Waukee Community School District
The Waukee Community School District is the fastest-growing school district in the state, currently serving more than 10,000 students from Waukee, Clive, Urbandale and West Des Moines. The Waukee community values educational success, as evidenced by a 98.4 percent graduation rate, high-quality elementary programs and numerous continuing education opportunities.
High School Programs Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX)
Partnering with area businesses, Waukee APEX has established curriculum that develops students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students work through real-world projects outside of a traditional classroom setting, gaining a sense of the professional environment and expanding on academic principles through practical applications. The program supplements students’ regular high school coursework. Five strands of study are offered: Financial and Insurance; Business, Technology and Communications; Engineering; Human Services; and Bioscience and Value Added Agriculture. To find out more about APEX or to become a business partner, visit www.waukeeapex.org.
Learn more about APEX from this student-made video:
Both APEX and School-to-Work offer high school and college credit, but unlike APEX, School-to-Work experiences are individualized (sometimes paid) internships at single businesses. These experiences are highly professional fields and would be considered a job on a résumé. Students must submit an application and teacher recommendation and then interview before they are accepted. School-to-Work provides students opportunities for career exploration and learning outside of the traditional classroom environment.
Post-Secondary Options for High School Students
Iowa's Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act and Senior Year Plus legislation enables students to begin earning college credit, generating a college transcript, while they are still in high school. Courses in Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Literature and more are offered by certified Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) instructors at no cost to the student. In 2014-15, Waukee High School students earned 6,681 credits in the concurrent enrollment program with DMACC, saving families more than $935,000 and encouraging students to continue their education.
Waukee's Silver Cord Program encourages students to invest in their own education and their community by volunteering. Students are recognized at 25, 50, 100 and 175 volunteer hours. Through volunteerism, students to gain valuable experience, learn new skills and make professional contacts, contributing to positive employment outcomes after graduation.
Community STEM Programs
Engaging students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is a community effort. Extracurricular activities are offered to the public through Waukee Parks and Recreation, Waukee Public Library and Waukee Community Schools Community Education Program. To learn about current programming available through each organization, visit their respective websites. Past programs have included:
In Central Iowa, economic development and education leaders are committed to solving skills gaps and growing a high-quality workforce. Waukee Superintendent, David Wilkerson, and Waukee Community & Economic Development Advisory Council Member, Chris Littlefield, lead the regional initiative as co-chairs of Education Drives our Greater Economy (EDGE) whose goal is to ensure that 75% of Central Iowa adults have post-secondary degrees, certificates or other credentials by 2025 that align with workforce needs. For more information, visit www.edge75x25.com.