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Archive for School: Stilwell Junior High

Feed the POD for the Food Bank of Iowa

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2016-17 School Calendar Public Hearing Oct. 26

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Adventures After School and Weekend Learning Opportunities

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Essential Tips for Using Infinite Campus

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Thomas-McGinnis Becomes National Debate Champion

Conal Thomas-McGinnis with his first place trophy for middle school Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Conal Thomas-McGinnis.

Incoming Valley Southwoods Freshman High School student Conal Thomas-McGinnis won the junior high Lincoln-Douglas debate tournament at the 2015 National Speech and Debate Tournament. The incoming ninth-grader is the second national champion from the WDMCS district in three years; incoming junior Trent Gilbert was the national champion in 2013.

At the same tournament this year, recent Valley High School graduates Rishi Shah and Brody Diehn made it to round 11 in policy debate, making them one of the top 24 high school policy debate teams in the country.

Recent Valley grad Nolan Dahm was the 10th speaker in the policy division, and Gilbert made it to round eight in high school Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Incoming seventh-graders Bevan Fogdall and Isabella Nadel were octofinalists in policy debate, and incoming eighth-grader Animesh Joshi was an octofinalist for Lincoln-Douglas debate. Incoming freshman Joseph Whisler made it to double-octofinals (top 32) for Lincoln-Douglas debate.

The Valley debate team was founded in 1968. High school and junior high school students can participate in debate. The team attends 35–40 competitions per year, traveling to different locations including Yale and Stanford universities. This year’s National Speech and Debate Tournament was held in Dallas by the National Speech and Debate Association.

(Photo credits: David McGinnis)

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Stilwell earns Math School of Merit Award

Students across the country and in U.S. territories and at military bases around the world take part in the Mathematics Association of America’s AMC8 competition each year on the third Tuesday of November. At Stilwell, 49 students completed the competition this year. Stilwell is one of only four schools in Iowa to receive the honor of being named an MAA School of Merit. The Mathematic Association of America uses the top three scores from the competitors at a school to calculate the school’s merit score, which must fall between 50 and 65 to receive the School Merit Award. The students with the top three scores at Stilwell were: first, James Meng; second, Minhyuk Lee; third, Andy Waters. Congratulations to these three students and all the participants.


Singers Perform at Inaugeration Service

Members of the eighth-grade Treble Choir at Stillwell Junior High performed Jan. 15 at the interfaith prayer service for Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Members of the eighth-grade Treble Choir at Stillwell Junior High performed Jan. 15 at the interfaith prayer service for Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Members of the eighth-grade Treble Choir at Stillwell Junior High performed Jan. 15 at the interfaith prayer service marking the start of new terms for Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. Fifty-four students sang at the event. Their selections included “Hush, Somebody’s Calling My Name,” a spiritual arranged by Rollo Dilworth; “Kalanta of the New Year,” a traditional Greek folk song arranged by Malcolm Dalglish; “Blessing,” and old Irish tune arranged by Katie Moran Bart; and “America the Beautiful.” Two of the songs were part of the girls’ set list at their Dec. 18 winter concert. The others were learned after winter break in preparation for the prayer service.


Help Stop the Spread of the Flu

Washing Hands

Reports of the flu are on the rise statewide as West Des Moines Community School District students return to class this week. Parents and caregivers are being reminded of the warning signs of influenza in children and precautions that will help keep the virus from spreading at school and also at home.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that the number of cases in Iowa has increased since students left for winter break. The flu season typically peaks in February and can last as late as May.

Our school nurses are staying updated about this season’s illness and are monitoring reports. They are available to help your child if he or she becomes ill at school. Nurses will notify you if your child needs to be released from school.

Teachers and staff members also help prevent the spread of illness by teaching and reminding students about good hand-washing and cough-hygiene practices. You can help us by reinforcing these practices at home. These include:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

In addition, our custodial staff disinfects phones, doorknobs and light switches daily.

Knowing the signs of the flu – or influenza – is important. Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or higher* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

If your child does become ill, the Iowa Department of Public Health recommends that you should consult your child’s doctor and children should stay home from school. Children should be fever-free for 24 hours WITHOUT the help of fever-reducing medicines before returning to school.

Most healthy people recover from the flu without complications. However, some cases may become severe. Emergency warning signs that children need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

Working together, we can help keep students healthy and ready to learn. Below is additional information and resources about the flu that may be helpful.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school nurse or building principals.

Parent Resources:

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu (CDC)
Influenza – Frequently Asked Questions (IDPH)
The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick (CDC)
Flu Guide for Parents (CDC)


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Boundary Committee Meets October 21

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Boundary Committee Meets October 7

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