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Articles from December 2022

Free Summer Meals 2022

The Ames Community School District is pleased to offer a free breakfast and lunch each day to every child in our community through the summer recess. The USDA has issued nationwide waivers which allow school districts and community organizations to extend the operation of the Summer Food Service Program into the current school year through the summer of 2022.  All children ages 1 -18 are eligible to receive free meals.

The Ames School District has established the sites for the summer program.  FREE meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows: 

June 6, 2022 – June 30, 2022

  • Sawyer Elementary School – 4316 Ontario Ames, IA 50014
  • On-site – Breakfast Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.  Lunch Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m.
  • Grab and Go – Lunch and Breakfast Monday and Thursday 11:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. (Three days of meals Monday.  Four days of meals on Thursday.)  On Monday June 27 Monday through Thursday meals with no service on Thursday, June 30.
  • Students and young children do not need to be present when parents and/or guardians pick up grab and go meals, and student IDs are not required. Families may pick up meals at Sawyer Elementary.  The Grab and Go Meal program ends June 30, 2022.

July 5, 2022 – July 21, 2022

  • Sawyer Elementary School – 4316 Ontario, Ames
  • On-Site – Breakfast Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.  Lunch Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a. m

June 6, 2022 – August 12, 2022

  • Boys and Girls Club – 210 South 5th, Ames
  • On-Site – Breakfast Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  Lunch Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

June 6, 2022 – August 13, 2022

  • Camp Canwita – 2807 Duff Avenue, Ames
  • On-Site – Breakfast Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.  Lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
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Edwards Elementary Chess Club

Edwards Chess Club

Every Tuesday and Thursday, sometimes as early as 12:10, a line begins forming outside a room at Edwards Elementary. Anxious students duck in and out, checking the board for their name and if they are part of group one or two. Phrases like, “Did you sign up?” and “You’re in the second group,” echo through the hallway. Excitement is palpable as students weave in and out with lunch in hand. Excitement brought because of the opportunity to play chess.

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Ames High Students Earn Octagon Center for the Arts Awards

Ames High School students participated in the Octagon Center for the Arts annual student show. This show highlights artwork by local elementary, middle, and high school students. In a reception held on Thursday, May 5, 2022, three of the six awards were given to student artists from AHS. Congratulations to:

  • Lorna Schuckert for winning the Jeffrey L. Brown Best of Show Award for her “Ancestry Nesting Dolls.”
  • Derek Peng for earning the Jeffrey L. Brown Memorial Photography Award for his photo “Cue.” 
  • Emma Brockman for earning a Juror Choice award sponsored by Ames Silversmithing for her photo “Beautiful Wonders.” 

The following AHS students participated in this event:

  • Brianna Ledvina
  • Carleigh Evans
  • Franny Burke-Vens
  • Paige Flory
  • Emily Kaminsky
  • Emma Tuttle
  • Julia Sillman
  • Niki Morningstar-Shaw
  • Lincoln Gartin
  • Tate Bernard
  • Dakota Lewin
  • Lucy Brekke
  • Kendra Goodwin
  • Katie Risselman
  • J.T. Matusiak
  • Trey Nesbitt
  • Rocky Dunkin
  • Marley Turk
  • Emileth Valdivia Barajas
  • Kent Sta Maria
  • Wenjun Liu 
  • Claire Galvin
  • Sydney Bray

The show is up thru May 14th, so hope you get a chance to check out these great pieces and lots of other wonderful work there yet from more Ames High Art Students and other students in the area! See the High School Show in the Octagon’s Community Gallery through May 14. The award presentation and comments can also be viewed on the Octagon Facebook page. 

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Panorama School Climate Survey Results 2022

In March of 2022, the Ames Community School District surveyed students, staff, and families using the Panorama Culture and Climate Survey. The survey included questions around social and emotional learning, school satisfaction, and staff and family engagement, among others. This was the fourth consecutive year that the District has utilized this survey. 

In April, building and District administrators had a first look at the results. On Monday, May 2nd, District results were presented to the school board. We are now sharing a direct link with our families and community to District level results to the following surveys:

  • Student Survey (Classroom Level) – grades 3-5
  • Student Supports and Environment (Equity) – grades 6-12
  • Teacher and Staff Feedback Survey
  • Teacher and Staff Adult Socio-Emotional Learning Survey 
  • Family-School Relationship Survey

The Panorama Survey results can be found at pan-ed.com/amescsdsurveys

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Healthiest Ames, Mary Greeley Foundation Provide Area Third and Fourth Graders with Helmets

After a pandemic-related interruption, Healthiest Ames has again partnered with Mary Greeley Medical Foundation and Skunk River Cycles to provide area third and fourth graders with free helmets to encourage safety while engaging in healthy activities like bicycling, scootering, and roller skating. Because bike helmets were unable to be distributed last year, third and fourth graders at all five Ames Community School District elementary schools and St. Cecilia’s School will receive free helmets this week. The distribution took place starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, beginning at Sawyer and Fellows schools, followed by Edwards, Mitchell, and Meeker.

