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October 22, 2020

Helpful info for elementary parents as students come back full-time

All of Ankeny Community School District’s PK-5th grade students returned to learn in person, full time on October 19th. In order to keep our Ankeny students, staff and families safe and healthy, we will be continuing to redefine what a “normal” school day looks like.

We realize families may need to make difficult decisions between sending students to school vs. keeping them home/parent missing work. In order to keep our students and staff as healthy as possible, we ask that you consider these things before sending your child to school.

  • If your child complains of any 1 of the following symptoms, please keep them home and contact your health care provider: new cough, shortness of breath, fever of 100.4 or higher, new loss of taste or smell.
  • If your child complains of 2 or more of the following symptoms, please keep them home from school: fever, headache, muscle/body aches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Due to the wide range of signs and symptoms of Covid-19, and for the safety of all, students will need to be sent home if they display these symptoms.
  • If your child exhibits these symptoms at school, your child will be taken to a room that has been established for students/staff that are exhibiting Covid-19 related symptoms. This is to ensure safety from other students who would use the nurse’s office for non-Covid related reasons.
  • If you are notified by health office staff that your student is ill at school, please plan to pick up your student as soon as possible. We would ask that you also have a back-up plan so that ill students can be picked up as quickly as possible if you are not available.
  • We ask that you contact your Primary Health Care provider for more guidance on how to proceed with your student’s health needs prior to returning if your student is sent home. We will provide instructions per Polk County Health Department for proper home isolation and quarantine, if warranted. Students sent home ill will need to be out of school the following day (does not apply if sent home on a Friday) to be monitored. Students may return to school once the presenting symptoms have subsided for 24 hours, if they have an alternate diagnosis from a doctor, or a negative Covid test.

As said many times, this is a fluid and flexible situation that can change at any point. We will continue to work closely with the Polk County Health Department.

If you have questions, please contact your building’s nurse to discuss.

Stay safe and be well!

September 21, 2020

School Pictures

Fall pictures will take place on October 22nd for all on-site students and staff.


September 16, 2020

Welcome Interim Superintendent Dr. Azinger

Dr. Al Azinger

The Ankeny Board of Education is pleased to announce Dr. Al Azinger was unanimously appointed as the Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Ankeny Community School District. Dr. Azinger has significant experience as a secondary and university administrator. He will step in as Interim Superintendent on September 16, 2020 when current Interim Superintendent, Dr. Jen Lindaman will assume her permanent role as Chief Officer of Academic Services for Ankeny Community School District.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Azinger has agreed to serve as the Ankeny Interim Superintendent, his expertise in growing leaders, and his dedication to public education make him the perfect leader for our school district,” stated Dr. Lindaman. “The Ankeny Community Schools values of community, challenge, leadership, excellence and inspiration were exemplified in Dr. Azinger’s responses to our interview teams giving us the utmost confidence in his ability to support our mission: Ankeny Community Schools is unified in its commitment, passion, and vision so every learner is prepared to achieve a lifetime of personal success.”

“The Ankeny School Board is pleased to welcome Dr. Al Azinger for the 2020-2021 school year. We appreciate the experience and depth of knowledge he brings to that role and we look forward to working with him. We are also grateful to Dr. Jen Lindaman for her leadership as she stepped in to temporarily fill that role,” said Lori Lovstad, President, Ankeny Board of Education.

Prior to joining the Ankeny Administrative Team, he served as Dean of the College of Education for Illinois State University. Throughout his years as an educator, he has served as Superintendent of Schools in Lawrence, Kansas and Associate Superintendent in Iowa City, IA.

Dr. Azinger received his Bachelor of Arts from Northeast Missouri State. He also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Western Illinois University; and a Doctorate of Education from University of Iowa.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” stated Dr. Azinger. “I’m looking forward to working to maintain the high quality of education represented in Ankeny Schools during this transition.”

Dr. Azinger has strong ties to Ankeny and the school district. His daughter’s family calls Ankeny home and his three grandchildren are currently attending Ankeny schools.

