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October 22, 2020

Helpful info for elementary parents as students come back full-time

All of Ankeny Community School District’s PK-5th grade students returned to learn in person, full time on October 19th. In order to keep our Ankeny students, staff and families safe and healthy, we will be continuing to redefine what a “normal” school day looks like.

We realize families may need to make difficult decisions between sending students to school vs. keeping them home/parent missing work. In order to keep our students and staff as healthy as possible, we ask that you consider these things before sending your child to school.

  • If your child complains of any 1 of the following symptoms, please keep them home and contact your health care provider: new cough, shortness of breath, fever of 100.4 or higher, new loss of taste or smell.
  • If your child complains of 2 or more of the following symptoms, please keep them home from school: fever, headache, muscle/body aches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Due to the wide range of signs and symptoms of Covid-19, and for the safety of all, students will need to be sent home if they display these symptoms.
  • If your child exhibits these symptoms at school, your child will be taken to a room that has been established for students/staff that are exhibiting Covid-19 related symptoms. This is to ensure safety from other students who would use the nurse’s office for non-Covid related reasons.
  • If you are notified by health office staff that your student is ill at school, please plan to pick up your student as soon as possible. We would ask that you also have a back-up plan so that ill students can be picked up as quickly as possible if you are not available.
  • We ask that you contact your Primary Health Care provider for more guidance on how to proceed with your student’s health needs prior to returning if your student is sent home. We will provide instructions per Polk County Health Department for proper home isolation and quarantine, if warranted. Students sent home ill will need to be out of school the following day (does not apply if sent home on a Friday) to be monitored. Students may return to school once the presenting symptoms have subsided for 24 hours, if they have an alternate diagnosis from a doctor, or a negative Covid test.

As said many times, this is a fluid and flexible situation that can change at any point. We will continue to work closely with the Polk County Health Department.

If you have questions, please contact your building’s nurse to discuss.

Stay safe and be well!

October 13, 2020

Secondary Hybrid Calendar through Nov. 6

View the secondary schedule for Oct. 26-Nov. 6

Secondary Students (Grades 6-12)

The Ankeny Board of Education voted to set a target date of Monday, November 9 for sixth through twelfth-grade students to return to a traditional on-site model. Setting a target date allows the district to make a final decision in response to current public health data closer to the November date, while simultaneously preparing for the return to on-site. This will be reviewed again at the November 2 Board of Education meeting.

September 16, 2020

Welcome Interim Superintendent Dr. Azinger

Dr. Al Azinger

The Ankeny Board of Education is pleased to announce Dr. Al Azinger was unanimously appointed as the Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Ankeny Community School District. Dr. Azinger has significant experience as a secondary and university administrator. He will step in as Interim Superintendent on September 16, 2020 when current Interim Superintendent, Dr. Jen Lindaman will assume her permanent role as Chief Officer of Academic Services for Ankeny Community School District.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Azinger has agreed to serve as the Ankeny Interim Superintendent, his expertise in growing leaders, and his dedication to public education make him the perfect leader for our school district,” stated Dr. Lindaman. “The Ankeny Community Schools values of community, challenge, leadership, excellence and inspiration were exemplified in Dr. Azinger’s responses to our interview teams giving us the utmost confidence in his ability to support our mission: Ankeny Community Schools is unified in its commitment, passion, and vision so every learner is prepared to achieve a lifetime of personal success.”

“The Ankeny School Board is pleased to welcome Dr. Al Azinger for the 2020-2021 school year. We appreciate the experience and depth of knowledge he brings to that role and we look forward to working with him. We are also grateful to Dr. Jen Lindaman for her leadership as she stepped in to temporarily fill that role,” said Lori Lovstad, President, Ankeny Board of Education.

Prior to joining the Ankeny Administrative Team, he served as Dean of the College of Education for Illinois State University. Throughout his years as an educator, he has served as Superintendent of Schools in Lawrence, Kansas and Associate Superintendent in Iowa City, IA.

Dr. Azinger received his Bachelor of Arts from Northeast Missouri State. He also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Western Illinois University; and a Doctorate of Education from University of Iowa.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” stated Dr. Azinger. “I’m looking forward to working to maintain the high quality of education represented in Ankeny Schools during this transition.”

Dr. Azinger has strong ties to Ankeny and the school district. His daughter’s family calls Ankeny home and his three grandchildren are currently attending Ankeny schools.

August 14, 2020

Opening of School Delayed until Thursday, August 27

As you know, this past week we experienced damages and power outages to our school buildings due to Monday’s storm. In particular, the duration of the power outage substantially impacted our ability to ready our buildings for the 2020-2021 school year. As a result, Ankeny Schools will delay the opening of school until Thursday, August 27.  An ongoing list of the storm damages and Ankeny Schools’ response can be found here.

