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Articles from December 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016

DAILY NOTES

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.

Seniors, please turn in your senior picture to yearbook@ames.k12.ia.us.

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Friday , December 9, 2016

REQUEST FOR 2nd SEMESTER SCHEDULE CHANGES
Students are reminded that if requesting a schedule change for 2nd semester, this should be done BEFORE winter break.

HOLIDAY BAND CONCERT
The Ames High Bands will be presenting their Holiday Band Concerts on Monday, December 12th, in the Ames High School Auditorium. The 6:30 concert will feature Percussion Techniques directed by Chris Ewan, the Freshman Band directed by Andrew Buttermore and the Symphonic Band directed by Andrew Buttermore. The 8:00 PM concert will feature the Concert Band directed by Peter Thompson and the Wind Symphony directed by Chris Ewan. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and $10 for a family.

WINTER MADNESS 2016
December 12-16 is Winter Madness at Ames High School, sponsored by Student Council. This year’s theme is “Let it dough! Let it dough! Let it dough!” Activities include sledding night, movie night, the opportunity for students to perform original music in our recording studio, 9th and 10th grade lunch buy out, coffeehouse, and a week of dress-up days, and arcade games in the lobby. Students will have the opportunity to make daily dough-nations as Student Council uses them to buy holiday presents for needy families in Ames.

AMES HIGH DRILL TEAM
Congratulations to the Ames High Drill Team! They competed at the STATE Drill Team Competition at Wells Fargo Arena on December 2nd and took home a record number of trophies including placing state runner-up in 4 divisions – Novelty, Hoop, Show Production, and All Male. Pom took 4th Place. Iowa has the largest Drill Team Competition in the Nation, with over 590 routines performed in two days.
 
Participants: Amanda Watters, Amy Cyr, Annie Peterson, Ella Schmitt, Emily Wengert, Grace Arndt, Jewels Buss, Joscelyn Buss, Julia Hansen, Macee Buss, Maddie Shelton, Madison Baughman, Rachel Junck, Rebekah Wilson, Sara Joerger, Shria Chug, Taylor Junck, Tessa Huff, Anna Napolitano, Brayden Bergum, Max Ramirez, Carter Robinson, Cammeron Campbell, Colin Imhoff & Solomon Farner.

They are Coached by Sarah Buss.

GIRLS TENNIS FUNDRAISER
The Ames girls tennis team will be holding a team benefit on Wednesday, December 21st from 11:00 AM-9:00 PM at Noodles and Company at 414 S. Duff Ave in Ames. All proceeds from any food purchases made during this time will go towards the purchase of new team warm ups for the girls. Please mention the tennis team at check out.

15-WEEK GRADES
15-week grades will be posted on Infinite Campus by Wednesday, December 14th.

LITTLE CYCLONE HOCKEY    
Up coming Home Dates at ISU Ice Arena:
December 16 vs DSM Capitals 6:45 PM Varsity, 8:45 PM JV
December 17 vs Mason City – Quinn’s Quest game 6:30 PM Varsity, 8:30 PM JV

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE

Friday, December 9
    Wrestling: V @ CB Invite – Mid America Center TBA
    Girls Basketball: JV/V vs Ankeny 4:45/6:00 PM
    Boys Basketball: 10/V vs Ankeny 4:45/7:45 PM

Saturday, December 10
    Wrestling: V @ CB Invite – Mid America Center TBA
    SCIBA Jazz Festival – Waukee High School
    Girls Basketball: JV/V @ Mason City CANCELLED due to weather forecast
    Boys Basketball: 10/V @ Mason City CANCELLED due to weather forecast

Monday, December 12
    Boys Basketball: JV vs Fort Dodge 6:00 PM
    Holiday Band Concert – AHS Auditorium 6:30 PM

Tuesday, December 13
    Girls Basketball: JV/V/9 @ Dowling 4:45/6:00/7:45 PM
    Boys Basketball: 10/9/V @ Dowling 4:45/6:00/7:45 PM

Thursday, December 15
    Girls Basketball: 9 vs Waukee 4:00 PM
    Boys Swimming: JV/V vs Waukee 5:00 PM
    Boys Basketball: 9 vs Waukee 5:15 PM
    Wrestling: JV/V vs Valley 6:30 PM

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
    Hockey: V/JV vs DSM Capitals – ISU Ice Arena 6:45/8:45 PM

Saturday, December 17
    Wrestling: 9/10 @ North Polk Alleman 8:00 AM
    Wrestling: V @ Fort Dodge Invite 10:00 AM
    Hockey: V/JV vs Mason City – ISU Ice Arena 6:30/8:30 PM

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Mr. Matthies will be offering an APEX After School in room 212 from 3:15-4:15 every day next week, December 12th through December 16th.

