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Life in the WDMCS 5/28/13

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 Elementary
After teaching for 31 years at Crestview Elementary, Sally Fort will be retiring at the end of this school year.  Sally taught third grade for 24 years, and then fourth grade to teach in a job share position. Sally also served in the mornings as a kindergarten assistant. She has served on many different district committees through the years, including Social Studies Adoption, Reading Adoption, Being a Writer, and United Way. During retirement Sally hopes to have time to start a new hobby, find her interests, and develop her talents. Crestview wishes Sally the best of luck in her retirement.

Breck Menz’s fourth grade class enjoyed painting after a recent Talking Canvas presentation.  The class enjoyed a discussion about “Fall Plowing” by Grant Wood and discussed painting their own piece.  The students were each given an art canvas to create their own masterpiece.

Hillside Elementary
The kindergarten classes at Hillside went on a fieldtrip to the Blank Park Zoo May 29. The children enjoyed the seeing the animals during the morning, followed by lunch together at Holiday Park.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek Elementary recently hosted a Challenge of the Books competition for WDMCS elementary schools.  Four schools had a combined 17 teams participate in the event.  Students read up to 20 books in order to prepare for the competition.  There were three teams that tied for first place, one team from Fairmeadows and two teams from Jordan Creek.

A group of Jordan Creek fourth and fifth grade students recently organized and facilitated their own I-Care Service Project at school to raise money for the Animal Rescue League (ARL).  The girls raised $362 by selling bracelets and pencil toppers they made. They are shown presenting their check to Lauren McGill from the ARL.

Phenix Elementary
Phenix third graders recently reviewed their library and research skills by playing Jammin’ Jeopardy.  The class was divided into six teams and played the game by stating their answer in the form of a question.  All questions had to do with material covered as part of their library/research instruction over the past year.  The students reviewed the sections of the media center, call numbers, books read aloud to them, parts of a book, sources of information, and other general questions about using a library media center.

Phenix third graders took their annual scuba diving field trip recently.  Scuba instructors from Leyden’s Dive Shop helped each student try to scuba at the Valley High School pool.  This is an experience that connects with the students’ study of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.  Each child was able to put on a tank, regulator and swim in the pool with a certified diver.

Western Hills Elementary
The Kindergarten ESL students have been learning about transportation and safety.  Students sang songs, played board games, and read stories about different types of transportation to help remember vocabulary words.  These songs also helped the students with direction words.  Students completed an experiment with toy vehicles where they pushed, pulled and tried to roll the vehicles and discussed and wrote about how the vehicles moved. For the final project, students sorted transportation vehicles and created a class book to share about what we had learned during the transportation lesson.

Stilwell Junior High
On May 17, the team I students took a trip to Mitigwa.  The students participated in team building activities, survival strategies such as shelter building and fire building, and learned about map orienteering and compass reading.

Valley High School
Carol Englemann’s advanced speech class created a Readers Theater story to perform in front of a live audience.  Students in fourth hour speech, performed for a class of kindergartners and two classes of second graders at Fairmeadows. Other classes also visited this week and performed for third grade and fifth grade students.

Valley took four of the six top prizes at the Iowa Poetry Association Contest.  Students also earned special congratulations at large from the High School Division judge.  First Place to Rae Gernant for “Expression Revolution.”  Second Place to Natalie Colosimo for “The Ballerina.”  First Honorable Mention to Neevetha Sivagurunathan for “The Science Experiment,” and Second Honorable Mention to Tricia Shi for “Fall” There are also students to be published in Lyrical Iowa 2013.  Those students include Alicia Meng’s “Identification Required,” Shaan Madhan’s “Relax,” Andrew Novitskiy’s “Standardized Testing,” and Isabella Judge’s “Watchful Guardian.”

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Life in the WDMCS 5/13/13

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 Student Council is wrapping up another successful year.  This year nearly 80 second through sixth graders met monthly to help work to improve the school.  Among the projects this group undertook were a winter clothing drive, improving lunch room behaviors, decreasing bullying, counting box tops that raise valuable money for Clive programs and being role models for the rest of the student body.  The council members were led by presidents Maura Ortner and Brantley Cox, both sixth graders.  As a reward for successful year the members will be walking to Baskin Robbins for an ice cream treat.

Crestview Elementary The Crestview halls have been filled with music as students prepared for spring concerts and the sixth grade Honor Music Festival. This concert was held May 7 in the Valley Auditorium. Many Crestview students were involved in this concert because of their hard work and commitment to their various ensembles. Congratulations to the following students on a job well done and being chosen to be a part of the sixth grade Honor Band: Alexa Nelson, Gabe Lockin, Natalie Bullard, Barbara Nicholson, Lauren Stetson, Austin Anfinson, Alison Whitaker, Anya Finkelshteyn and Abby Ringgenberg.

