District News

Board Approves Pool of Candidates for Site Base Review Councils

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education voted 4-0 to approve a pool of individuals who will serve on interview teams for the Teacher Leaders hiring process. The interview teams – or Site Based Review Councils – will interview applicants for Teacher Leadership positions. The list of possible interview team members is available here>> http://ow.ly/vfIbq (page 2).


Seid Receives Outstanding Alumni Award

SeidCWDMCS Interim Associate Superintendent for Human Resources Carol Seid has received the Drake University School of Education Outstanding Alumni Award.

Prior to her role as interim associate superintendent, Seid had served as principal of Fairmeadows Elementary since 2006. She started her career in education in 1987 as an elementary special education teacher in the Des Moines Public School District.  She later became an elementary vice-principal in the Des Moines district in 2001 and a principal in 2002.  Seid received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, master’s degree in special education and is currently working on her doctorate in educational leadership, all from Drake University.

Drake University News Story

Life in the WDMCS 3/31/14

Life in the WDMCS 3/31/2014

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 Elementary

Clive fourth grade students are learning about prejudice and discrimination in classroom guidance class. They are learning that many groups of people have been discriminated against throughout history and that discrimination still happens sometimes today. The students were able to deepen their learning through a presentation from the Iowa Department for the Blind. Students from the Iowa Department for the Blind shared their life experiences with the Clive students.  They also shared about experiences with discrimination and adaptations they are able to make to help themselves with daily tasks and work. The Clive students were able to ask questions, make connections, and gain an understanding of kindness and empathy for people who may be different from themselves.

Crossroads Park Elementary

Third and fourth graders at Crossroads Park have started preparing for their music program, “Music Matters!” to be presented on Friday, May 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the gym.  The program features songs showing how music is used to learn science, social studies, math, foreign languages, good character and more!  We hope you will join us then!

The following Crossroads Park Elementary sixth graders were selected for the WDMCS Honor Choir: Mary Thomas, Brindy Arredondo, Katie Richards, Anna Rader, Melanie Wallace, Samantha Greene, Caleb Peel, Makena Dhont, Alivia Fergus, Jaden Lee, Katie Richardson and Emmy Richardson. Rehearsals are on Mondays and Fridays. The final concert will be May 6  7:00 PM at Lutheran Church of Hope West Des Moines campus.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Staff and students at Fairmeadows are focusing on being people of good character.  The staff at Fairmeadows chose students they felt were showing the pillars of character in all parts of the school day.  These students showed the staff they are responsible, respectful, trustworthy, fair, caring and good citizens. Students received a special certificate, pencil, and have their picture taken for display. Students included for the month of April are: Evan Beargeon, Adelyn Porter, Gentrit Emerllanu, Levi Johnson, Anthony Phan, Jeremiah Calvert, Kelsey Kinney, Kyler Reed, Finn Boettger, Conner Helm, Mikaylee Nairm, Mason Stoltze, Holly Fess, Vivian Touma, Gabe Faith, Tommy Kinney, Jordan Langel, Raleigh Benz, Zoe Dougherty, Olivia Wall, Kiefer Churchill, Aidan Limback, Abby Whitson, Taeshawn Young, Ben Fess, Martin Hachmann, Ally Hoffa, Reagan Porter, Caleb Foster-Krueger, Hannah Pratt, Hailey Saltzman, Nathan Freeman, Jaden Langel, Cordy Bennethum, Dea Baftiq, Aidan Offerman, Levi Janssen, Amy Scott, Anna Scott, Ben Diaz, Calvin Phan, Chloe Weedman, Regan Day, Eliza Terranova-Tweedy, Audrey Hronich, and Bella Zarling.    Congratulations!

Hillside Elementary

Families from Hillside Elementary were invited to Food, Family and Fun Nightrecently.  The event was hosted by the Hillside Elementary Title I program.  All students and their families were invited to come enjoy a free dinner of walking tacos and tator tots and then attend three fun and informational sessions.  The sessions included literacy activities and math games to help enhance students’ academics at home as well as a computer lab session that will introduce students and parents to websites that support and enrich their learning.  All students received a free book to take home at the end of the evening!

