Valley Class of 2020

West Des Moines Community Schools | April 24, 2020

Great news... we not only have a plan to celebrate our Valley seniors, we think it’s an awesome plan. Do you know why? Because we listened to YOU, we researched dozens of options, and we collaborated with some pretty smart people to provide the best possible option for our seniors despite the numerous challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer Valley Commencement at Valley Stadium

Saturday, June 27th, 10am

4440 Mills Civic Parkway

West Des Moines, IA

Overwhelming feedback from seniors and families requested we delay commencement and find a viable option this summer. We are excited to announce a commencement date, and backup dates, in case of weather or changing guidance from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.

Rain Date: Sunday, June 28, at 6 p.m.

If guidance from Gov. Reynolds requires we move commencement until later this summer the following dates are scheduled.

Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m.
Valley Stadium
Rain Date: Sunday, July 26, at 6 p.m.

We know you may have numerous questions about this event, and we promise to share more details in the coming weeks. However, we know families would love to plan family vacations so we wanted to share these dates so you could mark them on your calendar. Celebrating our Valley seniors at the stadium will be an exciting opportunity for us. The Class of 2020 will be the first (and perhaps last) to celebrate commencement in this way.

Virtual Commencement Project

Because we want a backup plan (to our already numerous backup plans), we decided to move forward with a virtual commencement project. This would only replace commencement if we are unable to celebrate in-person this summer. We also want to use some of the content created in this video for the event at the stadium.

We will be collecting photos, video, and other information that will help us create student-personalized slides as part of the virtual video. The final video will be available for families after summer commencement. You and your student will receive more information soon detailing how you can submit this information.

Support Your Senior with Custom Yard Sign

We are excited to announce several custom yard signs to help us all show how much we miss our teachers, students, schools, and honor our Valley senior class.

Cap and Gown Distribution

Because we know you want photos of your graduate wearing a cap and gown, we want to get these distributed to your student as soon as possible. We hope to include cords in the bags if they are available. Otherwise, we will email how those can get picked up at a later date.

Distributing 600+ bags while practicing social distancing is no easy task, but thankfully we have some super organized people who work for WDMCS. Please follow the steps outlined below to pick up your cap and gown:

WHEN: Friday, May 1
WHERE: Valley High School parking lots
TIMES: See below

Caps and gowns will be distributed in THREE different sections of Valley High School’s parking lot on Friday, May 1.


  • Write on a sheet of paper in LARGE LETTERS: student last name, first name, ID, and counselor’s name.
  • Follow directional signs on where to enter/exit based on your student’s last name. Each entrance is ONE WAY.
  • Remain in your vehicle until you are directed to the table where your cap/gown bag will be placed. You can then exit your vehicle to pick it up. It will have the student’s name on it.
  • To avoid waiting in long lines, please try to pick up your cap/gown during the specified time for your last name.
  • If you need someone else to pick up the cap and gown, please email your student’s counselor.

Last Name A-Gn

Last name A-Gn map graphic

  • Enter Valley lot off of 39th Street in the entrance closest to Ashworth Road.
  • Look for directional signs with the name of your student’s counselor and pull into line.
  • Exit the Valley parking lot back onto 39th Street at the north exit.

Times for pickup - last name A-G

Last Name Go-N

last name Go-N map graphic

  • Enter Valley’s bus lane off of Woodland Avenue. Turn into the entrance closest to 39th Street.
  • Look for directional signs with the name of your student’s counselor and pull into line.
Times for pick-up Go-N

Last Name O-Z

Last Name O-Z graphic

  • Enter the Valley parking lot off of Valley West Drive and Sylvania Drive.
  • Turn left into the south parking lot by the softball field.
  • Look for directional signs with the name of your student’s counselor and pull into line.
  • Exit parking lot onto Valley West Drive at south exit.

times for pickup O-Z

What’s Next?

We are continuing to explore ways we can celebrate senior accomplishments. Whether they participated in music, athletics, arts, or other activities, we know these experiences helped shape who they are today. We plan to incorporate some recognitions into commencement and will consider alternative options to recognize these student’s achievements.

We know Seniors Come Home is another tradition for our graduating class. We continue to explore options on how to reconnect our seniors with their elementary schools.

We will share in the coming weeks more information on how your student can pick up their yearbook and other personal items at school and turn in their Chromebook. Watch for updates!

West Des Moines Community Schools

We understand a students’ education is an important part of their life journey, and we are committed to their success. At WDMCS, students will gain knowledge and develop skills to prepare them for life. The excellent opportunities we offer enable students to explore their interests and achieve their potential because we believe every student can find their place in the WDMCS.