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Articles in Curriculum Updates

Ames High senior Gage Myers Placed 1st in the Automotive Service Technology SkillsUSA Contest

Gage Myers SkillsUSA Contest

Ames High senior Gage Myers recently won 1st place in the Automotive Service Technology SkillsUSA contest at the Iowa state-level competition. This competition earned Myers personal tools that he will be able to use to further his learning and career. He will also compete in the National SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta Georgia, from June 20-24. 

Leland Staton, Automotive Instructor at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), said, “This opens up some big doors for him. Gage has a good possibility of receiving additional scholarships and he will be recognized on a national level.” 

The purpose of the SkillsUSA competition is “to evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students for excellence and professionalism in the field of automotive service technology.” The contest is open to any active SkillsUSA member who is enrolled in a career and technical program. 

The contest includes a written knowledge test given by National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and covers all eight automobile areas identified in the ASE Education Foundation Automobile Program Standards and the Official ASE Study Guide. The test for these high school and college/postsecondary contests is comprised of diagnostic and repair content from the following skill areas: engine repair, automatic transmission/transaxle, manual drivetrain and axles, suspension and steering, brakes, electrical/electronic steering, heating and air conditioning and engine performance.

Qualifying for the SkillsUSA National competition is incredibly competitive and opens the opportunity for Myers to be recruited by one of the major auto manufacturers in the nation. “These opportunities are not ones that very many people get a chance to receive,” said Stanton.   

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2022-2023 and 2023-2024 Academic Calendars Approved

2022-23 Academic Calendar Approved

The 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic school year calendars were approved by the Ames School Board on Monday, March 7, 2022. This year, the board approved two calendars as developed by a 21 member Calendar Committee with the intention of continuing to approve two academic school calendars each year on a rolling basis. 

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Elementary Volunteer Tutors Needed

Elementary Tutoring

Ames CSD is seeking individuals willing to serve as volunteers to tutor reading or mathematics to elementary students. Volunteers will be trained by certified staff and work under supervision. Tutoring would be one hour per week on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm starting March 1 through May 15, 2022.

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Expanding Equity in the Ames CSD

Expanding Equity Graphic

The Ames Community School District commits to equity and access that empowers every individual to reach their full personal and educational potential. But what does that mean? As a District, we invite you to learn more about what equity looks like in our District. Our desire as a District is to create a more equitable educational school system. Over the next several months, including February 2022 (Black History Month), we will be sharing information about what equity looks like in Ames. We have provided an outline of what to expect below. 

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Calendar Adjustments for Second Semester 2021-2022

Calendar Adjustments for Second Semester

Starting the second semester (January 18, 2022), the Ames Community School District is adjusting the daily dismissal time at each of our levels. The action was board-approved on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Each building will dismiss 25 minutes earlier than the normal current dismissal time. The elementary schools will remove the Wednesday early dismissal at 2:05 PM and adopt the secondary professional development schedule.

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Northwood Preschool Receives 2021-2022 STEM Scale-Up Award

Northwood STEM Award

The North Central Iowa Regional STEM Advisory Board of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council recently awarded a STEM Scale-Up Program application for Storytime STEM-packs to Northwood Preschool Center. The application was for $6,000 and was submitted by Northwood teachers Annie Boldt, Jill Spencer, and Lindsey Wirth. 

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Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Curriculum Adoption / Feedback

SEL Curriculum Adoption

Over the past year, the Ames Community School District has been exploring different options for a social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum for K-12 adoption. A team made up of staff from across the district was assembled to develop core values that were then assigned to the different curriculum options to determine the most viable option. After narrowing down the SEL curriculum options, the SEL team met with two different providers and have determined the one that aligns best with the district’s mission, priorities, and task force core values. 

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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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Better Together at Ames Middle School

Better Together

In January 2019, Yonas Michael began his current role as the head principal of Ames Middle School, a position that allowed him to return to Ames after spending time in Maryland to be with his family. Superintendent Risner entrusted him with the mission of strengthening the culture and achievement at Ames Middle School at a time of great transition in the building.

As a school leader, a top commitment is to improve student learning. But before jumping into student achievement data, examining the current culture of the building is paramount. “You can have all of the great structures in place. You can hire the best teachers, you can have the best materials and best programs, but if the culture isn’t right or healthy in the building, then none of those things are going to be successful,” said Michael. 

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