A message from the Superintendent
Dear families and friends of Ames Schools,
We’re constantly evaluating and improving our methods as we learn better ways to provide our students the attention, instruction, programs and facilities that will help them flourish.
Some of our strategies are easy to observe. For example, were starting the 2016-17 school year celebrating the completion of our elementary school construction projects. Three of our elementary school buildings are new and two are completely remodeled—monuments to our community’s support of education. They’re part of a long-range facilities plan that launched in 2010 and has stayed on track at every stage. We moved into a new Administration Building last spring and new Ames High School athletic fields are taking shape on 24th Street. Looking ahead, we’ll be forming a community committee to explore public support for upgrades to the Ames High School building and swimming pool.
We’re noticing that the retooling of our physical learning environment is revitalizing our entire District. Because our organizational plan focuses on learning and teaching, we’re clear on the direction we’re headed and excited to pull together using all of our resources.
Our roadmap for the upcoming year is based on the four questions that comprise our education plan. Looking back, we can see how far we’ve come. Looking ahead we can take an honest look at what we have yet to accomplish. This year we will build on the success of our Professional Learning Communities’ processes and implement the multi-tiered system of support with integrity districtwide. Ames has long been ahead of the state’s education reform in providing instruction that meets students’ individual needs and in creating ways for teachers to collaborate. Our local Teacher Leadership plan grant gives the District more resources and opportunities to support its vision and goals by fully staffing Teachers on Special Assignment, Mentor Teachers, Model Teachers, Instructional Coaches and a Site Based Council.Their work will help us as we embark on defining success on our own terms, as part of a longer-term strategic plan. With the Ames Community School Board’s leadership and support, we will seek to determine the values and measures, beyond standardized tests, by which we will evaluate ourselves and adapt our programming. We aim for the trajectory of our improvement to continue forward, withstanding trends in politics and external mandates.
Speaking of politics, our staff and Board will continue to advocate for state legislators to provide funding and rules for education that allow local districts to respond to the priorities they identify for their students and communities and to improve their programming while sustaining salaries and benefits for their staff.
Ames is a vibrant community that supports and invests in education. We aim to honor the entire community by constantly learning and improving our school district. Above all, let’s approach this new year as an opportunity to keep learning together.