Informaline—Oct. 16, 2017 Issue

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Important Dates
Oct. 16: Career and Apprenticeship Showcase, 4-6:30 p.m.
Oct. 16-20: CogAT Testing for Third Grade
Oct. 17: School Community Network Meeting, 9:15 a.m.
Oct. 20: Second Quarter Transportation Fees Due
Oct. 23: School Board Workshop Session, 5:15 p.m.
Oct. 23: School Board Regular (Business) Meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct. 26: End of First Quarter

Winter Weather! Notification System Test Oct. 24
 West Des Moines Community Schools is getting ready for winter. To help keep students and staff safe, we provide notifications of inclement weather or emergency situation school closings. We will be conducting a test of this weather notification system at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Read more about the test call.

You’re Invited to Preschool Palooza!
Join us for Preschool Palooza on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Hillside Elementary!

Children ages 2-6 will enjoy activities, while their grown-ups gather information about early childhood opportunities and kindergarten registration in the West Des Moines Community Schools.

WDMCS Students Explore Equity in Arts-Based Program
More than 50 students from Valley High School, Walnut Creek Campus, and Valley Southwoods Freshman High School had the opportunity to attend their first equity training session on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

Learn more about the arts-based equity training. Students will participate in three total days of training during the 2017-18 school year in order to build a greater understanding of equity, diversity, and issues of social justice.

National School Bus Safety Week: Bus Payments Due!
National School Bus Safety Week is taking place Oct. 16-20! To make sure all bus riders continue to have safe transportation, take this chance to make sure your transportation plans are in place for the second quarter. Second quarter transportation fees are due Friday, Oct. 20. Fees can be paid at your child’s school or through the online payment system.

This is also a good time to change your child’s ridership details, if needed. Please complete and submit the “Make Change to Current Ridership” form if you would like to make changes. You can also contact our Transportation Department at 515-633-4902.

Remember to thank your bus driver and practice safe bus riding this week during National School Bus Safety Week!

Flu Shots Available Oct. 17 and Nov. 14
As we head into flu season, two West Des Moines Community Schools buildings will host flu shot clinics open to the entire community:

  • Oct. 17: 3:30-7:30 p.m. at Crestview School of Inquiry, 8355 Franklin Ave., Clive
  • Nov. 14: 4-7:30 p.m. at Hillside Elementary School, 713 Eighth St., West Des Moines

All students, families, and community members will be able to receive flu shots at either clinic.

Dual Language Immersion Program Seeking Native Spanish Students
The WDMCS Dual Language Spanish Immersion program will start with incoming kindergarten students for the 2018-19 school year at Western Hills Elementary. It will be a 50/50 program where students learn in English and Spanish. We are still seeking to fill the 13 open slots for Native Spanish speakers. The deadline to indicate an interest in this program is Dec. 15, 2017. Learn more about the program and how to register.

WDMCS Teacher Kelsey Hudson Wins Award for “Impact of Islam” Lesson Plan
Valley High School social studies teacher Kelsey Hudson received the Don Fett Award for Outstanding Lesson Design at the Iowa Council for the Social Studies Conference on Oct. 2. Hudson’s lesson plan, “The Impact of Islamic Iberia on Western Civilization,” seeks to help students understand the importance of medieval Andalusian achievements through a Document-Based Question. Congratulations to Hudson on her accomplishment and her continued commitment to the students at Valley High School. Learn more about her award. Watch for more information about this lesson as Hudson prepares to teach it in her classes this November.

We Want Your Input!
Facilities Planning Framework Timeline Set
WDMCS will be working with administration, staff, students, families, and the community this fall to gain feedback in laying the groundwork for the development of a 10-Year Facilities Plan. Topics include preschool needs, whether to move sixth grade out of elementary buildings, project-based learning environments, and other key initiatives. The resulting framework is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Education in early January. If you are interested in being part of a parent or community focus group either Nov. 14, 15, or 16, please RSVP at by Friday, Nov. 3.

Survey Seeks Input Regarding Principal Replacement
Valley High School Principal Tim Miller will retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year. WDMCS has hired a search firm to support the search and recruitment of the next Valley High School principal. Part of the process includes gaining community feedback on the desired characteristics of the individual who will fill this role. To participate in this survey, visit

Fall Classroom Party Ideas
With the changes this school year to the district’s wellness policy, we wanted to send helpful ideas for planning your fall parties. You can order Harvest Cookies that meet the nutrition guidelines through WDMCS Nutrition Services. We also encourage non-food celebrations, which can include games, music, and physical activities. Get fun ideas to help make your fall party a hit!

Adding Tools to the Toolbox: WDMCS Teachers on How Professional Development Helps Students
West Des Moines Community Schools teachers spent Oct. 9 learning and collaborating in a variety of ways to improve student achievement. See what they had to say about the professional development on Oct. 9: