District News

Social Media Tips for Families

Social media can be a tricky thing, but it seems it is here to stay. Here are some suggestions and resources that can help families navigate social media successfully.

Social Media Tips Printable (shown below)

Social Media Resource Guide

App Cheat Sheet

App Advice, with Screenshots (from the Youth Justice Initiative)

Resources from Common Sense Media

“Parents Monitoring Teenagers Online, and Mostly, Getting It Right” (from the New York Times parenting blog “Motherlode”

Social Media Slang Quiz (from the Informaline newsletter)


WDMCS Meets Achievement Goals for English Language Learners

The West Des Moines Community Schools District has met all three Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for English Language Learners for the 2014-15 school year: growth toward proficiency, achievement of proficiency, and adequate yearly progress.

Growth toward proficiency is an overall increase in the percentage of English Language Learners learning English. Achievement of proficiency is progress in the percentage of English Language Learners who become proficient in English. Adequate Yearly Progress is determined by performance on the Iowa Assessment Tests.

These standards are set by the No Child Left Behind Act, Title III, subsection a. The Iowa Department of Education monitors progress toward meeting these standards for all local school districts and Area Education Agencies.

The WDMCS English as a Second Language (ESL) program is specially designed instruction that teaches language skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content, and vocabulary. For more information on the program, visit the ESL webpage.

Valley High School Presents “The Crucible”

Valley High School’s Theatre Department presents Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a fictional retelling of the Salem Witch Trials, as its fall play.

Valley Student Achieves Perfect ACT Score

Gabriel L. Mintzer, the son of Michael Mintzer and Alla Mintzer-Zaprudsky of West Des Moines and a junior at Valley High School, earned a top composite score of 36 on the ACT test, according to ACT, Inc. This is the highest score possible on the college readiness exam.

Join Us for Preschool Palooza on Nov. 7, 2015

ced_preschool_palooza (8)WDMCS Community Education’s Preschool Palooza event will take place from 9:30 a.m. until noon on Saturday, November 7, 2015, at Hillside Elementary School, 713 Eighth St., West Des Moines, IA.

This free event is designed for children ages 2 to 6 and their grown-ups. Children will be able to play games, have their faces painted, jump in an inflatable, sing and dance with Music-n-Motion, listen to a story, explore a City of West Des Moines vehicle, and much more. Grown-ups will be able to talk with the WDMCS district staff about kindergarten registration, district and community preschool programs, nutrition, and transportation.


ced_preschool_palooza (7)Preschool directors and teachers who participate in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program (SVPP) will also be present.

Other organizations participating in Preschool Palooza include: Apple Tree Children’s Centers (Grand Avenue and Ashworth locations), Creekside Christian Preschool, City of West Des Moines, Drake University Head Start, Heartland AEA 11, Music-n-Motion, Sacred Heart Preschool, Storybook Adventures, Tiger Cubs Preschools, WDM United Methodist Preschool, WDM Public Library and Library Friends Foundation.
For a full listing of all activities, participants, and performers, please visit our website at www.wdmcs.org/commed/programs/community/preschool-palooza/.


District Expands Healthy Buildings Effort with Radon Testing

The West Des Moines Community School District will conduct radon testing in each building this winter and early spring as part of its efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment for students and employees.

A professional air-quality firm will conduct the testing in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards using non-intrusive activated charcoal devices. Per EPA guidelines, testing is done during the school day in the colder months (October-March) with heating and ventilating systems running normally.

Should any tests reveal abnormal numbers, retesting will immediately occur for confirmation, and an evaluation and remediation will be performed based on the data and building conditions identified.

For more information on radon and testing in schools, please see the EPA’s Radon Measurement in Schools document at http://bit.ly/EPAradonbrochure. Please contact School Community Relations at 515-633-5023 with any questions.

Life in the WDMCS 11/2/2016

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 Learning Academy

Fourth-grade learners from Clive Learning Academy participated in games and snacked on churros with native speakers from the other WDMCS elementary schools during the Native Spanish-Speaker Quiz Bowl. Volunteers from Grand View University helped to facilitate the games.

Jordan Creek Elementary

Kindergarten students at Jordan Creek Elementary School performed one of their favorite fall tales, “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda Williams, for their families. They were delighted to sing and surprise their parents with their dance moves. The program concluded with families sharing a delicious “brew” made by the students.