District Staff E-Newsletter

Friday, April 24, 2020

Show Your Support with a Tigers Together Yard Sign!

West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is excited to announce several custom yard signs to help us all show how much we miss our teachers, students, and schools and honor our Valley senior class.

We are partnering with the West Des Moines Community Schools Foundation to offer a custom yard sign for $18, with $6 going back to the Foundation to support our students' educational and nutritional needs.

Select your yard sign design, enter your custom name (if applicable), and pay online. Orders will be open through Sunday, May 3. You will be emailed once the signs have been delivered to WDMCS. We will provide instructions on how you can pick up your yard sign(s) following appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Thank you for uniting as a district to show our Tiger pride and support our students. #tigerstogether

Order Now >

2020-21 Health Benefits Update

As we communicated in December, several changes related to the benefits program will take place on July 1, 2020. Unlike the previous eight years, it is no longer financially feasible to keep the rates and benefits exactly the same.

A rate sheet with your pay periods is scheduled to be available by May 8.

You MUST enroll in benefits this year. The BCEnroll system is open May 8-29. If you do not enroll, you will be moved to Medical Plan 2 ($1,000 deductible PPO plan), and you will continue to have the same dental or vision benefits effective July 1. For dental and vision plans, you are able to drop spouse/dependents only; you cannot add anyone to these coverages.

View Medical and Prescription Drug Benefit Comparison Chart
View Plan 1 Overview
View Plan 2 Overview
View Plan 3 Overview
View enrollment instructions

Main Benefits Changes

Plan 1 Network Change
Plan 1 now has a different network than Plans 2 and 3.

  • Plan 1 utilizes the Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa (WHPI) - providers in all 99 Iowa counties and most border counties.
  • Plan 1 does NOT provide coverage outside the network
  • Be cautious of this plan if:
    you routinely seek medical services outside the state of Iowa
    you have family members who reside outside Iowa.
  • Plans 2 and 3 will continue to use Wellmark’s PPO network, which has access to in-network providers throughout the United States.

Doctor on Demand Cost-Sharing Waived

Starting July 1, all three plans waive cost-sharing for Doctor on Demand (the 24/7 virtual visit provider) going forward.

  • Wellmark will pay cost-sharing from now until June 16.
  • Doctor on Demand is currently seeing a high call volume, so please be patient.

Prescription Drug Plan Changes

We will now use the Value Plus formula for the prescription drug portion of the plan.

  • Tier 4 drugs will no longer be covered.
  • Specialty medications must be dispensed through CVS Specialty Pharmacy.
  • If you are personally impacted by these changes, Wellmark will send a letter to your home providing additional details about your options.

New Timing for Long-Term Disability Benefits

Beginning July 1, long-term disability benefits will begin after 30 days of disability or at the end of your sick leave – whichever is longer.

  • The current waiting period for benefits to begin is 90 days of disability.

More resources can be found on the district’s website – www.wdmcs.org – under the “Staff” tab or you can login to the Benefits Connect website.

Continued Support For Our WDMCS Staff During Time Off

On Monday, April 27, WDMCS administrators will present a third resolution and recommend a payroll plan to the Board. The new recommendation requests hourly employees be paid from May 1 through the end of the school year.

Beginning May 1, 2020, there will no longer be any “premium” pay for employees working from home or in the office. All hourly employees, even those working from home or in the office, will be paid at their regular hourly rate. These changes would be reflected in the June 5 payroll, which covers the pay period starting May 1.

We are also recommending that certified and salaried staff continue to receive their regular pay. These employees should use appropriate leave if unable to work.

We wish to thank all of our WDMCS staff for their dedication. We consider each an important part of our family and are doing our best to support staff, provide timely information, and help ease anxiety. #weareWDMCS

WDMCS Nurses' Tips & Messages For Students During COVID-19 Closure
We are WDMCS Newsletters

Check out previous editions of We are WDMCS.

School/Community Relations

Laine Mendenhall-Buck


Alexandra Wade



Aaron Young