Jordan Creek Elementary

Jordan Creek’s Circle of Friends program has had a lot of fun the past few months. In December, the group had a movie party, in January they went swimming, in February they hit the tubes out at Sleepy Hollow, and coming up in March they are roller skating. In addition to our exciting events outside of school the group has held monthly lunch bunches at school to prompt friendships and conversation.

Westridge Elementary

Westridge Elementary third grade students have been “shocked” by science.  The Science Center of Iowa gave an outstanding presentation about electricity as students learned about protons, electrons, neutrons, static electricity, conductors, insulators, Nikola Tesla and his coil, Thomas Edison and his light bulb, and so on.  Several students assisted with various experiments.  At the conclusion, students formed a circle and joined hands.  A “shock” was sent through the circuit.  Westridge Elementary graciously thanks Mid-American Energy for providing this opportunity for our students.

Stilwell Junior High

Stilwell’s Team I students recently took time to celebrate their own success stories by focusing on those with outstanding participation in school activities and applauding those students who made the team A and B Honor Rolls for second quarter. Those students receiving Academic Recognition for their school work on the Team I are as follows:  Rachel Aksamit, Viridiana Alba, Vivian Alba, Aisha Amed, Caley Backstrom, Maria Barbosa, Maggie Baughman, Colton Bauman, Abigail Beal, Jedeh Bohn, David Bone, Tyler Bruinekool, Michael Bryan, Angela Cary,  Logan Castle, Natalie Cela-Quito,  Kaleb Dale, Chas Dekovic, Preston Doerrfeld, Chloe Dreyer,  Cooper Earle, Alisson Espinoza, Bethany Evans, Drew Falco, Ashley Farwell, Sydney Fisher, Ruby Fultz,  Adamarys Gamboa,  Austin Graff, J. LeAnn Grandia, Troy Hall, Tyler Hammen,  Emma Haupert,  Deja Haynes, Kade Hatcher, Matthew Hsieh,  Sam Ingoli,  Kameron Jilak, Nick Johnson, Jared Jones, J. J. Kapur, Mia Klaric, Kyle Koeller, Brenna Kokichi-Williamson, Kayla Laufenberg, Grayson Leaders, Grace Lincoln, Joey McNunn, Luke Matney, Sarah Miksch, Jackson Miller,  Susanna Moore,  Hannah Olson, Alex Peterson, Riley Plummer, Katie Reha, Marisa Rethman, Ali Rudolf,  Connor Russo, Noah Samples, Abigail Scott, Ericka Serrano,  Hannah Taylor, Devon Tedder, Jack Tellner, Elliot Thornton, Nash Willham, Carly Wyble, Jennifer Yanqui and Eloysa Zarate.


Learn How to Use the New Lunch Account Systems

The West Des Moines Community Schools has launched a new way for families to pay for and manage student lunch accounts and purchases.

See what’s new…

Paying for My Child’s Lunch

You now have one location to make school-related payments. You will be able to add money to your child’s lunch account through the same online application used to pay for bus and other school fees.

Powered by RevTrak, the online payment system offers faster updates.

Here’s how to get started..

  1. Go to www.wdmcs.org
  2. Click on the “Parents” tab
  3. Click on “Make a Payment” in the blue Quicklinks for Parents box
  4. Click on “Pay for Lunch/Breakfast”
  5. Once in the payment portal, click on the salad icon to Food Service Payments.
  6. You will need your Infinite Campus Portal e-mail address and child’s student ID number to make a payment.  If you do not know your Infinite Campus Portal e-mail or your child’s student ID number, please contact: Lynnae Gilmore in the Nutrition Office at gilmorel@wdmcs.org or 515-633-5085.

More information is available here:

Detailed Instructions with Visuals 

See What My Child Is Eating

The district is also providing a new online tool to check your child’s lunch account and see details of their purchases.

The new online application – called ParentOnline – allow you to set limits on the number of à la carte items your child purchases. For example, you may want your child to have one à la carte item a day or maybe only two on Fridays – you choose!  Restrictions based on a dollar amount will no longer be offered.

Here’s  how to get started…

You will need to know your student’s ID number to set up an account. If you do not know this number, you can contact your school or Nutrition Services at (515) 633-5088.

  1. Go to www.wdmcs.org
  2. Click on the “Parents” tab
  3. Click on “Check Account Balance” under “Links for Parents”
  4. Once in the portal, follow these directions.



