Skip to content
Blog

Archive for September, 2016

Informaline — Sept. 19, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

  • Please note: These PDFs have been updated from the printed version. The time of the game was updated to 7:30 p.m. It was previously listed as 7 p.m.

Important Calendar Dates

  • Sept. 19-24: Homecoming Week
  • Sept. 20: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
  • Sept. 26: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
  • Sept. 26: School Board Annual and Organizational Meetings, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 27: Profriend Kickoff Event
  • Sept. 27: Equity & Education Community Forum, Valley High School, 7:30 p.m.

WDMCS Making Positive Changes for Education Equity
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) has released its plan to address education equity in its schools. “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change” outlines short- and long-term steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

The goal of this work is to improve the district climate and culture in order to establish equitable practices for all students that:

  • eliminate systemic racial inequity,
  • provide equitable educational opportunities for students of color, and
  • nurture authentic and trusting relationships between staff and students and between students themselves to make a positive difference in how students of color experience school.

The full equity plan, the equity audit commissioned by the district, and a video of the workshop session are available at www.wdmcs.org/news/wdmcs-making-positive-changes-education-equity/.

District Explores New Grade Configurations & Space Usage
Teachers and parent group representatives from each WDMCS elementary and junior high school and Valley Southwoods will meet with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering over the next few months to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.

Specifically, the architects will gather feedback on the following preliminary concepts:

  • moving sixth grade out of the elementary and combining grades six and seven together,
  • combining grades eight and nine at Valley Southwoods,
  • providing half-day preschool programming at each elementary school, and/or
  • providing preschool programming with wrap-around child care services at one early childcare center possibly at Valley Southwoods.

Learn more about the background behind these preliminary concepts on the district website at www.wdmcs.org/news/district-researching-new-school-configurations/.

The Board set a tentative schedule to review the architect’s research and continue discussing facilities and space usage:

  • Oct. 30, 2016, 1-4 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, 2016, 5:15-7 p.m.
  • Jan. 22, 2017, 1-3 p.m.

Online Calendar Guide Available
Complete with a new, user-friendly design, the interactive online/activities calendar is fully customizable through filtering! You can personalize your online calendar view by choosing the categories and schools relevant to you. See our full online calendar guide at www.wdmcs.org/news/calendar-updates-1617/.

All About Homecoming
This year’s Homecoming festivities start Monday, Sept. 19! Find out everything you need to know about Homecoming on our website at bit.ly/WDMCS_Homecoming2016.

16 Valley Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Congratulations to Valley High School seniors Elizabeth Ash, Zachary Bailey, Jacob Bedia, Cayden Codel, Emily Ellingson, Arjun Ganga, Trent Gilbert, Brian Gu, John Mahoney, Abby McCullough, Meta Miller, Gabriel Mintzer, Guowei Qi, Jared Shapert, Rachel Snodgrass, and Madison VanSickel, who have all been named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists!

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Sept. 28
The WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force will hold its first meeting of the year from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Learning Resource Center. All Effective Grading Practices Task Force meetings are open to the public.

The study is part of the district’s strategic plan and the School Board’s priority goals for Superintendent Lisa Remy for the 2016-17 school year. More information about the task force is available here.

All meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 28, 2016; Oct. 26, 2016; Nov. 30, 2016; Jan. 25, 2017; Feb. 22, 2017; March 29, 2017; April 26, 2017; and May 31, 2017.

Topics: Informaline

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Sept. 28

The WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force will hold its first meeting of the year from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Learning Resource Center. All Effective Grading Practices Task Force meetings are open to the public. A full meeting schedule is below.

The study is part of the district’s strategic plan and the School Board’s priority goals for Superintendent Lisa Remy for the 2016-17 school year. More information about the task force is available here: www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Agenda
5:30-7:30 pm
Purpose of the task force
Review Norms of the task force
Data from Meeting #1
Small group #1: article de-brief
Small group #2: by book
Small group #3: jigsaw (one representative from each book in a new group)
Start with the end in mind: What skills, abilities, attributes should WDMCS graduates possess?

Effective Grading Practices Task Force Meeting Schedule
All meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

  • Sept. 28, 2016
  • Oct. 26, 2016
  • Nov. 30, 2016
  • Jan. 25, 2017
  • Feb. 22, 2017
  • March 29, 2017
  • April 26, 2017
  • May 31, 2017

Topics: Grading Practices, School Board News

District Explores New Grade Configurations & Space Usage

Teachers and parent group representatives from each WDMCS elementary and junior high school and Valley Southwoods will meet with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering over the next few months to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.

Specifically, the architects will gather feedback on the following preliminary concepts:

  • moving sixth grade out of the elementary and combining grades six and seven together,
  • combining grades eight and nine at Valley Southwoods,
  • providing half-day preschool programming at each elementary school, and/or
  • providing preschool programming with wrap-around child care services at one early childcare center possibly at Valley Southwoods.

During a work session on Sept. 11, 2016, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education directed Shive-Hattery to explore the preliminary concepts’ and their impact on the learning environment.

The concepts are based on a facility assessment Shive-Hattery conducted this summer. Architects interviewed principals at our eight elementary schools to understand how teachers use building space for instruction. They presented their assessment report at the August 8, 2016, School Board work session.

The School Board members directed the architects and the district to only explore and study possible options to improve space usage at this time. The Board set a tentative schedule to review the architect’s research and continue discussing facilities and space usage:

  • October 30, 2016, 1-4 p.m.
  • December 5, 2016, 5:15-7 p.m.
  • January 22, 2017, 1-3 p.m.

Topics: Facilities