Friday, October 20, 2017

Board of Education Meets Oct. 23

2017 Board of Education

The 2017-18 WDMCS Board of Education.

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education will hold a workshop meeting at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. The workshop will be followed by a regular business meeting at 7 p.m.

These meetings are open to the public.

School Board Meeting Materials

School Board Information

School Board Meeting Calendar

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Winter Weather! Notification System Test Oct. 24

West Des Moines Community Schools is getting ready for winter weather. 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. 24. The call will come from 515-633-5599 and is ONLY A TEST.

Instructions for Families

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

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.

Instructions for Staff

To make sure you receive the call:

  • Have an Infinite Campus account. If you have a district email account, then you have an Infinite Campus account.
  • Enter your preferred number into Infinite Campus.

If you are unsure about either of the above steps, follow these instructions.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Oct. 6 Valley Football Game Time Changes

Stadium church JC

Due to the inclement weather forecast, the following changes have been made for tonight’s football games.

  • Freshman game has been moved to 4:30 p.m. at Valley High School Tiger Field.
  • Varsity game has been moved to 7 p.m. at Valley Stadium (instead of 7:30 p.m.)
    • Fall sports and senior recognition will be honored during pre-game starting at 6:15 p.m.
    • Valley Marchmasters will perform at halftime; Marchmasters senior recognition.

In the event of severe weather (ie: lightning) where the game will be called, the following process is in place for students.

  • All students involved in the game (football players, cheerleaders, dance team, potentially band members) will go to the locker rooms and event center.
  • WDMCS and visiting students who drove will be allowed to leave in their vehicles.
  • WDMCS students without rides or without an adult will be escorted to the west side of Valley Church. Students will be picked up from the west doors.
  • Visiting students without rides or without an adult will be escorted to the Jordan Creek Elementary School gymnasium. Students will be picked up from the east doors.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

UPDATED Oct. 5: WDMCS Response to Local School District Threats

UPDATE from 1:38 p.m., Oct. 5:
The West Des Moines Police Department has confirmed they have identified the individual who sent threatening text messages to WDMCS students on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The messages were confirmed to be the action of a copycat, and not associated with similar events surrounding Johnston Community Schools or other area school districts. West Des Moines Police also confirmed the threats made from the individual were NOT deemed to be credible.

We want to thank our local law enforcement for their diligence throughout the investigation, and for doing their part to help keep our WDMCS students and staff safe. WDMCS prioritizes student and staff safety when making any decisions related to altering school schedules. We believe the decision this week to keep schools open was the correct choice for our student body.

We are thankful to our WDMCS families for the support and trust they place in us each day to help their students obtain the skills, knowledge, creativity, sense of self-worth and values necessary to thrive in and contribute to a diverse and changing world.


UPDATE from 5:38 p.m., Oct. 3:
Thank you for your attention and concern to today’s situation with anonymous threats made to Johnston Community School District students and parents. WDMCS received word that one district student received a threatening text from an unknown number. We then alerted local authorities. That text message was not found to be a credible threat and has not been confirmed as associated with Johnston Schools or as a copycat text message.

Some social media outlets have included posts related to similar threats across the metro, and local authorities are collaborating to determine the validity of each. We ask that WDMCS families notify police if they receive any threatening communication, including texts, email, social media posts, etc. We also request that families reference information from official police or district communication to help stop the spread of misinformation.

As mentioned in our previous message this morning, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. Although we do not believe there is a credible threat to our students at this time, the West Des Moines Police Department will provide an additional police presence at the secondary schools tomorrow morning. The planned police presence is currently scheduled at secondary schools because threats were concentrated to junior and senior high grades.

We will communicate any future schedule changes with our families. Any decisions related to those changes will be based on doing our best to ensure a safe environment in all of our buildings.

The following links are tools that may help you talk about the recent national and local events with your children:


From 9:23 a.m., Oct. 3:
As you may have heard through local media, the Johnston Community School District is closed today, Tuesday, October 3, due to anonymous threats made to students and parents.

We have spoken with the West Des Moines and Clive Police Departments, and are monitoring how this local threat may impact our district. At this time we do not believe there is a current need to make any changes to any school schedules or processes.

The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance, so we do not take the situation with our neighboring school district lightly. We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate if we make any changes from our current decision.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mediacom is Denying WDMCS Campus Messenger Emails

Families with email address are not receiving emails from Infinite Campus Messenger. This includes daily announcements, the “Informaline” newsletter, and other messages from the email address.

We have an open ticket with Mediacom tech support and are waiting for a resolution to the issue. In the meantime, families can add an email address that does not use to Infinite Campus or access the announcements and “Informaline” online.

We plan to communicate with affected families using methods other than Infinite Campus Messenger. Please watch the WDMCS Technology Department blog for updates.

No School for Students Oct. 9 While Teachers Collaborate

Students have the day off from school on Monday, Oct. 9, while teachers spend the day learning and collaborating in a variety of ways to improve student achievement.

