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Articles in District News

The Martin Family: Early African-American History in Ames


The Martin Family

When Ames was established in 1864, many of its settlers arrived from the New England area, and according to famed Ames historian Farwell T. Brown, they were “abolitionists in sentiment.” However, very few individuals had personal contact with black individuals. Brown said, “there seems to be no record of any African-American families in Ames until well after 1900.”

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Deani Thomas named as new Director of Special Education

Deani Thomas Director of Special Education

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Deani Thomas as the new Director of Special Education. She is currently a Special Education and Title I Coordinator in Ames, a position she has held since 2019 and will replace longtime Director Darcy Cosens, who announced her retirement earlier this year. 

Thomas obtained her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, as well as her Masters in Education with a Specialization in Special Education. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in philosophy with a Specialization in Educational Administration, Literacy, and Social Justice, with an anticipated date of completion of May 2022. She is a licensed PK-12 school administrator as well as a special education supervisor and evaluator.

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Delivery Model Change Request Open this Week

In-Person Instruction Parent Option:

On January 29, 2021, Governor Reynolds signed SF 160, a bill that requires schools to offer parents an option for full-time in-person instruction. As of today, all of our school buildings are providing an in-person delivery model option, along with the 100% online option through our Remote Campus.

The bill also requires schools to provide parents notice of the opportunity to select full-time in-person instruction and allow at least 5 days to decide their selection if the school will still offer other instructional options. We have re-opened our ACSD Learning Delivery Model Change Request form to give parents an opportunity to select the 100% in-person delivery model. 

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IWCOA Girls State Wrestling 2021

Girls State Wrestling

Ames High athletics and the Ames Community School District would like to congratulate seven members of the Ames High wrestling team on a historic weekend at the 2021 Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association (IWCOA) Girls State Championships. The seven students who competed were the first athletes to ever wrestle at the girl’s state championships. The tournament took place on January 22 and 23 at the new Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa.

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Panorama Offsite Learning Survey Results 2021

Panorama Offsite Learning Survey

In December of 2020, the Ames Community School District surveyed students, staff, and families regarding distance education and how to meet the needs of our community with our learning models, academics, and support strategies using Panorama Education. The surveys included questions around social and emotional learning, academic needs, and staff and family engagement, among others. The purpose of the survey is to gather perception data from key stakeholders as a way to set a baseline for evaluation. This was a different Panorama survey than the Culture and Climate Survey conducted in March 2020. We are still planning to do that survey again this upcoming spring. 

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Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action (February 1-5, 2021)

Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action

During the week of February 1-5, classrooms across the District will engage in the Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, a 5-day guide to expand student understanding of the Black Lives Matter at School Principles.  

Why is the Ames CSD participating in the Black Lives Matter at School national week of action?

The Black Lives Matter at School movement, which is not formally affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Global Network or any other organization in the Movement for Black Lives, is a push to improve schools for Black students, teachers, and families. The movement is a call to schools across the nation to say and show that Black lives matter within the school walls and in the policies and practices that impact the lives and futures of Black students. The Week of Action is a time set aside to affirm all Black identities by centering Black voices, empowering students, and teaching about Black experiences beyond slavery. 

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Abbie Sawyer: Kindergarten Teacher and Principal (1894-1972)

Abbie Sawyer Graphic

“The greatest personal satisfaction I’ve had is watching these children grow up and develop,” said Abbie Sawyer, a long time teacher and later principal who devoted her career to children in the Ames School District. Sawyer is most remembered for starting the first kindergarten class in Ames in the old Central school in 1917, her first year in Ames. In 1952, she retired after 35 years in the Ames school system, and in 1962, an elementary school building was named in her honor.

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Data: More than Numbers

Data More Than Numbers Erin Meek

What does “data” mean? 

“Data” means any kind of information that can be understood or proven by a set of standards. Yes, in our district this often means different sets of numbers like grades, test scores, and attendance rates. But, it can also mean measuring things that don’t always appear measurable at first glance, such as: What are we doing to meet the needs of all students, and how can we improve?; How welcome do our learners and families feel in our district? It can also mean looking for standards of equity when resources may not always be shared equally. 

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