Due to severe weather conditions, all on-site WDMCS classes will transition to online Friday, Jan. 15.
Employees designated to report to work when schools are closed should do so according to established procedures.
For both online and on-site students, this announcement means:
- All classes that you would have attended at school will be held virtually. Bus transportation will not run due to safety concerns. ALL students will access instruction online.
- Log into Canvas for additional instructions.
- Elementary students: view sample schedule based on your grade (no related arts)
- Secondary students: view sample schedule based on your grade (morning classes; afternoon independent learning)
- Finals will still take place as scheduled. Teachers will communicate details to their students.
- No school-related evening activities will be held.
- Tiger Cubs will learn online. If you are a preschool parent in a non-district building, please contact that facility.
- Kids West child care is closed.
- No Community Education classes, activities, and programs will be held. This includes LEARNwest and Adventures classes, Kids West, and all facility use. All Community Education programs and services follow the decision of WDMCS for weather-related closings.
- No meals will be served. For updated menus, please check the district menu webpage at www.wdmcs.org/departments/nutrition/menu.
- No transportation services will be provided, including out-of-district services.
- The Learning Resource Center and Operations building will be open.
- (Note the following school-specific schedule updates:)
For WDMCS employees, this announcement means:
- The Learning Resource Center will be open.
- The Operations building will be open.
- Employees designated to report to work when schools are closed should do so according to established procedures.
Debido a las malas condiciones del tiempo, todas las clases en lugar de las Escuelas de la Comunidad de West Des Moines se llevarán a cabo en línea el viernes 15 de enero.
Si usted tiene a un/a niño/a en una escuela preescolar que no es del distrito, por favor póngase en contacto con esa escuela.
Los empleados designados a reportarse al trabajo cuando las escuelas están cerradas lo deben hacer de acuerdo a los procedimientos establecidos.
Nikhua a chiattuk caah, WDMCS mipum kaimi poh, online in Friday, Jan. 15 cu kai asi lai
- Sianginn building vialte khar a si lai.
- Online in kai dih a si lai
- Siangngakchia cu Chromebook hmangin Canvas ah luh a si lai, Online schedule zulh cio a si lai.
- Program dangdang a um lailo.
- Preschool class khar a si. Na fa hmun dangah preschool a kaimi a um ahcun a kainak sianginn kai le kailo hlat ding asi lai.
- Kids West khar asi.
- Sianginn rawl a um lai lo.
- Bus a um lai lo.
- January 14, 2021
Please note: This announcement originally published Oct. 16, 2020.
WDMCS is taking a different approach to “snow days” in 2020-21. If school cannot be held on-site due to inclement weather, we will transition for that day to online learning for ALL students.
Using this approach, developed as a COVID-19 precaution during return-to-learn planning, will prevent the district from having to add make-up days at the end of the year.
WILL SCHOOL START AT NORMAL TIME ON “SNOW DAYS”?
School will start at normal time for all students unless otherwise communicated.
WILL THIS IMPACT STUDENTS WHO ARE ALREADY LEARNING ONLINE?
This should not disrupt elementary students’ routines other than students will not have a scheduled time for related-arts classes. However, secondary students may have a shift in their schedule because they remote into their on-site classes. Students should log into the Student Canvas portal to review any directions their teachers provided.
HOW WILL WE FIND OUT ABOUT THE CHANGE?
As we have in previous years, the district will send out mass notifications to all WDMCS employees and families. This includes a voicemail, email, text, and WDMCS app notification. We also post changes to schedules on the WDMCS website and social media.
If you did not update your contact information when going through our annual enrollment process this summer, please log into Infinite Campus and make sure we have your current email and phone numbers.
WHAT IF MY STUDENT DOESN’T HAVE THEIR MATERIALS AT HOME?
Because we may not have much advance notice of bad weather, we encourage students to bring home their Chromebooks and other materials EVERY DAY. If the student does not have their materials on that day, the teacher will work with the student when classes resume at school to make up any missed work.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ON-SITE STUDENTS and TEACHERS?
Elementary students will follow a virtual schedule with some whole class virtual meetings and built-in breaks. Students will not have a scheduled time for related-arts classes.
Secondary students will follow the virtual block schedule. They can find this schedule on the WDMCS website. Students will log into Canvas to understand what tasks or learning will take place for each class. Walnut Creek students follow a seven-period day. They will also log into the Student Canvas portal for course-specific instructions.
Teachers have the option of working from their regular workspace in their building or from home. If they choose to work from home, they will need to make sure they have adequate materials and internet access.
WHAT ABOUT LATE STARTS OR EARLY DISMISSALS?
There will not be any changes to our processes from previous years if we need to start late or dismiss early due to weather or other emergencies.
We will continue to update families in the coming weeks.
- January 14, 2021
This coming Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Honoring the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy of justice and fairness, MLK Day is the only federal holiday also designated as a national day of service.
Volunteer organizations encourage us to think of MLK Day as “a day on, not a day off.” WDMCS students and families can engage in Dr. King’s legacy by volunteering locally over the weekend or on Mon., Jan. 18.
- January 14, 2021
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.
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.
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.
All juniors who wish to take the test must take it at school. This means both online and on-site students will come to Valley or Walnut Creek to take the test. Because sophomores and seniors will not be at school that day, appropriate social distancing can take place. Transportation is available for students who need bussing. To request bus transportation, please call the Transportation Department 515-633-4902, option 2 by Friday, February 19.
ACT Test Details
DATE: Wednesday, March 3, 2021
TIME: During regular school hours
LOCATIONS: Valley High School and Walnut Creek Campus
To learn more about resources available for your student to prepare for the ACT or to opt-out of this test, click the link below.
