Northeast Newsletter

November 2021

A Note From Mrs. Ryan

It is November! I cannot believe how fast this year is going. Our students are settling in, making connections, and adjusting to their teachers and classmates. We are off to a great start!

Thank you to all of our families who met either in person or virtually with their teachers during parent teacher conferences. Your partnership is critical and we appreciate your support as we celebrate growth and set learning goals for your students. Your presence at Northeast and in your student’s classroom is always valued. Thank you!

This past week, I had the privilege of serving on a district strategic planning team. This group was be made up of district staff, external educational partners, civic leaders, corporate executives, non-profit organizers, members of the faith community, philanthropists, parents, and most importantly students. The positive approach as we defined our district’s mission and vision was inspiring. The team would like your input for the next phase of the strategic planning process. Please take a few minutes and answer the questions in the two short surveys below. Your voice is important as we define the future for the Ankeny Community School District and your children.

School Today Is Survey

If You Could Design A School Survey

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if I can assist you or your family as we work together to create a quality educational experience for your student(s)!


Laura Ryan

A Note from Ms. Tuttle our SAM

We continue to work as a team ensuring a safe and respectful learning environment at NE. An important piece to this is ensuring our common areas are a place that students are being respectful, responsible, and safe.

We have been focused on ensuring the lunchroom is a place that students are leaders and synergizing together as a team! Student leaders helped create a video to teach others. Please click here.

Our next areas that we are going to focus on are recess, hallway, and bathroom. Utilizing our PBIS framework, we teach through modeling, practicing, and positive reinforcement for the positive behaviors. We appreciate the collaboration and encourage daily conversations at home about how students are being respectful, responsible, and safe in common areas, as well as their classroom.

Each week the class that earned the most gold tickets for their grade level has the honor of having a jaguar bobble head join them in their learning for a week. Gold tickets are earned when the whole class is displaying respectful, responsible, and safe behaviors.

Notes From Nurse Andrea

Just a few reminders as we head into fall and winter...

​​​Please remember to send warm coats, mittens, and hats with your child every day now that the weather has turned cold.

If you have a younger student that has the occasional bathroom accident, please also consider packing an extra set of clothing just in case.

We do start to see some cases of head lice as we move into the winter months so please be sure to check your child's head periodically. If you feel your child does have head lice, let Nurse Andrea know.


November Guidance Units


Unit Title: Feelings (Continued)

Essential Question: How do I recognize feelings in myself and others?

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Identify feelings using facial cues and body language
  • Express and demonstrate the basic feelings happy, sad, mad, scared, afraid, surprised and disgusted.

1st Grade

Unit Title: Emotion Management (Continued)

Essential Question: How do I practice self control?

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Demonstrate the use of a calming down strategy.

2nd Grade

Unit Title: Communication Skills (Continued)

Essential Question: How do I use my communication skills to connect with others?

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Start and end a conversation appropriately.
  • Demonstrate appropriate listening skills.
  • Communicate assertively.

3rd Grade

Unit Title: Emotions and Our Brains

Essential Questions: How do I use strategies to respond to my feelings?

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Identify the role of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.
  • Demonstrate what happens when stressed and how to use calming strategies.
  • Identify things that help and hurt our mental health.

4th Grade

Unit Title: Peer Interactions and Problem Solving

Essential Questions: How could other people influence my decisions?

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Demonstrate assertiveness skills to stand up for what they believe is right.

5th Grade

Unit Title: Problem Solving

Essential Question: What skills are needed to work cooperatively with others?

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Identify the skills needed to work cooperatively with others to solve a problem

Library News

We’ve had a great month in the library. Thank you to everyone who helped with the book fair and also all of you who purchased books! We are excited to add more non-fiction books to our library.


Mrs. Brunelle received her Ankeny School Foundation Grant and the library has purchased graphic novels and Makerspace kits for students to read/use and they should be available soon!

Students in 5th grade will be learning about Josh Funk, a computer programmer and author in preparation for a Zoom visit with him during Hour of Code week in December.

3rd-5th graders are reviewing the databases that we have available to use. Students will complete a scavenger hunt and review in Wixie these resources.

2nd graders are continuing to learn about the library and finding materials in each section. We will finish finding books in the Everybody, Junior Fiction and Fiction areas and use the online catalog to locate them.

1st graders will be doing an author study on Ryan Higgins this month.

Kindergarteners will be learning more about the Chromebook features and doing an author study on Mo Willems.

Band News

Northeast Early band information:

• Early morning, large-group band began on Monday, October 25th

• All band students are expected to attend early morning band

EVERY MONDAY AND THURSDAY, 7:15-7:45 a.m. for the remainder of the year

• Band students only (no younger siblings) should be dropped off no earlier than 7:00 a.m, students should enter through the daycare door (S10), they will need to ring the buzzer and state to the attendant that they are here for early band

• Arrive with enough time for students to help set-up chairs and stands and be in their seats and ready to play at 7:15 a.m

• In the event of inclement weather: Late start for school means no early band that day

• If your child is on safety patrol they are expected to find subs (students who are not in band) on band mornings, captains will be dismissed at 7:30 a.m., classroom teachers can assist students in finding subs

Save the date! Winter Band Concert: Thursday, December 9, 6:30 p.m., NE Gym. Look for more information to come!

PTO News

Thank you for all of your participation at our annual Trunk or Treat event. Mark your calendar for our next event at B&B Theatres for a showing of Sing 2 on December 22 at 7:15 and 7:30 pm. We hope to see you there! The students enjoyed Fall Parties and we want to extend a big THANK YOU to Northwest Bank for sponsoring. Winter party will be on December 21.

