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Articles in District News

AHS Girls Swimming & Diving Team Defines Dynasty with National Championship

AHS Girls Swim State Team

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Ames High Girls Swimming & Diving team for being rated the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) National Champions for the second straight season.

Head Coach Dan Flannery is proud for the work that this team put in. “We had a great year and the girls worked so hard to put themselves in this position.” In many ways, the second consecutive National Championship is the work of years of training and commitment by the community. The Ames High Girls program has entered the “dynasty” conversation and has some staggering statistics to back up that claim:

  • Undefeated for 7 straight years
  • Conference Champions for 7 straight years
  • State titles 6 of the last 7 years
  • Back-to-back NISCA National Champions (‘16 and ‘17)

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Middle School Principal Dan Fox

AMS Principal Dan Fox

On June 5, the School Board accepted the appointment of Dan Fox as the new Principal of the Ames Middle School. His career began in the Saydel School District where he taught 6th and 8th grade mathematics, but he has ties to the Ames community, having earned both his undergraduate degree in elementary education, and his Masters degree in Educational Administration from Iowa State University.

His first administrative position was in Burnside, Iowa, at the middle school in the Southeast Valley School District, just south of Fort Dodge. “Middle school is a passion of mine. They are not elementary students any more, but they are not ready to be treated like high school students either. They still need guidance and help figuring out situations, and I love that about them.”

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Northwood Principal Kristin Barber

NW Principal; Kristin Barber

On June 19, the School Board accepted the appointment of Kristin Barber as the new Principal at Northwood Preschool Center. Kristin graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in special education, and began her career at the North Polk West Elementary School as a first and second grade teacher, then later as a Master Teacher / Instructional Coach in the district. While in that role, she completed her Masters in Education from Viterbo University with a Reading Endorsement and started to find a passion in educational leadership.

“As an instructional coach, I always wanted to find ways to impact more students, more staff, and more parents by ensuring that everyone has a voice. When you are an administrator or lead learner, you can put structures in place in a child’s education to make sure that we’re meeting all needs in all areas, whether that is through academics, language, socially-emotional, cognitive or physical.”

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Public Tours of AHS Scheduled

          

          Good Afternoon, 

  
On behalf of the Ames School Board, I invite parents and community members to join us for informational meetings about the construction or renovation of Ames High School as well as tours of the Ames High campus. We are providing three different opportunities to accommodate everyone’s schedules: June 28, July 12, and July 19. Each meeting starts at 6:30 PM at the Ames High Cafeteria. 
  
On June 5, 2017, the Ames Board of Education recommended pursuing a referendum in April 2018 that would lead to the construction of a new high school building on the current AHS site. The Board’s recommendation was based on data review and results of a Phase I architectural study by Haila Architects of Ames. 
  
The District’s next task is to inform and stimulate community discussion and awareness and assess the community’s level of support for the Board’s recommendation. These meetings are intended to do just that and help answer questions from the public. 
  
While each meeting is designed to provide the same information, please feel welcome to join one or all of these meetings. I hope you can join us. 
  
Sincerely, 

Tim E. Taylor, Superintendent

 
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School meal price policy FAQs

The Ames Community School Board on June 5, 2017 carved into a separate policy its procedures for dealing with unpaid meal account balances, which had been in place since 2015. However, the Board plans to revisit the policy to find a long-term solution. Watch this page for updates.

FAQs

Why is the School Board acting on an Unpaid Meal Policy?  

The USDA is requiring all school districts nationwide to have a policy in place by July 1, 2017 that details the procedures for unpaid meals. The Board approved unpaid meal procedures in June 2015 as part of another policy after the school district began to run large lunch account deficits, including $109,473 in the 2015 fiscal year. Since then, the negligent balances have fallen by more than $60,000. The Board drafted a separate policy in 2017 to meet the new USDA requirements. On June 5, 2017, the Board approved Policy 710.4 Meal & Snack Charges.

How do families know if they qualify for free or reduced school meal?

The district provides access to the application for free or reduced price school meals each year with other annual notices, and to all new families who enroll students in the district. When applications are processed, the district notifies families about their qualification status.  Income guidelines are established by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Students who qualify for reduced meals are charged the difference between the federal reimbursement for free meals and reduced meals, which is currently 40 cents.

To determine the price a school district must charge students don’t qualify for free or reduced price school meals, the USDA has established a formula through its Paid Lunch Equity Tool.

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Maker Camp at Edwards School connects technology and imagination

Student demonstrates tech project

School may be out for summer, but there won’t be a learning slump for students participating in a Maker Camp hosted by Edwards Elementary School.

Technology Teacher Librarian Teresa Green, who organized the camp, said the four-day camp engages students in making unique projects using technology, recycling used materials and leftover items, and using everyday items in new and interesting ways.

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Black Hawk lands at Mitchell School to spur STEM learning

Black Hawk Helicopter and students

A Black Hawk Army helicopter swooped onto the grounds at Mitchell Elementary School, Thursday, June 1, marking the last day of school and inspiring students to keep engaged with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning over the summer—and also spurring questions.

“Why does it have so many buttons?” “What is a co-pilot?” And a serious question from kindergarten student Max Nordman.

“What happens if you forget how to do something?”

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jim Funk, a Black Hawk instructor pilot with the Army National Guard Charlie 147 Aviation Company based in Boone, arranged with Mitchell Principal Justin Jeffs to provide the larger-than-life learning event.

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Creating digital magazines brings nonfiction to life for sixth graders

Digitalmagcupcakes copy

Ames Middle School sixth grade students are ready with an answer in case anyone asks what they learned this year.

In their hands are printed versions of digital magazines the students researched, wrote, and designed for literacy class to show what they learned studying nonfiction text structures and writing processes throughout the year.

Literacy teacher Drew DeJong said the literacy team, as a professional Learning Community, created the magazine project so students could demonstrate understanding of sixth grade learning standards such as identifying the author’s purpose and the structure of a text. The students were expected to create two articles over a topic they chose, using a different text structure for each article.

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