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Archive for August, 2017

School Board Election 2017

School board elections will be held this year on Tuesday, Sept. 12. There will be three seats on the ballot, as well as a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) renewal.

Election Results     Learn About PPEL     How to Vote

The School Board

A boy holds a sign that says Vote!The school board represents the parents and citizens of our community. In the West Des Moines Community Schools, school board members are elected at-large, or represent the entire school district. They receive no compensation for their service.

Each school board member is elected for a term of four years. Terms are staggered to ensure continuity of leadership.

Candidate Information
The filing period for school board candidates ended at 5 p.m. on July 30. The following individuals have filed nomination papers. Follow the links to profiles from “The Des Moines Register.”

  • Incumbent Elizabeth Brennan, 804 38th St., West Des Moines, is currently a preschool teacher at Montessori Children’s House in West Des Moines. She is a former West Des Moines Community Schools ESOL teacher and Valley High School graduate.
  • Incumbent Vicky Poole, Ed.D., 12844 Clark St., Clive, retired from the West Des Moines Community Schools where she served as Valley High School principal (2000-11) and associate principal (1996-2000).
  • Kelly Davydov, 4812 Stonebridge Circle, West Des Moines, serves as a program manager for the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Program, an Iowa Department of Human Rights in-home service for low-income families with children birth through 18.
  • Jennifer Wells, 508 25th St., West Des Moines, is executive director of Please Pass the Love, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing school-based mental health supports. She is also an adjunct professor at Drake University and taught special education at Western Hills Elementary, Hillside Elementary, and Indian Hills Junior High.

Current Board President Tali Greenspon is not seeking re-election.

Public School Board Candidate Forums
Iowans for Public Education Forum, 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5, at the WDMCS Learning Resources Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Iowans for Public Education invites the public to meet all the candidates for the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education and get the chance to ask them a question.

The PPEL Renewal

Voters will be asked to renew the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy—$1.34 per $1,000 of taxable property value. This levy will not increase property taxes. West Des Moines Community Schools has depended on this levy for more than 60 years.

Funds generated will be used for:

  • Purchasing education technology
  • Updating computer systems as needed
  • Safety improvements
  • Building repairs and renovations

Learn more with our Understanding PPEL Fact Sheet.

Remember to Vote on Sept. 12

Polling hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Find Your Precinct Number (Polk County)

Find Your Polling Place     Register to Vote Online     Get an Absentee Ballot 

Please see the following websites for additional information:

Topics: School Board News

Informaline—Aug. 28, 2017 Issue

PDF |  en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Dates
Aug. 28-Sept. 8: Kindergarten Early Dismissal
Aug. 28: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Aug. 28: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4: Labor Day—No School
Sept. 5: First Day of Tiger Cubs Preschool

Welcome! A Message from the Superintendent

The beginning of a new school year is one of my favorite times of the year. I hope you were able to enjoy opportunities for fun and learning with your children this summer. As we begin this new school year, I am filled with hope, vision, and excitement.

This year has brought many new district administrators to the West Des Moines Community Schools. They have been working to learn our system and get to know each other this summer, and I know they are excited to meet each of you. As a district, we will be focusing on effective grading practices, equity, and 1:1 implementation this year. We will share progress updates on these topics with you throughout the year.

Thank you for joining us for the 2017-18 school year. We will work every day to teach your children new things and challenge them with interesting questions. I wish you a year filled with great success and great learning!

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year,

Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D.

Reminder: Kindergarten Early Dismissal, Aug. 23-Sept. 8

To help with your child’s transition to all-day kindergarten, West Des Moines Community Schools dismisses kindergarten classes early from Aug. 23 to Sept. 8. Find the early dismissal schedule and more information on our district website.

