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Articles from August 2015

Ames High School’s average ACT scores up from last year

AMES–Ames High School students’ average ACT scores typically outpace the state and nation. In 2015, however, the District’s composite score also moved past the previous year’s score by .6 percent.

Associate Superintendent Mandy Ross attributes Ames’ strong ACT scores to the District’s commitment to creating individualized learning plans for students that help them build academic success well before reaching high school.

The district has added additional instruction and academic time at all grade levels, and this year, Ames High School has added  a “plus period,” which gives students multiple opportunities to learn and master concepts.

The ACT is designed to gauge how well students are prepared for college-level work by measuring their knowledge in English Composition, College Algebra, College Social Science, College Reading, and College Biology, using a 36-point scale. The test results provide a composite score that predicts college success across all these areas.

According to ACT, a “benchmark score is the minimum score needed…to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher…in the corresponding…college courses.” Ames’ composite score went from 25 in 2014 to 25. 6 in 2015.

Associate Principal Mike Avise said Ames High School’s educational philosophy embeds a seamless approach to the ACT’s “action plan” for student success that staff is always seeking to improve.

“The rigor of our course work, the individual attention our teachers and counselors give our students and the frequent assessments our teachers use to make adjustments to instruction all help our students do well on the ACT,” he said.

For more information, visit the ACT Condition of College & Career Readiness 2015.

2014-15  AVERAGE ACT COMPOSITE SCORES

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Source: The ACT

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Ames High School announces student guidelines for Stadium events

As Ames High School begins its home football season Friday, Sept. 4, Principal Spence Evans says he’s implementing guidelines for student seating and behavior that have been successful for the past two years in helping all fans have a “safe and enjoyable time cheering on the Ames High School band, cheerleaders, and football team.”

“We’re following these guidelines for the third year and asking for everyone’s cooperation,” Evans said.

Guidelines for students in grades K – 12

  • Students must be seated in the stadium by the kickoff time (7 p.m.).
  • Students have the choice to sit with their parents or in the assigned section in the stadium.
  • Students are not allowed to congregate anywhere in the stadium except their assigned sections or with their parents.
  • All students must bring their school ID with them to the game so they can be identified.
  • Students who choose to sit in the middle school/elementary area are expected to remain there until halftime.
  • Students who need to leave the assigned area before halftime must give their school ID to the supervisor and return within 15 minutes.
    • If a student cannot produce a school ID, the student will not be allowed to leave the area until halftime.
    • Supervisors will not accept any other forms of personal property.
  • Once halftime is over, the students are expected to be back in their seats for the second half of the game and the same rules apply.
  • If students don’t follow these expectations, they will be asked to leave Ames High School property.
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Watch a video update of the Sawyer remodel project

Here’s a fast-paced video showing what construction crews are doing inside Sawyer Elementary School. Students started school Monday in their temporary location, Camp Sawyer on Woodland Street, so crews can finish the remodeling project in time for the 2016-17 school year.

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Extra support in place for busing as school starts

AMES–Bus systems and personnel are in place for the start of school on Monday, Aug. 24, to make sure Ames Community School District buses make it to and from schools safely and on time. Beyond completing its preparations for daily route service, the District’s transportation provider, Durham School Services, is providing additional staff and buses for the first weeks of school.

Chief Financial Officer Chris Stensland, who has oversight for District transportation services, said Durham is providing these school start-up services:

  • Providing site support for the first days of school from Durham Central Plains Regional Manager Ron Leimbach and Corporate Human Resources Director Greg Fitzgerald.
  • Hiring additional temporary workers to staff phone lines.
  • Starting the year with 40 bus routes—based on the peak number of routes needed last year — that are staffed with trained, local drivers.
  • Deploying additional “at large” buses to relieve overloaded buses or complete a route that is significantly delayed.

New bus notification system for parents and guardians

Durham is providing a new notification service, TextCaster, that allows parents and guardians of students who ride buses to opt in to receive text alerts about bus delays or route issues affecting their children.  A link to subscribe to TextCaster has been emailed to all parents and guardians whose students ride the bus.

Bus and traffic safety reminders

As we start the new school year, we remind everyone to be aware of children walking and biking to school as well as buses carrying students.

  • Obey the speed limit and watch for pedestrians and bicycles in school zones and pedestrian crossings.
  • Don’t pass a school bus that has its stop arm extended and lights flashing.
  • Allow extra travel time, keeping in mind that both Ames Community Schools and Iowa State University start classes Monday, Aug. 24, and street construction is still going on throughout the city.
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