Clive students participating in Twin Day by wearing Hawkeye shirts

Life in the WDMCS 1/27/14

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.

Clive Elementary
Clive Student Council sponsored a school-wide Twin Day to help raise money for indoor recess activities. Children were invited to find a friend, plan to dress alike, and bring in a free will donation to help purchase indoor recess activities. Together we were able to raise almost $200. Thank you to all the students and staff that participated to help break the boredom of indoor recess. Way to go Clive Tigers!

Hillside Elementary
Second grade students at Hillside are currently working within the artful learning unit “Balance and Motion”. The significant question for this unit is, “How does balance affect our world?” Students in Brittany Bowers’ class explored the concept of balance and how it can be achieved with different objects and shapes. By using weights and counterweights, students learned how to balance out a card stock crayfish using two clothespins. Students were given time to find different balance points on the crayfish and compare their findings with other children in class.

Congratulations to Elyssa Parkingson, Mabel Teed, Courtney Ahlrichs, Maddy Anderson, Taylor Coe, Mia Rand and Sophia Epstein for having their art work selected to represent Hillside Elementary in the Impact of Art XXIV exhibition showcasing the student talent of West Des Moines Community Schools . An artist reception and celebration was held January 23 and the show shall remain on exhibition in the education wing of the Des Moines Art Center until the end of the month. Hillside Tiger Pride honors two hardworking artists: Kauai Cua and Jacob Holt. These students were awarded Spring Art Center Scholarships so that they may attend classes at the Des Moines Art Center and continue to develop their talents as creative visual artists.

Hillside families came out to enjoy a soup supper and Open House January 23. Students’ hard work was on display for their families to enjoy in classrooms throughout the building. Students were able to deposit money into their Kids First Bank accounts, a program sponsored by First Bank that encourages students to develop the habit of saving money for the future. Kids First Bank is open every Wednesday morning before school for students to make deposits or to open new savings accounts.

Jordan Creek Elementary
Second graders at Jordan Creek have dived into an ocean unit and are learning many new things about the ocean and all that lives in the massive body of water. Students researched about a certain ocean animal. They gathered information from books and web sites and filled in a graphic organizer. From there they wrote a rough draft and then typed out their final copy. With the help of their parents, students created a visual aid of their ocean creature in their habitat to go along with their report.

Fifth grade students in Jeri Daniels’ class presented a Reader’s Theatre and shared activities with their first grade buddies to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The two classes worked together to create a little book about King’s life which the first graders read to their buddies. The classes also discussed the importance of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Students then shared their own dreams for making life better.

Kirby Van Der Kamp, Valley graduate and senior at Iowa State University, visited the fifth and first graders at Jordan Creek. Kirby was a volunteer at Jordan Creek when in high school and has come back to spend time with the students and visit with them about their education, football and his experiences. Van Der Kamp has been the punter for Iowa State the past four years and is expected to be drafted into the NFL. Fifth grade students posed as ESPN announcers with their prepared questions to conduct their interview with Kirby. Students also viewed pictures of Van Der Kamp throughout the six years volunteering and visiting at Jordan Creek as well as football pictures. Kirby talked with the students about his life as a students and an athlete, traveling with teams, overcoming challenges, working hard in school, participating in extracurricular activities, and encouraged students to try new activities and classes. The session ended with an open question and answer time. Students wished him good luck in the Senior Bowl on January 25.

The school-level National Geographic Geography Bee was held at Jordan Creek with more than 30 students in fourth through sixth grade participating. These students reviewed and applied geography concepts during practices after school on Wednesdays and before school on Fridays. All of the students who participated showed an impressive amount of geographical knowledge. The school champion was sixth grader Jay Chevuru, second place was sixth grader Arun Ganga and third place was fourth grader Mia Dukle. Jay has now taken the qualifying test to see if he will compete in the state-level National Geographic Geography Bee this spring. Students who compete at the state level will have the opportunity to win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Geography Bee.

Phenix Elementary
The Phenix Tiger Cubs Preschool classes took a walking tour through Valley Junction as a part of their unit of study on buildings. Students compared the different building materials, colors, shapes and sizes of the buildings. They took pictures of buildings and construction sites to use in the classroom as they continue the investigation comparing buildings in the neighborhood with others around the world. Students will also be investigating how buildings are build, who builds buildings, what materials are used to make buildings, and what happens inside different buildings. 

Valley High School
Winter weather got you singing the blues? Change your tune with a night of jazz Friday, January 31 at 7 p.m. during the 2014 Valley Vocal Jazz Summit. The concert will be held at Valley Church, 4343 Fuller Road, West Des Moines. The concert will feature the Valley Jazz Choirs, jazz choirs from other area high schools and clinician and guest artist Greg Jasperse. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

Congratulations to Valley Drama for a great showing at the IHSSA speech contest. Valley entered 23 large group acts and set a school record by having all 23 advance to state.