Informaline March 21, 2016


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Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

March 21-25 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa
Learn about what the WDMCS does to prepare students for severe weather drills and the difference between a watch and a warning:

Mark Your Calendars! Early Out Every Wednesday
This is a reminder that all schools dismiss 45 minutes early every Wednesday to allow for collaboration time. Collaboration is a time for staff at all schools to work together to improve teaching and learning. The following dates are not marked with a “C” on the printed district calendar, but are still “early out” collaboration days.

  • March 30
  • April 13
  • April 27
  • May 4
  • June 1

Reminders will be sent through Infinite Campus and posted on the district website and social media for each individual date. For more information about collaboration and each school’s schedule, please see the district website at

WDMCS Board Cautions Slow Approach to Changing Grading Practices
During a recent special meeting, members of the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education cautioned district administrators to move slowly and involve parents in any effort to change the district’s current grading practices.

The school board held the second of two workshop sessions on Feb. 29 to study grading practices. Board members read “Rethinking Grading” by Dr. Cathy Vatterott.

Read about the first meeting.
Read about the second meeting.

District Sells Former Walnut Creek Campus Building
On March 8, the West Des Moines Community Schools finalized the sale of the former Walnut Creek Campus building at 815 8th Street in West Des Moines to the Imani Family Church for $500,000.

Learn more about the sale.

Iowa Teacher of the Year Nominations Due April 25
Thousands of talented Iowa educators lead and inspire their students, but only one is chosen annually as the Iowa Teacher of the Year. The annual award is an opportunity to recognize an exceptional Iowa teacher who is helping to redefine education. Anyone can nominate a teacher who is making a difference.

The deadline to nominate the 2017 Iowa Teacher of the Year is April 25. Nomination forms can be found on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

Read about Jordan Creek and Westridge Assistant Principal Tamara Tjeerdsma and Valley Southwoods teacher Wade Petersen, who were both finalists for the award.

You’re Invited! WDMCS Reads Author Visit and Book Signing
The West Des Moines Community Schools invites the community to a presentation and book signing by “The Crossover” author, Kwame Alexander, at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Avenue, West Des Moines. This event is free and open to the public. Alexander will also be meeting with students on Friday, April 1.

Read more about WDMCS Reads, “The Crossover,” and Alexander’s visit to the district.

Fourth-Quarter Transportation Fees Due March 29
Fourth-quarter transportation fees are due March 29, 2016. You can make payments at your school or at

2016-17 Tiger Cubs Registration — 4-Year-Old Program
There is still time to register your child for Tiger Cubs Preschool, the district’s preschool program. Tiger Cubs provides opportunities for children to develop important learning skills. Placements are available at Clive (both sessions) and at Crestview, Westridge and Jordan Creek (afternoon sessions). Fairmeadows and Western Hills are currently full with a short waitlist. You may register your student online at

Summer Opportunities
The West Des Moines Community Schools offers several opportunities for students and families during the summer months. Register for Summer Enrichment Adventures or WDMCS Community Education’s Summer of Learning.

Virtual Backpack Update and New Flyers
WDMCS is now happy to bring the Virtual Backpack right to your inbox! An Infinite Campus message with direct links to each flyer will be sent out on Mondays opposite the “Informaline” district newsletter. Make sure you watch for the messages to see all the valuable opportunities the district and community have to offer you and your family.