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Articles in District News

New Way to Pay School Fees and Reload Lunch Accounts


Starting July 1, 2022, the Ames Community School District will begin using Payrix, a new payment processor for school fees and lunch balances. The best part is that it is fully integrated within a parent’s Infinite Campus Parent Portal. 

Payrix is replacing RevTrak. There is no need to worry about existing balances as that information will be within Infinite Campus. Families now have one streamlined location for information regarding their student(s). Other important functions available through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal:

  • Request a student absence
  • Attendance reporting
  • Grades
  • Transportation information 
  • Report card/progress report
  • High school transcript (unofficial)

Because this is a notable change for our parents, we have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on our website. We also are sharing a guide for How to Set Up Infinite Campus Online Payments

What is Payrix and what will it be used for?

Payrix is a new payment processor that will be utilized by the Ames CSD. Payrix will be replacing RevTrak starting July 1, 2022. Payrix will be accessed through the Parent Portal within Infinite Campus and families will be able to pay school fees and replenish lunch balances. 

Why is the District moving to use Payrix?

The integration for RevTrak to communicate with Infinite Campus is no longer supported by Infinite Campus. This newer alternative is built directly into your parent portal and families will not need to leave their portal account to pay fees now. It will all be housed in one place.

What do parents need to do?

As a parent, if you already have a Parent Portal sign-on, this transition will be seamless. Starting on July 1, 2022, you will be able to pay fees through Infinite Campus.

Parents should make sure to know their Infinite Campus Parent Portal sign-on information. If you do not already have a parent portal account, you may request one through the Request Form or by contacting Zac Sjoberg, District Information Manager. Parents should have at least one active student in the District in order to set up their account.

Will RevTrak continue to be used?

RevTrak will no longer be used for district fees, paying lunch accounts, and the lunch hero program.

What happens to the money I already have in RevTrak?

RevTrak was the method for adding money to your student’s account. With the change to Payrix, you will still see any current balance on a student account as that information is housed in Infinite Campus. Payrix is now the method families will use to place money on their student’s account whether for fees or for food service. 

What will it look like on my card statement?

Your statement will read a charge from Ames Community Schools. 

How do I pay fees and add to my lunch balance online?

Under the main index typically found on the left hand side of the screen you will select Fees or Food Service. For school fees, you are able to add items to your cart, much like with online shopping. When you select Food Service, you will be able to see all of your students and their balance. To add money, you will want to click on the Pay button found underneath all the student’s names.

A guide has been created to walk families through both Fees and Food Service. The How to Set up Infinite Campus Payments guide will walk you through everything from adding items to your cart to reviewing past payments. 

What is the minimum amount that I can pay through Payrix? 

All online payments must be a minimum of $5. Our system will not accept any payment processing unless the amount of the items being paid for will be greater than or equal to $5. 

Does Payrix accept all credit and debit cards?

Families can use most debit and credit cards including VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and E-Check. Due to the high processing fees, American Express will not be accepted. 

How will I know if my payment has been processed?

An email receipt will be sent to the email on file within Infinite Campus. It will also be reflected within the payment history under the fees tab. 

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Dan Rader named as new Director of Technology

Dan Rader Director of Technology

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Dan Rader as the new Director of Technology. He is currently the Technology Coordinator for Roland-Story Schools, a position he has held for over 20 years.

Rader obtained his Master of Educational Technology degree with a certificate in Instructional Design from Iowa State University. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in the same field. 

In his current role at Roland-Story Schools, Rader is responsible for the district’s technology infrastructure including the maintenance of all wireless networks and servers. He coordinates and implements the district’s student information system, manages E-rate materials, and is responsible for all student data reports for the school district to the state of Iowa. He also maintains an annual technology budget and researches, evaluates, and recommends all hardware and software purchases for the school district.

In his cover letter for the position, Rader noted that “the most important thing that I have learned is that it is more about the people than the technology.” He emphasized that his role is to not only support the district through technology infrastructure but to support learning in the classroom. Technology should be seamlessly integrated. Whether he is maintaining the district’s 1:1 computer inventory or helping manage the Web Help Desk to track and communicate the progress of technology updates, the focus should always be on how technology can support the district and student learning. Before his current role as Technology Coordinator, Rader was a math and technology teacher.

Rader is a highly engaged professional who has participated in various professional development opportunities over his career. He is an active member, as well as current board member, of Iowa Technology & Education Connection (ITEC), which is the Iowa affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education. He has also been a mentor for the Iowa Google Certified Coaching Cohort.

As a District, we are excited to work with Mr. Rader and look forward to his leadership within the Ames Community School District. His new position will begin on July 1, 2022. 

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New Ames High Pool to be Named after Ames High Swim Coach Dan Flannery

Dan Flannery Pool at Ames High School Graphic

On June 20, the Ames School Board voted to name the new pool at Ames High School the Dan Flannery Pool in honor of the longtime Ames High Swimming and Diving Coach who passed away in July 2020.

Flannery, one of the most accomplished high school swimming coaches in state history, had been the Ames High head girls swimming and diving coach since 2002 and had been leading the boys’ program since 1998. He has a resume that is unrivaled in the state of Iowa that includes nine total state championships in boys’ and girls’ swimming. 

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Senior Choir Blocks: Leaving Their Mark at Ames High

Choir Blocks Image

Students graduating from Ames High School do so hoping to leave their mark. For senior choir students, they literally have been on the walls of the choir room.  

Since 2006, it has been AHS tradition for senior singers to paint one of the blocks which form the walls of the choir room. With over 200 blocks covered with names, icons, and images that identify with each individual student, it’s a room full of history that resonates happiness and hope. 

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Our Stories: An EK and AHS Graphic Design Collaboration Project

Our Stories

Our Stories is a collaboration project where Early Kindergarten (EK) classes at Northwood Preschool Center provided drawings and writing prompts for graphic design students at Ames High School to illustrate. 

“One of our graphic design projects this year is to make a children’s book page,” said Ames High art teacher Lindsey Wede. Early Kindergarten students in Lindsey Wirth’s Northwood classes, bursting with imagination, would come up with the concept. They would often design a page, verbalize a story, or draw a picture of their idea. From there, the high school students would take the idea and create a digital version of it. 

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Scratch Pad

Scratch Pad

Founded as a way to celebrate creative talent at Ames High School, Scratch Pad has been a part of AHS history since 1962. Previously a publication put out by the Creative Writing Club, Scratch Pad was created to give budding novelists and poets a publisher for their works. As an annual publication, it was designed to feature not only outstanding pieces written for English classes, but also poems, short stories, and sketches. 

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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 19, 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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