District Safety Committee & More

SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE

District Safety Committee

Indian Hills Junior High Principal Shane Christensen has been appointed and accepted the role as the District Crisis Response Manager, which is in addition to his duties as principal.  Shane has sent out reminders to all buildings regarding tasks to be completed at the beginning of the school year including setting dates and times for tornado, fire and other drills.  The district has added a new piece to the emergency plan called ELF (Evacuate, Lockdown, Fight).  Each building will review the information with staff and run practice drills.  The district safety committee met on August 29th and reviewed the steps taken to date regarding building walk-throughs, emergency plans and emergency supply inventory. The group will begin reviewing and updating the current crisis plan and procedures, flip charts and staff training plan.  This work will be ongoing throughout the school year.

BOARD SECRETARY/COMMUNICATIONS

Annual Meeting & Organizational Meeting Sept. 23

Please remember that the Board’s annual meeting and organizational meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 23. The annual meeting will be held first. During the annual meeting, the Board will be asked to approve the Abstract of Votes for the regular school election to be held Sept. 10 and the Treasurer’s Report for June 30, 2013. During the organizational meeting the Board members elected or re-elected during the Sept. 10 election will take the oath of office. The Board will also elect its President and Vice President for a one-year term.

Upcoming Board Meetings

  • September 9  (No workshop) Regular Meeting (7 p.m.) (WCC)
  • September 23 (No workshop) Annual Meeting & Organizational Meeting (7 p.m.) (WCC)
  • October 14  Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.) LRC
  • October 28  Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.) LRC
  • November 11 Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.) LRC
  • November 25 Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.) LRC

BUSINESS OFFICE/FACILITIES

Stilwell Odor Mitigation Costs

At a previous School Board meeting, Board members inquired as to the total amount of money the district has paid in an effort to cease the grease interceptor odors at Stilwell.  At the most recent Superintendent’s Facility and Finance Advisory Committee meeting, we reported that as of August 14, 2013, the district has already paid $165,403 with an estimated amount yet to pay of $13,975.  Since then, we have paid $195,660 with an estimated remaining amount due of $2,280 for a total cost of $197,940. We still have yet to receive invoices from three vendors for work performed.  Thus, our costs will exceed $197,940.  All of this amount, except for approximately $1,220 has been paid from the sales tax fund with the $1,220 being paid from the general fund.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Teacher Leadership and Compensation Committee Members Selected

The members of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Committee have been chosen.  There are teachers, administrators and community members serving on this representative committee. The committee will work this fall to develop a planning grant for Teacher Leadership Compensation. The Governor has included this as an aspect of the Education Reform law in Iowa.

Bullying Prevention Presentation Set for October 13-14, 2013

Plans are being made for the renowned author and bullying prevention speaker Rosalind Wiseman to speak to our community Sunday evening, October 13, 2013, and to the West Des Moines Community Schools staff Monday, October 14, 2013.  Both presentations will be held at Valley Community Center, 4444 Fuller Road in West Des Moines.  Wiseman’s book Queen Bees and Wannabes was the impetus for the movie Mean Girls.  Her books will be available for purchase at the presentation, and Ms. Wiseman will sign books for a specific period of time following her presentations.

TEACHING & LEARNING SERVICES (TLS)

New Teacher Orientation

Members of the TLS department facilitated professional development and curriculum and assessment learning sessions during the District New Teacher Orientation August 9-14, 2013.  Sessions included technology training for all new teachers and an overview of the Iowa Common Core and implementation of the Core standards in the classroom.  Additionally, new elementary teachers were provided training on the new reading system, assessment training and professional development in the use of the Everyday Mathematics materials. New secondary level teachers were also provided professional development  by teacher leaders on Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW).

Schools In Need of Assistance (SINA) Update

The Iowa Department of Education is providing further guidance on the development of SINA plans; particularly for schools that are Year 3 (Corrective Action) and Year 4 (Restructuring).  Crestview Elementary and Clive Elementary are Year 3 SINA schools and Hillside Elementary is a Year 4 SINA school.  Heartland AEA scheduled an overview session last week that was attended by Shane Scott, Laurene Lanich and Jerry Gruba (AEA).  The session was informative and the AEA has scheduled additional sessions for building principals to attend throughout the school year.  Superintendency met with Hillside building leadership on Friday to share the new guidance and to continue to work on the draft Hillside SINA restructuring plan.  SINA plans are due to the state on November 1, 2013.

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