Skip to content
Blog

Archive for Topic: '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

Informaline Aug. 29, 2016

PDF | en espanolVirtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Important Calendar Dates

  • Sept. 5: Labor Day—No School
  • Sept. 11: School Board Special Workshop Session
  • Sept. 12: School Board Workshop Session
  • Sept. 12: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting
  • Sept. 12: Eid al-Adha Begins (Sept. 12-13)
  • Sept. 20: School Community Network Meeting

Welcome Back! A Message from the Superintendent
Welcome to the 2016-17 school year. I hope you enjoyed the summer months and were able to spend time with friends and family. I am looking forward to another year filled with outstanding learning experiences and opportunities for all of our students.

One of our values in the West Des Moines Community Schools is growth. I want every child in our district to grow each year to expand their individual abilities and interests. To help our students, we, as adults, must grow as well. We must continue to learn, innovate, and enhance our abilities in an ever-changing world. I have worked with our Board of Education to define goals that will guide our district and my work for this year. I invite you to learn more about these goals, which are available at bit.ly/2bR5FUs.

Thank you for joining us for the 2016-17 school year. We will work every day to inspire each student to achieve his or her greatest potential. I wish you a year filled with happiness, learning, and success!

Welcome to the 2016-17 school year,
Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D.

WDMCS Introduces a New Brand Identity
Our new district brand was officially revealed at the staff welcome back event on Monday, Aug. 22. The revitalized brand celebrates our district as a place where students can belong, connect, learn, and launch their futures. You can learn more about our new brand, the new logo, and our brand journey at bit.ly/WDMCS_Brand.

WDMCS Activities Calendar Now Fully Online!
The full 2016-17 calendar of events is now available online at www.wdmcs.org/calendar/.

You can personalize your online calendar view by choosing the categories and
schools relevant to your family and print a customized list of dates with our
new on-demand print feature. Watch your inbox and this website post for a
calendar how-to and other calendar updates, coming soon!

Familiar Faces in New District Video
Almost 200 district students, staff, family members, volunteers, and other community members contributed their time, energy, and talents to a new district video. You can watch the full video on our district website and on YouTube.

We would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who was part of the video, especially the many students and staff who participated. See a full list of credits and learn the story behind the video at bit.ly/WDMCS_OurVideo.

WDMCS Reviewing Upgrades to School Buildings
WDMCS is working with Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering of West Des Moines to see if our elementary buildings enhance or encumber instruction. This summer, Shive-Hattery architects interviewed principals and teachers in our eight elementary schools to understand how they use building space for instruction. The architects learned some of our buildings need space that is more flexible or can support collaboration.

The architects presented their study to the Board of Education during a workshop session on Aug. 8, 2016. Some of their preliminary suggestions are:

  • reallocation of computer labs, media centers, and common areas
  • special consideration at Westridge Elementary and Crestview School of Inquiry
  • Kids West component of study
  • reallocation of space at Hillside Elementary
  • a preschool center
  • sixth-grade addition to Indian Hills/Stilwell junior high schools to combine to a grade 6-7 academy and creation of a grade 8-9 academy at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.
  • relocated preschool and sixth-grade addition to existing buildings
  • building additions at each elementary school

Read more about the study online.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline May 31, 2016

PDF

en español

Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Get a Jump Start on the New School Year!
West Des Moines Community Schools families can get a head start on the upcoming school year by paying fees and placing money in student lunch accounts this summer.

Read more about how paying this summer can help you, fees you can pay, how to make a payment, and more at www.wdmcs.org/news/get-jump-new-school-year/.

Eat with Us this Summer!
WDMCS is working with West Des Moines Parks and Recreation and West Des Moines Human Services to offer the Summer Food Service Program from June 6 to Aug. 12, 2016. Meals will be provided Monday-Friday, without charge, on a first come, first served basis. All sites will be closed on July 4. Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. View all the meal sites and times here.

