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Articles in Ames High School

Update on CTE Programming from Superintendent Risner

Ames High Course Offerings Update

Dear Ames,

I want to provide clarity on the decision to make programming changes at Ames High School next fall. Following an evaluation of our Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming, the addition of a financial literacy requirement, and an assessment of our immediate high school staffing needs, the decision was made to not offer Family and Consumer Science (FCS) classes next year.

Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, the state requires each school district provide 4 out of 6 complete service areas within CTE. Those service areas must offer 4 years of course study in an area to prepare students for post-secondary careers and/or education.

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Ames High to offer an Agricultural Pathway Next Year

Ames High Course Offerings Update

Starting next year, in the 2019-2020 academic school year, we are pleased to announce that Ames High will begin to offer agricultural classes as a part of a pathway that students can pursue. The Department of Education requires that all schools offer at least 4 of 6 service areas in secondary schools. At Ames High next year, those service areas will include:

  • Business, Finance, Marketing, and Management
  • Information Solutions
  • Applied Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing
  • Agricultural, Food, and Natural Resources.

When the new Ames High building opens in 2022, we anticipate expanding into another service area: health science, when we begin to offer courses toward a CNA program.

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Advocate. Listener. Social Worker. Life Saver. Jean Muhammad

Jean Muhammad

The City of Ames is an affluent community full of Iowa State University professors and staff. The city boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state: 1.8% in March 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is continually ranked as one of the best places to live. The Ames Chamber of Commerce website links to 102 lists that date back to 2009 that include “Best College Towns,” “Smartest Cities in America,” Most Livable Cities in America,” and “Best-Performing Small Cities” type lists.

The Ames Community School District also has lists that point to academic excellence. For the past 6 years, the District has ranked as the #1 District in the State of Iowa by Niche. Ames High has ranked as the #1 High School for the past 4 years. All these lists point to Ames’ favorable economy, business climate, cost of living, and sense of community, and they are all true. Ames is a great community, with a great university, and has an amazing school district.

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Falls Sports Highlights 2018

Fall Sports Recap

Girls Swimming and Diving

The Ames High Girls Swimming & Diving team entered the 2018 Iowa Girls State Championships as the only team to understand what it felt like to be team state champions. Ames High had won 3 straight state titles, and 7 of the last 8 years, heading into the competition this year. Needless to say, this year’s squad not only had the pressure of the competition weighing on their minds, but the pressure of continuing Ames High’s dynasty in girls swimming.

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) state meet was held on November 2-3 in Marshalltown. For the first time in head coach Dan Flannery’s storied career, he qualified every entrant, 30 for 30, for the state meet.

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Mental Health Conference 2018

Mental Health Conference

On November 15, the Ames CSD hosted a mental health conference at Ames High that was free to families, students, and educators in the Ames community and surrounding areas. The conference served as a great way to help educate the community on a variety of issues and to connect them with available resources.

The conference was a partnership with District schools, Story County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, and The Cameron Carico +10 Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “Promote happy and healthy students and families in central Iowa through suicide prevention and mental health education.”

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Establishing Board Priorities

Establishing Board Priorities

Work session: September 26, 2018

On September 26, District administrators partnered with the board of directors during a work session to establish board priorities. Superintendent Risner said, “One of my first goals in joining the Ames Community School District was to bring our leaders together and identify what our purpose truly is. In other words, what is the reason we do what we do. During our toughest times, our purpose should be our foundation or anchor. My second important task was to establish clear priorities to guide our work, decision making, and allocation of resources.”

After many conversations, planning, and research, our administrators and board of directors took an important step and joined together to define our purpose and district priorities which you will see below. The opportunity provided the two groups to share and align visions from a philosophical and practical standpoint. The groups worked in breakout sessions to develop goals around five priorities sections. What they created was a living document that will evolve over time and become embedded in operational and educational practices.

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All-State Music 2018

All State Music

On October 20, Iowa High School All State Music Festival Auditions were held across the state and Ames High had 32 students selected to participate in the prestigious event. The 2018 festival is celebrating its 72nd anniversary and will be held at Hilton Coliseum on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa on November 16-17.

According to an all-state press release, only about 17% of students who audition are selected for all-state. Ames High has traditionally made a great showing at all-state, and last year qualified 28 students across all ensembles of band, orchestra, and choir.

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Ames High Career Fair 2018

AHS Career Fair

On Wednesday, October 10, the entire student body at Ames High participated in a full day career fair. This year’s event came on the heels of one held last academic school year in February 2018. Prior to that, it had been nearly 15 years since Ames High hosted a career fair.

This year’s event expanded on the efforts from last year, which only served the freshman class. The organizational team led by Ames High Business Teacher Vicki Hales, quickly realized that all students at Ames High would benefit from career exposure. “There are more and more students leaving Ames High without having a clear idea of what they want to do. Getting them more exposure to potential career opportunities that they can further explore is valuable as we better prepare them for what lies ahead.” Recent Iowa legislation also emphasizes the importance of providing all students with ongoing and meaningful experiences to explore career options and help them navigate these choices for their future.

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Little Cyclone Teacher Academy 2018

Little Cyclone Teacher Academy

The second annual Little Cyclone Teacher Academy (LCTA) took place from August 6-10 at Ames High School. Teacher on Special Assignment Lisa Clayberg, who is also the Teacher Leader Coordinator, said, “The idea originated last year from being able to provide in-house professional learning for our teacher leaders outside of contract time. However, we quickly realized that any educator could benefit from multiple learning opportunities.”

The LCTA quickly opened to all staff across the district, including administrators and Educational Assistants. This year, 30 different courses were offered to staff, up from 21 a year ago. The courses covered a range of topics that include understanding behaviors in the classroom, work based learning, dyslexia, assessing students with disabilities, and professional learning committees, among many others.

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AHS Girls Swimming & Diving Team awarded National Champion status

Swimming National Champions

On August 18, the Ames High 2017-2018 Girls Swimming & Diving team was awarded National Championship status by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA).

Coached by Dan Flannery, the Little Cyclone swimmers and divers out paced every other public school in America ranked on class size (enrollment 900-1,400 students) by over 250 points. That is an unprecedented margin and marks the 3rd consecutive year that the Ames High girls team has won this prestigious national title. Ames High girls swim teams have won 7 of the last 8 state team titles, including last year’s competition.

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