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Articles from December 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


The Ames girls tennis team will be holding a team benefit today from 11:00 AM – 9:00PM at Noodles and Company. All proceeds from any food purchases made during this time will go towards the purchase of new team warm-ups. Please mention the tennis team at check out.

Reminder if you are out for a winter sport, you cannot participate in IBALL – this includes cheer and drill teams.

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Update on pilot of literacy materials

Finishing first round of piloting materials

We are finishing our first wave of the K-2 Word Study Team Foundational Skills Materials Pilot. As pilot teachers finish their first round of piloting materials, their students will have been given a short assessment to check for learning growth. In January, teams of teachers, administrators, coaches, and TOSAs will collaboratively score their assigned materials using the rubric adapted from the Florida Center for Reading Research. Teachers, administrators, coaches, and TOSAs will also complete a survey to reflect on their experiences with their first set of materials.

The next round of materials will be distributed after winter break. Teachers will have a short training with someone from the company that publishes each of the pilot materials. Then, as was the case during the first round, Curriculum Department staff will provide weekly support opportunities for all pilot teachers.

Clarifying the pilot recommitment process

The Curriculum Department staff, along with Dr. Deborah Reed, as well as board members Tim Rasmussen and Alisa Frandsen who serve on the Board’s Teaching & Learning Committee, met with Fellows parents at the request of their PTO co-presidents. One of the questions raised was whether there was a way for students or teachers to opt-out of the pilot. At the time of the meeting, there was not a plan for opting out.

After hearing questions and concerns from those in attendance, Curriculum Department staff met to generate ideas based on what they heard. Teaching & Learning Committee members were also included in this meeting since they were at the Fellows parent meeting. The question about opting out was discussed at length. The group discussed having each building recommit to the pilot process; if the building chose not to recommit, their data would be excluded and they opted out of the decision-making process.

The recommendation was that this discussion be moved to the elementary principals’ meeting on December 1 for further discussion. At that meeting, the four elementary principals who attended agreed to recommit to the pilot by 4 p.m. on Monday, December 5. The timeline was necessary to be able to communicate with the Iowa Reading Research Center as collaborators in the data collection process. A member of the Curriculum Department reached out to the principal who was absent from the meeting, to ensure all buildings had accurate information about the recommitment.

Four out of the five elementary buildings recommitted to the pilot process. However, late morning on December 5, Fellows elected not to recommit to the pilot. While this is unfortunate in terms of a District-wide pilot that engages the voices of teachers from each of our schools, we are confident that the extensive data collection being done with the support of the Iowa Reading Research Center will help the District make a student-centered decision based on the experiences of the pilot teachers and the rest of the team involved in this pilot.

The Ames Community School District has routinely used pilots when choosing curriculum materials for nearly 30 years. The pilot process allows teachers to use instructional materials to determine whether or not they are the best choice for Ames students. Piloting of instructional materials is common practice in the educational landscape. However, this particular pilot has had unprecedented attention. For that reason, we sought the assistance and expertise of the Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC) at the request of a small group of parents. The IRRC has been an amazing partner in helping us refine our pilot design and collecting data to make well-informed decisions at the pilot’s conclusions.

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Important news about Boys Basketball and Spirit Squad Practice

Eighth Grade Boys Basketball will practice on Friday, December 16, Monday December 19th, and Tuesday, December 20 before winter break. Practices will resume on Wednesday, January 4th after break. Practices will be held after school until approximately 5:15.

Seventh Grade Boys Basketball will practice beginning on Monday, January 9 at 6:30 a.m. Practices will be before school. The gym doors will open at 6:15 a.m.

Spirit Squad  will begin practice on Tuesday, January 17 after school in the Wrestling Room.

For more information please visit the Ames Community School district middle school athletics page or the AMS Athletics FAQ page.


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Friday, December 16, 2016

There will not be a late start on Wednesday, December 21st. Classes will begin at 7:50 AM and dismiss at 1:15 PM. See the schedule below.

Warning Bell                      0:05                           7:45 AM
Period 1                             0:32       7:50 AM       8:22 AM
Period 2                             0:34       8:27 AM       9:01 AM
Period 3                             0:32       9:06 AM       9:38 AM
Period 4                             0:32       9:43 AM     10:15 AM
Period 5       1st Lunch      0:38     10:15 AM     10:53 AM
                        Class         0:33     10:53 AM     11:26 AM

                        Class         0:33     10:20 AM     10:53 AM
                    Last Lunch    0:38     10:53 AM     11:31 AM
Period 6                             0:32     11:31 AM     12:03 PM
Period 7                             0:31     12:08 PM     12:39 PM
Period 8                             0:31     12:44 PM       1:15 PM

Tonight during halftime of the girls basketball game there will be a halftime challenge for elementary school students; the high school halftime challenge will be during halftime of the boys basketball game. There will be tables set up where you can purchase tickets to get the chance to participate, $1 for one ticket or $5 for six tickets. The winner of this challenge will receive a gift card. All proceeds will go to Dance Marathon (Iowa Children’s Hospital)!

On Monday, December 19th, the biology students of Ames High will be having a Pollinator Project Exhibition at the Ames Public Library from 5:30 – 7:00 PM. Students will be showcasing their work on the Biology Community Impact Project regarding pollinators.

At the Dowling Paradigm Debate Tournament on December 9th and 10th, in a field of 23 teams, two AHS teams broke to outrounds in Novice Public Forum. Silvia Aydinyan and Andres Cordoba won their quarterfinal round, but closed out to the other advancing Ames team in the semi-final round. The team of Hannah Huang and Sara Song were the campions of the novice division with a perfect record of 8 wins and no losses. The novices also did well in the Speaker Points Awards in Public Forum. Sarah placed 5th, Silvia 3rd, and Hannah took first place.

There will be no classes December 22nd through January 3rd, as students and staff enjoy winter break. Classes will resume Wednesday, January 4th, with a regular Wednesday late start.


Friday, December 16
    Girls Basketball: JV/V vs Waukee 4:45/6:00 PM
    Boys Basketball: 10/V vs Waukee 4:45/7:45 PM

Saturday, December 17
    Wrestling: 9/10 @ North Polk CANCELLED
    Wrestling: V @ Fort Dodge Invite CANCELLED

Monday, December 19
    Pollinator Project Exhibition – Ames Public Library 5:30 PM

Tuesday, December 20
    Girls Basketball: JV/V/9 @ Valley 4:45/6:00/7:45 PM
    Boys Basketball: 10/9/V @ Valley 4:45/6:00/7:45 PM
    Boys Swimming: JV/V @ Mason City 5:30 PM
    Wrestling: JV/V @ Ankeny 6:30 PM

Wednesday, December 21
    No late start
    Early dismissal
Thursday, December 22Tuesday, January 3
    Winter Break

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Friday, December 16, 2016

PSAT score reports can be picked up in Student Services. These reports are more detailed than the ones you can look at online.

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

PSAT score reports can be picked up in Student Services. These reports are more detailed than the ones you can look at online.

Mr. Matthies will be offering an APEX After School in room 212 from 3:15-4:15 every day this week.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Teachers are reminded to show the SHOUT video following the afternoon announcements.

PSAT score reports can be picked up in Student Services. These reports are more detailed than the ones you can look at online.

Mr. Matthies will be offering an APEX After School in room 212 from 3:15-4:15 every day this week.

And now for the SHOUT video.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mr. Matthies will be offering an APEX After School in room 212 from 3:15-4:15 every day this week.

Any student interested in participating in the World Food Prize 2017 is invited to attend an information meeting during Plus Period today in the MC with Mrs. Skaar.

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