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Archive for Topic: 'School Board News'

School Board Reception Sept. 25

The Wes Des Moines Community Schools will hold a reception on Monday, Sept. 25, from 6:30-7 p.m. honoring its school board members who are concluding their service and those who are beginning a new term. The reception will be held at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines, and is open to the public.

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will welcome new member Jennifer Wells, who joins the seven-member board, which also includes newly re-elected members Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D. The remaining members of the Board are David J. Brown, Liz Cox, Melinda Dunnwald, and Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D.

Tali Greenspon is concluding her term on the school board. She served the school district for four years.

For more information about the school board, please visit


Topics: School Board News

Brennan, Poole, Wells Elected to School Board

Incumbents Elizabeth Brennan and Vicky Poole, Ed.D., and Jennifer Wells were elected to three open seats on the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education in the Sept. 12 school board election. The official vote canvass took place on Friday, Sept. 15.

Brennan, Poole, and Wells will be sworn in at the annual/organizational meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, at the Learning Resource Center. The meeting will follow a reception honoring school board members at 6:30 p.m. the same day.

The Physical Plant and Equipment Levy was also renewed by the community. The approved levy will take effect immediately after the current levy expires in 2021 and last until 2031.


Topics: School Board News

School Board Election 2017

School board elections will be held this year on Tuesday, Sept. 12. There will be three seats on the ballot, as well as a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) renewal.

Election Results     Learn About PPEL     How to Vote

The School Board

A boy holds a sign that says Vote!The school board represents the parents and citizens of our community. In the West Des Moines Community Schools, school board members are elected at-large, or represent the entire school district. They receive no compensation for their service.

Each school board member is elected for a term of four years. Terms are staggered to ensure continuity of leadership.

Candidate Information
The filing period for school board candidates ended at 5 p.m. on July 30. The following individuals have filed nomination papers. Follow the links to profiles from “The Des Moines Register.”

  • Incumbent Elizabeth Brennan, 804 38th St., West Des Moines, is currently a preschool teacher at Montessori Children’s House in West Des Moines. She is a former West Des Moines Community Schools ESOL teacher and Valley High School graduate.
  • Incumbent Vicky Poole, Ed.D., 12844 Clark St., Clive, retired from the West Des Moines Community Schools where she served as Valley High School principal (2000-11) and associate principal (1996-2000).
  • Kelly Davydov, 4812 Stonebridge Circle, West Des Moines, serves as a program manager for the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Program, an Iowa Department of Human Rights in-home service for low-income families with children birth through 18.
  • Jennifer Wells, 508 25th St., West Des Moines, is executive director of Please Pass the Love, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing school-based mental health supports. She is also an adjunct professor at Drake University and taught special education at Western Hills Elementary, Hillside Elementary, and Indian Hills Junior High.

Current Board President Tali Greenspon is not seeking re-election.

Public School Board Candidate Forums
Iowans for Public Education Forum, 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5, at the WDMCS Learning Resources Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Iowans for Public Education invites the public to meet all the candidates for the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education and get the chance to ask them a question.

The PPEL Renewal

Voters will be asked to renew the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy—$1.34 per $1,000 of taxable property value. This levy will not increase property taxes. West Des Moines Community Schools has depended on this levy for more than 60 years.

Funds generated will be used for:

  • Purchasing education technology
  • Updating computer systems as needed
  • Safety improvements
  • Building repairs and renovations

Learn more with our Understanding PPEL Fact Sheet.

Remember to Vote on Sept. 12

Polling hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Find Your Precinct Number (Polk County)

Find Your Polling Place     Register to Vote Online     Get an Absentee Ballot 

Please see the following websites for additional information:

Topics: School Board News

New Math Materials for Grades K-8 Coming Next Year

WDMCS students in kindergarten through eighth grade will have new math materials next year. The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education approved Everyday Mathematics 4 materials for students in kindergarten through grade five and GoMath materials for students in grades six through eight. The materials—such as math journals, activity cards, a digital learning center, videos, and more—are aligned with the Iowa Core Standards and offer personalization for students. A snapshot of the approved recommendation is available online and more information for parents will be coming soon.

Topics: School Board News

District to Implement “Deep Equity” Framework

Next year, the WDMCS will begin systemic change to ensure equity for all students through the Deep Equity program.

After months of reviewing several frameworks for equity training and education, students, parents, community members, and employees who make up the district’s equity committee recommended the Deep Equity framework to guide the district’s work. On Monday, April 24, the Board of Education approved a $129,280 two-year contract with Corwin Press, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California, for services related to the Deep Equity framework. The district is seeking grant funding to help offset the expense of the contract.

