District News

Committee Plans Expansion of New Tech at WDMCS

An advisory team has been meeting since January to plan the district’s expansion of the district’s New Tech learning model to the high school level.

Specifically, the team is working to answer questions including the following:

  • Should New Tech at the high school level be a school-within-a-school model OR should it be a separate New Tech high school?
  • Will students be able to passport out to take classes through the traditional high school such as AP or foreign language courses?
  • Do we require an internship or service learning credits as part of graduation requirements?
  • How would students access co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities?
  • Do we cap New Tech numbers?
  • How do we address courses that have students from different grade levels in the course?
  • What are ideas for expanding and sustaining partnerships with area businesses for the purpose of student internship experiences?

The advisory team working on the answers is made up of parents, teachers, administrators, board members, university and community college representatives, community members, and business leaders.

The goal is to have a plan in place for eighth-grade New Tech students as they register for ninth-grade classes in January 2017 for the 2017-18 school year.

WDMCS is the first school district in the state to offer New Tech schools, where students learn through real-world community-based projects and all children are assigned a personal digital device.

To learn more about New Tech, visit www.wdmcs.org/academics/new-tech/.

Reminder: Early Out on April 27, 2016

This is a reminder that all schools will dismiss 45 minutes early next Wednesday, April 27. We are providing this reminder because a “C”—which signifies a collaboration date—was inadvertently omitted on April 27, May 4, and June 1 on the printed district calendar. All WDMCS Schools dismiss early every Wednesday to allow for collaboration time. Please remember that every Wednesday is a collaboration day.

For more information about collaboration and each school’s schedule, please see the district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schools/wednesday-collaboration-days/.

Thank You to Our Volunteers!

The West Des Moines Community Schools would like to say a special thank you to all our district volunteers this week. April 18-22 is National Public School Volunteer Week, and a great chance to show appreciation for all the volunteers who help make our schools better places to learn and work. From assisting in classrooms to feeding teachers during conferences and helping with student activities, we could not offer all the excellent opportunities we do without the help of our many volunteers. Thank you for working with us to support learning and our amazing students and staff!

Educator Rick Wormeli to Provide Professional Development April 29

(Photo source: twitter.com/rickwormeli2)

(Photo source: twitter.com/rickwormeli2)

There will be no school for students on Friday, April 29, 2016. It is a professional development day for teachers, who will be working with education professional Rick Wormeli.

Wormeli is an innovative educator with more than 30 years of teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, and history, as well as instructing teachers and principals. He has presented on education in all 50 states, several countries, and at the White House. He is also an education consultant for National Public Radio and USA Today and has worked with the Smithsonian Institute.

Wormeli is the author of several successful books including “Day One and Beyond,” “Summarization in Any Subject,” and the award-winning “Meet Me in the Middle.” He is also a columnist for Middle Ground magazine and a contributor to the ASCD’s (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Educational Leadership magazine. His work has been covered by numerous media outlets, including Good Morning America, National Geographic, and The Washington Post.

To learn more about professional development in the West Des Moines Community Schools, visit www.wdmcs.org/academics/professional-development/.

Valley Presents “James and the Giant Peach”

ValleySpringPlayPoster-1516Valley High School’s Theater Department presents “James and the Giant Peach,” a family-friendly stage adaptation of the children’s book by popular author Roald Dahl.

Directed by Valley Drama Director Stacy Hansen, “James and the Giant Peach” follows a lonely 9-year-old orphan who has lived with his ghastly aunties, Sponge and Spiker, ever since his parents met their fate in the mouth of a rampaging rhinoceros. When he accidentally spills magical crocodile tongues on the ground near a barren peach tree in his yard, it grows a single, house-sized peach. Kid-sized insects welcome James into the peach and accompany him on a fantastic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

The play features junior Kamden Lee as James, senior Jake Wheeler as Old Green Grasshopper, senior Sarah Clarke as Miss Spider, junior Jared Fisher as Centipede, senior Matthew Hrdlicka as Earthworm and senior Lily DeTaeye as Lady Bird. More than 125 Valley High School students and staff make up the rest of the cast, crew and musicians, with senior Kathryn Catellier as head stage manager, senior Sam Berry as master carpenter and junior Catie Judge as master electrician. A full cast and crew list can be found below.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on April 29 and 30, and at 2 p.m. on May 1, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. Tickets are $7 and $10, and can be purchased through MIDWESTIX at www.midwestix.com or by calling 515-244-2771.

This play is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

 

 

CAST AND CREW

 James: Kamden Lee (Understudies: Emma Bohn, Marco Masteller)

Old Green Grasshopper: Jake Wheeler (Understudy: Katie Derouin)

Miss Spider: Sarah Clarke (Understudy: Zoe Ella Anderson)

Centipede: Jared Fisher (Understudy: Evan Cooper)

Ladybird: Lily DeTaeye (Understudy: Kylie Miller)

Earthworm: Matthew Hrdlicka (Understudy: Olivia Ramaekers)

Aunt Sponge: Derek Lutt (Understudy: Marisa Rethman)

Aunt Spiker: Nico Mulhern (Understudy: Bre Eigenheer)

Old Woman: Pearl Tate (Understudies: Maddie Hansen, Liz Lau)

Old Woman’s Assistant: Miller McCoy

Captain of The Queen Mary: Anthony Reno

First Officer: Zac Johnson

Second Officer: Carter Burmester

The Peach: Anthony Alvarado

Mariachi Band: Dominic Cravero, Mariah Mann, Olympia Manning

The Mayor: Dillion Hoyt

Tour Guides/T.V. Reporters: Taylor Denman, Isabelle Fidler, Ashley Gettinger, Sharissa Patanapanich, Madison Stegman, Maren Tuttle

