Informaline—Dec. 19 Issue

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Important Dates
Dec. 19: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 22-Jan. 2: Winter Break
Jan. 3: Classes Resume
Jan. 10: Transportation Fees Due
Jan. 13: End of First Semester and Second Quarter
Jan. 16: Professional Development Day–No School

2017-18 Calendar Approved
The WDMCS Board of Education approved a calendar for the 2017-18 school year at its Dec. 19 meeting, setting Wednesday, Aug. 23, as the first day of school.

Find the highlights and the full calendar online, and watch for the calendar at a glance, coming soon on the district website!

Board Declares Support for Promise of Iowa Campaign
West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education is joining school boards, families, and communities across the state to rally support for public education.

The Board passed a resolution supporting the Promise of Iowa Public Education Campaign at its regular business meeting on Monday, Dec. 19. The Iowa Association of School Boards is coordinating this statewide effort to focus attention on the future of Iowa public school students and to garner support for investing in public education in Iowa.

Read the resolution at bit.ly/2gsQy7O. Find out more about the Promise of Iowa campaign at www.promiseiowa.org/.

Transportation Fees Due Jan. 10
Third-quarter transportation fees are due Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. You can make payments at your school or online at www.wdmcs.org/online-payments.

This is also a good time to change your child’s bus ridership details. Visit www.wdmcs.org/departments/transportation if you need to make changes. You can also contact the Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Enjoy Winter Break!
Winter break begins after school this Wednesday, Dec. 21. There will be no school Dec. 22–Jan. 2. All district offices are closed Dec. 23-26, and Jan. 2. Classes will resume Jan. 3. Enjoy your winter break!

What’s the Purpose of Grades? Task Force Clarifies
Members of the WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force have defined why students in our schools receive grades.

“The purpose of grades is to communicate the level of achievement of course standards to students and parents,” according to a statement the task force approved at its meeting on November 30.

To learn more about the purpose of grades and the task force’s work, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices. Meeting minutes and summaries will continue to be posted there. All meetings are open to the public.

School Board to Continue Facilities Discussion at Special Workshop
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study various space allocation options at a special workshop session at 5:15 p.m., Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

For more information on the special workshop and the facilities study, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/facilities.

Read “Blank Tales,” the Magazine Run by Valley Students
The first issue of “Blank Tales” magazine’s second edition is now available! The Valley High School student-run magazine is dedicated to increasing action towards ending homelessness. To read “Blank Tales, visit www.blanktales.org. You can also subscribe to the “Blank Tales” e-newsletter and get hard copies of the magazine at Valley High School, the West Des Moines Public Library, and local businesses.

WDMCS Superintendent & Board Members Honored for Excellence
West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D., and three WDMCS Board of Education members received awards at the Iowa Association of School Boards’ (IASB) 71st Annual Convention on Nov. 17.

Board Vice President Melinda Dunnwald and Board members Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D., were honored with Individual Awards of Achievement this year. Dunnwald also received a Basics of Boardsmanship certificate. Remy received the Better Boardsmanship Superintendent’s Award of Honor.

Read more about these awards online. Find out more about the WDMCS Board of Education on our district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schoolboard/.

WDMCS Expands Online Learning Opportunities
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) will be offering our highest number of online learning opportunities yet for the 2017-18 school year. The district offers several online courses for grades 9-12 at this time, and provides an online learning approach called “blended learning” to fully support and guide students. Learn about blended learning and the courses available for the 2017-18 school year at www.wdmcs.org/school-news/blended-learning-part-i.

Watch the “Informaline” newsletter, the West Des Moines Community Schools website, and district social media for the rest of our three-part series on blended learning.