District News

Life in the WDMCS 5/27/14

Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

District

West Des Moines School’s Nutrition Department will be providing free meals to children under the age of 18 this summer! Every day, a hot and cold lunch option is available as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, arrangements can be made to have infant formula, baby cereal and baby food available for children under the age of one if requested in advance. This summer, meals will be served at six different sites Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 8 and running every week until Friday, August 9. All sites will be closed Friday, July 4.

  • Crestview Elementary – Breakfast from 7:45-8:15 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Hillside Elementary – Breakfast from 7;45-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Valley High School – Breakfast from 8-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:15 a.m.-noon
  • Phenix Elementary – Lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • American Legion Park – Lunch from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Rex Mathes School – Lunch from noon-12:30 p.m.

There are no income requirements or registration necessary. Any child under age 18 is welcome to come eat. For more information, contact the West Des Moines Community School’s Nutrition department at 515-633-5085 or check the West Des Moines School’s homepage for updates at www.wdmcs.org. Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local organizations like West Des Moines Schools, to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer. For more information about the national Summer Food Service Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer.

Clive Elementary

Special Education students at Clive Elementary are gearing up for a trip to Adventureland.  In preparation, the students have been working on a variety of activities and skills that will allow their trip to not only be fun, but meaningful at the same time.  The students have been focusing on skills including: patience, cooperation, safety, and teamwork.  Along with a variety of social skills activities, the students have also been working on applying their knowledge of money to real-life spending situations.  The students are looking forward to not only riding rides and playing games, but also building on skills they have been practicing all year.

Crossroads Park Elementary

Third graders from Crossroads Park recently took their annual trip to Farm Bureau, their business partner.   After the short ride to the Farm Bureau headquarters on University Avenue in West Des Moines, students met up with the groundskeeper.  He showed them around the FB property, including a visit to the volunteer garden that was begun this year, with all the vegetables harvested to be donated to the local food bank.  After that they observed the prairie plantings located on the property and were told about some of the native plants that would have been in Iowa in the time of the Native Americans.  From there students went to the flower beds on the properties, and each took turns planting impatiens and begonias.   After each of the students got to plant, a walk was taken around the lake on the Farm Bureau property to get some exercise and see the sights in nature.  All students and their families are invited to come back to see the flowers as they grow and walk around the lake anytime!

Jordan Creek Elementary

The first graders in Lynn Hunt’s class are writing about old and new friends.  They have been rechecking the 175 sight words for first graders and most of them are confidently reading all 175! They are having the most fun preparing for their Reading Celebration next week.  It is so enjoyable hearing the readers use expression. They are also going to the computer lab to practice writing skills regularly and play math games when they have time.  One of their students brought in an ant farm. What a busy colony! It is a great example of the four things every habitat needs for animals to survive.  The students are patiently waiting for their praying mantis egg sac to hatch. Some warm sunshine is needed to encourage them to come out.

Second grade students at Jordan Creek are currently studying the country of Japan.  Through this study, students are learning about the geography, and the about the people and their customs.  Students learn to eat with chopsticks and learn about their food and holidays.  They spent time discussing the schools and education in Japan, as well the literature. They studied the sports and arts of Japan, and finally, students compared and contrasted living in the United States to living in Japan.  The students will complete a picture scrapbook with their comparisons.

A string ensemble of fifth and sixth grade students from Jordan Creek Elementary, led by director Matt Meyer, performed for veterans and staff in the lobby of the main hospital at the Central Iowa VA Health Care System on May 21.  The ensemble included Caroline Ash (viola), Wyatt Eiler (cello), Dorothy Junginger (viola), Sarah Norwood (violin), Kevin Qi (cello) and Andrew Voggesser (bass).

Stilwell Junior High

Stilwell Junior High Team I met to learn about Valley Southwoods as they transition to freshman status in the fall.  Ninth graders Piper Wood and Quinton Curry, gave their advice about high school and answered the students’ questions.  After that the team held a Celebration Assembly by focusing on those with outstanding participation in school activities, honoring readers who read more than English teacher Kay Woods and applauding those students who made the team A and B Honor Rolls for third quarter. Those students receiving Academic Recognition for their school work on Team I are as follows:  Rachel Aksamit, Viridiana Alba, Caley Backstrom, Maria Barbosa, Maggie Baughman, Abigail Beal, Jedeh Bohn, David Bone, Tyler Bruinekool, Michael Bryan, Angela Cary,  Logan Castle, Natalie Cela-Quito,  Kaleb Dale, Preston Doerrfeld, Chloe Dreyer,  Cooper Earle, Alisson Espinoza, Bethany Evans, Drew Falco, Sydney Fisher, Ruby Fultz, Adamarys Gamboa,  Austin Graff, J. LeAnn Grandia, Kelcie Hale, Emma Haupert,  Deja Haynes, Matthew Hsieh,  Kameron Jirak, Nick Johnson, Jared Jones, J. J. Kapur, Mia Klaric, Kyle Koeller, Brenna Kokichi-Williamson, Grayson Leaders, Grace Lincoln, Joey McNunn, Jackson Miller,  Susanna Moore,  Hannah Olson, Alex Peterson, Riley Plummer, Katie Reha, Marisa Rethman, Ali Rudolf,  Noah Samples, Abigail Scott, Ben Spence, Ryan Starner, Hannah Taylor, Devon Tedder, Jack Tellner, Elliot Thornton, Nash Willham, Carly Wyble, Jennifer Yanqui and Eloysa Zarate.

