District News

Connect with the WDMCS: Communication 411

Staying connected with district happenings is a great way to be engaged in your student’s education. Use these resources to help keep your student and your family connected to life in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

Informaline
The Informaline is the district newsletter. It is emailed to all district parents the Monday opposite each school board meeting and posted on the district blog on the website, with some schools providing printed copies. It is provided in English and Spanish.

  • Virtual Backpack
    • The Virtual Backpack is included as part of the Informaline every other Monday, but can be accessed on the district website at any time. The Virtual Backpack contains electronic flyers and information about district and community opportunities for students and families.

Infinite Campus
Infinite Campus is a helpful online tool West Des Moines Community Schools parents can use to access their students’ grades, attendance, and more, depending on the student’s grade level.

Make sure your preferred information is entered in Infinite Campus to receive school closing announcements, district alerts, and school newsletters and announcements.

Find out more about entering your information and using Infinite Campus with your child.

District Website
The district website, www.wdmcs.org, is a great place to find information about district life, school news, announcements, alerts, and links to other resources.

WebsiteFrontPage

  • Front-page tabs
    • There are five tabs along the left side of the website front page: District, Students, Parents, Staff, and Newcomers. For information and news tailored to you, click the tab that best represents your role in the district. The Students, Parents, and Staff tabs all have featured articles, timely pieces with important information. The featured articles change periodically, so it’s smart to check the tabs consistently. You can always check the other tabs as well.

WebsiteStudentTab

  • Top tabs
    • There are also tabs across the top of the website front page. Our District, Academics, Departments, and Schools are all linked to general pages on those topics. They also feature drop-down menus that will lead you to individual pages about subtopics in those categories. The Parents, Students, and Staff tabs at the top are another way to access useful  information and links designed to meet your needs.

District Calendar
The district calendar should be your first source of information when it comes to district events.

  • Online
    • The most up-to-date version of the district calendar is online. The most current dates and times provided by our schools should be reflected here. You can see all events by going to the full calendar; school events are also listed on the right side of each school’s page. Valley events are often seen in the slideshow on the school page.
  • Calendar at a Glance
    • The Calendar at a Glance is also provided on the website in English and Spanish. It is a one-page printable calendar and list of district highlights like breaks, days without school, and the last day of school. It also shows when snow days will be made up, if necessary.
  • Printed
    • The printed calendar was provided to all families during registration in the fall. It uses event information that was provided the past summer, so it is wise to double-check details on the website. It also includes information about the school schedules, transportation, school contact information, and more. Extra copies are available at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Copies may also be available at your school.

Social Media
The WDMCS district and schools have an active social media presence. Finding and following the district and your school on social media can be a great conversation starter about social media safety for your family. More social media tips for families can be found on the district website.

School Newsletters and Daily Announcements
Many schools in the district have a school newsletter, daily announcements, or both. Keep an eye on your email to receive notices of newsletters and daily announcements. Your email must be in Infinite Campus to receive these emails. Please contact your school or read these instructions for updating your information in Infinite Campus.

Life in the WDMCS
Life in the WDMCS is a weekly news post on the district website that shares quick stories and photos about district happenings, provided by each school. It is often used as a photo source for the Des Moines Register. District families can view the post as another way to keep up with district and school happenings. Visit the district website for the latest issue.

 

2016 Winter/Spring Adventures Class Catalog

Our Adventures program has fun classes, fun teachers, and fun enriching experiences for K-9 students after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends. Adventures provides a way for students to expand their knowledge or skills in an area of interest and try something beyond the classes that they have during the school day.

Winter Break Reminder!

Happy Winter Break from the West Des Moines Community Schools!

Remember, there is no school Dec. 23–Jan. 1.
All district offices are closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1.

Classes will resume Monday, Jan. 4. Enjoy the break!

White snow surface

School Board Approves Cost-Saving Measures, District Remains Leader in World Language Offerings

Tonight, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education approved reducing district spending by $530,114 from its $150 million operating budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year, as state funding for education continues to lag behind the actual cost of providing services and programming for students.

District Offers Free Holiday Meal for Children

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Nutrition Services department is offering a free holiday meal for children on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The photo opportunity for this event is from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, at Crestview School of Inquiry, 8355 Franklin Ave. in Clive.

