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Articles in Fellows Elementary

An Emphasis on Attendance

Attendance Graphic

Student attendance is an important predictor of success in the classroom. Only through attendance and class participation do students achieve the benefits of our education program within the Ames Community School District. Learning lost due to an absence can have a profound effect throughout the school year, and we are placing a greater emphasis on communicating absences with parents this school year.

Our previous attendance policy stated that communications would be sent home after 10 absences. The board supported a proactive approach to addressing chronic absenteeism and on August 21, revised the attendance policy to the following:

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New Fountas & Pinnell Reading Benchmarks

Fountas & Pinnell Graphic

What is the benchmarking assessment that my child takes?

Fountas & Pinnell have developed a Benchmarking Assessment System (BAS) in order to help teachers determine what reading skills your child has mastered and which she/he still needs to learn. In Ames, all K-5 students read aloud all or portions of a text and then engage in a comprehension conversation with the teacher to allow the teacher to better understand how to help the student in a variety of areas, including reading with accuracy and expression, and understanding the meaning of the text. This assessment is administered to all students twice per year.

Fountas & Pinnell have created a 3rd edition of the benchmarking materials which include revised rubrics, texts, teacher prompts, and online capabilities. ACSD purchased this 3rd edition for all elementary buildings as these improvements will allow teachers to more clearly target instruction with each student. Your child’s level may be lower than in the past as the 3rd edition materials are much more rigorous. This drop in levels has been predicted by the publisher and does not indicate that your child’s skills in reading have decreased.   

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Storm of Kindness School Supply Campaign

Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma ravaged southern parts of the United States and Christy Franco’s 4th grade class at Fellows Elementary School followed the events closely as a part of their current events study.

The students began asking questions about what would happen with the schools in the area and were genuinely concerned about the welfare of the students and schools that were impacted by the storm and flooding.

Franco capitalized on their enthusiasm to help and began organizing the “Storm of Kindness” school supply campaign. She reached out to Principal Brandon Schrauth and Fellows PTO President Angie Weber to organize the drive.

Students made posters for the campaign and with the help of a local videography company and Fellows parent, Tom Haggas from Cheshire Moon Films, produced a video to highlight their efforts and to educate the community on how they can help.

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Brandon Schrauth announced as next Fellows principal

Pending Board approval, Schrauth will assume leadership July 1.

Superintendent Tim Taylor announced April 19 that he will be recommending to the Board of Education the appointment of Mr. Brandon Schrauth as the next principal of Fellows Elementary School.  

Brandon.Schrauth16 17“After a great deal of reflection and discussion with Mr. Schrauth, it was clear that he has the experience and skills to assume leadership at Fellows,” Taylor said.

Schrauth is currently serving as principal at Northwood Preschool Center, where he has collaborated with his staff to create a caring community that understands and embodies the attributes, behaviors, and supports necessary for all students to learn.

Alicia Ortner, Northwood’s Direct Instruction/Inclusion Teacher, said Schrauth’s leadership helped staff work together to “create a framework that is simple, clear and memorable.”  

Schrauth said he believes believes his experiences and skills can contribute to the elementary level as well as to the systemic goals for every stage of learning in the district.

“It’s my goal to build on the strengths of the Fellows staff and community to continue to prepare students for the lifetime of learning offered by the experience of Ames Schools,” he said.

Prior to coming to Northwood, Schrauth was an Instructional Coach at Horizon Elementary School in Johnston, Iowa. Before becoming an Instructional Coach he was an early childhood teacher (K-2) for 11 years.  After earning recognition as a National Board Certified Teacher , he obtained a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2009 and a M.S. in Educational Leadership in 2015, both from Iowa State University.  

Schrauth has been honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Channel 13 “Golden Apple Award”, and the Channel 5 “My Favorite Teacher”.  In 2016, he received the Dan Woodin Excellence in Education Award, given to Ames district educators based on input from their colleagues.

