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Articles from September 2016

Teaching & Learning Committee meets with Word Study Team

The Word Study Team met with the Board Teaching & Learning Committee Sept. 13. Teachers on Special Assignment Erin Miller and Mary Morton told the committee the timeline being considered for the Word Study plan now includes piloting the materials and ensuring instructional strategies are in place for meeting students’ needs and providing professional development for teachers. The goal is to move the plan forward with integrity and fidelity.

Ms. Miller and Ms. Morton summarized the Word Study Team meeting held Aug. 29, in which the team continued building its understanding of the rubric that will be used to evaluate the instructional materials being considered for core/Tier 1 instruction for phonics and phonemic awareness. The team worked on ways to ensure inter-rater reliability during the evaluation process and discussed the cornerstones of the pilot. The team is exploring possibilities for collecting data and input from pilot teachers, the community and the rubric.

The Teaching & Learning Committee asked for a written update that can be shared with the entire Board in the near future.

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Aug. 29- Board Committee learns more about Word Study Team’s work

The School Board’s Teaching & Learning Committee (TLC)met with Teachers on Special Assignment Erin Miller and Mary Morton to get an update and learn more about the work of the Preschool through Grade 2 Word Study Team.

Ms. Morton and Ms. Miller explained how the Team evaluated various rubrics before deciding on the rubric to use for materials evaluation.

Based on District needs the Word Study Team had identified, the Florida Reading Research Center rubric, with the addition of a scoring guide developed by the state of Indiana, was selected as the best match. Ms. Morton and Ms. Miller said the Team is considering recommendations from Dr. Deborah Reed from the Iowa Reading Research Institute as it finalizes the rubric.

TLC members discussed how to proceed with the plan, including the possibility adjusting it to include a pilot study.

Vice President Tim Rasmussen asked the Team to report back on timelines and interim instructional strategies for meeting students’ needs and providing professional development for teachers. The goal is to move the plan forward with integrity and fidelity.

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Meeker C.A.R.E.S ties social-emotional skills to learning


“We believe that children learn academics most easily when they have strong social skills that let them take a positive role in classroom life.”
From Meeker Elementary School letter to parents.

This acronym Meeker C.A.R.E.S is prominent on signs and posters all around Meeker Elementary School. It’s designed to reinforce social skills the school is fostering so students learn to build them into every aspect of their school day—from academics, recess and lunch, to entering and leaving the building and classrooms. It stands for:

Cooperation: working smoothly with others

Assertion: standing up for yourself and asking for help when you need it

Responsibility: being dependable and doing the things you need to do

Empathy: caring about how your words and actions affect other people

Self-control: thinking before acting

School and Family Counselor Kari Deal said Meeker C.A.R.E.S. blends Responsive Classroom and the school’s approach to Multi-tiered Systems of Support.

“Both practices speak to the importance of fostering social and emotional skills in individuals, thus aiding in the development of a safe classroom community,” Deal said.

Classroom teacher Ondrea Dellman said Meeker C.A.R.E.S has given the community of students, families and staff a common language for behavior standards.

“As a result, students have consistent guidelines about appropriate choices in their classroom, fine arts, and common areas—setting a foundation for their future in the world,” she said.

“Powerful opportunities occur when social and emotional learning is brought to the forefront,” Deal and Dellman said.

Meeker secretary Jessi Neilson said the behavior standards are already setting a positive tone for the new school year.

“It’s making e a big difference in our school community to have these expectations ingrained in a positive way.”

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Ames Education Foundation holds TASTE for Education event

The formula for the Fifth Annual Ames Education Foundation’s TASTE for Education is a proven success: Local restaurants bring their signature dishes. Local musicians provide stellar entertainment. A cross-section of Ames residents whose common goal is supporting education mingle and cast their bid for unique and exotic silent auction items. Last year, the  event raised $51,000 to support Foundation programs as well as education program needs such as school supplies, teacher mini-grants, leveled readers, and band and choir uniforms and equipment.  

The 2016 TASTE for Education event is 5-9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25. It’s an evening for folks 21 years and older. Local Restaurants and food providers will  showcase tastings of their cuisine. Entertainment will be offered by Jazz Funk Band. Highlights of the evening include Unveiling of the Dessert, and a Silent  and Live Auction.

Tickets are $50 and are available online, please click the TASTE link below. All ticket sales are final.

Tickets are also available at the Ames High School main office and Chocolaterie Stam in Ames, 230 Main St., or call the Foundation at 515/268-6630. For your planning purposes, there are 10 seats to a table. The event is reserved seating. Please wear business casual attire.

The Ames Education Foundation  provides financial support for innovative educational projects not ordinarily provided through the Ames Community District’s operating budget.

Taste 8.5x11 Print Poster 2

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