District News

Boundary Committee Reviewing Feedback

The WDMCS Boundary Committee meets November 17 at 7 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center to review feedback from the recent public forums and survey to provide a recommendation to the district superintendency for changes to the district’s attendance boundaries.

Register for Tiger Cubs Preschool

Tiger Cubs is the West Des Moines Community School district’s preschool program. 

Committee Selects Two Maps for Public Feedback

At its November 6 meeting, the boundary study committee has selected two maps which the public will have the opportunity to give feedback on at three upcoming forums. The maps are in .pdf format. Please use the .pdf tools to enlarge and zoom in on each map.

Reminder! Public Feedback Sessions on Boundary Changes

The public is invited to give feedback on boundary options at three public sessions:

School Boundary Committee Meets Nov. 6

The West Des Moines Community Schools Boundary Committee will continue its study of the district’s enrollment and boundaries at 6:30 p.m. on November 6 in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center. This meeting is open to observers.

Valley Performing Arts Center Grand Opening Nov. 16

Come home to where the art is! Help us celebrate the grand opening of the Valley High School Performing Arts Center during a special program and celebration on Sunday, Nov. 16 from 2-5 p.m.

The afternoon will include performances from elementary, junior high and high school students as well as student artwork displays. Tours of the space will showcase the Performing Arts Center’s impressive offerings, including:

  • 1,136 fixed audience seats
  • 42-foot by 100-foot stage area
  • 50-foot by 24-foot proscenium opening
  • Motorized orchestra pit lift
  • 74 linear feet of makeup room counter/mirror space

“We are extremely excited to christen this new space that will showcase the talents of our students at Valley High School and from across the West Des Moines Community Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy. “The Performing Arts Center is a special venue that will allow our school, district and community the opportunity to expand and grow our passion for the arts.”

The $15 million Performing Arts Center is the culmination of a $66 million three-phase construction project at Valley High School that began in 2011. The key components of the project are the Performing Arts Center; new science labs and FEMA-standard storm shelter, family consumer science classrooms and cafeteria in a new three-story addition; and updated special education, multimedia, journalism and radio classrooms.

Preschool Palooza is Back for a Second Year!

WDMCS Community Education’s Preschool Palooza event will take place on November 8, from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Hillside Elementary School, 713 8th Street, West Des Moines, IA.

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

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

Other organizations that are 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, Safe Kids Iowa, Heartland AEA 11, Music-n-Motion, Sacred Heart Preschool, The Hannah Geneser Foundation, Tiger Cubs Preschools, Walnut Creek YMCA, WDM United Methodist Preschool, and Windsor Heights Lions Club.

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It’s a Great Pumpkin Patch at Jordan Creek

Jordan Creek Teacher Librarian Kristi Skoglund with her pumpkin character, Fly Guy.

Jordan Creek Teacher Librarian Kristi Skoglund with her pumpkin character, Fly Guy.

Jordan Creek Elementary has taken pumpkin decorating and the love of reading to a new level with more than 120 pumpkins lining the bookshelves in the school’s media center.

These aren’t your ordinary decorated pumpkins. Kristy Skoglund, the school’s teacher librarian, asked students and families to decorate a pumpkin as their favorite book character and bring them to the media center to display. The first step in the project, though, was to read the book together.

“It’s all about trying to get kids and families together as a community of readers,” said Skoglund.

One student not only decorated a pumpkin, they created a character and wrote their own book!

One student not only decorated a pumpkin, they created a character and wrote their own book!

She had seen the idea several places online, but decided this year she would take the plunge and see what the response would be. She created her own pumpkin to show students and get their creative juices flowing. She never imagined what the end result would be.

“We have the most creative parents and kids,” Skoglund said. “We have had hot glue guns, felt…one dad said he even brought out the power tools. There is an amazing amount of talent around here.”

Not only was the project a fun one, but it has created some nice side effects. Parents and grandparents are coming to the media center before and after school with their kids to see all the different characters and Skoglund can barely keep the books that go with the pumpkins on the shelves. Even classics like Elmer the Elephant have become popular again.

Elmer the Elephant has become popular once again due to the Jordan Creek pumpkin project.

Elmer the Elephant has become popular once again due to the Jordan Creek pumpkin project.

“It’s all about trying to celebrate reading,” said Skoglund. “It’s odd because Elmer hasn’t circulated for a long time. He is a really old book and can sit on the shelf for a long time and then all of a sudden he’s a big hit again.”

Not only are the pumpkins a hit with the families at Jordan Creek, they’ve become a hit with the authors of the books as well. Skoglund took to Twitter and Tweeted pictures of the students with the pumpkins to a few of the authors and received some excited responses.

One was from Laura Numeroff, author of the series If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If you Give a Pig a Pancake. Skoglund Tweeted “This little guy was so proud of his mouse pumpkin that he based on your Mouse!!”

To which Numeroff replied, “He is absolutely adorable! Please tell him I said HAPPY HALLOWEEN, and I’m thrilled that he chose MOUSE for his pumpkin!”

This pumpkin of Mouse received a reply tweet from the author, Laura Numeroff.

This pumpkin of Mouse received a reply tweet from the author, Laura Numeroff.

You can find more photos of the students with their pumpkin characters on the Jordan Creek Facebook page.

 

Facebook Album 1

Facebook Album 2

 

Dates for Public Feedback Sessions on Boundaries Set

The public is invited to give feedback on boundary options at three public forums:

38 Students to Participate in All-State Music Festival

The Valley High School fine arts department will have 38 students participate in the Iowa All-State Music Festival Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.

All-state band members:
Flute 1 – Julia Anderson
Clarinet 2 – Bryce Sederburg
Trumpet 1 – Sam Anderson
Trombone 2 – Jacob Bedia
Trombone 3 – Joe Brennan
Percussion, Orchestra – Derek Pham
Alternates – Julian Castillo, oboe

All-state choir members:
Soprano –Claire Maly, Jessica Martens, Nicole Miller, Lauren Pfeil, Elizabeth Watson
Alto – Maria Lind, Beka Conard, Jillian Belieu
Tenor – Keaton Denker, Jared Freiburg, Brook Norwood, Matthew Hrdlicka, Derek Lutt, Josh Miksch
Bass – Luke Dawson, Jake Grittman, Andy Han
Alternate – Gloria Tanui, alto

All-state orchestra members:
Violin – Hannah Willard, Guowei Qi, Tori Cassady, Andrew Yi
Viola – Alexandra Carther, Clara Ortgies
Cello – Michael Stevens, Cayden Codel, Kate Jaros
Harp – Elsa Klein
Alternates – Joe Reck, violin; Travis Smith, viola; Ben Wiese, cello

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at the Iowa State athletic ticket office or online at Ticketmaster. For more information on the Iowa All-State Music Festival, visit www.ihsma.org/all_state.shtml.