Skip to content
Blog

Archive for Topic: 'Informaline'

Informaline—Feb. 20, 2017 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Dates
Feb. 20-23: Personal Care Collection
Feb. 21: School Community Network Meeting
Feb. 23: End of Second Trimester (Walnut Creek Campus and Elementary)
Feb. 24: Professional Development Day—No School
Feb. 27: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Feb. 27: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
March 6-10: National School Breakfast Week
March 6: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
March 6: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
March 10: No School
March 13: Spring Break Begins
March 20: Classes Resume

WDMCS Becomes 1:1 District
Next year, the WDMCS will provide a Chromebook for every student in grades 3-12.
On Feb. 13, 2017, the WDMCS Board of Education unanimously approved a proposal to reallocate the district’s current Chromebook inventory of more than 5,000 devices from carts directly to students. Learn more at bit.ly/2llL5Dc.

Equity Committee Selects Framework
A team of students, parents, community members, and West Des Moines Community Schools employees selected a guiding structure for the district’s work to ensure equity for students at its meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. The recommendation will be presented to the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education for approval. Learn more about the framework at bit.ly/EquityFramework.

Have You Heard? 2017-18 Calendar at a Glance Available to View
The 2017-18 Calendar at a Glance is now posted to the district website and available to view. Visit bit.ly/CalAAG-1718 to get a printable list of next school year’s important dates, in English and Spanish.

WDMCS Personal Care Collection This Week
Staff, families, and students are invited to participate in the WDMCS Personal Care Collection to help restock the Booster Pak pantries. Please bring your items to your building and place in the designated box. The most needed items are regular-sized shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, and lip balm. Thank you for your support for this very worthy cause!

WDMCS Presents Guest Speaker Paul Zientarski
The West Des Moines Community Schools Physical Education Department is excited to present Paul Zientarski, P.E. consultant and retired P.E. teacher from Naperville, Illinois. To learn more about how good health can support student success, please join us from 7-8 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center.

Ready, Set, Go! Five Kindergarten Readiness Tips
It’s time to start thinking about kindergarten! Experienced, professional WDMCS teachers have put together five tips to help you prepare your child. See all five tips, with activities, at bit.ly/WDMCS_K-tips.

Valley Cultural Awareness Week
Valley High School will be celebrating diversity with Cultural Awareness Week, Feb. 20-23. The week of cultural celebration, recognition, and awareness will include music, art, and food throughout the week, as well as special events like International Night. Please join us as we celebrate the many cultures represented at Valley High School! See a full schedule at bit.ly/2kx3nle.

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: bit.ly/CalAAG-1617.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline—Jan. 30, 2017 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Dates
Feb. 9: Native Speaker Quiz Bowl, 9 a.m.
Feb. 13: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Feb. 13: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Feb. 21: School Community Network Meeting
Feb. 23: End of Second Trimester
Feb. 24: Professional Development Day—No School

Schools Proposed for Renovation, Planning Continues
Clive Learning Academy, Crestview School of Inquiry, Western Hills Elementary, and Westridge Elementary may receive renovations next year as the district continues to study how it can improve facilities to meet the changing learning needs of students. Learn more about the facilities plan at bit.ly/2ktYhWt.

Provide Feedback on Iowa’s Every Student Succeeds Plan
Iowans are invited to give feedback on the first draft of Iowa’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan in an online survey, open through Feb. 15. Provide your input through the survey, or send an email to ESSA@iowa.gov. You can also mail your feedback to Iowa Department of Education, Attn: Deputy Director David Tilly/ESSA Feedback, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0146.

Heather Nail Recipient of National Music Educators Award
Congratulations to Valley Southwoods Freshman High School Vocal Music Director Heather Nail, who has earned the Barbershop Harmony Society/NAfME Music Educator Award. The award honors educators “who give students the opportunity to learn and participate in the joy and power that music education brings in uplifting the human spirit and fostering the wellbeing of society.”

WDMCS Personal Care Collection Feb. 20-23
Staff, families, and students are invited to participate in the WDMCS Personal Care Collection to help restock the Booster Pak pantries. Please bring your items to school the week of Feb. 20-23 and place in the designated box.

