Informaline Dec. 14 2015


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Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Community Giving Feedback on Cost-Saving Measures
Parents, students, community members, teachers, and staff members are providing feedback on 15 proposed cost-saving measures developed by a budget advisory committee to address growing expenses as district revenue declines.

As of Thursday, Dec. 9, there were 188 online feedback submissions, and 88 individuals attended the first five feedback sessions. Attendance numbers for the one remaining session on Saturday, Dec. 12, were not available at the time of the “Informaline” deadline.

District administration and the budget advisory committee will review the feedback to determine if any adjustments will be made to the cost-saving measures presented to the School Board. The feedback will also be provided to the School Board to review.

Based on the current budgeting timeline, the district administration will ask the School Board to take action on the measures on Monday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center.

For more information, please visit

Upcoming School Board Meetings
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education holds regular business meetings typically at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. Times and locations may change on occasion. Updates are available at The Board often holds workshop sessions at 5:15 p.m. prior to its regular business meetings.

Upcoming meeting dates are:

  • Dec. 21, 2015
  • Jan. 11, 2016
  • Jan. 25, 2016
  • Feb. 8, 2016
  • Feb. 22, 2016
  • March 7, 2016
  • March 28, 2016

We also live-tweet meetings! If you can’t join us in person, join us @WDMCS.

Happy Holidays!
There is no school Dec. 23–Jan. 1. All district offices are closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1. Classes will resume Jan. 4.

Transportation Fees Due Jan. 14
Third-quarter transportation fees are due Jan. 14, 2015. You can make payments at your school or online at

Join Us in Reading “The Crossover”
Be part of WDMCS Reads by reading and discussing “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander.

Co-workers, neighbors, new residents, and others are encouraged to come together in small groups to read our inaugural book selection, “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander, winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and 2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award.

“The Crossover,” a novel in verse, shares the story of seventh-grade basketball phenomenon Josh Bell, but the book is far more than a “sports book.” At its core, “The Crossover” is about family and growing up and the challenges and rewards that come with both.

Readers will find themselves somewhere in this book, whether they be siblings, parents, family members, friends, teenagers, team members, fans, music lovers, or poets.

The book is available at the following locations:

  • West Des Moines Public Library, 4000 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines
  • Urbandale Public Library, 3520 86th St., in Urbandale
  • Clive Public Library, 1900 NW 114th St., in Clive
  • Barnes & Noble, 4550 University Ave., in West Des Moines

Discussion questions, community-building ideas, and additional information will soon be available at

Weather Closings Reminder
We want to remind district families about our weather closings procedure, including how decisions are made and how to stay informed. To prepare for the winter months, please visit our ‘Weather Closings’ page at

If school is canceled, delayed, or dismissed early because of weather conditions, announcements will be provided:

  • through the district weather hotline at 515-633-5555
  • through the Infinite Campus emergency notification system
  • on the district website (
  • on the district’s Facebook page and Twitter account
  • through local TV and radio stations

To receive a phone call notification, please make sure your preferred numbers are entered into Infinite Campus. Directions can be found at

WDMCS Choirs Collaborate with Musicians for Winter Concerts
District vocal music ensembles will feature district musicians in concerts from Dec. 14–17. The four upcoming concerts will showcase seasonal and traditional pieces, and popular songs from Broadway and the radio. All concerts are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines.

  • Stilwell Junior High Seventh-Grade Vocal Music Concert, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14
  • Stilwell Junior High Eighth-Grade Vocal Music Concert, 8 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14
  • Valley/Valley Southwoods Vocal Music Concert, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 15
  • Indian Hills Winter Choir Concert, 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17

These are only some of the great events happening before Winter Break. Please check the district calendar for information on all district events.

What Do You Think? Historic West Des Moines Survey
The City of West Des Moines is developing a new Master Plan for the Historic West Des Moines area, which includes Hillside Elementary and Stilwell Junior High. As part of that plan, the City of West Des Moines has commissioned a market/community survey that asks questions about the public’s awareness, attitude, and use of Historic West Des Moines.

Results from the online survey will be used to assist in the development of the new Master Plan. Please take a few moments to share your opinions. Help to shape the plan by taking the survey, which is open through the end of December. The survey is available at

WDMCS Does Hour of Code
Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds kicked off Iowa’s Computer Science Education Week with a press conference held at Jordan Creek Elementary on Dec. 7.

The conference was just one element of the district’s Hour of Code participation this year. Many WDMCS schools held Hour of Code events, and the district hosted an Hour of Code event at the Learning Resource Center on Dec. 10. Students and their families completed the one-hour coding tutorials provided on Information about furthering students’ learning and study of computer science was available from district curriculum directors.

Participation in the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week is part of continuous district efforts to increase students’ technology skills. The ability to succeed increasingly hinges on the understanding of technology.

Find out more at, and by following #HourofCode on social media.