The Valley/Valley Southwoods PTO invites you to help show appreciation for our teachers! Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 11, to create Holiday Cookie Boxes for all Valley and Valley Southwoods teachers, administration, and staff. This is a great way to say thank you to our teachers, and it’s a fun event for everyone! Please sign up to donate holiday treats and/or to help fill the boxes. We need both parent and student volunteers to make this event a success!
To Donate Treats
- Please sign up to bring a minimum of two dozen homemade cookies, bars, or holiday treats to put in the boxes.
- Silver Cord students can earn one hour of credit for every two dozen homemade standard size, decorated cookies, bars, or treats provided. Remember to submit your service for credit through Silver Cord!
- All cookies and bars should be delivered ready to package; all bars should be individually cut and separated. Items not cut or ready to box will not be accepted.
- Please do not donate more than 10 dozen of any one type of cookie.
- Please bring cookies in disposable containers. We cannot guarantee that containers will be returned after the event.
To Drop Off Treats at Valley
- From 7:30-9 a.m., Dec. 11: Please bring your items to the Valley main office.
- From 3-6 p.m., Dec. 11: Please bring your items to the student commons area in front of the school office at Valley (enter through the main doors off Woodland Ave.).
Please contact Carol Throm at email@example.com for more details.
To Drop Off Treats at Valley Southwoods
- From 7:30-8:30 a.m., Dec. 11: There will be a limited drop off at the Valley Southwoods office.
Please contact Laura Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
To Fill Boxes
Volunteers are needed to fill boxes from 6-9 p.m., Dec. 11. A small number of volunteers are needed from 3:30-6 p.m. on Dec. 11 as well. It’s a fun way to meet other parents, and you do not need to be a member of PTO to help with this event!
Thank you for helping with this wonderful project as we show the teachers and staff how much we appreciate them for all they do throughout the year! Please sign up using the following link:
- December 6, 2018
As online learning coordinator for the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS), Carrie Jacobs’ No. 1 goal is preparing students for whatever comes next in life.
Through collecting and researching data on online learning, she knows today’s students will have some type of online learning experience beyond high school. Whether it’s on-the-job training or completing coursework in college, students will need to know how to learn online. About 33 percent of college students are taking at least one course online, according to a 2018 survey by the Babson Survey Research Group. Last year, 41.8 percent of the enrolled student body in Iowa took at least one course online.
“What better way to learn online than in school right now, where it’s free? If students take that online course in college and don’t know how to learn online, it’s a really expensive failure if they don’t get through it or if they’re struggling,” Jacobs said. “It’s just another venue for us as teachers and as K-12 institutions to better prepare them.”
Watch: Get to know Carrie Jacobs
Jacobs was part of the first WDMCS Online Learning Committee in 2014, which explores and expands online learning options for students in the district. At the time, WDMCS had offered “blended” courses—a combination of face-to-face instruction, digital online instruction, and individualized one-on-one time. And last school year for grades 9-12, WDMCS provided its highest number of online learning opportunities: two courses at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School and nine at Valley High School.
But Jacobs said fewer blended courses are being offered this year in response to students’ desires.
“Once we started trying the blended courses, it’s not what students were wanting. Students are wanting fully online,” she explained. “Students—especially younger students—are wanting that advanced route. They want to be able to get high school credits when they’re maxed out of their elementary standards.” Jacobs used math as an example, where students needing to take pre-algebra or algebra in the past were bused to the school or used Edgenuity. Now, they are able to take it online, forming a relationship with the teacher for feedback teacher and saving the district on busing costs.
Additionally, Jacobs said students are opting for homeschooling and online learning due to a variety of reasons, like health and family situations.
“We’re losing those kids to open enrollment, and that’s where the push to develop these fully online courses came about,” Jacobs said. “We hope to better serve all students and the population that needs something different than the traditional, sit-in-the-classroom way of doing things.”