Our October meeting was exciting! We submitted a grant request to Casey’s and we will keep you updated. We also voted on the projects that PTO will be able to fund outside of our normal budgeted items thanks to our successful Jag Jog and all of your generosity. We will be ordering items for the 4th and 5th grade light courts in each of their hallways to make spaces for the students to use during their brain breaks, movement, and reinforcement opportunities. We will also be ordering mobile sensory carts that will be used throughout the school for our students during their brain breaks, movement, and reinforcement opportunities. Thank you for your continued support! Check us out on Facebook. Next meeting will be November 4 at 6:30 pm in the Media Center.

CogAT Testing Administered in November for Third Grade Students

Between November 1 and 5 all third grade students will take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT ®) screener.

CogAT measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals. Reasoning abilities are good predictors of success in school and are important outcomes of good schooling. CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which also contribute importantly to school achievement.

For more information, please reference the letter that was sent to all third grade families on Wednesday, October 20. You can find that here: CogAT Parent Letter

Leader In Me Family Connection

Each month we will send home a Leader in Me family activity for you and your student(s) to engage in. These activities are designed to teach our families the Leader in Me principles while helping our students bridge the leadership habits between school and home. To encourage our students to participate in these activities, we are collecting names of those who completed the activities. Each month those names will go into a drawing. At our monthly Awesome Assembly, we will announce the winners. All winning students will enjoy a fine dining experience in the cafeteria with a friend. Please watch for the family activity sheet that will be sent home each month. There is still time to complete the first activity.

Sharpen the Saw

Parents, do you have a job or hobby that allows you to Sharpen the Saw? This means you exercise your mind, body, or soul in some way to stay a balanced person. We are looking for presenters for our Sharpen the Saw Week coming up in April. You do not need to be physically present at school during this week (we’d love interactive prerecorded videos). Please contact if you are interested in this opportunity to share your knowledge with Northeast!

Important Attendance Reminder

Please continue to contact the school if your child is ill, has an appointment or will be leaving early. Northeast's telephone number is 965-9620. You are able to leave a voicemail after hours and before school hours. Another option is to send an email to and along with your student's teacher. If the school is not notified of an absence, the office will contact the Parents/Guardians at their primary number listed on Infinite Campus.

Lunch Menus

Our lunch menus are now going from printed menus to menus that can be found online, here. They will be posted every 2 weeks.

Beginning Monday, November 1, Nutrition Services will discontinue the second entrée option at the elementary buildings. Only the hot entrée will be offered each day. This change is due to staffing and food item shortages. When we are able, and staffing is improved, we will add back in the second entrée option.

Letter Days

The link for the letter days for the month are located here on the Northeast announcement page.


The information distributed in the Virtual Backpack (vBackpack) is provided as a community service to inform members of the community of available activities or services. The majority of information included in the vBackpack is from community organizations. The vBackpack can be found here on the district's website.

Winter Clothing Drive

Soon the Iowa Winter will have us opening our closets for Winter coats, hats and gloves. Many Ankeny families lack the funds to purchase these items for their children. Project Fresh Start, supported by Ankeny Community Engagement, is stepping forward to help coordinate donations of Winter clothing to help our Ankeny children.

Northeast will be accepting donations of new or very gently used Winter coats, hats, mittens, scarves and snow pants at our school on November 8-11. (No snow boots are being accepted at this time.) We will have a box set up for donations just outside the front doors of the building. We will be unable to accept donations after Thursday, November 11.

If you are in need of Winter outerwear for your Ankeny student (s), the program will distribute the donated clothing items at Prairie Ridge Middle School on Saturday, November 13 from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 14 from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The giveaway is open to all Ankeny families with students, including Ankeny Christian Academy, St. Luke's and homeschooled children.

Northeast Elementary is on Facebook

Please find and like our Northeast Elementary Facebook page. We post pictures and school happenings on this site on a weekly basis.

Cold Weather Guidelines

As the winter season draws near, the weather will take a turn for the cold. Please remember that all of our students are outside for 30 minutes a day unless the wind chill is below 0 degrees. Our younger grades are outside for up to an hour a day. Please be sure that your student wears layers and has a good pair of gloves, a hat, and a scarf or neck gaiter, and a warm coat that can be zipped or snapped shut. Once the snow arrives, our students will need snow pants, boots, and gloves in order to play in the snow. Recess can be uncomfortable if we are not dressed appropriately. Extra socks in your student's locker is very helpful. Putting your student's name on their gear is helpful as well. Please help ensure that our kids have what they need to enjoy their time outdoors.

Inclement Weather

Cold weather and school cancellations are a reality in Iowa. If the decision is made to cancel school due to inclement weather, you will be notified in a number of ways. We will use our automated phone messaging system to send a message via text, we will send an email using our Blackboard messaging system, we will post a message to our district Facebook page, and we will notify the local news stations who will post it on their live school closing listings.

Calendar of Events

11/1-11/5 – All third grade students take the CogAT assessment

11/4 – PTO Meeting in the media center at 6:30 pm

11/5 – School picture retakes

11/8-11/11 – Accepting winter clothing items for Project Fresh Start

11/8 – Fire drill

11/12 – No School - teacher professional development and reporting day

11/15-11/16 – Fifth grade attends Junior Achievement’s Biz Town

11/19 – Report cards sent home

11/24-11/26 – No school due to holiday