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Archive for October, 2016

Informaline — Oct. 31, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

 

Important Calendar Dates
Nov. 5: Preschool Palooza, 9:30 a.m. to noon
Nov. 6: Daylight Saving Time Ends
Nov. 8: Election Day
Nov. 14: School Board Workshop, 5:15 p.m.
Nov. 14: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Nov. 14-18: American Education Week (Nov. 14-18)
Nov. 15: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15-11:15 a.m.
Nov. 15: End of First Trimester
Nov. 23: No School
Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Day—No School
Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Holiday—No School

 

Tiger Field Renovation Update
The $3.3 million renovation of Valley High School’s Tiger Field is expected to be completed mid-November.

The track surfacing was recently completed and striping will begin the week of Oct. 31. The field renovation project also includes:

  • new sports field lighting;
  • new bleachers and press box;
  • new long jump runways;
  • and the addition of two new shot put rings.

Read more about the Tiger Field renovation at www.wdmcs.org/2016/10/tiger-field-renovation-update.

 

Know the Vote
Stay current with School Board decisions by following meetings on Twitter @WDMCS. For meeting agendas and minutes, visit bit.ly/WDMCSBoard or call 515-633-5023. The agendas and minutes of standing superintendent advisory committees are also available.

 

Join Us for Breakfast! Fresh Smoothies & Muffins
Your child is invited to join us for breakfast! On Thursday, Nov. 3, we will serve freshly blended orange-apple yogurt smoothies and blueberry-banana muffins baked at our very own bakery.

We serve breakfast at every school. Your child may join us 30 minutes before school starts for a delicious, nutritious start to the day. Breakfast is $1.70 for elementary students and $1.80 for junior high and high school students.

See what else we are serving up by calling your school or visiting www.wdmcs.org/departments/nutrition/menu.

 

Weather Notification Test Results
infographicen español

  • 15,635 calls and texts made
  • 781 messages sent/minute
  • 100% of emails received
  • 440 emails sent/minute
  • 10,400 people reached in 20 minutes

Thank you for helping us test our notification system and ensuring your information is accurate to assist us in keeping students in our district safe!

 

83 WDMCS Students Selected for Statewide Music Honors
More than 80 West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) student musicians have been selected to perform at two prestigious statewide music events this fall: the 31st Annual Opus Honor Choir Festival and the 70th Annual Iowa All-State Music Festival.

Congratulations to these WDMCS students!

 

You’re Invited to Preschool Palooza!
Join us for Preschool Palooza on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Hillside Elementary!

Children ages 2-6 will enjoy activities while their grown-ups gather information about early childhood opportunities and kindergarten registration in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

 

Profriend Week Celebrated Throughout District
The cities of West Des Moines, Clive, and Windsor Heights proclaimed Oct. 17-21 as Profriend Week following city council meeting presentations by students from Clive Learning Academy, Jordan Creek Elementary, Indian Hills Junior High, Stilwell Junior High, and Valley High School.

Learn more about Profriend Week at www.wdmcs.org/news/celebrate-profriend-week-oct-17-21.

 

Valley High School Presents “Oklahoma!”
This fall, Valley High School’s Performing Arts Department presents the classic Broadway musical “Oklahoma!,” the first collaboration between famed composing duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Read more about “Oklahoma!” at www.wdmcs.org/school-news/valley-high-school-presents-oklahoma.

Topics: Informaline

Join Us for Breakfast! Fresh Smoothies & Muffins

Your child is invited to join us for breakfast! On Thursday, Nov. 3, we will serve freshly blended orange-apple yogurt smoothies and blueberry-banana muffins baked at our very own bakery.

We serve breakfast at every school. Your child may join us 30 minutes before school starts for a delicious, nutritious start to the day. Breakfast is $1.70 for elementary students and $1.80 for junior high and high school students.

See what else we are serving up by calling your school or visiting www.wdmcs.org/departments/nutrition/menu.

Topics: Nutrition

Tiger Field Renovation Update

The $3.3 million renovation of Valley High School’s Tiger Field is expected to be completed mid-November.

The track surfacing was recently completed and striping will begin the week of Oct. 31. The new synthetic multi-purpose field was recently tested for its shock-absorption properties, which tested at an average value of 104.86, well within the requirement of 160 or less.

Tiger Field serves as a physical education and competition space for high school students during the day. Seasonal sports and local groups use the field in the evening and on weekends.

