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Articles from November 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A representative from Ellsworth Community College will be in Student Services at 10:15 tomorrow. Please see Mrs. Evans in if you need a pass to visit with this representative.

This coming Friday is the LAST day to request Letters of Recommendation for your January 1st deadlines. The forms are located in your document library in Family Connection. Please don’t forget to include a resume with your recommendation request(s) with the dates of participation.

Attention all I-Ball players – it’s time to get your squad ready and sign up for the 2016-2017 season. Sign-up sheets are located in the athletics office and are due back by November 28th. Please make sure to include all team members and shirt designs on the sign-up.

Ignite CS will host a guest speaker from Google on Tuesday, November 29 at 3:15 in the Media Center. All students are welcome to attend and snacks will be provided!

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Iowa Reading Research Center’s Role in Literacy Pilot

 

The Ames Community School District (District) has launched a literacy pilot as part of our program evaluation in an effort to select materials to support Tier 1 instruction of foundational reading skills. Piloting of instructional materials as part of program evaluation before purchasing and implementing them District-wide has been in practice for over 30 years and is supported by Board Policy IF, Curriculum and Assessment Development.

Chapter 12 of Iowa Code requires that school boards have a process for assessing and improving curriculum and instruction. To comply, the District’s Board Policy IF states that curriculum evaluation, including evaluation of instructional materials, must include collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to aid in understanding what students know and can do. In order to create a cohesive District program evaluation, pilot programs are always approved by the District, not at a building level.

Our District pilot program involves using three sets of vetted materials in classrooms in order to measure student growth and to better enable teachers and administrators to evaluate the instructional design of each program. At the end of the pilot, all data gathered will be used to select one set of materials to implement with all K-2 students during the 2017-2018 school year. Pilot programs for program evaluation are not considered to be research in the same way as someone working on their dissertation or thesis, for example. Rather, much like teachers using data to inform instruction for their students, the District is collecting data to determine which of these three research-based programs best meets the needs of all students in the area of K-2 foundational reading skills instruction.

Each of the three programs in this K-2 literacy pilot was selected by the Word Study Team because the programs aligned with the identified gap in our implementation of our Board-approved curriculum, the Iowa Common Core. These gaps were centered around the foundational skills standards including phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics. Several programs were vetted using a rubric adapted from the Center on Instruction’s reading materials evaluation rubric. The three programs selected scored above 50 points on our modified rubric that focuses only on the sections that pertain to our identified need.

At no time did the District shift to embark on a research study; rather, we are focused on collecting data from teachers and administrators as well as student growth data to select the best program to fit the identified needs. Numerous questions have been asked about the Iowa Reading Research Center’s (IRRC) role in this pilot, including whether the pilot is legal. The Ames Community School District requested the IRRC’s assistance with the pilot.

The IRRC is serving as the external evaluator for the District’s pilot of foundational skills instructional materials. The intent of the IRRC is to assist the District in selecting a set of materials to adopt, which is a part of the IRRC’s legislated purpose:

281—61.2(256) Purpose. The purpose of the center shall be to apply current research on literacy to provide for the development and dissemination of all of the following, although each of the following will not necessarily be of equal priority or immediacy:

1. Instructional strategies for prekindergarten through grade 12 to achieve literacy proficiency that includes reading, reading comprehension, and writing for all students.

Program evaluation of this sort does not meet the definition of human subjects research:

“Research” generally does not include operational activities such as defined practice activities in public health, medicine, psychology, and social work (e.g., routine outbreak investigations and disease monitoring) and studies for internal management purposes such as program evaluation, quality assurance, quality improvement, fiscal or program audits, marketing studies or contracted-for services.

To ensure proper interpretation of this provision, the IRRC submitted a Human Subjects Research Determination form to the University of Iowa’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB Chair reviewed the IRRC’s role and concluded it did not constitute human subjects research:

“I have reviewed the information submitted with your project titled 201609831 Evaluation of Phonics Curriculum Implementation in the Ames Community Schools.  I have determined that the project described in the application does not meet the regulatory definition of human subjects research and does not require review by the IRB, because the project is to assist a school district in choosing an instructional product and the methodology is not a systematic investigation.”

The IRRC is involved as an independent third party to protect against pre-existing bias in collecting and analyzing student and teacher data. The IRRC is able to support our collection of student data that will be sensitive enough to show growth in these foundational skills. All student test data will be de-identified. Additionally, the IRRC will assist us during our pilot with collecting data to identify which programs are best able to be delivered with fidelity. Fidelity data includes video and audio files that focus on the teacher’s implementation of the materials—not on the students in the class. Recordings are uploaded to the IRRC, and the District will never have access to them. The fidelity data cannot be used for evaluative purposes, and the results will be provided at the aggregate level and not the individual teacher level. This information for each program will help us in analyzing the student growth data.  Once the external evaluation is complete and the District has made the program selection, the recordings will be destroyed.

