Friday, March 24, 2017

New Meningococcal Vaccine Requirement for Grades 7 & 12


New Meningococcal Immunization Requirement Fact Sheet

The State of Iowa has passed a new law, requiring the meningococcal (specifically A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students entering grades seven and 12, beginning with the 2017-18 school year. All incoming seventh- and 12th-grade students will need to submit a completed Certificate of Immunization with the Meningococcal (ACWY) vaccination.

What is meningococcal?

  • Meningococcal disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides which causes inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meninges) resulting in meningitis. This bacteria is not as contagious as the common cold or influenza, but can spread quickly by simply breathing the same air where an infected person has been. College freshman, especially those living in crowded residence halls, have shown a higher rate of infection.

What vaccine is required?

  • The only acceptable meningococcal vaccines are: MenACWY, MCV, MCV4, MCV4P (Menactra), MCV40 (Menveo), MPSV, or MPSV4 (Menomune). Documentation listing “meningitis vaccine,” meningococcal vaccine (NOS), Meningovax AC, MenHiberix, or Men B (Bexsero, Trumenba) will not meet the requirement.

What doses are required?

  • The change requires a one-time dose of menigococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine on or after 10 years of age for applicants in grades 7 and above., if born after September 15, 2004; and 2 doses of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccines for applicants in grade 12, if born after September 15, 1999; or 1 dose if received when applicants are 16 years or older.

What is the deadline to receive the immunization?

  • All incoming seventh-grade students must submit documentation of receiving the meningococcal vaccine (A,C,W,Y) before the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, or they will be excluded from attending school.
  • Incoming 12th-grade students who have not received any doses of the required vaccine must submit documentation of receiving the meningococcal vaccine (A,C,W,Y) before the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, or they will be excluded from attending school.
  • Incoming 12th-grade students who have received at least one dose of the required vaccine between ages 10 and 16, must receive the booster, or second dose, of the required vaccine by October 23, 2017. Students not receiving the vaccine booster by this date will be excluded from school.

There will be no grace/extension period for the implementation of these requirements.

Please contact your health care provider as soon as possible to complete this requirement mandated by the State of Iowa. Immunizations are also available by appointment at the Polk County Health Department, 1907 Carpenter Ave., Des Moines. Please call 515-286-3798 to make an appointment.

It is essential to provide documentation to your school nurse’s office as soon as the vaccine requirement has been met.

Iowa Assessments: Smart Testing Tips

WDMCS students in grades 3-8 and 11 will be taking the Iowa Assessments in late March and early April. Here are three expert tips that will help your child do his or her best on testing days:

  1. Make sure your child is well-rested and eats a good breakfast the day of the test.
  2. Students should dress in layers so they can stay comfortable during the test.
  3. Handle nerves before the test by stretching or taking a few deep breaths.

Keep these tips in mind on the following Iowa Assessments testing dates:

  • Elementary Schools: April 10-14
  • Indian Hills Junior High: March 27-31
  • Stilwell Junior High: March 27-31 and April 2-7
  • Valley Southwoods and Valley High School: April 6-13
  • Walnut Creek Campus: March 28-30

School Improvement Advisory Committee Meets April 4

academics_blc_stockphotoThe West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) School Improvement Advisory Committee will meet Tuesday, April 4, 2017, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Fairmeadows Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

A link to the agenda is below.

The WDMCS School Improvement Advisory Committee is made up of both district staff and parents. The group serves as both the district’s school improvement advisory and equity committee. Its purpose is to make recommendations to the school board based on analysis of the district’s needs assessment data on:

  • Major educational needs
  • Student learning goals
  • Long range goals
  • Harassment of bullying prevention goals, programs, training and other initiatives
  • Multi-culture, gender fair issues and gifted and talented initiatives

School Improvement Advisory Committee



Monday, March 6, 2017

Celebrate National School Breakfast Week!

Photo of toy food eggs.WDMCS students enjoyed a delicious new breakfast in celebration of National School Breakfast Week on Tuesday, March 7: Southwest Topped Toast! See photos of Crestview School of Inquiry students enjoying the meal and other breakfast items below.

WDMCS serves breakfast 30 minutes before the start of school every day. To learn more about school breakfast, call 515-633-5094 or visit



Friday, March 3, 2017

Board of Education Meets March 27

The 2015-16 West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education.

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education members (from right to left) Melinda Dunnwald, Tali Greenspon, Liz Cox, Vicky Poole, Ed.D., David Brown, Liz Brennan, and Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D.

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education will hold a workshop and special meeting on Monday, March 27, 2017, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

The workshop begins at 5:15 p.m., followed by the special meeting at 6:30 p.m.

These meetings are open to the public.

School Board Meeting Materials

School Board Information

School Board Meeting Calendar

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Reminder: No School Feb. 24

There will be no school for WDMCS students on Friday, Feb. 24. It is a professional development day for staff. District offices will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For other important dates throughout the school year, please see our Calendar at a Glance:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Classes Starting on Time, Regular Schedule

All classes and activities in the WDMCS are in regular session today, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Reminder: No School Jan. 16 — Professional Development Day

 This is a reminder that there will be no school for students on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. It is a professional development day for teachers, but there is no school for students in grades PK-12. The only programs that will have students in attendance are Kids West and Homeschool Assistance.

The current weather forecast for Monday shows possible adverse winter conditions during the morning hours. The Superintendency will monitor weather reports early Monday morning and determine if conditions warrant a delay to the start of the professional development training, Kids West, or Homeschool Assistance programming.

If a delay is called, Kids West and Homeschool Assistance will be notified through their programs and local media, social media, and the district website. Employees will be notified through the district’s emergency notification system.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reminder! 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

This is also a good time to change your child’s bus ridership details if needed. Please complete and submit the “Make Change to Current Ridership” form at if you need to make changes. You can also contact the Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Classes Resume Tuesday, Jan. 3

This is a reminder that classes will resume, Tuesday, Jan. 3. In the meantime, don’t miss the great things happening in the West Des Moines Community Schools:

  • The 2017-18 school year calendar was approved. The first day will be Wednesday, Aug. 23.
  • 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 WDMCS Board of Education is joining school boards, families, and communities across the state to rally support for public education.
  • Valley High School students are publishing a magazine dedicated to increasing action towards ending homelessness.
  • 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.

Stay up-to-date with all district happenings through the district website and social media, newsletters and announcements, and other forms of communication.