Stilwell Junior High Team I students took a trip to Mitigwa, participated in team building activities and survival strategies such as shelter building and fire building. They learned about map orienteering and compass reading as well. Several Mitigiwa volunteers shared information on pioneering, blacksmithing, buck skinning, and much, much more!

Valley High School

Valley High School drama teacher Stacy Hansen gave her technical theatre students a peek at what a career in theatre might be like when they gave their second semester portfolio project presentations to theatre professionals from the metro area. Each student selected a script and designed the lighting, set and costume components.  Additionally, they created the marketing, property and sound designs for each individual play. The presentations were judged on delivery, summary of the play, analytical explanation of their choices and creativity of their production concept. Judges for this year included Beenie Stein, Assistant Attorney General for Iowa; Nathan Ritz, Director of Talent for the Development Workforce Inclusion in the Youth Leadership Institute of Greater Des Moines; Ron Lambert, co-founder and former artistic director of StageWest, former board member and president of the Iowa Community Theatre Association; Janie Westendorf, owner of Curtains Up Costumes in Sigourney; Ryan VanEvery, WOI commerical director; Suzy McLellan, publisher; Denis Hildreth, Central Academy instructor; Emily Kimpston, Valley alum currently attending Iowa State University; Jocelyn Coffman, Valley alum currently attending the University of Iowa; Spencer Gilbert, Valley alum currently attending the University of Iowa; Ben Weinberg, Valley alum currently attending Drake University; Tracy Edwards, WDMCS substitute teacher; and Caitlin Edwards, Valley alum currently attending the University of Iowa.

VHS Students Sweep Video Contest

L to R: Karen Jones (Unity Point Health), Tory DeVries (VHS art teacher), Andrew Dickerson, Hanna Anderson, Tara Efobi, Cameron Cooper, Izzy Templeton, Joe Anderson, Jessica Lacroix (Unity Point Health)

L to R: Karen Jones (Unity Point Health), Tory DeVries (VHS art teacher), Andrew Dickerson, Hanna Anderson, Tara Efobi, Cameron Cooper, Izzy Templeton, Joe Anderson, Jessica Lacroix (Unity Point Health)

Students at Valley High School placed first, second and third in the UnityPoint Health Teen Video Challenge to create a 90-second public service announcement on distracted driving.

The team of senior Cameron Cooper, senior Tara Efobi and junior Hanna Anderson won the competition and will have the opportunity to work with UnityPoint marketing staff to re-shoot their video and create a billboard for the company’s new One Second campaign which will focus on distracted driving and how one second can change your life.

The video will appear on Unity Point’s website and social media as well as be used in training.

1st Place – Cameron Cooper, Tara Efobi and Hanna Anderson
2nd Place – Andrew Dickerson
3rd Place – Izzy Templeton, Alex Elmitt and Talia Torpy
Honorable Mention – Joe Anderson; Braze Nolin and Admir Djedovic

Nominate Someone for the Susan Asklof Award Today!

Who in the WDMCS has been your source of enthusiasm and inspiration for well-being? Let others know how special this person is by nominating them for the 2013-2014 Susan Asklof Enthusiasm Award.

Here’s how:

  • Fill out the Susan Asklof Award Nomination Form>> http://ow.ly/vfoG7
  • Complete the form and return it to Julie Lundy at the LRC by Friday, May 30.

Since the award’s inception in 1991, it has been a testament to all of the quality individuals who have blessed, influenced and encouraged students, families and colleagues in the West Des Moines School District. Please take the time to continue this tradition and nominate an individual in our district who deserves to be recognized.

Contact: Julie Lundy, WDMCS Community Education, 633-5006

Life in the WDMCS 5/19/14

Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

District

The Valley Orchestra Guild will hold its annual Instrument Return/Rental Night on Tues., May 27 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Valley orchestra room. Students may re-evaluate, resize or re-rent their instruments. The cost to rent an instrument is $75 per year plus a $100 refundable deposit. If you have questions, please contact Michele Stevens at 710-4468.

West Des Moines School’s Nutrition Department will be providing free meals to children under the age of 18 this summer! Every day, a hot and cold lunch option is available as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, arrangements can be made to have infant formula, baby cereal and baby food available for children under the age of one if requested in advance. This summer, meals will be served at six different sites Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 8 and running every week until Friday, August 9. All sites will be closed Friday, July 4.