Crossroads Park Elementary The Crossroads Park Cougar Council held their annual Movie Night recently, raising more than $700. The Council is proud to donate $500 to the WDMCS Student Scholarship Fund and will use the rest for future events.  Many students stayed after school to set-up the event, worked vigorously in concessions helping the 200+ people who attended and then cleaned up to make the gym and kitchen spotless.  We are very proud of their hard work, leadership, and excellent example of good character. Student planners and workers were Cam Mears, Hanna Marcus, Greta Stewart, Samantha Morris, Emily Anders, Brett Shelton, Christina Melendez, Emma DeJong, Katie Richards, Kelly Dulaney, Ava Neppl, Lauren Schulze, Quinn Emison, Emily Strawn, Callie Kreps, Dakota Hayes-McCoy, Nate Bell, Shreya Gaddi, Derek Nguyen, Jessica Erickson, Ariel Corona, Leah Thomas and Malini De Jong.

Hillside Elementary Hillside had 13 students chosen to participate in the sixth grade Honors Festival May 7 at Valley. The students auditioned to be a part of the select groups and participated in morning rehearsals beginning in March. The concert features sixth graders from the around the district collaborating in band, orchestra, choir and handbells.  Honor Choir students from Hillside were Lawrence Byerly, Chloe Shoepke, Kendra Thompson, Cole Strelecki, Victoria Moreno, Amariah Williams, Kadin Kees, Erika Gomez and Isabella Garza; Honor Band students were Valerie Sihavong and Isabella Garza; and Honor Orchestra students were Kendra Thompson, Chloe Schoepke, Chloe Beem, Rose Blobaum and Adler Goodhall.

Jordan Creek Elementary Second grade students worked hard to honor their mothers for Mother’s Day.  Thank you to Dahl’s Grocery Store for providing letter writing papers and frames, as well as giving posters to each class to fill out to hang in our neighborhood grocery store.  We appreciate the donation of these supplies. Students also made special cards that included a drawing of their mothers, a poem, and a picture of each student holding a vase of colorful flowers that we called a “forever bouquet.”  Everyone is very thankful for their mother, and all she does to help make the days go well!

The 13th annual WDMCS Math Bowl was held on May 2 at Indian Hills Junior High.  Jordan Creek was represented by third graders Andy Haugen, Anika Jain, Noah Pins, Rahul Reddy, Layne Slater, Tyson Trimble, Ryan Wirtz and Elaine Wang; fourth graders Pierce Blazek, Jimmy Hall, Segal Jain, Andy Kuster, Heather Nguyen, Gabe Schebel, Aditi Tripathy and Jalyn Wu; fifth graders Veda Amalkar, Avery Merkley, Caroline Ash, David Carpenter, Animesh Joshi, Clara Mintzer, Elyse Porter and Kevin Qi; and sixth graders Jackson Froscheiser, Jessica Haugen, David Head, James Meng, Shuvethan Sivagurunathan, Evan Porter, Nicky Trane and Radha Velamuri. The district recognizes students who scored in the top 10 percent of the district in their grade level test.  James Meng and Veda Amalkar both received recognition for this honor.

Phenix Elementary The cast of “Seussical, the Musical” from the Des Moines Playhouse visited first and second graders at Phenix Elementary. The cast shared some of their favorite lines from the play, showed the students some of the props used and even sang some songs from the show.  The visit ended with the cast giving every student their own copy of the book “Horton Hears a Who” for their keepsake.  The cast then read the book with small groups of students.  Phenix took a field trip to see the live performance on April 29.  After the performance, students wrote letters to the cast.  Each student will receive a written response from the actors.  What a great opportunity these children have had seeing literature brought to life!

Westridge Elementary Second graders at Westridge Elementary have several things to look forward to in the month of May. They will travel to the Botanical Center where the students will explore and learn about fascinating plants. This trip will be the culminating activity for a plant unit where they have been studying and growing plants of their own.  While in Des Moines, the second graders will also tour the State Capitol. Some of the highlights will include the State Senate and House of Representatives Chambers, the Law Library, the doll case, Westward mural, mosaics, interior dome and a model of the USS Iowa. To celebrate a love for reading, the second graders will also enjoy their last Book and Bag at the park. The Book and Bag celebration is a reward for completing independent reading throughout the month. Students will have the opportunity to enjoy great literature, play games with their classmates and have a picnic in the park.

Stilwell Junior High Congratulations to Stilwell Team I’s Pam Chander for being the eighth grade Iowa winner in the “Letters about Literature” contest.  Over 1,400 letters were entered in the junior high level and Pam took the top prize.  She received $75 and her letter was moved on to the national level.  On May 3, Pam read her award-winning letter during a recognition ceremony held at the Des Moines Public Library.  Team I also had semi-finalists in Catie Judge and Garry Reineke, and Guowei Chi was a finalist. Their teacher is Kay Woods. From Team T, Alanna Maxwell was a semi-finalist and Sam Cole was a finalist.  Their teacher is Katie Seiberling. From Team G, Maddie Perdue was a semi-finalist and her teacher is Kerry Bootsma.

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