Board Recognitions – Oct. 19, 2021
Two Ankeny staff members were recognized at the October 19, board meeting Tuesday night.
Emmeline Hallum, Spanish teacher at Parkview Middle School, was recognized for her years of dedication in providing best practices instruction, valued PLC members in navigating and implementing new curriculum and differentiated instructional practices, and building high-value building culture through developing and inspiring student leadership.
Renee Potts, associate at Northview Middle School, was recognized for her work in starting and leading the student union at Northview, while providing meaningful meetings that include modern-day and societal topics and serve as a safe space for students to discuss topics relevant to them.
Congratulations Emmeline and Renee! Thank you for all you do.
Construction Update – Oct. 2021
Exciting progress is being made daily on our ongoing construction projects.
High School Additions: The construction at the high school editions is 95% complete, with the majority of remaining tasks focusing on organizing and outfitting classroom spaces to individual teacher preferences. The weight room is also essentially complete, with only a few final touches remaining.
At Parkview Middle School, we estimate that 80% of renovation to classrooms is complete. The band/choir room will be accessible on 10/18 and the last set of restrooms will be complete on 11/1. The front office area is complete and is being housed with temporary furniture. New furniture for these areas is expected to arrive in mid-November, in addition to new media center shelving. The final project is the locker room, which is expected to be complete by 11/11.
Record Year for OPUS Honor Choir Festival
36 students were selected from Southview Middle School to perform in the Iowa Choral Directors Association’s OPUS Honor Choir Festival. OPUS will be held on Thursday, November 18th at Iowa State University.
2021 was a Record Year for Southview
- Most students ever selected from Southview
- Most 8th Grade Bass Clef Students selected from any school in the entire STATE
- Most 9th Grade Students selected from any school in the entire STATE
- Most total students selected from any school in the entire STATE
- In total, Ankeny had 67 students selected for OPUS, the most of any school district in the entire STATE
If you have one of these students in your class be sure to congratulate them!
8th Grade Treble Clef
Mya Backstrom (2nd Year in OPUS)
8th Grade Bass Clef
Jayden Huegel (2nd Year in OPUS)
9th Grade Mixed
Leah Hatch (2nd Year in OPUS)
Evelyn Huegel (3rd Year in OPUS – Solo Finalist)
Landon Pote (2nd Year in OPUS)
Nicholas Robie (3rd Year in OPUS)
Tyler Sickerson (3rd Year in OPUS)
Ethan Skow (3rd Year in OPUS)
Carlos Vergara (2nd Year in OPUS)
Ankeny Marching Hawks Performances
Last weekend the Ankeny Marching Hawks competed at the Valleyfest XLII Showdown competition. The band earned 1st place Class A, Best Marching Class A, Best Color Guard Class A, Best Drum Majors Class A, and the high score overall. The last time Ankeny won Valleyfest showdown was in 1997.
There are three more opportunities to watch this performance live this fall:
- Saturday, October 16 at 11:15 AM – State Marching Band competition at the Waukee Stadium
- Saturday, October 16 at 8:25 pm – Mid-Iowa Band Championships at Ankeny Stadium
- Friday, October 22 – The final home football game (senior night) at Ankeny Stadium
Viral Challenges in our School Environment
The Ankeny Community School District continues to see some incidents of the 2021 Tik Tok School Challenges. We have information about future challenges that include criminal activities and could go as far as assaulting individual students and staff members.
Working together, we ask families to communicate the seriousness of these seemingless inappropriate pranks and the impact this could have on our schools, other students, and the possible consequences they will face if found taking part in these challenges. The Ankeny Community School District will not tolerate this behavior and if a student is found to be involved with one of these activities, appropriate disciplinary actions in alignment with our policies and code of conduct will be implemented.
“We are asking families to take this opportunity to have a conversation with your student about making good choices when using technology,” Dr. Erick Pruitt, Superintendent. “Encourage your students to show good character and to not follow dangerous social media trends.”
7th Annual Veteran’s Breakfast – Oct. 13
Please join us as we celebrate our veterans and their contributions to our country. The Ankeny Community School District will host the 7th annual Veterans Breakfast at Northview Middle School on October 13th from 8:30 to 10:15am. Breakfast will be outside at the Northview Football Stadium. It will then be followed by an outdoor school-wide assembly from 9:30-10:15. Breakfast will be handed to veterans in to-go containers and tables will be spread out. If you don’t feel comfortable attending, please RSVP for breakfast to-go instead and watch a video of the event.
