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February 15, 2024

Do you have a challenge in your business that needs a resolution?

ORBIS excels in devising solutions for diverse business challenges. As enthusiastic students, we are eager to assist and expand our knowledge through new experiences. If you’re interested in collaborating with us, kindly complete our Project Discovery form. While you’re there, explore our latest and most impressive projects on our social media channels below.

February 14, 2024

Notice of School Property Prescribed Burns

The ACSD maintenance team will be conducting prescribed burns periodically in Ankeny as weather conditions allow, continuing until June 1, 2024. Weather conditions and safety considerations will determine the exact date and time of the fires.

Why do we perform prescribed burns?

Central Iowa’s landscape was once dominated by tall grass prairies. These ecosystems have an abundance of plants, insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles. The native grasses and forbs (flowers) also provide seed and nectar for insects, butterflies, birds, and small mammals. In nature, fire is essential to maintain the integrity of the native prairie plant species located in our parks. Fire is a natural occurrence that helps the plant and animal communities in a park and controlled burning offers a safer way to use fire in a helpful manner. The benefits of prescribed burns include the following:

  • Aid in reducing the undesirable plants from invading our native prairie areas
  • Help to maintain a rich diversity of wildflowers and grasses
  • Decreases the threat of wildfires by decreasing the accumulation of combustibles
  • Benefits water quality by aiding in the establishment of deep-rooted natives
  • Improves the natural beauty and enjoyment of our parks

Thank you for understanding.

January 14, 2024

Orbis Project Showcase Ignites Innovation

On Friday, January 5, 2024, Orbis opened its doors to an array of local businesses, providing a platform for the exhibition of 50 diverse projects presented in two distinct blocks. The event not only celebrated entrepreneurial spirit but also facilitated connections between student innovators and seasoned members of the business community.

One standout project involved the creation of a year-long content calendar for the Uptown Ankeny group. This innovative approach aimed to streamline social media management, eliminating guesswork and introducing a scheduling platform with budget considerations. Speaking with the brains behind this initiative revealed a dedication to enhancing online presence and fostering effective communication.

Claire Linn, an Ankeny alumna, shared her motivation behind the inception of the project showcase idea. Her vision was to provide students with an opportunity to present their ideas to the community, attracting new businesses and expanding exposure. Research efforts focused on connecting with agricultural and trade companies, amplifying their presence in this unique showcase. Tyler Sparks, another Ankeny alumnus, emphasized the significance of word-of-mouth promotion for student innovators. His belief in the mutual growth of students and businesses underscored the importance of community engagement.

Another noteworthy project, aptly named Busy Bees, took a hands-on approach to problem-solving. The group delved into on-site research, addressing a space-related challenge faced by Sweet Endeavors, a local honey business. By personally visiting the site and collaborating with the business owner, the team crafted scalable plans and recommended optimal supplies to enhance operational efficiency.

The Orbis project showcase not only unveiled inventive solutions but also highlighted the collaborative spirit of Ankeny’s entrepreneurial community. Through firsthand experiences and strategic initiatives, these student entrepreneurs demonstrated their commitment to driving positive change.

 

 

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The event was captured by Evie Neller of EN Studios LLC, providing a visual narrative to complement the innovative stories shared at Orbis.

January 12, 2024

Let’s Talk About…Core Skills, Soft Skills, and Mental Health

Listen to these experts as they explore the creation of a culture of belonging. Discover our commitment to equipping educators with the tools to help students develop essential soft skills. Learn strategies for guiding students through the high school to college transition, emphasizing the importance of early connections and proactive support. They also mention how it is important to focus on student well-being, encouraging self-care practices during study sessions, including water breaks, physical movement, and brain breaks. Uncover how Ankeny fosters these skills from pre-kindergarten, aligning with Ankeny’s graduate profile.

Join Kayla Bell-Consolver, Director of the Counseling Center at Broadlawns Community Clinic at Drake University, Shawn Beirman, Social-Emotional Learning Specialist at Ankeny Schools, and Al Neppl, Director of Professional and Leadership Development at Ankeny Schools, in a conversation highlighting the significance of adaptability, empathy, and collaboration for students.