  • Crestview Elementary – Breakfast from 7:45-8:15 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Hillside Elementary – Breakfast from 7;45-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Valley High School – Breakfast from 8-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:15 a.m.-noon
  • Phenix Elementary – Lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • American Legion Park – Lunch from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Rex Mathes School – Lunch from noon-12:30 p.m.

There are no income requirements or registration necessary. Any child under age 18 is welcome to come eat. For more information, contact the West Des Moines Community School’s Nutrition department at 515-633-5085 or check the West Des Moines School’s homepage for updates at www.wdmcs.org. Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local organizations like West Des Moines Schools, to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer. For more information about the national Summer Food Service Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer.

Clive Elementary

Once a month, kindergartners at Clive Elementary get together with their second grade reading buddies to read. The kindergarteners and second graders both love reading to their reading buddy, and the second graders are great reading role models to the younger students. Having the older children demonstrate their reading fluency and joy of reading is a great way to get the kindergarten students more interested in reading and advancing their reading skills. At the beginning of the year in the reading buddy program, the second graders start off doing all of the reading to their kindergarten buddy. As the year advances, and the kindergarteners become more proficient in reading, the second graders and kindergarteners will take turns reading to each other. We have also enjoyed the nice weather by reading outside in the grass, which the students greatly enjoy. The reading program is yet another way to teach the kids to love reading, and to show them just how fun reading can be.

Crestview Elementary

Twelve students represented Crestview Elementary at the district’s annual Spanish Quiz Bowl. This competition is for students who are not native Spanish speakers. Kids who are good at Spanish, work hard in class and demonstrate a good attitude were invited to go to the Spanish Quiz Bowl. These teams competed against teams from other schools around the district. The Crestview teams were fourth graders Benjamin Mann, Finn Nadel, Jasmyn Tran, Katie Stahl; fifth graders Payton Lombardi, Ericka Elston, Natalie Ulrich; and sixth graders Levi Butler, Nathaniel Thomas, Zerrick Gurley, Nate Willcockson. The sixth graders who are native Spanish speakers, work hard in class and have a good attitude were invited to help run the competition. Those students were Eric Paniagua and Stacey Sanchez.

Crestview Elementary will have Wellness Day on Friday, May 30. This day allows kids be involved in fun activities and also activities that help the students improve their health and well-being. Presenters include Hy-Vee Dieticians, Walnut Creek YMCA, Clive Fire and Police Departments, Clive Parks and Recreation, Zumba and many others. This is a fun and educational day for the students at Crestview. If you would like to volunteer to help, please email Mr. Amundson at amundsonc@wdmcs.org.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Staff and students at Fairmeadows are focusing on being people of good character. The staff at Fairmeadows chose students they felt were showing the pillars of character in all parts of the school day. These students showed the staff they are responsible, respectful, trustworthy, fair, caring and good citizens. Students received a special certificate, pencil, and have their picture taken for display. Students included for the month of May are: Taylor Harris, Isabelle Beargeon, Emma Foster- Kruger, Harlow Blaser, Casey Ross, Daltry Hughes, Aiden Maina, Valerie Medina, Maya Crncevic, Laiya Kha, Miranda Alba, Meadow White. Bryan Williams, Lily Johnson, Biahna Weigandt, Austin Allen, Dulce Macedo, Hayden Fenimore, Owen Frizzell, Nic VanArkel, Kaden Derry, Haley Auen, Neil Madigan, Tyler Anderson, Elliott Oleson, Ben Fess, Keeley Hill, Charile Givant, Logan Hodge, Emerson Drake, Will Rubach, Abby Whitson, Cam Lechtenberg, Diana Agirre, Mikelle Murdock, Aldin Odzakovic, Taylor Engleman, Liam Feeley, Laura Kipnusu, Samuel Hanson, Raelyn Acklin, Alex Broughton, Aubrie Dewes, Ethan Whitham, Sam Aung, Mary Deyva, Cream Ruangwet, Jonathan Rojas, Kassidy Grissom, Alex Ling, Kolbe Luinstra, Kaitlyn Miller, Aidan Drake, Dylan Majeres, Kayleigh Lewis and Josh Yencer. Congratulations!

Hillside Elementary

The district hosted its 31st Annual Math Bowl on May 8th at Indian Hills Jr. High. Each classroom teacher in grades 3-6 selected two students from their homeroom to participate in the event. Students are selected on their interest in math and math problem solving abilities. Marshall Jarnagin 6th grade and Kauai Cua 4th grade received a special award for placing in the TOP 10% in the district. The following students were selected to attend: William Adams, Faraja Mukome, Grant Gilmore, Cora Waterman, Ethan Joy, Shivam Sharma, Conner Franklin, Ty Betts, Kauai Cua, Olivia Stout, James Malcolm, Teghan Bennett, Taylor Coe, Ian Gaunt, Reagan Demmon, Henry Shires, Hannah Felsen, Maisy O’Hern, Mia Rand, Jake Reuss, Austin Jarnagin, Maya Williams, David Gaunt, Sayvion Hines, Avi Gedler, Caleb Crawford, Marshall Jarnagin, Clayton Adamson, Perla Reveles and Zak Fleischman.

