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May 17, 2022

AELP Technology Fair

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The first-ever AELP Technology Fair was held at the Kirkendall Library on Thursday, May 5th.  All of our elementary schools, 6-7 buildings, and 8-9 buildings were represented.

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Students were given a month to work on their projects by completing a technology fair planning sheet and in some cases had to “win” their home building in order to advance. There were about 40 entries total. The projects were categorized according to their classification:  web presence, graphic design and publishing, coding, innovative technology use, etc. Danfoss was on site to teach about hydraulics and the robotics team did demonstrations.

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Projects were judged on a rating scale similar to show choir or band competitions. Judges consisted of parent volunteers, district office staff, instructional coaches, and community volunteers. Judges and participants filled out a survey for suggestions to improve the fair for next year.

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Thank you and congratulations to all of our Technology Fair participants and volunteers!

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 2022

Law Day Celebration

The annual Law Day celebration was held on Monday, May 2 and was presented by the Polk County Bar Association. Law Day has been celebrated on or around May 1 since 1958 when President Dwight Eisenhower signed the proclamation declaring it a day to celebrate and strengthen the American heritage of liberty, justice and equality under the law. The Polk County Bar Association partners with ARAG each year to give Polk County area students a chance to get creative with the law as part of our annual Law Day celebration. Students in grades K through 12 are invited to compete in the visual arts, music, essay and poetry categories.

This year’s theme was “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.” Numerous Ankeny students from across the district won awards and are mentioned below.

High School Poetry Competition

Emma Smith
Emma Smith,
Centennial High School
2nd place

High School Essay Competition

Elizabeth Deng
Elizabeth Deng,
Centennial High School
1st place

Finn Stukerjurgen
Finn Stukerjurgen,
Southview Middle School
3rd place

High School Visual Arts Competition

Josie Bishop
Josie Bishop,
Northview Middle School
2nd place

High School Technology Competition

Noah Yeager
Noah Yeager,
Ankeny High School
1st place

Middle School Technology Competition

Aakansha Ganesh
Aakansha Ganesh,
Prairie Ridge Middle School
1st place

Middle School Performing Arts Competition

Middle School Performing Arts
Lauren Boka, Katelyn Henzi, Camryn Johnson, Abigail Willardson, Cathy Owusu-Anokye, Josefina Willkom, Maia Bredice, Kaley Swanson and Sydney Heithoff
Northview Middle School
1st place

Middle School Poetry Competition

Rosie Howieson
Rosie Howieson,
Northview Middle School
1st place

Middle School Essay Competition

Kalyani Bhat
Kalyani Bhat,
Northview Middle School
1st place

Harrison Jansen
Harrison Jansen,
Northview Middle School
2nd place

Martha Willard
Martha Willard,
Prairie Ridge Middle School
3rd place

Middle School Visual Arts Competition

Hollin Hansen
Hollin Hansen,
Southview Middle School
1st place

Eve Russell
Eve Russell,
Prairie Ridge Middle School
2nd place

Middle School Visual Arts 3rd Place
Jamie Miara, Lauren Harmon, Ava Barten, Marleigh Munger and Mabelle Way
Northview Middle School
3rd place (tie)