- Online and ‘In Real Life’: Learning with Digital Natives
- Three Tips to Make Online Learning Work for Your Child
In September, WDMCS announced a partnership with the city of West Des Moines, Microsoft, and T-Mobile, where mifis—portable wireless devices for internet access—were provided to about 200 low-income Hillside Elementary School students. The partnership is part of a larger initiative with the city and Microsoft to address broadband accessibility and affordability for students and residents in the Valley Junction neighborhood.
Jacobs hopes WDMCS continues that process, eventually being able to provide resources for all students at all schools. Over the past few years, she’s compiled a comprehensive list for students and families outlining all of the local businesses, restaurants, libraries, and other places in the area that have free Wi-Fi.
Until then, how can students overcome obstacles when completing internet-based tasks away from school? That’s where Canvas, the district’s official learning management system, comes in, Jacobs said.
“One of the reasons why we chose Canvas is that Canvas has an app, so if a student does have a smartphone, there is a Canvas app for students, parents, and teachers,” she explained. “Sometimes if a student might not have internet at home, they have a smartphone that they can do work from.”
Another hurdle is making sure students stay on track with their online coursework. Jacobs said online courses have the exact student-to-teacher ratio that WDMCS has in its current class offerings. The online courses will also be taken in either first or eighth periods.
“The teacher that teaches these online courses, they will have that period as their office hours so the student isn’t floundering on their own,” Jacobs said. “They have a teacher that is there and able to support and help.
“We’ve built in a lot of levels of support to help these students find success and support the teacher.”
- December 5, 2018
Thirty-seven West Des Moines Community Schools students were selected to participate in the 72nd Annual Iowa All-State Music Festival Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The students were selected through a rigorous audition process that included students from throughout the state.
All-state band members:
- Bass—Jacob Swanson (fourth-year All-State)
- Clarinet I—junior Kathryn Wittrock
- Clarinet III—junior Madeline Echternacht
- Cornet III—seniors Daniel Dickerson and Jackson Froscheiser
- Harp—junior Gracia Koele (All-State orchestra and band)
- Tenor Saxophone—senior Ben Carlson
In addition, Mason O’Brien (trumpet) was selected as first alternate.
All-state choir members:
- Sopranos—junior Brooke Boddicker; seniors Nora King, Cam Mears, Haley Losh, and Claire Sattler
- Altos—sophomore Lanie Anthan; junior Aviana Gelder; seniors Riley Bartlett and Rachel Forney
- Tenors—sophomores Parker Johnson and Avi Kaufman; junior Landon Denker; seniors Gunner Hawthorne and Patrick Pham
- Basses: juniors Sterlin Mills and Jacob Soto; seniors Carson Codel and Cole Strelecki
In addition, senior Lizzie Brackett was also selected as an alternate.
All-state orchestra members:
- Bass—junior Andrew Voggesser
- Harp—junior Gracia Koele (All-State orchestra and band)
- Cello—junior Kevin Qi
- French Horn IV—junior Peter Erickson
- Tuba—junior Gwyn Chilcoat
- Viola—sophomore Dorothy Junginger; junior Jake Reck
- Violin—ninth-grader Kristin He; sophomores Marina Deyev and Risha Shetye; seniors Rachel Li, Ryan Staub, Darell Smith
In addition, ninth-grader Elaine Wang (violin), junior Min Hyuk Lee (cello), and Kendra Thompson were selected as alternates.
Tickets to the Iowa All-State Music Festival Concert can be purchased at the ISU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the west side of the Jacobson Athletic Building in Ames, Iowa, or online at Ticketmaster.com. The concert will also be shown on Iowa Public Television at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22; 2 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27; and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2.
For more information on the Iowa All-State Music Festival, visit the IHSMA All-State website.
- November 12, 2018
- November 8, 2018
There’s no question that this season’s Valley High School varsity volleyball team was a special group, and no, it’s not merely because of immense talent.
It’s due to chemistry, camaraderie, and support — on and off the floor — that’s led the Class 5A third-ranked Tigers to a 41-4 overall record and a 25-match win streak into the Iowa high school state volleyball tournament; Valley defeated Ankeny 3-0 in the quarterfinals, but fell to Ankeny Centennial in a thrilling, 3-2 semifinal on Thursday, Nov. 8. Centennial advances to face top-seeded and defending champ Cedar Falls for the 5A crown at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
Every student-athlete on Valley’s 13-player roster understood their role, with the intent of hoisting state tournament gold for the first time in program history.