For these reasons, the District and IRRC are exempt from IRB oversight for the pilot activities as currently designed.

The District is appreciative of the support and collaboration provided by the Iowa Reading Research Center. We look forward to moving forward with a decision at the end of this pilot to implement the  materials that will best meet the needs of our students.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics applications are DUE TODAY – no exceptions will be granted.

This coming Friday, November 18th, is the LAST day to request Letters of Recommendation for your January 1st deadlines. The forms are located in your document library in Family Connection. Please don’t forget to include a resume with your recommendation request(s) with the dates of participation.

Attention all I-Ball players – it’s time to get your squad ready and sign up for the 2016-2017 season. Sign-up sheets are located in the athletics office and are due back by November 28th. Please make sure to include all team members and shirt designs on the sign-up.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Auditions for the musical “Guys & Dolls” will be held tomorrow after school. Students need to sign up for an audition time on Mr. Linn’s office door. See Mr. Linn with questions or for more information.

Any student interested in taking AP Microeconomics or Macroeconomics for the spring semester should stop in the ELP alcove to pick up an application. Applications are due tomorrow. If you have questions please see Mrs. Kuhns or Mrs. Monroe.

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Friday Announcements , November 11, 2016

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
Seniors who still need Letters of Recommendation written for their college applications that are due January 1, 2016 MUST have those requests submitted to their counselor and/or teachers by Friday, November 18th.

GRADUATION GOWNS NEEDED
Wanted: Black graduation gowns and caps to be used for a university graduation in rural Haiti. Please contact Marcy Ryken by November 20th to donate. rykengang@gmail.com

AHS FALL PLAY REMINDER
Ames High School proudly presents The Trouble With Cats, November 11th and 12th at 7:30 PM both evenings in the Ames High School Auditorium. Tickets are $5.00 9th grade and up, and $4.00 8th grade and below. The show runs a little over two hours and is rated PG for mature humor.

DRILL TEAM ANNUAL OMELET BREAKFAST
The Ames High Drill Team will be holding its 18th Annual Omelet Breakfast Sunday, November 13th, from 8:00 AM-12:30 PM in the Ames High Cafeteria. Tickets are $5.00 for a student, $7.00 for an adult and $20.00 for a family. Tickets are available from drill team members or at the door. Please attend and support the Drill Team!

GIRLS SWIM & DIVE
It was another outstanding season for the 2016 Ames High Girls Swimming & Diving team. The Little Cyclones squad won their 6th state championship on November 5th. The squad has won the Iowa High School State Swimming & Diving title 6 out of the last 7 years. The Little Cyclones tallied 341 points at the end of the day, 144 points ahead of Johnston. See the information at the end of this email from Coach Flannery about the swimmers’ and divers’ accomplishments at the state meet.

Congratulations to a wonderful swimming & diving season!

STATE CHEER
The Ames High State Competition Cheer Squad, consisting of 25 fall cheerleaders, placed fourth out of 18 4A teams in the Iowa Cheerleading Championships last Saturday.  Two small stunt groups, each consisting of 5 girls, placed third and fourth out of 11 4A teams.  

Congratulations to Seniors Sari Brakke, Emily Draper, Caroline Farner, Rylee Gibbs and Megan Meyn, Juniors Macee Buss, Lisa Cochran, Allison McHenry, Anna Napolitano, Olivia O’Brien, Jordyn Overton and Sonja Paulson, Sophmores Hannah Heindel, Hannah Kruger, Karson Mittelstaedt, Lindzey Paysen, Grace Perrin, Amanda Watters and Emily Wengert, and Freshman Jewels Buss, Joscelyn Buss, Allie Carr, Kelsey Helton, Maddie Shelton and Morgan Siebert. They are coached by Coach Sarah Buss.

AMES HIGH DEBATE
The AHS Debate Team competed in the Polar Bear Open Tournament at North High School in Des Moines on Saturday, October 22. The novices had a fantastic outing. The Novice Public Forum Team of Andrés Cordoba and Silvia Aydinyan not only came in third in the Halloween Costume Competition, they also won the Novice Division of Public Forum. In addition, in speaker points for Novice PF, Andrés placed second and Silvia took first. In Student Congressional Debate Susan Mkhitaryan came away with first place in the novice chamber, as well as the award for the top presiding officer in that chamber. In the varsity chamber Ainsley Chrystal placed fifth. Overall Ames High placed third in the Debate Sweeps for the tournament.

At the East High Fall Classic on Nov 5, Student Congressional Debaters Ashley Xu came in second in the novice chamber and Sarah Song placed first. Don Gill won a gavel as the top presiding officer in the novice chamber. In Varsity Public Forum Debate the team of Helen Hu and Hana Lee placed fourth.

