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Informaline—April 10, 2017 Issue

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Important Dates

  • April 18: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
  • April 24: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m. (at Western Hills Elementary)
  • April 24: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m. (at Western Hills Elementary)
  • April 26: Grading Practices Task Force Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
  • April 28: Professional Development Day—No School

District to Eliminate Online Convenience Charge, Adjust Some Student Fees
Next year, families paying school-related fees online will no longer pay a convenience charge. All student fees will remain the same as last year, except textbook and nutrition services fees. Read more about 2017-18 student fees on our website.

Board Approves No Increase in Tax Rate
On Monday, April 3, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education adopted the district’s $198 million 2017-18 certified budget and set a steady tax rate at $13.27.

This is the same rate as last year, with no increase. The district continues to have the lowest tax rate in the metro area with the nearest rate 34 percent higher than the WDMCS.

For more information about the district’s budget, visit www.wdmcs.org/category/budget-2/.

WDMCS Teachers Test Student Prototype with NASA
Students and teachers from the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) are helping NASA solve a problem.

They designed a prototype of a satellite deployment system, which the teachers tested in a simulated microgravity environment at NASA’s Johnson Space Center last week.

Learn more about their real-life project-based learning on our website at bit.ly/WDMCS_NASA.

What Do You Think? District Website Survey
We are in the process of updating the website to reflect our new brand. Please take a few moments to answer these questions about the district’s website, www.wdmcs.org.

Take the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/district-website.

See Project-Based Learning in Action!
You have a chance to see West Des Moines Community Schools’ New Tech program! Tours include classroom visits, project exploration, and student/teacher interview panels at elementary and junior high schools.

We welcome the chance to showcase what project-based learning can do to move students towards college and career readiness. If you would like to attend more than one tour, please do! Find tour dates and times on our website.

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Reminder: No School April 28
There will be no school for WDMCS students on Friday, April 28. 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.

WDMCS Earns Excellence in Financial Reporting Award
The district has received its 32nd consecutive Association of School Business Officials International’s (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. The Certificate of Excellence was awarded for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The award confirms the district’s commitment to financial accountability, transparency, and integrity.

New Apparel and Spirit Wear Available to Order
A new web store with district apparel and athletic spirit wear is up and running! Each piece can be customized to feature the district or school logos. Choose “West Des Moines School and District Apparel” for apparel featuring the district’s new logo or “Tiger Athletics and Activities Apparel” for spirit wear with the tiger and the paw print.

Place an order at www.rokkitwear.com/landing/west-des-moines-community-schools/.

Iowa Teacher of the Year Nominations Due April 25
Thousands of talented Iowa educators lead and inspire their students, but only one is chosen as the Iowa Teacher of the Year. The annual award is an opportunity to recognize an exceptional Iowa teacher who is helping to redefine education. Anyone can nominate a teacher who is making a difference.

The deadline to nominate the 2018 Iowa Teacher of the Year is April 28. Nomination forms can be found on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline—March 27, 2017 Issue

PDF* | en español* | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Dates
March 27: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
March 27: Special School Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
March 29: End of Third Quarter
March 29: Grading Practices Task Force Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
March 31: World of Choices*
April 3: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
April 3: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
April 4: School Improvement Advisory Committee, 6:30 p.m.
April 5: Indian Hills Career Day
April 11: Stilwell Career Day*

(*Please note: This page and the PDFS on this page have been updated to reflect new dates for World of Choices and Stilwell’s Career Day.)

New Meningococcal Vaccine Requirement for Grades 7 & 12
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. Get the details at http://bit.ly/vaccine2017.

Start Your Child’s Kindergarten Adventure
If your child will be 5 years old on or before September 15, 2017, he or she will be eligible to start kindergarten in the fall of 2017. Parents and guardians of 2017-18 kindergartners are invited to Kindergarten Roundup at each elementary school. Please visit www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schools/registration/kindergarten/kindergarten-roundup/ or call your school for more information.

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. Get three expert tips that will help your child do his or her best on testing days at http://bit.ly/IA_2017.

Transportation Fees Reminder
Fourth-quarter transportation fees were due Tuesday, March 21, 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.

Summer Fun with WDMCS Community Education
Whether your children want to refresh their skills or expand their knowledge this summer, WDMCS Community Education provides a wide variety of activities to choose from! With many fun, enriching, and affordable learning opportunities available, you and your child will be able to find a program that sounds interesting, fun, and rewarding. Information about this year’s Summer of Learning programs is available at http://www.wdmcs.org/commed-news/summer-learning-2017/.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline—March 6, 2017 Issue

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Important Dates
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

Reminder! Spring Break
Spring break is almost here in the West Des Moines Community Schools. There will be no school March 13-17 this year. There is also no school on March 10, the Friday before spring break. Classes will resume on
Monday, March 20. See this year’s calendar at a glance for more important dates: http://bit.ly/WDMCSCalendarGlance.

Start Your Child’s Kindergarten Adventure!
Join us at these great kindergarten events: http://bit.ly/KindergartenRoundup. Don’t have an incoming kindergarten student, but know someone who does? Share these dates to help them getting started.

Stilwell Nominated for National Award
Stilwell Junior High is one of just five Iowa schools and the only Iowa junior high school to be nominated for recognition in the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in 2017. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/StilwellBlueRibbon

Level Up! Project-Based Learning Coming to Valley Southwoods
Next year, project-based learning is expanding to Valley Southwoods Freshman High School as it introduces its first “school-within-a-school.” Learn more about this innovative learning approach at www.wdmcs.org/academics/new-tech/.

Join Us for Breakfast!
WDMCS students can enjoy delicious Southwest Topped Toast on Tuesday, March 7 in celebration of National School Breakfast Week. We serve breakfast 30 minutes before the start of school. To sign up, call 515-633-5094 or visit www.wdmcs.org/departments/nutrition/.

Seeking Your Input
Don’t miss out! WDMCS families are invited to share their input as we continually work to improve our services. Parents/guardians are invited to take our Family Survey. Please check your email for a link to the survey or call 515-633-5023 for more information. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes and it will be open through March 13, 2017. Thank you for your invaluable insights!

School Board Sets Public Hearing on Budget
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the district’s fiscal year 2018 budget at 7 p.m. on April 3, 2017, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.  A public hearing is held each year on the budget in accordance with Iowa code

School Board Reviews Search and Seizure Policy
On Monday, Feb. 27, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education held its first reading of Board policy 502.9P regarding the search of students’ lockers, backpacks, and more. The policy is part of a series of policies regarding student personnel that is under review this year. The School Board will take action on 502.9P at an upcoming meeting.  You may view proposed Policy 502.9 at http://bit.ly/Policy5029P.

Join WDMCS on Snapchat
West Des Moines Community Schools is now on Snapchat! Follow us for quick updates and live photos and videos of events happening the district. Add us on Snapchat with username WDMCS.

Topics: 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

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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

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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