And senior Madi Kubik, one of the most accomplished student-athletes to come through West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS), was at the forefront of this outstanding unit.
“A lot of us are really close both on the volleyball court and outside,” Kubik said. “I think we have a really close-knit group. That makes it easier for us to push each other.”
‘It’s Amazing To See Her Continue To Grow’
Kubik, a 6-foot-1-inch outside hitter, has earned every athletic accolade imaginable during her high school volleyball career: Gatorade Iowa Volleyball Player of the Year, Elite all-state, Class 5A Player of the Year — you name it.
Additionally, she’s a member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, competing internationally while donning the red, white, and blue. Kubik and her fellow U.S. teammates qualified for the 2019 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship earlier this year after defeating the Dominican Republic in finals of the 12-country NORCECA Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
#USAVwjnt is #GOLDEN and 2019 @fivbvolleyball U20 World Championship bound after def. #DominicanRepublic 3-0 in #NORCECA Women's U20 Championship. @mollyphillips_ leads with 13 pts. @MadiKubik adds 12. @loganegg_ named MVP. Recap | https://t.co/TXH4eDy7gw pic.twitter.com/ZaF4UJZKFv— USA Volleyball (@usavolleyball) June 24, 2018
Kubik, a University of Nebraska recruit, has started for Valley since her freshman year in 2015. During her career, Valley has gone an astonishing 164-27.
Heading into this year’s state tournament, Kubik recorded 1,815 total kills, which is tops in Valley program history and fifth-best all time in Iowa, according to a recent report by KNIA Radio in Pella.
She averaged 5.16 kills per set — a mark that ranked among the best in all classes.
“It’s amazing to see her continue to grow as a player,” Kubik’s mother, Renae Kubik, said. “Every single year, it seems like there’s something more that she’s received. It’s awesome to watch.”
Ninth-year head coach Jeremy Mikesell said strong athletes have come through Valley’s program, but Kubik has taken things to a whole new level.
“She knew from Day 1 that teams win championships, and it comes from not only individual accolades and statistics,” he said. “I’ve always respected that about her. She understands the benefits of having everyone on board and sets the example.”
What’s more impressive, though, is how Kubik balances her volleyball triumphs with the usual life of an everyday high school student. Throughout her Valley academic career, Kubik has maintained a 3.62 grade-point average. She has also volunteered locally on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Meals From the Heartland, and at youth volleyball camps.
Brad Rose, Valley’s athletics and activities director, thinks what makes Kubik so special is her leadership and a burning desire to help her teammates and others accomplish their goals.
“Her impact on our program has been felt up and down all levels of West Des Moines Community Schools,” Rose said.
How does Kubik manage all of her commitments and responsibilities? By developing and honing a skill she claims she struggled with early on.
“I definitely think as a student, I learned a lot about time management, and I don’t think I was very good at that going into high school,” she explained. “I was able to learn that skill and work hard to have all my stuff planned out so I can focus on volleyball.”
Kubik arrived to WDMCS in the midst of her eighth-grade year. During her time in the district, she said she’s recognized WDMCS as “a community of people who all care about each other.”
“I think that comes off from the teachers, our administrators, and everyone that’s in the buildings,” Kubik said. “Everyone is really supportive of each other, and I think that’s nice for such a large school district to be so involved with one another.”
Kubik will graduate from Valley in December and will start at Nebraska in January.
A Sisterly Bond Over The Years
When skimming through Valley’s roster this season, fans noticed there are two Kubiks listed.
Kubik’s sister, Hayden, was a freshman on this year’s team, and had been a solid contributor to the Tigers’ scoring attack. She ranked second on the team with 266 kills leading into the state tournament — right behind her older sister’s team-high 454 mark.