The field renovation project also includes:

  • new sports field lighting;
  • new bleachers and press box;
  • new long jump runways;
  • and the addition of two new shot put rings.

Due to damage to water lines west of the new field, the district will install a new irrigation system, which is an addition to the original project.

The district is paying for the Tiger Field renovation project with sales tax funds, which cannot pay for general fund expenses like teacher and staff salaries or educational programming.

Topics: Facilities

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Oct. 26

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, in the Media Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

Teacher grading papers.

The purpose of this task force is to address the district strategic plan goal area on consistent, effective grading practices in the West Des Moines Community Schools. The task force is charged with researching and identifying effective grading practices and providing specific recommendations to the WDMCS Board of Education for grades K-12 in the district. Additionally, the task force will recommend professional learning needs for staff, communication needs to students and families, and a timeline for implementation.

For more information, please visit: www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 Agenda
5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Review from last meeting
  • Report out on “homework”
  1. Research and professional literature that supports traditional grading practices (points, percentages).
  2. Grading policies from other Iowa schools
  3. Employee evaluations (business)
  • Use data to create a “Purpose of Grading”

WDMCS Grading Practices Task Force – Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 Agenda

WDMCS Grading Practices Task Force – Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Future Meeting Dates
Wed., Nov 30, 2016 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan 25, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb 22, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar 29, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 26, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., May 31, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Topics: Grading Practices

WDMCS Taking Action to Address Education Equity

Equity workshop 092016 ewmedits

Race & Equity in Our Schools: Actions Steps for Positive Change

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) recently 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 action steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

These steps include:

  1. Establish a District Equity Team—Complete by Oct. 31, 2016
  2. Establish a Valley High School Equity Team—Complete by Oct. 31, 2016
  3. Select a Framework to Focus Equity Work—Complete by Feb. 28, 2017
  4. Hire an Outside Entity to Provide Professional Development—Complete by April 30, 2017
Equity actionsteps slide

WDMCS Equity Action Steps

Details about these action steps are available in the full action plan document available here:

“Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change”

The district and Valley High School are currently working with community members and organizations to assemble the equity teams, which will hold their first meetings in November 2016. Once determined, the teams’ members will be announced, along with the date and time of their first meetings.

The goal of the equity 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.

To learn more about this effort, including an equity audit the district commissioned from the Iowa State University, please see the following information publically available on the district website:

 

Equity Action Plan (Full Document): “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change”

Equity Action Plan (PowerPoint): WDMCS Board of Education Workshop Session Presentation

Equity Audit (Full Document): “Developing an Action Plan for Creating a More Equitable School”

Equity Audit (PowerPoint): “VHS Racial Equity Report” Presentation

Equity Audit Presentation (Video): WDMCS Board of Education Workshop Sept. 12, 2016

 

Topics: Equity

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.

Find the full plan and other resources at www.wdmcs.org/news/wdmcs-making-positive-changes-education-equity/.

Topics: Equity

Informaline — Oct. 17, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates
Oct. 17-21: Profriend Week
Oct. 17: Career and Apprenticeship Showcase, 4-7 p.m.
Oct. 18: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
Oct. 19-25: National Character Counts! Week
Oct. 23-31: Red Ribbon Week
Oct. 24: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 24: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: Grading Practices Task Force Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 27: End of First Quarter
Oct. 30: Special Board Workshop, 1-4 p.m.

School Board to Discuss Facilities at Special Workshop
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study school building needs at a special workshop at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, at the Learning Resource Center.
WDMCS is working with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering of West Des Moines to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.
Read more about this study at www.wdmcs.org/category/facilities/.

Snow Days! Weather Notification Test on Oct. 25
West Des Moines Community Schools is getting ready for winter! To help keep students and staff safe, we provide notifications of inclement weather or emergency situation school closings. We will be conducting a test of this weather notification system at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

The call will come from 515-633-5599 and is ONLY A TEST.

Want to make sure you receive the call?

  • Have an Infinite Campus account. If you don’t have an account, call your school office.
  • Once you have an Infinite Campus account, you may enter your preferred phone number in “Contact Preferences.”

Have questions or need assistance?

  • Your school office can answer your questions or update your information.
  • If you have an Infinite Campus account, you can also use these instructions to change your information in Infinite Campus: bit.ly/WDMCStestcall.

Read more about the test call at www.wdmcs.org/announcements/weather-test-call-2016/.