Jordan Creek Elementary

Fifth grade students at Jordan Creek Elementary visited the Iowa State Capitol Building and the State Historical Building as a component of their social studies units. Students have studied the government systems and U.S. history throughout the year. While in the Capitol building, the students took guided tours and were able to sit in the court room, the representative and senate houses, climb to the top of the dome, and visit the library. Students were also met by Representative Trimble, who had previously visited the students in their school. Fifth graders also visited the Historical building and were able to make connections to the units they have studied throughout the year. Students saw Conestoga wagons, Civil War displays, a woolly mammoth, different regions in nature, as well as other displays. These fifth graders are finishing their U.S. history study as they year winds down. They are completing a pioneer simulation in social studies. Science units have them creating a project about the changing earth. They will be studying rocks and minerals as their last topic. Learning about pre-algebra concepts, measuring the area of circles, and determining volume of 3-D figures includes some of the math topics they are working on. They will be starting end of the year assessments soon. Students are also competing reading units, performing Reader’s Theatre plays, reading and writing poetry, and competing biographies. Art sketchbooks are also being completed as well as fitness testing. Students in class 5A recently said good bye to their student teacher and 5B had a Drake practicum teacher that finished her work with the students as well. Fifth grade band students toured and presented concerts at Jordan Creek, Westridge, and for their parents. They were also able to eat lunch at the mall after their performances.

Valley Southwoods

Valley Southwoods held its annual Tiger of the Month Recognition Breakfast to honor students who had been selected as a Tiger of the Month throughout the school year. VSW teachers and administrators collaborate to choose a candidate who contributes to VSW in a positive way each month. Students are selected for exhibiting a positive attitude towards learning; taking pride in their school work; being compassionate, cooperative, encouraging and inclusive of others; and making responsible choices. Students honored at the breakfast were Heather    Stout, Jordan Aguirre, Grace Worlie, Cassidy Potter, Hanna Bush, Osman Smajlovic, Aidan Morrow, Anna Crawford, Megan Maly, Carlos Perez, Jackson Gallentine, Hallie Lawyer, Samuel Galligan, Evan Westman, Jessica Studer, Shamicka Delerme, Emily Veatch, Cayden Codel, Cole Hahn, LaKendra Punteney, Sarah Friesth, Samuel Cox, Caleb Fox, Kaycie Tilton, Parker Jensen, Alyssa Danley, Hunter Schueler, Hannah Fuller, Alanna Maxwell, Quinton Curry, Anna Peterzalek, Ryan Hill, Kamden Lee, John Mahoney, Christopher Loyd, Kate Jaros, Abigail Kigin, Max Edmondson, Alyssa McKinney, Leila Hagan, Alexandra French, Grace Blazevich, Luke Bonner, Kade Kuehl, Ally de la Rosa, Julius Cooper, Jacob Bedia, Logan Maxwell, Brendan Roe, Sam Maudsley, Chase Stahl, Sonia Moorjani and Rachel Greene.

Valley High School

Valley High School doubled its donations from the previous year at the student council’s annual blood drive. Students and staff donated 107 pints of blood, saving 307 lives. Of the 156 individuals who signed up to donate, 123 were first time donors.

Valley senior Kyra Cooper was selected to receive a 2014-15 NSLI Youth Scholarship to study Arabic abroud in the summer of 2014. Her program will take place in Muscat, Oman, through the America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. The program emphasizes rapid language acquisition in a language immersion environment by combining in-class language instruction, a comprehensive cultural program and homestays. The NSLI Youth Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Government through the Bureau of Educatinoal and Cultural Affairs.

 

Congratulations, Graduates!

The West Des Moines Community Schools is proud to announce that 699 students will be graduating from the district this year.

Valley High School will be graduating 619 seniors, plus eight Certificates of Attendance (foreign exchange students), while 72 students will be graduating from Walnut Creek Campus.

Walnut Creek Campus Commencement
Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
Valley Community Center (4444 Fuller Rd., WDM)

Valley High School Commencement
Sunday, May 25 at 1 p.m.
Drake Knapp Center (2601 Forest Ave., DM)

U.S. News and World Report Ranks Valley as Best in Metro

vsw-studyingValley High School has received the highest ranking in the metro area of the best high schools by U.S. News and World Report. Valley ranks seventh in the state, ahead of Johnston, which was ranked eighth and is the only other metro school in the top 10. Cedar Rapids Kennedy was ranked first.

