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Informaline September 22, 2015

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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