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Articles from March 2020

Tanise Colvin named as new Sawyer Elementary Principal

Tanise Colvin Graphic

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Tanise Colvin as the new principal of Sawyer Elementary School. Colvin is currently an Assistant Principal at two middle schools in the Muscatine Community School District, a position she has held since 2017. 

As an assistant principal in Muscatine, Colvin has experience in multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) and actively led a parent group to address the gaps in educational programming for students who receive special education services. She was responsible for the design and creation of a master schedule, coached teachers to improve instructional practices, and designed professional development for paraprofessionals that were specific to building needs. Colvin also has training in student-centered coaching, professional learning communities, English language proficiency modules, and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS), an initiative that was rolled out last year in the Ames Community School District.  

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Grab and Go Meals Provided to Students Starting March 23

Summer Food Program Graphic

The Ames Community School District received approval from the Iowa Department of Education through the USDA to provide Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meals. Starting Monday, March 23, the District will be able to provide grab-and-go meals to any child 1 – 18 years of age. Three locations have been selected that include Meeker, Mitchell, and Sawyer Elementary Schools. Other school sites across the District do not qualify under the program, but ANY child, regardless of where they live, may access meals from these sites.

Meals will be provided to all children without charge and provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will be distributing both breakfast and lunch grab-and-go meals. Meals can be picked up Monday through Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and food service staff will deliver the bags to the cars to eliminate anybody in our buildings. Hot meals will be provided twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday). Since these meals will be served hot, we will not be able to provide two days worth of meals on those days. Instead, on Monday, we will offer Monday meals and Tuesday breakfast. On Tuesday, we will offer current-day lunch (hot on Tuesday and Thursday) and the following days breakfast. We will be sending reheating instructions with the meals in case they are not consumed immediately.

Bus Routes to Food Locations:

In an effort to assist Ames Community School District families obtain grab-and-go meals, Durham Bus Services will be providing shuttle routes starting Monday, March 23rd. We would like to reserve the buses for families who do not have access to transportation. If you have transportation available, we ask that you drive to one of these locations to receive meals. 

We ask families to use great care in who is sent to pick up the grab & go meals. Parents are welcome to ride the bus with younger children and older students may ride alone. There is no student supervision provided on these buses and parents are expected to provide supervision.

The bus stops and pick up times can be found at the URL below. The shuttle will run every 30 minutes beginning with the first time listed. Riders will be dropped off at the designated school. Once you receive meals, a return shuttle will take you to your point of origin. 

We will be following the State and National guidelines of social distancing and will transport no more than 10 individuals on each bus who will be seated 6 feet apart. Please be respectful of others and do not use the shuttle if you are feeling sick.

If you have any questions, Durham will have staff available to help beginning 3/23/20. They can be reached at 515-233-5424 between the hours of 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The bus route schedule can be accessed on our website at the URL below. 

Updated School Lunch Shuttles

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Coronavirus Update (March 11, 2020)


Coronavirus Update (March 11, 2020)

With many universities in the state canceling in-person classes and moving toward online courses for two-weeks following spring break, the Story County school districts want to assure our families and communities, that as a group, we will continue normal operations for the foreseeable future. 

All districts are receiving regular updates and working closely with Story County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and will follow their guidelines and recommendations. As this is an evolving issue, their recommendations may change over time. In the event that Story County Public Health or the Iowa Department of Public Health determines that there is a need for closure, or other action, we will communicate additional information at that time.

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Ames High Construction Update and Summer Parking 2020

Ames High Construction Update Parking 2020

Throughout the winter, construction crews have continued to excavate and pour footings and construct foundation walls at the Ames High construction project. As of the end of February, the foundation walls for the south half of the building were approximately 80% complete and the footings for the south half of the building were approximately 94% complete. Other notable milestones include the geothermal vaults being installed in December after 312 wells were drilled throughout the fall.

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Mitchell Elementary Construction Update / Informational Meeting

Mitchell Construction Update Meeting

Mitchell Elementary School was one of three elementary schools in Ames (Edwards and Meeker being the other two) that was part of the April 2018 successful bond referendum for elementary school building additions. After reviewing current enrollment, near-term predictable enrollment, projected future enrollment, and housing development, it was determined the most urgent need for additional space is at Mitchell Elementary.

In April 2019, the school board approved architectural services by Roseland Mackey Harris Architects (RMHA) for design and construction of addition(s) and renovation at Mitchell Elementary. The scope and goals of the project are to 1) add 6 classrooms to the building, 2) improve the HVAC system to control humidity in the building, and 3) address sound challenges in the music practice area. 

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