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Articles in Sawyer Elementary

Critical Consciousness: Building Implementation

Critical Consciousness Implementation graphic

In August 2017, the Ames Community School District officially embarked on a critical consciousness path that has significantly steered professional development and decision-making in the District. Critical consciousness can be defined as “The willingness and ability to see how power and privilege are at work to systematically advantage some while simultaneously disadvantaging others.” In that year, District-led professional development opportunities began for administrators, and since then, opportunities have expanded to include hundreds of teachers and staff members. 

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Panorama School Climate Survey Results 2021

Panorama Culture and Climate Survey

In March of 2021, 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. This was the third consecutive year that the District has utilized this survey.  

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2021-2022 Academic Calendar Approved

2021-2022 Calendar Approved

The 2021-2022 school year calendar was approved by the Ames school board on Monday, March 22, 2021. In many ways, the 2021-2022 calendar will be a return to normal after numerous adjustments were made to the 20-21 academic dates due to the pandemic. These include the return to parent/teacher conferences, professional development works days, as well as weather-related delays and closures. 

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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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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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#OurAmazingStudents

Our Amazing Students Graphic 3

We know that this year has had some challenging moments for our students, but we have also seen them do amazing things. Share an educational moment with us that made you proud as a parent. Maybe one of your children helped a sibling with their homework, tackled a new project, or persevered through an obstacle that seemed at one time insurmountable. 

At the link below, fill out the form and share one image with us along with a 1-2 sentence caption of the photo. The images and content may be used in a variety of District content, including but not limited to the District’s website, social media, or other publications. 

http://bit.ly/OurAmazingStudents

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PK-5 Students to Return to 100% Face-to-Face

PK-5 Students to Return to 100% Face-to-Face

This morning, the school board voted for PK-5 students who desire a building-based delivery model to return to 100% face-to-face starting on January 4, 2021. Below, we have outlined what this means for our students in the various delivery models and buildings. 

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Masked Hero: Tabitha Wu

Masked Hero: Tabitha Wu

Superpower: Stay calm and kind for my students in situations of stress

“I believe that EVERY child deserves the best we can give them. As they come through the doors or log on each day, students need to feel like they are our #1 priority.” There is no doubt that Tabitha Wu loves students and is passionate about teaching in the Ames Community School District. As a second-generation Ames High graduate, Wu is in her fourth year in the District and 7th overall teaching. 

When schools closed in the spring, Wu quickly realized that being able to interact with her students is what motivates her on a daily basis, often serving as a bucket-filler in ways when the work gets challenging. “I have really learned how much I rely on student relationships and interactions in my work.” With school back in session both in-person and remotely, Wu can now focus on each student to find the best ways to support them. 

During this challenging year, she has remained positive and focused her energy on getting to know each student. During the Hybrid delivery model, Wu has been able to give more 1-on-1 attention to each of her students when they are at school than has previously been possible. “This opportunity has allowed me to see how much these students need responsive and personalized instruction and interactions and how they thrive when they are given these things.” 

Wu loves watching students enter the building each day ready for a new challenge. “The students have really risen to the occasion and have blown me away with their ability to be flexible during this unpredictable time. They have had a positive attitude and it spreads to everyone around them, including myself.” But we know that the year has challenges for students, which is when Wu kicks in her superpower of being able to stay calm and kind for her students in situations of stress. “Students, especially right now, need the consistency and routines from their educators.  I do my very best each day to provide them with patience and understanding that they need to be successful.”

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