 

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Dr. Anthony Jones to serve as interim principal for Fellows Elementary School

Superintendent Tim Taylor announced Tuesday, Dec. 20,  that Dr. Anthony Jones has accepted the position of interim principal at Fellows Elementary School for the remainder of the current school year. Jones, who has been serving as associate principal at Ames Middle School since 2011, will assume the leadership role at Fellows next semester following the departure of current principal Carol Page.

Associate Superintendent Mandy Ross said a transition team composed of Fellows staff representatives and the PTO co-presidents supported Dr. Jones for his ability to collaborate with students, staff, and families, as well as his history with the District.

Dr. Jones said he’s committed to working with Fellows students, families and staff during this transition.

“It’s my desire to help Fellows students, staff and families during this leadership transition, and to continue the District’s work of supporting what’s best for our students.”

Fellows staff will be introduced to Dr. Jones on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 21.

Ajones

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Preschool registration launches Feb. 1

The youngest learners in the Ames Community School District will get a head start on enrollment with an on-site event at Northwood Preschool Center.

Northwood Principal Brandon Schrauth said it’s important for families to attend the session to provide the documentation the District needs to program planning and to form a connection with the District before school starts next August.

“We want to reach as many families as possible because early childhood education is so important,” Schrauth said. “Gathering paperwork and completing online forms is a necessary step in getting enrolled in preschool,” he said, “but it’s just as important to meet families and answer any questions they have.”

What to expect at Preschool Registration

Parents and guardians may enroll children in preschool who will be 4 years old by Sept. 15, 2017.

Parents and guardians who meet certain income guidelines may enroll children in the Early Success 3-Year-Old Preschool Program who will be 3 years old by Sept. 15, 2017.

Parents and guardians will complete an information form online.

Parents and guardians should bring proof of the child’s age such as a birth certificate or passport, student physical report and immunization records; and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.

Northwood Preschool Center is at 3012 Duff Avenue.

Learn more about preschool registration

 

 

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Kindergarten registration starts Jan. 26, 2017

Kindergarten enrollment sessions have long been a tradition for Ames Schools, and this year, Registrar Barbara Peterson is hosting the sessions at the new District Offices.

“Gathering paperwork and completing online forms is a necessary step in getting enrolled in kindergarten or preschool,” Peterson said, “But it’s just as important for us to meet families and answer any questions they have. Our new offices offer a welcoming and functional space to do that.” 

What to expect at Kindergarten Registration

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in kindergarten who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2017.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online and a Home Language Survey, 
  • Parents and guardians should bring proof of the child’s age, such as the original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal or passport,  proof of residency (lease, mortgage, house title, or utility bill with current address), and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.

The Ames Public Library will provide story time, and representatives from busing and school meal services will be available to provide information. Other community organizations with early childhood services will be on hand. District Family Ambassadors, who are parents of current students, will be available to give support and supervise a playroom for children aged 2 and over.

 

 

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Farewell to Fellows Open House set for May 1

An open house will be held 1 – 3 p.m. at 1400 McKinley Dr.

AMES– The Fellows Elementary School community is saying farewell by paying homage to its building and the learning opportunities and memories it housed for almost 50 years. Staff and parents have planned an open house farewell event from 1 – 3 p.m., Sunday, May 1.

Principal Carol Page said students are preparing displays of time capsules, which were buried  24 years ago and unearthed when sitework began for the new building students will occupy in August.fellowsfeature

“Our fifth graders are interviewing past students and staff, and staff and students are creating bulletin boards depicting the school’s history and their favorite memories,” she said.

Page said honoring Dale Brentnall, the principal who opened the building, is a major focus of the event.

“Mr. Brentnall had a timeless vision for this building and its students and we all have benefited from his legacy,” she said. “We’ll be looping a video interview that we hope conveys what a remarkable man he is.”

Page said the public is invited to walk through the building and enjoy refreshments. Students will provide musical performances in the gymnasium at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.

“We’re excited to move into our new building, but it’s hard to think about this building being demolished,” Page said.

“There are a few things that deserve to be preserved. One of our families has offered to dig up the perennial bulbs in front of the building and give them away as mementos.”

In August, the school community will move into a new building built on the current site. The old building is scheduled for demolition in late June.

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