West Des Moines Community Schools | July 30, 2020

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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.

Updated Guidance from Iowa Health, Education Experts

The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) released additional guidance on Thursday, July 30, on how Iowa schools can safely reopen schools this August.


WDMCS is in Polk County so we will base our decisions on the percentages of positive cases in Polk County over a 14-day period.

  1. None to Minimal (0-5% positivity in Polk County over the past 14 days)

  2. Minimal to Moderate (6-14% positivity in Polk County over the past 14 days)

  3. Substantial Controlled (15-20% positivity in Polk County over the past 14 days)

  4. Substantial Uncontrolled (Over 20% positivity in Polk County over the past 14 days)

On-site learning will continue across the district if Polk County positivity rates remain under 15%. Temporary transitions to online learning may take place if rates exceed 15%, based on specific guidance provided to districts July 30, 2020. Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change.


The new guidance defined high-risk and low-risk symptoms:

  • High Risk: new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell

  • Low Risk: fever, headache, muscle and body aches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Students and staff members should remain home when sick. Students or staff members with any high-risk symptom or two or more low-risk symptoms should stay home and are advised to seek an evaluation by a health care provider.


Close Contact: Individuals who’ve been within 6 feet of a positive COVID-19 case for more than 15 minutes during the infectious period. Contact may occur in a classroom, lunchroom, or free period, during transportation to or from school, at practices or games, and during extracurricular activities.

Read Steps For Schools, Public Health Officials >

WDMCS will follow the steps outlined in the IDOE/IDPH infographic to communicate with staff, students, and parents when a positive COVID-19 case occurs within our district. Please Note: These guidelines are subject to change.

Clearing Up Confusion: Enrollment vs. Choosing Online/On-Site


WDMCS enrollment is an ANNUAL process for families within WDMCS to complete an online enrollment process for all returning students through Infinite Campus. The term “Tiger Enrollment” includes updating and/or verifying the following information:

  • Contact Information (primary contacts and emergency contacts, including addresses, phone numbers, email, etc.)
  • Student Information (health records, immunizations, etc.)
  • Handbook Review (confirm receipt of handbook and agreement to processes outlined)
  • Release of Information (allows WDMCS to take photos/videos)

Families without access to the internet or those in need of an interpreter will be able to enroll at one of several locations this summer.

Enroll Your Student >


Selecting which learning environment families want for their students is a SEPARATE STEP. Families received emails the week of July 20 with unique links for each student. They were asked to choose between online or on-site learning through Jan. 15 (end of first semester.)

Families have through Friday, July 31 to make their selection.

CDC Guidance On Re-Opening Schools

Read most recent guidance (as of July 23, 2020).

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 >

Return-to-Learn Percentages To Date

As of Thursday, July 30, we've received 7,464 responses from families. This means 7,464 students are categorized as returning this fall as on-site or online students.

Overall, 74.06% of our students will learn on-site and 25.94% of our students will learn online.

With approximately 9,000 students in WDMCS, we still need to collect data for approximately 1,600 students by July 31.

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WDMCS Board of Education Holds Return-to-Learn Workshop Aug. 5

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education is holding a special workshop meeting regarding Return-to-Learn planning at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

The workshop meeting will be held in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, to allow for social distancing.

This workshop meeting is open to the public, but face coverings are required. Please do not attend in-person if you feel ill, have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, or are experiencing other COVID-19 symptoms. The workshop meeting will also be streamed live on the WDMCS YouTube channel. Workshop meetings do not include open forum time.

A representative from the Polk County Health Department will present to the Board. The Board will discuss next steps based on Polk County Public Health data and the latest guidelines shared by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on July 30 as WDMCS prepares to begin the 2020-21 school year with the Hybrid Option 2 model.

The live stream link will be available Wednesday, Aug. 5, on the WDMCS YouTube channel.

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