Register for WDMCS Community Education’s Summer of Learning
Are you ready for a change of seasons? The WDMCS Community Education Summer of Learning Catalog is now available online at www.wdmcs.org/commed/programs/youth/summer-of-learning/. Please see the catalog for class descriptions and a listing of all classes by grade level and time period.

Learn more and register for great WDMCS Community Education Summer of Learning opportunities at www.wdmcs.org/commed/take-a-class.   

summer-graphicsummer-graphic-S

Topics: Informaline

Summer Food Service Program Information

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Nutrition Services Department is working with West Des Moines Parks and Recreation and West Des Moines Human Services to offer a Summer Food Service Program from June 6 to Aug. 12, 2016. Meals will be provided to all children 18 years old or younger without charge; adults may pay $2 for breakfast or $3.50 for lunch. The meals will be provided Monday through Friday, on a first come, first served basis. All sites will be closed on July 4.

Two types of Summer Food Service Program sites are available: open and enrolled. Open sites are available to all children and families. Enrolled sites are available only to children who are enrolled in certain site-specific programs and meet the income guidelines for reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program.

Seven open sites will provide meals at the following times:

Open Sites

Crestview School of Inquiry. 8355 Franklin Ave., Clive Breakfast 7:45-9 a.m.
Lunch 11:15-12:15 a.m.
Meals served in the school cafeteria.
Hillside Elementary, 713 Eighth St., West Des Moines Breakfast: 7:45-8:45 a.m.
Lunch: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Meals served in the school cafeteria.
Indian Hills Junior High, 9401 Indian Hills Drive, Clive Breakfast 9-9:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11-11:30 a.m.
Meals served in the school cafeteria.
Legion Park, corner of 4th Street and Vine Street, West Des Moines Lunch: noon to 1 p.m. Meals served under the park shelter.
Rex Mathes, 1401 Vine St., West Des Moines (June 6-July 15) Breakfast: 8-8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:15-11:30 a.m.
Meals served in the school cafeteria.
Stilwell Junior High, 1601 Vine St., West Des Moines (July 18-August 11) Breakfast: 8-8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Meals served in the school cafeteria.
Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266 (closed August 12) Breakfast: 8-10:30 a.m.
Lunch: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meals served in the school cafeteria.

Two enrolled sites will provide meals at the following times:

Enrolled Sites

Champs/Mini Champs Program, Clive Learning Academy, 1600 73rd St., Windsor Heights (June 6-17, July 11-26) Lunch: 11-11:30 a.m. Meals will be served in the school cafeteria.
Chapel Ridge West Residents, Office at Chapel Ridge West, 210 S. 41st St., West Des Moines (June 6-August 12) Lunch: 11-11:30 a.m. Meals will be served in the school cafeteria.

At both open and enrolled sites, meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. There will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call 866-632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: 202-690-7442; or
  3. email:  program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Iowa Non-Discrimination Statement:
“It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.6, 216.7, and 216.9.  If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNP Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office building, 400 E. 14th St. Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; website: https://icrc.iowa.gov/.”

 

Topics: Informaline, Nutrition

Informaline May 16, 2016

PDF

en español

Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Grading Practices Under Review
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education appointed a 51-member task force to review the district’s grading practices.

The task force of parents, community members, teachers, administrators, and School Board members will complete its work during the 2016-17 school year and provide a recommendation in the spring of 2017. The committee meetings will be open to the public.

Read the task force membership list and learn more about its mission on the district website at www.wdmcs.org/2016/05/grading-practices-review/.

The task force will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

District to Unveil New Brand
Get ready! A new district brand — including an academic logo and brand platform — will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.

Learn more about the branding process on the district website at www.wdmcs.org/2016/05/district-unveil-new-brand-marketing-efforts.

No School Memorial Day
There will be no school for students on Monday, May 30, as it is Memorial Day.

New Last Day of School
School was not in session Feb. 2, 2016, due to adverse winter weather conditions. The last day of school is now set for Thursday, June 2.

