District News

What’s Your Slang Score?

Thanks to new and ever-evolving slang terms, it can seem like kids are speaking a different language — especially when they are online or messaging. Test your knowledge of teen slang, then tweet your results to us @WDMCS or share them with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wdmcs. For more insight into life as a teenager, watch for our upcoming article on the teenage brain. For more social media tips and resources, check out our “Social Media Tips for Families” post and this upcoming WDMCS Community Education class: Social Media Safety for Parents of Teens.

en español

Once you’ve answered the questions, click here to see how you did.


Life in the WDMCS 1/18/2016

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.

The Valley High School, Indian Hills Junior High, Stilwell Junior High, and Jordan Creek Elementary archery teams recently competed at tournaments in Albia and East Union.

Clive Learning Academy
Clive Learning Academy first-graders are learning about the importance of having a way to communicate without electronics. One speaker talked to learners about a Boy Scout trip to the Boundary Waters, while another explained how projectors use light and sound to communicate. The first-grade learners then invented their own communication devices that use light and sound to send a message.

Crestview School of Inquiry
First-graders at the Crestview School of Inquiry took a field trip to the State Historical Museum of Iowa in early January. They learned about mammoths, vintage planes and cars, Iowa’s natural resources, and more.

Sixth-grade learners at the Crestview School of Inquiry won time in Maker Space via a library drawing on Jan. 13. They worked together on projects using beads, magnets, origami, LEGO® bricks, and obstacle courses.

Hillside Elementary
The Hillside Elementary Student Council volunteered at Meals from the Heartland on Jan. 12. They packaged more than 12,000 meals for people all over the world as part of their continued service work.

Kindergartners at Hillside Elementary are learning about shapes through movement. They learned to identify and draw shapes, then used elastic bands and their bodies to create shapes the size of students.

Jordan Creek Elementary
The Jordan Creek Elementary Kids Care Club worked with Gabe Carlson from Upward Sports and four Kohl’s Employees from the Kohl’s Associates in Action program to create fleece blankets. The tie-blankets were distributed to Joppa, the U.S. Center for Refugees, and the YMCA Transitional Housing Campus.

Indian Hills Junior High School
Indian Hills students have been working in the science lab. They worked together to craft debates and start chemical reactions using Bunsen burners.

Reminder: No School Jan. 18

There will be no school for WDMCS students on Monday, Jan. 18. It is a professional development day for staff. District offices will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For other important dates throughout the school year, please see:

Calendar at a Glance

District Offering Free Evening Meals for Children

The West Des Moines Community Schools Nutrition Services department is offering a free evening meal for children from 5:30–6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday night during the school year, excluding school breaks. An optional educational or enriching activity will be offered after each meal, from 6–6:30 p.m. The meal will be served at Crestview School of Inquiry.

The meal is free for children 18 and younger and children aged 19 who are still in school. Adult meals will be offered for $3.50 per person. These meals are being offered through federal funds as part of the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program, part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CAFCP) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. All At-Risk Afterschool Meals programs must follow guidelines to ensure children receive necessary nutrients.

Families with questions about the evening meals program can contact WDMCS Director of Nutrition Services Willow Dye at 515-633-5086 or Crestview School of Inquiry at 515-633-5700.

Non-discrimination Statement: The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online athttp://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866)632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C., 20250-9410, by fax 202-690-7442 or email atprogram.intake@usda.govIndividuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339; or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Iowa Non-discrimination Notice: It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.6, 216.7, and 216.9. If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNP Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; website: https://icrc.iowa.gov/.

Junior High Film Festival Showcases Creativity, Collaboration

The start of the new year brings the beginning of awards season in show business, and now in the West Des Moines Community Schools district as well. Indian Hills and Stilwell junior high schools held their joint film festival last Thursday, Jan. 7.

Life in the WDMCS 1/11/2016

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
Sixth-grade learners at Clive Learning Academy have been meeting with Detective Woods from the Windsor Heights Police Department once a month this school year for a program called Code 411. The program ties into the social studies curriculum about civics. Detective Woods talks to the students about topics including drugs, alcohol, theft, harassment, and law enforcement. Learners have been taking notes and asking her questions to prepare for creating their own PowerPoint presentations this spring. They will graduate from Code 411 at the end of the school year.

Clive Learning Academy third-graders are creating a Clive Museum and timeline as a way to learn about the people who walked the hallways of Clive for the past 60 years, when it was known as Clive Elementary. They recently interviewed former Clive students and teachers to piece together different parts of the school’s history.

Crestview School of Inquiry
Crestview School of Inquiry students completed a reading challenge during Winter Break. Students were asked to read 20 minutes each day during the break. Those who completed the challenge got to start school after the break by having hot chocolate and cookies.

