Giving Tuesday: Make a Difference in Our Community
Parent Resource: Social Media
In today’s digital age, navigating conversations about social media with teenagers can be a challenging yet crucial aspect of parenting. Parents may find it useful to have insights and strategies to foster open communication about social media use. The graphic below offers tips to assist parents in approaching this sensitive topic with their children. From setting boundaries to promoting responsible online behavior, this graphic serves as a valuable tool for initiating constructive dialogues that foster a healthy balance between the digital world and real-life connections. For more ideas on how to talk to your kids about social media, click here.
2023 Election Recap
Congratulations to the re-elected and newly elected members of the Ankeny School Board: Katie Claeys, Stephanie Gott, Shelly Northway, Amber Romans, and Amy Tagliareni. These directors will be sworn in at the November 20 board meeting. Find board meeting agendas and meeting minutes.
Construction Update: Abbie Grove
Abbie Grove Elementary is nearing completion! Paint, carpet, and cabinetry are being installed throughout the building, along with ceilings and ceramic tile. Lighting is also complete with sinks and restroom fixtures in place, and HVAC equipment will be brought online over the next few weeks. Outside, the construction office and fencing have been removed. There is now a focus on the building’s curb appeal with trees, shrubs, and other landscaping appearing over the next few weeks.
Unlocking Ankeny’s Future: Discover PPEL’s Impact!
Ankeny residents, mark your calendars for November 7, 2023! It’s time for the renewal of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). This critical renewal occurs once every decade and plays a pivotal role in supporting Ankeny Community Schools.
Your vote matters, as PPEL funds are dedicated to essential tasks such as building repairs, the acquisition of new equipment, and the enhancement of security systems within our educational institutions. To gain a deeper understanding of the significance of PPEL and its connection to the Ankeny Community, we invite you to listen and learn through Ankeny Schools.
Your participation is crucial in maintaining and improving the quality of education in our community. Mark your calendars and stay informed about this upcoming vote!
Learn more on the latest podcast: Let’s Talk About…Renewal Vote for Physical Plant & Equipment Levy on any of the links below.
Ankeny Centennial’s Jodi Larson Named High School PE Teacher of the Year
The Ankeny Community School District is proud to announce that Jodi Larson, Physical Education Teacher at Ankeny Centennial High School, has been recognized as the High School PE Teacher of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) Iowa. This prestigious award recognizes Jodi’s exceptional contributions to physical education and her unwavering commitment to promoting the health and well-being of her students.
“Jodi Larson is a compassionate teacher leader who keeps inclusion at the forefront of what we do in our community,” said Dr. Jill Urich, principal of Ankeny Centennial High School. “She is a fierce advocate for students with special needs, and she is that results-oriented educator who refuses to give up on a student. She is very deserving of this award!”
SHAPE Iowa, the leading organization in the state dedicated to promoting physical education and health, selected Jodi Larson as the High School PE Teacher of the Year in recognition of her outstanding efforts to inspire and educate students about the importance of physical fitness, healthy living, and lifelong wellness.
New! Absence Request Feature on Infinite Campus
We are excited to introduce a convenient new way to report student absences to your school! The Absence Request tool in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal allows you to report your student’s absence online with just a few clicks. This can be done using your desktop computer or the Parent Portal app on your mobile device.
Entering an absence request is quick and easy. Follow these simple steps:
- Log in to your Infinite Campus Parent Portal account.
- Select your child’s profile.
- Navigate to the Absence Request section.
- Fill in the required information, including the date and reason for the absence.
- Submit your request.
Visit this Absence Request Guide for detailed information on how to report absences.
Per the student handbook, students who know they will be absent for a reason other than a school-sponsored trip or school-sponsored activity must have a parent notify the school’s office in advance of the absence. This notification can be provided using the Absence Request tool outlined above, or by phone call, e-mail, or written note.
ACSD Chosen as Semi-Finalist for Department of Education’s Career Z Challenge
The Ankeny Community School District has been selected as a semi-finalist for the prestigious Career Z Challenge, organized by the United States Department of Education. The Career Z Challenge seeks to promote innovative and impactful Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs that provide students with comprehensive career development opportunities. The announcement comes as the Department of Education releases the list of semi-finalists for this year’s competition.