The 2014 U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools rankings are based on data collected from more than 19,000 public U.S. high schools from 50 states and the District of Columbia. The rankings are designed to capture how well high schools educate all of their students and prepare them for college-level work.

Schools are evaluated based on overall student performance on state assessments, Advanced Placement tests and International Baccalaureate exams. The ranking also takes into account how well schools educate black, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

According to the website, “Students [at Valley] have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement course work and exams. The AP participation rate at Valley is 38 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 22 percent.”

The rankings methodology is based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.

 

Life in the WDMCS 5/12/14

Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.

District

The district 31st Annual Math Bowl included 209 participants from grades 3-6 representing all of the district’s elementary schools. Students scoring in the top 10 percent of their grade level were third graders Shreya Joshi (JC), Katelyn Coons (CL), Brenna Gion (WR), Lily Nelson (CL) and Cale Ortner (CL); fourth graders Abhushan Pradhan (WH), Oscar Andersen (WR), Noemie Dhont (CR) and Kauai Cua (HD); fifth graders Cael Elmore (CV), Drew Hedrick (WH), Shandhan Sureshbabu (JC), Asmi Patel (JC) and Jared Chmelka (WR); and sixth graders Animesh Joshi (JC), Sarah Montgomery (WR), Marshall Jarnagin (HD), Andrew Suh (WR) and Adam Wince (WH).

Crestview Elementary

On Tuesday, May 27, Crestview with be holding an event in memory of first grader Camryn Storbeck. Special guests will be onsite including Children’s Cancer Connection, Clive Fire Department and Clive Police Department.  LifeServe will be onsite for a blood drive; call (515)633-5704 to set up an appointment.  Walk-ins are welcome!  Windsor Heights Hy-Vee will be selling a meal beginning at 4 p.m. for $5.  The meal includes your choice of hot dog, brat or hamburger/cheeseburger with chips and drink.  There will also be a No Sale Garage Sale with various items available to families including clothing (infant-adult), toys and household items.  Please join us for this event!

Crossroads Park Elementary

Music is so important to Crossroads Park third and fourth graders, that Music Matters was the theme of their recent concert.  This creative theme told the story of two students new to Crossroads Park who didn’t have music in their previous schools. Students sang songs to show these new students how important music is and how one can learn things through music.  For example, songs included lyrics about how math is used, how music can reinforce social studies (songs about the President and the 50 states), science (recycling), learning new languages, social skills (gratitude) and  PE (how music can get your body moving). Fourth graders also presented their recorder playing skills. Ever student had a job other than singing as well.  Some students were speakers, instrument players, sign holders, choreographers or dancers.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Second grade students at Fairmeadows made some memorable outdoor experiences by going to Jester Park and exploring some of Iowa’s best habitats like the woodland, prairie, and pond. Students were able to compare and contrast habitats/animals in these different settings and meet with knowledgeable naturalists during their educational field trip.

Hillside Elementary

Hillside Elementary students and staff used the Lorax theme by Dr. Seuss to celebrate Earth Day.  Upper grades found time to meet with their “buddy classrooms” (lower grades) to show support for environmental protection.  Most classes had their students watch “The Lorax” eBook followed by an activity to demonstrate an understanding of environmental protection.

The kindergarten classes at Hillside are planning several end-of-the-year events, including a field trip to the Blank Park Zoo and a picnic at Legion Park.  The classes will be walking to the park at 4th and Vine together. It will be a time to relax, play on the equipment, and enjoy games together over the lunch hour. Parents are asked to provide a sack lunch for their child. Kindergartners and their sixth grade Tiger Pals will meet one last time to make kites, decorate sidewalks with end-of-the-year messages, and enjoy ice cream treats.  This will culminate a year of monthly activities where students cooperated on various projects.

Jordan Creek Elementary

The 6th graders at Jordan Creek Elementary went to Engeldinger Marsh and Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt on May 2.  Students walked through a marsh and went canoeing.  They also fished for aquatic life, where students found frogs, snails and even crayfish!  Students also had a scavenger hunt around Chichaqua, where they looked for animal tracks, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and more.  Some students even found snakes!  One final activity students participated in was service learning that involved tough work and trees.  Students cut down willow trees that are an invasive species in the marsh.  A lot of sixth graders said this was their favorite field trip at Jordan Creek and definitely recommend checking out these Polk County parks! – Written by Jordan Creek sixth graders rooke Boddicker and Lily Overstreet

The   Jordan Creek Kids Care Club met for its final meeting of the year, celebrating with breakfast and then recapping all the ways the Kids Care Club helped to put good Character into action all year.  Principal Graham Jones and Assistant Principal Brian Vaughan were guest speakers, sharing the importance of serving others and challenged each of our Kids Care members to continue to find ways to serve others in their daily lives going forward. Mr. Jones and Mr. Vaughan handed out Principal’s Award certificates to each Kids Care Club member as a way of recognizing all the efforts they have put forth this year on behalf of our school. Thank you to all the parent volunteers who helped out throughout the year, and a very special thank you to Melinda Dunnwald for all her help behind the scenes to organize each month’s meeting’s guest speaker, talking points and service project for the club to complete. Also, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Kids Care Club members helped to make and hang all the “Our Teachers Are Super Heroes” signs and banners around the front entryway of the school. They also signed an appreciation card and put it in the staff lounge with the breakfast provided by the PFC.

