West Des Moines Community Schools | April 17, 2020

WDMCS Canceled Remainder of 2019-20 School Year

In a news conference Friday, April 17, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa K-12 public schools would be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. She explained the extended closure was necessary to protect the well-being of students, staff, families, and the broader community. It was also announced Friday that high school sports spring seasons are canceled. Summer sports seasons are still being assessed by state officials.

WDMCS shared in an April 9 communication that in light of the current school closure, we would provide voluntary educational enrichment opportunities for our students. This was one of three options the Iowa Department of Education provided to districts.

Although this plan was initially created to support student learning through April 30, we will extend the plan through the end of the school year. Elementary teachers will continue to provide weekly learning opportunities to K-6 students, and secondary teachers will engage students in course-specific learning opportunities through Canvas.

Now that we know students will not return to school this academic year, WDMCS leadership will follow additional guidance from the Governor's office and the Iowa Department of Education related to the closure, summer programming, etc., and will prioritize:

  • Pick-up of personal items from the school buildings. Each building will send more information coordinating pick-up to families soon
  • Senior celebrations, including graduation, Honors Night, National Honor Society induction, and athletics recognition
  • Impact of other events scheduled in the coming weeks
  • Summer academic opportunities, including Stretching Minds and Summer Enrichment Adventures
  • Summer athletics, activities, and camps
  • 2020-21 academic year impact, including tryouts for fall activities and back-to-school activities that begin in early August

Thank you for your patience as we work through these priorities to support our students through the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we can’t be together physically, please know that we are thinking of each WDMCS student, family, and staff member. You are important to us, and we will continue to connect with and support you virtually. We are WDMCS!

K-6 Pupil Progress Report Changes Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all of us, and we know your student’s current school year is one of your concerns. As we consider the academic outcomes for our students, we are working diligently to provide the best at-home learning opportunities for students while limiting harmful impacts from this unprecedented situation.

As a result, we have new Pupil Progress Report (PPR) information to share for our elementary students. For this spring’s third trimester, PPR statements for all students in grades PK-5 will be left blank with comments added to provide feedback on work completed prior to school closure. Sixth-grade student’s PPR statements will be marked with a Pass. Most importantly, all students will continue to the next grade level for the 2020-2021 school year. We believe this plan provides the best support and considerations unique to each personal circumstance.

What does this mean?

  • In the fall, teachers will assess each student’s learning through a variety of methods including informal observation, discussing with other staff supporting the student, screening assessments, and formal assessments.
  • Teachers will also collaborate with the previous year’s teachers and reflect upon each student’s learning from the previous year to create an optimal instructional plan.
  • WDMCS will provide time for our teacher teams to reflect on student data to ensure they are delivering instruction that meets the needs of every unique learner in the system.
  • Teachers will work to ensure learning continues for all students.

We encourage your student to participate in the weekly voluntary continuous learning plans. These learning plans are intended to provide more detailed support as you engage in optional, continued learning at home. In selecting activities, consider what would be best for your schedule and students.

If you have questions, please contact your student’s teacher. Thank you for your dedication and support to your student’s learning during this difficult time.

View WDMCS Parking Lot Wifi Spots

Families who need wifi access to support student learning can park outside WDMCS buildings. Click to view parking lot locations.

Secondary Grading Options Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all of us, and we know your student’s current school year is one of your concerns. As we consider the academic outcomes for our students, we are working diligently to provide the best at-home learning opportunities for students while limiting harmful impacts from this unprecedented situation.

As a result, we have new grading information to share for our students in grades 7-12. For the spring semester, students will receive Pass (P) or No Mark (NM) grades for each course unless they ask for a letter grade.

Secondary Grading: Pass versus No Mark FAQs

Q. What does Pass (P) versus No Mark (NM) mean?
. All students will receive a default grade of a Pass (P) or No Mark (NM). This grade will be based on content delivered from Jan. 14-March 12, the second-semester dates students attended school prior to school closure. Students with a course letter grade of D or better will receive a P. Students with an F letter grade will receive a NM.

Students are encouraged to reassess and turn in other work assigned prior to spring break. These reassessments and work will be applied to the P/NM or grade equivalent. Letter grade calculations will resume if/when school reopens.

Q. Can a student choose between the grading options (Pass/No Mark and letter grades) for each course individually?
Yes. Students and parents should log in to Canvas to understand their current letter grade in the course, and then work with either their teacher or counselor to determine the best choice. As a reminder, students can still turn in work or complete any reassessments assigned prior to school closure. This could impact the course grade if the student elects for a letter grade instead of P/NM.

Q. What if I do not know which option is best for me?
Students should consider the pros and cons of their situation. Families may want to research the colleges, universities, or other postsecondary paths they want to take to learn about any requirements that may impact their choices. Another great resource is the student’s guidance counselor.