The Career Z Challenge received entries from schools, non-profit organizations, and local educational agencies across 35 states, representing both urban and rural communities. These entries showcased a range of proposed WBL plans, outlining strategies to foster collaborative and sustainable ecosystems involving educators, business and industry partners, workforce professionals, and community stakeholders. The Ankeny Community School District’s inclusion in this esteemed group of semi-finalists is a testament to its commitment to providing students with interconnected and expansive career development opportunities throughout grades 9 – 12.
During the 2023-2024 school year, the selected semi-finalists will receive specialized technical assistance to refine further and implement their proposed WBL ecosystem plans. Additionally, they will participate in a community of practice (CoP), accessing enriching learning workshops, collaborative opportunities with peers, and various valuable resources. As the Ankeny Community School District progresses through Phase 2 of the competition, it stands to gain a potential prize of $10,000 for successfully aligning with proposal and submission requirements.
The Ankeny Community School District will focus its Career Z work on further development and refinement of its “innovative secondary school” model. Through collaboration with students, staff, parents, corporate citizens, higher education institution administrators, and non-profit leaders, the district will advance the work of developing an innovative, work-based-learning hub. A dozen community organizations provided letters of support for the district’s application.
Following the completion of Phase 2, up to 10 finalists will be chosen to advance to Phase 3, where they will benefit from tailored technical assistance to accelerate the expansion and sustainability of their WBL ecosystems. At the culmination of Phase 3, each finalist who meets the stipulated criteria will be eligible for a substantial prize award of $150,000.
“We are honored to be selected as a semi-finalist for the Career Z Challenge,” said Dr. Erick Pruitt, Superintendent of the Ankeny Community School District. “This recognition underscores our dedication to fostering meaningful connections between education and the workforce, ensuring our students have the resources and experiences they need to excel in their chosen careers.”
The Ankeny Community School District looks forward to bringing its proposed WBL ecosystem plan to life, embracing the lessons learned along the way, and ultimately contributing to advancing career development opportunities for students.
Meet The Teacher and Meet a New Job!
Do you love working with kids? Do you want to work at your child’s school? Or how about being a part of an amazing staff family? We’ve got an opportunity for you!
Monday, August 21, is Meet the Teacher night at all Ankeny elementary schools, and you’re invited to participate in onsite interviews for paraprofessional openings in our elementary buildings! Not ready to interview? Staff will be on hand to answer all your questions about this important role in our schools or to reserve a time for a future interview.
Open Paraprofessional openings include:
- General Education (Part-Time 3 days per week)
- General Education (Part-Time 4 days per week)
- General Education (Part-Time 5 days per week)
- Special Education (Full-Time)
- English Learners(Full-Time shared with another building)
Make plans to join us on Monday, August 21, from 4-6 at any Ankeny elementary school building.
NEW! Security Practices – Please Read
One of the great things about Ankeny Schools is the community’s support of our athletics and activities. These events bring thousands of people together to celebrate the achievement of students. Because security is of utmost importance, the district continues to review its practices and identify areas of improvement at such events. As a result, we will be implementing some new security measures this Fall for our activities and events.
Security practices that will continue:
- Grades 6-12 must wear school ID while at the game
- Footballs are not allowed
- No baby powder, confetti, signs, noisemakers
- No weapons (real or look-alike)
- The North gate will remain secured at all times unless a team, band, or emergency personnel need access to the stadium
New security practices:
- Families will be encouraged to ensure that students in grades K-5 be accompanied by an adult
- Entrance to the stadium before an event will not be allowed
- There will be no re-entry after leaving the stadium
- Spectators will not be allowed to bring backpacks and large handbags into the stadium; Diaper bags or medical bags are allowed, but are subject to search
- No outside food or drink
- No access without a ticket or pass, including after halftime
These recommendations are the result of numerous conversations with security experts and a review of our current practices. Security can often be at odds with convenience. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for our students and spectators. We look forward to cheering on the Hawks and Jaguars with you this Fall.