Teacher Leader Council Candidates Up For Approval

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Monday, March 31 at 5:15 p.m. This meeting is open to the public.


The agenda item for the meeting is a request to approve the pool of candidates for the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Site Review Councils. The membership of the councils will be selected from the Board‐approved candidate pool. These councils will serve as interview teams for the selection of teacher leaders. In March, the West Des Moines Community Schools was one of 39 school districts selected to be the first in the state to launch a teacher leadership system next year.


Event: West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education Special Meeting
Date: Monday, March 31, 2014
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Location: Fairmeadows Room, Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines



Board Packet

Board Information



WDMCS Recognized Nationally for Music Education Efforts

logo-best-music-educationThe National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation recognized the West Des Moines Community Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. The WDMCS joins 376 districts across the country and only six in the state of Iowa to receive the prestigious distinction in 2014.

In its 15th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum.

In the WDMCS, students in grades K-6 participate in general music class 90 minutes per week.  Students can also continue their music experiences by joining orchestra beginning in fourth grade, band in fifth grade and extra-curricular chorus in sixth grade.  Our secondary students also have the opportunity to participate in chorus, jazz band, marching band and other musical ensembles along with theory and music classes at the high school level.  Students in music in the WDMCS participate in solo/ensemble contests, various music events and trips, and other competitions throughout the year.

During the 2013-14 school year, WDMCS music:

  • had a student selected to the prestigious GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Session as a vocalist, perfomring wit the top 32 jazz instrumentalists and vocalists in the nation in conjuction with the GRAMMY Awards in late January.
  • had 10 junior high students named to the 28th annual Opus Honor Choir.
  • had 45 students named to all-state band, choir and orchestra, performing in the Iowa All-State Music Festival at Hilton Coliseum.
  • students on Valley’s varsity show choir, Choralation, were named Grand Champion at the Waukee Star Struck Show Choir Invitational and the Emmetsburg Show Choir Invitational.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Five from WDMCS to Compete in State Geographic Bee


Crestview fourth grader Finn Nadel and Jordan Creek sixth grader Jay Chevuru finished fifth in the state in their grade level  and Stilwell eighth grader JJ Kapur placed 12th at the 2014 Iowa State Geographic Bee April 4. Westridge sixth grader Eric Schwartzbauer and Indian Hills seventh grader Andrew Behrens each finished in top half of their grade level, with each level hosting a field of 100 students.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 26th year. Bees were held at WDMCS elementary and junior high schools in November and January to determine each school’s Bee winner. School-level winners from across the state then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society invited the students with the top 100 scores in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete at the state level.

The state winner will receive $100, the Complete National Geographic on DVD and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Iowa in the National Geographic Bee finals to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 19-21. National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the final round of the 2014 National Geographic Bee, moderated by new host Soledad O’Brien, on Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET (to be followed on public television stations). Visit www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

The West Des Moines Community Schools social studies curriculum offers students the opportunity to study a different geographic region and culture in depth each year in the lower elementary grades. In fourth grade students do a geography unit concentrated on geography concepts, then focus on U.S. history in fifth grade and civics in sixth grade. Ancient civilizations are explored in seventh grade, focusing on geography and culture.

To learn more about the West Des Moines Community Schools social studies curriculum, call 515-633-5055.

How would you fare as a Bee contestant? At the school-level Bee this year, students had to answer such questions as:

  • From its source in Minnesota, the Mississippi River flows south about 2,300 miles before emptying into what large gulf? Gulf of Mexico
  • A subspecies of brown bear known as the Kodiak bear takes its common name from an island that lies off the southern coast of what state? Alaska
  • The Danakil Depression, located in part of the Great Rift Valley, is one of the lowest points on which continent? Africa
  • What is the term for the triangular deposit of sediment sometimes found at the mouth of a river – moraine or delta? Delta

New Lunch Account Systems Launch April 1

Jordan Creek fourth graders enjoy a feast lunch and celebration inspired by the Southwest region.

Starting April 1, the West Des Moines Community Schools will offer a new way for families to pay for and manage student lunch accounts and purchases. Here’s how…

Paying for My Child’s Lunch

You will have one location to make school-related payments. You will be able to add money to your child’s lunch account through the same online application used to pay for bus and other school fees.

