District News

Life in the WDMCS — Nov. 9, 2016

Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings.

Board Continues to Study Moving Sixth Grade, Preschool

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will continue to study various space allocation options, including moving sixth grade and preschool out of district elementary schools.

Tiger Cubs Preschool Registration

Tiger Cubs Preschool registration for the 2017-18 school year opens on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 at 8 a.m.

WDMCS Classes in Session Today (Nov. 2)

Our hearts go out to the Urbandale and Des Moines police departments and the families of the two officers killed overnight.

One of the tragic shootings took place near Urbandale High School and the Urbandale Community School District has canceled classes today because of the investigation currently taking place near the school’s location.

Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy has been in contact with the West Des Moines Police Department and there is no need to cancel classes in the WDMCS. All schools in our district will be in session today. We will continue to communicate with the police departments throughout the day.

LATEST: All WDMCS schools are following normal Wednesday schedules, operations, and procedures today for the school day and after-school activities.

Preschool Palooza on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to noon

Children ages two to six enjoy fun and educational activities while their grown-ups gather information about early childhood opportunities, such as preschool programs and kindergarten enrollment in West Des Moines Community Schools.

WDMCS Taking Action to Address Education Equity

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) recently released its plan to address education equity in its schools. “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change” outlines short- and long-term action steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

Celebrate “Profriend Week” Oct. 17-21

The cities of West Des Moines, Clive, and Windsor Heights have proclaimed Oct. 17-21 as Profriend Week following city council meeting presentations by West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) students.

Students from Clive Learning Academy, Jordan Creek Elementary, Indian Hills Junior High, Stilwell Junior High, and Valley High School presented the Profriend campaign to the West Des Moines, Clive, and Windsor Heights city councils. Along with faculty members and WDMCS Board of Education Vice President Melinda Dunnwald, the students shared the history of the Profriend campaign and talked about the campaign’s kickoff event, when more than 1,400 students spelled out the word “friend” on Valley Stadium field. They also discussed the importance of the campaign’s main goal: to positively impact the conversation about bullying by promoting kindness and friendship in action.

The students also suggested potential ways the cities could join them as kindness ambassadors. Partnership ideas included creating positive “friendprint” artworks, identifying “friendly” public spaces and business, sponsoring walks and runs, and creating friend-themed community art events or projects.

Please join the West Des Moines Community Schools and the cities of West Des Moines, Clive, and Windsor Heights as we celebrate Profriend Week!

Learn more about Profriend on the campaign website at wdmcsprofriend.com.


Staff Weather Notification Test on Nov. 22


The West Des Moines Community Schools conducted a test of its weather notification system on Oct. 25. The School/Community Relations Office sent the message to all district families and staff, but a filter prevented district staff without children in the district from receiving the message.

We will conduct a second notification test to ensure all staff members can receive messages during school closings at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22.

If you have not done so already, update your contact information in Infinite Campus using the staff directions above.

National School Bus Safety Week 2016: Payments Due!

National School Bus Safety Week is taking place this week, Oct. 17-21! To make sure all bus riders continue to have safe transportation, take this chance to make sure your transportation plans are in place for the second quarter. Second quarter transportation fees are due Wednesday, Oct. 19. Fees can be paid at your child’s school or through the online payment system at www.wdmcs.org/online-payments/.

This is also a good time to change your child’s ridership details, if needed. Please complete and submit the “Make Change to Current Ridership” form at www.wdmcs.org/departments/transportation if you would like to make changes. You can also contact the Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Remember to thank your bus driver and practice safe bus riding this week during National School Bus Safety Week!

Six WDMCS Educators Recognized for Expertise

Six West Des Moines Community Schools educators have received recent recognition for their success and expertise as teachers and coaches.

beranekm.jpgstearnsb.jpgValley Southwoods Freshman High School Associate Principal Bryan Stearns and Western Hills Elementary School teacher Mike Beranek were both named to Iowa’s Every Student Succeeds Act Advisory Committee. The committee is providing input on the development of Iowa’s plan to meet the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

allison kroisIndian Hills Junior High School language arts teacher Allison Koontz and Valley High School language arts teacher Ryan Penning also received recognition this summer. Koontz earned the 2016 Iowa Communication Association Outstanding New Teacher Award based on her service, leadership, and dedication to speech and theater education.

Ryan penningPenning received the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Dr. Robert E. and Phyllis M. Yager Exemplary Teaching Recognition Award, which highlights UNI graduates who have gone on to excellence as K-12 teachers in Iowa. He will speak at a special luncheon with the UNI president in December and receive $3,000.

bakeyt.jpgTwo Valley High School coaches were honored after successful seasons. Softball coach Tom Bakey was named to the Iowa Girls Coaches Association (IGCA) Hall of Fame in July 2016. He has coached softball in the West Des Moines Community Schools for 30 seasons, including 20 seasons as the program’s head coach. During those 20 years, Bakey and his teams have earned a .802 winning percentage and five state titles. He was previously recognized by IGCA as Softball Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010.

azizhaffarValley High School boys’ soccer coach Aziz Haffar was selected as the 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) State High School Coach of the Year. Haffar has been the head boys’ soccer coach for 27 years and has led the team to a .86 winning percentage and five state championships. He was previously named the NSCAA State High School Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997, 2001, and 2006.

Congratulations to these excellent WDMCS educators!