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May 17, 2024

Advancing the Vision: Destination Ankeny

As we reflect on the past year, it’s evident that Ankeny Schools has been committed to becoming a district of choice and fostering growth in various aspects of education. From advancing academic programs to enhancing support for educators and planning innovative facilities, the district has embarked on a journey of continuous improvement.

The second implementation year of our Strategic Plan marked significant milestones and achievements. Under Pillar 1: Rigorous and Relevant Academics, the focus was on expanding post-secondary readiness initiatives. Notable progress includes initiatives like Career Speaker Day in middle schools, implementation of Junior Achievement Curriculum, and the introduction of a comprehensive tracking system for students’ career and academic plans. Moreover, the district’s efforts in organizing Career & College Showcases and increasing Career Exploration & Awareness Experiences underline its commitment to holistic student development.

A pivotal endeavor this year was the groundwork laid for the Innovative Hub, envisioned to be a transformative space for education. Extensive research led by the core planning team delved into shaping the future student experience. Themes of partnership, program diversity, facility flexibility, and student mobility emerged, setting the stage for a dynamic learning environment. The concept of “Destination Ankeny” encapsulates the vision of becoming a hub for educational excellence and community engagement. As we neared the end of our research and discovery, it led to the question: 

How might we design an innovative, district-wide culture that promotes curiosity and creates an interactive community impact through experiences to grow student’s creative genius in an ever-changing world?

While excitement mounts for the design phase of the Innovative Hub, the district emphasizes the primacy of academic programming. Plans to offer a comprehensive program of studies across six career and technical education service areas signify a holistic approach to student preparation for the future job market.

This draft program of studies serves as the cornerstone for designing a facility tailored to students’ evolving needs and aspirations.

In Pillar 2: Talented People, efforts to nurture and empower educators have been paramount. Initiatives such as the Educator Empowerment Conference and the Para-to-Educator Seminar showcase the district’s commitment to attracting and retaining top talent. With a retention rate exceeding 90%, Ankeny Schools stands out as a preferred employer, offering competitive benefits and fostering a culture of collaboration and support.

The district’s dedication to providing supportive environments extends beyond personnel to encompass infrastructure, through Pillar 3: Supportive Environments. Comprehensive facility audits and the implementation of a facilities master plan underscore a commitment to safety, functionality, and adaptability. Noteworthy among these efforts is the proposed grade configuration change, aimed at enhancing the middle school experience and optimizing facility utilization.

Exciting developments lie ahead, with plans to collaborate with Des Moines Area Community College for the construction of the Innovative Hub. Designed for flexibility and student-centered learning, the facility aims to foster collaboration, autonomy, and purpose among students. Check out these initial concept drawings by the district’s architect, Envision. 

The Hub Will

Hub Visual Program

Find Your Genius

These are not blueprints, but an idea of how the space will be used. The pursuit of a bond referendum in 2025 signifies the district’s commitment to realizing this vision.

In conclusion, Ankeny Schools’ journey over the past year reflects a relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation. From advancing academic programs to supporting educators and planning cutting-edge facilities, the district remains steadfast in its mission to empower students for success in a ever changing world. As stakeholders unite in shaping the future of education, the journey ahead promises to be one of transformation and growth.

May 14, 2024

Celebrating Milestones: Decision Days at High Schools

As the school year draws to a close, our seniors are eagerly anticipating the next chapter of their journey. Among the many exciting activities leading up to commencement, Decision Day holds a special significance. This is the day our seniors proudly declare their plans for life after high school.

Ankeny High School Decision Day: Ankeny High School kicked off Decision Day on Wednesday, May 8th, marking a momentous occasion for our graduating seniors. It was a day filled with excitement, anticipation, and celebration as students shared their aspirations and goals with their peers and mentors.

Upcoming Centennial Decision Day: Centennial High School is gearing up for its own Decision Day on Friday, May 17th. We are cheering for our seniors as they take this important step towards their future endeavors.

As our seniors prepare to embark on new adventures, we wish them nothing but success, happiness, and fulfillment in all their future endeavors. Their determination, resilience, and hard work have laid the foundation for a bright and promising future.

Important Commencement Information: For important details about commencement ceremonies, including dates, times, and venue information, please click here. Let’s come together to celebrate the achievements of our graduating seniors and send them off with the recognition and support they deserve.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

May 14, 2024

Ankeny Preschool: Discover Terrace Learning Center (TLC)

Transforming Learning Challenges into Growth Opportunities

As your child embarks on the journey of growth and discovery, questions and concerns may arise: Is my child ready? Will they make friends? At Terrace Learning Center (TLC), we understand these parental worries and strive to address them with our comprehensive approach to early childhood education.

