Informaline — Sept. 19, 2016 Issue

PDF | en español | Virtual Backpack/La Mochila Virtual

  • Please note: These PDFs have been updated from the printed version. The time of the game was updated to 7:30 p.m. It was previously listed as 7 p.m.

Important Calendar Dates

  • Sept. 19-24: Homecoming Week
  • Sept. 20: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
  • Sept. 26: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
  • Sept. 26: School Board Annual and Organizational Meetings, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 27: Profriend Kickoff Event
  • Sept. 27: Equity & Education Community Forum, Valley High School, 7:30 p.m.

WDMCS Making Positive Changes for Education Equity
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) has released its plan to address education equity in its schools. “Race & Equity in Our Schools: Action Steps for Positive Change” outlines short- and long-term steps the district and Valley High School will take during the 2016-17 school year and beyond.

The goal of this work is to improve the district climate and culture in order to establish equitable practices for all students that:

  • eliminate systemic racial inequity,
  • provide equitable educational opportunities for students of color, and
  • nurture authentic and trusting relationships between staff and students and between students themselves to make a positive difference in how students of color experience school.

The full equity plan, the equity audit commissioned by the district, and a video of the workshop session are available at

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.

Learn more about the background behind these preliminary concepts on the district website at

The Board set a tentative schedule to review the architect’s research and continue discussing facilities and space usage:

  • Oct. 30, 2016, 1-4 p.m.
  • Dec. 5, 2016, 5:15-7 p.m.
  • Jan. 22, 2017, 1-3 p.m.

Online Calendar Guide Available
Complete with a new, user-friendly design, the interactive online/activities calendar is fully customizable through filtering! You can personalize your online calendar view by choosing the categories and schools relevant to you. See our full online calendar guide at

All About Homecoming
This year’s Homecoming festivities start Monday, Sept. 19! Find out everything you need to know about Homecoming on our website at

16 Valley Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
Congratulations to Valley High School seniors Elizabeth Ash, Zachary Bailey, Jacob Bedia, Cayden Codel, Emily Ellingson, Arjun Ganga, Trent Gilbert, Brian Gu, John Mahoney, Abby McCullough, Meta Miller, Gabriel Mintzer, Guowei Qi, Jared Shapert, Rachel Snodgrass, and Madison VanSickel, who have all been named National Merit Scholar Semifinalists!

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Sept. 28
The WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force will hold its first meeting of the year from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Learning Resource Center. All Effective Grading Practices Task Force meetings are open to the public.

The study is part of the district’s strategic plan and the School Board’s priority goals for Superintendent Lisa Remy for the 2016-17 school year. More information about the task force is available here.

All meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Sept. 28, 2016; Oct. 26, 2016; Nov. 30, 2016; Jan. 25, 2017; Feb. 22, 2017; March 29, 2017; April 26, 2017; and May 31, 2017.