District Staff Monthly E-Newsletter

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019

WDMCS Smartphone App: News, Calendar, Notifications

WDMCS Smartphone App: News, Calendar, Notifications

Updated Meal Charges Board Policy Prevents "Shaming"

The Board of Education approved changes to Board Policy 709.02, Meal Charges. The changes made reflected changes to an Iowa law which prohibits school districts from withholding a reimbursable meal from a student due to a negative account balance. This is an effort to eliminate "shaming" based on socio-economic factors. The updated policy will be available soon for review online.

WDMCS Strategic Plan: Sharing the HOW Behind Our Work

WDMCS Branding: Logos, Style Guides, Etc.

Access WDMCS academics, activities, and Portrait of a Graduate graphics through Google Drive.

Effective Grading Practices: Purpose, Practices, Next Steps

In order to facilitate consistent and effective grading practices as outlined in Priority Six of the WDMCS Strategic Plan, a task force representing parents, teachers, central office administration, building administration, and school board members engaged in a yearlong process during the 2016-17 school year to study various assessment and grading methodologies.

By consensus, the task force recommended a districtwide grading purpose statement that reads:

The purpose of grading is to communicate achievement relative

to course standards to students and parents.

The task force came to the consensus that WDMCS had the capacity to implement five grading practices focused on assessment for learning.

Assessment for Learning Practices:

  1. Use quality assessments.
  2. Achievement and behavior will be reported separately.
  3. Involve students in the assessment process—allow for reassessment opportunities.
  4. Grades reflect the standards in the Iowa Core (or equivalent standards).
  5. Use criterion-referenced grades. Students can demonstrate understanding at a specified level of proficiency.

Starting in 2017-18, an effective grading team of approximately 55 teachers, teacher leaders, and administrators began to engage in shared learning and work in order to further define each effective grading practice and impact implementation of five effective grading practices. This work has continued throughout this school year.

Below is a graphic outlining some of the work done to date.

Big picture

Next Steps

Secondary staff will experience shared learning this semester. The goal is to implement all five effective grading practices for the 2019-20 school year, with continued support provided at the building level and through PLCs.

WDMCS Athletics

View all upcoming winter sports events.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck


Alexandra Wade



Aaron Young