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Articles from February 2020

Restorative Practices at Ames Middle School

Restorative Practices Graphic

There is a fundamental unifying hypothesis of restorative practices that states human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them. This is the shift in mindset that Behavior Specialist Andrew Koshatka and staff at Ames Middle School are introducing to students, staff, and families.

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Thirteen Ames High Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

National Merit Finalists

Thirteen Ames High School seniors have been named finalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) mailed Certificates of Merit to principals across the country, notifying them of the students who have advanced to Finalist standing in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

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Ames Middle School Art Teacher Cappie Dobyns named 2020 Western Region Middle Level Art Educator Award Winner

Cappie Dobyns Award Graphic

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) has named Ames Middle School Art Teacher Cappie Dobyns the 2020 Western Region Middle-Level Art Educator Award winner. This prestigious award, determined through a peer review of nominations, recognizes the exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of an outstanding NAEA member annually at the Regional level within their division. The award will be presented at the NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis, MN, March 26-28, 2020.

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Friday Night Lights: Ames High Coach Vertanen Steps Away from the Sideline After 34 Seasons

Coach Vertanen

After 34 seasons walking the sidelines as an Ames High football coach, Bruce Vertanen announced his retirement from football following the 2019 season. In a letter to his coaching staff, Vertanen said, “It has been one of my greatest joys to be the head football coach at Ames High. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done to support me, my family, and more importantly our program as a whole. Wins and losses will fade with time but the kids will never forget how you have treated them.”

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Revenue Purpose Statement Vote to Utilize SAVE Tax Funds

Special Election Graphic

The Ames Community School District is seeking voter approval of a proposed Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) that describes how the District will utilize funds made available through the Iowa Legislature’s extension of the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Fund, commonly referred to as the one-cent sales tax. The District’s current RPS expires on 1/1/2031. 

Approving the proposed RPS will allow the District to continue using future SAVE funds for school infrastructure through the calendar year 2050 when the SAVE law expires. It will not change the current sales tax rate. Citizens will continue to pay the one-cent sales tax even if the proposed RPS is not approved. 

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Specially Designed Instruction

Specially Designed Instruction graphic

Entering the world of special education can be a challenging endeavor as a parent. You’ve witnessed your child struggle in a particular area and the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process is full of educational jargon and acronyms. But through that process, our students get to work with amazing special education teachers across the District who specialize in learning disabilities. Alyssa Peiffer, a special education teacher at Meeker Elementary, is one of those amazing teachers and makes what seems impossible for many students and parents possible. 

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Demography Report Part I: Enrollment Analysis

Demographers Report Graphic

Last fall, the Ames Community School District contracted with RSP Associates, a school planning company that works solely with school districts and provides demography analysis for those who are experiencing enrollment changes. For a school district, enrollment changes have financial implications, determine the number of certified teaching positions that are needed, and directly impact building capacity. With accurate demographic information, school districts can use the information to make informed-decisions around facilities planning and enrollment processes. Robert Schwarz, the CEO of RSP Associates, has experience in city planning and founded the company in 2003.

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Student Advocacy at the Center of new Iowa Core Social Studies Standards

Iowa Core Social Studies Standards

Student advocacy and developing a classroom where students can analyze current events, ask compelling questions, communicate their conclusions and take action is at the heart of new Iowa Core Social Studies standards being implemented at Ames Middle School. This inquiry cycle took center stage when 6th-grade teachers Michelle Andrews, Carissa Danielson, and Shawn Peterson began exploring the continent of Australia. 

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