West Des Moines Community Schools | Sept. 3, 2020

Welcome to a Four-Day Weekend, Families!

COVID-19 Message From Valley Student-Athletes

Deadline Friday, Sept. 4 for Families to Choose Online

The deadline for families to choose to transition their student from on-site to online is Friday, Sept. 4 by 3 p.m. Families should contact their student’s school if they wish to change to online for the remainder of the semester (through Friday, Jan. 15.)

To help families make the most informed decisions, we shared through an email to families and staff as well as a news post the most up-to-date information on positive COVID-19 cases within West Des Moines Community Schools as well as data on the number of students and/or staff who have been in close contact and are now quarantined. (Close contact is defined by the CDC as within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, regardless of personal protective equipment.)

If you choose to transition your student to online learning through Friday, Jan. 15, please follow these steps based on if you have an elementary or secondary student.


  • Please contact your student’s school by 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4.

  • The transition from on-site to online WILL NOT be immediate. Some staff may need to be reassigned based on the number of students transitioning from on-site to online. New grade-specific sections may need to be created which could take a few school days to coordinate. Building administrators will communicate with you a start date for online.

  • If you do not wish for your student to return to school Tuesday, Sept. 8, they will continue their learning through ongoing communication with their current on-site teacher at home until they are assigned an online teacher.


  • Please contact your student’s school by 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4.

  • The transition from on-site to online WILL be immediate. Students can access Canvas for instructions on how to log in online to a course.

  • Students will be working with the same teacher online as they did on-site.

WDMCS COVID-19 Dashboard Launches Sept. 8

Beginning the week of Sept. 8, WDMCS will post daily updates of the following COVID-19 data:

  • The number of any NEW confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, by school, for students.
  • The number of any NEW confirmed "close contact" students who need to quarantine in consultation with the Polk County Health Department.
  • The number of any NEW confirmed positive COVID-19 cases of staff, broken down into three categories: elementary, secondary, other.
  • The number of any NEW confirmed "close contact" staff who need to quarantine in consultation with the Polk County Health Department. The same three categories will be used to differentiate staff roles.

The dashboard will show daily NEW cases so users can track over time the number of total cases district-wide throughout the semester.

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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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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 scroffice@wdmcs.org.

View app tutorials on our YouTube Channel >

Need A Refresher? View Previous Newsletters

  • Friday, Aug. 28: Photos, stories from first week of school, new COVID-19 exposure flowchart, student placements online through Sept. 4.
  • 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