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Archive for Topic: 'Superintendent'

WDMCS Superintendent Response to DACA Repeal

This week, the White House announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA offers protections for young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Nearly 800,000 DACA recipients are currently able to work and study in the U.S. due to the protections the program offers.

DACA Recission Fact Sheet

WDMCS Mission

In the West Des Moines Community Schools, our mission is to graduate students who can “thrive in and contribute to a diverse and changing world.” We are part of that diverse world. Our students represent more than 30 countries and have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Our mission applies to all of our students; regardless of background, each of them has the potential to thrive in and contribute to our community.

Our focus in the West Des Moines Community Schools is helping all students achieve that potential. Students will remain our focus, and we will continue to empower each of them to learn, grow, and succeed.

As we work together toward our mission, we must remember that diversity strengthens us. We will not tolerate racism or bigotry. Students, teachers, families, and staff members must respect one another, even when we do not agree and especially when events in our country highlight our differences rather than the things we have in common.

Recognizing and fostering each student’s potential is something that must be lived out each day. Let us work together in educating responsible lifelong learners who can thrive in and contribute to our community. We all can contribute to reaching this goal for our schools, our community, and our students.

Lisa Remy, Ed.D.
West Des Moines Community Schools

Topics: Equity, Superintendent

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

2014-15 Welcome Back

Welcome back to school–truly the best time of year.  I hope everyone had a great summer and a chance to rest, relax and reflect. As I take time to reflect back on the past year, I am reminded of the challenges we faced, but more importantly all the great work that happened in our schools and district.  Thank you to all of you who contributed to a successful 2013-2014 school year.

The West Des Moines Community School District staff has been working hard to prepare for the upcoming school year and we look forward to welcoming our 9,000 plus students into our schools.

Our summer has been filled with learning and preparing to implement our teacher leadership program.  I spent two and a half days with administrators and teacher leaders learning about best practices around instructional coaching.  I could see the excitement in the room. The workshop was very valuable and will be helpful as we move forward with implementation.

The Board approved our district’s strategic plan at the June 23rd Board meeting.  The plan has four major focus areas:

  • culture for learning,
  • professional learning,
  • teaching for learning and
  • systemness.

I am looking forward to working with all of you to put the action steps into motion.

We have also been working to enhance the safety of our schools.  On August 18th we have an opportunity to increase our knowledge and to feel more prepared for an emergency situation by conducting an emergency preparedness drill.  This type of exercise will guide us in our emergency planning by helping us to identify areas of strength and weakness.

As we all know there are many challenges with each new school year. This year we will address reducing our budget, changing our schools’ boundaries and possibly adjusting start and end times, just to name a few.

Continuing to bolster our partnerships with families and community stakeholders is vital to meeting these challenges and to creating a successful school setting.

Our greatest endeavor, however, should always be to do our best to meet the needs of each and every student. We are here to serve our students.

Thank you for your dedication to our students.  I look forward to a great school year!

Lisa Remy

 Back-To-School Pre-service Schedule

Topics: Superintendent

Connecticut Elementary School Tragedy

Superintendent’s Message Monday, Dec. 17, 2012
Dear West Des Moines Community Schools Families:

My heart remains sad with the continuing news from the Connecticut tragedy. Given the Holiday Season, I was able to spend  time with family and friends, and I hope you were able to do so as well. Life is truly precious. The victims and their families continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

I want to assure you that we are doing all we can to make sure our schools are a safe place to work and learn. Here are actions we are taking:

  1. Reviewing Emergency Protocols: We are asking all district staff to review emergency protocols, which are posted in every room of our buildings. The protocols include lockdown procedures.
  2. Reviewing the Crisis Management Plan: All building administrators will be reviewing the district Crisis Management Plan to ensure all emergency preparation steps outlined are being followed. This includes conducting drills for several emergencies, including lockdowns. General information about our plan is available here:
  3. Full Review of Crisis Management Plan: This fall, the district began a full review of the Crisis Management Plan and protocols. We will continue this work, which will involve local law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other crisis experts throughout the process.

Please also know that resources about how to talk with your children about such incidents are available here: We will continue to update this page with resources. Also know that our school counselors are here during school hours to help students, if needed.

We are also listening to feedback, concerns, ideas and more that are being provided to us about crisis preparedness, crisis response, safety, and communications. We are doing our best to gather resources, answer questions, and more. Please feel free to contact me or your principal if you have any questions or concerns.

Dr. Peter Ansingh,
WDMCS Superintendent


Superintendent’s Message Friday, Dec. 14, 2012
Dear West Des Moines Community Schools Families;

Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of the Connecticut elementary school tragedy. As we hear such news we are reminded how important it is for our schools to provide the safest possible learning and working environments for our students and staff.

Please know that the West Des Moines Community Schools has safety and crisis protocols for such situations in place that were developed with input from law enforcement.  We will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our students and schools safe.

In addition, we know such news can be confusing and difficult for children. If you are seeking information about how to help children at home deal with tragic news, please feel to reference the resources below. Also know that our school counselors are here during school hours to help students.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help in any way.

Dr. Peter Ansingh,
WDMCS Superintendent

Resources for Parents

WDMCS Crisis Plan Information

Topics: Superintendent

Ansingh Thanks Community for Hillside Assistance

The following was submitted to the Des Moines Register from WDMCS Superintendent Dr. Peter Ansingh.

Dear Editor:

As superintendent of the West Des Moines Community Schools, I am proud that the word “community” is part of our name. It is a reflection of how the citizens of our district come together to support our children.

A recent example of this was the outpouring of offers this summer from individuals, businesses and organizations to assist when we were looking to temporarily relocate the students of Hillside Elementary. (more…)

Topics: Superintendent, Uncategorized

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WDMCS: “Way Better”

Well, we are here; the school year has ended. It seems so long ago that I introduced myself to you back in an August edition of the Informaline.

Being still relatively new, I am often asked whether Iowa/West Des Moines is “what I thought it would be.” My response is always, “It is way better than I thought it would be.” (more…)

Topics: Education, Superintendent

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