The most needed items are regular-sized shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, and lip balm. Items will be collected and then distributed to WDMCS students through the Booster Pak Program.

Kindergarten Enrollment Open Today!
Kindergarten is a big adventure in life’s journey. We will be right beside your family every step of the way. WDMCS kindergarten offers experienced and professional certified teachers, full-time assistants in every kindergarten classroom, and healthy lunches and door-to-door transportation. We serve children in West Des Moines, Urbandale, Clive, Des Moines, and Windsor Heights. Learn more at bit.ly/WDMCS_K.

Elementary Conferences Coming Up!
Conferences are coming up at WDMCS elementary schools. These meetings are a great way to plan with your child’s teacher and help your child learn and succeed. Elementary conferences will take place on the following dates:

  • Clive Learning Academy: March 2, March 6
  • Crestview School of Inquiry: Feb. 10, Feb. 14-16
  • Crossroads Park Elementary: Feb. 28, March 2
  • Fairmeadows Elementary: Feb. 28, March 2
  • Hillside Elementary: March 2, March 6
  • Jordan Creek Elementary: Feb. 28, March 2, March 4
  • Western Hills Elementary: Feb. 28, March 2
  • Westridge Elementary: March 2, March 7

Join Us for the 2017 Sweetheart Show!
The Valley High School Vocal Music Department presents the 2017 Sweetheart Show! Performances are 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, and Thursday, Feb. 9, with a silent auction/raffle at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors; children 4 and younger get in free.

Encourage Your Child to Read with First Page Friday
Fifth-grade students at Jordan Creek Elementary and Fairmeadows Elementary have been meeting with their teachers and teacher librarians for “First Page Friday.” The students read the first page of several books, then choose one of the books to finish and share with their classmates.

“It’s all about reading for enjoyment and becoming a lifelong reader,” said Jordan Creek Elementary teacher librarian Kristy Skoglund said. Get three tips to try First Page Friday at home on our district website.

What Do You Think? Informaline Survey
The School/Community Relations Office wants your input! Please let us know if the Informaline district newsletter is helpful for you and your family by taking this short survey: bit.ly/IL_Survey.

Transportation Fees Due Jan. 10
Third-quarter transportation fees were due Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. You can still make payments at your school or online at www.wdmcs.org/online-payments. This is also a good time to change your child’s bus ridership details if needed. Please submit the “Make Change to Current Ridership” form at www.wdmcs.org/departments/transportation or contact the Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline—Jan. 17, 2017 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

What Do You Think? Informaline Survey
The School/Community Relations Office wants your input! Please let us know if the Informaline district newsletter is helpful for you and your family by taking this short survey: bit.ly/IL_Survey.

Important Dates
Jan. 17: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
Jan. 17: School Improvement Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 19: SAPCC Meeting, 7:30 a.m.
Jan. 22: School Board Special Workshop Session, 1 p.m.
Jan. 23: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Jan. 23: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Jan. 25: Grading Practices Task Force Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 26: Impact of Art, 6:30 p.m.

District Equity Team to Select a Guiding Structure for Equity Work
A team of students, parents, community members, and West Des Moines Community Schools employees are close to selecting a guiding structure for the district’s work to ensure equity for students. Learn more at bit.ly/equity-jan17.

Transportation Fees Due Jan. 10
Third-quarter transportation fees were due Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. You can still make payments at your school or online at www.wdmcs.org/online-payments.

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 www.wdmcs.org/departments/transportation or contact the Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

School Board Reviews Second Phase of Facilities Study
At a special meeting in December, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education reviewed the findings of the second phase of an elementary school space utilization study by architects at Shive-Hattery. Find out more about each option at bit.ly/facilities-jan17.

Kindergarten Enrollment Open Today!
Kindergarten is a big adventure in life’s journey. We will be right beside your family every step of the way. Start your child’s kindergarten adventure with the WDMCS at bit.ly/WDMCS_K!

