District News

27 Student-Athletes Participate in National Signing Day

Congratulations to the 27 student-athletes from Valley High School who participated in National Signing Day and will continue their education and athletic careers after high school! A complete list of the athletes, sport and college/university they are attending is below.

Life in the WDMCS 02/03/15

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.

Clive Elementary

Clive students packed the Knapp Center at Drake University Dec. 18. Fourth- through sixth-grade students celebrated their positive behavior at a Drake women’s basketball game with hundreds of other students from the metro area. Attending the game was part of Clive’s PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) recognition system. Students are recognized and rewarded for their respectful, responsible, safe, and caring behavior. Drake cheerleaders helped reinforce these positive behaviors with encouraging dances and cheers. The Drake players modeled good sportsmanship and even high-fived students after the game. Clive students had a wonderful time building memories with their classmates and teachers.

Crestview Elementary

First-graders celebrated the 100th day of school with fun activities, such as stringing necklaces with 100 pieces of Fruit Loops cereal and making hats. Some students made projects with 100 items at home and shared them with classmates.

Crestview fifth-grader Nithya Myneni recently completed reading all 17 of this year’s Iowa Children’s Choice Award books. Nithya’s favorite is “The Fast and the Furriest” by Andy Behrens, a comical story about a boy and his dog. An avid reader, Nithya is now enjoying “The Chronicles of Narnia” tales by C.S. Lewis.

Fairmeadows Elementary

The fifth- and sixth-graders have been playing guitars in Debra Augspurger’s general music classes. We have acoustic six-string guitars and learn basic I, IV and V chords along with a variety of strumming patterns and techniques. We have discovered that many American folk songs are playable with only three chords. That is also true for many pop songs, such as “The Best Day of My Life,” “Brave,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Lean On Me.” There are also frequent requests for “Smoke on the Water.”

Jordan Creek Elementary

Fifth-grade news: Students built toothpick bridges in their models and designs unit. Their unit started with information about how to create solid, lasting structures, such as bridges. Students then applied for jobs that included architect, accountant, and project manager. They were given a budget to purchase toothpicks and glue and created their designs. The culminating activity was the “breaking of the bridges.” Science teachers Jeff Ver Helst and Adam Ponsor applied a hook to a five-pound bucket and added sand to see how much weight a bridge would hold. Students and teachers were astounded that many bridges held from 20 to 60 pounds. In social studies, students portrayed colonists and experienced the events that led to the Revolutionary War and the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Students read texts, watched videos, and learned about the Boston Tea Party. They had to decide if they would be a Loyalist or colonist. Their next journey will be exploring our new government. Compare/contrast and cause/effect are two of the skills students are applying in their reading classes. Students learn about the strategies, practice them, and discuss how the strategies help them become better readers. All fifth-graders continue to make independent reading a priority and keep track of their minutes read each week. Fractions, analyzing data, creating stem and leaf plots, and finding data landmarks are a few of the topics keeping fifth-graders busy in math. Students will take a mid-year test to analyze how well they have retained skills learned so far. Students are using iPads and laptops to reinforce their math skills and challenge their learning. They are also reinforcing skills by using the Khan Academy online. “Let me tell you about one of the craziest days in my life” was the beginning of one of the personal narratives students created during a unit in their writing curriculum that had them documenting their life stories. Fifth-grade students are also participating in band and orchestra, archery club, chess club, math club, and other activities.

Valley High School

Valley student Hira Mustafa is one of the honorees selected for the Chinese Association of Iowa’s youth of the year award. The honor recognizes young people who serve others and make a difference in the community. Mustafa will be honored at the association’s annual awards ceremony Feb. 21 in Des Moines.

Valley student Wil Abeling had a photo selected an as honorable mention in the National Wildlife Federation’s annual wildlife/nature photo contest. Abeling’s photo, “Eyes on Orion,” was taken at Badger Creek State Recreation Area in West Des Moines last spring as an assignment for Tory DeVries’ digital photography class. The photo was selected from a pool of more than 29,000 entries. Abeling is the only photographer from Iowa to be recognized in this year’s photo contest.



Two-hour Delay Monday, Feb. 2

Because of severe winter weather conditions, all schools will start two hours late today ­­­­Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.

  • There will be no morning preschool.
  • Full-day kindergarten will start two-hours late district wide.
  • No morning activities or early bird classes.
  • Kids West will open at 8:30 a.m.

Buses will pick up students two hours after their normal pick-up time.

Valley High School Schedule