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Sawyer Elementary News

Mask Requirement Reinstated in the Ames CSD

Mask Requirements in Ames CSD

At tonight’s Special School Board Meeting, the Ames Board of Directors voted to reinstate a mask requirement at all of our school buildings. The mask requirement will go into effect this Friday, September 17, and applies to all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to our school buildings. 

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Educational Associate Incentive Program (2021-2022)

EA Incentive Program

In an effort to recruit and retain Educational Associates (EA) who are vital to the success of our schools, the Ames CSD is excited to announce a temporary EA Incentive Program for the 2021-2022 school year. The program consists of three parts:

  • Hiring Incentive – $100 for newly hired Educational Associates after one month of employment.
  • Referral Incentive – $100 for any Ames CSD employee who refers an Educational Associate that is hired.
  • Retention Incentive – $750 paid to any EA (newly hired or currently employed) who starts before October 1, 2021, and works through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. The retention incentive is prorated for newly hired EA’s after October 1, 2021.   

We are also continuing to hire for other key positions that include custodial staff, substitute teachers, and others. Learn more about these positions and others on our website.

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Summer School 2021

Summer School 2021

At the Ames Community School District, June 10 was officially the last day of the 2020-2021 school year. For some students, teachers, and staff, they headed back to classrooms on June 14 to engage in summer learning. However, this learning is not like what you might envision as summer school. It’s an environment rich with fun, hands-on, and engaging curriculum unlike any other. 

“It is important that summer school doesn’t feel like school,” said Anthony Jones, Director of Equity. “Yes, students will be learning and instruction should be targeted based on students’ academic goals in reading and math, however, the learning must be fun and engaging.” 

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Dr. Paula Vincent named Interim Superintendent of Ames Community School District

Dr. Paula Vincent

On Monday, June 21, the Ames Board of Directors approved Dr. Paula Vincent as the Interim Superintendent of Ames Community School District. Dr. Vincent will be the 27th superintendent of Ames Public Schools in its 151-year history. 

Dr. Vincent was the Chief Administrator of Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) from 2010 to 2017. As the chief executive officer, she provided leadership for 650 staff serving in 53 public school districts and 30 accredited non-public schools across 11 counties in central Iowa. AEA services are designed to accelerate children’s learning and development with an emphasis on providing educational equity for all Iowa children, especially those with diverse learning needs. Additional professional learning services and resources are intended to inspire educators and to provide efficiencies for Iowa school districts.

From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Vincent served as superintendent of Clear Creek Amana CSD. As superintendent, she implemented rigorous professional development processes and facilitated a community vision of education to guide the development and implementation of a comprehensive school improvement plan. 

Currently, Dr. Vincent is an educational leadership consultant with an emphasis in strategic planning. She is also the current editor of the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) Perspectives Magazine and has served as a member of the AESA Federal Legislative Platform Development Team. 

Dr. Vincent earned her doctorate degree in Planning, Policy and Leadership Studies from the University of Iowa. 

Professional Experience History:

  • Educational Leadership Consultant (2017 – Present)
  • Chief Administrator, Heartland AEA (July 2010 – June 2017)
  • Superintendent, Clear Creek Amana CSD (July 2004 – June 2010)
  • Associate Superintendent, Cedar Rapids CSD (October 1998 – June 2004)
  • Executive Director, Special Education Director, Grant Wood AEA (August 1993 – September 1998)

Ames School Board President Sabrina Shields-Cook said, “Dr. Vincent stood out from the pool of applicants based on her outstanding resume and leadership experience. We are incredibly excited to begin working with Dr. Vincent this upcoming school year and are confident that she will lead our district toward advancing our purpose of equity and access.” 

A few of Dr. Vincent’s past honors include School Administrators of Iowa Central Office Administrator of the Year, AESA Order of Women Leaders inductee, and recipient of the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the National University Council of Educational Administration. Dr. Vincent was also invited to provide testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor on the topic of modern public school facilities. 

As a District, we are excited for Dr. Vincent to begin her tenure within the Ames Community School District. Her new position will begin on July 1, 2021. 

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Mask Update (May 20, 2021)

Shortly after midnight, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation (HF 847) into law that prohibits school districts from requiring masks to be worn at school.

The new law took effect immediately upon signing. Therefore, the district cannot require masks and they will be optional at school beginning TODAY, Thursday, May 20.

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LC2: Little Cyclone Limited Collection

LC204 Social Graphic

We are excited to announce that the next design in our LC2: Little Cyclone Limited Collection is available on our online apparel store. The LC2 collection is a partnership with Sigler where this specific design is a buy one, give one opportunity for our community. For every LC204 piece that is purchased online, Sigler will print and donate another t-shirt that will be given to a student in the District. Between the previous three campaigns, LC201, LC202, and LC203, we were able to give over 220 Ames branded shirts to students. 

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Statement on the guilty verdict of the murder of George Floyd

Statement on George Floyd Trial

Today, a jury found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty on all three counts of murder. We know that this verdict does not erase the traumatic event we all witnessed on May 25th. It also does not bring back George Floyd and for that our hearts go out to the Floyd family who will not get to hug their son, brother, or father. However, we hope that today’s verdict can be a step forward in bringing meaningful change for those who have experienced institutional racism, systemic violence, and racial trauma in our country.

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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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