Begin Your Ankeny Experience:
At TLC, every day is an opportunity for your child to learn and thrive. With a focus on building a strong educational foundation, we invite you to embark on your Ankeny experience with our preschool program.

TLC’s Key Features:
Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our unique features:

  • Dual Certified Teachers with Iowa Teaching Licenses ensure high-quality instruction for all students.
  • Additional adult support in every classroom fosters a nurturing environment for growth.
  • A low student-to-adult ratio ensures personalized attention and support.
  • As part of the Ankeny School District, TLC offers the benefits of a PK-only building within a larger educational community.
  • Our curriculum is research-based, differentiated, and tailored to meet the individual needs of each student.
  • A balanced daily schedule provides opportunities for both academic learning and play.

TLC’s Benefits:
Enroll your child at TLC, and enjoy a range of benefits, including:

  • Free access to outside experiences such as field trips and expert visits, enriching your child’s learning journey.
  • QPPS certification ensures that our program meets Iowa’s Quality Preschool Program Standards, guaranteeing excellence in education.
  • Parent involvement opportunities through volunteering and PTO engagement foster a sense of community and partnership.
  • Your child will develop friendships and social skills, gaining independence along the way.
  • With a focus on kindergarten readiness, your child will be well-prepared for their academic journey.
  • Access to a new library provides students with additional resources to enhance their learning experience.

Preschool student

Call us to schedule a tour and experience our nurturing environment firsthand.

  • Call 515-965-9670. Inquire about how to reserve your child’s spot in our program.
  • Register online now to secure your child’s place before spots fill up!

Mission Statement:
At TLC, our mission is to transform learning challenges into growth opportunities, empowering every child to reach their full potential in a supportive and enriching environment. Join us in shaping the future generation of learners and leaders.

 

 

 

May 1, 2024

Volunteerism across the District: Year in Review 

Volunteer winner with ErickAs the school year winds down, we wanted to share a quick summary of volunteer service in the district.  While we know there are likely some opportunities that weren’t captured in our centralized volunteer hub (Better Impact) this year and we will work to strengthen consistent use of that system next year, we are happy to share the following measures of success from this year:

Volunteerism in Ankeny Schools: 2023-2024

Measure PK-5 6-7 8-9 10-12 Total
Number (%) of volunteers in Better Impact (background check, volunteer agreement) 4,140
(82%)
329
(7%)
210
(4%)
343
(7%)
5,022
Number (%) of events at which people volunteered 417
(88%)
34
(7%)
6
(1%)
19
(4%)
476
Number (%) who volunteered at least one time 1,426
(89%)
94
(6%)
19
(1%)
68
(4%)
1,607
April 22, 2024

Recognizing the Impact of our BASP Team

Let’s give a big shoutout to our Before and After School Program (BASP) Team as we celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week! This is the perfect moment to show our gratitude and support for the dedicated individuals who enrich the lives of young people during their out-of-school hours. We truly value the significant impact they have on youth development. They play a vital role in enhancing program quality, which in turn helps to mitigate risks and fosters positive outcomes for our youth. From boosting social-emotional skills to improving school attendance and academic performance, our BASP professionals work tirelessly to make a difference. Their expertise and dedication create meaningful experiences for our youth, and we couldn’t be more grateful for our incredible BASP team! Show your appreciation by sending a thank you note! (To send the email, please use the email addresses of BASP team members in the format: firstname.lastname@ankenyschools.org)

April 15, 2024

Preschool Information Night: Thursday, April 18

Please join us for Preschool Parent Information Night for the 2024-2025 school year in the Terrace gym on Thursday, April 18. Please use entrance W16. The event will take place from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

During your visit, discover more about the Terrace Learning Center and our comprehensive preschool program. You’ll also receive details about our PTO and have the opportunity to take a guided tour of our facilities. We look forward to welcoming you!

Visit the Terrace Learning Center website.

Preschool1   Preschool

 

April 12, 2024

Conditions for Learning Survey

Ankeny Schools is seeking input on two different surveys. The first is issued by the school district, and the second by the State of Iowa.

