The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education is holding a special workshop meeting regarding Return-to-Learn planning at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.
The workshop meeting will be held in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, to allow for social distancing.
This workshop meeting is open to the public, but face coverings are required. Please do not attend in-person if you feel ill, have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or are experiencing other COVID-19 symptoms. The workshop meeting will also be streamed live on the WDMCS YouTube channel.
Workshop meetings do not include open forum time and action will not be taken.
Polk County Health Department Director Helen Eddy and Nola Aigner Davis, public health communications officer, will present to the Board. The Board will discuss next steps based on Polk County Public Health data and the guidelines shared by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on July 30 as WDMCS prepares to begin the 2020-21 school year with the Hybrid Option 2 model.
The live stream will be available at 5:15 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 5, on the WDMCS YouTube channel.
The 2020-21 school year looks a little different, but don’t worry: We’ve got you covered!
Find a favorite Tigers-branded mask, hand sanitizer clip, or water bottle AND support your school through the Tigers Together Safety Sale! Now through Friday, August 14, you can pre-order Tigers safety items individually or save money with a Safety Bundle or Mask Pack, with your purchases directly supporting your favorite Tiger community.
Pre-order now through August 14, and your order will ship shortly after!
WDMCS High School PTO’s Tigers Together Safety Sales
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.
The two nights will have the same content and seek answers to the following questions:
What do you want from Equity Leadership?
What does equity look like in the classroom?
What obstacles are keeping you from achieving your best life (or goals)? What can WDMCS do to remove those barriers?
The meetings will be held virtually on Zoom. Closed captions and interpreters will be available.
Save the Date
Equity in Education: What Does It Look Like in West Des Moines?
The WDMCS Board of Education approved the Hybrid Option 2 return-to-learn plan to start the 2020-21 school year at its July 13, 2020, regular business meeting. The July 13 decision allows for consistency and further planning across all buildings and grades.
Under this plan, families will CHOOSE between online or on-site learning for the first semester. Students attending school in buildings must wear face coverings. Staff must also wear face coverings. We ask that each family makes a decision by the end of July. WDMCS will send further communication this week so all families are aware and know of that deadline.
Please note: The 2020-21 school year’s instructional format may change to ensure student and staff safety, which could include transitioning to online learning and/or a hybrid of on-site and online instruction. Administrators may adjust processes based on their building’s learning environment at any given point throughout the school year.
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.
I am reminded in times like these how important our mission is to graduate students who can “thrive in and contribute to a diverse and changing world.” We must remember that diversity is not a goal or ideal, but a reality that strengthens us. We are part of the diverse world we contribute to, and we must take steps to leave that world better than we found it. Our children are watching, listening, and learning. They look to us for how to respond during times of crisis.
West Des Moines Community Schools stands in support of our Black and African-American students, families, and staff, especially now. I want you to know that you are all integral and valued members of our district family, and we will continue to listen, self-evaluate, learn, and collaborate to create an equitable environment for all of you.
Last January we hosted a Community Connections event where local community leaders shared their expertise on how WDMCS and our broader community can support student safety, facilitate equity conversations, and provide mental health resources. Although it may be difficult to remember these conversations in light of our COVID-19 pandemic, WDMCS has continually prioritized equity training and conversations among our students and staff since implementing our education equity plan in 2016. We are committed to listening, self-evaluating, learning, and collaborating to create an equitable environment for all students—specifically for students of color.
We are learning together how to build trust, assume good intent, listen to understand, and value diverse perspectives. We wish to help our students learn how to best listen and be heard when confronting social injustices, including the racial violence that took place in Minneapolis.
Equity is an ongoing journey for our district. We have not arrived, but we are committed to doing better. I am committed to helping break down inequities and systems of oppression. The experiences of our children, especially those of color, must reflect the better world they deserve to live in.
It is important to us to continue to partner with our broader community in order to dismantle racism in our district community. We value your perspective and know that we are better together.