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Articles in Ames Middle School

Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) 2019

ISASP

The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) is the new state-wide assessment that replaced the former Iowa Assessments. Developed by Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa for the state of Iowa, students in grades 3-11 took the new tests for the first time in spring 2019. School-level results were released by the Department of Education to schools, parents and other stakeholders in November 2019. 

According to the Department of Education, the “assessments are aligned with the Iowa Core standards and provide a clear and accurate assessment of student learning outcomes.” ISASP better reflects what is being taught in Iowa classrooms and how students are progressing toward grade-level expectations outlined in Iowa’s academic standards. 

Because this is a new and different test for students, results reset the baseline for student performance and should not be compared to previous years. The Department of Education also notes that because the new state test is more aligned to Iowa’s academic standards, it is more challenging. 

Student performance on the ISASP is scored in three ways: Advanced, Proficient, and Not Yet Proficient. A committee of 185 Iowa educators met for five days in July 2019 to determine recommended performance levels or cut scores, which define the range of scores for each of the three categories. English language arts and math tests were given to students in grades 3 through 11, while science tests were given in grades 5, 8 and 10. 

Results will be used to report to parents and communities, to help guide instruction, and to assist us in our school improvement planning. The test results also will be applied to Iowa’s school accountability system required under federal law. 

In Ames, 75.23% of students scored in the proficient and advanced ranges on the English language arts assessment, 75.9% in mathematics, and 65.22% in science. On the English test, the percentage of proficient students increases as students enter middle and high school. Wide disparities exist across all grade levels in the three test areas when those scores are broken down by race or students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. 

We have provided a breakdown of the data in all three tests in the PDF files below. For more information about ISASP, visit: http://iowa.pearsonaccessnext.com/

ISASP English Language Arts 2018-2019 Results

ISASP Math 2018-2019 Results

ISASP Science 2018-2019 Results

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Central Iowa Community Identification Card

Central Iowa Community ID logo

The Ames Community School District is a proud partner of the Central Iowa Community Identification Card (CICID), along with Ames Police Department and Story County Sheriff’s Office. 

Being able to present a valid form of photo ID is essential to accessing many services and benefits of the community. The Ames Community School District will accept CICID as a form of identification for the purposes of student enrollment and to satisfy the ID requirement incumbent upon parents, volunteers and community members seeking admittance into our school buildings during hours of operation. 

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Amazing Education Podcast

Amazing Education Podcast Graphic

The Amazing Education Podcast is a new communication channel from the Ames CSD that focuses on education-related topics with a blend of local and national conversations. Each episode of the Amazing Education Podcast will be 25-30 minutes and feature a guest on a specified topic. 

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Official Online Apparel Store

Online Apparel Store

We are excited to announce the launch of the official Ames Community School District online apparel store. Starting today, you can order Little Cyclone apparel representing every school building across the District. The store has a wide variety of options to choose from with the convenience of ordering online and having the items delivered directly to your door. Many of the items on the store have the ability to customize the logo you prefer.

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School Resource Officers

School Resource Officers

Thanks to our fantastic partnership with the Ames Police Department, we are excited to announce the addition of Officer Don Johnsen as a second school resource officer (SRO) within the District. Officer Johnsen will join Officer Nick Schieffer who has served as the only SRO for the past 5 years. Both officers will collaborate with District and building administrators throughout the year with the primary goal of school safety. 

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Enrich, Empower, Excel Summer School

Enrich Empower Excel Summer Program

Summer programming looked a little different this year but provided many of the great courses that families were accustomed to. Two programs within the district (ELP Super Summer and ALP summer school) and two community partners (YSS and United Way of Story County) joined together to create the Enrich, Empower, Excel summer program. Dr. Anthony Jones, Director of Equity and administrator in charge of the summer program said, “The reasons the programs joined together were to ensure all students have equal access to rich learning opportunities and to enhance the academic enrichment provided to all students.”

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New Logo and Brand Standards

New Logos

In April 2018, the Ames community overwhelming approved a bond referendum for a new high school. With the design of the new Ames High School underway, now was a prime opportunity to assess the “Ames High” brand. 

Through our evaluation of the brand, we quickly realized that Ames High brand had no brand standards or proper file formats associated with it. Brand standards are a set of guidelines for the colors, graphic elements, logo specifications, and fonts that comprise a brand. In essence, they are the glue that holds a brand together. Without those, it is difficult to regulate how our brand is used and we often see the inconsistent application and an overall diminished brand. For example, a walk-through of Ames High showed three different secondary mascot logos being used in a variety of ways. Through our evaluation, we also quickly realized that our elementary schools, as well as Ames Middle School, would benefit from a solid identity. 

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Science Olympiad National Competition

Science Olympiad

To say that Ames has historically dominated the State Science OIympiad would be an understatement. The competition that includes chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, and general science categories, among others, has been won by Ames High 25/26 years and Ames Middle 24/27 years. That includes earlier this year when both teams won the Iowa Science Olympiad State Tournament at the University of Northern Iowa. Both teams beat the closest competitor by nearly 50 points and all but 4-5 of the 23 events in each division finished in the top three. Those wins earned them a trip to Ithaca, New York to the National Science Olympiad Tournament at Cornell University, May 31 to June 1.

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Ames Middle School Associate Principals for 2019-2020 Announced

AMS Associate Principals

Ames Middle School associate principals for the 2019-2020 school year were approved by the Ames school board on Monday, April 8. The Ames Community School District is pleased to announce the following associate principals for Ames Middle School:

  • Jeremie Knutson, Associate Principal for Operations and Student Services
  • Erin Miller, Associate Principal for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Nicole Coronado, Associate Principal for School Improvement, Culture and Equity

Principal Yonas Michael opened all the positions this spring and added another associate principal for next school year. Each principal will be a point person for a specific grade, but will also use their expertise in their particular area to better serve Ames Middle School.

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Executive Directors of Curriculum Announced

Executive Directors

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Dr. Jeff Hawkins as the new Executive Director of Secondary Education, and Dr. Chad Dumas as Executive Director of Elementary Education. Both are new positions as part of a district office reorganization that will provide a more focused approach to aligning curriculum efforts across the District.

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