Celebrating Our Graduates
The West Des Moines Community Schools proudly announces that 681 students will graduate from the district this year. Valley High School will graduate 593 seniors with traditional diplomas, plus 8 with Certificates of Attendance (foreign exchange students). Walnut Creek Campus will graduate 88 students. Sixty students will graduate with traditional diplomas, and 28 will graduate with core diplomas.

Who are the WDMCS graduates? Leaders: 17 Student Government members Volunteers: 121 Silver Cord Awards, 9 Presidential Volunteer Awards, 4 Teal Cord Awards AP Students: 32 took 5+ AP Exams, 71 AP Scholars, 1 National AP Scholar Scholars: 4 Honors Students, 10 Scholars of Distinction National Honor Society Members: 49 members National Merit Finalists: Andrew Austin, Joseph Brennan, Haley Gion, Alexa Kort, Quinn Nolin, and Samuel Throm

Walnut Creek Campus Commencement
Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m.
Staplin Performing Arts Center at Valley High School (3650 Woodland Ave, West Des Moines)

Valley High School Commencement
Sunday, May 29, at 12:30 p.m.
Drake Knapp Center (2601 Forest Ave., Des Moines)

SchoolBoardRec-graphic

District Expands New Tech Model to High School
On May 9, the WDMCS Board of Education approved a district committee’s recommendation to expand the New Tech instructional model to ninth grade at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in 2017-18. The district will expand the model to 10th grade at Valley High School in 2018-19, then to 11th grade in 2019-20, and to 12th grade in 2020-21. The New Tech Advisory Committee recommended using a “school-within-a-school” model, which establishes a smaller team of teachers and students within the larger school. The committee agreed that the school-within-a-school model should be reviewed in five years by a representative stakeholder group.

Learn more on the district website at www.wdmcs.org/2016/05/district-expands-new-tech-model-high-school/.

Congratulations to Valley High School junior Arjun Ganga for earning a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT!

Valley Named to “Best High Schools” List
Valley High School was ranked the third best high school in Iowa on the “2016 Best High Schools” list, released by the U.S. News and World Report on April 19, 2016.

The rankings were based on college readiness, average proficiency in math and reading, and graduation rates.

Valley was one of 119 Iowa schools named to the list, and one of only 11 Iowa schools eligible for a national ranking.

Tiger Field Project Bids Approved, Facilities Plan to be Reviewed
On a 4-2 vote with one abstention, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education approved the bids for the renovation of Valley High School’s Tiger Field.

The project includes a new track surface, press box, long jump and shot put/discus area, sound system, sidewalks, increased seating at the field with new bleachers, additional lighting to extend the hours of operation, and more. Construction will begin this summer, with substantial completion of the project scheduled for August.

Operations Director Eric Smith reported that this summer the administration would like to review the district’s 10-year facilities plan, current space needs in the district’s buildings, and bring a recommendation regarding the plan to the Board this fall.

Learn more about the Tiger Field project at www.wdmcs.org/2016/05/tiger-field-project-bids-approved-facilities-plan-reviewed/.

Topics: Informaline

District to Unveil New Brand and Marketing Efforts

Get ready! A new district brand – including an academic logo and brand platform – will be unveiled at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.

The district has worked with students, parents, staff, and local branding and graphic design experts to develop a full brand platform of which our community can be proud.

district_branding_Slide1In 2013, the West Des Moines Community Schools conducted a communications audit with the National School Public Relations Association. One recommendation from the audit was to incorporate marketing and branding strategies to build the district’s reputation as a leading school district.

Subsequently, the School/Community Relations Office developed a comprehensive communications plan, which included conducting and implementing a branding process and marketing plan by 2016-2017.

district_branding_Slide2In 2014, the School/Community Relations Office began a branding process with assistance from Share Marketing. The process launched in November with a 22-question branding and positioning survey of parents and employees. Student’s of Valley High School Business Teacher Sarah Bird’s marketing class were also involved in the branding process and participated in the survey.
In January 2015, three four-hour branding work sessions were held with nearly 30 parent, teacher, administrator, and support staff representatives. Through the committee’s work, a brand platform was developed for the district.