Canvas logo

Teachers serving students in grades 3-12 will be involved in training with Canvas, our district’s online learning system where course information and resources are stored. Teachers will select one of five different workshops related to Canvas usage and will participate in a three-hour block that includes time to work on their courses, all led by an experienced Canvas trainer. The other part of the day will be devoted to building- level
professional learning or a continued focus in professional learning communities (PLCs).

Teachers serving students in grades K-2 will be participating in learning around small group reading instruction. The learning this year is committed to inspiring, challenging, and empowering teachers in their reading instruction. This day will provide teachers the opportunity to engage in learning around the use of data to personalize student learning.In addition, some New Tech project-based learning facilitators will be engaging in

Echo logo

In addition, some New Tech project-based learning facilitators will be engaging in learning centered on Echo, the learning management tool supported by New Tech Network, as well as engaging in project development and building professional learning. Some secondary facilitators will also experience a project simulation with the support of community partners from Shive-Hattery and Food Dudes.

Teachers will be able to put their learning directly into action when students come back to school on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Make sure the upcoming professional development dates are on your calendar! Students will not have school on Monday, Jan. 15, Friday, Feb. 19, and Friday, April 27.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Parenting the Love and Logic Way

ParentQuest Logo

What: Parenting the Love and Logic Way
When: Tuesday, 10/17-11/21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Hillside Elementary Hearth Room/Media Center
Cost: $10 optional handbook fee due to facilitators

Love & Logic teaches practical “how-to” approaches. Learn how to set limits, reduce power struggles, encourage responsibility, and improve decision-making skills. Erin Willoughby and Danette Rieper, facilitators of Love and Logic.

Customize your learning experience. Sign-up for one, two, or all the sessions.

Register Online Today!

Parenting the Love and Logic Way Flyer PDF

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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-Sept. 8. During the afternoon, kindergarten teachers schedule time to visit with families to get to know their students and how they can best help them at school.

Aug. 23-25

  • Kindergarten will dismiss at 12:30 p.m.
  • The WDMCS Transportation Department will provide bus transportation home for regular riders every day at the early dismissal time.

Aug. 28-Sept. 8

  • Kindergarten will dismiss at 1:30 p.m.
  • The WDMCS Transportation Department will provide bus transportation home for regular riders at the early dismissal time on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
  • There will not be bus transportation home for regular riders on Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, due to the districtwide early dismissal.

Sept. 11 and beyond

  • Kindergarten will dismiss at 3:55 p.m.—the regular time—every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (3:10 p.m. for Crestview School of Inquiry).
  • All students are dismissed 45 minutes early each Wednesday to provide teachers time to collaborate and receive professional development.

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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Meningococcal Vaccine Requirement for Grades 7 & 12


(“No Shot, No School” PSA posted by the Polk County Health Department.
A transcript of this video is at the bottom of the page.)

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 (A,C,W,Y) vaccination.

Seventh- and 12th-grade students must submit documentation of the vaccine before the first day of school to start school on Aug. 23. There will be no grace/extension period for these requirements. Your school must have documentation for your child, or they will not be able to start school until documentation is submitted.

Note: The Polk County Health Department alerted the district to misinformation that was shared about the meningococcal vaccine required for students entering grades 7 and 12. The meningitis vaccine is NOT the same as the Tdap vaccine. The Tdap vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, not meningitis.

What “counts” as documentation?

  • The only acceptable form of documentation is a Certificate of Immunization. Healthcare providers should be able to provide a Certificate of Immunization to you after you get the vaccine.
  • If you have already received the vaccine and did not get a Certificate of Immunization, you should be able to access a copy of the certificate in the state’s immunization registry and have it signed.

Where can families turn in documentation?

  • With District Register Joy Zuber at the Learning Resource Center. Fax documentation to 515-633-5103.
  • To the Polk County Health Department, 1907 Carpenter Ave. Turn in documentation between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
  • At your schoolPlease call your school about its summer hours.

You can receive the vaccine from your usual health care provider and at the Polk County Health Department. The vaccine will also be available at Clive Community Services’ Back to School Health Fair.

Find out more about the new meningococcal immunization requirement below.

New Meningococcal Immunization Requirement Fact Sheet

Print the Fact Sheet       en español

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 meningococcal (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.


Video transcript: Meningitis is a life-threatening illness transmitted among teenagers. It’s not their fault. Teenagers spend a lot of time together, making it easy for meningitis to spread, especially in schools, dorms, and cafeterias. That’s why Iowa now requires all incoming seventh- and 12th-graders have a meningitis vaccination before they can start class. Call it the No Shot, No School rule. So keep them safe and smart. Get them an appointment with your health care provider today.

Monday, July 24, 2017

FCA Invites WDMCS to See “Woodlawn” on New Scoreboard

Valley High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) chapter invites West Des Moines Community Schools families to join them for a free message and movie on the new scoreboard at Valley Stadium at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2.