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Parent Reading Camp March 2017

Readingcamp 3 17final copyPhonemic Awareness, by Sara Nelson, Iowa State University

Parent Reading Camp presenters, by Mandy Ross, Ames Community School District

From Levels to Love, by Karen Mongar, Ames Community School District

Literacy Development, by Sara Nelson and Emily Hayden, Iowa State University

Literacy Development Handouts, by Sara Nelson and Emily Hayden, Iowa State University

Moves for an Effective Readaloud, by Brandon Schrauth, Ames Community School District.

Concepts of Print, by Brandon Schrauth, Ames Community School District

Concepts of Print Bookmark, by Brandon Schrauth, Ames Community School District.

Parent Reading Camp Flyer

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March 24, 2017- Update on third rotation and community feedback

The third rotation of the word study pilot began on Tuesday, March 22nd. The Word Study Team met and scored the materials they used during the second rotation and received materials for their last rotation. They will teach with these materials through May 9th. We will meet again as a team for the final rubric scoring on Tuesday, May 15th. At that point, we will be waiting to set another meeting until we can get all of the data back from the Iowa Reading Research Center, including student scores from the assessments and fidelity checks. We will keep everyone updated as the timeline develops, but we do not have a firm date yet. We anticipate that we will have all of the data back in late May.

We have had some requests for clarification about how the community feedback forms will be used in the final decision.  We are collecting both quantitative and qualitative data throughout the pilot. The quantitative data (student assessment data, rubric scores, teacher survey, admin survey, and survey from parents of pilot students) are broken down by specific percentages (here’s a link to the earlier post with those numbers). The qualitative data, including the community feedback comments, teacher comments, and administrator comments will also be read and considered by the administrative team. While we are hoping the quantitative data will paint a very clear picture, we may need to rely more heavily on the qualitative data should that not be the case.

Thanks for continued support during this process!

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Give feedback on Literacy Pilot materials

Literacymaterialsdisplay

Materials on display through March 27

Now is your chance to peruse teacher and student resources and hands-on learning accessories for the three sets of Foundational Skills Materials being reviewed for the Kindergarten – Grade 2 literacy pilot. The materials are on display in the lobby of our District Offices, 2005 24th St. during our office hours from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Open House from 5 – 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 27

Teachers on Special Assignment Erin Miller and Mary Morton will be on hand  to answer questions before the regular school board meeting on March 27.

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Here’s a link to a site providing more information on the materials review and the materials.

Here’s the link to the online feedback survey.

Use these hashtags on Social Media #AmesWST #AmesCSD

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March 3, 2017- Inviting Public Input

We’re inviting the community to learn more about the Kindergarten – Grade 2 literacy pilot materials and give us feedback. In this video, Associate Superintendent Mandy Ross summarizes reasons new materials are being piloted. Board member Tim Rasmussen and Board Vice President Alisa Frandsen, who are members of the Teaching & Learning Committee, invite the public to come to an input session prior to the March 27 regular Board meeting, and to visit displays of the materials at Parent-Teacher Conferences March 6 – 9. 

Here’s a link to a site providing more information on the materials review and the materials.

Here’s the link to the online feedback survey.

Use these hashtags on Social Media #AmesWST #AmesCSD

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Edwards Students create Unity Chain

Chain1

A paper chain stretches the width of the Edwards Elementary School Commons area, as a visual representation of unity, solidarity, and peace. Parents, teachers, and the school created the chain during the school’s Feb. 14 Friendship Party. The school supplied students with a take-home worksheet to make paper chain strips at home with their families. To honor and reflect on Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s messages of peace and friendship, each student wrote his/her identity on the strip, along with a message promoting unity within the Edwards community. Also, the activity encouraged each student to write on additional loops the name of a leader, musician, scientist, or another person from their culture or any other culture the student and/or family views as important to them.

Chain2

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Calendar for 2017-18 school year is approved

Keys dates for the 2017 -18 school year are set, based on a calendar the Board approved February 13.

Link to calendar overview PDF

Here are some of dates to add to your calendar:

