WDMCS Personal Care Collection

West Des Moines Community Schools – Personal Care Collection

Personal care drive image cropped

West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is making a difference the week of Feb. 20-23. WDMCS staff and students can participate in a personal care collection for those in need. Items most needed are regular-size shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, and lip balm. The donated items will be collected and distributed throughout the WDMCS school buildings in partnership with the Booster Pak Program.

Elementary students and Silver Cord students from Valley High School and Valley Southwoods Freshman High School participate by decorating a collection box, distributing posters, and counting and organizing donations at their building.

The personal care collection is coordinated by WDMCS Community Education’s Service Learning programs. For more information on Service Learning, please visit commed.wdmcs.org/programs/youth/service-learning.

Work Out with Ashley Tapps

Ced lw ashley tappsMeet Ashley Tapps, owner of AllFit Health and Fitness and the new instructor for Little Hip Hoppers and Stroller Time Fitness! Ashley is originally from Urbandale, Iowa, and finished her undergraduate degree in business and master’s degree in sports and recreation at the University of Iowa. Ashley is a certified ACSM Group Exercise Instructor with over five years of experience teaching and coaching dance, teaching kids’ and adult fitness classes, and working with clients of all ages and abilities.  She is looking forward to bringing fun fitness and recreation programs to kids and adults in the Des Moines area.

New! Stroller Time Body Buster

Looking for a great workout while keeping your kiddos close? This class is a perfect way to connect with other local parents while getting a whole body workout! Stroller Time Body Buster will incorporate cardio and multiple major and core muscle exercises to get you on your way to becoming a leaner and healthier you. Exercises will include squats, lunges, plank exercises, push-ups, yoga balances, and much more including countless modifications that will allow anyone to feel challenged and engaged. Come ready to work hard and have fun with your child in a stroller/car seat by your side! Please bring a towel/blanket/yoga mat, as we will be venturing outside, and feel free to bring your kiddo(s) in their stroller or car seat. Course taught by Ashley Tapps of AllFit Health and Fitness.

Tuesdays, 9/20-10/11, 11-11:45 a.m., $37. Learning Resource Center. WEL03.

Register Online

Fall Learning Opportunities

LW-Fall-2016-Catalog-CoverFall is right around the corner, along with fresh opportunities for personal growth and lifelong learning. Our quality learning opportunities are for students of all ages and many interests. All our classes are offered locally in our school district community, so sign up with a friend or on your own. We invite you to explore our programs, find something new, and register today!

This year, we combined the youth and adult catalogs to make it easier for you to find engaging, affordable programs that interest you and your family. You can also find information about our class offerings on our website, Facebook page, and other social media accounts.

We would like to extend a special thank you to our excellent teachers. They work with us to keep our wide variety of classes engaging and valuable for everyone. Thank you to all our LEARNwest and Adventures teachers for sharing their time, talents, and skills with our community!

If you would like to join our talented teachers or have an idea for a new class, give us a call or send us an email. We are always looking for new classes and activities, and we would love to know what you are looking to learn—or even teach—as we start planning for the winter session.

Sue Otte, Program Coordinator

View Classes Online

View Catalog (PDF)

Music Programs Remain a Favorite Summer Tradition

Summer music programs Band Bash and Summer Strings are staples of West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Community Education’s Summer of Learning program. Offered each summer for more than 20 years, Band Bash and Summer Strings each provide instrumental music students with a place to advance their skills in areas they are passionate about.

Students practice "The Pink Panther Theme," a Summer Strings favorite.

Students practice “The Pink Panther Theme,” a Summer Strings favorite.

The groups learn several pieces to perform for their friends and family at the end of two weeks. Students in the programs rehearse every day, and some take part in musicianship classes and sectional rehearsals. The improvement seen is partially due to the wide range of ages in each group. Band Bash is available to students in grades 6–12, and Summer Strings has offerings for students entering grades 5–9.

“It is a great opportunity for our younger students to see what they can accomplish if they continue in our program and work hard,” WDMCS elementary orchestra teacher and Summer Strings instructor Matt Meyer said. “It is also a good time for our older students to serve as role models for the younger kids and reflect on where they’ve been ability-wise on their instruments and how much they’ve improved and grown over the years.”

French horn students practice together during Band Bash.

French horn students practice together during Band Bash.

Program instructors agree the daily contact with students is a factor, since students do not get instrumental music time every day during the school year. The programs give students the opportunity to develop their skills and gain confidence in their abilities while meeting new friends with similar interests.

“My favorite part of teaching Band Bash is being able to work with the kids in a fun, no-pressure situation where most of the kids really want to be there,” WDMCS band teacher and Band Bash instructor Jon Lewis said. “We always have a lot of fun making music.”


Summer Adventures in Learning 2016 Press Release

2015_SAIL_4Students can still register for Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL), a weeklong WDMCS Community Education program for student entering grades 1-7. SAIL offers refresher classes in reading, writing and math, as well as enrichment classes in chess, computers, art, science and much more.

SAIL classes run from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 pm., June 27-July 1, at Crossroads Park Elementary, 1050 50th St., West Des Moines.

By offering four different class times throughout the day, SAIL gives students and their families the ability to choose classes that fit their needs, interests, and schedules. Students can take one or two classes or attend the whole day by taking four classes and staying for lunch and recess.

This year’s SAIL classes include:

  • BOOM! Pianos Lost in Space, a music class involving keyboards and musical tubes called Boomwhackers;
  • Developmental Math classes for students entering grades 2-7;
  • Hanging with Henkes, a reading and writing class inspired by books from popular children’s author Kevin Henkes;
  • LEGO® Creations, for students who love both books and Legos; and
  • Reading/Writing Success, a reading and writing development class for students entering grades 6-7.

