Community Education News

Community Education Advisory Council Seeking Representatives for 2017-18

The WDMCS Community Education Advisory Council (CEAC) is a volunteer group of citizens who identify community needs and find ways to meet those needs. The council consists of volunteers who represent the schools and other organizations in the West Des Moines Community School. The CEAC meets monthly during the school year.

About Us

The CEAC operates at the community level to understand and represent the needs of the broader community.

CEAC Graphic Where We Fit

CEAC members are selected to serve because they are involved citizens willing to support programs and processes that uphold the philosophy of Community Education.

Representatives include:

  • Schools
  • Neighborhoods
  • Police Departments
  • Youth/Students
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Library
  • Human Services
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Seniors
  • and other citizens

We currently need representatives from Clive Learning Academy, Crossroads Park Elementary, Stilwell Junior High, and Walnut Creek Campus.

Responsibilities of CEAC members:

  • Attend an orientation meeting (new members).
  • Attend a minimum of six CEAC meetings (September-May).
  • One-year renewable term
  • Serve on a project committee and work cooperatively to achieve goals.
  • Serve as an advocate for WDMCS Community Education.
  • Share emerging community needs, ideas, and concerns that impact the quality of life in the community.
  • Maintain two-way sharing of information between the CEAC and represented group, as appropriate.
  • Review the budget and ensure fiscal responsibility.

If you are intersted in learning more about becoming a member of the Community Education Advisory Council, please contact Shahna Janssen, Director of Community Education, at 515-633-5004 or janssens@wdmcs.org.

Rec’s and Reviews: Thirteen Resources for Talking About “13 Reasons Why”

Official "13 Reasons Why" image: Teenage boy wearing headphones stands in front of a mirror. The mirror shows a reflection of a teenage girl. Text: A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES. BASED ON THE BEST SELLING MYSTERY. 13 REASONS WHY. IF YOU'RE LISTENING, YOU'RE TOO LATE.

(Image source: imdb.com.)

Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” based on the young adult novel by Jay Asher, has initiated a lot of discussion surrounding teenage mental health. In the series and book, the teenage characters learn about their classmate’s reasons for dying by suicide after her death. The series has proved popular with teenagers and been renewed for a second season.

There is concern in the suicide prevention community that the series glamorizes suicide, sends detrimental messages about mental health, and could be triggering, especially for young people. The series graphically depicts suicide, rape, survivor’s guilt, and other emotionally complex topics that students may not be prepared to process on their own.

District counseling staff want to provide West Des Moines Community Schools families with resources to support discussions about suicide, trauma, and the “13 Reasons Why” series. Please let your school staff and counselors know if there are other ways we can be of assistance to your family.

13 Resources for Talking About “13 Reasons Why”

Tips and Talking Points

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why Talking Points” from SAVE and the Jed Foundation
  2. “Tips for Parents for Talking with Their Children About 13 Reasons Why and Suicide”  from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  3. “Netflix 13 Reasons Why: What Viewers Should Consider” from the Jed Foundation
  4. “‘13 Reasons Why’ Netflix Series: Considerations for Educators” from the National Association of School Psychologists
  5. Teachable Moment Using “13 Reasons Why” to Initiate a Helpful Conversation About Suicide Prevention and Mental Health” Video from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of School Psychologists
  6. Preventing Youth Suicide” and “Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents & Educators” from the National Association of School Psychologists

Also remember to make sure your children have access to local and national crisis resources:

  1. Your Life Iowa Hotline: 1-855-8111 (24/7)
  2. Your Life Iowa Text Line: Text “TALK” to 855-895-TEXT (8398) (2-10 p.m. daily)
  3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (available 24/7)
  4. ReachOut USA
  5. Download the free “A Friend Asks” app from the Jason Foundation

You may also be interested in:

  1. “13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons” (on Netflix)
  2. “Prevention: The Critical Need” by Jack Pransky (a great book that addresses this topic and more)

Open discussions between adults and young people are a powerful way to help students see problems through a different lens. When talking with young people about suicide, remember to focus on wholeness and well-being, rather than on fear. Encourage them to see the feelings they’re experiencing as a storm cloud: noticeable but temporary. Remind them they can make it through the rain.

Thank you to our district counselors for their assistance with this post.

Seniors Come Home 2017

Seniors Come Home May 22, 2017

Students who attended a West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) elementary are invited back for Seniors Come Home. This special event gives high school seniors the opportunity to visit their home elementary schools so teachers and fellow students can wish them well on their upcoming graduation. Seniors Come Home has been a tradition in the WDMCS for more than 20 years.

On Monday, May 22, graduating seniors are invited back to their home schools at the following times:

  • Jordan Creek and Western Hills at 3 p.m.;
  • Crestview at 3:15 p.m.;
  • Clive and Hillside at 3:30 p.m.;
  • Fairmeadows at 3:45 p.m.; and
  • Crossroads Park and Westridge at 4 p.m.

All retired elementary teachers and staff are welcome.

Seniors Come Home is coordinated by Rosemary Brandt (515-633-5012), Service Learning Coordinator. Service Learning is a program of WDMCS Community Education.