Elementary School Poster Competition

Ainsley Schnurr
Ainsley Schnurr,
Ashland Ridge Elementary
1st place

Jillian Tournier
Jillian Tournier,
Ashland Ridge Elementary
2nd place

Thomas Dunne
Thomas Dunne,
Northeast Elementary
3rd place

Elementary School Visual Arts Competition

Brinley Feuerbach
Brinley Feuerbach,
Ashland Ridge Elementary
1st place

Jillian Moses and Siena Peddicord,
Northeast Elementary
2nd place

Meyer & Heither
Stella Heither and Lia Meyer,

Ashland Ridge Elementary
3rd place

Elementary School Coloring Competition

Camryn Taxted,
Prairie Trail Elementary
1st place

Elle Evans,
Prairie Trail Elementary
2nd place

Kyla Leach
Kyla Leach,
Prairie Trail Elementary
3rd place

Elementary School Essay Competition

Brynlee Moeller
Brynlee Moeller,

Southeast Elementary
1st place

Elementary School Poetry Competition

Clayton Gardner
Clayton Gardner,

Prairie Trail Elementary
1st place

Elementary School Technology Competition

Chatham Beck
Chatham Beck,

Ashland Ridge Elementary
1st place

Madeline Lynch
Madeline Lynch,

Northeast Elementary
2nd place

Kaitlyn French
Kaitlyn French,

Ashland Ridge Elementary
3rd place

May 13, 2022

CHS to be recognized at Musical Theater Awards

Centennial theater department

Ankeny Centennial High School’s theater department will participate in the 2022 Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards Showcase, presented by EMC Insurance Companies, in honor of the school’s achievements for its April production of CHICAGO: High School Edition.

Produced by Des Moines Performing Arts as the culmination of a year-long education initiative, the Showcase will be held at the Des Moines Civic Center on Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m. and will recognize a total of 85 schools from across the entire state.

ACHS will be honored in a special video shown at the Showcase, in celebration of its receipt of an Outstanding Overall Performance Award – one of the program’s highest honors.

Emily Devick and Ryan Henzi each earned Outstanding Performance in a Principal Role Awards and are eligible to participate in the Triple Threat Award program with other advanced performing students. In addition to a special performance at the showcase, students will audition for theater camp scholarships and the opportunity to represent Iowa at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City this summer.

Emily Devick will perform an excerpt from her award-winning role in CHICAGO: High School Edition as Roxie during the Showcase.

Abby Mayo, Logan Eilers, and Drew Carter will showcase their award-winning work as the choreography team as part of the program’s Behind-The-Scenes Awards track.

ACHS also earned the Outstanding Ensemble Award. In addition, select students will represent ACHS by performing in a collaborative inter-school finale medley led by a guest Broadway music director and choreographer.

Tickets to the Showcase, which start at $15, will go on sale on Friday, May 20, 2022 at 10 AM at DMPA.org, the Civic Center Ticket Office, and by phone at 515-246-2300.

The Awards Showcase will be live-streamed at IowaPBS.org as part of a collaboration with Iowa PBS. Iowa PBS will also broadcast a highlights special of the event on July 18 at 9:00 p.m., with a repeat airing at 1:00 p.m.

 

May 6, 2022

Teachers On Call, Substitute Services

Ankeny Community School District is pleased to announce our selection of Teachers On Call, a Kelly Education Company as our comprehensive provider of substitute services for our Teachers and Paraprofessionals!

Teachers On Call® (TOC) will handle the recruiting, screening, hiring, training, and scheduling of substitutes beginning the 2022-2023 school year.   Next week, current substitutes will receive written communication announcing this new program and what the next steps are.  Over the next few months, we will be sharing more information as it pertains to our new partnership which will include Q&A sessions for our valuable substitutes.

We are excited to partner with Teachers On Call and look forward to supporting employees, substitutes and schools, all while making sure our school district succeeds.

May 3, 2022

District Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Audit Report

The Ankeny Community School District (ACSD) commissioned West Wind Education Policy Inc. (West Wind) to conduct a district audit in order to understand the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion, identify key areas of opportunity and growth, and support ACSD’s continuous improvement. The audit report is organized around the DEI Framework as it was presented on April 28, 2022. The full audit report and companion reference report are available here.

The presentation from the May 2, 2022 Board of Education meeting can be found here.

Areas of Distinction:

  • Students are coming to school and persisting through to graduation; ACDS has impressive graduation and attendance rates.
  • ACSD students notice when individual teachers work to build relationships.
  • ACSD staff expressed commitment to supporting all students.
  • ACSD has an impressive data system to support decision-making.