The services include:

  • Deep Equity Leadership Coaching: Deep Equity Leadership Coaching will assist in designing and implementing equity and inclusion initiatives, review equity-related policies and processes, assess potential structural barriers to an inclusive learning environment, and conduct school equity audits and focus groups to assess strategic equity and inclusion outcomes.
  • In-School Support for Culturally Responsive Teaching Teams: This includes customized implementation visits designed to support Culturally Responsive Teaching Teams in schools.
  • School Board Awareness and Training: The School Board Awareness and Training Session explores the Board’s role in leading for equity.
  • Cultural Competence Professional Development for Support Staff: This invites school support staff to consider how they can transform their schools and workplaces to meet the diverse and complex needs of all employees and students.

It also includes a component for student education, which will culminate in students presenting their vision to the community as a whole.

“This is not a canned program, but is tailored to the needs of our district and our community,” said WDMCS Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D., at the April 24 School Board meeting. She also outlined the benefits of the program.

Read more about the district’s work regarding educational equity.

Topics: Equity, School Board News

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. Transportation fees are still under review.

Last year, the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) offered a new online payment system as a way to pay school fees, transportation fees, and add money to a student’s nutrition account.

The district charged a two percent convenience fee, subject to a $1 minimum and $5 maximum, to help offset the nearly $80,000 in processing charges from the online payment company. The district will no longer charge the convenience fee.

Fees such as student activity passes, instrument rental, driver education, parking fines, and more will remain the same as last year.

Textbook fees will increase next year by $5 for the regular rate and by $4 for the reduced rate. This is the first textbook fee increase in three years.

The 2017-18 textbook fees will be:

  • Full-Day Kindergarten: Regular Fee $55; Reduced Fee $39
  • Grades 7-8: Regular Fee $65; Reduced Fee $46
  • Grade 9: Regular Fee $85; Reduced Fee $60
  • Grades 10-12: Regular Fee $85; Reduced Fee $60

“When we compare our fees to other metro-area school districts, we do not have the highest fees and we do not have the lowest fees,” WDMCS CFO Paul Bobek said.

School meal prices will increase 5 cents for a full-priced student lunch and 10 cents for a full-priced breakfast. The increase in meal prices is due to the rising food and personnel costs. For the 2017-18 school year, full-priced lunches will be $2.80 for elementary students and $2.90 for junior high and high school students. Full-priced breakfasts will cost $1.80 for elementary students and $1.90 for junior high and high school students. There is no increase for reduced-rate student meals.

The district proposed a $20 increase in the annual two-way bus pass. Transportation fees have not changed for five years. Bobek explained that even with the proposed increase, the district would not charge the full cost of transporting a student. As in the past, the district would only charge approximately three-fourths of the average transportation cost per student.

The School Board took no action on the transportation fee proposal, due, in part, to a request from the Superintendent’s Finance & Facilities Committee for additional information about the pay zone areas for busing.

The Transportation Department is analyzing how much it would cost to provide free transportation for K-12 students living one mile or more from school. The district currently follows the Iowa Department of Education recommendation to provide free transportation for elementary students living two miles or more from school and for high school students living three miles or more from school.

The transportation fee proposal will come back to the School Board at a later date with the additional information about the adjusted pay zone.

Topics: Budget, School Board News

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 Superintendent’s Board Policy Advisory Committee reviews all policies prior to sending them to the School Board. The School Board will take action on 502.9P at an upcoming meeting.

Topics: School Board News

School Board Sets Public Hearing on Budget

Budget_2The 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.

Topics: Budget, School Board News

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 Find out more about the Promise of Iowa campaign at

Topics: School Board News

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. They earned their awards by strengthening their boardsmanship abilities through the IASB Boardsmanship Awards program. This acclaimed award was presented to 103 local school, AEA and community college board members.

“These board members have shown dedication and commitment to professional growth, to ensure they are prepared to make a difference at the board table and for students,” said IASB Board President Amy Jurrens.

Remy received the Better Boardsmanship Superintendent’s Award of Honor. Superintendents can earn this award by completing the eligibility requirements and having at least two board members in the district who have earned Individual Award of Achievement certificates.

Dunnwald also received a Basics of Boardsmanship certificate. She earned the certificate by completing four components focused on essential board learning concepts through IASB’s Basics of Boardsmanship program. This is the first year this awards program has been offered to IASB members.

The WDMCS Board of Education is made up of seven individuals elected at-large by residents of our district community. The members represent the parents and citizens of our community, set policy for the school district, determine the operational efficiency of the schools, and more. Find out more about the WDMCS Board of Education at

Topics: School Board News, Staff Achievements, Superintendent