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Articles in Mitchell Elementary

Fifth grade students tout benefit of Invention Convention

AMES–Fifth grade inventors in the Ames Community School District, like Payton Stewart, Grace Schmitt and Kayley Birkland, are honing life skills that will last well beyond the Invention Convention on January 25.

Payton said the inspiration for her invention, for example, came from wanting to solve the problem of her family’s increasing water bill.

“We were using too much water brushing teeth and would leave water going,” she said. “It’s been fun taking our own journey through all this cool inventing process to solve problems.”

Grace said she learned not to give up even when it was hard to get her project-mates together and to manage her time to  complete her invention.

“At school, we are learning what it means to persist when things are hard,” she said. “Persistence was helpful. We didn’t get together for a long time and I thought maybe we’d have to give up.  My plate was too full, but then we got together and we made a plan and got straight to work and we accomplished a lot.”

Kayley said she learned the value of taking the risk to try ideas that might fail.

“We weren’t sure if we should use plastic, cardboard or metal (for our materials). We knew whichever we chose, there was risk involved. If we chose metal, we didn’t know if we had time to send it to my grandpa to weld it,” she said.  “So I talked to my dad, and he helped us make a plan, so then I had confidence that it would turn out great.”

Extended Learning Program teacher Ariane Schmidt said the event is open to all district fifth graders.

“Inventors will be judged on inventiveness, the diagram, the model or prototype, the log and the oral presentation,” Schmidt said.

The young inventors will put their projects on display beginning at 4:15 p.m., Monday, Jan. 25, at Edwards Elementary School, 820 Miller Ave., for parents and friends to view and experts to judge.

At around 4:50 p.m., inventors and visitors will move to the Gymnasium for a science presentation while the judges continue to deliberate in the display area. Judges will present awards around 5:45 p.m. in the Gymnasium.

UPDATE: Student received medals for the following inventions:

Snoozeless Pillow, Alicia Nicolas
The Nail Catcher, Samuel Vis.
Dugout Doctor, Ali Frandsen and Piper Kirsch
Seed Saucer, Karin Grevstad-Nordbrock.

S.E.W.S., Mia O’Connor-Walker.

Adjusta Tub, Ryan Maland and Connor Johnson

The Coop Collector, Jackson Hufford.
Tunes Tie, Allie Enyart and Mia Vogel.
No Slip Hanger, Lauren Powers and Maddie Swartz.
EZ-Pour, Adam Lee and Owais Samman.

Photo gallery

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Enrollment dates announced for kindergarten and preschool

  • Kindergarten Enrollment is Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 8:30 a.m.-noon and Thursday, Jan. 21 from 2-7 p.m. at Northwood Preschool Center
  • Preschool Enrollment is Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 8:30 a.m.-noon and Thursday, Jan. 28 from 2-7 p.m. at Northwood Preschool Center.

AMES–The youngest learners in the Ames Community School District will get a head start on enrollment with on-site events at Northwood Preschool Center this month.

Kindergarten enrollment sessions have long been a tradition for Ames Schools, and this year, Northwood Principal Brandon Schrauth is providing similar sessions for preschool enrollment.

“We want to reach as many families as possible because early childhood education is so important,” Schrauth said.

It’s important for families to attend the sessions to provide the documentation the District needs to plan for programming and to form a connection with the District before school starts in August, Schrauth said.

“Gathering paperwork and completing online forms is a necessary step in getting enrolled in kindergarten or preschool,” he said, “but it’s just as important to meet families and answer any questions they have.”

What to expect at Preschool Registration

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in preschool who will be 4 years old by Sept. 15, 2016.
  • Parents and guardians who meet certain income guidelines may enroll children in the Early Success 3-Year-Old Preschool Program who will be 3 years old by Sept. 15, 2016.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online, a Home Language Survey, a Health History form and an “Ages and Stages” questionnaire.
  • Parents and guardians should bring the child’s original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal; student physical report and immunization records; and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.

Learn more.

What to expect at Kindergarten Registration

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in kindergarten who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2016.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online, a Home Language Survey, and a Health History form.
  • Parents and guardians should bring the child’s original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal; student physical report and immunization records; proof of residency (lease, mortgage, house title, or utility bill with current address); and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.
  • If the student did not attend Northwood Preschool or one of its Statewide Voluntary Preschool Partners, parents will be asked to complete an “Ages and Stages” questionnaire.

Learn more.

