in 2013 and is an account executive at Competitive Edge, Inc.

The board also appointed school board member Melinda Dunnwald to serve as the board’s representative on the district’s School Community Network, which is a committee of parents, teachers, and administrators.

Board Member Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D., was appointed as the board’s representative on the West Des Moines Community Schools Foundation and Liz Cox was appointed as the board’s representative on the Iowa Association of School Boards‘ Delegate Assembly.

WDMCS Board of Education Information

School Board Meeting Agendas

Follow board meetings live on Twitter!

Topics: School Board News

Tags: , , , , ,

Informaline September 22, 2015

PDF

en español

Virtual Backpack/ La Mochila Virtual

Two Schools Have New Names
Two schools in the West Des Moines Community School District have new names this year. Clive Elementary is now Clive Learning Academy, and Crestview Elementary is now Crestview School of Inquiry.

The new names reflect their new approach to instruction: the New Tech Network educational model. The new names were approved by the School Board on July 13, 2015, and each building opened its doors on the first day of school with a brand-new name.

School Board Election Results
David J. Brown, Liz Cox, Melinda Dunnwald, and Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D., have officially been elected to the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education.

The Polk County Auditor’s Office conducted the official vote canvass on Friday, Sept. 11, and the elected Board members were sworn into office Monday, Sept. 21.

What is the CogAT?
Third-grade West Des Moines Community Schools students started taking the Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT, on Sept. 14, 2015. Sixth-grade students will take the test starting Sept. 28. We wanted to answer some common questions about the CogAT and help families feel more prepared to support their students during testing. Learn more and get some test-stress tips here.

All About Homecoming 2015: September 28–October 3
Homecoming festivities start next week and include many districtwide activities for our schools, WDMCS families, and the entire community. This year’s theme is “Under the Big Top.” Events include:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 29: Powder Puff Football, 7 p.m., Valley Stadium
  • Thursday, Oct. 1: Homecoming Parade, 5:45 p.m. (starts at Valley Southwoods*); Tiger Carnival and $5 Barbecue, 6:15 p.m., Valley Stadium (rain location: Valley Southwoods)
  • Friday, Oct. 2: Homecoming Football Game, 7:30 p.m., Valley Stadium
  • Saturday, Oct. 3: Homecoming Dance, 8-11 p.m., Iowa Fairgrounds Varied Industries Building (Attire: No hats, chains, canes, athletic wear, or costumes.)
    • *Please make sure to view the parade map online, not in the printed Informaline. It has been updated to show the parade starting on Fuller Road.

Secondary Conference Tips
Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up at many of the WDMCS secondary schools. We talked to some district teacher-leaders to get the top tips for how to navigate your child’s conferences.

The most important thing parents and guardians can do is attend conferences. Watch for messages that explain the conference procedure, and note if you need to schedule any conferences in advance. If you have questions, email one of your student’s teachers.

What Do They Do? Teacher Training Day Explained
Monday, Sept. 21, will be a day off for students, but teachers across the district will be hard at work. The day will provide teachers extended time to:

  • analyze current student work and assessments,
  • identify the needs of individual students, and
  • share ideas and strategies across grade levels or subject areas to help students grow academically.

Teachers will be able to put their day-long learning directly into action when students come back to school on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Plan ahead!
Make sure to place the upcoming professional development dates on your calendar. School will not be held on these days: January 18, 2016; February 26, 2016; and April 29, 2016.

Topics: Informaline

School Board Election 2015

This post was frequently updated with information about the Sept. 8, 2015, WDMCS school board election. (Final Update: Sept. 21, 2015)

Election Results     School Board Reception Information

vote_boywithsignSchool board elections will be held this year on Tuesday, Sept. 8. There will be four seats on the ballot.

The school board represents the parents and citizens of our community. In the West Des Moines Community Schools, school board members are elected at-large, or represent the entire school district. They receive no compensation for their service.

Each school board member is elected for a term of four years. Terms are staggered to ensure continuity of leadership.

 

Key Election Dates – 2015

The following are a few key dates for in the school board election process. Please see the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office website for more information.

  • Monday, July 6: First day to file nomination papers with the board secretary.
  • Thursday, July 30: Last day to file nomination papers. Deadline is 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4: Last day candidates may withdraw. Last day written objections to nomination papers or eligibility of candidate may be filed.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8: School Election Day.

 

Public School Board Candidate Forums

UPDATED Sept. 2 — Coverage of both forums is online.

  • Historical Valley Junction Foundation & West Des Moines Education Association Forum, August 1, 2015 from 9:30-10:30 a.m., West Des Moines Community Center, 217 5th Street, West Des Moines. A video of this forum is available online.
  • WDM Chamber of Commerce Forum, Aug. 31, 2015, from 7-9 p.m. The West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce invites area residents to meet the eight candidates running for four seats on the West Des Moines Community School District’s School Board. The Des Moines Register’s coverage of the forum is available online.