Also, one correction from the tournament at Roosevelt High School on October 15: the Novice Public Forum Team that advanced to the semi-final round of debate was the team of Hannah Huang and Silvia Aydinyan.

WINTER SPORTS KICK OFF
AHS Winter Sports Kick-off is Thursday, November 17th in the Ames High Gym. Doors open at 6:00 PM with Concessions and Clothing sales.
6:40 – Drill team Performances – Introduce Team
6:45 – Winter Cheer Performance – Introduce Team
6:50 – Introduce Boys Swim, Wrestling, Girls Basketball, and Boys Basketball teams
7:00 – Athletic Director Welcome and Booster Club Co-Presidents; introduction of Winter Sports Reps. and athletic trainers; Recognize Fall Accomplishments.
7:15 – Transition to Parent Meetings.
            Boys Swimming – Athletic Video Room 123
            Girls Basketball – Room 121 (Coach Sullivan’s room)
            Boys Basketball – Multipurpose room
            Wrestling – Cafeteria
            Drill Team – Gym 1
            Winter Cheer – Media Center

MADRIGAL DINNER
Tickets are now on sale for the 28th anniversary annual Madrigal Dinners to be held on December 1, 2 & 3. Cost is $28.00. Regular (pork), vegetarian, and gluten free meals are available and must be specified when ordering tickets. For tickets please email Steve Linn at steven.linn@ames.k12.ia.us or call 817-0600 ext. 2238.

NO LATE START but EARLY DISMISSAL ON NOVEMBER 23rd
There will not be a late start on Wednesday, November 23rd (the day before Thanksgiving). Classes will begin at 7:50 AM and dismiss at 1:15 PM. Please look for the November 23rd schedule in next Friday’s parent email.

INTRODUCTION TO HEALTHCARE CAREERS EVENT

Mary Greeley Medical Center and McFarland Clinic are doing an Introduction to Healthcare Careers event the evening of Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Juniors and seniors interested in exploring a career in Healthcare are invited to the event. See the attached flyer for more information. Applications may be picked up from Mrs. Evans in Student Services and are due by Friday, November 18th. They will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. There is no cost to attend.  

COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVES
The following college representatives will be in Student Services. Please see Mrs. Evans if you need a pass to visit with these college representatives.

Monday, November 14
    Kirkwood Community College 1:00 PM

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE
Friday, November 11
    Fall Play – AHS Auditorium 7:30 PM

Saturday, November 12
    Fall Play – AHS Auditorium 7:30 PM

Sunday, November 13
    Drill Team Omelet Breakfast – AHS Cafeteria 8:00 AM-12:30 PM

Tuesday, November 15
    Auditions for Winter Musical 3:15 PM

Thursday, November 17
    OPUS Choral Festival @ ISU – Hilton Coliseum all day
    All-State Music Festival @ ISU
    Winter Sports Kickoff – AHS Gym 6:00 PM

GIRLS SWIM & DIVE STATE MEET INFORMATION
It was another outstanding season for the 2016 Ames High Girls Swimming & Diving team. The Little Cyclones squad won their 6th state championship on November 5th. The squad has won the Iowa High School State Swimming & Diving title 6 out of the last 7 years.  The Little Cyclones tallied 341 points at the end of the day, 144 points ahead of Johnston.

Jayna Misra notched a 3rd place performance in 1-meter diving with a score of 466.15. Joscelyn Buss placed 16th in her first ever state meet and Kaylee Clendennen placed 21st just missing the scoring round.  The 17 points in diving was a great way to start the swimming portion of the meet.

The 200 Medley Relay of Jazlyn Horras, Molly Winer, Grace Snyder and Amy Feddersen shattered the state record by over 2 seconds.  Their time of 1:43.78 was an Automatic All-American time.

Morgan Rosser placed 10th in the 200 Freestyle along with teammates Olivia Jenks 12th and Brinley Horras 13th.

Sophie Sorenson had a Runner-Up finish in the 200 IM setting a new school record and earning an All-American Consideration time.  Jazlyn Horras was 7th and teammate Leah Dietrich was 17th.

Amy Feddersen placed 5th in her 50 Freestyle earning Second-Team All-State honors and earned an All-American Consideration for her performance. Teammates Sabrinna Hegelheimer placed 13th and Molly Winer placed 23rd.

Grace Snyder placed 4th earning a Second-Team All-State honor in the 100 Butterfly while teammates Hannah Dietrich placed 9th and Sarah Bell placed 17th with their swims.

Amy Feddersen had a Runner-Up finish in the 100 Freestyle earning First-Team All-State honors with an Automatic All-American time.  Her time was a new school record and was under the current Iowa state record.  Olivia Jenks placed 11th in her event.