Areas of Growth:

  • Groups of students are not experiencing high levels of safety, belonging, and inclusion. Both students and teachers report that students use slurs against other students and that adults need help to consistently address this problem.
  • Disproportionality is evident in (1) student performance among English learners, students in poverty, students of color, and special education students (based on ISASP scores; note that when data are disaggregated by BOTH race AND poverty, the patterns of achievement by race are still evident); (2) office referrals both for Disrespect, Defiance, Insubordination, and Non-Compliance (D-DIN) and for Bullying and Harassment; and (3) the identification of students for special education services.
  • Nearly one-third of eligible ESOL students are not receiving services and the performance of ESOL students in reading and mathematics is significantly lower than students who are fluent in English.

Recommendations:

  1. Focus Professional Development: Help teachers and administrators better understand students’ many social identities and how they impact their educational experiences. Respond to educators’ requests for support in recognizing and responding to micro-aggressions, slurs, and other bias-based incidents. Help all staff to understand the ACSD DEI Framework and how they can improve their practice in order to foster learning communities described in the Framework.
  2. Increase Support to General Education Teachers to Serve ESOL Students: Provide professional development for all teachers to better understand how to support ESOL students in the general education classroom.
  3. Improve IEP Identification: Ask Heartland Area Education Association to help examine data on the disproportionality in students identified for IEPs and to mitigate the potential for students to be mis-identified as needing IEPs.
  4. Identify and Address Root Causes: Explore root causes underlying disparities and review the research on effective ways to address those root causes.
  5. Invest in Data Literacy: Invest in increasing staff capacity across the district to make the best use of ACSD’s impressive data system, including disaggregating more data by multiple variables and understanding how to use and make meaning of data.
  6. Examine Counseling Needs: Collect disaggregated data about which students are meeting with counselors and for what purposes (academic, mental health, behavior, etc.) and survey students about their access to counselors and the impact of counselor support.
  7. Provide for Safe Student Reporting: Create mechanisms for students to safely report supportive or problematic issues, practices, or instances without fear of retribution.
  8. Enact the DEI Framework: Promote collective responsibility for enacting the DEI Framework by communicating clear support and expectations for equity-advancing work across the district. Build out the district DEI office to ensure experts are able to support not only the specific work of the state-required equity coordinator, but also to support all district departments and buildings as they work to support ACSD students.
  9. Use a Policy Review Tool: Use an equity review process or tool before adopting and after implementing policies, programs, practices, and budgets.
  10. Recruit and Retain a Diverse Workforce: Update and develop explicit programs to support in the recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and retention of diverse and highly effective staff and develop partnerships beyond the district to help.
  11. Improve Parent/Family Communication: Develop multidirectional communication goals and processes to foster family presence in schools.
May 2, 2022

Kindergarten Information Night Recording

The Kindergarten Information Night was held virtually on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:00 p.m. Parents of incoming Kindergartners learned more about:
  • How to register for school
  • Documents needed for registration
  • Before and After School program
  • Meet the Elementary School principals
  • Important upcoming date
April 25, 2022

Knowledge Bowl State Champs

Knowledge Bowl State Champs

From left to right: Michael Kennedy, Walter Ha, Nolan Gentry, Anders Repp and Luca Fratella

This Spring, Ankeny students earned the 14th State Championship for Iowa Knowledge Bowl by defeating North Polk and Knoxville in the Championship Round. They finished the day with a record of 14-1 and are looking to build on those successes, with an invite to nationals in Chicago in June.

“I love coaching these students, they impress me more and more each day,” said Nathan Coombes, Southview quiz bowl coach.  “The sky is the limit for what these students will achieve in Knowledge Bowl and in life.”

Congratulations to all the teams that competed on a fun competitive day for Iowa Knowledge Bowl.

April 21, 2022

Fill the Fund: April 27

The fourth annual Fill the Fund fundraiser will take place on Wednesday, April 27 in Ankeny. Fill the Fund is an event organized by the Wiedenman Family Foundation to benefit the Ankeny Community School District. The city-wide eat out event allows Ankeny community members to eat out for a cause! On this day, participating resaturants donate a portion of their proceeds back to the Wiedenman Family Foundation, who is putting the monies raised toward honoring our school district’s teachers!

