District News

Valley Retirees Give Back to Students

Valley retirees Mary Kay France, Patty Jansen, Ann Mack, Vicky Poole and Linda Bergeson helped provide 15 turkeys and hams to students at Valley for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Valley retirees Mary Kay France, Patty Jansen, Ann Mack, Vicky Poole and Linda Bergeson helped provide 15 turkeys and hams to students at Valley for the Thanksgiving holiday.

A group of retirees from Valley High School have partnered with the Hy-Vee on Grand to help provide Thanksgiving turkeys and hams to students at Valley.

The Valley retirees collected donations among their peers and retired principal and current School Board member Dr. Vicky Poole along with retired teacher Kathie Lutter delivered 15 turkeys, 15 hams and 30 packages of rolls to Valley. Along with an anonymous donation of stuffing, canned vegetables and other side dishes, the group was able to provide a full Thanksgiving meal to students.

The project was organized through Valley Campus Monitor Sam Kranovich. Associate Principal Dr. Erika Cook oversees the Booster Pak program, Tiger Pride Supplies and other service initiatives at Valley.

School Board to Review Boundary Proposal

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will review the district administration’s proposal for elementary school attendance boundary changes for the 2015-16 school year at its workshop meeting Monday, Nov. 24 at 5:15 p.m. at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines.

Hillside Honored for Breaking Education Barriers

news-hd-breaking-barriers-awardHillside Elementary has been honored with the Breaking Barriers to Teaching and Learning Award by the State Board of Education for its work to raise achievement among students who traditionally face challenges in the classroom. Each year, the award recognizes successful efforts to eliminate gaps in achievement among students.

Hillside Elementary was recognized for its work with English language learners (ELL), noting that the proficiency rate for Hillside’s ELL students is 70 percent in reading and math. That compares to a statewide average of 49 percent for the same group of students.

I believe this award is reflective of the hard work all of the Hillside teachers conduct with our children daily,” said Principal Dr. Robert Davis. “Our staff strives to help our students acquire a deep understanding of how the English language works.”

At Hillside, teachers are data driven. They set monthly achievement goals for all students. Then, they progress monitor every child to ensure students make the necessary growth to be proficient in reading, writing and mathematics.

“It is our teachers’ relentless focus on making sure all of our students are achieving high standards every day that has made the difference with our English Language Learners,” added Dr. Davis.

This year’s award-winners were recognized for having the highest proficiency rates statewide in math and reading among a specific subgroup of students, such as students who do not speak English as their native language and students from low-income backgrounds. State assessment data from five years were examined to confirm a positive trend for each school. Interviews with school principals revealed a common thread between the honored schools: the use of evidence-based practices, a staff-wide commitment, high expectations and substantial teacher collaboration.

Committee Recommends New Map to Superintendency

At its Monday, Nov. 17 meeting, the Boundary Committee voted to recommend Map C5 to the superintendency.

WDMCS Named College Board Honor Roll District

The West Des Moines Community School District is among 12 Iowa districts –just two of which are from the metro area – to be named to the College Board’s 5th Annual Honor Roll Districts. This is the second consecutive year the WDMCS has earned this honor, demonstrating equity and excellence in its Advanced Placement programming.

The AP District Honor Roll recognizes and honors those outstanding school districts that simultaneously increase access to Advanced Placement® course work while increasing the percentage of students earning “passing” scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.

Achieving both of these goals is the ideal scenario for a district’s AP program because it indicates that the district is successfully preparing and identifying motivated students who succeed in the rigorous AP course work.

The Valley AP Council, led by Associate Principal Erika Cook and social studies teacher Greg Hudson, has implemented ideas and training that have led to a 50 percent increase in enrollments over the past two years. Valley High School offers more than 20 AP courses.

“We are very proud of our students for challenging themselves with the rigorous AP curriculum,” said Dr. Erika Cook. “This would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our faculty.”

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.