District News

Effective Grading Practices Task Force Meets Feb. 22

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

Board Approves Teacher, Staff Agreements

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education has approved agreements with the West Des Moines Education Association (WDMEA) and the West Des Moines Educational Support Personnel (WDMESP).

The School Board approved the agreement with the WDMESP on Wednesday, Feb. 15 after administration held negotiations with the support staff union. The Board approved an agreement with the WDMEA, which represents teachers, at a 7 a.m. meeting on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, after two rounds of negotiations were held.

“We are committed to the success of our students,” said Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D. “We value the expertise of our staff and understand the direct correlation between the quality of staff and success of students. We also understand the duty to continue to be effective stewards of taxpayers money and lead an efficient and effective organization. By honoring the WMDCS employees’ request to negotiate an extended contract, we were able to assuage their fears during this uncertain time so they can support and focus on instruction in the classroom as the district plans for the changes related to the collective bargaining legislation. We thank our employees for their work and together we can keep the focus on improving student learning outcomes in a high-quality workplace.”

 

WDMESP Agreement – Feb. 15, 2017

WDMEA Agreement – Feb. 17, 2017

 

Welcoming Schools, Resources for Teachers

Back to School SmileWe, in the West Des Moines Community Schools, have made a promise to our students that they will find where they belong. Our students represent more than 30 countries and have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Each and every child who comes through our doors must feel safe in our classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and buses. To achieve this, we must continually gain understanding, awareness, and sensitivity to others’ experiences.

WDMCS Community Education Intercultural Outreach Coordinator Jeanna Bauer has provided resources to assist us in these efforts. The resources are available here.

Special School Board Meeting Feb. 17

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 7 a.m.. on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in the Clive Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

School Board Meeting Materials

School Board Information

School Board Meeting Calendar

WDMCS Becomes 1:1 District

Working with Chromebooks.jpg

Students working on Chromebooks.

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.

The project will be funded by existing curriculum funds and district technology funds. By reducing the number of classroom desktops and computer labs over time, existing funding sources will cover the costs to maintain students devices on a four-year cycle.  Support, repairs, check-in procedures, and more will be managed using the existing systems that were implemented for the district’s New Tech Schools.

For more information for parents and students will be coming shortly.

Information for staff members is available here: https://wdmtech.wordpress.com/11-study/

Board Approves Central Office Reorganization Plan

LRCThe WDMCS Board of Education approved the Learning Resource Center Reorganization proposal by a unanimous vote on Monday, Feb. 13. 

The proposal is the result of an efficiency study conducted last May to review the Learning Resource Center’s organization, services, structure, and staffing. The School Board hired Ted Blaesing, Ph.D., whose firm leads and conducts efficiency studies for colleges, universities, and school districts. Blaesing conducted interviews and reviewed data during the summer and fall.

The purpose of the study was to clarify the central office’s current level of service and identify savings and improved efficiency that could help the district better meet its core mission and the needs of students. 
The Board of Education reviewed Blaesing’s findings during its workshop session on Nov. 14. The district’s administration reviewed the study’s findings and fully considered the impact of any changes suggested in the document.

The administration first presented its recommendation at the School Board meeting on January 23, 2017.

The proposal results in a net FTE (full-time equivalent) increase of 1.5 at an estimated total cost of $319,000.

School Board member Jill Caton Johnson, Ph.D., said the reorganization is aggressive because the district’s goals are aggressive. Board members also expressed concern about the added cost and directed the administration to identify savings to offset the cost.

Central Office Organization Review Implementation Plan

Central Office Organizational Chart

Special School Board Meeting Feb. 15

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in the Clive Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

School Board Meeting Materials

School Board Information

School Board Meeting Calendar

Teacher Contract Negotiations Begin

Teacher contract negotiations in the West Des Moines Community Schools will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines.

The West Des Moines Education Association (WDMEA) will represent the teachers and its chief negotiator, Pam Kenworthy, will present the association’s initial contract proposal to the school district at 5 p.m. The district’s chief negotiator, Jim Hanks, will present the district’s initial proposal to the WDMEA at 5:15 p.m.

The meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, is open to the public.

 

Current Agreements

Meet Our Valley Southwood Project-Based Learning Teachers

As project-based learning expands to Valley Southwoods Freshman High School next year, a new team of teachers will be breaking down barriers, connecting students to the community, encouraging collaboration, leveraging technology, and skillfully transferring the ownership of learning to students.

In short, they will be transforming the high school learning experience.

WDMCS Personal Care Collection

WDMCS is making a difference the week of Feb. 20-23.