WDMCS Educational Planning Recommendations Cover

Board Approves 10-Year Facilities Recommendations Framework

Update Jan. 24, 2018

West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education approved the following recommendations on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 as the framework for the 10-Year Facilities planning. Several documents are available below for community review.


  • Expand our current four-year-old preschool programs to all eight elementary buildings, and continue collaboration with community preschools to offer childcare services for the other half of the day.
  • Move sixth grade out of all eight elementary buildings in an effort to support and emphasize middle school instructional design.
  • Transition from a seventh- and eighth-grade junior high model to a grades 6-8 middle school model in name, programming, and facility design. Flexible spaces and electives to support sixth graders are two critical components to be addressed.
  • Transition to a 9-12 grade comprehensive high school at Valley High School. Create a 9-12 career-focused learning center (location of this center yet to be determined).
    • Both the comprehensive high school and career-focused learning center would fall under the umbrella of one high school, offering 9-12 students opportunities within both buildings.
    • Programming in the career-focused learning center would not only include the current career and technical offerings, but expand to provide a wide array of courses relevant to skills businesses are seeking in future employees.
    • Students from both Valley and Walnut Creek can engage and connect in classes held in the innovative, career-focused learning center.


The recommendations were based on feedback WDMCS received through the facilities planning survey available to families, students, and staff this fall. BrainSpaces worked with WDMCS to gather and analyze the information before providing several recommendations.

Jan. 8 Board Workshop Video

Online Survey Results (BrainSpaces, Inc.)

Community Feedback Summary Data (from WDMCS forums)

Full Report: Final Educational Facilities Planning Recommendations (BrainSpaces, Inc.)

Diagram of Current WDMCS Facilities

Diagrams of Recommended WDMCS Facilities (A & B)

Examples of Innovation Center Programs

Innovation centers across the country focus on high-skill, high-demand careers that may or may not require a four-year education. The pathway to a fulfilling career should begin now, with students exploring potential professions so they can make informed decisions about their futures.

The programs offered would be based on business and industry demands, and WDMCS would consult with the local business community to gain insights into current and future needs.

Potential Course Topics

  • Aerospace & Logistics
  • Agriculture & Food Sciences
  • Architecture & Design
  • Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Construction Technologies
  • Culinary & Hospitality
  • Digital Media, Photography & Design
  • Education & Child Development
  • Engineering & Mechanics
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Global Business
  • Health Occupations & First Responders
  • Law & Criminal Justice
  • Mechatronics & Energy
  • Molecular Medicine & Bioengineering
  • Multi-media Journalism
  • Veterinary Medicine & Animal Sciences
Examples of Existing Innovations Centers in the U.S.