Seal of Biliteracy Assessment Details
Students in grades 10-12 who are not currently registered to take the ACT on March 3 will have an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in a world language and earn the Seal of Biliteracy. To participate in the March 3 assessment, please sign up with Mrs. Stacey Karnowski in the Valley Student Services Office by Friday, Feb. 19. You will need to share your first and last name, grade, student ID number, and which language you will be testing in.
- WHO: all WDMCS high school students who:
- Are not registered to take the ACT on March 3
- Are interested in demonstrating proficiency in Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish to earn the Seal of Biliteracy
- WHEN: assessments begin 8:30 a.m., March 3
- WHERE: Valley High School
- QUESTIONS? Contact English for Speakers of Other Languages Director Natalie French at email@example.com or 515-633-5173.
- January 13, 2021
After reassessing spectator capacity at each of our athletic venues following Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ latest proclamation that lifted fan restrictions at high school sporting events, the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) will implement the following guidelines for Valley winter sports starting Monday, Jan. 18.
- January 13, 2021
- January 4, 2021
Classes resume Tuesday, Jan. 5, for the West Des Moines Community Schools. Students who chose in-person/on-site learning will return to buildings, and online students will resume their learning from home. We look forward to seeing you in our physical and virtual classrooms again!
Please keep in mind the important role that family and community members play in keeping us in the in-person and hybrid models. Wearing face masks in public, practicing physical distancing, frequent and correct hand washing, minimizing your time out in public, limiting the number of people you interact with, and staying home when you are sick will all help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Questions about COVID-19?
Call 211. A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7.
PHOTOS: WDMCS On-Site Students Return to School
- December 31, 2020
Walnut Creek Campus officially accepted the Carrie Chapman Catt Award from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on Monday, Dec. 14, to begin the virtual WDMCS Board of Education regular business meeting.
Pate encouraged high schools across Iowa to conduct voter registration drives during the 2019-20 school year. Every school that registered at least 90 percent of its eligible students to vote qualified for an award. The award is named after Carrie Chapman Catt, an Iowan who was instrumental in securing passage of the 19th Amendment and granting women access to the ballot box 100 years ago.
“I can’t say enough how significant this is, and it compliments your school when you look at the hundreds of school districts across the state,” Secretary Pate said during the award presentation. “When we launched this effort, we clearly wanted to bring our young people into the process of our democracy and we were very pleased with this first year.”
Enjoyed presenting the Carrie Chapman Catt Award virtually to Walnut Creek Campus this week. They registered 94% of eligible students to vote last school year. Well done @WDMCS! #BeAVoter pic.twitter.com/VPUUnxUPlu
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) December 16, 2020
Walnut Creek Campus was one of 18 Iowa high schools to receive the honor. In fact, Walnut Creek Campus was one of nine schools to have qualified for the award leading up to a statewide high school voter registration day in March.
Walnut Creek Campus Principal Kim Davis, Ed.D., alongside teachers Alexander Hammer and Ted Van Deventer and counselor Leah Lingren, accepted the award in a virtual “hand-off” over Zoom. Davis and Hammer thanked Secretary Pate for the opportunity to engage Walnut Creek Campus students.
“We have our Portrait of a Graduate at West Des Moines and being a citizen who feels like they’re actively engaged and prepared to be part of the community is what we’re trying to do here,” Hammer said. “Having this as a goal to work toward with my senior class last year was really a fruitful endeavor. The most satisfying part was getting feedback from students about how they participated in the Iowa Caucuses or how they voted in November — and voted across the political spectrum, which makes me feel like I’m doing my job as well.”
Congratulations, Walnut Creek Campus!
- December 15, 2020
In a communication shared earlier this week, we explained how the WDMCS Board of Education approved giving Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D., authority to determine if students will return to in-person/on-site learning before winter break.
WDMCS leadership considered several factors when making a final decision, including how COVID-19 is currently impacting our community and district. Most importantly, we valued the voices of students, families, and staff, many of whom shared their experiences this school year.
We recognize the constant hurdles and adjustments you continue to make to keep student success at the forefront. Your commitment to our students’ educational and life journeys is what makes WDMCS a special place to be, and we are thankful for the flexibility and grace our students, families, and staff have shown during this global health pandemic.
It takes all of us, just like it takes all of us to limit the spread of COVID-19. Ultimately, we determined keeping students online until winter break is the safest choice.
When does school resume after winter break?
School resumes Tuesday, Jan. 5. Students who chose in-person/on-site learning will return to buildings and online students will resume their learning from home.
Can practices still resume over winter break?
Even though students will not return until Tuesday, Jan. 5, co-curricular activities, extracurricular activities, and athletics will be able to resume practice over winter break. COVID-19 safety guidelines must be followed. Practices will resume Tuesday, Dec. 22.
The waiver only went through Monday, Dec. 21. What about Tuesday, Dec. 22?
At the next Board of Education meeting on Monday, Dec. 14, WDMCS will recommend that the Thursday, March 11, workday be moved to Tuesday, Dec. 22. This would prevent the need to add a school day at the end of the year.
What about facility rentals?
Facility rentals will be allowed starting Saturday, Dec. 26.
Please keep in mind the important role that our family and community members play in keeping us in the in-person and hybrid models. Wearing face masks in public, practicing physical distancing, frequent and correct hand washing, minimizing your time out in public, limiting the number of people you interact with, and staying home when you are sick will all help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Questions about COVID-19? Call 211. A public hotline has been established for Iowans with questions about COVID-19. The line is available 24/7.
- December 10, 2020