Life in the WDMCS 1/8/14

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.

Crestview Elementary
So, you don’t feel well? Are you wondering what you’ve got? Now that it’s cold and snowy and students are inside most of the time in close quarters with many others, some get sick more often. Generally, nurses see cases of the common cold (viral upper respiratory infection), influenza (the flu) or a viral illness causing gastrointestinal issues. Colds typically do not occur with a fever but occur with a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and a cough.  There’s nothing you can take to protect yourself from the typical cold.  Symptoms are sometimes managed with over the counter preparations to make you feel better. The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.  The flu is commonly seen with a fever of 100-104, headache, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose and a cough.  You can protect yourself each year by receiving an annual flu shot or the flu mist.  Once you’ve got the flu, see your doctor within two days and they may prescribe an antiviral medicine to help you get over the flu quicker. The other viral illnesses we see at schools this time of year are the illnesses that cause problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache and more.  Some people refer to these illnesses as the flu but it is actually not the flu.  Over the counter medicines may help you feel better as your body fights these illnesses. The single most important thing that you can do to protect yourself and your children this winter from illness is to wash your hands and do so frequently.  Keep fingers out of places like noses, mouths, and eyes.  Get the flu shot if you still need one this year.  And of course, stay home if you are sick, especially if you or your child has a fever over 100.

Crossroads Park Elementary
Crossroads Park Elementary has some new art sculptures in its waiting area. They are a memorial to Jan Kennedy, a long-time Crossroads sixth grade teacher who passed away. The sculptures were done by an Iowa artist from Ottumwa. He created the sculptures specifically for the space and the students. Jan loved eagles, so that is the memory to her. The tree and nest are symbolic of the students starting out in the nest with our care and nurturing and then going off to soar like eagles when they leave us. He also put in some items that the kids may enjoy searching for. There is a little owl in the front of the tree, a bike chain in the back of the nest and also a railroad spike. There may be others. He treated all of the metal in a way that makes is safe to the touch. As you pass by, have a look.

Fairmeadows Elementary
Holiday sights and sounds were in abundance when the lively 23rd Street Singers went performed at Fairmeadows Village and Valley West Mall in December. Students were then greatly surprised when Santa passed out candy canes while they ate at the food court.  The 116-member group also performed along with the Fairmeadows 6th Grade Band to a packed house in the Fairmeadows gym.  Selections performed included “Showbiz Snowman,” “Winter Jubilation,” “We Wish You a Swingin’ Holiday” and “Light the Candles.”

Hillside Elementary
Hillside English as a Second Language (ESL) students in first grade had the opportunity to do some baking. They enjoyed making candy pretzels using pretzels, Hershey kisses and M&M’s. During the cooking session not only did they learn how to make a fun and easy treat, but they learned some new vocabulary that they are not exposed to every day.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Reader’s theater is a regular component of the WDMCS literacy program.  Students work together in small groups for one week on each script.  The purpose of reader’s theater is to improve fluency.  Students focus on different aspects of fluency – such as appropriate pausing, pacing and expression – with each skit.  Each group is made up of students at a variety of different reading levels providing opportunities for all readers to model their reading skills.  At the end of the week, groups perform their polished skit for their classmates.

Westridge Elementary
The Westridge Singers gave concerts in December at the West Des Moines Public Library and the Learning Resource Center. The group continues to practice every Friday morning, getting ready for its last two events of the season. On Fri., Jan. 31, the Westridge Singers will perform at Wesley Acres Retirement Center.  On Fri., Feb. 7, the chorus will present their final concert of the year in the Westridge gym at 9:30 a.m. Parents of Westridge Singers students are invited to this special performance.  Thank you for bringing your child to all those early morning rehearsals!

Stilwell Junior High
Every year, Stilwell’s Team I holds a Winter Walkathon to raise money for Toys for Tots with its annual Winter Walk-a-thon.  Students braved the very bitter cold to walk and raise money.  Along with the cash donation, new toys were also collected.  After the walk-a-thon, the top pledge-getters got to go shopping at Toys R Us.

Valley High School/Valley Southwoods
Valley Archery competed in their first tournament this weekend at Mt. Vernon. More than 800 archers from around the state represented 27 different schools.  From West Des Moines, archery teams competed from Jordan Creek Elementary, Stilwell Junior High, Valley Southwoods and Valley High School. Jordan Creek finished in fifth place in the elementary division, their top scorer was Ryan Wirtz.  Stilwell Jr High also finished in fifth place for the middle school competition, with Mitchell O’Meara as the top archer.  The VSW and VHS combined team also finished in fifth place in the high school division, with the top archer being Sarah Kuhlman and Robby Weissinger.