On behalf of the Ames School Board, I invite parents and community members to join us for informational meetings about the construction or renovation of Ames High School as well as tours of the Ames High campus. We are providing three different opportunities to accommodate everyone’s schedules: June 28, July 12, and July 19. Each meeting starts at 6:30 PM at the Ames High Cafeteria.
On June 5, 2017, the Ames Board of Education recommended pursuing a referendum in April 2018 that would lead to the construction of a new high school building on the current AHS site. The Board’s recommendation was based on data review and results of a Phase I architectural study by Haila Architects of Ames.
The District’s next task is to inform and stimulate community discussion and awareness and assess the community’s level of support for the Board’s recommendation. These meetings are intended to do just that and help answer questions from the public.
While each meeting is designed to provide the same information, please feel welcome to join one or all of these meetings. I hope you can join us.
Tim E. Taylor, Superintendent
Here’s the official presentation the Word Study Team made to the Teaching & Learning Committee, to parents and to the School Board.
The article linked below gives an overview of dyslexia, myths associated with dyslexia, and recommendations for teachers and parents to support students.
The Ames Community School Board on June 5, 2017 carved into a separate policy its procedures for dealing with unpaid meal account balances, which had been in place since 2015. However, the Board plans to revisit the policy to find a long-term solution. Watch this page for updates.
Why is the School Board acting on an Unpaid Meal Policy?
The USDA is requiring all school districts nationwide to have a policy in place by July 1, 2017 that details the procedures for unpaid meals. The Board approved unpaid meal procedures in June 2015 as part of another policy after the school district began to run large lunch account deficits, including $109,473 in the 2015 fiscal year. Since then, the negligent balances have fallen by more than $60,000. The Board drafted a separate policy in 2017 to meet the new USDA requirements. On June 5, 2017, the Board approved Policy 710.4 Meal & Snack Charges.
How do families know if they qualify for free or reduced school meal?
The district provides access to the application for free or reduced price school meals each year with other annual notices, and to all new families who enroll students in the district. When applications are processed, the district notifies families about their qualification status. Income guidelines are established by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Students who qualify for reduced meals are charged the difference between the federal reimbursement for free meals and reduced meals, which is currently 40 cents.
School may be out for summer, but there won’t be a learning slump for students participating in a Maker Camp hosted by Edwards Elementary School.
Technology Teacher Librarian Teresa Green, who organized the camp, said the four-day camp engages students in making unique projects using technology, recycling used materials and leftover items, and using everyday items in new and interesting ways. …
A Black Hawk Army helicopter swooped onto the grounds at Mitchell Elementary School, Thursday, June 1, marking the last day of school and inspiring students to keep engaged with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning over the summer—and also spurring questions.
“Why does it have so many buttons?” “What is a co-pilot?” And a serious question from kindergarten student Max Nordman.
“What happens if you forget how to do something?”
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jim Funk, a Black Hawk instructor pilot with the Army National Guard Charlie 147 Aviation Company based in Boone, arranged with Mitchell Principal Justin Jeffs to provide the larger-than-life learning event. …
Ames Middle School sixth grade students are ready with an answer in case anyone asks what they learned this year.
In their hands are printed versions of digital magazines the students researched, wrote, and designed for literacy class to show what they learned studying nonfiction text structures and writing processes throughout the year.
Literacy teacher Drew DeJong said the literacy team, as a professional Learning Community, created the magazine project so students could demonstrate understanding of sixth grade learning standards such as identifying the author’s purpose and the structure of a text. The students were expected to create two articles over a topic they chose, using a different text structure for each article. …
Kirstin Sullivan, who teaches AP European History, AP Government and Politics, and U.S. Government at Ames High School, was recognized by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate for organizing Ames High School’s participation in the statewide Iowa Youth Straw Poll for the 2016 general election.
In a press release, Pate said Sullivan “stepped up and registered to include our students’ voices in the statewide straw poll, and as a result of her efforts, students received a unique civic education experience.”
Sullivan said participating in the Iowa Youth Straw Poll gave all students at Ames High School a chance to be engaged.
“A vital part of my job is for students to know how important it is that they are engaged in their community and in their government at all levels,” Sullivan said. “In both U.S. Government and AP Government and Politics classes, we spend the semester learning about civil liberties and how to best advocate for oneself and one’s community.” …
UPDATED JUNE 12, 2017: The Word Study Team presented its findings to the Teaching and Learning Committee on June 12. Based on the WST recommendations, the Teaching and Learning Committee at a special board meeting June 12 will recommend that the Board approve using Fundations.
The Ames Community School District has concluded a pilot of program materials for kindergarten through second grade teachers to use when providing instruction around foundational skills in reading. The pilot was established after K-2 teacher representatives met in the spring of 2016 and recommended that all K-2 teachers have common materials for Tier 1 instruction across schools in phonics and phonemic awareness. …
Stephanie Myers, a fifth grade teacher at Edwards Elementary School, was awarded Rotary Teacher of the Year on Wednesday, May 17. A Model Teacher in the Teacher Leadership Program, Myers has taught fifth grade at Edwards for the past six years.
Principal David Peterson said Myers’ success as a teacher stems from an array of skills and practices that engage her students in “thinking with great rigor; sharing their thinking with one another, and reflecting on learning.”
“She implements a connected sequence of content and instructional strategies at a high level,” Peterson said. “Many district teachers observe her classroom, and she reflects on her teaching with them and helps to identify best practice instruction.”
Among best practices, Myers reviews student data regularly with her colleagues in their Professional Learning Community for solid core instruction, re-teaching, and enriching learning, Peterson said. “She also works with her fifth grade team of teachers to build community learning activities and routines, with practice to make a positive community of learners for the entire year.”
The Ames Morning Rotary is committed to youth education and realizes that teachers are responsible for quality education. To help demonstrate this commitment the Club annually recognizes a teacher from each of these school districts: Ames, Story City and Gilbert.