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Articles in District News

I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award

Teresa Green STEM Award

Teresa Green, K-5 Technology Teacher at Edwards Elementary, was recently selected as the North Central Iowa Region’s recipient of the 2018 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher Award. The award is established through the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and sponsored by Kemin Industries. It recognizes “exceptional dedication toward increasing student interest and achievement in STEM fields and careers in innovation.”

Green is a 30 year veteran teacher (25 in the Ames CSD) who started as an elementary music teacher. She got her Masters of Curriculum and Instructional Technology degree from Iowa State University, and today is a the K-5 Technology Teacher at Edwards Elementary.

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Northwood Preschool Registration

Northwood Registration Graphic Digital Sign

2018-2019 Preschool Registration Information

Children who are four-years-old on or before September 15, 2018 are eligible for the Ames Community School District Preschool Program and can complete the check-in process on Wednesday, February 7th at Northwood Preschool Center 9:00 -12:00 & 1:00 – 6:00 pm.

Timeline for Preschool:

February 7 – Preschool Registration Opens at Northwood Preschool Center

Please Bring:

  • Most Recent Physical Exam
  • Immunization Record
  • Proof of Birth

Week of March 19 – Parents will be notified if their child has an AM or PM spot in the program.

July 9 Complete Ames Community School District Online Registration

August 13 and 14 – Packet Pickup – Receive information about the upcoming school year including your child’s teacher assignment.

August 22 – Parent Orientation at Northwood

**Three Year Olds: There are a limited number of scholarships for children who will be three on or before September 15, 2018. If interested, please visit Northwood on February 7th or contact Northwood after for an application and financial assistance guidelines at 515-268-2470 or email northwoodregistration@ames.k12.ia.us

For more information about the preschool program, email northwoodregistration@ames.k12.ia.us or visit http://www.ames.k12.ia.us/schools/northwood-preschool-center/

Sincerely,

Kristin Barber

Northwood Preschool Principal

kristin.barber@ames.k12.ia.us

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Iowa School Report Card 2017

Iowa School Report Card

The Iowa Department of Education released the annual Iowa School Report Card, the state’s web-based school ratings system, on December 13, 2017. The Iowa School Report Card, which was launched in 2015 as part of a state legislative requirement, rates individual public schools on measures of student achievement, as well as other factors. They include student proficiency rates in math and reading combined, student academic growth, narrowing achievement gaps among students, college and career readiness, student attendance, graduation rates, parent involvement, and staff retention. Based on each school’s performance over a two-year period, the report card assigns one of six ratings: Exceptional, High-Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority.

Celebrations:

The Iowa School Report Card bases the majority of its measures on the Iowa Assessment results. As a result, it showed an overall decline in proficiency rates across the state. In Ames, however, all 7 schools (high school, middle school, 5 elementary schools) show student proficiency rates above the state average. The overall rankings for 6 schools in Ames are within the “Commendable,” while Fellows Elementary garnered a “High-Performing” ranking.

A point of pride for Ames High School is the College and Career Readiness mark of 70.2%. The state average in that category is 39.5%, clearly showing Ames High students preparedness toward the next step in their lives.

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The Future of Ames High: What you Need to Know

Ames High Project Overview Graphic

Why are we voting on a new high school?

On April 3, 2018, the Ames community will vote on a bond referendum for a new high school that will have the learning space and security features that our current building lacks, as well as additions to three elementary schools: Meeker, Mitchell, and Edwards. The amount will not exceed $110 million and requires a 60% approval from voters.

What is the status of the current high school?

Initially built in 1960, our current building has 15 additions, 13 elevation changes, and 82 exterior doors on the building. When Haila Architecture did their Phase 1 study, they cited the circulation of students within the building, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, along with a lack of security features as major concerns.

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Kindergarten Registration

 

Kindergarten Registration Graphic

WHEN: Thursday, January 25 – 10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Friday, January 26 – 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Ames CSD District Office 2005 24th St. Ames, IA 50010

WHAT TO EXPECT:

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in kindergarten who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2018.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online and a Home Language Survey.
  • Provide the child’s original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal; proof of residency (lease, mortgage, house title, or utility bill with current address); and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.
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Little Inventors at Edwards Elementary

Little Inventors Graphics

If you have not heard of “The Real Video Game,” a “Work-o-Tron,” the “Desk Fluffinator,” or an “Allergy Protector,” you will someday. These are some of the many inventions that third graders at Edwards Elementary have come up with as a part of a Little Inventors project.

It is another collaboration between 3rd grade Edwards teachers, and Sara Nelson, an Iowa State University College of Education professor. Nelson has collaborated with Edwards Elementary teachers a lot in the past, most recently with 3rd grade teacher Patti Allen, whose relationship goes back nearly a decade.

