This is WDMCS

West Des Moines Community Schools | Aug. 28, 2020

We hope you had a great first two days of school, WDMCS students and families! Check out our coverage of the first day of school below:

Polk County Health School COVID-19 Resources

Explore school-focused COVID-19 resources from the Polk County Health Department. WDMCS collaborates with Polk County Health Department for contact tracing and other COVID-19 guidance.

Elementary Face Coverings Clarification

West Des Moines Community Schools is providing face shields for PK-6 students to wear while at school. Students can wear the face shield, a face mask, another face covering from home, or both. Face shields will be kept at school, so elementary students will need a face covering from home to wear while entering and exiting the building and riding the bus.

As a reminder, face coverings are required for all on-site students and staff. “Face coverings” includes face masks, face shields, and neck gaiters made of appropriate material to help protect against COVID-19.

Face coverings will also be worn at P.E., recess, and other active times—unless social distancing is possible.

WDMCS will provide face coverings to students or staff who need them.

Read more about the face covering requirement >

New COVID-19 Exposure Flowchart

Staff and student safety has always been a top priority for WDMCS, and we are being extra vigilant this year in the face of COVID-19. Steps we're taking to protect students, staff, and families include:

  • Daily wellness checks before school

  • Daily staff wellness check-ins at school

  • Closely monitoring potential and confirmed exposures to COVID-19

Please review the COVID-19 exposure flowchart, with links to WDMCS and CDC guidelines.

Remember, we use the CDC definition of close contact—within 6 ft of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes, regardless of face coverings or other personal protective equipment.

If you think you have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or that you have COVID-19:

  • Contact your principal and school nurse as soon as possible.

  • Include specifics related to your case, referencing the exposure document.

  • Share any updates with your principal and school nurse.

We appreciate the partnership of our WDMCS families as we work together to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are here to support you and encourage you to use the resources available to you through WDMCS at this time.

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Student Placements Ongoing Through Sept. 4

Under the district's Hybrid Option 2 plan, families chose between online or on-site learning for each child. Both on-site and online class placements depend on the number of students that chose online and on-site learning.

Please keep in mind: Families can choose to move from on-site to online instruction through Sept. 4. We are working to accommodate families’ requests to move to an online classroom through Sept. 4. Depending on numbers, please know this could impact both in-person and online placements and rosters.

This work will be ongoing as numbers shift, but we will continue working hard to keep you and our data updated.

View/Print Our Calendar at a Glance

The calendar at a glance is available in Arabic, Bosnian, English, Hakha Chin, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

FASTEST Updates on WDMCS App

We send important updates to families through email, phone, text, and smartphone app posts. Because of the volume of recipients, some email and text notifications are delayed.

The WDMCS app is the FASTEST way to get the most up-to-date communication about the coronavirus and any other relevant information for families from WDMCS.

To download the free app, go to Google Play or the App Store on your phone and look up "West Des Moines Community Schools."

Questions? Email

View app tutorials on our YouTube Channel >

WDMCS Solutions to Lunch Delays

This is a review of the same information shared Thursday night.

District administrators and principals collaborated Thursday to develop new lunch processes for the rest of the semester.

Moving forward, WDMCS will use the following lunch processes:


  • Teachers will collect orders from students in the morning on a paper roster.

    • Students will be able to choose between a hot lunch option (changes daily), a turkey sub sandwich, and yogurt with granola and string cheese.

    • Students can also choose a type of milk.

  • The paper roster will be returned to Nutrition Services in the morning.

  • Nutrition Services will deliver meals to classrooms before their lunch times.

    • All ordered meals will include a fruit, vegetable, and choice of milk. Additional cold veggies will be delivered separately to classrooms for students to choose from.

  • Nutrition Services will also use the paper rosters to assess meals fees. Any changes to orders will be communicated by teachers to Nutrition Services so families are not charged for a meal their student did not eat.


  • Students will NOT preorder lunch using a Google form.

  • Instead, students will choose lunch items as they go through the serving lines.

  • Students will indicate which items they would like to a Nutrition Services worker who will collect the items in a bag or box for that student.

  • Students will check out by showing or telling a Nutrition Services worker at the cash register their student ID number.

  • Where students are served will vary by school:

    • Indian Hills students will be served in the cafeteria with staggered times to keep lines limited.

    • Stilwell will serve students at the same lunch stations as today, but all options will be available at all stations. Lunch times and stations will be based on Tiger Time.

    • Southwoods students will enter the cafeteria and sit socially distanced. Then, Southwoods staff will dismiss them a row at a time to be served at stations.

    • Valley students will enter the cafeteria and sit socially distanced. Then, Valley staff will dismiss them in small groups to be served in the cafeteria serving area. Valley will NOT use the lunch stations used today.

    • Walnut Creek Campus students will enter the cafeteria, be served in line, and sit socially distanced.

We will continue to keep you informed about any changes to our processes and schedules, and we appreciate your patience and your partnership as we navigate our new learning environments.

Need A Refresher? View Previous Newsletters

  • Friday, Aug. 21: WDMCS visions for 2020-21 video, teacher assignment update, bus info., new health guidelines, Nutrition updates, Canvas help, and helping kids adjust to face coverings.
  • 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.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck


Alexandra Wade


Aaron Young