West Des Moines Community Schools administers a variety of assessments to provide students, parents, and staff members with performance information.
Such information is used for:
- identifying how and when to provide differentiated instruction.
- monitoring student growth over time.
- determining the extent to which students are meeting district and state standards.
- providing data to help improve the curriculum and instruction.
- assisting with the creation of staff goals.
- assisting with the development of district and building goals.
- analyzing trends at the state and national level. How does WDMCS compare?
- providing high school students information for making post-secondary educational and vocational decisions.
Effective Grading Practices
We are committed to and are making strides toward improving our grading practices to ensure all students’ grades are a true picture of what they know and are able to do in each course.
The purpose of grading is to communicate achievement relative to course standards to students and parents.
The ACT measures educational development in the areas of English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. This assessment measures the skills necessary for success in post-secondary educational settings, including students’ reasoning abilities and knowledge of subject matter fields. If your student requires accommodations for testing under an IEP or 504 plan, contact the special education department at your school.
All WDMCS 11th-grade students will automatically be registered to take the ACT for FREE. This format is ONLINE without a writing portion. Families who do not wish to have their student take the ACT may choose to opt-out. However, we encourage all students to take the assessment because it can provide helpful information to post-secondary education institutions.
Test Date: Wednesday, March 3 during regular school hours at Valley High School and Walnut Creek Campus
High School Testing
WDMCS high school students may take a variety of assessments throughout their high school years to provide them, their parents/guardians, and their high schools’ staff with performance information. Such information is used for:
- placement in appropriate courses;
- identifying the need for additional instruction;
- monitoring student growth;
- determining the extent to which students are meeting district and state standards;
- providing information to enrich the curriculum and instruction;
- providing information for making post-secondary educational and vocational decision.
- Students can feel less stress by testing in a familiar environment on a regular school day.
- The ACT is accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States.
- Students are tested on what they’ve learned in their high school core courses.
- Taking the test at their school can eliminate potential concerns about finding transportation to a testing center on the weekend.
- Students receive personalized information to explore future college and career decisions based on their strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
- Students can use their scores to apply for financial aid and scholarships.
Students who desire to take the written portion can register and pay for the assessment at a local ACT testing center.
Information on ACT accommodations is available online.
The ACT is free for all WDMCS 11th graders for the 2020-21 school year.
WDMCS will only administer the ACT test for 11th-grade students. Freshman, sophomore, and senior students who wish to take the ACT can register and pay for the assessment at a local ACT testing center.
No. Sophomores, seniors, and any juniors who opt-out will not attend school on that day. Communication will go out before winter break on an opportunity for students to visit Iowa State University. We encourage families to consider what post-graduate career your student may be interested in and consider a job shadow or visit to a school or business in that field.
Yes. All juniors who wish to take the test must take it at school. Because sophomores and seniors will not be at school that day, appropriate social distancing can take place.
To request bus transportation, please call the Transportation Department 515-633-4902, option 2 by Friday, February 19.