Children playing under a rainbow print parachute.

Informaline—Oct. 30, 2017 Issue

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Important Dates
Nov. 16: End of First Trimester (Elementary)
Nov. 17: End of First Trimester (Walnut Creek Campus)
Nov. 22-24: Thanksgiving Holiday

Get a Sneak Peek of Our Updated Website!
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) School/Community Relations Office has been working with digital agency Juicebox Interactive to update the WDMCS website. Your feedback through our survey last spring inspired the updates we made, so thank you for your input. We look forward to sharing the new site with you in November! Learn more about the new website.

Project-Based Learning Network Information Meeting Nov. 9
Join us from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Nov. 9, to learn more about the Project-Based Learning Network (formerly New Tech), a pathway for students in grades K-10! Get the details and RSVP at

Survey on WDMCS Facilities Planning Now Open
WDMCS is 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. One way to help lay the groundwork is to brainstorm what our learning environments could look like over the next decade. Take the survey at

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.

42 WDMCS Musicians Selected for All-State Music Festival
Forty-two West Des Moines Community Schools students were selected to participate in the 71st Annual Iowa All-State Music Festival Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Get a full list of accepted All-State students and festival information.

Valley Teacher Dan Kelly First Iowan Selected as CSAC Fellow
Valley High School social studies teacher Dan Kelly is one of eight teachers who have been chosen for the 2017-18 fellowship program through the Center for the Study of the American Constitution (CSAC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kelly will have the opportunity to study the founding of the United States under the direction of experts including Professor John P. Kaminski of UW-Madison.

Secure Entrances Planned for Elementary Buildings
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education reviewed designs for all eight elementary buildings at its Oct. 9 meeting. All eight buildings are scheduled to have secure entrances completed next summer. Modifications to the entrances will be made to include a double-door locked entry, with access through the office. All construction should be complete prior to the 2018-19 school year.

Valley High School Presents “Sweeney Todd”
Valley High School’s Theater Department presents its fall play, “Sweeney Todd,” by playwright Christopher Bond. Performances are at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 4, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 5, in the Staplin Performing Arts Center, Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines. Tickets are $7 and $10, and can be purchased through MIDWESTIX at or by calling 515-244-2771. Learn more about the play and the cast and crew.

Congratulations! Two Valley Students Earn Awards
Congratulations to Valley High School seniors JJ Kapur and Anvay Pradhan, who have recently been recognized for some outstanding achievements. Kapur won the ACLU of Iowa’s 2017 Robert Mannheimer Youth Advocacy Award and was recently named winner of the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award for his work with the Iowa Sikh Turbanators. Pradhan earned the James E. McLeod Insightful Leadership Award at the National Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL) “Town Meeting on Tomorrow” conference in St. Louis this October and was selected to advance in the NCYL Youth Leader of the Year competition as a national finalist. Pradhan was also named a Wendy’s High School Heisman Scholarship state finalist as well. Learn more about these outstanding student achievements.

Hall of Honor Nominations Due Nov. 15
The Valley High School Hall of Honor was established to recognize outstanding alumni, educators, and community leaders who, through achievements, endeavors, leadership, and character, are positive role models for the student body of the West Des Moines Community Schools. Nominations are being accepted through Nov. 15, 2017. Please consider nominating a difference-maker you know for this honor. Learn more or submit nominations online or text vhshonor to 72455.