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Articles in Ames Middle School

Food Drive / Student Support Fund

Support Our Students graphic

Since school closure, it has been our goal to find numerous ways to help families with food insecurities alleviate that stress in their lives. The Grab & Go Meals through the summer food program have provided thousands of meals a week to students, and we have supplemented that by collaborating with the Food Bank of Iowa. 

As food supplies around the state and from the Food Bank of Iowa decline due to high demand, we are wanting to continue to ensure that food boxes are going to those families who are in need. We have received numerous requests from community members asking how they can contribute and support our students. As a result, the Ames Community School District is providing several ways to help in our drive to ensure that no family goes without food. 

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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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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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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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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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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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Iowa Department of Education releases Iowa School Performance Profiles

Iowa School Performance Profiles

On January 29, 2020, the Iowa Department of Education released updates to its online school accountability reporting system called the Iowa School Performance Profiles. The website shows how schools are performing on multiple measures and meets federal and state requirements for publishing report cards. 

The Iowa School Performance Profiles include scores and ratings on a set of accountability measures, such as student growth and graduation rate, and additional data that are required by law but do not count toward school accountability scores. New to the 2020 profiles are updated school scores and ratings, post-secondary readiness is now factored in accountability, and the scores include performance on the new state test, the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP). The website also specifies schools that have been identified for additional support and improvement based on their performance.

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Ames Community School District is pleased to introduce a new communications tool called Anonymous Alerts®.

Anonymous Alerts

The Ames Community School District has launched a new communication tool called Anonymous Alerts®, an anti-bullying and safety app reporting system. As a District, we believe that the best way to address problems that our students face in school is personal contact with a teacher, school administrator, psychologist or counselor and we strongly encourage and fully support that continued practice. However, we do know that sometimes there is a concern that a student or parent may want to communicate anonymously. 

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