Informaline April 18, 2016


en español

Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual


School Board Sets District Priorities
At a recent special meeting, the West Des Moines School Board of Education identified effective grading practices, personalized learning (New Tech, online learning), community outreach, and professional learning communities (PLCs) with an overarching goal of equity and student achievement as the district’s priorities for the next 10-12 months.

These priorities were selected from the district’s strategic plan developed in 2014. A possible additional priority to align finances with the strategic plan will be discussed at a later work session.

The Board asked Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy to write action steps under each priority area, which she will present to the Board at a later meeting.

The Board also reviewed its “What Graduates Will Know and Be Able to Do” statement developed at its March 7 meeting. The statement provides a goal for the Board aligned with the district’s mission and vision.

The statement is:

“A West Des Moines Community Schools graduate will possess the essential skills and integrity to communicate, collaborate, and solve problems as a confident citizen, embracing our diverse and changing world.”

Thank You to Our Volunteers
The West Des Moines Community Schools would like to say a special thank you to all our district volunteers this week.

April 18-22 is National Public School Volunteer Week, and a great chance to show appreciation for all the volunteers who help make our schools better places to learn and work. From assisting in classrooms to feeding teachers during conferences and helping with student activities, we could not offer all the excellent opportunities we do without the help of our many volunteers. Thank you for working with us to support learning and our amazing students and staff!

Public Hearing to be Held on Tiger Field Project
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the Tiger Field renovation project on May 9.

Tiger Field is located at Valley High School and serves as a physical education and competition space for high school students during the day. Seasonal sports and local groups use the field in the evening and on weekends.

The field renovation project includes:

  • Removal and replacement of the existing track, practice field, bleachers, and press box;
  • Installation of a new synthetic turf multipurpose field;
  • New sports field lighting;
  • New bleachers and press box;
  • New long jump runways;
  • And the addition of two new shot put rings.

Renovation work is currently scheduled to take place May-October 2016. The preliminary construction base bid budget for the project was approximately $2.7 million, with the cost opinion base bid coming in at $3,261,309. There are six add alternates totaling $543,279 that could be added to the base bid if selected.

The sales tax fund, which cannot pay for general fund expenses like teacher and staff salaries or educational programming, pays for all construction projects, including the Tiger Field renovation.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 9 at Crestview School of Inquiry, 8355 Franklin Ave, Clive.

Reminder: Normal Early Out on April 27
This is a reminder that all schools will dismiss at their typical Wednesday early dismissal time on Wednesday, April 27. We are providing this reminder because a “C”—which signifies a collaboration date—was inadvertently omitted on April 27, May 4, and June 1 on the printed district calendar. All WDMCS schools dismiss early every Wednesday to allow for collaboration time. More information is available here.

Third-Graders Plan Meals with WDMCS Nutrition Services Department
District elementary students will get to eat a school lunch planned by their peers on Wednesday, May 4! Ms. Snell’s Clive Learning Academy class worked with Nutrition Services Director Willow Dye to create a menu featuring cheeseburgers, seasoned broccoli, fresh spinach, cherries, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.

The WDMCS Nutrition Services Department periodically partners with third-grade classes throughout the district to teach students about the Department of Agriculture’s “MyPlate” initiative and how it ties into school lunch. Teachers can invite Dye to talk to classes after completing a “Choose My Plate” unit. Dye presents on the five food groups offered in school lunches and has students sort foods into the different groups. Students often have questions about dessert and learn that it is a “sometimes” food for special occasions, not all the time.

To learn more about “MyPlate” and the other resources Nutrition Services has to offer, click here.

Nutrition Services will also be celebrating School Lunch Hero Day on May 6. The district will be honoring its Lunch Room Heroes at every school on that day. To get involved and help recognize the school lunch heroes at your school, contact Cheryl McLellan, the nutrition services human resources supervisor, at or 515-633-5091.

Board Sets Tax Rate at $13.27
On Monday, April 11, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education adopted the district’s $198 million 2016-17 certified budget and set the tax rate at $13.27.

This is slightly higher than the current $13.24 rate, but Chief Financial Officer Paul Bobek explained during the Board meeting that the rate will likely remain at its current level once finalized by the state. For more information, please click here.

Educator Rick Wormeli to Provide Professional Development for All District Teachers April 29
There will be no school for students on Friday, April 29, 2016. It is a professional development day for teachers, who will be working with education professional Rick Wormeli.

Wormeli is an innovative educator with more than 30 years of teaching math, science, English, physical education, health, and history, as well as instructing teachers and principals. He has presented on education in all 50 states, several countries, and at the White House. He is also an education consultant for National Public Radio and USA Today and has worked with the Smithsonian Institute.

Wormeli is the author of several successful books including “Day One and Beyond,” “Summarization in Any Subject,” and the award-winning “Meet Me in the Middle.” He is also a columnist for Middle Ground magazine and a contributor to the ASCD’s (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) Educational Leadership magazine. His work has been covered by numerous media outlets, including Good Morning America, National Geographic, and The Washington Post.

To learn more about professional development in the West Des Moines Community Schools, click here.