The Ames Public Library will provide story time, and representatives from busing and school meal services will be available to provide information. Other community organizations with early childhood services will be onhand. District Family Ambassadors, who are parents of current students, will be available to give support and supervise a playroom for children aged 2 and over.

Northwood Preschool Center is at 3012 Duff Avenue.

For both preschool and kindergarten, the District will provide information later in the spring giving details of classroom placement and events to welcome families.


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You’re invited to a Ribbon Cutting at Mitchell Elementary School

Ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 6 offers an open house and guided tours for the public to celebrate the building’s renovation.

AMES–Mitchell Elementary School will celebrate the official opening of its fully renovated building with a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6. Mitchell’s celebration marks the completion of the first of two elementary school buildings targeted for remodeling as part of a facilities plan funded by a $55 million bond referendum in 2012.

Mitchell Principal Justin Jeffs said the ribbon cutting will give students, families and community members a sense of the accomplishment the new building represents.

“This updated building  is a tangible representation of the community’s commitment to education, ” Jeffs said. “It provides the space and features we need for learning to thrive.”

Following the ribbon cutting, Parent Teacher Association members and Family Ambassadors will provide guided tours for families and community members. Staff and district administrators will explain how the building’s features support education strategies and enhance safety and security.

Mitchell Elementary School is located at 3521 Jewell Dr.  in Ames.More about the elementary school facilities plan:

  • Sawyer Elementary School, also undergoing renovation, is slated to open August 2016.
  • Fellows Elementary School, which is being rebuilt on its current campus, is also slated to open August 2016.
  • Edwards Elementary School, rebuilt at 820 Miller Avenue, opened August 2014.
  • Meeker Elementary School, rebuilt at 300 20th St., opened August 2015 and will hold a ribbon cutting Tuesday, Oct. 20.


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Mitchell students win Governor’s Youth Action Award

Mitchell fourth grade students  in Amanda McGonigle's class enjoy being active.

Mitchell fourth grade students in Amanda McGonigle’s class enjoy being active.


AMES–To Mitchell Elementary School student Cara Mosher, the heart is more than a muscle that keeps the body’s blood supply in motion.

“The heart symbolizes health and inspiration,” the fourth grade student said.

Cara put her inspiration to work to make a poster that won first place in Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s Governor’s Youth Action Award.

This spring, the Governor and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, the Governor’s Council on Child Health and Wellness and their partners created the Governor’s Youth Action Award to honor efforts of Iowa students in kindergarten through 12th grade who submitted posters, essays and/or videos highlighting healthy behaviors or sharing ideas to engage others.

Cara’s teacher Amanda McGonigle said when she learned about the opportunity to participate, she saw it as a way to give her students a “real world application” of fourth grade science curriculum by teaching others ways to be healthy.

“I learned how powerful being the teacher is for students’ learning,” McGonigle said.”I also learned how much students care about being healthy.”

McGonigle said she was surprised by all the knowledge students already had.

Cara described her poster, which is not available since it will be on display, as a depiction of “Iowa in the middle of a heart made of fruits and vegetables.”

“It’s surrounded by sports balls, and ‘Healthy is Wealthy’ in 3-D letters,” she said.

McGonigle’s students also produced a video that placed in the top three among elementary schools.

She credits Mary Greeley Medical Center’s Mileage Club for keeping students motivated to stay active and make healthy food choices.

“Our class has 100 percent participation in Mileage Club,” she said. “This year, Mileage Club added a token for keeping a log of the fruits and vegetables students eat.”

The Iowa Action for Healthy Kids Coalition assisted with the selection of winners for each genre. All participants will receive a participation ribbon and award winners will receive recognition from Governor Branstad during the Iowa State Fair at an official ceremony Aug. 15.

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Mitchell students show off reading skills on National Read Across America Day

AMES–All across America on Monday, March 2, people young and old donned tall red-and-white striped hats, spiky blue wigs, or shirts that put stars on their bellies. They read aloud books written in rhymes, about fantastical creatures whose outlandish antics couched messages dealing with touchy social issues. Monday was the birthday of iconic children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss—a date appropriated by the National Education Association for National Read Across America Day.  The annual event is part of Read Across America, an initiative on reading that was created to “help create a nation of readers,” NEA’s website says .

Kindergarten students at Mitchell Elementary School didn’t need any hoopla to get excited about reading, however, teacher Charlyn Mason said.

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