District News

KWDM Students Give Valley a Voice

Staff members at Valley High School’s student radio station, 88.7 FM, KWDM, The Point, take on many tasks, from reading weather reports to crafting playlists that have something for everyone. The station has evolved with the student population over the years, resulting in an eclectic mix of music, talk radio, and sports coverage. Through all the station’s changes, one thing has endured: the students’ dedication. When the students cue songs or report live from sporting events, they know they are not only developing a lifelong skill but acting as the voice of their school.

Reminder: Early Out on March 30

This is a reminder that all schools will dismiss 45 minutes early next Wednesday, March 30.

Life in the WDMCS 3/21/2016

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.

Crestview School of Inquiry
Crestview School of Inquiry’s Tiger Choir performed their spring concert on March 1. The highlight was a medley of songs from the Broadway musical “Newsies”!

Crossroads Park Elementary
The Crossroads Park Elementary fifth- and sixth-grade chorus performed at Farm Bureau on March 9.

Crossroads Park Elementary English as a Second Language teachers hosted a Crafting Hour for students, where they created stuffed owls.

Hillside Elementary
First-grade students at Hillside Elementary are learning about geometry. They used straws and string to create different shapes and explore geometry basics.

Westridge Elementary
Westridge Elementary fifth-graders set up a wax museum on March 7, with each student representing a historical figure they had researched. Families and community members learned about a wide range of important people from Rosa Parks and Neil Armstrong to Gandhi and J.K. Rowling.

Valley High School
The Valley High School boys’ basketball team defeated Iowa City West 46-39 to become the 2016 Iowa Class 4A Champions on March 12. They celebrated their successful season in the Valley Field House after the game.

Severe Weather Awareness Week

March 21-25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa.

Quick Weather Tips

  • Each school conducts regular tornado drills with students.
  • Review the “drop and tuck” procedure with your child at home.

Watch v. Warning

  • A watch indicates that a particular weather hazard is possible.
  • A warning indicates that a weather hazard is imminent or has been reported.

For more information about our safety practices, check your school handbook, available on your school’s website.

        Tips Printable                          en español

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Iowa Teacher of the Year Nominations Due April 25

Thousands of talented Iowa educators lead and inspire their students, but only one is chosen annually as the Iowa Teacher of the Year. The annual award is an opportunity to recognize an exceptional Iowa teacher who is helping to redefine education. Anyone can nominate a teacher who is making a difference.

The deadline to nominate the 2017 Iowa Teacher of the Year is April 25. Nomination forms can be found on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

The Teacher of the Year serves as an ambassador to education and as a liaison to primary and secondary schools, higher education, and organizations across the state.

Tamara Tjeerdsma, now assistant principal at Jordan Creek and Westridge elementary schools, was a finalist for the award in 2015. Valley Southwoods Freshman High School teacher Wade Petersen was a finalist for the award in 2016.

The 2017 Teacher of the Year will be announced this fall. The annual program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature.

Author to Give Slam-Dunking Poetry Presentation in West Des Moines

Alexander_Headshot2Just in time for the NCAA March Madness Final Four games, the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) will host Kwame Alexander, author of the “The Crossover,” a novel about a teenage basketball player. Alexander will give a public reading and sign copies of his novel-in-verse at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 at the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave. in West Des Moines. This event is free and open to the public.

Alexander will also meet with West Des Moines Community Schools students from across the district on Friday, April 1.

Alexander is a poet, educator, and author of 21 books, including “The Crossover,” which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, and many other awards.

His other works include the award-winning children’s picture book “Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band,” recently optioned as a children’s television show, and the Junior Library Selection, “He Said She Said,” a YA novel.

wdmcs_reads_crossover_book_coverIn “The Crossover,” Alexander uses basketball as a hook to get young readers to read poetry. He believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his Book-in-a-Day literacy program, which has created more than 3,000 student authors at 69 schools across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. A regular speaker and workshop presenter at conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love.

“The Crossover” is the inaugural selection of WDMCS Reads, a community reading program sponsored by the West Des Moines Community Schools. WDMCS Reads celebrates the “community” in the school district’s name by inviting the students and residents of West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale and Windsor Heights to read and discuss the same book.

To learn more about WDMCS Reads and explore community-building ideas related to the program, visit www.wdmcs.org/wdmcs-reads/.

To learn more about Kwame Alexander, visit KwameAlexander.com.

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Valley Boy’s Basketball Team 2016 Class 4A Champions

Congratulations to Coach B.J. Windhorst and the Valley Boys’ Basketball team, the 2016 Iowa Class 4A Champions! The team bested Iowa City West 46-39 to take the title. Join the team for a celebration in the Valley Field House tonight!

Local Writers Win the WDMCS Reads Poetry Writing Contest

The West Des Moines Public Library and the West Des Moines Community Schools are excited to announce the winners of the WDMCS Reads Poetry Writing Contest.

The poetry contest is part of WDMCS Reads, reading initiative that invites residents our community to read and discuss the same book.

The winners of the poetry contest are:

  • Annabelle Penar, a student at Western Hills Elementary, is the winner of the kindergarten through third-grade category.
  • Luke Nelson, a student at Western Hills Elementary, is the winner of the fourth- through sixth-grade category.
  • Sydney Pearl, a student at Stilwell Junior High, is the winner of the seventh-eighth grade category.
  • Abby Ringgenberg,  a student at Valley Southwoods, is the winner of the ninth-grade category.
  • Isabella Avila, a student at Valley High School, is the winner of the 10th- through 12th-grade category.
  • Pamela Thomason of West Des Moines is the winner of the adult category.

The winners will receive a book by Newbery Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander courtesy of the West Des Moines Public Library. They will also have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Alexander during his visit to West Des Moines on March 31, 2016. Mr. Alexander’s book “The Crossover” is the inaugural selection for WDMCS Reads, and he will give a public reading and presentation at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, at the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., in West Des Moines.

For more information about WDMCS Reads and the West Des Moines Community Schools, please visit www.wdmcs.org/wdmcs-reads. For more information about the West Des Moines Public Library, please visit www.wdmlibrary.org.

 

Fruit Smoothies, Freshly Baked Muffins, and Prizes Served Up March 7-10

WDMCS students can enjoy fruit smoothies and freshly baked muffins, win prizes, and celebrate the most important meal of the day at breakfast parties March 7-10.

Life in the WDMCS 3/7/2016

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
Clive Learning Academy kindergartners got creative with paintbrushes to kick off March. They used materials like feathers, sponges, and pipe cleaners to make their own versions of the paintbrush, then tested their new inventions.

Hillside Elementary
The week of Feb. 29-March 4, students at Hillside Elementary celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by participating in a variety of fun literacy activities. Students wrote Dr. Seuss-inspired pieces, read Dr. Seuss books together, and had the opportunity to dress up like their favorite Dr. Seuss characters.

Walnut Creek Campus
Students from Walnut Creek Campus participated in the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge on March 1. Each team competed to accumulate the highest possible net worth in their investment portfolio at the close of trading, with 60 seconds representing one day of trading in the stock market simulator. The Walnut Creek team at one point reached second place and got some valuable hands-on experience with the stock market simulation

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