Based on this foundational work, the process moved to the district’s visual identity suite and tagline.

district_branding_Slide3The district hired (c)3 Marketing, a service of Love Scott & Associates, Inc. (c)3 Marketing President Andrea Love and Vice President/Creative Director Adam Jensen have an understanding of and history with the district as the firm worked with staff, parents, and students to develop the district activities logo. In addition, Love is a graduate of Valley High School.  The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education approved the logo and tagline in August 2015.

The School/Community Relations Office will continue its work during the summer to create new materials for our district. Stay tuned!

Topics: Informaline

Grading Practices Under Review

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education has appointed a task force to review the district’s grading practices.

On May 9th, the School Board approved a 51-member task force that will look at the district’s current grading practices, study national research on effective practices, and possibly recommend changes to how students are graded.

Drake University Associate Professor of Education Dr. Thomas Buckmiller and Solon High School Principal Nathan Wear will facilitate the task force of parents, community members, teachers, administrators, and School Board members. Both facilitators have an extensive background in effective grading practices and have worked with schools in Iowa and across the nation in this area.

The task force will complete its work during the 2016-17 school year and provide a recommendation in the spring of 2017.

The committee meetings will be open to the public.

Effective Grading Practices Task Force Membership List

 

Topics: Grading Practices, Informaline, School Board News

Informaline May 2, 2016

PDF

en español

Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Reminder: Early Out on May 4
This is a reminder that all schools will dismiss 45 minutes early this Wednesday, May 4. We are providing this reminder because a “C”—which signifies a collaboration date—was inadvertently omitted on April 13, April 27, May 4, and June 1 on the printed district calendar. All WDMCS schools dismiss early every Wednesday to allow for collaboration time. Please remember that every Wednesday is a collaboration day.

For more information about collaboration and each school’s schedule, please see the ‘Collaboration Days’ web page.

Board Approves New Stadium Scoreboard, Revised Discipline Policies
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education approved a new Valley stadium scoreboard and several revised disciple-related policies at its April 25, 2016, meeting.

  • Read more about the new video board here.
  • Learn more about the updated policies here.

Reminder! New Online Payment System
This is a reminder that the new WDMCS Online Payment system is now available for families. The new online system is designed to provide a safe, convenient way to pay school fees, transportation fees, and add money to your child’s nutrition account.

A convenience fee will be charged when you make an online payment. As with other online payment systems, you will see a detailed receipt of your transactions for each session, including any convenience fees, prior to “checking out” and confirming the payment.

Families may avoid the convenience fee by making cash, check, or debit/credit card payments in the school’s main office or at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines.

Learn more about the new online payment system at www.wdmcs.org/online-payments/.

Preregister for a 2016-17 Bus Pass Today!
You can register:

  • Online — Go to the ‘Transportation’ tab on www.wdmcs.org.
  • By Mail or Fax — Download a form at www.wdmcs.org/departments/registration/ and sent to 2102 Delavan Drive, West Des Moines, IA 50265 OR 515-633-4999
  • By Phone — 515-633-4990 (English) | 515-633-4989 (en español)

Register for a bus pass on the WDMCS district website at www.wdmcs.org/departments/transportation/registration/.

Committee Plans Expansion of New Tech at WDMCS
An advisory team has been meeting since January to plan the district’s expansion of the district’s New Tech learning model to the high school level.

Specifically, the team is working to answer questions including the following:

  • Should New Tech at the high school level be a school-within-a-school model OR should it be a separate New Tech high school?
  • Will students be able to passport out to take classes through the traditional high school such as AP or foreign language courses

Learn more about the advisory team and its goals.

WDMCS is the first school district in the state to offer New Tech schools, where students learn through real-world community-based projects and all children are assigned a personal digital device.

To learn more about New Tech, visit www.wdmcs.org/academics/new-tech/.

Helping Students Finish Strong
Spring can be a stressful time for students as they prepare for end-of-year exams, projects, and presentations. Parents and guardians can help their children finish the year on a high note by consistently reviewing
Infinite Campus with them and encouraging them to practice healthy self-care.

