World Read Aloud Day – Feb. 2
World Read Aloud Day is Wednesday, February 2, 2022! For 13 years, World Read Aloud Day has called attention to the importance of sharing stories by challenging participants to grab a book, find an audience, and read-aloud! The global effort, created by the non-profit LitWorld and sponsored by Scholastic, is celebrated annually in over 173 countries and is all about bringing people together through the shared connection of reading aloud in all of our communities.
Congratulations to Kristen Recher, Iowa STEM Teacher Award
Holly Anderson Named 2022 Middle School Iowa Athletic Director of the Year
Holly Anderson, Activities Director at Northview Middle School, has been chosen as the 2022 Middle School Athletic Director of the Year by the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association. Holly was chosen for her outstanding dedication and leadership of young student-athletes.
“We are excited that Holly is receiving this much deserved recognition,” said Dr. Erick Pruitt, Superintendent of Ankeny Schools. “She is great leader, to both her students and also to her fellow staff members.”
Holly has been with the Ankeny Community School District for 16 years. Her previous roles for the district include P.E. teacher and girl’s basketball coach before beginning her current role in administration in 2013.
Honorees chosen as Athletic Director of the Year must have a minimum of five years’ experience and show qualities of achievement, excellence and character. Holly will be recognized at the annual IHSADA State Convention in March.
Updates to the Mask Requirement
The Ankeny Board of Education voted to discontinue the September amendment to the Return to Learn Plan, which was originally scheduled to sunset on December 21, 2021. This effectively ends the mask requirement in Ankeny Schools beginning, Wednesday, December 8. Masks will still be required on buses in accordance with the Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC continues to recommend that all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, and we recommend those who are able continue to follow this guidance to support the health and safety of both our students and staff.
The Iowa Department of Public Health provided guidance to school districts in May 2021 that requires parental notification when students are exposed to COVID-19. With this change to the Return to Learn Plan, you may begin receiving an increase in these notifications. Please note that due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), neither the district, school building secretary, nor your school nurse will be able to provide exact exposure information.
Furthermore, it remains vitally important that any students who are feeling ill stay home. Federal and state public health agencies have information available to help you understand COVID-19 symptoms and appropriate next steps if you and/or your children are experiencing them.
We continue to await a decision from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Iowa’s law prohibiting mask requirements in schools. If the court’s decision has any impact on our current mitigation procedures, we will notify our school community at that time.
Dr. Erick Pruitt
Superintendent of Schools
Parent Advisory Committee Meeting – Thursday, Dec. 9
The Ankeny Community School District and Superintendent Dr. Erick Pruitt invite parents/guardians to attend the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting on Thursday, December 9 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Northview Middle School in the Cafeteria. Please park on the west side of the building near the football stadium and enter through doors W22.
We will be sharing information about our new learning management system, Canvas, the resources available to teachers as outcomes of curriculum reviews, and reporting student progress with standards.
The Parent Advisory Committee gives parents an opportunity to provide input on topics and ideas that are relevant to the district’s goal of preparing every learner for success. The committee will also provide insight into projects and initiatives that can be implemented to help move the district forward. Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to collaborate with each other and work together as one entity to ensure success for our students and community.
Committee involvement is open to all parents of students enrolled in the Ankeny Community School District.
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.