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2022-2023 School Calendar
The calendar was planned by the calendar committee, which is a committee of teachers, building administrators and district office administrators and a student board of education member. The committee met over the course of three months and reviewed survey data from staff and parents and collaborated with instructional coaches and the district’s professional development committee. Click here to see the new calendar.
Learning Corner with Al Neppl, Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development
In my first edition of Learning Corner, I focused on the importance of establishing rapport with our students. In the role of “substitute” or guest staff member, this importance is elevated significantly. While we are very proud of our students, we also realize some are still developing the ability to self-regulate their behaviors consistently. It’s very possible that you might find yourself in a situation where a student or students are challenging your “authority”. It’s important to develop your awareness of de-escalation strategies. 

Here is a short list of de-escalation strategies provided by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). 

1. Be empathetic and nonjudgmental
Empathy is important when a student is in an emotional state. To the student in the moment, their sense of reality should not be judged. It’s also possible that what the student is upset or angry about actually has nothing to do with the class, assignment or moment. 

2. Avoid overreacting
It’s very important for you as an adult to remain calm and be as professional as possible. Consider how you’re going to respond versus how you’re going to react. A student that is escalated will potentially feed off of how you react. Keep eye contact to a minimum and allow space between yourself and the student. Consider your body language as well. Are your arms relaxed or folded? Pause is important here. 

3. Set positive limits
Being clear with expectations is important. In your substitute role, make an effort to use any of the common language or expectations from the school or classroom. Look for visuals around the room or within the lesson plans or daily schedules. Students are keenly aware when things are not consistent. If you do have to reestablish expectations, use a respectful positive tone and realistic limits. 

4. Ignore challenging questions
When a student is escalating in behavior, it’s not uncommon for the student to question or argue with you. Engaging in a verbal conflict is not going to be productive for anyone in these situations. Do your best to ignore the challenges to your authority, rather keep the focus on the task at hand and how you are here to help them and work with them. 

Consider these and other strategies you might already be aware of as you step into your substitute role. Building rapport with our students takes time, however being empathic, calm, and respectful will greatly impact your efforts. Remember, we are here to support you!
Keeping Your Frontline Account Up to Date
When you log into your account you can mark School Preferences on the left side under preferences. You can mark out the days that you can’t work under the calendars on the Non-Work Days. Please keep this current to help the system run more efficiently. There are more specific directions on this in the November Newsletter on the substitute area on the school website.

Late Start/Cancellation Notices
Please be aware on possible Inclement Weather days that you are checking for Ankeny Schools late start or cancellations in various places. There will be an alert at the top of the school district website, there will be a post on your Frontline App, It will be on the local TV channels and radio stations. This is your responsibility to check before you arrive at the schools. As a reminder, closing and delay information can be found here on our website.

Full Day Jobs, but you are only available for part of the day - 
If you are seeing full day jobs that you are interested in, but your availability is only for half of the day, please feel free to call or email the building secretary or and share that you are available for half of the full day job, as we welcome any level of assistance you can give.

Frontline Tools:
When you login to your Frontline app, go to the Menu button on the bottom right. Click on the help center. Then you can read through the basics and tips or type your question in the search screen.

Wanting to Change the How Often You're Subbing?
You can define which locations you want to see jobs for and those you want to avoid. Access your "Schools" list within your Preferences to specify this setup. Here, you can click the checkbox beside the locations where you wish to see available jobs and the locations you wish to ignore. For help setting up that list, you can reference the Preferred Schools article. If you are unable to create that list, please check with your district about its school preference policy.

Substitute Website
This newsletter, all previous newsletters and all substitute information is located on the Substitute page of our school website.

If at any time you need support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Beth Rasmussen or contact our HR team at
Introducing Ankeny VIPS
We are excited to launch a new volunteer initiative called VIPS!

Volunteers in Public Schools, or VIPS, is an opportunity to match enthusiastic, caring volunteers with the Ankeny school buildings that need them. There are many ways to help and you choose your involvement level. Positions vary from student facing to behind the scenes at elementary or secondary buildings.
As a reminder, all volunteers must do the following:
  1. Complete a background check. Be sure to choose 'VIPS' on the form.
  2. Complete the volunteer handbook.
Background checks are valid for five years. Click here to access the Volunteer Page of our website, where you can complete the required documentation. Ready to join the Ankeny VIPS? Click here to review available volunteer opportunities and make your selection.

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Meet Construction Tim
As Ankeny Schools continues to grow, the district is committed to keeping families and the community up-to-date on facility construction and repairs throughout the district. Please meet Construction Tim, our social media foreman. Look for Construction Tim updates on maintenance, growth, and construction milestones!
Dates to Remember:
    April 15 - Teacher Work Day - No school for students
    May 30 - No School (Memorial Day)
    June 1 -  Last Day of School
Confidentiality Notice:  This email and any attachments are covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C.§§2510-2521 and contain privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the individual or entity named.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you should not review, use, disclose, distribute, copy, or forward this email.  If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete/destroy any and all copies of the original message.

Equity Statement: Ankeny Community School District does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, military affiliation, socioeconomic status, or familial status. Inquiries and grievances may be directed to Kenneth Morris, Jr., Equity Director, 306 S.W. School Street, P.O. Box 189, Ankeny, Iowa 50021-0189, (515) 965-9600,;  or the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, IA, 50319-0201, (515) 281-4121; or the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60661.
Copyright © 2022 Ankeny Community School District, All rights reserved.

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