Q. How do I request a letter grade instead of P/NM?
Students should communicate this request to their classroom teacher(s) between Monday, April 20 and Thursday, May 28.

Q. How does P/NM impact my GPA and graduation credits?
Students earning a P will receive credit towards graduation, even for courses required to graduate. Students earning an NM will not receive credit toward graduation and will be required to repeat any courses required for graduation. P/NM has no impact on a student's GPA calculation. View graduation requirements.

Q. Will a P/NM impact admissions into colleges or universities?
At this time, the vast majority of colleges and universities have indicated that student enrollment will not be negatively impacted by school districts moving to alternative grade reporting systems during this spring semester. Please reach out to the universities/colleges you are considering to confirm their guidelines.

Q. Will a P/NM impact my high school athletic eligibility?
No. High school students must maintain 4.5 credits/semester during the 2020 spring semester to remain eligible.

Q. Will a P/NM impact my college athletic eligibility?
At this point, the NCAA Eligibility Center indicated grading changes made to support students during this time will be honored and will not adversely impact student eligibility. Students should contact the universities/colleges they are considering to confirm guidelines. For updates from the NCAA, please visit NCAA Coronavirus (COVID-19) and NCAA Q&A.

Q. Can I select P/NM for my AP classes and still be eligible for honors and/or scholars designations?
Yes. Honors and scholars students are still required to complete their exhibition/capstone experience. They are encouraged to communicate with their advisor/mentor to explore possibilities to fulfill these expectations.

Q. Will P/NM impact meeting course prerequisites for the 2020-21 school year?
No. As long as the student receives a Pass or minimum of a D, they have met the prerequisite requirement. Student participation in voluntary educational opportunities is highly encouraged to support student preparedness for future courses with prerequisites.

Q. If I stick with P/NM, what will it look like on my transcript?

sample transcript

Q. Can I still withdraw from a class?

A. Yes. The opportunity to withdraw from classes has been extended through May 1. Students should contact their guidance counselor to make this request.

These FAQs will be added to the Coronavirus Family FAQs section of the WDMCS website. Please contact your student’s guidance counselor with specific questions.

Required Immunizations Update from WDMCS Nurses

WDMCS nurses recognize many families may have had physicals rescheduled or experienced other limitations when making appointments with their healthcare providers due to COVID-19. Families should contact their individual healthcare provider to determine the best time to schedule an appointment for the required immunizations prior to the 2020-21 school year.

By Iowa law, all students entering or transferring into seventh grade and born after Sept. 15, 2004, are required to show documentation of having received the meningococcal vaccine after the age of 10. All students entering or transferring into 12th grade and born after Sept. 15, 1999, will need to show documentation of two doses of the meningococcal vaccine or one dose if received when the child was age 16 or older.

Meningococcal disease is a very serious, potentially life-threatening disease. The meningococcal vaccine is 85-100% effective at preventing infection from the subtypes of meningococcus found in the vaccine. Please check your child’s immunization records. By law, if your seventh-or 12th-grader is not fully immunized for meningitis, they will not be allowed to attend school or participate in sports and school-related activities at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. If they have not had the required vaccine, please set up an appointment with their doctor to get their vaccines up to date before the 2020-21 school year.

WDMCS nurses are available for all of our families, and can be reached by email. If you have questions regarding your child’s health or immunizations, please reach out and we are available to assist you.

Student Chromebook Tech Support

If students have any problems with their Chromebook during the coronavirus/COVID-19 closure, please fill out the form below. If our technicians can repair the device remotely, we will contact you to coordinate details.

If the technicians determine the Chromebook cannot be repaired remotely, we will schedule a time for you to drop off your device to the Learning Resource Center and receive a replacement device.

Steps for Support

  1. Complete Form - https://discover.wdmcs.org/Chromebook-tech-request
    If you are unable to fill out this form, please call 515-633-5100.
  2. You will be contacted by a member of the Tech. Department within two business days.
  3. If we are unable to fix the Chromebook issue remotely, we will schedule a specific time for you to stop by the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Pkwy.
    You must be on time for your appointment, as we are limiting the number of people who can enter the building.
    Please bring your Chromebook and charger with you.
  4. Because of this process, you may not receive your original Chromebook back after repair. If you have any decals on your Chromebook that you want to keep, please remove them before turning in your device.
COVID-19/Coronavirus Information

This page is intended to be a source of information about COVID-19 and provide links to the most updated information on how it is impacting our WDMCS community.

West Des Moines Community Schools

We understand a students’ education is an important part of their life journey, and we are committed to their success. At WDMCS, students will gain knowledge and develop skills to prepare them for life. The excellent opportunities we offer enable students to explore their interests and achieve their potential because we believe every student can find their place in the WDMCS.