Stay Warm with WDMCS Activities This Winter
Avoid the chilly winter weather with family-friendly indoor activity options from the West Des Moines Community Schools! Keep an eye on the online calendar at bit.ly/WDMCS_Cal to stay up-to-date with districtwide and school activities. Upcoming events include opportunities to cheer on the Tigers, experience the arts, and be true to your school.

Students, Staff Recognized by Board for Outstanding Achievements
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education recognized the outstanding achievements of district students and staff at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 9. Read the full Student and Staff Recognition report at bit.ly/2idykJO.

Try Something New: WDMCS Community Ed. Registration Open!
The new LEARNwest and Adventure catalogs are here! Try something new in 2017!

  • LEARNwest offers a wide range of classes for adults who want to expand their skills, make everyday life better, and try something new. LEARNwest classes are offered evenings and weekends. Learn about class options at bit.ly/LEARNwest-jan17.
  • Adventures provides a way for students in grades K-9 to expand their knowledge or skills in an area of interest and try something beyond the classes they have during the school day. Classes take place after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends. Find Adventures opportunities at bit.ly/Adventures-jan17.

Valley Students Perform in Second Annual “Opera Project DSM” Production, “Cavalleria rusticana”
The Valley High School Performing Arts Department is partnering with The Opera Project DSM for the second year in a row for a production of Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana.” The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) will host the performances in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. There will be performances at 8 p.m. on Jan. 21 and 3 p.m. on Jan. 22. Both performances are open to the public and free of charge. Learn more about Valley students’ involvement in the production at bit.ly/Opera17.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline—Dec. 19 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Dates
Dec. 19: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 22-Jan. 2: Winter Break
Jan. 3: Classes Resume
Jan. 10: Transportation Fees Due
Jan. 13: End of First Semester and Second Quarter
Jan. 16: Professional Development Day–No School

2017-18 Calendar Approved
The WDMCS Board of Education approved a calendar for the 2017-18 school year at its Dec. 19 meeting, setting Wednesday, Aug. 23, as the first day of school.

Find the highlights and the full calendar online, and watch for the calendar at a glance, coming soon on the district website!

Board Declares Support for Promise of Iowa Campaign
West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education is joining school boards, families, and communities across the state to rally support for public education.

The Board passed a resolution supporting the Promise of Iowa Public Education Campaign at its regular business meeting on Monday, Dec. 19. The Iowa Association of School Boards is coordinating this statewide effort to focus attention on the future of Iowa public school students and to garner support for investing in public education in Iowa.

Read the resolution at bit.ly/2gsQy7O. Find out more about the Promise of Iowa campaign at www.promiseiowa.org/.

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 www.wdmcs.org/online-payments.

This is also a good time to change your child’s bus ridership details. Visit www.wdmcs.org/departments/transportation if you need to make changes. You can also contact the Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Enjoy Winter Break!
Winter break begins after school this Wednesday, Dec. 21. There will be no school Dec. 22–Jan. 2. All district offices are closed Dec. 23-26, and Jan. 2. Classes will resume Jan. 3. Enjoy your winter break!

What’s the Purpose of Grades? Task Force Clarifies
Members of the WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force have defined why students in our schools receive grades.

“The purpose of grades is to communicate the level of achievement of course standards to students and parents,” according to a statement the task force approved at its meeting on November 30.

To learn more about the purpose of grades and the task force’s work, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices. Meeting minutes and summaries will continue to be posted there. All meetings are open to the public.

School Board to Continue Facilities Discussion at Special Workshop
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study various space allocation options at a special workshop session at 5:15 p.m., Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

For more information on the special workshop and the facilities study, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/facilities.

Read “Blank Tales,” the Magazine Run by Valley Students
The first issue of “Blank Tales” magazine’s second edition is now available! The Valley High School student-run magazine is dedicated to increasing action towards ending homelessness. To read “Blank Tales, visit www.blanktales.org. You can also subscribe to the “Blank Tales” e-newsletter and get hard copies of the magazine at Valley High School, the West Des Moines Public Library, and local businesses.

WDMCS Superintendent & Board Members Honored for Excellence
West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) 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.

