The WDMCS Transportation Department strives to serve the needs of our students and to provide safe, efficient transportation to school and school-related activities.

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Free Transportation

Free transportation is provided to the following groups meeting the listed criteria (Iowa Code Section 285.1):

  • Grades K-8 students living more than two miles from their assigned schools as determined by their primary residence.
  • Grades 9-12 students living more than three miles away from their assigned schools as determined by their primary residence.
  • Involuntary Transfers, who are students transferred by the district to a school other than their designated attendance center.

Paid Transportation

Students who do not qualify for free transportation and live outside the walk zone for their assigned school are eligible for paid transportation. Transportation is not available for families who live inside the walk zone.

Free or Reduced Bus Pass

Any student who lives in the paid transportation area and qualifies for the free and reduced-priced meal program may also apply for free and reduced-priced bus pass fees. Please contact your school’s secretary to apply.

Voluntary Transfers

A voluntary transfer is a student who attends a school other than the assigned school within the district due to a family request granted by the district. Voluntary transfer students may ride a district school bus if they meet the established criteria:

  • They must meet at an existing bus stop within the attending school’s boundaries.
  • The bus must have space available for the student requesting the transportation. Students living inside the school boundary will have preference.
  • Regular bus pass fees must be paid.


The West Des Moines Community Schools covers 36.6 square miles. District boundaries are irregular but generally lie north of Warren and Madison county lines, south of Urbandale Avenue, east of the Dallas County line, and west of 63rd Street.

Color-Coded Boundary Maps

District boundary maps are available at the links below and are color-coded to reflect the eight elementary school attendance areas and the two junior high school attendance areas.

Elementary map (elementary school attendance areas)

Junior High map (junior high school attendance areas)

All students living within the West Des Moines Community Schools attend Valley Southwoods Freshman High School for ninth grade and Valley High School for grades 10-12.