Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
Six actions for equity are driving current diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the West Des Moines Community Schools:
- Schedule anti-racist listening sessions in person, online, and anonymous feedback for students, families, and staff.
- Hire a full-time WDMCS Equity Director that has a rich set of diverse experiences and a clear understanding of issues around racial inequalities.
- Engage in learning at Board workshops and discuss race.
- Create an advisory group of students, families, and staff to review data and guide our efforts.
- Board and leadership will engage in equity audits and data deep dives to identify barriers to opportunity for students of color.
- Review and evaluate the culture and tone of the necessity of SROs in WDMCS.
The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the Board and administrative leadership commitment to these six actions for equity in June 2020. The actions were approved following ongoing equity training and dialogue in the district, as well as the national and global movement for racial equity and social justice.
In line with action step 2, WDMCS created a new position: the Executive Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. The district hired Anthony Ferguson, Jr., Ed.D., as the first executive director in August 2020.
This past week, a shooting in Atlanta killed eight people, six of them Asian women. West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) stands in support of and solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, families, staff, and the broader AAPI community.
Feb. 24, 2021 | Valley High School student group Community of Racial Equity (CORE) for Advancement is teaching its school community about these and other inspiring Black Americans in daily video announcements during Black History Month 2021.
Feb. 15, 2021 | If you’ve ever walked through the hallways of Hillside Elementary, chances are you were immediately greeted by Samuel Alier’s kind-hearted presence and warm embrace.
Feb. 8, 2021 | Kendell “Carlos” Cropp, a senior with aspirations to attend Des Moines Area Community College to obtain his commercial driver’s license (CDL), and Micah Banks, a junior who has her goals fixed on attending medical school and becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN), both attend the Walnut Creek Campus and were eager to share their thoughts around BHM.
Feb. 1, 2021 | The month of February is not meant to be the only time we celebrate the accomplishments of Black Americans, but rather an intentional time to highlight, promote, and reflect on their contributions.
Oct. 12, 2020 | West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is hosting an open forum session for parents of students of color on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The open forum will be an opportunity for parent/guardians to share their experiences and engage with district administrators in a safe space.
Oct. 1, 2020| West Des Moines Community Schools has signed on as an official supporter of United Way of Central Iowa’s 21-Day Equity Challenge, beginning in October. The goal of the challenge is to foster deeper understanding of the diversity of our communities through a self-guided learning experience that is open to all members of our communities and is being offered at no cost to participants.
WDMCS Hires Dr. Anthony Ferguson as Executive Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (08/11/20)
Aug. 11, 2020 | West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is excited to announce that Anthony Ferguson, Jr., Ed.D., will serve as Executive Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, following Board of Education approval on Aug. 10. He will begin his new position on Aug. 17.
July. 24, 2020 | West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is co-hosting two equity town halls led by Valley High School students on July 28 and 29. Moderated by Valley CORE (Community of Racial Equity) for Advancement leaders Vidya Iyer and Catalina Samaniego, the town halls will offer a chance for students to shape what equity will look like in the district.
June. 23, 2020 | The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a Board and administrative leadership commitment to six actions for equity at its June 22, 2020, regular business meeting.
WDMCS Superintendent: 'We Are Better Together' amid George Floyd Protests, Racial Inequality (06/02/20)
June. 2, 2020 | This past week, our nation witnessed the horrific death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and the violence which then erupted across communities, including in central Iowa.
Building Equity Leads
- Clive Learning Academy: Morgan Miller
- Crestview School of Inquiry: Brenda Ortner
- Crossroads Park Elementary: Christie Engelbert
- Fairmeadows Elementary: Abby Purdom
- Hillside Elementary: Chelsea Hayes
- Jordan Creek Elementary: Barb Tigges
- Western Hills Elementary: Sheryl Reed
- Westridge Elementary: Elizabeth Riche
- Indian Hills Junior High: Jessica Novelli
- Stilwell Junior High: Sarah Cooper
- Valley Southwoods Freshman High School: Ann Miles
- Valley High School: Erin Perry
- Walnut Creek Campus: Leah Lingren