West Des Moines Community Schools | February 5, 2021

Budget Reduction Process Update, Community Input Offered

We shared in a previous We are ALL WDMCS newsletter about the need to reduce the budget by $2.5-3.5 million for 2021-22 school year. Since then, a committee of nearly 60 students, staff, parents, and community members have been meeting via Zoom to develop budget packages for the Board of Education to consider, and subsequently vote on, in early March.

To date, the committee has met three times. They learned more about public education funding, reviewed initial budget packages provided to them as a starting point, and have worked in small groups to develop their own budget packages for consideration.

At a workshop Monday, Feb. 8, the Board of Education will hear an update on the process and see for the first time the work of the committee. This workshop will be livestreamed.

View Feb. 8 Board workshop livestream >

The Board will not take any action at the workshop. The committee's final meeting is Thursday, Feb. 11. At that time, the committee will vote on all of the packages presented. After that meeting, district leadership will review the top budget packages selected and narrow the list to two or three.

District leadership will then host a community webinar Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. to provide a summary of the committee's work and present the top budget packages. At the conclusion of the webinar, a survey link will be available for community members to vote on their preferred package. A recording of the webinar and the survey link will be posted on the WDMCS website Friday, Feb. 19.

View Feb. 18 Long-Range Planning webinar >

District leadership will review the results of the community survey and finalize budget package recommendations for the Board to vote on Monday, March 8.

Happy National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week 2021, “All In For All Students,” focuses on the outstanding contribution of school counselors within our school systems.

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Western Hills' Students Meet "Punxsutawney Phil's cousin" on Groundhog Day

Students in Ms. Shaffer's first grade class have been learning about animal adaptations. On Feb. 2, they had a special visitor. "Punxsutawney Phil's cousin" came to visit!

Student's made puppets, read books, and learned that Phil did see his shadow, so there will be six more weeks of winter. Here are some pictures of students enjoying his visit.

2020-21 Tiger Cubs Enrollment Open

Are you ready for preschool? Request a 2021-22 Tiger Cubs spot for children turning 4 on or before Sept. 15, began in January.

Tiger Cubs is the WDMCS preschool program, funded through Statewide Voluntary Preschool, with no cost to families. Tiger Cubs provides opportunities for children to develop important learning skills. Tiger Cubs Preschools has 4-year-old programs at Clive Learning Academy, Crestview School of Inquiry, and Fairmeadows, Hillside Jordan Creek, Western Hills, and Westridge elementary schools, as well as the Learning Resource Center. Tiger Cubs preschool includes special education students ages 3-5.

Learn more at discover.wdmcs.org/tiger-cubs-enrollment.

WDMCS Transportation Featured in IPTA Newsletter

The Iowa Pupil Transportation Association (IPTA) interviewed Director of Transortation Robin Pickard for the February edition of its statewide newsletter.

“I have had a lot of excellent mentors throughout my life, and I’ve been able to incorporate some of their wonderful attributes and methods into my own style of management," Pickard said. "Our service and our transportation department continues to do an amazing job, and I want to praise them for all of their efforts. I love working with both internal and external customers, and after all the years of working for other managers, I am having this wonderful opportunity to lead and direct a large department the way I think it should be done. This has been the most rewarding time of my career.”

Read the full article, which begins on Page 3 of the newsletter.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck

Alexandra Wade

Communications Specialist

Aaron Young

Communications Specialist