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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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PBIS at Edwards Elementary

 

PBIS Edwards

When students are learning how to read, add, or how to spell, we teach them. That same principle must apply to how students behave throughout the day at school. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a “philosophy intended to guide the behavioral support and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success.” It is a school-wide framework that focuses on the positive things that students are doing. This is an examination of what that looks like at Edwards Elementary School. 

School discipline has traditionally responded to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies that may include reprimands, loss of privileges, and office referrals. This approach, especially when applied inconsistently and without other positive strategies, is proven to be ineffective. With PBIS, consequences will still occur, but are not the focus; teaching expected behavior and rewarding those behaviors consistently is the focus. PBIS looks to establish a climate in which safe and appropriate behavior is the norm. 

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LC2: Little Cyclone Limited Collection

LC201 Social Graphic

When we launched the online apparel store in September, two of our goals was to be able to provide a convenient outlet to purchase Little Cyclone apparel and to build excitement around the school district’s brand. LC2: Little Cyclones Limited Collection is the next step of that commitment. 

LC2 is a limited edition collection that will offer a new design twice a year; once in the fall and once in the spring. Each design will be unlike anything else available on the store and will be a fresh and unique design. 

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All-State Music 2019

All State Music

Congratulations to the 28 Ames High musicians who were selected to participate in the 2019 Iowa All-State Music Festival. District Auditions for the 279-piece all-state band, 227-piece all-state orchestra, and 601-member all-state chorus were held on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Approximately 17% of the students who audition are selected for membership in the All-State ensembles. The 2019 Festival will celebrate the 73rd anniversary of this prestigious event and will take place on Saturday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum. 

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Chad Zmolek named NFHS Iowa Boys Soccer Coach of the Year

Coach Z graphic

Long-time Ames High boys soccer coach was named the National Federation of High School (NFHS) Coaches Association’s Iowa Boys Soccer Coach of the Year. This recognition honors coaches for significant achievement in their sport throughout their careers. Nominees for boys’ sports in Iowa are selected by each sport’s respective state coaches association and is approved by the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

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Equity Lens: a Conversation with Dr. Anthony Jones

Equity Lens Dr. Anthony Jones

What is equity and what does it look like in the Ames Community School District?

Equity in its simplest definition is making sure that every student has what they need when they need it. You know that equity has happened when every student is successful in our school system regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, identity, ability, socioeconomic, language, or place of origin. Equity is about justice and fairness. 

What does equity look like in Ames school district right now? Well, we’re not there yet. I describe equity in Ames schools like our new high school. We’ve all agreed that we need it and we are building it. There’s a huge hole at the location where the new high school will be soon and the foundation is being built first. That is what is happening with equity. Yes, there is a hole there but we are building the foundation for equity in Ames. It’s not going to happen overnight but it is coming! 

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Ames High Science Teacher Mike Todd receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

Mike Todd PAEMST

Four Iowa educators including Ames High science teacher Mike Todd, have been named recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Teachers are selected based on their distinction in the classroom and dedication to improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Todd was a state finalists in 2017. 

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Elementary Reading: FUNdations and Reading Units of Study

10 Elementary Reading

After an extensive review process including feedback and input from staff, students, and community members, Ames CSD purchased the research-based Reading Units of Study for all EK-5th grade classrooms. Reading Units of Study utilizes a reading workshop model where students spend significant time reading books of their choice and writing about those books. Students also learn with teachers in one on one conferences as well as in small group instructional teams. Finally, collaborative and sharing opportunities are built into the reading workshop.  

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Auto Repair: from DMACC to the Garage

Auto Repair graphic

For much of last summer, senior Matthew Blitvich’s rust damaged Mazda Miata took up the majority of his parents’ garage. With the clear coat starting to peel and fade, Blitvich was committed to fixing it up on his own. During his junior year, he enrolled in Auto Collison, a class offered to Ames High students through the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). His motivation was simple: “If I did a good job at DMACC, then I could just paint it myself.”

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