Board Vice President Melinda Dunnwald and Board members Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D., were honored with Individual Awards of Achievement this year. Dunnwald also received a Basics of Boardsmanship certificate. Remy received the Better Boardsmanship Superintendent’s Award of Honor.

Read more about these awards online. Find out more about the WDMCS Board of Education on our district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schoolboard/.

WDMCS Expands Online Learning Opportunities
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 district offers several online courses for grades 9-12 at this time, and provides an online learning approach called “blended learning” to fully support and guide students. Learn about blended learning and the courses available for the 2017-18 school year at www.wdmcs.org/school-news/blended-learning-part-i.

Watch the “Informaline” newsletter, the West Des Moines Community Schools website, and district social media for the rest of our three-part series on blended learning.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline — Dec. 5 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates
Dec. 12: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 12: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Dec. 19: Special School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 22-Jan. 2: Winter Break
Jan. 3: Classes Resume

Board to Take Action on Calendar, Program of Studies Dec. 12
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education will take action on two proposed 2017-18 calendars and 26 program of studies proposals at its Dec. 12 meeting.

The Board held public hearings for the proposed calendars at the regular meeting on Nov. 28. The Teaching & Learning Services Department presented the program of studies proposals at the Nov. 28 workshop meeting. Find more information about the calendars and the proposals here.

WDMCS Celebrates Computer Science Education Week
When students see what they can create with computer science, they are excited and empowered to keep going. Join the WDMCS as we inspire our students during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 5-11!

Read about ways students and their families can learn computer science at school, explore computer science at home, and use computer science in the future on our district website at www.wdmcs.org/news/computer-science-education-week-2016.

Review the District’s 2017 Legislative Priorities
The 2017 Iowa legislative session will convene on Monday, Jan. 9, and will adjourn on Friday, April 28. The West Des Moines Community Schools prepared for the upcoming session by discussing the needs of the district and setting legislative priorities. The WDMCS Board of Education approved three legislative priorities for 2017 at its Aug. 8, 2016, regular business meeting. A PDF of the legislative priorities can be found online.

WDMCS is Ready for Winter
Winter break is almost here! This year, there will be no school Dec. 22–Jan. 2. All district offices are closed Dec. 23, Dec. 26, and Jan. 2. Classes will resume Jan. 3.

We also want to remind district families about our weather closings procedure. To prepare for potential winter weather, please visit our “Weather Closings” webpage.

Read Along with the Grading Practices Task Force
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force has been meeting regularly since Sept. 28, 2016, to focus on the district’s goal to address grading practices in the WDMCS. Learn more about the task force’s work at www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/.

In addition to the items addressed at each meeting, the Grading Practices Task Force is reviewing research and literature connected to grading practices. Start reading along by visiting www.wdmcs.org/2016/12/read-along-grading-practices-task-force.

Congratulations! Brad Rose Named Athletic Director of the Year
Please join the West Des Moines Community Schools as we congratulate Athletics & Activities Department Director Brad Rose, who was named the IHSADA Athletic Director of the Year for the State of Iowa, as well as the 2017 Central District Athletic Director of the Year! Read more about his honor on the district website.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline — Nov. 21 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates
Nov. 21: Community Education Advisory Council Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 23: No School
Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Day — No School
Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Holiday — No School
Nov. 28: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Nov. 28: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Nov. 30: Grading Practices Task Force Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Board Continues to Study Facilities
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study various space allocation options, including moving sixth grade and preschool out of district elementary schools.

During a special workshop session held Oct. 30, the School Board asked Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering to return in December with estimates for construction and ongoing operational costs associated with such moves.

Initial feedback showed support for moving sixth grade out of elementary schools, while feedback was mixed for moving preschool out of elementary. Members agreed that no decision can be made at this time without further information.

Two additional special workshop sessions on the 10-year facilities plan are scheduled for Dec. 19 and Jan. 22 at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

For background on this study, please visit: www.wdmcs.org/category/facilities.

District and Valley Announce Equity Team Members
Two new groups are working with the district and Valley High School on education equity in our schools. The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Equity Team and the Valley High School Equity Team met for the first time on Thursday, Nov. 10. Each team includes students, parents, community members, and employees.