Morgan Rosser placed 5th in the 500 Freestyle earning Second Team All-State honors while teammate Brinley Horras placed 13th.

The 200 Freestyle Relay of Amy Feddersen, Molly Winer, Sabrinna Hegelheimer were state champions earning an Automatic All-American status and setting a new school record.  They time was the second fastest time in Iowa history.

Sophie Sorenson won the 100 Backstroke setting a new state record with her Automatic All-American performance. Teammate Sarah Bell was Runner-Up with her First-Team All-State performance and Jazlyn Horras placed 3rd.  This was the first time in school history the Little Cyclones swept an event at the state swim meet.

Molly Winer placed 6th in the 100 Breaststroke earning Second Team All-State honors. Teammates Sabrinna Hegelheimer placed 10th and Grace Snyder placed 14th.

The 400 Freestyle Relay of Sophie Sorenson, Olivia Jenks, Morgan Rosser and Amy Feddersen won the 400 Freestyle Relay setting a new state meet record and earning an Automatic All-American time.

The Ames team scored in every swimming and diving event they competed in, solidifying their State Championship title.

The Little Cyclones squad had a 7-0 Varsity record and won their 8th straight CIC Conference title.  All in all, 6 school records, 4 pool records and 3 state meet records were broken during the 2016 season.

Seniors Caitlyn Chellew, Hannah Dietrich and Grace Snyder all earned Academic All-American honors for the 2016-2017 school year.

Congratulations to a wonderful swimming & diving season!

Coach Dan Flannery
dan.flannery@ames.k12.ia.us

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Friday, November 11, 2016

There is a meeting of the Ames Guitar Club with Mr. Klass in room 108 today after 8th period. Everyone is welcome. Bring your guitar and we’ll see you there!

Madrigal Dinner Tickets are on sale for December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Cost is $28.00. Meal options are available and must be specified when ordering tickets. Contact Mr. Linn for tickets or more information.

The Vocal Music & Drama departments will be presenting the musical, “Guys & Dolls” on February 10,11, and 12. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, November 15th. Students need to sign up for an after school audition time on Mr. Linn’s office door. See Mr. Linn with questions or for more information.

Any student interested in taking AP Microeconomics or Macroeconomics for the spring semester should stop in the ELP alcove to pick up an application. Applications will be due November 15th. If you have questions please see Mrs. Kuhns or Mrs. Monroe.

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Sawyer students honor local veterans

Veterans at Sawyer School

Barry Romitti, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, speaks to Sawyer Elementary students on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Local veterans say they were deeply honored by a ceremony fifth grade students at Sawyer Elementary School organized to honor them for their service.  

The school treated veterans to a breakfast followed by a ceremony and choral presentation of patriotic music, Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Veteran Richard Maurer said, “This is awesome. Because the kids are interested. We like sharing what we did. I think it will help them grow.”

Maurer said the veterans, who each shared their service record, experience, and philosophy of life, tried to “get across that  students need to get a good education.”

“The future just doesn’t hand you stuff,” he said. “You have to work hard and earn it.”

Students said they realized “Veterans are cool. “They do different jobs.” “They had to work and study hard to learn to serve our country.”

Fifth grade teacher Brett Fuller worked with American Legion Post 37 to organize the event, with the aim of engaging students with history, social studies and intergenerational learning.

“This event serves as an excellent learning opportunity for our students to develop a deeper understanding of why we celebrate Veterans Day,” Fuller said. “It will also help them to recognize that we have many veterans who live right here in our community.”

After the ceremony, veterans joined the students in their classrooms to answer questions. The guests toured the newly renovated Sawyer building.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

There will be an Asian Alliance Club meeting after school today at 3:10 in Ms. Cakrasenjaya’s room. We will discuss race and other cultures. Everyone is welcome.

There will be a mandatory meeting for all high school wrestlers in the video conference room after school today at 3:30. Any questions see Coach Fecht.

Come to the next meeting of the Ames Guitar Club with Mr. Klass in room 108 tomorrow right after 8th period. Everyone is welcome. Bring your guitar and we’ll see you there!

Madrigal Dinner Tickets are now on sale for December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Cost is $28.00. Meal options are available and must be specified when ordering tickets. Contact Mr. Linn for tickets or more information.

The Vocal Music & Drama departments will be presenting the musical, “Guys & Dolls” on February 10,11, and 12. Auditions will be held on Tuesday, November 15th. Students need to sign up for an after school audition time on Mr. Linn’s office door. Auditions are open to any Ames High student. If you are interested please see Mr. Linn in the vocal music room for audition information.

Any student interested in taking AP Microeconomics or Macroeconomics for the spring semester should stop in the ELP alcove to pick up an application. Applications will be due November 15th. If you have questions please see Mrs. Kuhns or Mrs. Monroe.

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