The catalyst for the idea came when Patti and Sara were looking for STEM education ideas, and they encountered an article about Little Inventors (www.littleinventors.org), a group based out of the United Kingdom that showcases student ideas. Sara contacted the group via Skype and they have been in contact ever since.

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#FOOD4FRIENDS AMS Food Pantry Drive

AMS Food Pantry Drive

The Ames Middle School Cyclone Leadership Council (CLC) organized a food drive where all of the donations went directly toward filling the middle school food pantry. Homeroom teachers collected food on two days, October 31 and November 7, and students were able to dress up during those days. Lisa Kirsch, a staff organizer of the event, said, “Our goal is to restock the AMS Food Pantry for students in need while allowing our students to contribute to this worthy cause and have fun dressing up with fellow students.”

The initial goal set by the CLC envisioned success if each homeroom could bring at least 10 items for the food pantry. At the end of the two day drive, 2,250 food items were collected among the homerooms in grades 6-8, far exceeding expectations. The initiative of students and generosity of the families at the middle school made storing the food the most challenging part of the drive.

Although coordinated by AMS student leaders, along with Lisa Kirsch and Sara Knutson who serve as CLC co-chairs, the drive was a schoolwide effort. Students brought this drive home, families supported it, and homeroom teachers coordinated with their students to collect the food items. The food goes home with students in need for their families each weekend, and this drive directly impacted middle school families.

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Fellows 2nd Graders Engineer to the Story of the 3 Little Pigs

The Three Little Pigs is fairy tale about three pigs who built three houses of different materials. A big bad wolf blows down the first two pigs‘ houses, made of straw and sticks respectively, but is unable to destroy the third pig’s house, which was made of bricks.

Fellows 2nd grade teachers Holly Shirbroun and Shena Crawford, and their classes, recently explored this story and added a STEM component to the unit. Students were asked to collaborate with each other and implement engineering strategies to create a house to surround a paper pig using only gumdrops and toothpicks. In teams of two, students collaborated with each other, and practiced engineering strategies that asked them to design a plan, implement that plan, and afterwards make decisions on how they could improve their structure. The project was also used as a way to introduce new math terms that students will be utilizing as the school year progresses.

The engagement of the students was high as they communicated with each other on how to build their structures. Students were given opportunities to share their “best practices” that they discovered with the rest of the class (hint: cut the gumdrops in half!). The highlight of the activity came when students were asked to test their building structure. Mrs. Shirbroun kept this component a secret from the students until it was time to unveil a hair dryer dressed as a big, bad wolf. Students were delighted by the wolf and held their toothpick structures up against the blowing wind. They were especially satisfied when their structure stood tall.

Although not all structures stood as a whole, the enthusiasm surrounding the project encouraged students to revisit their structure, design new, and build again so they can have a chance to test again the wolf.

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Iowa Teacher of the Year: Aileen Sullivan

Aileen Sullivan, a veteran chemistry teacher at Ames High, was named the 2018 Iowa Teacher of the Year by Governor Kim Reynolds at a surprise event that was also attended by Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise.

Sullivan has taught at Ames High School since 1996 and is known for challenging her students, her colleagues, and herself to grow and improve. Superintendent Dr. Tim Taylor hired Sullivan in 1996 and dubbed her a “kid magnet.” She has “that hidden ability to understand and relate to young people that draws them in and allows her to push them to their potential.”

Sullivan, along with her husband Joel Sullivan, who nominated Aileen and is also a teacher at Ames High, found out that she was selected as the Teacher of the Year two months prior to the event and was embargoed from discussing it. “When I nominated her, my goal was for her to get the recognition she deserves as a teacher and leader in our district. None of what she does is very public and few people realize how hard she works and how dedicated she is to improving her craft and helping students.”

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Rev’n for Seven: Girls Swimming and Diving Win 7th State Championship

The Ames High Girls Swimming and Diving team were Rev’n for Seven as they entered the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) State Championships. The two day event was held in Marshalltown on November 3-4, and the Little Cyclones entered with an undefeated season with several contenders looking to dethrone Ames as the top program in the state.

This year’s team had the responsibility of carrying history into the State Meet. Since 2010, the Little Cyclones have won 6 state titles, with their only loss coming at the State Meet in 2014 where they were runner up to Pleasant Valley. Since that time, the Little Cyclones have forged ahead with a new winning streak and their eye on a seventh state championship.

Friday night consisted of the diving event where Ames qualified 3 divers in the top 10. The team was led by Jayna Misra, who entered the competition with the second highest qualifying total. After her second of 11 dives, Jayna took the lead and never looked back. Her combined score of 542.45 was the second highest total since 1967 and 57 points better than the runner up finisher. Senior Kaylee Clendenen had her best meet of the year, finishing 6th. The 33 team points earned during the diving portion got Ames off to an early lead in the team competition.

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