Click here to listen or find us on your favorite podcast app!

January 11, 2024

All buildings and district office closed Friday, January 12

Due to inclement weather, tomorrow Friday, January 12, school buildings & district office will be closed.

  • No Before and After School Program
  • Certified staff will work virtually
  • Paraprofessional and secretary professional development is canceled

All other employee groups will operate under closure guidance. Please connect with your supervisor if you have questions about your reporting requirements.

December 13, 2023

Share Your Story: A platform for sharing your school’s success stories

Introducing a fresh approach to spread the positive happenings in your school, classroom, or building – it’s time to Share Your Story. We engage with people by connecting through narratives because stories cultivate trust. Seize this chance to amplify your voice.

Check out the video and spot the QR code at the end, leading you to a form where you can share the details of your story. Once submitted, the form will be directed to the Communications team for review to see how it can be promoted or shared.

August 15, 2023

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.

Securityvest

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.

April 24, 2023

Register Now for Summer Enrichment Camps and Activities

Explore a wide range of summer enrichment camps and activities by visiting any of the Summer Enrichment links below. Whether it’s a cooking class, learning about horses, arts, reading, or sports, there are a variety of options for children of different ages and interests.

Activity Description Contact
Career Exploration Opportunities We have a wide range of career exploration opportunities to help you find your passion and prepare for your dream job. Our career exploration programs include internships, job shadowing, mentorship programs, informational interviews with professionals in various fields, career fairs, and networking events. Whether you’re a high school student or in middle school, we have programs and resources to help you explore different careers, gain valuable experience, and connect with industry professionals. Let us help you take the first step towards a fulfilling and rewarding career. Career Exploration website
Reading Activities to help prevent Summer Slide Suggestions to encourage children to open books even after school doors close. Have some fun and avoid the summer reading slide. 10 Weeks of Summer Reading Adventures

2023 Summer Library Program for all ages – Find Your Voice

Kirkendall Library

Scholastic Article: KIDS & FAMILY READING REPORT THE SUMMER READING IMPERATIVE

Three Ways to Prevent Summer Slide

ACSD Summer Classes Ankeny Community Engagement is proud to offer quality continuing education courses for students and adults in the Ankeny community and surrounding areas. Whether it’s an adult fitness class, evening or weekend enrichment for kids, or a class to keep your finances in check, you’ll find a wide variety of courses. View our Summer Course Catalog.

 

 

Kristopher Koehler

 

DMACC Kids College Youth Camps Youth Tech Inc. in cooperation with Des Moines Area Community College West Campus’s Celebrate! Innovation program is an interactive computer camp that focuses on providing enrichment opportunities to students in the world of computers. Classes offered at DMACC’s West Des Moines Campus or virtually. Various courses offered. Age range: 6-17. Registration fee. DMACC Kids College website
Blank Park Zoo Summer Safari Camps Explore the world of animals and nature. Week-long half-day or full day camp options that consist of hands-on lessons, games, art, zoo explorations and live animal encounters. Age range: 3 years through 7th grade. Registration discount for zoo members. Registration fee. Blank Park Zoo Safari Camps website
Climb Iowa Summer Youth Camps Climb Iowa camps introduce young adventurers to climbing. Children will learn about trust, teamwork and problem solving while developing their rock climbing skills through interactive games and activities. Ages 8-12. Registration fee. Climb Iowa Youth Camps website
Jester Park Equestrian Camps Four fun-filled mornings of summer camp at Jester Park Equestrian Center. Enjoy learning all about horses and spending plenty of time riding, along with participating in other fun camp activities like games and crafts. Ages 5-12. Registration fee. Jester Park Equestrian website
Living History Farms Day Camps Half-day and full day camps offered for children entering kindergarten through eighth grade. Registration fee. Living History Farms Camps website
Polk County Conservation Day Camps Variety of day camps offered for ages 6+. These day camps are designed to encourage hands-on learning through outdoor explorations, activities, games, crafts, and more. Camps will be led by naturalists. Campers are asked to bring a water bottle and sack lunch for day long camps. Prepackaged snacks will be provided. Registration fee. Polk Country Conservation Camps website
Love Lunches Love Lunches is served every weekday all summer long to kids and families in Ankeny that have need. Hot and cold lunches served daily at Ankeny Presbyterian Church, 317 SE Trilein Drive in Ankeny from 11:30 am-12:30 pm. Monday-Friday and at Sunset Park, 1320 SW 3rd Street in Ankeny, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Monday-Thursday. Love Lunches facebook page