Powered by RevTrak, the online payment system provides quicker account updates.
A link to the online payments system, instructions to set up an account and an FAQ will be available at www.wdmcs.org on April 1.

  • Prepare Today! You can prepare for April 1 by locating your Infinite Campus Portal User Name. You will need your Infinite Campus Portal User Name and child’s birth date to make a payment. If you do not know your Infinite Campus Portal User Name, please contact your school office.
  • Use the Current System Through March 30! The current online payment system will be active through Sunday, March 30. The new system will be available Tuesday, April 1.


See What My Child Is Eating

The district will also provide a new online tool to check your child’s lunch account and see details of their purchases.

The new online application – called ParentOnline – will allow you to set limits on the number of a la carte items your child purchases. For example, you may want your child to have one a la carte item a day or maybe only two on Fridays – you choose! Restrictions based on dollar amounts will no longer be offered.

A link to the new lunch account tracking tool and instructions to set up an account will be available at www.wdmcs.org on April 1.

  • Prepare Today! You can prepare for April 1 by locating your student’s ID number, which you will need to set up an account. If you do not know this number, you can contact your school or Nutrition Services at 515-633-5088.

Health Screenings

WDMCS will once again be hosting onsite Health Screenings for employees. Space is limited and appointments fill up quickly! You must sign up for a screening appointment online by Friday, March 28.

As a reminder, the onsite screenings will take place in April at the following sites. 

Screening Site

Screening Location

Screening Date

Indian Hills Library

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jordan Creek Community Room

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Phenix Media Center

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fairmeadows Media Center

Friday, April 11, 2014

Valley Southwoods Media Center

Friday, April 11, 2014

Valley High School Media Center

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Walnut Creek Media Center

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Crestview 3 Year Old Preschool Room

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Operations Transportation Break Room

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Westridge Community Room

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crossroads Band/Orchestra Room

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Western Hills Media Center

Friday, April 18, 2014

Clive Media Center

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hillside Hearth Room

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stilwell Media Center

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Learning Resource Center (LRC) Stilwell/Indian Hills Room

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

You must complete a district-provided screening and online Health Survey (available May 7 – 16) to be eligible for the $100 Valley West Mall gift card.*

Visit the Wellness Portal by logging into your personal account at www.bebetterhealth.net.  If you have never logged in before, click on ‘Account Setup’ to get started.  Your Organizational ID is 2206.  You will use your first name (all uppercase letters) plus your last four digits of your SSN as your Member ID.  (i.e. Susan Smith with SSN of XXX-XX-1234:  Member ID is SUSAN1234)

For further assistance with login, please call 866-900-5325, ext. 3507 Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm CT or email support@bebetter.net.

*This amount is subject to payroll taxes and will be deducted from your check dated June 20, 2014.

beBetter System Quick Start Guide

Life in the WDMCS 3/17/14

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 Wide

If your child will be five years old on or before September 15, 2014, he/she will be eligible to start kindergarten in the fall. In April, parents of 2014-15 kindergartners are invited to Kindergarten Roundup at each elementary school. Check the district website or call your school for times. If you have not yet signed up your 2014-15 kindergartner, please visit www.wdmcs.org, click on the Newcomers tab and then on the Kindergarten link under Registration Information. Follow the steps listed to get your child’s name placed on our list. If you are not sure which building attendance area you live in, please call 633-5101.

Clive Elementary

The more that you read the more things you will know the more that you learn the places you’ll go!  -  Dr. Seuss
The students at Clive Elementary celebrated Dr. Seuss March 3-7.  Each morning started with school wide trivia.  All students had a chance to participate and there was a winner from each grade level every day.  Next, we dressed up like our favorite Dr. Seuss book character and celebrated his birthday will cupcakes and cookies!  Lastly, each teacher and classroom participated in a Seuss themed door decorating contest.  The classrooms were each assigned a different book and then their imaginations created amazing designs.

