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Waukee Community School District’s Board of Education approved the renaming of its innovative professional learning program (Waukee CAPS) to Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX). Also naming the new facility the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center (WILC) and labeling the network of K-12, college and business opportunities as the Workforce Innovation Network (WIN) on June 8.

Waukee APEX partners with the business community to bring real-world experiences into the classroom. While the program will primarily be housed in the WILC, the District believes the new facility will offer benefits to businesses and community members beyond APEX programming.

Waukee Community School District launched the first CAPS programming in Iowa at the start of the 2014-15 school year. Throughout the year, support for program philosophy and curriculum that bridges the gap between business and education has grown at the state level and among business partners.

“As a District, we felt it was important to align better with Iowa’s STEM Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers (BEST) Initiative and allow for future evolution of the program to best serve our local and state economic community,” Wilkerson said. “The name change will allow us to expand programming beyond what the licensing agreement with CAPS would allow.”

The renaming process was one of the final projects of the year for the Designing Communication Solutions class. Students were asked to create a new name for the program and start working on a new visual identity.

“After intensive imagining sessions, my team was able to narrow down the definition of what we are and what we want to be called, aspiring professionals,” Vivian Le, Waukee High School junior, said.

Students shared their reasoning for the new name, Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX), at the Board of Education Meeting held on May 19.

“Waukee APEX is considered a pinnacle point in our high school experience, allowing for a 360-degree view to take in all experiences, learn about career paths and establish networking opportunities for a successful college and career path,” Le said.

“Waukee APEX will continue to collaborate with businesses and community interests to develop highly skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders,” Dr. David Wilkerson, superintendent of Waukee Schools, said. “The Workforce Innovation Network (WIN) will serve as a resource to K-12 education, colleges and business across the state.”

A new visual identity for Waukee APEX is expected to be released later this summer. For more information about Waukee APEX, please visit apex.waukeeschools.org.