Facts are a Beautiful Thing!


CindiMcDonald16

Cindi McDonald, superintendent of schools

As the superintendent of a rapidly growing district with responsibilities for 1) ensuring staff and students are provided optimal conditions for high levels of learning, 2) monitoring enrollment, 3) planning for additional facilities and 3) tending to the budget, it’s not uncommon for the board and administration to field questions related to a variety of topics. And, in a time where social media contributes to either clarity or confusion regarding various topics, we continue to look for ways for students, staff and families to access current and accurate information. Last year I received a great deal of positive feedback from several of you when I shared ‘Facts are a Beautiful Thing’. Here’s an update on some of the important ‘facts’ for our district.

CURRENT ‘HOT’ TOPICS AND RELATED FACTS:

Student Achievement FACTS

  • Teachers and administration maintain a laser-like focus on teaching and learning.
  • 86% of elementary students are proficient/advanced in reading (compared to 75% for the state).
  • 88% of elementary students are proficient/advanced in math (compared to 77% for the state)
  • WHS Class of ‘18 ACT Composite Score 23.5 (compared to 21.8 for the state)
  •  22 National Merit Finalists since 2010
  • In 2017-18, WHS students earned 10,020 concurrent enrollment credits (college/university credit). This translates into a savings of $1,472,940 for our families!
  • 2017 WHS Graduation rate (most recent available): 4 year – 97.9%  and 5 year – 99.5%.

Facilities FACTS

  • Radiant Elementary will open the fall of 2019. It is located at 5050 170th Street in Urbandale.
  • Elementary #10 is scheduled to open the fall of 2022. It will be located on Ashworth Road west of Ute Avenue.
  • The second high school is scheduled to open the fall of 2021.
  • Construction has begun on the second high school.
  • The Waukee Board of Education awarded the lowest responsible bid for the second high school to Larson Construction in the amount of $120,900,000. For up to date information on the second high school visit the webpage:  2ndhs.waukeeschools.org
  • Phase I of the grading of the site for the second high school was completed this past summer.
  • Last February the ‘yes’ votes for the $117 million bond referendum exceeded 90% to fund the construction of the second high school.
  • Questions regarding the second high school can be submitted online.

Comprehensive Boundary Process FACTS

  • The Boundary Committee began meeting in January 2018. This committee consists of nearly 50 parents from across the district. They are charged with taking a recommendation to the Waukee Board of Education for boundary changes on November 26, 2018.
  • Our school district serves students in four different municipalities: Waukee, West Des Moines, Urbandale and Clive.
  • This is the sixth time that elementary attendance boundaries have been adjusted.
  • Previous changes occurred in 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2015. This will be the first time boundaries have been adjusted for grades 6-12.
  • The public was invited to the first public forum in February. The second public forum was completed on October 9. Participants were provided an opportunity to submit feedback on three different parts of the process: alignment, boundary concepts for elementary and feeder options. Parents unable to attend the public forum were provided an opportunity to submit feedback online.
  • The district works with a demographer, RSP & Associates, to ensure the committee has the latest enrollment projections when there’s a need to redraw boundaries.
  • The overall accuracy rate from our demographers is 98 percent. Even the best prognosticators cannot predict with 100 percent certainty where development and growth will occur…only time reveals, and as a district we then must adjust.
  • The Boundary committee meetings are meetings held in public. Agendas and minutes for these meetings are available on the district website. In addition, families receive reminders prior to the committee meetings via School Messenger.
  • Timeline and Comprehensive Boundary Process can be found here.
  • In order to provide current and accurate information throughout the year for our students, staff, families and community members the district utilizes a variety of communication tools and strategies:
  • Twitter @WaukeeCSD