Hillside Elementary
Hillside Elementary kindergarten students started school after the break by furthering their understanding of numbers. They are studying the calendar, calculators, and the hundreds chart to learn more about numbers in the double digits. Students are also continuing their exploration of the clock: reinforcing numbers up to 12, counting in increments of five, and beginning to learn concepts of telling time.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Miss Brittnee’s Tiger Cubs Preschool class recently received the Class of Character Award. The 3- and 4-year-old kids of character were found displaying caring qualities by walking quietly in the halls of their school.

Life in the WDMCS 1/4/2016

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
Mrs. Cook’s Tiger Cubs Preschool students at Crestview School of Inquiry added a new pet to their classroom! On Dec. 8, the students visited a store and purchased a fish and food for him to eat. They decided to name him Mario because of his red color.

Hillside Elementary
First-grade English language learners at Hillside Elementary had the opportunity to make candy pretzels with HERHSEY’S KISSES and M&M’S®. The baking session taught them to make a fun and easy treat, as well as some new vocabulary.

Classes to Resume Jan. 4, 2016

This is a reminder that classes will resume tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 4. In the meantime, don’t miss the great things happening in the West Des Moines Community Schools:

  • Surprise Holiday Homecoming
    • Army dad surprises his kindergarten daughter during school’s winter sing-along
  • WDMCS Implements Project Lead The Way K–12
    • The WDMCS district is one of the first in the state to implement Project Lead The Way elements through the district.
  • WDMCS Reads
    • We are excited to invite you to join us for the first annual community read — WDMCS Reads: One district, many communities, one book.

Stay up-to-date with all district happenings through the district website and social media, newsletters and announcements, and other forms of communication.

Connect with the WDMCS: Communication 411

Staying connected with district happenings is a great way to be engaged in your student’s education. Use these resources to help keep your student and your family connected to life in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

The Informaline is the district newsletter. It is emailed to all district parents the Monday opposite each school board meeting and posted on the district blog on the website, with some schools providing printed copies. It is provided in English and Spanish.

  • Virtual Backpack
    • The Virtual Backpack is included as part of the Informaline every other Monday, but can be accessed on the district website at any time. The Virtual Backpack contains electronic flyers and information about district and community opportunities for students and families.

Infinite Campus
Infinite Campus is a helpful online tool West Des Moines Community Schools parents can use to access their students’ grades, attendance, and more, depending on the student’s grade level.

Make sure your preferred information is entered in Infinite Campus to receive school closing announcements, district alerts, and school newsletters and announcements.

Find out more about entering your information and using Infinite Campus with your child.

District Website
The district website, www.wdmcs.org, is a great place to find information about district life, school news, announcements, alerts, and links to other resources.


  • Front-page tabs
    • There are five tabs along the left side of the website front page: District, Students, Parents, Staff, and Newcomers. For information and news tailored to you, click the tab that best represents your role in the district. The Students, Parents, and Staff tabs all have featured articles, timely pieces with important information. The featured articles change periodically, so it’s smart to check the tabs consistently. You can always check the other tabs as well.


  • Top tabs
    • There are also tabs across the top of the website front page. Our District, Academics, Departments, and Schools are all linked to general pages on those topics. They also feature drop-down menus that will lead you to individual pages about subtopics in those categories. The Parents, Students, and Staff tabs at the top are another way to access useful  information and links designed to meet your needs.

District Calendar
The district calendar should be your first source of information when it comes to district events.

  • Online
    • The most up-to-date version of the district calendar is online. The most current dates and times provided by our schools should be reflected here. You can see all events by going to the full calendar; school events are also listed on the right side of each school’s page. Valley events are often seen in the slideshow on the school page.
  • Calendar at a Glance
    • The Calendar at a Glance is also provided on the website in English and Spanish. It is a one-page printable calendar and list of district highlights like breaks, days without school, and the last day of school. It also shows when snow days will be made up, if necessary.
  • Printed
    • The printed calendar was provided to all families during registration in the fall. It uses event information that was provided the past summer, so it is wise to double-check details on the website. It also includes information about the school schedules, transportation, school contact information, and more. Extra copies are available at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines. Copies may also be available at your school.

Social Media
The WDMCS district and schools have an active social media presence. Finding and following the district and your school on social media can be a great conversation starter about social media safety for your family. More social media tips for families can be found on the district website.

School Newsletters and Daily Announcements
Many schools in the district have a school newsletter, daily announcements, or both. Keep an eye on your email to receive notices of newsletters and daily announcements. Your email must be in Infinite Campus to receive these emails. Please contact your school or read these instructions for updating your information in Infinite Campus.

Life in the WDMCS
Life in the WDMCS is a weekly news post on the district website that shares quick stories and photos about district happenings, provided by each school. It is often used as a photo source for the Des Moines Register. District families can view the post as another way to keep up with district and school happenings. Visit the district website for the latest issue.


2016 Winter/Spring Adventures Class Catalog

Our Adventures program has fun classes, fun teachers, and fun enriching experiences for K-9 students after school, in the evenings, and on the weekends. Adventures provides a way for students to expand their knowledge or skills in an area of interest and try something beyond the classes that they have during the school day.