Because this is an emergency situation – much like a snow day – and the calendar is well over the required number of hours needed annually, we will be able to make this delay without adjusting the 2020-2021 school calendar.

  • District and building offices will remain open.
  • The Before and After-School Program will be open from 6:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. only for registered students. More information will be provided by the Before and After-School Program to parents directly.

Information Now Available in Infinite Campus:

  • Please click here for instructions on how to identify your child’s group designation in Infinite Campus.
    • Due to the complicated nature of developing the Hybrid Group 1 and Group 2 rosters, the district cannot honor requests to change these assigned groups.
    • As you may know, the district utilizes a third party student information system called Infinite Campus. Infinite Campus experienced outages this week that impacted online registration. It is possible that students who have recently registered will not have updated data in Infinite Campus until next week.
  • Elementary student’s teacher assignments and secondary student’s class schedules are now available for the 2020-2021 school year in Infinite Campus.  Please refer to building communication channels for additional information regarding teacher assignment or class schedules.
  • For students who qualify for bus transportation, the information about bus number, bus stop location, and bus stop time is in the Infinite Campus Portal. Please note that Durham is currently finalizing timing for routes and assigning late registrants to the system. Please check the portal often for updates. If you have questions about routing, please contact Durham School Services at 515-965-9615.

If you have not yet set up an Infinite Campus account, you can use the form on this web page to request assistance.  If you have set up your Infinite Campus parent portal account and would like assistance, please access this how-to information.  For those who do not have access to the internet, please contact your child’s school for assistance.

Thank you for your continued flexibility and patience as we navigate these unprecedented times in public schools.

Ankeny Community School District

August 4, 2020

Northview Principal

Northview Principal Jay Slight
On July 6, the Ankeny Board of Education approved hiring Mr. Jay Slight as the new principal for Northview Middle School.

Mr. Slight has accumulated over 20 years of teaching experience. Most recently, he has served as head principal of Storm Lake Middle School in Storm Lake, Iowa. He has diversified experience in administrative roles and brings to Ankeny Schools his knowledge of instructional leadership, community partnership, and encouraging student achievement.

“My leadership style is very collaborative,” Mr. Slight said, “I believe that relationship building, from staff and students to parents and community members is an important part of being an effective school leader.”

Mr. Slight holds an Associate’s degree from Des Moines Area Community College, a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Iowa State University, and a Master’s in Education from Drake University in Secondary Administration and Educational Leadership.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Jay Slight to Ankeny Schools this fall. Mr. Slight’s background and passion for student achievement and family engagement makes him an excellent fit for the principal of Northview Middle School,” said Dr. Jen Lindaman, Chief Academic Officer and Interim Superintendent.

Mr. Slight officially began his new role July 7, 2020. He succeeds Ms. Bev Kuehn, who took on a new role in the Ankeny Community School District as the Director of Secondary Education.

August 4, 2020

Rock Creek Principal

Rock Creek Principal Johanna Cooper
On June 30, the Ankeny Board of Education approved hiring Johanna Cooper as the new principal for Rock Creek Elementary School.

Cooper has over 20 years of experience as an elementary teacher, bilingual elementary teacher, reading interventionist, literacy specialist, staff development coordinator, and head of schools. She has been an educational leader in Houston, Texas, Spring Branch, Texas, Katy, Texas, Durango, Mexico, and most recently she has been serving as the Head of Schools for Chiang Rai International School in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Cooper is an innovative and transformational instructional leader whose focus is on ensuring schools engage in research-based practices that develop global citizens.

Her family enjoys traveling and getting to know new cultures. Her oldest child is a junior at Iowa State University and her youngest will be in eighth grade.

Cooper holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s in Public School Administration from Texas A&M. Additionally, she is working towards completing a Doctorate in Educational Philosophy from the University of Illinois in 2023.

“My commitment as an education leader is to continue to take risks, listen, and learn from others, and always make informed decisions that are based on the best interest of the students,” Cooper said.
“I am confident in the expertise, knowledge, and passion she brings to this role,” said Superintendent Dr. Bruce A. Kimpston. “She possesses the requisite skills and experiences to continue to move Rock Creek Elementary forward.”

Cooper officially began her new role July 1, 2020. She succeeds Mr. Al Neppl, who took on a new role in the Ankeny Community School District as the Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development.

“I am excited to get to know the community I serve,” Cooper said. “My goal is to continue to provide Rock Creek Elementary with strong leadership and build strong relationships that will help us serve our students better. I am looking forward to welcoming the students, faculty, staff, and parents into the 2020-2021 academic year.”