A close up of a cross section on a blueprint

District Explores New Grade Configurations & Space Usage

Teachers and parent group representatives from each WDMCS elementary and junior high school and Valley Southwoods will meet with architects from Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering over the next few months to explore new ways to use space in our school buildings to support learning.

Specifically, the architects will gather feedback on the following preliminary concepts:

  • moving sixth grade out of the elementary and combining grades six and seven together,
  • combining grades eight and nine at Valley Southwoods,
  • providing half-day preschool programming at each elementary school, and/or
  • providing preschool programming with wrap-around child care services at one early childcare center possibly at Valley Southwoods.

During a work session on Sept. 11, 2016, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education directed Shive-Hattery to explore the preliminary concepts’ and their impact on the learning environment.

The concepts are based on a facility assessment Shive-Hattery conducted this summer. Architects interviewed principals at our eight elementary schools to understand how teachers use building space for instruction. They presented their assessment report at the August 8, 2016, School Board work session.

The School Board members directed the architects and the district to only explore and study possible options to improve space usage at this time. The Board set a tentative schedule to review the architect’s research and continue discussing facilities and space usage:

  • October 30, 2016, 1-4 p.m.
  • December 5, 2016, 5:15-7 p.m.
  • January 22, 2017, 1-3 p.m.