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Articles in Edwards Elementary

2020-2021 School Year Calendar Approved

 

Calendar Approved

The 2020-2021 school year calendar was approved by the Ames school board on Monday, January 13, 2020. 

Start date – School will officially begin on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 for most grades across the District. This includes 1st – 5th grade, as well as 6th and 9th graders and all other students at the middle and high school who are new to the District. Here is a breakdown of the staggered start dates across the district:

  • August 26 – 1st-5th grades. Orientation for 6th grade and 9th grade, and all AMS and AHS students new to the district. 
  • August 27 – Early kindergarten, 7th, 8th, and 10th-12th grade 
  • August 28 – Kindergarten 
  • September 8 – Preschool 

At the secondary level, the August 26 start date provides an orientation opportunity for 6th and 9th graders, as well as all other 6th-12th graders who are new to the District. This allows them time to meet teachers and get acquainted with a new building and expectations. Ames High modeled this approach two years ago with Ames Middle School implementing this approach last year.

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Panorama School Climate Survey 2019

Panorama Data

In the spring of 2019, the Ames Community School District surveyed students, staff, and families using the Panorama Culture and Climate Survey. The survey included questions around social and emotional learning, school satisfaction, and staff and family engagement, among others. The purpose of the survey was to gather perception data from key stakeholders as a way to set a baseline for evaluation. With a baseline set, the survey results will guide goal areas based on the District’s Purpose and Priorities. 

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Enrollment in Ames Up for the 2019-2020 School Year

Enrollment Up in Ames Graphic

Certified enrollment was finalized today. Below is a full write-up with that information, but here are some highlights first:

  • Certified enrollment is 4,477 students.
  • This is +90.5 from a year ago.
  • Open enrollment / Whole Grade Sharing / Tuition In is +330 (we were +329 a year ago)
  • The actual number of students served in buildings is 5,102.
  • This is +71 students from a year ago. 

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Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) 2019

ISASP

The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) is the new state-wide assessment that replaced the former Iowa Assessments. Developed by Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa for the state of Iowa, students in grades 3-11 took the new tests for the first time in spring 2019. School-level results were released by the Department of Education to schools, parents and other stakeholders in November 2019. 

According to the Department of Education, the “assessments are aligned with the Iowa Core standards and provide a clear and accurate assessment of student learning outcomes.” ISASP better reflects what is being taught in Iowa classrooms and how students are progressing toward grade-level expectations outlined in Iowa’s academic standards. 

Because this is a new and different test for students, results reset the baseline for student performance and should not be compared to previous years. The Department of Education also notes that because the new state test is more aligned to Iowa’s academic standards, it is more challenging. 

Student performance on the ISASP is scored in three ways: Advanced, Proficient, and Not Yet Proficient. A committee of 185 Iowa educators met for five days in July 2019 to determine recommended performance levels or cut scores, which define the range of scores for each of the three categories. English language arts and math tests were given to students in grades 3 through 11, while science tests were given in grades 5, 8 and 10. 

Results will be used to report to parents and communities, to help guide instruction, and to assist us in our school improvement planning. The test results also will be applied to Iowa’s school accountability system required under federal law. 

In Ames, 75.23% of students scored in the proficient and advanced ranges on the English language arts assessment, 75.9% in mathematics, and 65.22% in science. On the English test, the percentage of proficient students increases as students enter middle and high school. Wide disparities exist across all grade levels in the three test areas when those scores are broken down by race or students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. 

We have provided a breakdown of the data in all three tests in the PDF files below. For more information about ISASP, visit: http://iowa.pearsonaccessnext.com/

ISASP English Language Arts 2018-2019 Results

ISASP Math 2018-2019 Results

ISASP Science 2018-2019 Results

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PBIS at Edwards Elementary

 

PBIS Edwards

When students are learning how to read, add, or how to spell, we teach them. That same principle must apply to how students behave throughout the day at school. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a “philosophy intended to guide the behavioral support and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success.” It is a school-wide framework that focuses on the positive things that students are doing. This is an examination of what that looks like at Edwards Elementary School. 

School discipline has traditionally responded to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies that may include reprimands, loss of privileges, and office referrals. This approach, especially when applied inconsistently and without other positive strategies, is proven to be ineffective. With PBIS, consequences will still occur, but are not the focus; teaching expected behavior and rewarding those behaviors consistently is the focus. PBIS looks to establish a climate in which safe and appropriate behavior is the norm. 

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Central Iowa Community Identification Card

Central Iowa Community ID logo

The Ames Community School District is a proud partner of the Central Iowa Community Identification Card (CICID), along with Ames Police Department and Story County Sheriff’s Office. 

Being able to present a valid form of photo ID is essential to accessing many services and benefits of the community. The Ames Community School District will accept CICID as a form of identification for the purposes of student enrollment and to satisfy the ID requirement incumbent upon parents, volunteers and community members seeking admittance into our school buildings during hours of operation. 

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Amazing Education Podcast

Amazing Education Podcast Graphic

The Amazing Education Podcast is a new communication channel from the Ames CSD that focuses on education-related topics with a blend of local and national conversations. Each episode of the Amazing Education Podcast will be 25-30 minutes and feature a guest on a specified topic. 

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Official Online Apparel Store

Online Apparel Store

We are excited to announce the launch of the official Ames Community School District online apparel store. Starting today, you can order Little Cyclone apparel representing every school building across the District. The store has a wide variety of options to choose from with the convenience of ordering online and having the items delivered directly to your door. Many of the items on the store have the ability to customize the logo you prefer.

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Enrich, Empower, Excel Summer School

Enrich Empower Excel Summer Program

Summer programming looked a little different this year but provided many of the great courses that families were accustomed to. Two programs within the district (ELP Super Summer and ALP summer school) and two community partners (YSS and United Way of Story County) joined together to create the Enrich, Empower, Excel summer program. Dr. Anthony Jones, Director of Equity and administrator in charge of the summer program said, “The reasons the programs joined together were to ensure all students have equal access to rich learning opportunities and to enhance the academic enrichment provided to all students.”

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New Logo and Brand Standards

New Logos

In April 2018, the Ames community overwhelming approved a bond referendum for a new high school. With the design of the new Ames High School underway, now was a prime opportunity to assess the “Ames High” brand. 

Through our evaluation of the brand, we quickly realized that Ames High brand had no brand standards or proper file formats associated with it. Brand standards are a set of guidelines for the colors, graphic elements, logo specifications, and fonts that comprise a brand. In essence, they are the glue that holds a brand together. Without those, it is difficult to regulate how our brand is used and we often see the inconsistent application and an overall diminished brand. For example, a walk-through of Ames High showed three different secondary mascot logos being used in a variety of ways. Through our evaluation, we also quickly realized that our elementary schools, as well as Ames Middle School, would benefit from a solid identity. 

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