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Archive for September, 2017

Dunnwald Elected School Board President

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education elected Melinda Dunnwald as its president and Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D.  as its vice president on Monday, Sept. 25.

Dunnwald was elected in 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Iowa State University and her master’s degree in business communication from the University of St. Thomas. She was a top sales performer as well as sales manager at the Xerox Corporation and an adjunct instructor at Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Dunnwald and her husband, Jeff, have two children: Dayna is a sophomore at Valley High School and Drew is a ninth-grader at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.  

Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D., was also elected in 2015. She is a professor of education and director of off-campus teaching and learning programs at Drake University, and is a former fourth-grade teacher at Crestview School of Inquiry (then Crestview Elementary) in the West Des Moines Community Schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master’s degree in early childhood education from the University of Iowa, and her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction, literacy education from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband, Tom, have two children: Jack is a sophomore at Valley High School and Caton is an ninth-grader at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School. Johnson is also a member of the United Way Education Cabinet.

Each year, the School Board chooses a president and vice president. The president presides at all meetings of the board, signs contracts and school district warrants approved by the Board, and more. The vice president serves in the absence of the president.

The Board also appointed Dunnwald 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.

Read more about our board members on our district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-school-board/members.

Topics: School Board News

Informaline—Sept. 18, 2017 Issue

Note to Families with @mchsi.com Email Addresses

We’ve learned that @mchsi.com users have not been receiving emails from Infinite Campus Messenger, which is one way we distribute the “Informaline” newsletter. We’ve opened a ticket with Mediacom tech support, but are waiting for a resolution to the issue. In the meantime, you can see the “Informaline” here on the district website or add an email that does not use @mchsi.com to your Infinite Campus profile. Keep an eye on this WDMCS Technology Department blog post for updates.

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Dates
Oct. 9: Professional Development—No School
Oct. 26: End of First Quarter

Brennan, Poole, Wells Elected to School Board
Incumbents Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D., and new Board member Jennifer Wells were elected to three open seats on the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education in the Sept. 12 school board election. The official tally of votes took place on Friday, Sept. 15.

Brennan, Poole, and Wells will be sworn in at the annual/organizational meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, at the Learning Resource Center. The meeting will follow a reception honoring school board members at 6:30 p.m. the same day.

The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy was also renewed by the community. The approved levy will take effect immediately after the current levy expires in 2021 and last until 2031. Thank you for voting!

Valley Hall of Honor Unveiled at Homecoming
Principal Tim Miller announced the Valley High School Hall of Honor during halftime of the Valley vs. Johnston Homecoming football game. The Hall of Honor will recognize outstanding alumni, educators, and community leaders who, through achievements, endeavors, leadership, and character, are positive role models for the student body of the West Des Moines Community Schools.

Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 15, 2017. To learn more about the Valley Hall of Honor and submit nominations, go to www.wdmcs.org/schools/valley/hall-of-honor.

Dual Language Spanish Immersion Program
The WDMCS Dual Language Spanish Immersion program will start with incoming kindergarten students for the 2018-19 school year. It will be a 50/50 program where students learn in English and Spanish. There will be 13 open slots for Native Spanish speakers and 13 open slots for Native English or other language speakers.

Kindergarten registration is now open. Please check the “Dual Language Spanish Immersion Program” checkbox when registering a child for kindergarten. An application will then be sent to interested families. More than 10 families have already indicated an interest in the program, so we encourage families to register soon.

17 Valley Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Congratulations to Valley High School seniors Emma Bohn, Lucy Brown, Nathan Conte, Aarushi Dervesh, Christopher Jun, Chinar Kaul, Ariz Keshwani, Catherine Larson, Grace Matera, Keegan McCullough, Varun Myneni, Anvay Pradhan, Milan Sherman, Joseph Swanson, Shubham Tayal, Linh Tran, and Oliver Willham, who have all been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. Valley High School graduate Grant Hurt is also a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

Finalists will be announced in February, and students will be notified by the end of June if they have been selected as National Merit Scholars. Find out more about the National Merit Scholarship at bit.ly/valley-nms1718.

Classroom Snack and Party Treats FAQs
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 policy changes impacted the types of snacks and treats that can be distributed to groups of students. Find the approved snack lists and five FAQs at www.wdmcs.org/departments/nutrition/classroom-snacks.

Topics: Informaline

School Board Reception Sept. 25

The Wes Des Moines Community Schools will hold a reception on Monday, Sept. 25, from 6:30-7 p.m. honoring its school board members who are concluding their service and those who are beginning a new term. The reception will be held at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines, and is open to the public.

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will welcome new member Jennifer Wells, who joins the seven-member board, which also includes newly re-elected members Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D. The remaining members of the Board are David J. Brown, Liz Cox, Melinda Dunnwald, and Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D.

Tali Greenspon is concluding her term on the school board. She served the school district for four years.

For more information about the school board, please visit www.wdmcs.org/district/our-school-board.

 

Topics: School Board News

Brennan, Poole, Wells Elected to School Board

Incumbents Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D., and Jennifer Wells were elected to three open seats on the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education in the Sept. 12 school board election. The official vote canvass took place on Friday, Sept. 15.

Brennan, Poole, and Wells will be sworn in at the annual/organizational meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, at the Learning Resource Center. The meeting will follow a reception honoring school board members at 6:30 p.m. the same day.

The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy was also renewed by the community. The approved levy will take effect immediately after the current levy expires in 2021 and last until 2031.

 

Topics: School Board News

WDMCS Superintendent Response to DACA Repeal

This week, the White House announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA offers protections for young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Nearly 800,000 DACA recipients are currently able to work and study in the U.S. due to the protections the program offers.

DACA Recission Fact Sheet

WDMCS Mission

In the West Des Moines Community Schools, our mission is to graduate students who can “thrive in and contribute to a diverse and changing world.” We are part of that diverse world. Our students represent more than 30 countries and have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Our mission applies to all of our students; regardless of background, each of them has the potential to thrive in and contribute to our community.

Our focus in the West Des Moines Community Schools is helping all students achieve that potential. Students will remain our focus, and we will continue to empower each of them to learn, grow, and succeed.

As we work together toward our mission, we must remember that diversity strengthens us. We will not tolerate racism or bigotry. Students, teachers, families, and staff members must respect one another, even when we do not agree and especially when events in our country highlight our differences rather than the things we have in common.

Recognizing and fostering each student’s potential is something that must be lived out each day. Let us work together in educating responsible lifelong learners who can thrive in and contribute to our community. We all can contribute to reaching this goal for our schools, our community, and our students.

Sincerely,
Lisa Remy, Ed.D.
Superintendent
West Des Moines Community Schools

Topics: Equity, Superintendent