We compiled tips on these topics from Danette Rieper, WDMCS learning support and family engagement coordinator, and Dr. Kristine Milburn, professional development/curriculum facilitator for gifted/talented programming and English teacher. Read the tips at www.wdmcs.org/news/helping-students-finish-strong/.

Topics: Informaline

Informaline April 18, 2016

PDF

en español

Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

 

School Board Sets District Priorities
At a recent special meeting, the West Des Moines School Board of Education identified effective grading practices, personalized learning (New Tech, online learning), community outreach, and professional learning communities (PLCs) with an overarching goal of equity and student achievement as the district’s priorities for the next 10-12 months.

These priorities were selected from the district’s strategic plan developed in 2014. A possible additional priority to align finances with the strategic plan will be discussed at a later work session.

The Board asked Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy to write action steps under each priority area, which she will present to the Board at a later meeting.

The Board also reviewed its “What Graduates Will Know and Be Able to Do” statement developed at its March 7 meeting. The statement provides a goal for the Board aligned with the district’s mission and vision.

The statement is:

“A West Des Moines Community Schools graduate will possess the essential skills and integrity to communicate, collaborate, and solve problems as a confident citizen, embracing our diverse and changing world.”

Thank You to Our Volunteers
The West Des Moines Community Schools would like to say a special thank you to all our district volunteers this week.

April 18-22 is National Public School Volunteer Week, and a great chance to show appreciation for all the volunteers who help make our schools better places to learn and work. From assisting in classrooms to feeding teachers during conferences and helping with student activities, we could not offer all the excellent opportunities we do without the help of our many volunteers. Thank you for working with us to support learning and our amazing students and staff!

Public Hearing to be Held on Tiger Field Project
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the Tiger Field renovation project on May 9.

Tiger Field is located at Valley High School and serves as a physical education and competition space for high school students during the day. Seasonal sports and local groups use the field in the evening and on weekends.

The field renovation project includes:

  • Removal and replacement of the existing track, practice field, bleachers, and press box;
  • Installation of a new synthetic turf multipurpose field;
  • New sports field lighting;
  • New bleachers and press box;
  • New long jump runways;
  • And the addition of two new shot put rings.

Renovation work is currently scheduled to take place May-October 2016. The preliminary construction base bid budget for the project was approximately $2.7 million, with the cost opinion base bid coming in at $3,261,309. There are six add alternates totaling $543,279 that could be added to the base bid if selected.

The sales tax fund, which cannot pay for general fund expenses like teacher and staff salaries or educational programming, pays for all construction projects, including the Tiger Field renovation.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 9 at Crestview School of Inquiry, 8355 Franklin Ave, Clive.

Reminder: Normal Early Out on April 27
This is a reminder that all schools will dismiss at their typical Wednesday early dismissal time on Wednesday, April 27. We are providing this reminder because a “C”—which signifies a collaboration date—was inadvertently omitted on April 27, May 4, and June 1 on the printed district calendar. All WDMCS schools dismiss early every Wednesday to allow for collaboration time. More information is available here.

Third-Graders Plan Meals with WDMCS Nutrition Services Department
District elementary students will get to eat a school lunch planned by their peers on Wednesday, May 4! Ms. Snell’s Clive Learning Academy class worked with Nutrition Services Director Willow Dye to create a menu featuring cheeseburgers, seasoned broccoli, fresh spinach, cherries, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.

The WDMCS Nutrition Services Department periodically partners with third-grade classes throughout the district to teach students about the Department of Agriculture’s “MyPlate” initiative and how it ties into school lunch. Teachers can invite Dye to talk to classes after completing a “Choose My Plate” unit. Dye presents on the five food groups offered in school lunches and has students sort foods into the different groups. Students often have questions about dessert and learn that it is a “sometimes” food for special occasions, not all the time.

To learn more about “MyPlate” and the other resources Nutrition Services has to offer, click here.