Any student interested in participating in World Food Prize 2017 is invited to attend an informational meeting during Plus Period with Mrs. Skaar next Monday or Tuesday in the MC. If you wish to attend the Plus Period for World Food Prize, please request Mrs. Skaar on one of those two days. It is not necessary to attend both days.

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Student leads effort to collect coins for Blank Children’s Hospital

girl holding coin collectionRaising $10,000 for Blank Children’s Hospital on her own got 11-year-old Grace McCunn thinking about what the experience taught her.

“I learned a dollar helps more than you think, and every little bit really does help,” she said. McCunn said she also learned that most people want to help if they know an actual need exists.

Now the sixth grade student at Ames Middle School hopes to get her peers involved so they can learn, too.

McCunn said when she was a patient at Blank Children’s Hospital, she discovered the need for books, games and toys for children her age.

“The variety of things available was limited, and they were more for much younger children,” she said.

Over the past couple of years, Grace has sold hot chocolate in winter and lemonade in summer, catching the attention of adults who sponsored her efforts with sizable sums to donate to the cause.

Although McCunn was told that a $10,000 donation is enough to get her name on a plaque at the hospital, she hopes to raise at least $2,000 more.

“I want so see how much students can raise just by collecting coins in homeroom,” she said.

Students at Ames Middle School are collecting coins in homeroom December 5 through 16.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Any student interested in participating in World Food Prize 2017 is invited to attend an informational meeting during Plus Period with Mrs. Skaar next Monday or Tuesday in the MC. If you wish to attend the Plus Period for World Food Prize, please request Mrs. Skaar on one of those two days. It is not necessary to attend both days.

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K-2 Literacy Pilot Frequently Asked Questions

How were the materials selected for the K-2 Literacy Pilot?

Last January, the K-2 Word Study Team identified a gap in the District’s literacy program in the areas of phonemic awareness and phonics. Phonemic awareness and phonics are foundational skills that comprise a small part of the Literacy Block, a 90-minute allotment of time devoted to teaching all literacy skills, including comprehension.

The pilot  was not intended to address a comprehensive literacy program; rather, the materials selected will help provide common language and a consistent scope and sequence to our phonemic awareness and phonics instruction across the District.

To select materials to address the foundational skills, the Word Study Team (WST) members took a survey to narrow down programs that appeared to align with foundational skills from 15 programs to six. The next step was for the WST to vet the programs in order to have three or four programs to pilot to fit the number of programs that would be piloted. The process used two sections, Phonemic Awareness and Phonics, from the Florida Reading Research Center’s (FRRC) rubric.

The WST worked collaboratively to conduct this initial vetting. Each WST member was part of a team tasked with scoring three out of the six programs. At the end of the scoring, every program had been evaluated using the indicators on the rubric.

After all of the scores were averaged and shared, the group negotiated around piloting the highest scoring programs. After discussion, the WST engaged in a Fist-to-Five process where all members indicated their support  of the decision by submitting a score of two or higher. The proposal that the WST reached consensus on included 1) three programs would be more manageable to pilot than four programs, and 2) the top three programs would be piloted: Fountas & Pinnell Phonics Lessons, Fundations, and Reach into Phonics.

What support did the WST receive for implementing the pilot and collecting data?

After the programs were selected, a pilot schedule was created to help each member of the WST develop a deeper level of understanding for each set of materials. As the process unfolded, the Iowa Reading Research Center was able to support student data collection and teacher implementation.

How did each program score on the initial vetting rubric?

The District has received requests to see the results of the vetting data. We recognize that the process is important to understanding the data and how those data are best used in the process.

With a rank of 6th, PASS scored 28.2% of the possible points available by 3 of the 4 groups tasked with vetting it. It earned 70.11% of the possible points in Phonemic Awareness, but earned none of the points available for Phonics.

With a rank of 5th, Words Their Way scored 37.5% of the possible points by 3 of the 4 groups tasked with vetting it. This program may be still have appropriate uses in our District to meet the needs of our students, but will not be included in our pilot.

With a rank of 4th, Open Court scored 71.18% of the possible points by 4 of the 4 groups tasked with vetting it. Although it scored near the next highest program, Open Court was not included due to a lack of consensus on the quality of the program and the scope and sequence it contained.

