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Boys Swim Team Wins First State Title Since 1982

Boys Swim State Champions

In his 20th year of coaching, Dan Flannery finally got the state title that has eluded him. The Ames High boys swim team won the 2018 State Championship, their first since 1982.

The Little Cyclones were ranked #1 in the state for much of the year and went through the regular season undefeated before losing at the District meet to Ankeny. Going to state is nothing new for this senior heavy team; they’ve been there the last 4 years. But going in with a legitimate chance to take the title is new, and something this team has spent their high school career working toward.

This was the first year that the University of Iowa has hosted the Iowa High School Athletic Association Boys State Swimming Meet at their new pool. This year the meet was held on February 10. Throughout the season, the boys team took on the motto “swim like it’s 1982.” With former Hall of Fame and Ames High coach Mike Wittmer, who led the 1982 Little Cyclones to a state title in attendance, they did just that.

The meet got off to the start that Ames needed. The 200 Yard Medley Relay team of seniors Dalton Lillibridge, Misho Mahrous, Nick Matthews, and junior Ethan Johnson, set a new school record of 1:33.83 as they won the state title in the event. The winning time is currently under All-American Consideration. It got the Little Cyclones out to an early lead, but after the second event, Ames fell behind West Des Moines Valley for much of the meet.

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Ames High Career Fair

It had been nearly 15 years since the last time that Ames High hosted a career fair for students. That changed on February 6, 2018 when all ninth grade students were able to explore a variety of career pathways from more than 25 different businesses in Ames.

Ames High Business Teacher Vicki Hales led the organization of the career fair, but each department was represented as a part of the planning committee. The career fair replaced the students’ regular class schedule and included booths that students could explore while a number of sessions were being led by community members in the classrooms. Those sessions discussed a range of topics that included the importance of developing the 21st Century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Others explained what soft skills employers seek in potential employees such as being on time, taking risks, continually improving, treating others respectfully, learning from mistakes, using appropriate technology to communicate, adapting to changing requirements, setting goals, taking initiative, and modeling global awareness.

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Superintendent Search Updates

Superintendent Search

We will update this page regularly with updates on the search for a new Superintendent. 

Ray and Associates:

Ray and Associates has been hired by the school board to manage the hiring of the next Superintendent. More information, including how to apply, can be found on their website:


January 17 – the board voted to hire Ray & Associates as the search firm that will lead the board in the Superintendent search.

February will be spent with the search firm meeting with various focus groups — including teachers, students, parents, support staff and building administration to establish preferred criteria when considering candidates.

February 8 – public forum on Superintendent search. 5:00 p.m. at District Office.

February 16 – Ray & Associates approve Superintendent profile

March 19 – deadline for submitting application materials for the position

April 4 – selection of candidates

April 11-13 – first round of candidate interviews with school board

April 17-18 – Superintendent finalist interviews

April 18-19 – Superintendent selection


Superintendent Search Flyer


(Note: the survey is no longer open). Based on their experience, Ray & Associates has identified 30 criteria of effective school leaders. Click here to access a survey, and select up to 10 criteria most important to you. There is also an open-ended question for you to identify those things candidates should know about our district and community. The survey will close on Sunday, February 11 at 8:00 a.m. 

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Fresh Thyme Launches Roundup Fundraiser to Address Food Insecurity Among Ames Students

Fresh Thyme Graphic

Customers’ roundup dollars from Feb. 7–28 and $2,500 Fresh Thyme donation will pay students’ negative lunch balances

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market believes no student should go without a meal. That’s why the full-service specialty retailer announced today the “No Student Goes Without Lunch” fundraising campaign at its new Ames store. All customer donations from the campaign — as well as a $2,500 donation from Fresh Thyme — will go to the Ames Community School District to pay students’ negative lunch balances.

As of Dec. 31, 2017, Ames students’ negative lunch account balances totaled $47,932.42. Last year, the school district grappled with how to address this issue. In June, the Ames School Board amended a policy so that today all students receive lunch regardless of their negative account balance. However, with this action, the district still must find ways to settle students’ outstanding balances.

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Superintendent Search: 30 Qualities Survey

Superintendent Qualities Survey Graphic

Dear parents, teachers, and the Ames community,

On January 17, as a school board, we chose Ray & Associates as the search firm to help us with identifying candidates for the next Superintendent of the Ames Community School District. As a part of this process, we are seeking feedback on the preferred criteria to consider in our candidates. Below is a link to a survey we invite you to complete. Based on their experience, Ray & Associates has identified 30 criteria of effective school leaders. Please select up to 10 criteria most important to you. There is also an open-ended question for you to identify those things candidates should know about our district and community. The survey will close at 8:00 a.m. on February 9. 

Additionally, our search firm consultants will be hosting listening sessions with various identified focus groups (teachers and staff, students, parents, building administrators, and community leaders).  The public is invited to participate in a focus group with our consultants on February 5, 5-6 pm in the District Board Room.

As we move through this process, we will strive to keep you informed as much as possible.  A timeline detailing the process will be posted to our website in the upcoming days.  

Thank you for your support during this important process!


Alisa Frandsen

Ames School Board President

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Department of Education officials talk Iowa Core in Ames

Representatives from the Iowa Department of Education stopped in Ames Tuesday night to deliver a presentation and answer questions regarding the Iowa Core, the state’s academic standards that educators work to help all students achieve.

Erika Cook, chief of the Bureau of Standards and Curriculum in the Division of Learning and Results, offered a presentation that you can see here. 

Iowa Academic Standards Presentation 

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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

For more information about the preschool program, email or visit


Kristin Barber

Northwood Preschool Principal

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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.


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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