Nutrition Services will also be celebrating School Lunch Hero Day on May 6. The district will be honoring its Lunch Room Heroes at every school on that day. To get involved and help recognize the school lunch heroes at your school, contact Cheryl McLellan, the nutrition services human resources supervisor, at mclellanc@wdmcs.org or 515-633-5091.

Board Sets Tax Rate at $13.27
On Monday, April 11, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education adopted the district’s $198 million 2016-17 certified budget and set the tax rate at $13.27.

This is slightly higher than the current $13.24 rate, but Chief Financial Officer Paul Bobek explained during the Board meeting that the rate will likely remain at its current level once finalized by the state. For more information, please click here.

Educator Rick Wormeli to Provide Professional Development for All District Teachers April 29
There will be no school for students on Friday, April 29, 2016. It is a professional development day for teachers, who will be working with education professional Rick Wormeli.

Wormeli is an innovative educator with more than 30 years of teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, and history, as well as instructing teachers and principals. He has presented on education in all 50 states, several countries, and at the White House. He is also an education consultant for National Public Radio and USA Today and has worked with the Smithsonian Institute.

Wormeli is the author of several successful books including “Day One and Beyond,” “Summarization in Any Subject,” and the award-winning “Meet Me in the Middle.” He is also a columnist for Middle Ground magazine and a contributor to the ASCD’s (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Educational Leadership magazine. His work has been covered by numerous media outlets, including Good Morning America, National Geographic, and The Washington Post.

To learn more about professional development in the West Des Moines Community Schools, click here.

 

 

 

Topics: Informaline

Informaline April 4, 2016

PDF

en español

Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

Recent Cuts Help District Manage Expenses, Keep Tax Rate Steady
The West Des Moines Community Schools’ decision in December to trim its 2016-17 budget by $560,000 may have helped keep its tax rate relatively steady and manage what many Iowa education leaders are calling inadequate state funding.

During a School Board workshop last week, Chief Financial Officer Paul Bobek presented a proposed publish tax rate of $13.37 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for 2016-17. This is slightly higher than the current $13.24 rate, but he estimates that the rate will remain at its current level once finalized. If approved by the School Board, the rate will continue to be the lowest in the metro area. Other area districts are 32 to 53 percent higher. The WDMCS has been able to maintain its low tax rate for the past few years because of the community’s strong property values.

The district’s proposed certified budget for 2016-17 includes an additional $589,558 under the 2.25 percent funding increase recently approved by lawmakers. Bobek said the increase is for regular programming costs and will not fully cover expenses even with the recent cuts. The School Board may decide to use district reserves to cover the remaining expenses.

A hearing on the district’s proposed $198 million certified budget for 2016-17 will be held at 7 p.m. on April 11 at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

School Board Holds Public Hearings April 11
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold public hearings on the following topics at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11:

Coalition Fights Youth Substance Abuse
The West Des Moines Substance Abuse Prevention Community Coalition (SAPCC) works to promote cooperative community efforts related to the prevention of substance abuse. It has initiated and supports numerous substance abuse prevention activities.

If you are interested in contributing to a healthier community, read on to find out more.

KWDM Students Give Valley a Voice
Staff members at Valley High School’s student radio station, 88.7 FM, KWDM, The Point, take on many tasks, from reading weather reports to crafting playlists that have something for everyone. The station has evolved with the student population over the years, resulting in an eclectic mix of music, talk radio, and sports coverage. Through all the station’s changes, one thing has endured: the students’ dedication. When the students cue songs or report live from sporting events, they know they are not only developing a lifelong skill but acting as the voice of their school. Read more about KWDM and the students who rock the station on our district website at bit.ly/KWDM-article.

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. Read more about the Vital Oxide mister on the website.

Discover the District’s Pinterest
You are invited to pin with us! Discover the WDMCS Pinterest and all the resources it has to offer. Our Pinterest account is all about sharing the great things that happen in WDMCS, providing parents helpful tips, and gathering inspiration to make learning even more personal and exciting. Get a sneak peek at our Pinterest on our website! With pins that highlight our students, staff, and families, we invite you to find your own inspiration on our Pinterest boards.

Topics: Informaline