We are pleased to announce that Nathan Ballagh has been approved as the new Westridge Elementary principal. Mr. Ballagh will begin his duties on July 1, 2015.
We are excited to have Mr. Ballagh as a member of our administrative team and the educational leader at Westridge Elementary School.
He is currently working at the Southeast Polk School district, where he has served for 11 years as an educator and administrator; most recently as junior high school administrator.
Mr. Ballagh earned bachelor’s degrees in history and education and a master’s degree in preK-12 principalship from the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). He is continuing his post-graduate at UNI, working to obtain his superintendent’s license.
WDMCS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy presented the recommendation to the WDMCS Board of Education at its May 11 meeting. For more information on school board meetings, please visit http://bit.ly/WDMCSBoardInfo.
Fourth-graders at Westridge Elementary have just completed a wonderful trip to Russia. They packed their suitcases, applied for passports, and boarded the plane for their two-week journey through this cold country. The students learned about Russian tourism, culture, geography, literature, animals, and history, and have done lots of great research. The highlights include learning about the Russian czars and making czar crowns, reading Baba Yaga fairy tales, touring the beautiful cities of Russia, and painting Russian Faberge eggs. According to Julia Krob from 4A, “Learning about the culture of Russia was very interesting. What I thought was really American was actually Russian.” Matt Schmalz from 4B feels that “Russia is very cool because it has lots of onion domes in architecture.” Ethan Rosendahl from 4C also enjoyed Russian culture. He liked learning about St. Basils Cathedral because “we talked about Ivan the Terrible and the architects who built it.”
Westridge fourth-graders were granted money from the PTA to purchase playground balls as part of an ELP project.
Westridge fourth-grader Tyler Emanuel noticed a shortage of playground balls in the pod bins this fall. Wondering if there was a way to get more balls for students to play with at recess, Tyler decided to make this quest the focus of an Extended Learning Program (ELP) project. His fellow classmates were excited by his presentation and joined him in making a funding request to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at a Jan. 16 meeting. The group did an excellent job and the students’ request for the purchase of 54 playground balls and four pumps was approved by the PTA. After the meeting, ELP teacher Nancy Foley guided the group through the ball selection process and the students developed a plan to help ensure that the new equipment is properly maintained. The students will distribute the new playground balls to the kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms in early February.
WDMCS Community Education’s Adventures program is offering three after school opportunities at Westridge.
Computer Coding and Programming
Come learn about the “Hour of Code” and the many other opportunities to computer code online! We’ll experiment with the basics and show you ways to practice coding at home as well. Taught by Ms. Bentz and Ms. Kaufman.
Join this fun, creative, social club where we will create masterpieces based on
popular children’s books! First, we will listen to a popular book, then create a plan based on the book. Next, we’ll get creative with the LEGOS®, and finally, we’ll share our creations with the group! Taught by Ms. Johnson and Ms. Nielsen!
Reader’s Theater is a fun way for kids to enhance reading fluency, listening skills, confidence, and social skills. Students will have the opportunity to perform in a variety of different forms, such as scripted performances,
improvisation, and character personification. Class taught by Ms. Dark.