We are Falcon Strong! It is so great to be back at school with our learners who are joining us in person as well as virtually! We began the year on August 20th implementing our Return to Learning Plan with 93% of our students in person and 7% virtually. Our theme for the school year is Falcon Strong to signify our story as one of resilience, power, and togetherness. We thank you as a community for your overwhelming support and are grateful to serve the DC West Communities!

This publication is "Community Connections" from the DC West Community School District. You can expect to receive this electronic newsletter once a month during the school year to keep up with district happenings.

Dr. Melissa Poloncic
(402) 359 2583
DC West Facilities Task Force
The DC West Community Schools Strategic Plan written in 2015 identified three goals for our school district. One of those goals is to "improve and expand facilities and programs to achieve excellence". In 2016, a facilities task force identified several recommendations for the Board of Education to address this goal. Those recommendations were followed and resulted in the following:

2016~ relocation of classrooms in portable buildings in Valley and Waterloo, fire sprinklers installed throughout the Valley campus, restrooms remodeled in the high school.

2017~ relocation of DC West Middle School in an addition on the Valley campus, renovations to kitchens and cafeterias.

2018~ sale of the Waterloo building, remodeling and construction of the high school science labs, life skills lab, and five adjacent classrooms. Replacement of four rooftop units, addition of air conditioning to the south gym, relocation of the hot water boilers and pumps. Remodeling of STEM classroom.

2019~ opening of new four section elementary building (preschool to fifth grade), remodeling of high school classrooms and commons areas, remodeling of wood shop and band room.

2020~ remodeling of remaining high school areas and expansion of middle school classrooms into the remaining 1991 wing of the former elementary school.

The DC West Board of Education would like to address the next phase of long term facility planning with input from leaders in our community. You are invited to volunteer to be a member of a school district facility task force as a next step in problem solving and developing solutions for our facility needs.

•      The task force will meet two times for two hours each to complete this work. 

•      The meetings will be on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30pm in the DC West Middle/High School Library, September 16 and September 30.

•      Board members and administration may be present, yet they will assume the role of listening, clarifying, and answering questions.

The end goals of the task force will be to:
•      Identify future goals of what we want for our communities with regard to our facilities
•      Clarifying facility needs with possible solutions
•      Create a survey that will be used with the district general population
•      Estimate the cost of solutions and establish a price point for a possible bond issue
•      Make a recommendation for a timeline

We look forward to our first meeting on Wednesday, September 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the DC West Middle/High School Library. If you are interested in serving on this task force, please contact Dr. Melissa Poloncic at

YMCA Falcons Before and After Care
The Twin Rivers YMCA is hosting a before and after care program for students at DC West Elementary. This is a state licensed program run by the YMCA, held at the DC West Elementary School, with a portion of the proceeds going back to DC West Schools Foundation. The hours of the program are 6:30-7:40am and 3:24-6:00pm Monday-Thursday, 2:04-6:00pm on Friday. If you are interested in enrolling your child, contact Cole at or 402-359-9622 for further information.
Return to Learning at DC West

Thank you for your support and partnership in getting our school year up and running! We knew this year would be different in many ways, yet together we have created a safe and healthy learning environment where kids are able to continue to thrive and grow. We have been implementing our Return to Learning Plan for almost two weeks and we are extremely proud of our families, staff, and students in doing what it takes to create protocols and routines that allow us to function as a school while maintaining as our priority, the health of our staff and students.

One of the biggest questions we have had is how will we determine when/if we need to move to a different learning model in our plan. We have begun the year in yellow, but how will we determine if we need to adjust to orange or red? We recently added a more detailed explanation of this in our plan with this explanation:

Multiple factors will be used to assist in determining the school district’s attendance level of yellow, orange, or red. These factors include, but are not limited to:

We also have added a Current Learning Plan button on our website which designates what color we are in as a district and the link to the most recent version of the plan.
DC West Fall Athletics
We are pleased that our DC West Middle and High School Fall activities and athletics are able to take place. We believe extracurricular participation is a valuable part of the overall educational experience for our students at DC West. Just as we have written protocols for the health and safety of all in our learning models, we also have protocols for our participants and spectators of our athletic activities. Please see the 2020 Fall Athletic Protocols for DC West home events. 
Each school district that hosts us at an away contest will have their own set of protocols. We will need to follow any of the procedures the hosts put in place. Please check on the visiting school's plans as some schools are limiting spectators or may have other requirements in place you would need to know before going.  These procedures are being communicated to us in a variety of ways from the other schools so we will do our best to communicate to our teams, parents of athletes, and our community through social media and email as we receive information. 

Let's have a great Fall season and Go Falcons!

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Douglas County West Community Schools creates passionate learners by maximizing student achievement through dynamic learning experiences, which inspire and provide a quality education for all students, within a safe and community-supported environment.

Thank you for being great supporters of DC West Community Schools! Stay informed with Community Connections each month.
DC West Community Schools
401 Pine St, PO Box 378, Valley, NE 68064
PH: 402-359-2583
Fax: 402-359-4371