  • District Survey: Please click this link to provide input for the 2025-26 and 2026-27 school year calendars. This survey will be open through April 21, 2024.
  • State of Iowa Survey: All Iowa public school districts are required to administer an annual school climate and culture survey called the Conditions for Learning Survey (Survey). Parents and guardians of students in preschool through grade 12 will have an opportunity to participate in a Parent/Guardian Conditions for Learning Survey to give added representation in school improvement efforts. The survey will be open through April 30, 2024. Responses to the online Parent/Guardian Survey are confidential, and the results are completely anonymous. Please click one of the links below to take the parent survey:

Parents of Grades Preschool-5 – English | Spanish
Parents of Grades 6-12 – English | Spanish

April 11, 2024

Latest on the Innovative Hub

We’re thrilled to unveil the latest updates on our groundbreaking postsecondary-focused center – the Innovative Hub!

Facility Progress:

In collaboration with Invision Architects and Momentum Studios, we’re working on refining the facility to ensure it’s nothing short of extraordinary. From assessing existing facilities to designing a state-of-the-art new building, every step is being carefully crafted to provide an unparalleled environment for student success.

Programming Development:

What can you expect from the Innovative Hub? Our dedicated team is leaving no stone unturned in crafting innovative programming that prepares students for the dynamic challenges of the modern world. We’re shaping a student experience that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and adaptability through site visits, design-thinking processes, and input from various stakeholders.

What’s Next:

Mark your calendars for May! That’s when our team will present the initial programming recommendations to the Ankeny Board of Education. Plus, we’ll reveal whether renovation or new construction will bring our vision to life.

Preparing for Tomorrow:

At Ankeny Schools, we’re no strangers to success. Drawing from our proven track record, we’re embarking on this journey with the utmost care and dedication. Our goal? To modernize student learning and empower every learner for postsecondary triumphs like never before.

Stay tuned for more updates as we pave the way for a brighter future at the Innovative Hub!

April 11, 2024

Card Shower: Help Us Celebrate Our Retirees!

The district celebrates our retiring educators and support staff every year in May. This year, we will celebrate our retirees at the district’s Celebration of Excellence. We want to invite you to celebrate them with us. If any of the educators, administrators, and support staff listed below had an impact on you or your family, please feel free to bring a retirement card to the district office (406 SW School St, Ankeny, IA 50023) Attn: Communications Department.

2023-2024 Retiring Ankeny Schools Staff:
Al Neppl Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development District Office
Amy Purdy Media Associate Ankeny High School
Angela Luttenegger Counselor Southview Middle School
Beth Rasmussen Human Resources Assistant District Office
Beth Walling SPED Teacher Northview Middle School
Carrie James Fourth Grade Teacher Crocker Elementary School
Cindy Presler Secretary Northwest Elementary School
David Brisco Custodian Northwest Elementary School
David Zuck Art Teacher Ankeny High School
Debbie Engelstad Media Associate East Elementary School
Debora Franklin Sped Paraprofessional Northwest Elementary School
Greg Luttenegger Math Teacher Southview Middle School
Jacey Jahn Fourth Grade Teacher Ashland Ridge Elementary School
Jane Phillips SPED Teacher Centennial High School
Jill Haight Human Resources Assistant District Office
Julie Linde Sped Paraprofessional Parkview Middle School
Kimberly Beuter Sped Teacher Westwood Elementary School
Lisa Rehms Vocal Music Teacher Prairie Ridge Middle School
Lori Schaeffer Language Arts Teacher Parkview Middle School
Louise Meyer Literacy Leader Southeast Elementary School
Marsha Meola Nutrition Services Parkview Middle School
Mary Snyder Counselor Northview Middle School
Maureen Hegedus Literacy Teacher Southview Middle School
Monica Yori Physical Education Teacher Southeast Elementary School
Nancy Benson Sped Paraprofessional Centennial High School
Randy Owens Custodian Northview Middle School
Sandy Smith Media Associate Parkview Middle School
Scott Ramfjord Custodian Northview Middle School
Senad Bacinovic Custodian Northview Middle School
Sheryl Dales Digital Learning Teacher East Elementary School
Steven Valentine Custodian Prairie Ridge Middle School
Susan Nania Sped Paraprofessional Heritage Elementary School
Trisha Black-Romig Second Grade Teacher East Elementary School
April 10, 2024

CHS Student Completes Cybersecurity Training with Fortinet

Congratulations to Addison Tullis, a student at Ankeny Centennial High School, for successfully finishing the Statewide Youth Broadband Advisory Council (SYBAC) online cybersecurity training offered by Fortinet. Tullis, along with six other students from Iowa, completed Fortinet’s Core course titled “Introduction to the Threat Landscape,” gaining a solid understanding of the evolving threat landscape and fundamental network security concepts. It’s fantastic to see Tullis and other students prioritizing cybersecurity!