A group of Stilwell Junior High Team I students

Life in the WDMCS 5/27/14

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.


West Des Moines School’s Nutrition Department will be providing free meals to children under the age of 18 this summer! Every day, a hot and cold lunch option is available as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, arrangements can be made to have infant formula, baby cereal and baby food available for children under the age of one if requested in advance. This summer, meals will be served at six different sites Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 8 and running every week until Friday, August 9. All sites will be closed Friday, July 4.

  • Crestview Elementary – Breakfast from 7:45-8:15 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Hillside Elementary – Breakfast from 7;45-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11-11:45 a.m.
  • Valley High School – Breakfast from 8-8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:15 a.m.-noon
  • Phenix Elementary – Lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • American Legion Park – Lunch from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Rex Mathes School – Lunch from noon-12:30 p.m.

There are no income requirements or registration necessary. Any child under age 18 is welcome to come eat. For more information, contact the West Des Moines Community School’s Nutrition department at 515-633-5085 or check the West Des Moines School’s homepage for updates at www.wdmcs.org. Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture partners with local organizations like West Des Moines Schools, to provide free meals to children when school is out for the summer. For more information about the national Summer Food Service Program, visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer.

Clive Elementary

Special Education students at Clive Elementary are gearing up for a trip to Adventureland.  In preparation, the students have been working on a variety of activities and skills that will allow their trip to not only be fun, but meaningful at the same time.  The students have been focusing on skills including: patience, cooperation, safety, and teamwork.  Along with a variety of social skills activities, the students have also been working on applying their knowledge of money to real-life spending situations.  The students are looking forward to not only riding rides and playing games, but also building on skills they have been practicing all year.

Crossroads Park Elementary

Third graders from Crossroads Park recently took their annual trip to Farm Bureau, their business partner.   After the short ride to the Farm Bureau headquarters on University Avenue in West Des Moines, students met up with the groundskeeper.  He showed them around the FB property, including a visit to the volunteer garden that was begun this year, with all the vegetables harvested to be donated to the local food bank.  After that they observed the prairie plantings located on the property and were told about some of the native plants that would have been in Iowa in the time of the Native Americans.  From there students went to the flower beds on the properties, and each took turns planting impatiens and begonias.   After each of the students got to plant, a walk was taken around the lake on the Farm Bureau property to get some exercise and see the sights in nature.  All students and their families are invited to come back to see the flowers as they grow and walk around the lake anytime!

Jordan Creek Elementary

The first graders in Lynn Hunt’s class are writing about old and new friends.  They have been rechecking the 175 sight words for first graders and most of them are confidently reading all 175! They are having the most fun preparing for their Reading Celebration next week.  It is so enjoyable hearing the readers use expression. They are also going to the computer lab to practice writing skills regularly and play math games when they have time.  One of their students brought in an ant farm. What a busy colony! It is a great example of the four things every habitat needs for animals to survive.  The students are patiently waiting for their praying mantis egg sac to hatch. Some warm sunshine is needed to encourage them to come out.

Second grade students at Jordan Creek are currently studying the country of Japan.  Through this study, students are learning about the geography, and the about the people and their customs.  Students learn to eat with chopsticks and learn about their food and holidays.  They spent time discussing the schools and education in Japan, as well the literature. They studied the sports and arts of Japan, and finally, students compared and contrasted living in the United States to living in Japan.  The students will complete a picture scrapbook with their comparisons.

A string ensemble of fifth and sixth grade students from Jordan Creek Elementary, led by director Matt Meyer, performed for veterans and staff in the lobby of the main hospital at the Central Iowa VA Health Care System on May 21.  The ensemble included Caroline Ash (viola), Wyatt Eiler (cello), Dorothy Junginger (viola), Sarah Norwood (violin), Kevin Qi (cello) and Andrew Voggesser (bass).

Stilwell Junior High

Stilwell Junior High Team I met to learn about Valley Southwoods as they transition to freshman status in the fall.  Ninth graders Piper Wood and Quinton Curry, gave their advice about high school and answered the students’ questions.  After that the team held a Celebration Assembly by focusing on those with outstanding participation in school activities, honoring readers who read more than English teacher Kay Woods and applauding those students who made the team A and B Honor Rolls for third quarter. Those students receiving Academic Recognition for their school work on Team I are as follows:  Rachel Aksamit, Viridiana Alba, Caley Backstrom, Maria Barbosa, Maggie Baughman, Abigail Beal, Jedeh Bohn, David Bone, Tyler Bruinekool, Michael Bryan, Angela Cary,  Logan Castle, Natalie Cela-Quito,  Kaleb Dale, Preston Doerrfeld, Chloe Dreyer,  Cooper Earle, Alisson Espinoza, Bethany Evans, Drew Falco, Sydney Fisher, Ruby Fultz, Adamarys Gamboa,  Austin Graff, J. LeAnn Grandia, Kelcie Hale, Emma Haupert,  Deja Haynes, Matthew Hsieh,  Kameron Jirak, Nick Johnson, Jared Jones, J. J. Kapur, Mia Klaric, Kyle Koeller, Brenna Kokichi-Williamson, Grayson Leaders, Grace Lincoln, Joey McNunn, Jackson Miller,  Susanna Moore,  Hannah Olson, Alex Peterson, Riley Plummer, Katie Reha, Marisa Rethman, Ali Rudolf,  Noah Samples, Abigail Scott, Ben Spence, Ryan Starner, Hannah Taylor, Devon Tedder, Jack Tellner, Elliot Thornton, Nash Willham, Carly Wyble, Jennifer Yanqui and Eloysa Zarate.

Stilwell Junior High Team I students took a trip to Mitigwa, participated in team building activities and survival strategies such as shelter building and fire building. They learned about map orienteering and compass reading as well. Several Mitigiwa volunteers shared information on pioneering, blacksmithing, buck skinning, and much, much more!

Valley High School

Valley High School drama teacher Stacy Hansen gave her technical theatre students a peek at what a career in theatre might be like when they gave their second semester portfolio project presentations to theatre professionals from the metro area. Each student selected a script and designed the lighting, set and costume components.  Additionally, they created the marketing, property and sound designs for each individual play. The presentations were judged on delivery, summary of the play, analytical explanation of their choices and creativity of their production concept. Judges for this year included Beenie Stein, Assistant Attorney General for Iowa; Nathan Ritz, Director of Talent for the Development Workforce Inclusion in the Youth Leadership Institute of Greater Des Moines; Ron Lambert, co-founder and former artistic director of StageWest, former board member and president of the Iowa Community Theatre Association; Janie Westendorf, owner of Curtains Up Costumes in Sigourney; Ryan VanEvery, WOI commerical director; Suzy McLellan, publisher; Denis Hildreth, Central Academy instructor; Emily Kimpston, Valley alum currently attending Iowa State University; Jocelyn Coffman, Valley alum currently attending the University of Iowa; Spencer Gilbert, Valley alum currently attending the University of Iowa; Ben Weinberg, Valley alum currently attending Drake University; Tracy Edwards, WDMCS substitute teacher; and Caitlin Edwards, Valley alum currently attending the University of Iowa.