Booster Pak Appreciation
On April 28 at 1:30 p.m. people gathered to show their appreciation for the numerous volunteers who give of their time to make Booster Pak a success. Melanie Menken thanked those in attendance for their service to our students. As we all know, proper nutrition helps our students achieve at higher levels. This program is truly a gift to our students. Thank you to Melanie and to those who support our students.
Strategic Plan Meetings
The strategic plan meetings have been going very well. Most staff are very excited to see what is in the plan and the proposed direction. Teachers are thankful to get the opportunity to give input into the plan. I will continue to meet with buildings throughout the month of May. Here is one comment from a teacher after my presentation: “I wanted to say thank you as a parent in WDM and teacher for the vision you laid out yesterday in the Strategic Plan. I’m figuring those of us who are a part of the TL Team will be putting this into action but I wanted to say how much I personally appreciate the direction of the district based off the vision laid out in your presentation. Count me in for helping the plan become a reality in any way, thanks again!”
Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5th-9th is teacher appreciation week. A great big thank you to our West Des Moines Community School District teachers for their continued dedication to excellence and our students. Thank you for giving of your talents and expertise. There are few other professionals who touch as many lives as teachers do. Teachers are role models for young people. Teaching is a very satisfying profession that brings with it a lot of responsibility. As Horace Mann said, “Teachers teach because they care. Teaching young people is what they do best. It requires long hours, patience, and care.”
Teachers collaborate with many others to make schools the best they can be for our students. They work with students, parents, administrators, other teachers, community members and so many more. Teachers make it a point to share highlights of learning with those involved.
Teachers are advocates for students. They set high standards for students. They bring resources into the classroom to make learning come to life. Teachers are evaluating student work and preparing students for their next step. Dan Rather once said, “The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”
Teachers show us each day what it means to turn passion into life’s work. To charge each student with the task of making tomorrow better without having the right answers. Teachers never stop looking for new ways to connect with students and inspire motivation. All students need a champion and a teacher can be that person for students.
Thank you once again for giving of your talents to prepare students for their life’s journey.
Annual Staff Recognition Reception May 8
For more than 30 years, the community-based Staff Recognition Committee has organized a celebration to honor the West Des Moines School District retirees and staff with 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of service. This year a record number of more than 160 teachers and staff will be honored at a reception on Thursday, May 8 from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Hy-Vee Conference Center, 5820 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. The citizens organizing the event are Stephanie Burnett, Tammy Cline, Amy Kuennen, Christa Kuennen, Teresa McLaughlin, Karla Simon and Joan Skoog.
- Years of Service Honoree/Retiree List>> http://bit.ly/StaffRecognition
WDMCS Retiree Luncheon May 8
This year’s Retiree Luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 8 at the Nature Lodge at Raccoon River Park, beginning at 12:00 noon.
Walnut Creek Campus: Thursday, May 22, Valley Community Center, 7 p.m.
- Address/Map: 4444 Fuller Road, WDM; http://valleycommunitycenterdm.com/map.html
- Please arrive at the location 15 minutes early to get a seat
- There will be a designated area for Board members to sit
- Staff members will be on hand to assist you in finding your designated area
- Dr. Kim Davis will introduce the Board members during the ceremony
- Members will stand where they are sitting for this introduction
Valley High School: Sunday, May 25, Drake Knapp Center, 1 p.m.
- Valley administration is currently reviewing and updating instructions from last year for the Board. These will be provided in a separate email as soon as they are available.
- Clive: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/clive/newsletters/
- Crestview: http://schools.wdmcs.org/crestview/newsletter.htm Updated!
- Crossroads: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/crossroads-park/newsletters/
- Fairmeadows: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/fairmeadows/newsletters/
- Hillside: http://schools.wdmcs.org/hillside/newsletter.htm
- Jordan Creek: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/jordancreek/newsletters/ Updated!
- Phenix: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/phenix/newsletters/
- Western Hills: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/western-hills/newsletters/
- Westridge: http://www.wdmcs.org/schools/westridge/newsletter/ Updated!
- Indian Hills: http://schools.wdmcs.org/indian_hills/newsletter.htm Updated!
- Stilwell: http://schools.wdmcs.org/stilwell/newsletter.htm Updated!
- Valley Southwoods: http://schools.wdmcs.org/southwoods/newsletter.htm
- Valley: http://schools.wdmcs.org/valley/newsletter.htm
Check Your Calendar! Upcoming Board Meetings
- May 12, 2014: Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.), Learning Resource Center
- June 9, 2014: Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.), Learning Resource Center
- June 23, 2014: Regular Meeting (7 p.m.), Learning Resource Center
- TENTATIVE – July 14, 2014: Workshop (5:15 p.m.) & Regular Meeting (7 p.m.), Learning Resource Center
Next year’s Board meeting calendar will be up for review and approval by the Board on Monday, May 12.
Teacher Leader Positions, Substitute Appreciation and More!
We continue to make great progress in the selection of individuals for teacher leader roles in our district.
We held our Substitute Appreciation Tea this past week at the LRC. Several substitutes were able to stop by, enjoy refreshments and share with us. We are grateful for the quality substitutes we have for our students in West Des Moines.
Thursday we have the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our district retirees and staff members who continue to serve our district and honor their longevity. Thanks goes to those staff and community members who give so much time and energy to make these events special.
TEACHING & LEARNING SERVICES (TLS)
2013-14 World of Choices
Every year the West Des Moines Community School District Extended Learning Department puts on a career awareness event called the “World of Choices”, for the ELP students in fifth and sixth grade. World of Choices on April 21, 2014 was a hit! The students experienced a wonderful morning of learning. We invited a variety of professionals to share their talents. Speakers included an anesthesiologist, artist, author, chef, chemist, computer programmer, mechanical engineer, photographer, veterinarian and a zoologist. In addition, we had a master’s degree student present on spaceflight operations and students from Central Campus present their classwork on marine biology. We were able to meet the diverse interests of our students. All students left with an understanding of possible career opportunities available to them in the future.
United Way Spring Family Literacy Nights
Three Family Literacy Nights were held over the last two weeks as part of the United Way Grant that Clive, Crestview, Hillside and Phenix Elementary schools received this year. Approximately 50 children and their families attended the events. A representative from Clive and Urbandale Public Libraries came to the Family Nights in order to share information about summer library activities available to families and to assist families in signing up for a library card. At the end of each of the evenings parents were asked to complete a brief survey about supporting literacy to their children at home. Additionally every child who attended the Family Nights received up to three books to keep and read at home.