 

Candidate Information

UPDATED Sept. 2 — Links to the Des Moines Register’s candidate coverage have been added.

The filing period for school board candidates ended at 5 p.m. on July 30. The following individuals have filed nomination papers:

  • Incumbent David J. Brown, 5870 Highland Circle, West Des Moines, is vice president of compliance at Principal Financial Group. He is a graduate of Valley High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in German from Lawrence University and his law degree from the University of Iowa. Family:  Wife Julie; three children – Ross is a 2010 graduate of Valley; Keegan is a 2012 graduate; and Chase is a sophomore at Valley.
  • Incumbent H. Milton Cole, 2001 S. 40th Court, West Des Moines, is a retired Episcopal priest. His undergraduate studies were in sociology and anthropology at The College of William and Mary in Virginia and social welfare at Virginia Commonwealth University; his master’s degrees are in early childhood and elementary education from The University of The District of Columbia and in divinity from The New York General Theological Seminary; and his doctoral studies are in higher education at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Family: Wife Mary; three children – George is a graduate of Valley High School; Leah is a senior at Valley; and Mary-Scout is a sophomore at Valley.
  • Liz Cox, 4802 Plumwood Drive, West Des Moines, is Principal owner of Due North + Associates. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Dakota. Family: Husband Thomas; three children – Megan Cox is a 2014 graduate of Valley High School, Emma is a senior at Valley, and Sam is a junior at Valley.
  • Michele Dahlen, 617 34th St., West Des Moines, is a financial consultant Wells Fargo Consumer Lending Group. She received her accounting degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. Family: Husband Matt; three children – Grace is a junior at Valley, Grant is a freshman at Valley Southwoods, and Greta is a seventh grader at Stilwell.
  • Melinda Dunnwald, 5837 Meadow Valley Court, West Des Moines, received her bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Iowa State University and her master’s degree in business communication from the University of St. Thomas. Family: Husband Jeff; two children – Dayna is an eighth grader and Drew is a seventh grader, both at Stilwell.
  • Judy Jesse, 13533 Village Court, Clive, is a retired teacher, administrator and university clinical supervisor. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa, her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Northern Iowa, and her doctorate in K-12 administration with a superintendent endorsement from Drake University. Family: Husband Bob.
  • Jill Johnson, 213 S. 31st St., West Des Moines, is an associate professor of education at Drake University. She received her bachelor’s in elementary education and her masters in early childhood education from the University of Iowa, and her doctorate in curriculum and instruction, literacy education from the University of Minnesota. Family: Husband Tom Johnson; two children – Jack is an eighth grader and Caton is a seventh grader, both at Stilwell.
  • Incumbent Andi Lipman, 316 46th Place, West Des Moines, is an attorney. She is a graduate of Valley High School. She received her bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Iowa. Family: Husband Jeff; four children – Arielle is a 2010 graduate of Valley, Dani is a 2015 graduate, Meier is a junior at Valley, and Asher is a fifth grader at Western Hills.

Dr. Kevin Carroll is not seeking re-election.

A candidate must be an eligible elector in the school district at the time of the election. An eligible elector must be a citizen of the United States, be a resident of Iowa, and be at least 18 years old.

Each candidate must file an affidavit of candidacy and nomination petitions with the school board secretary. The affidavit of candidacy and nomination petitions must be filed together or they will be rejected.

The minimum number of signatures required for a petition is 50. Petitions may be signed only by eligible electors within the school district

Nomination Petition

Affidavit of Candidacy

Completed nominating petitions and the affidavit of candidacy may be turned at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, between July 6 and no later than 5 p.m. on July 30.

Please see the following websites for additional information:

Iowa Secretary of State
Iowa Ethics & Campaign Disclosure Board
Polk County Election Office
Find Your Polling Place
See the Ballot
Election Results and More

 

Topics: School Board News

Tags: , , , , ,

Two Schools Have New Names

This year two schools in the West Des Moines Community School District have new names.

The new names reflect their new approach to instruction.

“This year, we have the opportunity to implement project-based learning using New Tech Network as our model and support system,” said Crestview Director John Villotti.

The New Tech Network educational model provides engaging and rigorous instruction through project-based learning in a collaborative culture and fully integrated technology that enable students to gain the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in life, college, and the careers of tomorrow.

“Each staff member had an opportunity to brainstorm new school names, and each had to have the ‘why,’ ” said Clive Learning Academy Director Drea Bocook. referring to the leadership approach of first thinking about why an organization exists, not simply what it does and how it does it.

Students and parent groups also provided input.

The new names were approved by the School Board on July 13, 2015 and each building opened its doors on the first day of school with a brand-new name.

To learn more about each school, visit www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schools. For more information on our New Tech schools, visit www.wdmcs.org/academics/new-tech.

Topics: New Tech