In past years we have honored around 75 veterans and served breakfast to over 250 people including their friends and family. To help us plan accordingly for the event, please RSVP . If you have trouble RSVPing online please call Northview at (515) 965-9700 (Ext. 1215) and leave a message with your name and phone number. If you would like to submit a picture as well, we will put that in our video for the program. Pictures can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited to celebrate our veterans and their dedication to our country. Please RSVP by Friday, October 9th so we can plan for an accurate breakfast account. We plan to email you if the event needs to change due to weather or Covid restrictions.
Free Dental Clinics
The local program, Iowa Mission of Mercy (IMOM) is holding free dental clinics in the metro area. If you have students, families, or staff that would benefit from free dental care, please share this information with them. All patients seeking treatment at an IMOM local clinic need to schedule an appointment directly with the clinic.
IMOM Local clinics in your area include:
- Wednesday, October 6: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM @ 4444 Northwest 128th St, Urbandale, IA 50323 (515.278.4366)
- Friday, October 8: 7:45 AM- 3:00 PM @ 3830 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312 (515.274.5151)
- Friday, October 22: 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM @ Waveland Family Dental – 4232 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311 – (515.277.4461)
- Friday, October 22: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM @ Apex Dental – 725 S 51st St, West Des Moines, IA 50265 (515.224.1618)
- Monday, October 25: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM @ West Lakes Family Dentistry – 6800 Lake Dr, Ste 290, West Des Moines, IA 50266 (515.225.2424)
For more information about IMOM Local clinics, please visit their website , or contact 515.331.2298.
Updated Return to Learn Plan
The updated Return to Learn Plan that was approved on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, was neither an endorsement nor an admonishment of masks. The approved plan enables the district to follow the federal order and to avoid violating federal civil rights and disability laws.
Changes in the approved Return to Learn Plan are highlighted below:
The approved changes will take effect September 23, 2021, and will remain in effect through December 21, 2021, unless there are changes to the current law or further action by the board.
A new plan will be presented for the beginning of the 2022 calendar year.
Masks will be required for individuals age 2 and older, indoors on ACSD property during the compulsory school day. This includes students, teachers, staff, visitors, and volunteers.
Masks will not be required when outdoors on ACSD property.
Exemptions from last year will carry forward, and new exemption requests can be made by filling out the exemption form. Please note: The statement on the form, “A person granted a medical or religious exemption may be excluded from in-person school and school activities during a COVID-19 infection outbreak” means that having a mask exemption does not prevent a student from being told to stay home from school if they test positive for COVID. More information can be found on Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.
We will work collaboratively with families to make sure we are balancing the health, safety, and educational needs of all students in a classroom.
Our tracking and notification of potential COVID-19 exposure will be updated to meet the new plan. Communication about what to expect will be sent in the next couple of days from your student’s home school building.
By Wednesday, September 29, lunch seating for grades 6-12, will implement a process so communication-related to potential exposure can be more precise.
Find the full plan with more detailed information on the Return to Learn section of the district website.
Young Scientist Challenge
While a student at Prairie Ridge, Kalyani Bhat, competed in the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. This competition features outstanding innovations from young scientists that utilize the power of STEM to improve the world. Over the summer of 2021 Kalyani was named the state merit winner for Iowa for her video communicating the science behind her solution to a ventilator alternative. Each state merit winner receives special recognition on the challenge website, along with a special technology prize pack. Kalyani is now a student at Northview Middle School.
ACSD Response to Federal Ruling
On Monday, September 12, 2021, the United States District Court for Southern District of Iowa issued a temporary restraining order preventing the State of Iowa and Iowa school districts from enforcing Iowa Code Section 280.31, the law passed last spring prohibiting school districts from requiring masks on district property.
We are conferring with our legal counsel to understand the implications of this order for the district.
The Ankeny Community School District Board of Directors will meet in open session for a special meeting on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 6 p.m. to review the order, hear from legal counsel, and discuss next steps. The purpose of this meeting is to inform the board, leadership, and community. No action or public comment will take place at this meeting. This meeting will be held at the District Office (306 SW School Street). A livestream of the event will also be available on the district’s YouTube channel.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to work together to ensure that everyone in our school community feels safe, welcomed, and supported.