This is the first time Madi and Hayden have performed on the same team competitively. Growing up, the pair would play against each other over their couch in the basement of the Kubik household. Even on vacations, Mom, Dad, and the four Kubik girls would try to find a sand court and get in a few matches.
“It’s been really awesome (this season) because I feel like we’ve been able to connect a lot on the volleyball court and kind of get each other in that aspect,” Madi Kubik said of playing alongside Hayden. “It’s also nice to look to her and feel comforted and supported.”
The Kubik parents are no slouches to competitive athletics, either. Renae Kubik played volleyball at Missouri State University. Brad Kubik, Madi and Hayden’s father, played football at Missouri State and later with the Kansas City Chiefs for three seasons.
“It’s cool that you have those relationships with players you go to battle with every day or that you compete with,” Brad Kubik said, “but when it’s your sister — when it’s blood — it takes it to a whole new level of what kind of relationship they have.
“They’ve grown a lot closer this year, and it’s fun to watch them compete and be successful.”
Kubik said her inspiration comes from her parents.
“They are my biggest examples of what it means to be a hard worker and what it means to be a good person, a good friend, and to be there for people,” she explained. “They’ve taught me so many lessons. … They’ve helped me become the best person I can be.”
Mikesell added how Brad and Renae Kubik seize all of the family’s moments in athletics.
“I think a lot of people overlook a process for a kid like that to get where she is. I know (Madi’s) parents well enough where they just really embrace this fun environment of playing sports and being involved and having a good time,” he said. “It’s really fun to see a family support volleyball and the sheer fun of it.
“Through (Madi and Hayden’s) upbringing, they have a great mindset of handling the adversity this sport brings.”
‘This Is About Leaving A Legacy’
Keeping the topic of adversity in mind, Valley’s quest for its first state volleyball title continues following Thursday’s loss in the 5A semis to Centennial.
Despite the season’s end, Kubik and teammates have set the bar for what continues to be an exciting era of Valley volleyball.
“With Madi and other players who have gone through our program, the bar has been there to say, ‘We have the ability and we have the experience,'” Mikesell said. “That mindset and the skill set are there. It just comes down to that discipline and a lot of what goes on in that environment.”
” … This is about leaving a legacy and putting something out there that other people can learn and grow from. That’s really the overriding cause of what we’re trying to do.”
2018 Valley Volleyball Roster
- Camryn Anonson—senior
- Allison Blythe—senior
- Olivia Curry—junior
- Karsen Duve—senior
- Shea Fuller—senior
- Grace Hinkle—junior
- Hayden Kubik—freshman
- Madi Kubik—senior
- Payton Lombardi—sophomore
- Macy Schuette—senior
- Jacey Spann—junior
- Jasmine Spann—senior
- Katie Stevens—sophomore
Individual and team statistic information compiled from Quik Stats Iowa.
Watch: 2018 Valley Volleyball
- November 8, 2018
- November 2, 2018
As a part of the physical education program in grades 4-12, West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is participating in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program—the national fitness education and assessment program. Through participation in this program, we strive to empower students to be fit and active for life.
As a result of our participation in the program, students will take part in the FitnessGram® health-related fitness assessment. This assessment, designed for students in grades 4-12, measures aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.
The FitnessGram® assessment was chosen as part of the assessment of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program because it:
- allows students to compare their scores with standards that have been identified for good health. This limits students from being compared to other students participating in the assessment.
- assesses the current fitness level of students and promotes individual goal setting, allowing students to take ownership of their health.
- does not assess skill nor athletic ability. Students who are regularly physically active (at least 60 minutes a day) should be able to achieve their health fitness goals.
Students in grades 4-6 will be assessed on the PACER (aerobic capacity test). Students in grades 7-12 will be assessed on the PACER, the curl-up, the push-up, and the back-saver sit-and-reach test.
Through our participation in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, your child will learn how to set goals, interpret fitness assessment results, and learn what they can do to improve their physical well-being.
If your child is in grades 4-12, you will receive an emailed copy of your student’s FitnessGram results and general information explaining the results. WDMCS believes that by providing you and your child this health-related information, you can guide and support your child in leading a healthy lifestyle.