The remaining programs were selected for the pilot: Fountas and Pinnell Phonics Lessons (71.30% by 3 of 4 groups), Reach into Phonics (80.09% by 3 of 4 groups), and Fundations, (88.89% by 2 of the 4 groups).

Faqtable

The only purpose of this data was to determine the top three programs, not to make any determination of rank beyond which programs were to be piloted. The rank of the top three programs will be determined by the entirety of the pilot process.

Moving forward, each of the pilot programs will be evaluated on the merits of the program, the impact they have on student achievement, and the opinions of our administrators, teachers, and parents, and each program has an equal chance to be adopted.

How will my child be successful in reading if s/he changes materials three times this year?

Because of the nature of the scope and sequence of these materials as vetted in the phonological awareness and phonics sections of the rubric, all of these programs follow a similar learning path through the year. Teachers will not re-teach units during each different rotation; rather, teachers will work with the support of the program representatives, TOSAs and instructional coaches to best determine where to enter into the new program in order to ensure continued student success.

Students who are already identified as needing more assistance in reading will continue to receive the support already in place. As teachers continually assess student learning, they will be providing ongoing support to each student to ensure growth. Additionally, teachers will continue to work through the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) process in order to identify and provide interventions for students who are in need in compliance with the Iowa Department of Education’s expectations.

How will the decision be made?

Because all WST members will be more familiar with each of these programs after the pilot, only the scores from the final evaluation will be used to make the decision. The scores from the initial (pre-pilot) evaluation will have served their purpose of narrowing down the number of programs for the pilot. After each rotation of the pilot, each team member will score his/her assigned program using a rubric for the phonics, phonological awareness, instructional design, and assessment sections. Once all teams have completed a rubric for each program, these new scores will be used in the final decision (see FAQ below regarding final decision weighting).

The data will be collected and analyzed, and the final decision will be based on the following weighted categories:

  • Rubric Scoring – 30%
    • 8 rubrics averaged together for each program
      • 2 per rotation from teams engaged with that set of materials  
      • 1 from Curriculum & Instruction for each program
      • 1 from the Iowa Reading Research Center for each program
  • Student Growth Data – 30%
  • Teacher/Coach Survey – 17.5%
    • 15 teachers (3 teachers from each building)
    • 5 instructional coaches (1 from each building)
  • Admin/TOSA Survey – 17.5%
    • 2 directors
    • 5 elementary principals
    • 4 TOSAs
  • Parent Survey 5%
    • This survey will include discussion questions about materials for students’ parents to discuss with them.

Why are you videotaping my child? How will that video be used?

Teachers are videotaping themselves using the materials in order to allow the Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC) to gather data on how teachers are implementing the instructional design of each pilot program. Students are not the focus of these recordings, and the IRRC will destroy the videos on conclusion of the pilot. Additionally, the primary source for the IRRC work will be an audio recorder that the teacher wears, which will also be destroyed at the end of the pilot. Video will only be examined to clarify or as a back-up.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Teachers are reminded to show the Shrine fundraiser video following the afternoon announcements.

Any student interested in participating in World Food Prize 2017 is invited to attend an informational meeting during Plus Period with Mrs. Skaar on Monday, December 12th or Tuesday, December 13th in the MC. If you wish to attend the Plus Period for World Food Prize, please request Mrs. Skaar on one of those two days. It is not necessary to attend both days.

And now for the video.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NHS meeting today during 2nd lunch in the MPRM!

Any student interested in participating in World Food Prize 2017 is invited to attend an informational meeting during Plus Period with Mrs. Skaar on Monday, December 12th or Tuesday, December 13th in the MC. If you wish to attend the Plus Period for World Food Prize, please request Mrs. Skaar on one of those two days. It is not necessary to attend both days.

Come to the Native Pollinator Workshop this evening from 6:00-8:00 in the Rotary Room at the Ames Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. It will be a hands on experience to explore the importance of native plant species and the pollinators in our community. Come to learn more about what to plant in your garden and why it’s so important. Leave with free native plant seeds to get your pollinator garden started! We can’t wait to see you there!

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Interested in listening to some jazz music tonight? The Ames High Jazz Bands will be presenting a free concert this evening at 7:00 PM in the Ames High Auditorium.

There will be a representative from Southwest Minnesota State University in Student Services at 1:00 PM today. Please see Mrs. Evans if you need a pass to meet with this representative.

The next NHS meeting will be tomorrow during 2nd lunch in the MPRM!

Seniors, please turn in your senior pictures to yearbook@ames.k12.ia.us by January 16th.