National School Bus Safety Week
National School Bus Safety Week is taking place this week, Oct. 17-21! To make sure all bus riders continue to have safe transportation, take this chance to make sure your transportation plans are in place for the second quarter.  Second quarter transportation fees are due this Wednesday, Oct. 19. This is also a good time to change your child’s ridership details, if needed.

Remember to thank your bus driver and practice safe bus riding this week during National School Bus Safety Week!

202 Valley Students Earn AP Awards
More than 200 Valley High School students and recent graduates earned recognition for their high achievement through AP courses and on AP Exams taken in May 2016. Find out more about these students and Valley High School’s AP program online.

Congratulations to five Valley High School seniors—Evan Burnham, Cayden Codel, Gabe Mintzer, Arjun Ganga, and Guowei Qi—who all earned perfect composite scores of 36 on the ACT!

Topics: Informaline

School Board to Discuss Facilities at Special Workshop

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study school building needs at a special workshop at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, at the Learning Resource Center. This meeting is open to the public.

WDMCS is working with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering of West Des Moines to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.

The School Board has tentatively scheduled additional workshop sessions to continue its study.

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

 

School Board Meeting Materials

WDMCS 10-Year Facilities Plan

Latest Updates on Facilities & Planning

 

 

Topics: Facilities, School Board News

Informaline — Oct. 3, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates
Oct. 4: School Improvement Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 9-15: Fire Prevention Week
Oct. 10: Professional Development Day—No School for Students
Oct. 10: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 10: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11-14: National School Lunch Week
Oct. 27: End of First Quarter

Students Launch “Profriend” Campaign
More than 1,400 students from the West Des Moines Community Schools gathered on the Valley Stadium field Tuesday, Sept. 27, to create the largest human formation of the word “friend.”

Learn more about the Profriend campaign and see photos and video from the event at www.wdmcs.org/news/students-launch-profriend-campaign/.

Greenspon Elected WDMCS Board of Education President
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education elected Tali Greenspon as its president and Melinda Dunnwald as its vice president on Monday, Sept. 26.

The Board also appointed Dunnwald and School Board Member Elizabeth Brennan to serve as the Board’s representatives on the district’s School Community Network, which is a committee of parents, teachers, and administrators. Board Member Vicky Poole, Ed.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.

Find out more about the WDMCS Board of Education on our district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-school-board/.

No School for Students Oct. 10 While Teachers Collaborate
Students have the day off from school on Monday, Oct. 10, while teachers spend the day learning and working together to improve student achievement.

The day will provide teachers in each building time to focus on their work in professional learning communities, or PLCs. These small groups are structured around three key ideas — “Learning for All,” “A Culture of Collaboration,” and “Results Oriented.”

Make sure the upcoming professional development dates are on your calendar! Students will not have school on Monday, Jan. 16; Friday, Feb. 24; and Friday, April 28.

Read more about the Oct. 10 professional development day at www.wdmcs.org/news/no-school-students-oct-10-teachers-collaborate/.

Kindergarten Registration Open for 2017
Is your child ready for life’s big adventures? Let us help them explore and excel. West Des Moines Community Schools is now taking names for the 2017-18 kindergarten class, so start your child’s education journey with us today!

All children who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2017, are eligible for kindergarten next school year. To register, please visit our district website at www.wdmcs.org, and click on the “Newcomers” tab. You can learn more about us by watching our student-focused district video. Then click on “Kindergarten” under “Registration Information,” and follow the steps to enter your name on our list.

Schools are assigned based on home address, so secure your place with us as soon as possible. Welcome to the WDMCS!

 Join Us for National School Lunch Week Oct. 11-14!
To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, the West Des Moines Community Schools will celebrate National School Lunch Week from Oct. 11-14, 2016.

Please watch for more information about National School Lunch Week and how you can be involved from the WDMCS Nutrition Services Department!

You’re Invited to Preschool Palooza!
Join us for Preschool Palooza on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Hillside Elementary! Children ages 2-6 will enjoy activities, while their grown-ups gather information about early childhood opportunities and kindergarten registration in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

Children will be able to jump on inflatables, have their faces painted, and explore City of West Des Moines vehicles. Grown-ups will be able to talk with WDMCS district staff about kindergarten registration; the WDMCS district preschool programs coordinator; preschool directors and teachers who participate in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program; and the WDMCS Nutrition Services Department.

All activities and snacks are free. Please join us for this year’s Preschool Palooza!

Congratulations to Homecoming Queen Genny Wyckoff and Homecoming King Rocky Lombardi!

Topics: Informaline