Life in the WDMCS 11/19/12

Life in the WDMCS is a new 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.

Indian Hills Junior High
During the first month of school, all band students worked on marching basics, instrument carriage and music memorization. The band students worked very diligently on improving their music performance and marching skills. Seventh and eighth grade band students performed at the Valley Homecoming Parade, showing off their fine marching skills and musicianship. The second performance of the fall was at the All District Marching Band Festival. More than 600 band students in grades 6-12 attended and performed the “Valley Fight Song” and “Louie,Louie” for a packed house at Valley Stadium. Indian Hills had 13 band members selected for the SCIBA honor band festival and performed at Johnston High School. Students selected were Rachel Collins on oboe, Nick Harmon on bass clarinet, Noah Welch and Jason Hua on tenor sax, Andrew Ridge on tuba, Erik Skoog and Zach Bailey on percussion, Evan McKinney and Braeden Trinder on alto sax, Erin Claeys on clarinet, Sydney Watson on French horn, Samantha Shea on euphonium, and Zach Harn on tuba. Rachel Collins, Nick Collins and Erin Claeys were also selected for the All-Iowa All-State Band and will perform May 9 at the IBA Convention in downtown Des Moines. The band’s next performance will be at the Fall Band Concert December 6 at 6 and 7:30 p.m. The program will feature both the seventh and eighth grade concert and jazz bands. See the district calendar at for future performance dates.

Stilwell Junior High
On Monday, November 19, Stilwell seventh grade R-Team students welcomed guest speaker Gurwinder Kapur to an assembly to teach about Sikhism. R-Team students have been learning about world religions and will take a field trip to area places of worship. Mr. Kapur, father of R-Team student J.J. Kapur, spent about a half an hour teaching students about this faith whose history began in India more than 300 years ago.

Once again Stilwell students have generously donated nonperishable goods instead of paying for a ticket to the last all school dance or paying a fine for a late library book.  The I-Care program was able to deliver 250 pounds of canned goods to the Eddie Davis Community Center to be included in their annual Thanksgiving Day food baskets.  Stilwell is happy to help support our community through donations to the Eddie Davis Community Center!

Valley High School
Congratulations to Kerrigan Owens, a junior who won the local Veterans of Foreign Affairs Voice of Democracy Speech Contest.  Kerrigan submitted a five minute speech on the topic, “Is Our Constitution still Relevant?”  Kerrigan will now move on to the district level of competition. Also competing well at the event were seniors Dylan DeClerck and Hannah Beuse.

Clive Elementary
Clive Elementary needs your help. We are asking for volunteers to help support our families in need over the holidays. There is a Giving Tree in the front entry way of the school with requests attached to the Giving Tree’s leaves. If you would like to help, simply take a leaf from the bulletin board and return it attached to the item you are donating. We will be collecting holiday items in the front office located at 1600 73rd Street in Windsor Heights. Please drop off your donation by Dec. 14. If you would like further information on how you can help please contact Clive Elementary 633-5800. Thank you for making the holidays a special occasion for our Clive children.

Crestview Elementary
Twenty-eight Crestview students toured and visited with residents of Illahee Hills Independent Living Community recently. The students were researching for this year’s First Lego League’s theme, Senior Solutions ( This first-hand experience provided them with needed insight to help them develop their project with seniors in mind.

Crossroads Park Elementary
Students in Megan Norris’ and Pam Hopper’s classrooms enjoyed their annual Thanksgiving Feast on November 16. This fun and tasty event is designed to help these students improve their life skills. Students helped with decorations, setting the table, and were given plenty of opportunities to practice good table manners. Food was provided by the teachers and teacher assistants working in the classrooms.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek sixth grader Will Golay wrote: Last week, the sixth graders attended JA BizTown, a mini-town offered by Junior Achievement. Before we could go, there was lots of paperwork and preparing. When we finally got to go, all the preparing was worth it! We got to run our own business, buy from other businesses, and of course, there was the Snack Shop, yum! Half of the grade went one day, and the other half the second day. Also, this week we went to the Civic Center and saw Doktor Kaboom! It’s Just Rocket Science! We got to see a rocket propelled by a fire extinguisher, a cap blow off a cup of heated water, and watch a video of a tablespoon of rocket fuel engulf the inside of a five gallon water jug. At the Science Center we went to the Facing Mars exhibit. We got to launch a rocket, be in a small rocket cabin, and vote if you would go to Mars if you could. Next week, we will be going to Valley High School for the 6th grade Volleyball tournament, where there will be about 700 sixth graders. We hope that we come home with a sportsmanship trophy, and maybe even win the tournament. We’ve gone on lots of field trips lately. In math, we are starting algebra, unit three. In science we’ve been able to go into the star lab, a blow up tarp with a constellation projector in the center. That’s really cool! In Social studies we are writing thank yous to all the people who made BizTown possible. In language arts we are typing up the stories we wrote over the past couple weeks. We have been really busy lately!

The Southside Sixth Grade Band will be performing at Jordan Creek Elementary December 13 at 9:15 a.m. The next performance will be at Western Hills December 18 at 9:15 a.m. and a performance for parents at 6:30 p.m. The students will not have a rehearsal December 20. Early morning rehearsals will resume January 3 in the Valley Southwoods Band Room at 8 a.m. Students from Jordan Creek who are involved in this performance are: Alecia Barrueta, Kaylie Bocook, Carrie Cassady, Jackson Froscheiser, Sarah Mele, Will Sanders, Carson Slater, Conner Smith, Steven Vorrath;, Brandon Block, Dahlia Cutler, Daniel Dickerson, Dave Head, Jessica Olander, Evan Porter, Emily Schulz, Rachel Steim, Nicky Trane, Rachel Wrenn, Christopher Altemeier, Carson Brown, Don DeWaay, Mekhia Hillgren, Ana Johnson, Riley Kuennen, Cameron McCawley, Jack Roush, Griffin Satre, Madeline Smith, Payton Cooper, Katie Grilli, Natalie Morgan, Shuvethan Sigagurunathan, and Radha Velamuri.

Student council members visited the Food Bank of Iowa to see where the collection of Combat Hunger food the school collected will go. The school also collected for the Winter Warmth Drive with other West Des Moines Schools and Waukee Schools. We will continue to practice philanthropy this year.

Phenix Elementary
Fall is a very exciting time here at Phenix Elementary! Students and staff are spending a lot of time talking about the typically parts of the season. The preschool classroom has spent part of their days studying trees, third grade students wrote wonderful leaf poems and kindergartners have explored everything in between. Not to mention the explorations happening at recess. We like to think of this time of the year as a great time to celebrate, as well. For the fall parties, the entire school (teachers included!) dressed in their best costumes. Everyone paraded around the gym and shared a yummy treat at the end of the day. Phenix is like a big family so everyone had a wonderful time!

Westridge Elementary
Westridge Elementary second graders were in for a treat and a great hands-on exploring experience during a special visit November 9. Mike Havlik, a naturalist who works with the YCamp, brought a Native American tipi to set up on the school grounds. After a short introduction and a background talk each classroom followed Havlik outside to experience the art of building a tipi. Each student had a role and each role served a definite purpose within the whole process. The students also learned that the tipi entry faces east, that rain sounds like drums playing on the sides, that whenever you enter a tipi you look up and then down (you look down so you don’t trip and you look up to see if there is a lucky eagle or hawk flying overhead), and many other bits of interesting information. What a great activity on a beautiful fall day!