For a full list of equity team members and more information on the district’s equity work, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/equity or call 515-633-5000.

WDMCS Safety & Emergency Management Plan: Prepare, Respond, Recover
Student safety and well-being is our priority at the West Des Moines Community Schools. We are committed to supporting safe and welcoming learning environments where your child can connect, explore, and learn.

The district has a comprehensive emergency management plan focused on planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. For an overview of our plan, please visit www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schools/crisis-plan.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline — Oct. 31, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

 

Important Calendar Dates
Nov. 5: Preschool Palooza, 9:30 a.m. to noon
Nov. 6: Daylight Saving Time Ends
Nov. 8: Election Day
Nov. 14: School Board Workshop, 5:15 p.m.
Nov. 14: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Nov. 14-18: American Education Week (Nov. 14-18)
Nov. 15: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15-11:15 a.m.
Nov. 15: End of First Trimester
Nov. 23: No School
Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Day—No School
Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Holiday—No School

 

Tiger Field Renovation Update
The $3.3 million renovation of Valley High School’s Tiger Field is expected to be completed mid-November.

The track surfacing was recently completed and striping will begin the week of Oct. 31. The field renovation project also includes:

  • new sports field lighting;
  • new bleachers and press box;
  • new long jump runways;
  • and the addition of two new shot put rings.

Read more about the Tiger Field renovation at www.wdmcs.org/2016/10/tiger-field-renovation-update.

 

Know the Vote
Stay current with School Board decisions by following meetings on Twitter @WDMCS. For meeting agendas and minutes, visit bit.ly/WDMCSBoard or call 515-633-5023. The agendas and minutes of standing superintendent advisory committees are also available.

 

Join Us for Breakfast! Fresh Smoothies & Muffins
Your child is invited to join us for breakfast! On Thursday, Nov. 3, we will serve freshly blended orange-apple yogurt smoothies and blueberry-banana muffins baked at our very own bakery.

We serve breakfast at every school. Your child may join us 30 minutes before school starts for a delicious, nutritious start to the day. Breakfast is $1.70 for elementary students and $1.80 for junior high and high school students.

See what else we are serving up by calling your school or visiting www.wdmcs.org/departments/nutrition/menu.

 

Weather Notification Test Results
infographicen español

  • 15,635 calls and texts made
  • 781 messages sent/minute
  • 100% of emails received
  • 440 emails sent/minute
  • 10,400 people reached in 20 minutes

Thank you for helping us test our notification system and ensuring your information is accurate to assist us in keeping students in our district safe!

 

83 WDMCS Students Selected for Statewide Music Honors
More than 80 West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) student musicians have been selected to perform at two prestigious statewide music events this fall: the 31st Annual Opus Honor Choir Festival and the 70th Annual Iowa All-State Music Festival.

Congratulations to these WDMCS students!

 

You’re Invited to Preschool Palooza!
Join us for Preschool Palooza on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Hillside Elementary!

Children ages 2-6 will enjoy activities while their grown-ups gather information about early childhood opportunities and kindergarten registration in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

 

Profriend Week Celebrated Throughout District
The cities of West Des Moines, Clive, and Windsor Heights proclaimed Oct. 17-21 as Profriend Week following city council meeting presentations by students from Clive Learning Academy, Jordan Creek Elementary, Indian Hills Junior High, Stilwell Junior High, and Valley High School.

Learn more about Profriend Week at www.wdmcs.org/news/celebrate-profriend-week-oct-17-21.

 

Valley High School Presents “Oklahoma!”
This fall, Valley High School’s Performing Arts Department presents the classic Broadway musical “Oklahoma!,” the first collaboration between famed composing duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Read more about “Oklahoma!” at www.wdmcs.org/school-news/valley-high-school-presents-oklahoma.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline — Oct. 17, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates
Oct. 17-21: Profriend Week
Oct. 17: Career and Apprenticeship Showcase, 4-7 p.m.
Oct. 18: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
Oct. 19-25: National Character Counts! Week
Oct. 23-31: Red Ribbon Week
Oct. 24: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 24: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: Grading Practices Task Force Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 27: End of First Quarter
Oct. 30: Special Board Workshop, 1-4 p.m.

