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.
2020-21 YEARBOOKS FOR SALE
Yearbooks are $15 this year. They are designed and created by Parkview 6th and 7th graders to capture memories and moments from this school year as a keepsake to look back on for years to come.
Book Reviews and Recommendations
In early November, the Ankeny Community School District received concerns around four books that can be found in some of our media centers. We immediately reviewed the board policy on objection to library materials:, the Reconsideration Request Form, and student handbook, where the reconsideration process is outlined on page 20. Additionally, we reviewed the process used by our teacher librarians to determine titles to add to school library collections.
The building principal and teacher librarians met with the stakeholders that expressed concerns about the books, discussed the issue, and reviewed the library material selection process. From those meetings, it was decided that the district’s teacher librarians would review the books and determine next steps. Receiving support from the director of curriculum and innovation all four of the books have been reviewed, and recaps of their recommendations can be found later in this document along with links to the full reviews.
Review Criteria and Considerations
When books are being reviewed several things are considered including:
- ALA’s Library Bill of Rights
- Freedom to Read Statement
- Controversial Materials
- Serve every single student; does not promote one point of view over another
- Cannot reject and remove a resource because an individual or a group has found the material objectionable
- Provide access to material that may be controversial to some patrons, while also providing a process to request reconsideration
- Selection Quality Criteria (School Library Selection Policy/Procedures)
- Support and enrich the curriculum and/or students’ personal interests, extracurricular activities, and learning
- Meet high standards in literary, artistic, and aesthetic quality; technical aspects; and physical format
- Be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social, emotional, and intellectual development of the students for whom the materials are selected
- Incorporate accurate and authentic factual content from authoritative source
- Earn favorable reviews in standard reviewing sources and/or favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by professional personnel
- Nominated and/or received awards and honorable mentions
- Represent differing viewpoints on controversial issues*
- Demonstrate physical format, appearance, and durability suitable to their intended use
- Balance gaps in the collection utilizing collection analysis data
- Balance cost with need
Book Reconsideration Recommendations
Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
After careful and thoughtful review and discussion of this title in its entirety, the committee decided to remove the book from all collections. The recommendation comes after review and discussion of several selection criteria. This title represents different viewpoints on controversial issues in a format that allows a variety of reading levels to access the information.
Although this book meets criteria of the selection policy, this particular book takes some different considerations. First, while in no way pornographic, the explicit visual and graphic nature of the graphic novel overshadowed the message to the reader, thus reducing the literary value as a whole. Often in books, people can skip sections or create their own images within their personal maturity level. In this case, however, the graphic images are already provided for the reader by the author and may not match a student’s personal maturity level. Additionally, the images are impossible to skip for self-moderation. Finally, this particular book was written for and reviewed professionally for adults. Read the full review.
All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
After careful and thoughtful review and discussion of this title in its entirety, the committee decided to retain the book in the collections at the 10-12 grade level.
It is important to remember that as a part of the reconsideration process, the entirety of the work must be considered, not just an excerpt pulled from the whole. While the parts objected to (the sexual abuse and first sexual experience) are explicit, they do not reach the level of obscenity as defined by the Iowa Code 728.1 and upheld in U.S. Supreme Court case of Miller vs. California. Furthermore, the objectionable part(s) comprise less than 5% of the total work. In the memoir, the author shares their life story, experiences, and overcoming adversity, as well as their own experiences with abuse and sex. In its entirety, All Boys Aren’t Blue has both literary and artistic value, having earned high and/or starred reviews from multiple professional review sources. Read the full review.
Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
After careful and thoughtful review and discussion of this title in its entirety, the committee decided to retain the book in the collections at the 8-12 grade level.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl deals with cancer, loss, and grief in a manner distinct from other books. The unique format of the multi-genre writing mirrors the main character’s personality and interests. The novel portrays both realistic and dysfunctional family relationships and shows how teenagers do not always know how to handle their emotions, and, in fact, that they do not have the maturity and/or skill set to handle difficult emotions like grief. Read the full review.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
After careful and thoughtful review and discussion of this title in its entirety, the committee decided to retain the book in the collections at the 8-12 level. This multi-award winning novel meets every single criteria of the selection policy for inclusion in the public school library, and most professional reviews indicate it as appropriate for grades 7+. Read the full review.
If you have questions about the review process or selection criteria, please contact Dr. Jen Lindaman at email@example.com.
Slight Change of Dismissal Times
Parkview student dismissal times will change slightly beginning Monday, November 15. These changes reflect a safer and more efficient transition of students from the building to their pathways home (walking, car riding, bus riding, walking).
All 6th grade students will be dismissed at 3:45
All 7th grade students will be dismissed at 3:48.
We will maintain our regular traffic patterns, bus routines, and door exit procedures.
- Two lanes of traffic in the main parking lot reduces cars stopping and waiting on 1st street:)
- Maintain slow driving speeds and stay alert to student traffic and vehicle traffic, yielding to both.
Board Recognitions – Oct. 19, 2021
Two Ankeny staff members were recognized at the October 19, board meeting Tuesday night.
Emmeline Hallum, Spanish teacher at Parkview Middle School, was recognized for her years of dedication in providing best practices instruction, valued PLC members in navigating and implementing new curriculum and differentiated instructional practices, and building high-value building culture through developing and inspiring student leadership.
Renee Potts, associate at Northview Middle School, was recognized for her work in starting and leading the student union at Northview, while providing meaningful meetings that include modern-day and societal topics and serve as a safe space for students to discuss topics relevant to them.
Congratulations Emmeline and Renee! Thank you for all you do.
Picture Retake Day is Oct. 29th
School picture retakes will be Oct. 29th. The photo company Lifetouch took our student’s fall pictures and returned the prints you ordered to us. All pictures have been given to the students to take home. If you are unsatisfied with the picture, please have your child return it to school and give to the photographer. If your child was absent the day of pictures, they will be getting their picture taken for our yearbook and their CUME folders.
Student Progress Reports
With many families joining conferences remotely, we would like to make sure every family has access to the brochure made available at Parkview on conference nights. The brochure explains our process for reporting student progress in 6th and 7th grade.
In a couple weeks, you’ll be able to view your child’s progress on each of the standards that have been assessed thus far using the Infinite Campus parent portal. You can access this by clicking this link or downloading the app to your mobile device. More information will coming to help you interpret your child’s digital report card.
2021 Middle School Honor Band
The following Parkview Band Students have been selected as members of the 2021 South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association District Middle School Honor Band. The festival returns this year on Tuesday, November 2 at Ankeny Centennial High School. Students will spend the afternoon rehearsing with peers from around Central Iowa and will present an evening concert. We are so excited and proud of these students for their recognition!
2021 SCIBA Ross Leeper (White) Honor Band
Flute – Alivia Wilson
Bass Clarinet – Teagan Rauser
2021 SCIBA Gerry Kinney (Red) Honor Band
Clarinet – Alexandra Sheesley
Trumpet – Claire Chan
Baritone – Austin Albaugh