Congratulations to Andy Waters, Veda Amalkar and Animesh Johi for their winning entries in the Jordan Creek Science Fair. Students had eight weeks to research, gather materials, collect data, prepare a display and write a presentation. They were judged on neatness of display, use of graphics and use of artifacts. Students with an investigation project were also judged on their verbal presentation for stating a problem, background research, hypothesis, procedure, results and conclusion. Students with an invention project were judged on their use of problem, research, materials, demonstration and conclusion in their verbal presentation.

Phenix Elementary

Phenix third graders took their annual SCUBA diving field trip.  SCUBA instructor Steve Kitchen from Leyden’s Dive Shop put together a group of volunteer divers.  They helped each child try SCUBA at the Valley High School pool.  This is an experience that connects with their study of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.  Each child was able to put on a tank, regulator and swim around the pool with a certified diver.  It was an experience they won’t soon forget!

2015-16 Approved Calendar (UPDATED May 3, 2015)

UPDATE: The first day of school for the 2015-16 school year will now be Monday, Aug. 24, based on a school calendar approved by the School Board on April 13, 2015. More information can be found on the 2015-16 calendar and the Board’s approval can be found here:

Board Approves New 2015-16 Calendar, Aug. 24 Start Date

 

FROM MAY 13, 2015: The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education has approved the 2015-16 school year calendar with a start date of August 12, 2015.

The Board approved the calendar after a public hearing was held on May 12, 2014.

 

2015-16 Calendar Recommendation

  • First Student Day: Wednesday, Aug. 12
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25-27
  • Semester 1 Ends: Tuesday, Dec. 22 (90-Day Semester)
  • Winter Break:  December 23-January 3
  • No School For Students (Staff Flex Days): November 25 & March 11
  • No School For Students (Staff Work Days): September 21, January 4, February 26, April 29
  • Spring Break: March 14-18
  • Last Student Day: Friday, May 20 (90-Day Semester)

Full 2015-16 Calendar – Approved

 

Please note these key features of the proposed calendar:

  • The August 12 start date accommodates all that the district wants to accomplish within the parameters of The Code of Iowa, The Iowa Administrative Code, the teacher and support staff contractual agreements and the feedback from parents and staff.
  • The November 25 and March 11 flex days are again part of the calendar. There is no school for students and staff because certified staff held parent-teacher conferences after contract hours.
  • Winter break is eight (8) school days.  Students return Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.
  • There is no school for students and staff Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Spring break is five (5) school days.
  • September 21, January 4, February 26, and April 29 are designated as teacher professional development days. No school for students.
  • Certified staff finish the school year before university summer courses begin.
  • The calendar is based on instructional hours.
  • The first semester ends at winter break, with each semester being equal in number.
  • The proposed calendar maintains the Wednesday collaboration schedule for school staff, which is key for utilizing teacher leaders and implementing professional learning communities district-wide.

The proposed 2015-16 school calendar was developed through the work of a district calendar committee, which includes parents and teachers representing each school attendance center in the district. The calendar was reviewed by superintendent advisory committees, the Superintendent’s Leadership Cadre, and the Superintendency.

In developing the proposed calendar for the 2015-16 school year, the committee considered information from: The Code of Iowa; The Iowa Administrative Code; teacher and support staff contractual agreements; student, parent and staff surveys; metro schools’ proposed calendars; district historical data; and religious and national holidays.

 

2013-14 & 2014-15 Calendars

Please see the links below for the Board-approved 2013-14 and 2014-15 school year calendars.

2013-14 Calendar

2014-15 Calendar

Public Hearing on 2015-16 Calendar

MicrophoneWPeopleThe West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 12, 2014 on the 2015-16 school calendar.

The 2015-16 school calendar public hearing:

  • is the time and place when interested individuals can express their views, both orally and in writing, on the proposed 2015-16 school year calendar.
  • will be held during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, which starts at 7:00 p.m.
  • will be held at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines

After the public hearing, the School Board will have the opportunity during its meeting to take action on the proposed calendar.

