Life in the WDMCS 9/30/13

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
Fifth graders in Mrs. Pargeon’s room are learning about probability in math this week.  With experiments and real-life stories, students are understanding how to use appropriate vocabulary to describe certain chance events. The Probability Meter is a resource which helps kids apply fractions, decimals or percents to various chance situations.

Crestview Elementary
Crestview Sixth grader, Laura Kiely recently finished reading all 25 of this year’s Iowa Children Choice books nominated for students to read and vote on their very favorite this spring.  Laura had a hard time choosing her favorite, but chose “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Park on account of how it spoke to her.  Here is a brief interview with the author and the Somali man the book was written about:

Crestview kindergartners study the five senses as one of their science units.  The students use their sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste in order to learn about their world.  The students in Robin Nelson’s class learned that sound is made when objects vibrate and were able to experience this through the use of paper cup phones and string.

Crossroads Park Elementary
One of the units the fourth graders at Crossroads Park study is the Midwest region of the United States.  As an enhancement of that unit, they went on a field trip called “Life on the Prairie” sponsored by Polk County Conservation. They visited to Jester Park for a day of Native American and pioneer experiences, learning about prairie animals, insects, a tipi, habitats, and types of animal adaptations.

Fairmeadows Elementary
Staff and students at Fairmeadows are focusing on being people of good character.  The staff at Fairmeadows chose students they felt were showing the pillars of character in all parts of the school day.  These students showed the staff they are responsible, respectful, trustworthy, fair, caring and good citizens. Students received a special certificate, pencil and had their picture taken to be displayed in the front hall of the school. Students included in our October celebration are: Amos Hanser, Brella Drost, Jack Gale, Nola VanWyk, Austin Larson, Finlay Mrudoch, Mary Lovell, Cole Wiarda, Miranda Alba, Maya Crncevis, Laiya Kha, Halleah Wennerstrom, Evan Kaduce, Edie Acker, Bodhi McCleeary, Sylvi Ross, Rosie Grob, Kaden Shaver, Dayton Wamsley, Paige Mattes, Stella Lovell, Ethan Acker, Hanna Hardy, Ben Cairney, Tyler Anderson, Taylor Crall, Irene Diaz, Abbie Welbes, Sklyer Redford, Ernesto Jurado, Grace Pratt, Hannah Bleskacek, Caden Altemeier, Izzy Winne, Cayleb Clements, Ella Janssen, Trever Lamb, Alexa Newgard, Cole Ross, Hallie Madigan, Eli White, Tim Anson, Lillian Barker, Francesca Eisheid, Ivan Bechman, Madeline Echternacht and Jet Langel.

Hillside Elementary
What’s new this fall at Hillside? Well, if you ask teachers, it is the new district Benchmark Literacy program.  From starting the first unit last week, fourth grade teachers found that it really frames the delivery of reading and word work. Parents may notice that it is not your traditional spelling program, yet students practice spelling of patterns through daily word work centers. All elementary grades feature 10 three-week units, with week one introducing a comprehension strategy (main idea and supporting details) week two features a genre (like  biography) and week three emphasizes fluency with Reader’s Theater.

It’s Hillside’s 10th anniversary! Next month Student Council is promoting a birthday party with cake made by the classrooms, cards and presents for the school. Later this year a musical celebration will be presented by the students around our 2013-14 concept of Unity.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Fourth graders at Jordan Creek Elementary enjoyed a sunny day at the Blazing Star Prairie located by Jester Park.  Students spent the day learning about Native American and pioneer life on the prairie.  They saw different types of prairie grass, learned about prairie animals and insects, played wildlife games, and learned about how pioneers survived on the prairie.  The highlight of the day was investigating and assembling tepees. Thank you to our leaders from the Polk County Conservation for making our day a huge success.

Westridge Elementary
Students at Westridge Elementary have been having fun practicing their bowling skills this year! Students in third through sixth grade have the opportunity to participate. They practice for four weeks at Warrior Lanes in Waukee. Following our practices we will continue on to the District Special Olympic competition Oct. 17. This is a great opportunity for students to generalize skills we are working on at school out into the community. This includes greeting others, following directions, increasing communication, taking turns, and team building by supporting their classmates. Many students discover this activity as an interest that they continue outside of school with their family! Wish our students lots of luck at their District Competition!

Valley High School
The Rotary Club of West Des Moines honored Valley High School students, Claire Maly and John J. Micka as Outstanding Students of the Month for September for providing leadership, making a difference and going above and beyond in their school. VHS Principal Jim Mollison introduced the students who shared the contributions they are making to the school community.  Each month, the Rotary  Club of West Des Moines will be honoring two students from students who attend high schools in West Des Moines.  Students will be nominated by their principals to receive the honor of Outstanding Students of the Month.   Awards were presented by Dr. Tom Narak, president of the club and former WDMCS superintendent.

It’s that time of year again – the Valley vocal students annual Butterbraids fundraiser! Treat yourself to the warm, buttery, goodnes of Butterbraids pastries available in seven tantalizing flavors. Choose from apple, blueberry and cream cheese, cherry, cinnamon, raspberry, strawberry and cream cheese or the all new double chocolate. Break off one or make a whole batch of warm, gooey cookies available in chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or peanut butter.  These are great gift ideas at only $14 each! Valley vocal students have Butterbraids pastries and Classic Breaks Cookie dough available now through October 21. Orders will be in before the holidays! Contact your Valley Vocal music student or contact Christine Schwarz at or 515-979-2654.