Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016

Disinfectant Mister Keeps Students and Staff Healthy

The WDMCS Operations Department is using a new Vital Oxide mister to keep the district healthy. The mister is used every day at Valley High School and Valley Southwoods to disinfect the weight rooms and at other buildings to stop illness from spreading.

Vital Oxide kills most common viruses, including norovirus, influenza A, and MRSA. The mist is a particularly efficient disinfectant because it acts quickly and is fast to apply. It also eliminates odors, which makes it ideal for locker rooms and weight rooms. The mister is always used after school hours, and Vital Oxide breaks down into a simple salt with no harmful byproducts. The mister does not leave any residue behind and even leaves surfaces food-safe, just 15 minutes after application.

Vital Oxide is tough on viruses but gentle enough for use in the home. It is one of the few disinfectants that can be used on all surfaces, including cloth and computer keyboards.

Keeping WDMCS students and staff safe and healthy is the Operations Department’s top priority. To learn more about the Vital Oxide mister and the other things Operations is doing for the district, contact Eric Smith, director of operations, at 515-633-5114 or

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Western Hills Elementary Earns PBIS Award

Western Hills Elementary is one of 39 schools across Iowa being recognized for success with the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system. Schools were recognized for PBIS development, implementation and sustainability. Western Hills will be honored at a recognition ceremony at 2:30 p.m. on May 1, at the Iowa Events Center. The ceremony is part of the Spring Learning Supports Conference.

Western Hills Elementary earned the Honor Plus level award. Ten total schools won this award; two, including Western Hills Elementary, were part of the Heartland Area Education Agency.

To receive the Honor Plus award, schools had to meet specific criteria, such as having a representative school-based leadership team that consistently uses data to assess implementation. Schools also had to meet fidelity for implementation of Tier 1 and begin developing multi-tiered actions plans that included Tier 2 systems and practices. Honor Plus schools also identify students in need of supplemental supports through a screening process.

PBIS is a student-support system supported by the U.S. Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Education. More information on PBIS can be found on the Iowa Department of Education website or the PBIS website.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Building a Learning Community Committee Meets April 7

academics_blc_stockphotoThe West Des Moines Community Schools Building A Learning Community Committee will meet at the time and date noted below. This meeting is open to the public.

The WDMCS Becoming a Learning Community 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

Event: WDMCS Building A Learning Community Committee
Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Location: Fairmeadows Room, Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50265-5556

Becoming a Learning Community Committee



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Proposed Tax Rate to Remain Steady

West Des Moines Community Schools Chief Financial Officer presented a draft of the 2015-16 certified budget at a School Board workshop on Monday, March 23, proposing to maintain the district’s property tax rate at $13.27 per $1,000 valuation.

This keeps the district’s tax rate the lowest in the metro area, with, for example, Waukee $3.30 higher, Ankeny $6.91 higher, and Southeast Polk $8.39 higher.

The tax rate is determined through the certified budget, which is not the district’s line-item budget but an estimated budget maximum that the district cannot exceed. It also calculates spending authority and the revenue sources that finance the spending authority. In Iowa, the state not only provides money to schools to operate, it also tells school districts how much money they are allowed to spend. The concept is called “spending authority.”

Iowa Code Section 24.9 and 24.17 requires the district adopt a certified budget on or before April 15 each year. Currently, the state legislature has not yet finalized its funding for the 2015-16 school year, this is why the certified budget is an estimate.

The district is also required to hold a public hearing on the certified budget. The hearing will be held on Monday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Learning Resources Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. The Certified Budget is available to review.

Friday, March 13, 2015

School Board Holds Certified Budget Public Hearing April 13

At its meeting on March 9, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education set April 13, 2015 as the date for a public hearing on the 2015-16 certified budget. The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

The certified budget is the published budget estimate, not the line-item budget. Expenditures are certified at the Functional Level, highest potential level, even though the line-item budget will be less than the maximum. The certified budget must not be exceeded. The primary purpose of the certified budget is to set the district’s property tax rate. Once the proposed certified budget is completed, it will be published in The Des Moines Register and provided on the district website along with the notice of the public hearing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WDMCS Teacher Contract Negotiations to Begin

Negotiations for the 2015-16 teachers’ contract will begin Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 in the West Des Moines Community School District.

The West Des Moines Education Association (WDMEA) will present its initial 2015-16 proposal to the school district at 4:30 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Chief negotiators are Phil Peters for the West Des Moines Education Association and Jim Hanks for the West Des Moines Community School District. This meeting is open to the public.

Monday, January 19, 2015

District Seeks Guidelines for School Start Date

The date for the start of the 2015-16 school year remains unknown due to the state’s recent announcement that it will no longer automatically allow districts to begin school in mid- to early August.

The Iowa Department of Education notified districts in December that it will stop granting routine waivers to the law requiring schools to start classes during the week of Sept.1.

The district is expecting the state to release new waiver submission requirements within the next few weeks.

The district needs an approved waiver for its currently proposed 2015-16 calendar to go into effect. On May 12, 2014, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education approved a 2015-16 calendar with a start date of Aug. 12, 2015.

While they await news from the state, district administrators are drafting an alternate calendar with a start date closer to Sept. 1. This would provide another option to pursue should the district determine the new waiver requirements cannot be met or that the approval process would extend into March, further reducing the time families and the district have to plan for next year. The alternate calendar and start date have not been finalized.

Once the information from the state has been reviewed, the district will determine whether or not it will seek a waiver for a start date of Aug. 12 or seek school board approval of a calendar with a start date closer to Sept. 1. District administration’s goal is to have a decision about the start date before spring break.

Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy and School Board President David Brown have submitted a letter to Governor Terry Branstad and Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck advocating for local school boards — not the state — to have the authority to set school start dates for local school communities.

The district will provide further updates on the school start date as they develop.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Get Your Kit Together: Preparing Your Family for Emergencies

Red first aid kitWDMCS Community Education’s LEARNwest program is offering the class Get Your Kit Together: Preparing Your Family for Emergencies on Tuesday, October 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Class Description: In a disaster like a tornado or ice storm, do you have what you need to survive for 72 hours? Take this fun, interactive course taught by a trained emergency responder to learn what you need until help arrives. Sometimes called a “Go Bag” or a “Bug Out Bag,” your emergency kit can save you and your family.

Class Information: October 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Stilwell Junior High Room 2107 – $16
Course is taught by Fritz Nordengren

Registration is required and may be done online or by calling the WDMCS Community Education office at 633-5001.

Register Online

Friday, September 12, 2014

School Community Network Meets Tuesday

district_support_SCN_stockphotoThe WDMCS School/Community Network will Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 9:15 a.m. in the Learning Resource Center in West Des Moines.

Made up of parents, teachers and administrators from across the district, the more than 30-member group provides an opportunity for a face-to-face exchange of ideas and information. Its members also help us share information about district with the community.

School Community Network