School Board to Discuss Facilities at Special Workshop
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study school building needs at a special workshop at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, at the Learning Resource Center.
WDMCS is working with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering of West Des Moines to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.
Read more about this study at www.wdmcs.org/category/facilities/.

Snow Days! Weather Notification Test on Oct. 25
West Des Moines Community Schools is getting ready for winter! 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. 25.

The call will come from 515-633-5599 and is ONLY A TEST.

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 Preferences.”

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: bit.ly/WDMCStestcall.

Read more about the test call at www.wdmcs.org/announcements/weather-test-call-2016/.

National School Bus Safety Week
National School Bus Safety Week is taking place this week, Oct. 17-21! To make sure all bus riders continue to have safe transportation, take this chance to make sure your transportation plans are in place for the second quarter.  Second quarter transportation fees are due this Wednesday, Oct. 19. This is also a good time to change your child’s ridership details, if needed.

Remember to thank your bus driver and practice safe bus riding this week during National School Bus Safety Week!

202 Valley Students Earn AP Awards
More than 200 Valley High School students and recent graduates earned recognition for their high achievement through AP courses and on AP Exams taken in May 2016. Find out more about these students and Valley High School’s AP program online.

Congratulations to five Valley High School seniors—Evan Burnham, Cayden Codel, Gabe Mintzer, Arjun Ganga, and Guowei Qi—who all earned perfect composite scores of 36 on the ACT!

Topics: Informaline

Informaline — Oct. 3, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates
Oct. 4: School Improvement Advisory Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 9-15: Fire Prevention Week
Oct. 10: Professional Development Day—No School for Students
Oct. 10: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 10: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11-14: National School Lunch Week
Oct. 27: End of First Quarter

Students Launch “Profriend” Campaign
More than 1,400 students from the West Des Moines Community Schools gathered on the Valley Stadium field Tuesday, Sept. 27, to create the largest human formation of the word “friend.”

Learn more about the Profriend campaign and see photos and video from the event at www.wdmcs.org/news/students-launch-profriend-campaign/.

Greenspon Elected WDMCS Board of Education President
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education elected Tali Greenspon as its president and Melinda Dunnwald as its vice president on Monday, Sept. 26.

The Board also appointed Dunnwald and School Board Member Elizabeth Brennan 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.

Find out more about the WDMCS Board of Education on our district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-school-board/.

No School for Students Oct. 10 While Teachers Collaborate
Students have the day off from school on Monday, Oct. 10, while teachers spend the day learning and working together to improve student achievement.

The day will provide teachers in each building time to focus on their work in professional learning communities, or PLCs. These small groups are structured around three key ideas — “Learning for All,” “A Culture of Collaboration,” and “Results Oriented.”

Make sure the upcoming professional development dates are on your calendar! Students will not have school on Monday, Jan. 16; Friday, Feb. 24; and Friday, April 28.

Read more about the Oct. 10 professional development day at www.wdmcs.org/news/no-school-students-oct-10-teachers-collaborate/.

Kindergarten Registration Open for 2017
Is your child ready for life’s big adventures? Let us help them explore and excel. West Des Moines Community Schools is now taking names for the 2017-18 kindergarten class, so start your child’s education journey with us today!

All children who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2017, are eligible for kindergarten next school year. To register, please visit our district website at www.wdmcs.org, and click on the “Newcomers” tab. You can learn more about us by watching our student-focused district video. Then click on “Kindergarten” under “Registration Information,” and follow the steps to enter your name on our list.

Schools are assigned based on home address, so secure your place with us as soon as possible. Welcome to the WDMCS!

 Join Us for National School Lunch Week Oct. 11-14!
To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, the West Des Moines Community Schools will celebrate National School Lunch Week from Oct. 11-14, 2016.

Please watch for more information about National School Lunch Week and how you can be involved from the WDMCS Nutrition Services Department!