Grades listed for each class indicate the grade students will be entering in the 2016-17 school year. To see all SAIL class listings, visit bit.ly/SAIL_2016.

Interested families can learn about registration at bit.ly/SAIL_Registration or by calling 515-633-5001 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Families should register by Monday, June 20, to avoid the $25 late registration fee.

Learn more about SAIL on the WDMCS Community Education website at www.wdmcs.org/commed/programs/youth/summer-of-learning/summer-adventures-in-learning-sail/.

Safety Town 2016 Press Release

safety_town_t-shirt_designSafety Town is for children entering kindergarten in the fall of 2016. Safety Town (a WDMCS Community Education Summer of Learning program) is a comprehensive safety education program for young children from all districts that covers safety around strangers, fire, water, traffic, buses, and poison. Children will have an opportunity to learn through experiences in the Safety Town village, a field trip to the police and fire stations and various classroom activities. A West Des Moines police officer, certified teacher, and teacher assistant will lead the activities for the week.

Sessions include:

  • Session 1: June 6-10: 9-11:30 a.m. FULL
  • Session 2: June 6-10: 12:30-3 p.m. FULL
  • Session 3: June 13-17: 9-11:30 a.m. FULL
  • Session 4: June 13-17: 12:30-3 p.m. FULL
  • Session 5: June 20-24: 9-11:30 a.m.
  • Session 6: June 20-24: 12:30-3 p.m.
  • Session 7: June 27-July 1: 9-11:30 a.m.

Safety Town will be held at Fairmeadows Elementary, 807 23rd Street, West Des Moines. The $50 fee includes a T-shirt. To get more information or register for Safety Town, call 515-633-5001 or Click Here.

Summer of Learning

ced_sol_catalog_coverAre you wondering how you’re going to keep your kids busy this summer? We have many fun, enriching, and affordable learning opportunities available! Whether your children need a little extra help in reading, writing, or math, or simply a fun way to expand their knowledge in several subjects, WDMCS Community Education provides a wide variety of activities to choose from.

Summer of Learning Programs and Information

Catalog (pdf)

Registration Information

Register Online

CE Highlight: Heart Connection Collection

ced_blog_heart-connectionWDMCS staff, families, and students are invited again this year to participate in the Heart Connection to help restock the Booster Pak personal care pantries.

The most needed items are regular-sized shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, body wash, lotion, toothpaste, and ​lip balm. Please bring your items to school the week of February 22-25 and place in the Heart Connection ​donation ​box. ​Items will be collected and then distributed to WDMCS students through the Booster Pak Program.

Thank you for your support for this very worthy cause!​ ​​The Heart Connection is coordinated by WDMCS Community Education’s Service Learning Program.

Tweeting? Tag us using #heartconnection16 and/or #IheartWDMCS.

Brighter Beginnings Registration Open

ced_brighter_beginnings_thumbnailAll families can now register for Brighter Beginnings, the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Community Education program that aims to make the world brighter for parents and children by providing fun early childhood family learning. The upcoming session of Brighter Beginnings will take place from Feb. 2–May 6.

Brighter Beginnings classes invite parents and children to attend together. Weekly classes are divided into time for parent/child education activities and parent time. During parent time, parents discuss various topics with professional educators and other parents. Quality child care is provided during this time, and children will enjoy socialization and activities.

The registration process was updated this year, to allow WDMCS Community Education to serve as many families as possible. Registration is open to in-district and out-of-district families, with registration limited to one class time per family per session. Separate registrations cards are necessary for each session. Families can contact Brighter Beginnings Program Coordinator Sonja LeSher at 515-633-5009 to receive a card or download a card from the Community Education website (www.wdmcs.org/commed/).

To register, families should complete a registration card and return the card, along with $75 if out-of-district, to WDMCS Community Education, Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50265-5556.

For more information, visit the Brighter Beginnings webpage at commed.wdmcs.org/programs/early-childhood/brighter_beginnings/ or contact WDMCS Community Education at 515-633-5001.


CE Highlight: Feed the POD at Indian Hills Junior High

Feed the Pod PosterIndian Hills Junior High is holding their fifth annual Feed the POD event from Nov. 17–24 for their I-CARE service learning project. Students and staff are filling a POD storage unit with non-perishable food and personal care items, all to be used by the Food Bank of Iowa. This effort is part of the Indian Hills Week of Caring.

So far, students and staff have brought in canned food, personal care products, and non-perishable fruit juices. Today, Friday, Nov. 20, the school is collecting cold cereals, and students and staff will bring in cash donations on Monday.

The Food Bank of Iowa emphasized that one in eight Iowans struggles with hunger, including one in five Iowa children who do not have enough to eat. For every donation of $1, the Food Bank of Iowa can provide 4.5 meals to those in need.

Please consider assisting Indian Hills Junior High in meeting their goal of helping those in need. All donations are to be dropped off at Indian Hills Junior High, 9401 Indian Hills Drive, Clive, between 7:35 a.m. and 2:35 p.m. The POD will be picked up at noon on Nov. 24, and students and staff will follow the POD to the Food Bank of Iowa for its delivery.

To find out more about Feed the POD, contact Heather McKinney, the I-CARE service learning coordinator for Indian Hills Junior High. Service Learning is a program of WDMCS Community Education.

HungerHomelessnessWeekNational Hunger and Homelessness Week is observed annually in the week before Thanksgiving. Find out more on the National Coalition for the Homeless website.