West Des Moines Community Schools | Aug. 21, 2020

Watch Video of Staff, Parent, Student Visions for 2020-21

2020 21 WDMCS Message: Envision What's Possible
Aug. 27 first day of school graphic

Who’s Teaching My Student's Class?

We already know this school year will be unlike any other, but we’re confident that whether your student is learning online this semester or attending class at school, your student will get to know their teachers.

Online Teacher Information

Because over 25% of our elementary families have chosen to participate online, students from more than one school will learn together in a shared online class experience. Your student will get to connect with students from across the district who are also learning online, but will all have the same “online teacher.” Elementary families should receive an email Friday, Aug. 21, with the name of their student’s teacher.

When a teacher is ill or on leave, your student will have a substitute teacher to support continued instruction.

On-Site Teacher Information

We know that based on the COVID-19 positivity rate and/or cases specifically in your student’s building or class, your student may need to transition between online and on-site instruction. When a teacher is ill or on leave, your student will have a substitute teacher. However, if the teacher is quarantined but able to teach, they may provide instruction remotely while students remain in the classroom. A staff member or substitute will be present to provide additional on-site support and supervision.

Regardless of where your student learns this fall, please be reassured that your student’s teachers are eager to connect and build positive relationships. They miss seeing your student’s smile each day and can’t wait for the first day of school!

All WDMCS Students to Use Canvas

Canvas is West Des Moines Community Schools’ official learning management system. A learning management system is a software that helps provide, track, and report on classes and assignments. Canvas provides parents and students with greater access to their curriculum and learning by housing important student curricular expectations and information. This could include their online textbook, links to resources, homework, videos, assessments, online discussions, and so much more.

To better support students, both in our classroom and learning online during this pandemic, all WDMCS students will be using Canvas to access and submit work, important resources, receive feedback, communicate with teachers, collaborate with peers, and take more ownership of their learning.

Your students' teachers will communicate more details about how they are utilizing Canvas in their course and how you can connect with your student.

Access More Canvas Information >

WHO TV 13 Interviews Valley Students: Racial Equity in Schools

WHO 13’s Jodi Long spoke with two minority students, Cynthia Gonazalez and Gracy Paye, of Valley High School in West Des Moines about their school life and what they witness with their peers.

View full story and video >

PTO Safety Kit Sale

Be sure to purchase official WDMCS branded youth masks, adult masks, water bottles, and sanitizer clips - sold individually, in Mask Packs and Safety Bundles for more savings!

Important Nutrition Updates

8 Ways to Help Kids Adjust to Face Masks

UnityPoint Health article with provides helpful tips.

West Des Moines Library Closed 10 Days for Next Phase of Renovation

The West Des Moines Public Library, 4000 Mills Civic Parkway, will be closed from Monday, Aug. 31, through Wednesday, Sept. 9. The library will reopen on Thursday, Sept. 10. Due to the disruption, the library will not be offering curbside services during the closure.

Library construction has been underway since late October, and the project is slated to be complete in the spring of 2021. Learn more at www.wdmlibrary.org/renovation.

Need A Refresher? View Previous Newsletters

  • Friday, Aug. 14: WDMCS Hires new executive director of equity, inclusion, and diversity, transitioning between online and at-school, COVID-19 exposure guidance for students, staff.
  • Friday, Aug. 7: video that answers Return-to-Learn questions, percentages of families choosing online versus on-site, Board of Education vote on delay to start date.
  • Friday, July 30: How WDMCS can safely reopen, updated guidance from Iowa health, education experts, Return-to-Learn percentages.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck


Alexandra Wade



Aaron Young