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Friday December 2, 2016

 

AHS JAZZ BAND
The Ames Jazz Bands will be putting on a free concert, Monday, December 5th at 7:00 PM in the AHS Auditorium. Come listen to both the Ames HS Jazz Bands perform.

SENIOR PICTURES
Seniors wanting to have their picture in the yearbook need to get one’s senior picture to us. Senior pictures should be vertical, color, head and shoulder shots with no props. Pictures will be printed at 2″ X 2.5″ Please email your high resolution image (300 dpi or greater) to yearbook@ames.k12.ia.us .

SEMESTER EXAMS
Due to state mandated school start date requirements, we are unable to complete the semester before break. Semester exams will be given AFTER winter break, the last three days of the semester: Tuesday, January 10th, Wednesday, January 11th, and Thursday, January 12th.

14 AHS STUDENTS EARN POSITIONS IN SCIBA HONOR BAND
14 AHS band students successfully auditioned for positions in the 2016-17 South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band. Auditions were held on Thursday, December 1st, at Des Moines Roosevelt. The students selected will rehearse at Ankeny High School at Saturday, January 7th, with a festival concert that evening. The guest directors for the honor band are Dr. Myron Welch of University of Iowa (retired) and Steve Shanley of Coe College. The following Ames High students were selected:

9-10 Band
Andres Cordoba – Clarinet – 7th Chair
Moriah Conner – Clarinet – 11th Chair
Lara Murray – Clarinet – 14th Chair
Sarah Song – Clarinet – 15th Chair
Kira Davis – Horn – 3rd Chair
Anna Cullinan – Horn – 7th Chair
Nizan Friedberg – Tuba – 3rd Chair
Nick Sulzberger – Percussion – 8th Chair

11-12 Band
Emily Helmer – Flute – 2nd Chair
Laura Emery – Flute – 5th Chair
Alyssa Romp – Clarinet – 2nd Chair
Anthony Tang – Clarinet – 10th Chair
Julia White – Alto Saxophone – 1st Chair
Caleb Devick – Trombone – 7th Chair

HOLIDAY BAND CONCERT
The Ames High Bands will be presenting their Holiday Band Concerts on Monday, December 12th, in the Ames High School Auditorium. The 6:30 concert will feature Percussion Techniques directed by Chris Ewan, the Freshman Band directed by Andrew Buttermore and the Symphonic Band directed by Andrew Buttermore. The 8:00 PM concert will feature the Concert Band directed by Peter Thompson and the Wind Symphony directed by Chris Ewan. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and $10 for a family.

COLLEGE REPRESENTATIVES
The following college representatives will be in Student Services. Please see Mrs. Evans in Student Services if you need a pass to visit with these college representatives.

Monday, December 5
Southwest Minnesota State University 1:00 PM

ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE

Friday, December 2
Boys Basketball: 10/9/V @ Johnston 4:45/6:00/7:45 PM
Girls Basketball: JV/V/9 @ Johnston 4:45/6:00/7:45 PM
Madrigal Dinner – Northminster Presbyterian Church 6:30 PM

Saturday, December 3
Wrestling: JV/V Ames Duals 9:00 AM
Boys Swimming: V Wittmer Invite 11:00
Madrigal Dinner – Northminster Presbyterian Church 6:30 PM

Monday, December 5
Girls Basketball: 9 vs Lincoln 6:00 PM
Boys Basketball: JV vs Marshalltown 6:00 PM
Jazz Band Concert – AHS Auditorium 7:00 PM
Boys Basketball: 9 vs Lincoln 7:45 PM

Tuesday, December 6
Girls Basketball: JV/V vs Lincoln 4:45/6:00 PM
Boys Basketball: 10/V vs Lincoln 4:45/7:45 PM

Thursday, December 8
Boys Swimming: JV/V @ Ankeny – YMCA 5:30 PM
Girls Basketball: 9 vs Ankeny 6:00 PM
Wrestling: JV/V @ Johnston 6:30 PM
Boys Basketball: 9 vs Ankeny 7:45 PM

Friday, December 9
Wrestling: V @ CB Invite – Mid America TBA
Girls Basketball: JV/V vs Ankeny 4:45/6:00 PM
Boys Basketball: 10/V vs Ankeny 4:45/7:45 PM

Saturday, December 10
Wrestling: V @ CB Invite – Mid America TBA
SCIBA Jazz Festival – Waukee High School
Girls Basketball: JV/V @ Mason City 4:45/6:00 PM
Boys Basketball: 10/V @ Mason City 4:45/7:45 PM

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