Participating restaurants include

Cabaret Sports Bar and Grill

Chick-Fil-A Ankeny

Coldstone Creamery

Fongs

Hy-Vee North

IHOP

Little Caesars

Lola’s Fine Kitchen

Lotta Pop

Main Street Cafe and Bakery

Magee’s Irish Pub

Pizza Ranch

Rise & Grind

Sorriso Grille

Sports Page

Thrive

Tropical Smoothie

Whiskey River

Wig & Pen

Yankee Clipper

Yanni’s

A portion of the proceeds from food and beverage sales during the Fill the Fund event will be donated to the Ankeny Community School District. In the past, the funds have been used to replenish negative school lunch balances throughout the district. School lunches have been free since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, funds raised from Fill the Fund will be used to recognize and honor the Ankeny School District’s teachers.

The Wiedenman Family Foundation, a 501c3 tax exempt, non-profit organization was formed to undertake projects that will enhance Ankeny and the surrounding communities. 

April 20, 2022

Join Us April 21 for the Parent Advisory Committee

Please join us for the April 21, 2022 PAC meeting. This will be an open discussion about the draft Strategic Plan and Graduate Profile. The partnership between families, parents, students, and the school has always been a priority in Ankeny. This collaboration will grow as parents and families unite in support of student learning experiences such as career exploration and awareness of work-based learning.  Determining a student’s vision for their future and engaging in learning that centers the student’s voice and choice in the process is best done when the educational team and the family work together.

When: Thursday, April 21 • 6-7:30pm

Where: Northview Middle School, 1302 North Ankeny Boulevard

Click here to review documents and provide feedback.

colleagues giving a high five

April 20, 2022

Community Feedback: DEI Framework, Strategic Plan, & Profile of a Graduate

Throughout the winter, planning teams throughout the district have been working hard to reimagine how our district might improve how we are serving the needs of our students. Teams of parents, community members, teachers, and administrators created the district’s Strategic Plan, defined Ankeny’s Profile of a Graduate, and developed the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Framework. We hope for these three guiding documents to serve as an anchor for all the district’s work, which is why such a large, diverse group of community and staff members are working together to create these plans.

Please view an overview of the three guiding documents and their connection here.

Strategic Plan:

The first of these three key initiatives is the Strategic Plan. As you know, our district is currently engaged in the process of updating our strategic plan, the vision, and the goals that will guide the Ankeny Community School District over the next three to five years. This fall, the Core Planning Team of students, parents, community members, and staff developed a draft strategic plan framework. Action Teams, consisting of staff, parents, and community members, established action plans, which are now included in the overall strategic plan. The culminating plans led to three main pillars of work (please view the plans below): 

  1. Pillar One: Rigorous and Relevant Academics
  2. Pillar Two: Talented People
  3. Pillar Three: Supportive Environments

DRAFT STRATEGIC PLAN OVERVIEW

Following a review of the above DRAFT documents, please utilize the form below to provide feedback on the DRAFT Strategic Plan.


DEI Framework:

The DEI Framework will be a guiding set of principles, specific to Ankeny, with local priorities, definitions, and actions identified that will help Ankeny achieve its vision of equity and inclusion for all students. The Framework will help school staff and leaders ensure that initiatives undertaken within Ankeny schools are directed toward the achievement of core districts goals and aligned to the strategic plan. This draft plan is now available for public review and feedback.

DRAFT DEI Framework

Following a review of the above DRAFT document, please utilize the form below to provide feedback.


Ankeny’s Profile of a Graduate:

​​The Profile of a Graduate works together with the strategic plan and DEI framework to help us chart a path for the district’s future. Our strategic plan will be the guide that allows us to build the kind of district we hope to have. The DEI Framework will help us ensure all students have a high-quality educational experience. The profile of a graduate will serve as our district’s North Star, outlining the competencies and characteristics we collectively believe all of our students should have by the time they graduate from our district. This profile is also available for public review and feedback. 

DRAFT Profile of a Graduate

Following a review of the above DRAFT document, please utilize the form below to provide feedback.