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Posted December 24, 2014 in Community Web Exclusives, Waukee


Waukee Police Make Holiday Dreams a Reality with “Shop with a Cop” Program

On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Waukee Police Department participated in the Dallas County Sheriff Benevolent’s 19th annual Shop with a Cop Program. The program helps to assist less fortunate families within Dallas County. The Shop with a Cop program takes approximately 50 children each year to the Wal-Mart in Dallas County to shop for gifts. Each child is teamed up with a Deputy or Police Officer, including members of the Waukee Police Department, who then help the children pick out Christmas presents for family members and themselves. Each child is provided with a specific amount of money to spend — usually $100. At the end of the shopping experience, the children’s gifts are wrapped by Wal-Mart employees and members of Benevolent. The Waukee Police Department had a great time with all of the families and enjoy this rewarding experience each year.

Officer Susan Kies joins Waukee Police Department

The City of Waukee announced the addition of a new police officer to the Waukee Police Department. Officer Susan Kies took the oath of office on Monday, Dec. 8 after graduating from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). Click the link below to see photos of Officer Kies at ILEA graduation and taking the oath of office.

Keep your home and belongings safe this holiday season

Whether you are staying home this year for the holidays or visiting family, the City of Waukee wants you, your family and your home to be safe. Keep these tips in mind to have a safe and secure holiday season:

• Make sure gifts and valuables are not visible from the street

• Put your holiday lights on an automatic timer

• Secure your vehicle’s and home’s doors and windows with locks at all times

• Keep your garage closed and locked

• Have a friend or neighbor pick up your newspaper when you are out of town

• Don’t post your holiday plans online to a widespread audience

• Be wary of door-to-door solicitations

Waukee to fell bat-habitat trees

The city of Waukee has proposed felling 63 trees in the Kettlestone development area that may provide habitat for the endangered Indiana bat and northern long-eared bat. According to Endangered species regulations, developers must avoid threatening the species during any type of construction to an area. The Kettlestone development is a proposed 1,500 acres of  retail space, trails and other forms of recreation and entertainment. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are expected to present their findings soon. If approved, the trees would be felled between Sept. 30 and April 1, the bats’ birthing season.

Iowa Department of Education to stop granting waivers

School districts and the public were notified recently that the Iowa Department of Education will stop granting automatic waivers to school districts seeking to start classes earlier in the summer. The current law states that districts must start school no earlier than the calendar week that includes Sept. 1. At this time, we do not know how this change will affect our 2015-16 school calendar or future calendars. The district and board will begin discussing what this means for the Waukee Community School District when we return from winter break. The following is the letter from the Iowa Department of Education:

Dear Iowa school leaders,

In recent years, the Department has received numerous complaints from parents and other community members alike about waivers of the school start date law. As such, the Department has reviewed its current practice and will be implementing a new procedure that more accurately reflects the legal authority the Department has to grant these waiver requests. Effective immediately, the Department will no longer automatically grant waivers of the school start date requested under Iowa Code section 279.10(4) for the 2015-2016 school year. Moving forward, the director or director’s designee will only consider a school or school district’s request for a waiver of the school start date if the school or school district has adequately demonstrated that starting on or after the earliest start date specified would have a significant negative educational impact. Each request will be individually reviewed and approved or denied by the director or the director’s designee. These requests will be considered in light of the new flexibility allowed under the law, which is outlined below. As of July 1, 2014, districts and accredited nonpublic schools have the option to choose between 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction when setting their school calendars. Iowa Code § 256.7(19). This change in the law has provided new flexibility to schools and school districts to set their school calendars in a manner consistent with the requirements of Iowa Code section 279.10(1) which requires that “school shall begin no sooner than a day during the calendar week in which the first day of September falls . . . if the first day falls on a Sunday, school may begin on a day during the calendar week which immediately precedes the first day of September.”


Winners of posters

Pictured left to right in the front row are: Ella Wuebben, Carter Freeman, Noah Henrickson and Bayden Strobel. Left to right in the back row are: Hadley Ricklefs, Carly Steinkritz, Lexi Gabrielson, Colin Orth, Jillian Mayer, P.J. Ranallo, Isabelle Bukstein and Samuel Frankl

Pictured left to right in the front row are: Ella Wuebben, Carter Freeman, Noah Henrickson and Bayden Strobel. Left to right in the back row are: Hadley Ricklefs, Carly Steinkritz, Lexi Gabrielson, Colin Orth, Jillian Mayer, P.J. Ranallo, Isabelle Bukstein and Samuel Frankl

The following students were the winners of some great posters that were available during the Walnut Hills PTO Book Fair.  Congratulations to everyone!








Students learn to ‘Put things first’

Sydney Jansen and Caitlin Rizzuti at the “Put things first” assembly.

Sydney Jansen and Caitlin Rizzuti at the “Put things first” assembly.

Students at Waukee Elementary and Vince Meyer Learning Center attended their monthly leadership assemblies on Nov. 21. November’s theme is “Put first things first.”

The event began with everyone singing the school’s leader chant. Two students who have demonstrated leadership qualities from each grade were drawn and allowed to sit in the gym’s “VIP seating,” which consisted of big, comfy chairs that gave students a clear view of all the action at the front of the gym. Sydney Jansen and Caitlin Rizzuti, students from the communications leadership group, took turns announcing the next segments and speakers throughout the assembly. “It is important for students to be recognized for being respectful, responsible, safe and caring,” said Rizzuti. Veterans entered the gym to unfold and refold the United States flag while students watched in awe. Master Sergeant Jacob Hermanson, father of Waukee Elementary second-grader Brody, answered a couple questions that Jansen and Rizzuti had regarding leadership skills and approaching men and women in uniform. Students Annallysa Anderson, Olivia Rounds and Pauline Toe then sang a song while a video with pictures of men and women serving our country played. First grade teacher Stuart Kennedy then updated the students on attendance records for this month. The kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade classes at Waukee Elementary have all improved on attendance from October to November! Staff then recognized students who were nominated as strong leaders in the classroom with certificates and drew three students per grade to earn prizes. One student in Amy Winter’s second grade class is collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. His original goal was to collect 300 pop tabs. He has surpassed that goal by far and has set a new goal of 50,000 pop tabs.

Local woman wins in weekly contest

Ellie Craig of Waukee was a winner on “Live with Kelly and Michael’s” #liveAOK contest.

Ellie Craig of Waukee was a winner on “Live with Kelly and Michael’s” #liveAOK contest.

Ellie craig of Waukee was announced as the fourth weekly winner of “LIVe with Kelly and michael’s” contest “#liveAOK” this morning. The premise behind this particular “Act Of Kindness” has a special tie-in to “LIVe”: craig was one of the Travel Trivia callers. Although she didn’t win the travel prize, she was the recipient of a $500 Omaha Steaks gift card consolation prize. When she received it, she ordered prime rib and had it delivered to a local shelter for christmas dinner. In November, “LIVe with Kelly and michael,” hosts Kelly ripa and michael Strahan announced “#liveAOK,” a partnership with eXTrA Gum® designed to reward and celebrate those who embody that generous spirit. “#liveAOK” turned the spotlight on people whose thoughtfulness has brightened their neighborhoods and their communities, from shoveling a neighbor’s driveway to simply brightening someone’s day with a flower. beginning on Nov. 10, viewers could nominate friends and family for simple Acts Of Kindness that they’ve undertaken. There were be five weekly winners who were be awarded $500 cash and a year’s supply of eXTrA Gum, and one grand prize winner whose name was announced on dec. 12. 


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