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Ames High Named “Best” High School in 2022 National Report

US News 2022 Best High School

The 2022 U.S. News and World Report Best High School rankings have been released and Ames High School has been named fourth in the state and 1,210th in the nation. Ames High earned a “Best” ranking, a commendation reserved for the top 40% of schools in this ranking program. U.S. News “Best” badges are widely recognized as symbols of excellence in U.S. education.

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Ames High senior Gage Myers Placed 1st in the Automotive Service Technology SkillsUSA Contest

Gage Myers SkillsUSA Contest

Ames High senior Gage Myers recently won 1st place in the Automotive Service Technology SkillsUSA contest at the Iowa state-level competition. This competition earned Myers personal tools that he will be able to use to further his learning and career. He will also compete in the National SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta Georgia, from June 20-24. 

Leland Staton, Automotive Instructor at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), said, “This opens up some big doors for him. Gage has a good possibility of receiving additional scholarships and he will be recognized on a national level.” 

The purpose of the SkillsUSA competition is “to evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of automotive service technology.” The contest is open to any active SkillsUSA member who is enrolled in a career and technical program. 

The contest includes a written knowledge test given by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and covers all eight automobile areas identified in the ASE Education Foundation Automobile Program Standards and the Official ASE Study Guide. The test for these high school and college/postsecondary contests is comprised of diagnostic and repair content from the following skill areas: engine repair, automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drivetrain and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic steering, heating and air conditioning and engine performance.

Qualifying for the SkillsUSA National competition is incredibly competitive and opens the opportunity for Myers to be recruited by one of the major auto manufacturers in the nation. “These opportunities are not ones that very many people get a chance to receive,” said Stanton.   

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Ames High School: Open House(s), Memorabilia, Community Sale

Ames High Gymnasium Memorabilia

The construction of the new Ames High School is nearing completion and the current high school is scheduled to be decommissioned this fall. The current high school has served Ames since 1960 and has a storied history and innumerable memories. As we approach the end of the school year and the final months of occupying our current high school, plans are continuing to evolve in a number of key areas.

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Adjusted Start and Stop Times Approved for the 2022-2023 School Year

New Start and Stop Times

On Monday, April 18, the Ames School Board approved adjusted start and stop times for the 2022-2023 school year that will go into effect at the beginning of the next academic school year. The new start and stop times are as follows:

  • Ames High School – 8:30 AM – 3:35 PM (early release 1:35 PM)
  • Ames Middle School – 8:40 AM – 3:45 PM (early release 1:45 PM)
  • Elementary Schools – 7:40 AM – 2:45 PM (early release 12:45 PM)
  • Northwood Preschool Center – 8:15 AM – 11:15 AM and 12:15 PM – 3:15 PM (No school on Wednesday for both preschool and early kindergarten)

The new times essentially flip the start and stop time order of our elementary and secondary schools. Currently, our secondary buildings start the day with Ames High beginning at 7:50 AM and Ames Middle School starting at 8:00 AM. Elementary schools follow that with an 8:30 AM start time.

When identifying prospective start and stop times, District leaders and the school board identified two fixed points from which to begin. First, the District wanted to maintain 6 hours and 35 minutes of instructional time per day of instruction. This impacts the length of the day and any changes in instructional time could impact the 2022-2023 approved academic calendar for next year. The second fixed point was to establish a 50-minute gap between elementary and secondary school start times. This gap allows Ames CSD to gain efficiencies and cost savings in transportation costs. 

Other considerations included an examination of research related to start times. There are a number of research articles that note benefits of delaying secondary school start times based on student sleep patterns. More detailed information on these points were shared publicly in our proposal in late March

In that initial proposal, the District asked stakeholders if they could support the proposal and provided an opportunity for feedback. A summary of that survey response was included as part of the school board agenda packet and is available on our website. If you’re interested in hearing the conversation at the board table, you can view the meeting on our YouTube channel with the start and stop time conversation beginning at approximately the 47:45 mark. 

The new start and stop times will go into effect in August 2022 at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. 

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ISPRA Communication Awards 2022

ISPRA Awards

The Iowa School Public Relations Association (ISPRA) held its annual communication awards ceremony on Thursday, April 14 in conjunction with its virtual spring conference. The Ames Community School District submitted seven projects in 5 of the 22 competition categories that included two Excellence in Writing pieces, Magazine, Podcasting, two Special Purpose projects, and a Video category. 

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