The meal is free for children 18 and younger and children aged 19 who are still in school. Adult meals will be offered for $3.50 per person. The holiday menu is roast turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes, a dinner roll, green beans, and other fruits and vegetables, along with milk and a cupcake.

To promote family meal time and healthy living habits, the WDMCS Nutrition Services Department is continuing to offer evening meals from 5:30–6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday night during the school year, excluding school breaks. An optional educational or enriching activity will be offered after each meal, from 6–6:30 p.m.

These meals are being offered through federals funds as part of the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program. The program is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CAFCP) through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. All At-Risk Afterschool Meals programs must follow certain menu guidelines to ensure children are getting necessary nutrients.

Families with questions about the holiday meal and the At-Risk Afterschools Meals Program can contact WDMCS Director of Nutrition Services Willow Dye at 515-633-5086 or Crestview School of Inquiry at 515-633-5700.

Non-discrimination Statement: The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866)632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., 20250-9410, by fax 202-690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339; or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Iowa Non-discrimination Notice: It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.6, 216.7, and 216.9. If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNP Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; website: https://icrc.iowa.gov/.

Life in the WDMCS 12/21/2015

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
Mrs. Brown’s Tiger Cubs Preschool class celebrated the culmination of their Trees study by inviting parents to share in their learning on Dec. 8,

The Westridge Tiger Cubs Preschool four-year-old class visited the Hy-Vee on Mills Civic Parkway for a fun tour and snack-making adventure. This event wrapped up their healthy food and exercise unit.

Crestview School of Inquiry
Sixth-grade learners at Crestview School of Inquiry graduated from Code 411 on Friday, Dec. 11. During the class, Clive police officer Joe Nielsen visited once a week to educate students on subjects like bullying, drugs and alcohol, and Internet safety. Students presented PowerPoint presentations to show friends and family what they learned during the graduation ceremony, which was also attended by the Clive mayor, city manager, and police chief.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek Elementary second-grade students finished their “Exploring Earth” unit. They learned about the geographical makeup of the Earth and the continent and oceans. They used a globe to locate many geographical elements, like the continents, poles, oceans, and equator. They also learned about different landforms and waterforms, natural resources, and compared and contrasted North America with other continents.

School Board to Review Revised Cost-Saving Package Dec. 21

The district administration will present a revised budget-reduction package totaling $559,214 to the School Board at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21, in the Community Room of the Learning Resource Center.

Join Us! WDMCS Reads

"The Crossover" by Kwame Alexander (Image source: www.bookinaday.org/)

“The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander (Image source: www.bookinaday.org/)

The WDMCS is excited to announce the launch of WDMCS Reads: One district, many communities, one book.

This new initiative celebrates the “community” in West Des Moines Community Schools. Spanning portions of West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale, and Windsor Heights, the district invites people from all of our communities to come together to read and discuss the same book.

Our inaugural book selection is “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander, winner of the 2015 Newbery Medal and 2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award.

“The Crossover,” a novel in verse, shares the story of seventh-grade basketball phenomenon Josh Bell, but the book is far more than a “sports book.” At its core, “The Crossover” is about family and growing up and the challenges and rewards that come with both. Readers will find themselves somewhere in this book, whether they be siblings, parents, family members, friends, teenagers, team members, fans, music lovers, or poets.

Watch for more information coming soon about the book, tips on how to create communities through reading, discussion questions, and more.

Registration for Brighter Beginnings Session 2 is Now Open

Brighter Beginnings is a program of WDMCS Community Education designed for parents or primary caregivers who are looking to expand their parenting skills. Registration begins December 14 for in-district families and January 11 for out-of-district families.

Iowa School Report Card Released

The Iowa Department of Education today released the Iowa School Report Card, a new web-based data system that provides information about a school’s performance on a required set of measures, such as student attendance and graduation rates.

The system meets a legislative requirement to provide Iowans easier access to meaningful education statistics and to support local efforts to improve schools.

The report card is one piece of information that parents and guardians can use in gathering information about our schools. The WDMCS district encourages parents and community members to connect with us to understand the context and to learn more about our buildings’ goals and the work we are doing to achieve those goals for our students.

You can locate the results of our schools, as well as more information about the Iowa School Report Card, on the following website: www.educateiowa.gov/schoolreportcard