Rotary Meeting 11-7-06 There were 4 guest plus several administrators from the West Des Moines Elementary Schools, who were the speakers. Dave Carlson asked bell ringer volunteers to exchange with someone if their assigned time doesn't work. The Highway Cleanup Day will be rescheduled due to bad weather. 2 new members were inducted: Cory & Ed Arndorfer. Their sponsors are: Art Dinkin & Paul Wielage. ! Todd Millang announced a new member meeting (date unknown). The program introduced by Harold Hulleman included several school principals with West Des Moines School District giving their perspectives on current situations: Kevin Fangman with Crestview Elementary said that schools are now more inclusive. Their greatest challenge is meeting the needs of students for whom English is the second language. Although most of these students speak Spanish, there are students from Sudan, Bosnia, India, etc. Dr Nancy Moorhead from Jordan Creek, the largest elementary in WDM thanked the reading mentors from Rotary. Jordan Creek houses special education & early childhood education. Carol Seid is principal of Fair Meadows, which has 490 students. The renovation that was completed there for the current school year will be dedicated this Sunday. She feels her staff is now more cohesive. Mark Lane, hovers between Westridge & Jordan Creek as Assistant Principal. From a student survey, the report was that students felt that teachers at Westridge really care about them & parent support is very good. (Mark's grandfather was a Rotarian, so maybe we have a good prospect here.) Rachelle Dawson, principal of Western Hills is looking forward to their remodeling for 2008-9. She gave us specific programs & events, such as Fine Arts Day & Valley Peer Helpers who assist her students, as samples of broad participation & innovative programming. Brandon Pierce from Clive Elementary pointed out that this school is in Windsor Heights in spite of its name! This school is home to special education, preschool for 3 & 4 yr olds, & English as a second language. Brandon pointed out, as did most of the other teachers, that the changing demographics has prompted schools to serve more emotional & social needs along with the academic ones. Bob Davis, principal of Hillside, which was a combination of Rex Mathes & Clegg Park Schools, has 600 students, 100 of them Latino. 40% of his students live in poverty, inspiring the need for unique structure of the school, day care, & ways for kids to make connections. He brings in many business partners & volunteers to get students involved in activities, thereby reducing future dropout rates. Questions were asked about computer access, which Bob called the "digital divide." (Your reporter was happy to hear that encyclopedias are still in classrooms!) All of the teachers said students were pleased to have a dictionary to call their own