August 25, 2020

Westwood Updates and Reminders

Dear Westwood Parents and Guardians,

In preparation for school in 2 days here are some friendly updates/reminders:

100% Remote Online Chromebook Pick Up: 

Date: Wednesday, August 26th

Location: Westwood Elementary


8:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. park in the parking lot, use the front entrance and airphone to introduce self, state picking up remote online Chromebook and materials.  Give the student(s) first name, last name, and grade.  Front office will place Chromebook and other applicable materials on a table outside the front entrance for pick up.

3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. park in the parking lot and walk up to the front entrance.  A staff member will be inside the front doors.   Give the student(s) first name, last name, and grade.  A staff member will place Chromebook and other applicable materials on a table outside the front entrance for pick up.

Arrival and Dismissal Key Notes: 

August 25 Updated Arrival and Dismissal Map

Outside bus lane and car lane supervision: Adults will provide supervision for health and safety, but students will need to open and close vehicle doors.

Car lane-we will continue our dismissal process from last year.  If you still have your assigned number with a hang tag, then please hang from your rearview mirror before entering the parking lot.  If you are a new family and/or misplaced the hang tag, then clearly write or type your last name, first name of your child on an 8 x 11 piece of paper and place it in a visible part of the front windshield.  A staff member will enter the number and/or student name(s) in our dismissal program and then associated students will be released from classrooms to the main exit. For health and safety, adults will provide supervision, but students will need to open and close vehicle doors.

Bus lane morning arrival kids can enter through any of the exits/entrances along the bus lane.   For health and safety, adults will provide supervision, but students will need to open and close vehicle doors.

Dismissal day care and specialized transportation may exit any of the exits/entrances along the bus lane.  For health and safety, adults will provide supervision, but students will need to open and close vehicle doors.

2nd grade will be dismissed from specials and 2nd grade bikers/walkers will be allowed to leave through the exits closest to their specials class.

Families should identify where siblings can meet up outside of Westwood elementary. 

Examples may include the flagpole, Westwood sign, picnic tables near Westwood sign, front bushes outside the main entrance, playground blacktop, or even outside the exit door of the younger sibling.

Hybrid Schedule and Calendar for August/September

The first day of school is Thursday, August 27. Here is the hybrid calendar to begin the school year. The onsite group schedule is as follows:

Group 1 – Monday, Thursday, and alternating Wednesdays

Group 2 – Tuesday, Friday, and alternating Wednesdays

Students will report directly to class when they arrive on their assigned day. Doors open at 7:40 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and 9:55 on Wednesday.

When students are not at school, their teacher will provide required asynchronous learning activities for students to complete independently.

Thursday, August 27th and Friday, August 28th asynchronous/off site activities: 

Groups 1 and 2 will have their first day of school on Thursday, August 27th.  Group 1 will be onsite and group 2 will be offsite.

Note: For offsite learning August 27th-28th, teachers will be emailing parents independent activities that students can do with a focus on building relationships and making connections.

What does onsite (synchronous) and offsite (asynchronous) learning look like and sound like?

In a hybrid model, synchronous learning refers to on site instruction – when the students are in front of us. Teacher and the students are engaged in learning at the same time.

Look like/Sounds like:

Guided Instruction

Direct Instruction

Responding to Formative Assessment

Prompting, Cueing, Questioning

High leverage skills

In a hybrid model, asynchronous learning occurs away from the teacher or when students are offsite. This could include online interactive activities, skill based practice, extension work from on-site learning, or independent practice. Asynchronous activities may differ depending on developmental level.

Looks like/Sounds like: 

Building fluency of skill

Self-Assessment and Analysis

Analysis of text

Independent Practice

Prep for future learning

Flipped instruction

The approximate amount of time your student will be expected to engage in asynchronous learning is below:

Kdg-2nd grade:

20-25 Reading

15-20 Writing

20-25 Math

15-20 Science/SS or integrated

3rd-5th grade:

25-30 Reading

25-30 Writing

25-30 Math

15-20 Science/SS or integrate

Schedule for students participating in online remote learning

A daily routine for students in the required online remote learning environment is critical. For this reason, daily schedules for synchronous and asynchronous learning have been developed.  More details and information will be provided by your child’s assigned teacher.

Example of Elementary Daily Schedule