Crestview Elementary

Crestview sixth grade band students recently participated in the annual sixth grade band solo and ensemble festival. Students prepared a solo and performed it for a judge who gave them a rating of I+, I, II or III. The following students participated: Nathan Willcockson, Caleb Macias, Jordyn Hayes, Hailee Jorgensen, Gwyn Chilcoat, Kenia Flores, Jackie Martinez, Hailey Etzel, Katie Calzada, Yajaira Triana, Grace Hoepker, Laney Peters, Zoey Wieck, Isabella Nadel, Kyle Elmore, Tommy Weissenburger, Ethan Tuttle, Eric Paniagua, Cesilia Guzman and Katelyn Rieger. Students will receive a medal and certificate for their participation.

Fairmeadows Elementary

Congratulations to the following students who were selected to represent Fairmeadows Elementary in the 2014 All-District Sixth Grade Honor Choir – Claire Wiarda, Abigail Bylund, Gracie Coleman, Bella Zarling, Garrett Helm, Kaitlyn Bebensee, Aidan Drake, Kaitlyn Miller, Emma Slusinski, Jacque Truitt, Eliza Terranova-Tweedy, Gracie Hughes, Nick Feingold, Sarah Dorn, Grace Murphy, Hailey Carenza, Aliece Fox, Annalyn Poulsen and Keaton Parizek. These fine young musicians begin rehearsals March 28 and will be performing as part of the Honors Festival at Lutheran Church of Hope on Tuesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. Also performing in this Honors Festival will be the Honor Handbell representatives Gracie Hughes, Anthony Murdoch and Kaitlyn Bebensee.

Jordan Creek Elementary

Members of the Iowa State gymnastic team and their coaches helped students at Jordan Creek Elementary celebrate Dr. Seuss week by reading to several classes.  The team also visited Jeri Daniels’ fifth grade class and talked with the students about their workout schedules, class schedules, and their backgrounds.  The gymnasts shared with the students about their majors and what they plan to do after college.  Fifth grade students participated in a questions and answer time with the team.  Also present with the team were assistant coaches Kristen Maloney and Katie Minasola and Director of Gymnastics Operations Mary Ronayne. Assistant coach Kristen Maloney shared with the students about her trip to the Olympics in 2000 where she was part of the team that won a bronze medal.

Valley High School

For the sixth consecutive year, Valley debate has won the state championship in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Valley senior Jason Smith closed out the final round with junior Gina Scorpiniti, and the two were declared co-champions. The team of juniors Nolan Dahm and Sam Basler were semifinalists in policy debate. Valley also won the team sweepstakes award in Lincoln-Douglas debate and placed second in the overall sweepstakes. Other elimination round participants included Rishi Shah, Brody Diehn, Trent Gilbert, TJ Foley, Evan McKinney, Jackie Chu, Conal Thomas-McGinnis, Manuel Smith, Lexy Takla, Grady Stein, Brian Gu, Alissa Smith and Ashton Woiwood.

Written by Emma Sink BB President – February’s Buddy Pair of the Month, Cory Schneider and Will Lounsbury from Valley Best Buddies, were announced at the Best Buddies Iowa prom this past Saturday and awarded with Best Buddies bags and sunglasses! This buddy pair has a standing time each Sunday night when they go out to eat. Cory also likes to challenge Will to games of bowling frequently. Cory proudly shares with everyone that he wins every time. Valley’s Chapter President, Emma Sink, states, “Will and Cory spend a whole lot of time together each day. They are truly the best of friends and encourage each other. It’s fun to see them hanging out in the hallway together. There is usually a group of guys standing around talking with Cory. It’s great to see how much they are a part of each other’s day.”

The Valley and Valley Southwoods speech team had three students advance to All-State competition after receiving 16 overall I rankings at the state contest.. Senior Dani Lipman, junior Alex Johnson and freshman Grace Barker were selected to perform at All-State. Seven students received straight Is at the state competition – Taylor Mankle in Spontaneous Speaking, Hannah Kate Fox in Acting, Dani Lipman in Solo Musical Theater, Bre Katcher in Expository Speaking, Kenzie Hamlett in Oratory, Henry Parizek in Radio News Announcing, and Alex Johnson in Review. The rest of the team presenting quality speaking includes Maggie Wildermuth, Allison Moore, Mandy Brown and from VSW, Grace Barker and Lilly Seltz.

Walnut Creek Campus

Walnut Creek senior Kyle Shepherd performed at the IHSSA individual speech contest and received a I rating for his performance. Congratulations, Kyle!