All students enrolled in physical education (grades 4-12) will participate. For your child’s safety, it is important for him/her to wear athletic shoes and socks.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact your child’s Physical Education teacher. You may also wish to visit the program’s website, www.pyfp.org, for more details.
WDMCS está participando en el Programa Presidencial de Acondicionamiento Físico para Jóvenes – Prueba PACER
Como parte del programa de educación física en los grados 4-12, las Escuelas de la Comunidad de West Des Moines (WDMCS) están participando en el Programa Presidencial de Acondicionamiento Físico para Jóvenes – el programa nacional de educación y evaluación sobre el buen estado físico. Por medio de la participación en este programa, nos esforzamos para capacitar a los estudiantes para que estén en buena forma y sean activos todas sus vidas.
Como resultado de nuestra participación en el programa, los estudiantes participarán en la evaluación de la condición física relacionada con la salud FitnessGram®. Esta evaluación, diseñada para estudiantes en los grados 4-12, mide la capacidad aeróbica, la fuerza y resistencia muscular, y la flexibilidad.
La evaluación de la condición física relacionada con la salud FitnessGram® fue elegido como la evaluación del Programa Presidencial de Acondicionamiento Físico para Jóvenes porque:
- les permite a los estudiantes comparar sus puntajes con estándares que han sido identificados para una buena salud. Esto evita que los estudiantes sean comparados con otros estudiantes que participan en la evaluación.
- evalúa el nivel de condición física actual de los estudiantes y promueve el establecimiento de metas individuales, permitiéndoles a los estudiantes hacerse cargo de su propia salud.
- no evalúa destreza ni habilidad atlética. Los estudiantes que son regularmente activos físicamente (por lo menos 60 minutos al día) deben poder alcanzar sus objetivos de salud física.
Los estudiantes en los grados de 4 a 6 serán evaluados en el PACER (evaluación de capacidad aeróbica). Los estudiantes en los grados de 7 a 12 serán evaluados en el PACER, flexiones, abdominales y sentarse y alcanzar.
Por medio de nuestra participación en el Programa Presidencial de Acondicionamiento Físico para Jóvenes, su hijo(a) aprenderá cómo establecer metas, interpretar los resultados de las evaluaciones de acondicionamiento físico y aprender qué puede hacer para mejorar su bienestar físico.
Si su hijo(a) está en los grados 4-12, usted recibirá una copia por correo electrónico de los resultados de FitnessGram de él/ella e información general que explica los resultados. WDMCS cree que al proporcionarle a usted y a su hijo(a) esta información relacionada con la salud, usted puede guiar y ayudar a su hijo(a) a llevar un estilo de vida saludable.
Todos los estudiantes matriculados en educación física (grados 4-12) participarán. Para la seguridad de su hijo(a), es importante que él/ella use calzado deportivo y calcetines.
Si tiene alguna pregunta, siéntase en libertad de comunicarse con el/la maestro(a) de educación física de su hijo(a). También puede visitar el sitio web del programa, www.pyfp.org, para obtener más detalles.
- October 29, 2018
- October 29, 2018
The West Des Moines Community Schools is getting ready for winter weather and will be testing the notification system at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1. This system helps keep students and staff safe by providing notifications of inclement weather or emergency situation school closings.
The call will come from 515-633-5599 and is ONLY A TEST.
To make sure you receive the call:
- Have an Infinite Campus account. If you don’t have an account, call your school office.
- Once you have an Infinite Campus account, you may enter your preferred phone number in “Contact Preferences.”
Have questions or need assistance?
- Your school office can answer your questions or update your information.
- If you have an Infinite Campus account, you can also use these instructions to change your information in Infinite Campus.
To make sure you receive the call:
- Log in to your Infinite Campus account. If you have a district email account, then you have an Infinite Campus account.
- Enter your preferred number into Infinite Campus and review your Messenger Preferences.
If you are unsure about either of the above steps, follow these instructions.
- October 25, 2018