October 19 Timely Updates

Hybrid Groups 1-2 Daily Attendance Information/Procedures

Welcome Back Groups 1-2!

  • From my perception October 19 will be similar to a second welcome back to school experience. I believe this to be true as both groups have established relationships, routines, procedures, and a climate/culture very specific to groups 1 and 2.

  • So this will be the first time this year that both groups 1-2 will be at school daily together.

  • With that said I fully support teachers taking time as in the first few days of school in August for revisiting routines, procedures, and nurturing a new classroom culture.

Health and Safety Measures for All Groups 1-2 Onsite Daily

  • We will have full classrooms again on Monday, October 19 so the social distancing mark of 6 feet will not be guaranteed.

  • We will be able to stay committed to 2 ply masks (or better), hand sanitizer often, and hand washing. With full classrooms we will try not to be within 6 ft. for 15 or more consecutive minutes.

Here is some more information of what we will do to the extent possible at Westwood.

Lunch information:

  • For contact tracing students will all be assigned a number and sit at the same number each day in the cafeteria.

  • There will be 6 students sitting at each lunchroom table.

  • All students will face the same direction.

  • Students dismissed (with masks on) one student at a time and one classroom at a time.

  • 4th grade eating in their classrooms was only a short term solution at Westwood. Starting October 19, 4th grade will eat in the lunchroom from 1:00-1:20 p.m. Although, district policy states snacks are not allowed, students have access to a free breakfast at school. If that doesn't work, then please have your students eat a filling breakfast at home.

Recess Information:

  • 1 grade level at a time outside. Each class plays in a separate zone on a rotating 5 zone schedule.

  • No contact games/no contact sports.

    • Social distanced allowed games: Zone 1 kickball, shadow tag, 4 square, basketball horse, basketball knockout, throwing and kicking balls back and forth

    • Games/Activities NOT allowed: Football, soccer, basketball, contact tag, anything involving touching

  • Masks allowed but not required if 6 feet social distancing is maintained.

  • Dispense hand sanitizer or use staggered hand washing for each student before and after recess.

  • During inclement weather, indoor recess should take place in the classroom and should involve a social and/or physical activity in which students can engage from their desks

Face Masks:

  • Minimum of 2 ply masks appropriately worn covering nose and mouth.

    • No gaiters

    • Medical exemptions

    • Worn at all times inside the building unless the following applies:

      • Eating in lunchroom (bring masks to lunch though)

      • Short 5 minute mask break in class if 6 ft. social distancing is guaranteed.

      • Outside if 6 ft. social distancing is guaranteed.

Classroom Health and Safety (to the extent possible with a full classroom):

  • Desks/tables spaced with maximum distancing given the room size. Desks/students facing in the same direction if possible.

  • Assigned seating

  • Students are expected to remain seated unless given permission from the teacher.

  • Masks must be worn at all times unless the teacher gives a mask break.

    • Short 5 minute or less inside mask breaks allowed if can guarantee 6 ft. distance between each student.

  • Teachers should provide handwashing breaks.

  • Minimize sharing of school supplies.

  • Consider outdoor space for learning, when possible.

  • Teachers will schedule mask breaks, handwashing breaks, and bathroom breaks strategically with their grade level to limit traffic within common pod areas.

  • Chromebooks will still be 1:1 and up to the teacher discretion if sending home nightly. If there is an event of a close contact and quarantine, then we will schedule a Chromebook pick up for asynchronous at home work.

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Morning Arrival Expectations

Westwood Drop Off Reminders:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday drop off starts at 7:40 a.m. School starts at 7:55 a.m.

  • Wednesday drop off starts at 9:55 a.m. and school starts at 10:10 a.m.

  • Please pull forward whenever possible in the main entrance car line and morning bus lane. Stopping and leaving gaps in car lines in order to park closer to a preferred entrance point causes significant back ups. Morning duty staff with waive cars forward to the extent possible. Please follow on duty staff directions so we all win.

  • Morning arrival and afternoon dismissal staff roles are to move traffic along and supervise the safety of students/drivers. Per ongoing health and safety measures, staff will not be able to open and close vehicle doors.

  • Parents, please stay in your vehicle. There are a lot cars moving in and out. Getting out of the driver’s side is not very safe. Practice at home how to unbuckle and open doors without parent help.

  • Please have your child put their mask on while driving to school instead of waiting until you stop.

  • We will extend empathy and grace knowing that our school arrival time is still shorter for a much larger population. If the tardy is due to being stuck in the morning arrival car line, then the tardy will not be counted.

Guest Parking Spaces Added Back

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Wednesday Reminder

Each Wednesday we will have a 2 hour and 15 minute late start. The doors will open at 9:55 am and the tardy bell will ring at 10:10 am. This also means that the buses will run 2 hours and 15 minutes later than their normal schedule.

Dropping Items Off at School

If you need to deliver items to your child's school during the school day please ring the bell at the main entrance. The office staff will advise you to place the items on the table inside the second set of double doors. Please ensure all items are labeled with your child's name and teacher.

Parent Teacher Conferences October 19-23

  • We look forward to seeing you at Parent Teacher Conferences during the week of October 19-23. The focus of this time will be on sharing your child’s academic progress.

  • In keeping with our practice of limiting building exposure during COVID-19, fall parent teacher conferences will be held virtually via Zoom.

Questions, Comments, Concerns

Please direct all questions, comments, and concerns related to the above information to Joel Martin. Here is my contact info:


Joel Martin

Westwood Elementary Principal

2920 NW Ninth Street

Ankeny, Iowa 50023

School Phone: 515-965-9690

Fax: 515-965-9693

Email: joel.martin@ankenyschools.org

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, kenneth.morris@ankenyschools.org; 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.

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