You’re Invited to Preschool Palooza!
Join us for Preschool Palooza on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Hillside Elementary! Children ages 2-6 will enjoy activities, while their grown-ups gather information about early childhood opportunities and kindergarten registration in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

Children will be able to jump on inflatables, have their faces painted, and explore City of West Des Moines vehicles. Grown-ups will be able to talk with WDMCS district staff about kindergarten registration; the WDMCS district preschool programs coordinator; preschool directors and teachers who participate in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program; and the WDMCS Nutrition Services Department.

All activities and snacks are free. Please join us for this year’s Preschool Palooza!

Congratulations to Homecoming Queen Genny Wyckoff and Homecoming King Rocky Lombardi!

Topics: Informaline

Informaline — Sept. 19, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

  • Please note: These PDFs have been updated from the printed version. The time of the game was updated to 7:30 p.m. It was previously listed as 7 p.m.

Important Calendar Dates

  • Sept. 19-24: Homecoming Week
  • Sept. 20: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
  • Sept. 26: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
  • Sept. 26: School Board Annual and Organizational Meetings, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 27: Profriend Kickoff Event
  • Sept. 27: Equity & Education Community Forum, Valley High School, 7:30 p.m.

WDMCS Making Positive Changes for Education Equity
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) has released its plan to address education equity in its schools. “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change” outlines short- and long-term steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

The goal of this work is to improve the district climate and culture in order to establish equitable practices for all students that:

  • eliminate systemic racial inequity,
  • provide equitable educational opportunities for students of color, and
  • nurture authentic and trusting relationships between staff and students and between students themselves to make a positive difference in how students of color experience school.

The full equity plan, the equity audit commissioned by the district, and a video of the workshop session are available at www.wdmcs.org/news/wdmcs-making-positive-changes-education-equity/.

District Explores New Grade Configurations & Space Usage
Teachers and parent group representatives from each WDMCS elementary and junior high school and Valley Southwoods will meet with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering over the next few months to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.

Specifically, the architects will gather feedback on the following preliminary concepts:

  • moving sixth grade out of the elementary and combining grades six and seven together,
  • combining grades eight and nine at Valley Southwoods,
  • providing half-day preschool programming at each elementary school, and/or
  • providing preschool programming with wrap-around child care services at one early childcare center possibly at Valley Southwoods.

Learn more about the background behind these preliminary concepts on the district website at www.wdmcs.org/news/district-researching-new-school-configurations/.

The Board set a tentative schedule to review the architect’s research and continue discussing facilities and space usage:

  • Oct. 30, 2016, 1-4 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, 2016, 5:15-7 p.m.
  • Jan. 22, 2017, 1-3 p.m.

Online Calendar Guide Available
Complete with a new, user-friendly design, the interactive online/activities calendar is fully customizable through filtering! You can personalize your online calendar view by choosing the categories and schools relevant to you. See our full online calendar guide at www.wdmcs.org/news/calendar-updates-1617/.

All About Homecoming
This year’s Homecoming festivities start Monday, Sept. 19! Find out everything you need to know about Homecoming on our website at bit.ly/WDMCS_Homecoming2016.

16 Valley Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Congratulations to Valley High School seniors Elizabeth Ash, Zachary Bailey, Jacob Bedia, Cayden Codel, Emily Ellingson, Arjun Ganga, Trent Gilbert, Brian Gu, John Mahoney, Abby McCullough, Meta Miller, Gabriel Mintzer, Guowei Qi, Jared Shapert, Rachel Snodgrass, and Madison VanSickel, who have all been named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists!

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Sept. 28
The WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force will hold its first meeting of the year from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Learning Resource Center. All Effective Grading Practices Task Force meetings are open to the public.

The study is part of the district’s strategic plan and the School Board’s priority goals for Superintendent Lisa Remy for the 2016-17 school year. More information about the task force is available here.

All meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 28, 2016; Oct. 26, 2016; Nov. 30, 2016; Jan. 25, 2017; Feb. 22, 2017; March 29, 2017; April 26, 2017; and May 31, 2017.

Topics: Informaline