West Des Moines Community Schools | Aug. 7, 2020

Confused About Return-to-Learn? Watch This Three-Minute Video

Answering Your Return-to-Learn Questions

Please Note: Even though the WDMCS Board of Education approved Hybrid Option 2, we will continue to be flexible and responsive based on the most current guidance from local, state, and/or national health experts. If WDMCS needs to begin the school year with all students learning online, we will communicate this change to staff, students, families, and our broader community.

Three-Quarters of Students To Learn At School This Fall

We gave our WDMCS families the choice between having their students learn at school or online this fall. The final count indicated that 76% of our students will return to school this fall, wearing face coverings and following other safety protocol; 24% will learn online at home.

Whether you chose at school or online, our teachers and staff are working hard to prepare for a great year ahead. While this is an incredibly stressful time, we encourage you to remain positive around your students and encourage them as they take on this new school year. Together, we can make the 2020-21 school year hope-filled and filled with positive experiences.

Percentage on On-Site vs. Online By Grade

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Percentage of On-Site vs. Online By School

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View Summary of Online/On-Site Percentages

View demographics by grade, school, race, and other demographics.

Indian Hills, Stilwell to Use Block Scheduling

Both Indian Hills and Stilwell junior high schools will be using a block schedule for the 2020-21 school year. This schedule will help:

  • reduce transitions during the day,
  • reduce exposure with the number of students during a day,
  • lessen the number of classes online students would join each day, and
  • follow best practices for online and virtual learning.

Classes that would typically meet every day will be scheduled for full block periods, while classes that would typically meet every other day will meet for half of each block period with a shortened passing period between. For example, a student may start the Period 2 block in math resource, then pass halfway through to P.E. An every day Period 2 class would stay in that class for the whole Period 2 block.

See the Junior High Block Schedule (PDF) >

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Potential Delay to Aug. 26 Start Date

The WDMCS Board of Education may consider a vote on Monday, Aug. 10, to a proposed delay to the first day of school.

New Proposed First Day of School: Thursday, Aug. 27

No School: Wednesday, Aug. 26, Friday, Sept. 4, and Monday, Sept. 14

This shift is to add three additional professional development support days for teachers. We understand teachers are being asked to take on a lot of changes to their learning environments and how they may need to instruct students based on whether they are learning at school or online. These additional days will give teachers and staff time to plan and gain new knowledge to support students this year.

The 2020-21 school year looks a little different, but don’t worry: We’ve got you covered!

Find a favorite Tigers-branded mask, hand sanitizer clip, or water bottle AND support your school through the Tigers Together Safety Sale! Now through Friday, August 14, you can pre-order Tigers safety items individually or save money with a Safety Bundle or Mask Pack, with your purchases directly supporting your favorite Tiger community.

Pre-order now through Aug. 14, and your order will ship shortly after!

Find Your School's Link >

Fall Sports Night graphic promotion (Aug. 12)
Watch for more details on these virtual events in the athletic and activities newsletter. This communication is scheduled to go to families via email and the WDMCS app Monday, Aug. 10.

WDMCS Seeking Substitutes

As we prepare for the 2020-21 school year, we know we will need substitutes to support our certified staff this fall. Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new proclamation as of July 17, 2020, which allows for increased flexibility in the use of substitute teachers during the disaster emergency period. Read Proclamation >
Adopt a Family: Provide Technology Access

Connect with the WDMCS Foundation to support families in need.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck


Alexandra Wade



Aaron Young