 

2015-16 Calendar Recommendation

  • First Student Day: Wednesday, Aug. 12
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 25-27
  • Semester 1 Ends: Tuesday, Dec. 22 (90-Day Semester)
  • Winter Break:  December 23-January 3
  • No School For Students (Staff Flex Days): November 25 & March 11
  • No School For Students (Staff Work Days): September 21, January 4, February 26, April 29
  • Spring Break: March 14-18
  • Last Student Day: Friday, May 20 (90-Day Semester)

Full 2015-16 Calendar – Proposed

 

Please note these key features of the proposed calendar:

  • The August 12 start date accommodates all that the district wants to accomplish within the parameters of The Code of Iowa, The Iowa Administrative Code, the teacher and support staff contractual agreements and the feedback from parents and staff.
  • The November 25 and March 11 flex days are again part of the calendar. There is no school for students and staff because certified staff held parent-teacher conferences after contract hours.
  • Winter break is eight (8) school days.  Students return Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.
  • There is no school for students and staff Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Spring break is five (5) school days.
  • September 21, January 4, February 26, and April 29 are designated as teacher professional development days. No school for students.
  • Certified staff finish the school year before university summer courses begin.
  • The calendar is based on instructional hours.
  • The first semester ends at winter break, with each semester being equal in number.
  • The proposed calendar maintains the Wednesday collaboration schedule for school staff, which is key for utilizing teacher leaders and implementing professional learning communities district-wide.

The proposed 2015-16 school calendar was developed through the work of a district calendar committee, which includes parents and teachers representing each school attendance center in the district. The calendar was reviewed by superintendent advisory committees, the Superintendent’s Leadership Cadre, and the Superintendency.

In developing the proposed calendar for the 2015-16 school year, the committee considered information from: The Code of Iowa; The Iowa Administrative Code; teacher and support staff contractual agreements; student, parent and staff surveys; metro schools’ proposed calendars; district historical data; and religious and national holidays.

 

2013-14 & 2014-15 Calendars

Please see the links below for the Board-approved 2013-14 and 2014-15 school year calendars.

2013-14 Calendar

2014-15 Calendar

Community Celebrates WDMCS Teachers and Staff

For more than 30 years, the community-based, all-volunteer Staff Recognition Committee has organized a celebration to honor the West Des Moines Community School District retirees and staff with 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service. The event is supported fully by fundraising efforts on behalf of the community-based committee. This event is not funded through taxpayer dollars.

Thank you to the 2014 committee members for all of your efforts – Stephanie Burnett, Tammy Cline, Amy Kuennen, Christa Kuennen, Teresa McLaughlin, Karla Simon and Joan Skoog.

This year, a record number of more than 160 teachers and staff will be honored at a reception on Thursday, May 8. View the event program or see the list below of teachers and staff being recognized in 2014:

Clive Elementary

  • Dennis Barton, 35 years & Retiree
  • Diane Darling, 25 years & Retiree
  • Dawn Dillivan, 15 years
  • Brenda Kirschman, 20 years
  • Connie Johnson, 15 years

 

Community Education

  • Maria Arthur, 20 years
  • William Bloom, 20 years
  • Gerald Cernohous, 35 years
  • Judith Cernohous, 35 years
  • Linda Hamm, 15 years
  • Rosalie Rollins, 20 years
  • Jim Wallace, Retiree

 

Crestview Elementary  

  • Beverly Bauder, Retiree
  • Julie Cairo, Retiree
  • Tamera Dann, 15 years
  • Ruth Dorr, 15 years
  • Kristine Miller, 15 years
  • Robin Nelson, 25 years

 

Crossroads Park Elementary

  • Bonnie Brockberg, 30 years
  • Sylvia Flores, Retiree, also at Western Hills
  • Molly Hoger, Retiree
  • Jacqueline Shaffer, 15 years
  • Lisa Tasler, 15 years
  • Vicki Wright, Retiree, also at Fairmeadows

 

Fairmeadows Elementary

  • Carrie Boik, 15 years
  • Dianne Davis, Retiree
  • Kim Gansemer, 25 years
  • Karen Klinge, 15 years
  • Rhonda Koerselman, 25 years
  • Amanda Oleson, 15 years
  • Kelly Sherrick, 15 years
  • Karen Wolcott, 25 years

 

Hillside Elementary

  • Pamela Ballard, 15 years
  • John Bixler, 20 years
  • Michelle Dirks, 15 years
  • Holly Gilmore, 15 years
  • Jeri Havener, Retiree
  • Jean Hoifeldt, Retiree
  • Holly Killam, 25 years
  • Linda Lantz, Retiree
  • Linda Lemke, 25 years
  • Lori Logan, 15 years
  • Candice McMains, 40 years & Retiree

 

Indian Hills Jr High

  • Nicholas Bogue, 20 years
  • Jennifer Flaugh, 15 years
  • Pamela Grant, 15 years & Retiree
  • Geoffrey Grubb, 25 years
  • Kathy Jacobson, 15 years
  • David Newendorp, 30 years
  • Jasmeen Overlin, 20 years
  • Steven Pond, 15 years

