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Articles in Mitchell Elementary

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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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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2020-2021 School Year Calendar Approved

 

Calendar Approved

The 2020-2021 school year calendar was approved by the Ames school board on Monday, January 13, 2020. 

Start date – School will officially begin on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 for most grades across the District. This includes 1st – 5th grade, as well as 6th and 9th graders and all other students at the middle and high school who are new to the District. Here is a breakdown of the staggered start dates across the district:

  • August 26 – 1st-5th grades. Orientation for 6th grade and 9th grade, and all AMS and AHS students new to the district. 
  • August 27 – Early kindergarten, 7th, 8th, and 10th-12th grade 
  • August 28 – Kindergarten 
  • September 8 – Preschool 

At the secondary level, the August 26 start date provides an orientation opportunity for 6th and 9th graders, as well as all other 6th-12th graders who are new to the District. This allows them time to meet teachers and get acquainted with a new building and expectations. Ames High modeled this approach two years ago with Ames Middle School implementing this approach last year.

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Panorama School Climate Survey 2019

Panorama Data

In the spring of 2019, 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. The purpose of the survey was to gather perception data from key stakeholders as a way to set a baseline for evaluation. With a baseline set, the survey results will guide goal areas based on the District’s Purpose and Priorities. 

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Enrollment in Ames Up for the 2019-2020 School Year

Enrollment Up in Ames Graphic

Certified enrollment was finalized today. Below is a full write-up with that information, but here are some highlights first:

  • Certified enrollment is 4,477 students.
  • This is +90.5 from a year ago.
  • Open enrollment / Whole Grade Sharing / Tuition In is +330 (we were +329 a year ago)
  • The actual number of students served in buildings is 5,102.
  • This is +71 students from a year ago. 

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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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Mitchell Elementary Building Expansion

Mitchell Building Expansion

Mitchell Elementary School was one of three elementary schools in Ames (Edwards and Meeker being the other two) that was part of the April 2018 successful bond referendum for elementary school building additions. We reviewed current enrollment, near-term predictable enrollment, and projected future enrollment and determined the most urgent need for additional space is at Mitchell Elementary.

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