West Des Moines Community Schools | Sept. 9, 2020

Big picture

WDMCS COVID-19 Dashboard

The new WDMCS COVID-19 dashboard is now online. It is updated by noon each weekday with the PREVIOUS day’s data.


Data is listed by date unless otherwise indicated.

Student Data

  • graph with confirmed NEW positive COVID-19 student cases, listed by school.
  • graph with confirmed NEW “close contacts” of students, listed by school.
  • graph with total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 students, listed by school.

Staff Data

  • graph with confirmed NEW positive COVID-19 staff cases, listed by school.
  • graph with confirmed NEW “close contacts” of staff, listed by school.
  • graph with total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 staff, grouped by “elementary,” “secondary,” and “other district employees.”

How Will I Know? WDMCS COVID-19 Communication Process

When a student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, WDMCS works with the Polk County Health Department (PCHD) to identify close contacts and determine the appropriate next steps. WDMCS also collaborates with PCHD to provide guidance and support to students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with a confirmed case.

We must maintain privacy of individuals but will share extensive communication regarding exposure or potential exposure to allow families and staff to make informed decisions. Because each case is unique, WDMCS communicates through our Blackboard email, text, and app alerts.

You may receive communication about:

  • A positive case at your school that doesn’t directly impact you.

  • Being identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19. (Close contact is defined by the CDC as within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, regardless of personal protective equipment.)

  • Your class transitioning to virtual learning.

Review our full communication process on wdmcs.org. >

Online vs. On-Site Final Percentages

Big picture

WDMCS Meals Free Through National Waiver Starting Sept. 9

School lunch and breakfast will be free for WDMCS families starting Sept. 9 due to a nationwide waiver that allows school districts to continue the Summer Food Service Program through December 2020. The waiver was approved Aug. 31 and, after receiving guidance from the Iowa Department of Education, WDMCS Nutrition Services registered to participate in the Summer Food Service Program through December.

Secondary students will still check out when picking up their meals so Nutrition Services employees can track food inventory. This will show up in each student’s account as a $0 transaction. Elementary students’ meals will be entered in bulk so they will not show up in each student’s account.

Meals will be free through Dec. 31, or until funding is depleted, in all learning environments. A la carte items will still have a cost. Pick-up meals for online learners will also be free.

Because WDMCS had already started the National School Lunch Program while waiting for approval of the waiver, the district is seeking clarification about meals served since the beginning of the school year. WDMCS will also continue to collect and verify free and reduced meal applications in anticipation of resuming regular lunch and breakfast programs and pricing on Jan. 1.

Big picture

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

  • Thursday, Sept. 3: Livestreaming football, deadline for online transition, COVID-19 dashboard promotion.
  • 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