West Des Moines Community Schools | Dec. 17, 2020

No School for Students Tuesday, Dec. 22

Dec. 22 is a staff work day. Winter break is Dec. 23-Jan. 4. School resumes Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

WDMCS to Start Budget Reduction Process for 2021-22

West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) leadership determined the need to reduce the budget by $2.5-3.5 million for 2021-22 school year. This is a result of three key issues.

  1. Deficit spending for three years. WDMCS continues to use reserve funds to cover deficit spending. It’s like using money out of a savings account to cover basic monthly expenses. WDMCS must adjust its budget so we no longer dip into our “savings” but can pay our expenses with the revenue we receive.

  2. Declining enrollment. The October 2020 official enrollment count is down more than 170 students from last year. The state provides funds based on enrollment and is a significant source of revenue. Decreased enrollment results in decreased funding from the state.

  3. Lack of adequate State Supplement Aid (SSA). SSA impacts the amount of revenue each student generates, and currently, SSA is extremely low. The gap between SSA and the cost of operating a school district continues to widen, which also results in decreased revenue. SSA is determined by the Iowa legislature.

In Iowa, the state not only provides money to schools to operate, it also tells school districts how much money they are allowed to spend. The concept is called “spending authority.” It is against the law for a school district to spend more money than it is allowed to by the state.

WDMCS has not gone through a budget reduction process since the 2015-16 school year when $530,000 was cut from the 2016-17 budget. The district needs to reduce its General Fund budget by at least $2.5 million to reverse the deficit spend trend while maintaining necessary funding reserves.

CFO Paul Bobek presented financial projections to the Board of Education in a Sept. 14, 2020, Board workshop. At the conclusion of the presentation. Bobek explained budget reductions must be made for the 2021-22 school year.

Superintendent Remy shared that a 60+ person Long-Range Planning Committee composed of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community members will serve to assist Dr. Remy and the leadership team in determining where cuts are needed. The first committee meeting is scheduled for mid-January, with the final budget reduction recommendations going to the Board in early March.

Walnut Creek Receives Carrie Chapman Catt Award

Walnut Creek Campus Receives Carrie Chapman Catt Award

Walnut Creek Campus officially accepted the Carrie Chapman Catt Award from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on Monday, Dec. 14, to begin the virtual WDMCS Board of Education regular business meeting.

Pate encouraged high schools across Iowa to conduct voter registration drives during the 2019-20 school year. Every school that registered at least 90 percent of its eligible students to vote qualified for an award. The award is named after Carrie Chapman Catt, an Iowan who was instrumental in securing passage of the 19th Amendment and granting women access to the ballot box 100 years ago.

“I can’t say enough how significant this is, and it compliments your school when you look at the hundreds of school districts across the state,” Secretary Pate said during the award presentation. “When we launched this effort, we clearly wanted to bring our young people into the process of our democracy and we were very pleased with this first year.”

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WDMCS Nutrition Services, Clive Police Distribute Meals & Toys

WDMCS Nutrition Services and the Clive Police Department teamed up on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, to distribute meals and toys to families from Crestview School of Inquiry and Indian Hills Junior High.
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Four Oaks Healthy Lifestyles Program Available to Support Struggling Students

West Des Moines Community Schools students may be experiencing academic, social, or emotional challenges this year. The district has partnered with Four Oaks to offer a proactive opportunity for students reacting to these challenges in unhealthy ways. The Four Oaks Healthy Lifestyles/Chemical Dependency program works with young adults to build healthy decision-making skills and reduce risk-taking behaviors like misusing alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other substances.

Adapted for social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures, the program is now offered virtually. Education Liaison Darian Delaney works to build relationships with students and find out how to best connect and support them as they work towards making healthier choices and meeting their future goals. The Healthy Lifestyles program offers guidance and support without judgment.

Interested in connecting with Darian?

Staff can reach out to delaneyd@wdmcs.org or 515-633-4569 for more information or to make a referral. Students and parents will be directed to reach out to Darian or a school counselor for a referral or more information.

Schools Can't Do It Alone

The following video is the first in a series that our district obtained when we joined the Schools Cannot Do It Alone Network, a coalition of educators and their allies working to defend public education and increase support for public schools.

E Pluribus Unum: We the People and Public Schools Part 1

E Pluribus Unum: Part 1

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck

Alexandra Wade

Communications Specialist

Aaron Young

Communications Specialist