NYC Philharmonic/Sea: Emma Bohn, Catherine Christian, Evan Cooper, Ryan Jones, Collin Reeves, Andy Thompson

Aunts/Sailors: Carter Burmester, Ethan Glenn, Zac Johnson, Evan Larsen, Keegan McCullough, Anthony Reno

Millionaires/Beggars/Peach Tourists: Logan Benson, Kyra Casper, Courtney Graham, Sydney Sheffield, Mara Smith, Elena Soto, Heather Stout, Maddy Swaim

Fashionistas/Peach Kids/Sharks: Preston Hayes, Emma Ksiazak, Nic Lovan, Marco Masteller, Olivia Ramaekers, Owen Snyder, Jack Standefer

Peach Tourists/Rhino/Octopus: Becca Dorsett, Bre Eigenheer, Paige Marshall, Angelina Mullican, Lauren Russo, Lizbeth Salinas-Reyes, Masha Smirnova, Liz Lau

New Yorkers/Seagulls: Zoe-Ella Anderson, Abigail Colby, Katie Derouin, Maddie Hansen, Lauren Johnson, Meta Miller, Anna Peterzalek, Kate Raridon, Marisa Rethman

NYC Skyline/Sea Creatures: Emily Carr, Kailey Casper, Sarah Estes, Kylie Miller, Camille Mireault, Anna Wood

NYC Skyline/Clouds: Thomas Bonus, Dawson Edwards, Jack Ohringer, Garrett Wheeler

NYC Police/Weather: Faith Breiholz, Jack Johnson, Jackson LaFleur, Dion Manuel, Alainna McAuliff, Natalie Segura, Rebecca Stockholm, Ann Thomas

Peach Tourists/Traffic: Sam Allbee, Millo Fosado, Quinn Fox, Olivia Hansen, David Hettmann, McKenzie Michael, Lillian Poulsen

 

Director: Stacy Hansen

Assistant Director: Linda Crose

Technical Director: Amanda Pichler

Choreographer: Megan Helmers

Head Stage Manager: Kathryn Catellier

Assistant Stage Managers: Brillian Qi-Bell, Cheyenne Raney, Katie Ringgenberg, Amy Wickenkamp

Head Production Assistants: Connor McCarville, Nora Raine

Production Design Team: Grace Basler, Kiona Dodson, Mia Klaric

Publicity Lead: Jamie Hanson

Publicity Team: Millo Fosado, Morgan Pech, Sam Shea, Zach Wright

Costume Lead: Grace Axman

Costume Team: Ali Davis, Macayla Smith, Emily Steimel, Isabella Vettese

Props Lead: Grant Hillenbrand

Props Team: Sadie Baker, Kiona Dodson, Taylor Johnson, Brandi Marlett

Makeup Lead: Grace Pollack

Makeup Team: Grace Basler, Mia Klaric, Kathryn Rozanek

Dramaturg: Julie Sisler

Master Carpenter: Sam Berry

Assistant Master Carpenter: Cody Thompson

Master Electrician: Catie Judge

Assistant Master Electricians: Ben Burright, Zachary Pitts

Light Board Operator: Sarah Freund

Master Paint Charge: Reid Epstein

Assistant Paint Charge: Bree Cole, Quinn Herbert

Sound Board Operator: Rob Kristan

Fly Rail Operators: Jo Craven, Beth Hammond, Zach Netteland,

Run Crew Chief SL: Abi Whitford

Run Crew Chief SR: Mary Scout Cole-Duvall

Spotlight Operators: Tyler Beveridge, Catie Judge

Technicians: Chase Brown, Luke Dawson, Bre Eigenheer, Leann Grandia, Lizzie Napier, Zach Pitts, Katie Reha, Aaron Reno, Blake Richards, Dani Roth, Luke Rustin, Susan Vu, Justine Williamson

 

Reminder: Early Out on April 13, 2016

This is a reminder that all schools will dismiss 45 minutes early next Wednesday, April 13. We are providing this reminder because a “C”—which signifies a collaboration date—was inadvertently omitted on April 13, April 27, May 4, and June 1 on the printed district calendar. All WDMCS Schools dismiss early every Wednesday to allow for collaboration time. Please remember that every Wednesday is a collaboration day.

For more information about collaboration and each school’s schedule, please see the district website at www.wdmcs.org/district/our-schools/wednesday-collaboration-days/.

Life in the WDMCS 04/08/2016

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.

District
Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students from all eight West Des Moines Community Schools elementaries competed in the Non-Native Spanish Speaker’s Quiz Bowl on March 24. They played games that helped them practice and develop their Spanish language skills, helped by sixth-grade native Spanish speakers and volunteers from Grandview College.

Clive Learning Academy
First-grade students in Ms. Finer’s Clive Learning Academy class have been working together to generate ideas for personal healthy goals. Students shared the goals with their families and helped family members set their own goals. The students’ goals included getting enough sleep, riding bikes and scooters and eating more fruits and vegetables.

All Clive Learning Academy kindergartners visited the Civic Center to see “The Cat in the Hat,” based on the beloved Dr. Seuss book. To prepare for the field trip, the kindergarten students listened to and read his books and did “Cat in the Hat”-themed activities, and wrote about what they would do if the Cat in the Hat visited their houses.

Kindergarten Registration and Roundup 2016-17

Is your child ready for life’s big adventures? Let us help them explore and excel. Register for kindergarten today!

Summer of Learning Opportunities Offered by Community Education

Are you wondering how you’re going to keep your kids busy this summer? We have many fun, enriching, and affordable learning opportunities available!