We are ALL WDMCS
Dec. 9, 2022
Message from Superintendent Adams
Donate to Valley RISE Food Drive Through Jan. 3!
Valley High School's Refugee and Immigrant Student Embassy (RISE) is hosting a culturally responsive food drive benefiting local resettlement agencies from Dec. 1-Jan.3!
Donations will go to International Rescue Committee, Lutheran Services of Iowa, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and Catholic Charities. These Des Moines agencies will directly provide food to newly arrived families. RISE wants to give back to the agencies that helped their own families and welcome newly arrived members of their communities with food the families are familiar with.
Contribute to the food drive via the Walmart Registry or drop items off in-person at the Learning Resource Center or Valley High School.
Upcoming Community Opportunities
Our digital backpack lists a wide variety of events, classes, or other opportunities.
- Traditional Taekwondo for Children and Adults sign up anytime through Two Rivers Martial Arts
- Winter Overnight Camp Dec. 26 through Camp Fire Heart of Iowa
- Upward Youth Basketball League starts Jan. 2 through the Valley Community Center
- Skate with Us starts Jan. 3 through the Iowa Figure Skating Academy
- Winter Junior Menace starts Jan. 9 through the Des Moines Menace
- Anime Drawing for Kids! Jan. 15 through Hoyt Sherman Place
- YMCA Overnight Camps Jan. 31 through the YMCA of Greater Des Moines
Earning Your Stripes Podcast: Episode 3
Parent/Guardian Guidance for Student Social Media Accounts
Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are commonly used with adolescents and teenagers, but without oversight, can lead to inappropriate content. Please reference the following resources to guide your student's appropriate use of the social media platforms you allow. Some resources are aimed at a younger audience than high school-age students, but we believe all students can be reminded of the impact social media can have on their life and others.
What You Can Do:
Privacy settings: Remind your student that every social media platform includes privacy settings. Learn yourself how to manage the settings and create restrictions for safety.
Location sharing: Be careful when selecting location sharing settings. While they may want their friends to know their location, it is important that strangers do not.
Posting embarrassing/inappropriate images: Ask your student to think before they share photos. They should understand that actions online can affect both themselves and others.
Cyberbullying: Talk to your student about cyberbullying. If you believe your student is being bullied online, take steps to report it to the social media platform, block the user, and take screenshots of any conversation online.
We encourage you to set boundaries, check your student’s social media accounts, and talk with your student.
WDMCS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Updates
Save the Date: Community Introduction
You are invited to join WDMCS for a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) community introduction event in January 2023. Meet us at the Learning Resource Center for an opportunity to:
meet Executive Director of DEI Dr. Dau Jok, Ph.D.;
get an update on Dr. Jok’s first 100 days with WDMCS;
provide feedback on district DEI projects like establishing shared language, observances, etc.;
and connect with our district affinity groups, Families of Students of Color and the LGBTQIA+ Family Support Group.
More information will be available closer to the event, but for now, save the date!
WDMCS DEI Community Introduction
Tuesday, Jan. 10
Learning Resource Center
3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Update on DEI SWOT Analysis Sessions
Led by Dr. Jok, WDMCS is conducting diversity, equity, and inclusion SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analyses with different district groups throughout the 2022-23 school year.
“It is my effort to better understand the current efforts and areas of priority based on what folx are experiencing,” Dr. Jok said. The results will guide WDMCS to leverage strengths and opportunities, create action steps to address growth areas, and strategically work with other stakeholders to proactively address the threats to the system.
Sessions have been completed with administrators, school resource officers, equity leads, and the community. The community session was facilitated in partnership with Audrey Kennis, diversity, equity, and inclusion director for the city of West Des Moines. Additional sessions for students, staff, and affinity groups will take place second semester.
“My main takeaway right now is we have incredible people in our system, not the least of which are students,” Dr. Jok said. “The biggest area of need right now is more humanization — opportunities to engage with one another, have tough conversations, celebrate one another, and most importantly, practice curiosity.”
Shout Outs from Dr. Jok!
- Salute to the Valley High School seniors who proposed a new Board policy establishing two non-voting student members to the WDMCS Board of Education. Although the policy has not passed yet, it is the epitome of student voice, co-creating spaces with students, and establishing legacy. I’m proud of their leadership and efforts to ensure WDMCS is more equitable.
- Special thanks to all WDMCS teachers and staff for their time, leadership, commitment, and humanity. Thank you for sharing your gifts with each other.