If you have questions about the kindergarten early dismissal, please contact your school’s main office. For questions about kindergarten early dismissal transportation, please contact the WDMCS Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Top Five Ways to Stay Informed

Welcome back! As we start a new school year, we want to give you an overview of the best ways to stay informed in the West Des Moines Community Schools! Here are the top five ways to stay connected:

  1. District Website
  2. Email
  3. Facebook and Twitter
  4. Flickr, Instagram, and Snapchat
  5. The “Informaline”

Get more details on our website at www.wdmcs.org/2017/08/top-five-ways-stay-informed-1718.

Meningitis Vaccine Reminder

The State of Iowa has passed a new law, requiring the meningococcal (specifically A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students entering grades 7 and 12, beginning with the 2017-18 school year. All seventh- and 12th-grade students who have not already done so need to submit a completed Certificate of Immunization with the Meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccination. Students will be excluded from school until their Certificate of Immunization is submitted to their school.

Find out more about the meningitis vaccine requirement at bit.ly/vaccine2017.

Update on WDMCS Facilities Plan

At the Aug. 14, 2017, West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education workshop session, the WDMCS School Board and district administrators received a report from Shive-Hattery Architecture Engineering Consulting Firm. The firm presented updates from previous board workshop discussion related to infrastructure changes needed to support a shift from the current K-6 elementary model. This included options for the removal of sixth grade from the elementary buildings and inclusion of additional Pre-K programs throughout the district.

In addition, Shive-Hattery presented costs associated with ensuring all elementary buildings included a secure entrance. The Board gave district administration direction to move forward with planning secure entrances to all eight elementary schools prior to the 2018-19 school year.

The board then directed district administration to develop the framework and vision for a new 10-year plan, which would include community input prior to January 2018.

Focused on Student Wellness in the WDMCS

The West Des Moines Community Schools is making student health and wellness a top priority. To help guide the district in this effort, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education recently approved revisions to the district’s wellness policy (Policy 608.1).

These changes focus on districtwide health initiatives, including:

  • providing access to healthy nutritional food and beverage options for all activities within the school day.
  • fostering daily physical activity that embraces a healthy lifestyle.

Find the district snack lists and more information about the student wellness policy at bit.ly/wellness1718.

Topics: Informaline

Top Five Ways to Stay Informed in the WDMCS

As we start a new school year, we want to give you an overview of the best ways to stay informed in the West Des Moines Community Schools!

1. District Website
Keep an eye on our district website, www.wdmcs.org! You’ll find new information and stories on the front page and tabs, and school news on each school site.

2. Email
Many schools have daily announcements that will arrive as emails sent directly to your inbox. You will also get emergency notifications and other updates.

3. Facebook and Twitter
The district is on Facebook and Twitter! Each school has its own Facebook page, and some are on Twitter. Like or follow us on these platforms to see feature articles, news items, and updates about life in the district.

Some Twitter accounts to follow:

4. Flickr, Instagram, and Snapchat
The Snapcode for the WDMCS district Snapchat account.We are also connecting with you through photos! Check out full albums on our Flickr account, or follow us on Instagram and Snapchat for snapshots of district life.

5. The “Informaline
The “Informaline” newsletter is one of the main places to find district news. It is a districtwide newsletter published about twice a month featuring district news and updates. It provides School Board meeting highlights and information relevant to all families.

Welcome to a new school year!

Topics: Informaline

Update on WDMCS Facility Plan

At the Aug. 14, 2017, West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education workshop session, the WDMCS School Board and district administrators received a report from Shive-Hattery Architecture Engineering Consulting Firm. The firm presented updates from previous board workshop discussion related to infrastructure changes needed to support a shift from the current K-6 elementary model. This included options for the removal of sixth grade from the elementary buildings and inclusion of additional Pre-K programs throughout the district.

In addition, Shive-Hattery presented costs associated with ensuring all elementary buildings included a secure entrance. The Board gave district administration direction to move forward with planning secure entrances to all eight elementary schools prior to the 2018-2019 school year.

The board then directed district administration to develop the framework and vision for a new 10-year plan, which would include community input prior to January 2018.

Topics: Facilities