 

Learning Resource Center

  • Marilyn Coleman, Retiree
  • Betty Cox, Retiree
  • Lori Diebel, Retiree
  • Kristine Gardner, 20 years
  • Beth Hanna, Retiree
  • Rebecca Harless, 15 years
  • Tami Prescott, 25 years

 

Jordan Creek Elementary

  • Elizabeth Basile, 15 years
  • Janice Bergman, 25 years
  • Bethany Brant, 15 years
  • Judy Card, 15 years
  • Gail DeZorzi, 30 years
  • Jennifer Harper-Mendenhall, 15 years
  • Susan Healy, 20 years
  • Theresa Klein, 20 years
  • Julie Martinez, 15 years
  • Jennifer McLaughlin, 25 years
  • Catherine Moratz, 15 years
  • Andrea Peters, 15 years
  • Kristy Skoglund, 20 years
  • Barbara Tigges, 20 years
  • Jeffrey Verhelst, 15 years

 

Phenix Elementary

  • Emma Hines, 25 years
  • Patty Konecny, 30 years & Retiree

 

Operations, Nutrition and Transportation

  • Daryl Bailey, Retiree
  • Betty Beveridge, Retiree
  • Tom Beveridge, Retiree
  • Marlene Bright, Retiree
  • Tim Cavan, Retiree
  • John Cerretti, Retiree
  • Paul Clark, Retiree
  • James Clearman, 15 years
  • Darrell Cochran, Jr., 15 years
  • Will Doumas, Retiree
  • Jonita Fisher, 30 years
  • Richard Gipe, Retiree
  • Ed Jones, Retiree
  • Cynthia Kilker, 25 years & Retiree
  • Mark Marco, 25 years & Retiree
  • Julie McFarland, Retiree
  • Mark McKechnie, 15 years
  • Brenda Moorehead, 15 years
  • Jerry Nichols, Retiree
  • James Raker, 15 years & Retiree
  • Jeffrey Robbins, 25 years & Retiree
  • Melody Salazar, 25 years
  • Michael Sheeder, 15 years
  • Beth Steiger, Retiree
  • Donna Stevens, 20 years
  • Madonna Wallace, Retiree
  • Wayne Welsh, 25 years
  • Karen Wiesemann, Retiree
  • Kenneth Spetman, 15 years

 

Stilwell Jr High

  • Larry Beals, Retiree
  • Eric Boyle, 15 years
  • Craig Herr, Retiree
  • Dale Herzberg, Retiree
  • Pam Herzberg, Retiree
  • V. Patrice Kraus, 35 years & Retiree
  • Judy Lisle, Retiree
  • Joy Macy, 30 years
  • Cheryl McConnell, 40 years
  • Timothy Miller, 15 years
  • Nancy Morgan, Retiree
  • Meg Smith, Retiree
  • Mary St. Cyr, Retiree
  • Kathleen Talbot, 30 years & Retiree
  • Marilee Westergaard, Retiree

 

Valley High School

  • Tom Bakey, 20 years
  • Linda Bergeson, 15 years & Retiree
  • Wanda Borger, 15 years
  • Margaret Christiansen, 25 years
  • Krista Cooley, 15 years
  • Vicki Gallagher, Retiree
  • Robert Hardin, 35 years
  • Janice Hartz, Retiree
  • Heather Hope, 15 years
  • Kimberly Knight, 15 years
  • Larry Mandernach, 15 years
  • Karen Mendenhall, 25 years
  • Kristine Milburn, 15 years
  • Alan Muenzenmay, 20 years
  • Thomas Murphy, 25 years
  • Kevin Neal, 15 years
  • Linda Osborne, Retiree
  • Randy Ripperger, Retiree
  • Nathan Speichinger, 15 years
  • Gary Swenson, Retiree
  • Diane Vanwyk, 25 years
  • J. Travis Young, 20 years

 

Valley Southwoods Freshman High School

  • Elizabeth Baum-Ferree, Retiree
  • Kim Dilky, Retiree
  • Doug Garringer, 20 years & Retiree
  • Jill George, 20 years
  • Lisa Sobotka, 20 years
  • Carmen Wade, Retiree
  • Leyria Walters, Retiree
  • Kathleen Wunder, Retiree

 

Walnut Creek Campus 

  • Staci Koenig, 15 years
  • Catherine Nicolella, 15 years

 

Western Hills Elementary

  • Kathy Bullis, Retiree
  • Sharon Gibson, 20 years
  • Ann Quinn, 15 years
  • Karen Schneider, 15 years
  • Karla Snodgrass, 25 years
  • Felicia Twit, 20 years

 

Westridge Elementary

  • Patricia Dornacker, 15 years
  • Nancy Hartsock, 20 years
  • Julie Kaufman, 20 years
  • Jane Knudtson, 15 years
  • Sandra Newell, 15 years