Mary Kohlsdorf, 515-965-1737, ext. 224. 

holly.szcodronski@gmail.com (Sunset Park location – Holy Trinity Lutheran Church)

Ankeny Park & Recreation Department The Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of leagues and activities for children ages toddler to 18. Click link for full listing of leagues, camps and courses. Ankeny Parks and Recreation Activity website
Des Moines Performing Arts Summer Camps Young people sharpen their skills, stretch their imaginations, and create unique memories through a variety of Des Moines Performing Arts education opportunities. With theater professionals as the instructors, students gain a deeper understanding of the process, build confidence, and benefit from a fresh jolt of creative energy. Grades 3-12. Des Moines Performing Arts Summer Camps website
Des Moines Community Playhouse Summer Camps Variety of Camps held for grades K-12. Des Moines Community Playhouse Summer Camps website
Real Food 4 Kids Hands on cooking camp for kids and teens, ages 6+. Three options offered for 4 –day sessions. Cooking Class website
Elementary Math Activities and Games Have fun this summer incorporating math into each day.  You and your child can play dice and card games, engage in conversations about a picture, or solve a problem together.  You will find FREE resources to help you and your child develop a love of mathematics. Math Summer Resources
Des Moines Y Camps Overnight and day camp options for ages 6-13 (daycamp) and ages 9-12 (overnight camp). What better place for your child to spend their summer days than at the Des Moines Y Camp located in Boone?

Under the supervision of trained staff your child will spend their summer enjoying the outdoors through various program activities all while building new friendships and growing in the four Y values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Daily traditional activities may include: climbing, hiking, archery, fishing, canoeing, field games, Imagineering, crafts, swimming, gaga ball, horseback riding (additional fee), and so much more!

VIP Program for ages 14 – 17
As a VIP, campers take the first step in becoming a Y Camp Leader. This two-week program teaches campers about service to others. Their primary function is working in Cownie Dining Hall, where they will do dishes after each meal, clean the dining hall and help provide a great environment for the other campers on camp. When they aren’t serving others, they will take opportunities to enjoy camp and will go through several team-building exercises with their peers throughout the week. This program is a great first step into the Leadership Development Program and lays the foundation for good leadership: service.

Des Moines Y Camps website
January 5, 2023

Orbis gets published!

Getting published isn’t easy but how Orbis came to be makes a great story. The program mission statement “Unleash passion. Realize potential. Impact the world.” focuses on that exact purpose aiming to solve real problems and improve the community. Authors, Trent Grundmeyer, School of Education, Drake University; Jill Urich, Ankeny Community School District; Jill Olson, Results Group; Stephanie Brown, Ankeny Community School District; and Susan Gentz, Ben and Susan Gentz Strategies, came together for this article explaining the Orbis program at Ankeny Community School District and the influence project based learning has on high school students. View their publication in Science Publishing Group!

December 1, 2022

Prescribed Burns

A prescribed (controlled) burn of the District’s prairie grasses have a start window of Dec. 1, 2022 through June 1, 2023. The burns will be conducted when the weather is within our parameters. The burns will be at:

Ankeny High School
Centennial High School
Crocker Elementary
Rock Creek Elementary

The DNR recommends a burn every three years to maintain prairie grasses. District staff conducting burns have been trained and certified in prescribed burns.