  • Grades 1-12 start classes Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Classes will follow the Wednesday schedule, with elementary school starting at 8:25 a.m. and dismissing at 2:05 p.m. Ames Middle School will start at 9:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:15 p.m. Ames High School will start at 9: 15 a.m. and dismiss at 3:05 p.m.
  • Kindergarten classes start Friday, Aug. 25 and students will attend a full day.
  • Early kindergarten mini-conferences, as scheduled, will be held Friday, Aug. 25.
  • Early kindergarten classes start Monday, Aug. 28.
  • Grades kindergarten through 5 will dismiss at 1:45 p.m. Aug 28-Sept.1 for mini-conferences, as scheduled.
  • Preschool starts Tuesday, Sept. 5.
  • Classes will dismiss early the day before Thanksgiving. There will be no afternoon Early Kindergarten at Northwood. Elementary classes will start at 8:25 a.m. and dismiss at 1:30 p.m. Ames Middle School classes will start at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 1 p.m. Ames High School classes will start at 7:50 a.m. and dismiss at 1:15 p.m.
  • Classes will dismiss early the day before Winter Break. There will be no afternoon Early Kindergarten at Northwood. Elementary classes will start at 8:25 a.m. and dismiss at 1:30 p.m. Ames Middle School classes will start at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 1 p.m. Ames High School classes will start at 7:50 a.m. and dismiss at 1:15 p.m.
  • Winter Break starts Thursday, Dec. 21. District Offices are closed during Winter Break. Classes resume Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, and District Offices reopen. Classes will follow the Wednesday schedule, with elementary school starting at 8:25 a.m. and dismissing at 2:05 p.m. Ames Middle School will start at 9:30 a.m. and dismiss at 3:15 p.m. Ames High School will start at 9: 15 a.m. and dismiss at 3:05 p.m.
  • On the Friday before Spring Break, there is no school for grades preschool through 8 because it is a post-conference day. Ames High School will be in session and will dismiss at 1:15 p.m.
  • Spring Break is March 12-16. District Offices are closed Friday, March 16.
  • Thursday, May 31, 2018 is the last day of school. Classes will follow the early dismissal schedule. There will be no afternoon classes at Northwood. Elementary classes will start at 8:25 a.m. and dismiss at 1:30 p.m. Ames Middle School classes will start at 8 a.m. and dismiss at 1 p.m. Ames High School classes will start at 7:50 a.m. and dismiss at 1:15 p.m.
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Teachers and District reach agreement on two-year compensation package

Teachers in the Ames Community School District reached an agreement with the Board of Education on a two-year compensation package that was ratified at a special meeting, Thursday, Feb. 16.

The agreement, which is effective for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, was ratified before changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws were expected to pass the Iowa General Assembly. If the changes are signed into law, state and local government workers will no longer be permitted to negotiate compensation issues such health insurance, seniority and extra pay.

Superintendent Tim Taylor credits the Ames Education Association for its longstanding work toward common goals on behalf of the District’s teachers. He said the agreement shows mutual value for District teachers and a commitment to attract and retain “the best teachers for the best students anywhere in the world.”

Highlights of the District’s agreement:

  • A total compensation increase of .89 percent for 2017-18. The compensation package includes a 3.6 percent salary increase that boosts the base salary by $700, from $31,450 to $32,150.
  • A total compensation increase of 2 percent for 2018-19 to cover increases in medical insurance and salaries.
  • Ending a $100 deductible medical insurance plan and a paid-up life insurance benefit that no longer reflect current employee benefits standards.
  • Providing procedures to address certain involuntary transfers to give teachers of “bubble” classes first preference to transfer to vacancies within their current building assignment and to allow elementary fine arts and physical education teachers a chance to have input on their building assignments.

 

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Ames Middle School Science Olympiad team takes first place at regional tournament

2017 combined science olympiad teams

Ames Middle School and Ames High School combined teams competed at a regional invitational Science Olympiad tournament in Warren Mo. the weekend of Feb. 4, 2017.

The Ames Middle School Science Olympiad team finished first place in the invitational tournament against 34 other middle school teams from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa on Feb. 4. The team will compete in the State Science Olympiad competition March 25 at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

First place medals:

  • Seth Durbin and Emily Poag for Wright Stuff
  • Anyang Yu and Emily Poag for Crimebusters
  • Henry Tang, Eddie Wei , and Jerry Han for Experimental Design
  • Sophia Cordoba and Sivani Manimaran for Fast Facts
  • Seth Durbin and Michael Huang for Hovercraft

Third place medals:

  • Taylor Xu and Eddie Wei for Invasive Species
  • Seth Durbin and Jerry Han for Rocks and Minerals
  • Steven Tian and henry Tang for Towers

Fourth place ribbons:

  • Emily Poag and Steven Tian for Meteorology
  • Sivani Manimaran and Quinn Harbison for Microbe Mission

Fifth place ribbons:

  • David Jiang and Quinn Harbison for Disease Detectives
  • Sophia Cordoba and Jixiang Li for Dynamic Planet
  • John Zheng and Taylor Xu for Reach for the Stars

Sixth place ribbons:

  • Sophia Cordoba and Henry Tang for Ecology
  • James Lin and Jerry Han for Optics
  • Eddie Wei and Rishbh Swamy for Road Scholar
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Our message to all students: You belong here

The Ames Community School District is working to support students and families who may be impacted by the executive orders banning immigration from certain countries. Children of international students and refugees are among our student body. 

Although it is our Board policy that children and families will not be discriminated against in our educational programming and employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, such discrimination is also contrary to our values.  Our District is among the 20 most diverse public schools in Iowa and we consider that diversity is a great source of pride and strength.

Here is our message of support to students, which includes their families.We are ames schools1

 

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