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Articles from June 2019

Ames Middle School Associate Principals for 2019-2020 Announced

AMS Associate Principals

Ames Middle School associate principals for the 2019-2020 school year were approved by the Ames school board on Monday, April 8. The Ames Community School District is pleased to announce the following associate principals for Ames Middle School:

  • Jeremie Knutson, Associate Principal for Operations and Student Services
  • Erin Miller, Associate Principal for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Nicole Coronado, Associate Principal for School Improvement, Culture and Equity

Principal Yonas Michael opened all the positions this spring and added another associate principal for next school year. Each principal will be a point person for a specific grade, but will also use their expertise in their particular area to better serve Ames Middle School.

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Science Olympiad National Competition

Science Olympiad

To say that Ames has historically dominated the State Science OIympiad would be an understatement. The competition that includes chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, and general science categories, among others, has been won by Ames High 25/26 years and Ames Middle 24/27 years. That includes earlier this year when both teams won the Iowa Science Olympiad State Tournament at the University of Northern Iowa. Both teams beat the closest competitor by nearly 50 points and all but 4-5 of the 23 events in each division finished in the top three. Those wins earned them a trip to Ithaca, New York to the National Science Olympiad Tournament at Cornell University, May 31 to June 1.

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Girls Tennis 2019 State Champions

Girls Tennis State Champions

The Ames High girls tennis team followed up their runner-up state finish from a year ago with a team state championship this season. The Little Cyclones completed their second consecutive undefeated regular season and qualified for the team state tournament for a 13th straight season.

Leading up to the team tournament, 4 players participated in the individual state tournament. Arunadee Fernando placed second in singles, Lauren Couves 4th, and the doubles team of Caitlyn Hanulikova and Chloe Wilson finished 6th overall.

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DECA 2019

DECA 2019

The DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC) is the culmination of the DECA year. This year, more than 20,000 high school students, teacher-advisors, business professionals and alumni descended upon Orlando, Florida, for several days of DECA excitement. Ames High sent the largest delegation from the state of Iowa with 44 students. Each of those members qualified to attend based on their performance at the district and state level.    

DECA is a career and technical student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Their industry-validated competitive events allow students to demonstrate career and college ready knowledge and skills at the highest high school level. Students from every state and many other countries including China, Honduras, Pakistan, Japan, and Spain competed at the international conference.

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Passion Clubs at Fellows Elementary

Passion Club

Care. Learn. Lead. At Fellows Elementary, this theme can be seen in the classroom, at assemblies, and in unique initiatives like passion clubs. New to this school year, third to fifth-grade students selected an interest-oriented club that was sponsored by teachers to be a part of. Fellows Principal Brandon Schrauth said, “This year we have been focusing on increasing a sense of belonging amongst our students. Passion clubs were one action we identified to increase belonging and support students in identifying their greatness.”

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Seal of Biliteracy: A New Recognition to Celebrate Language Proficiency

Seal of BiLiteracy

In October 2018, Iowa Department of Education announced that a state Seal of Biliteracy would be available for participating schools to recognize students who demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Ames Community School District is pleased to announce that students will have an opportunity to earn this seal.

To receive a seal, students in participating schools must demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one other language through approved assessments. Students must be able to read, write, listen, speak in the language they are testing. Read more about the biliteracy guidance, including proficiency levels and accepted assessments here. At Ames High, assessments will be available in French, German, and Spanish. Additional languages are available to students off-site.

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Brian Carico named Interim Principal at Ames High

Brian Carico Interim Principal AHS

The Ames Community School District is excited to announce Brian Carico as the Interim Principal at Ames High School. Mr. Carico is currently the Associate Principal at Ames High and will replace longtime Principal, Spence Evans, who announced earlier this semester that he accepted a position in eastern Iowa.

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Multicultural Books

Multicultural Books

This year, Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) offered three separate Title III mini-grants and the Ames Community School District is proud to have received all three of them. Totaling $15,000, these grants have allowed the District to purchase books in a variety of languages to help support students who are English Language Learners.

One of the mini-grants from Heartland is specific to family and community engagement and aligns with one of our main goals this year that came out of conversations with staff and families who participated in our Lau Plan review last September. The group identified making the school environment more welcoming for students and their families as an area of need. One of the specific aspects of the goal was to have more diverse books in the native languages of English Learners in schools and classroom libraries.

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Sensory Path at Mitchell Elementary

Sensory Path

Elementary students are full of energy and it is important for them to have an outlet for that energy throughout the day. For many students, recess and physical education classes serve this need, but there are times when additional breaks are needed. Teachers at Mitchell Elementary recently installed a sensory path down one of their main hallways, which is in many ways an indoor “obstacle course.”

“The initiative started around conversations with staff about alternative ways to provide “brain breaks” to reduce our building-wide behavior referrals,” said special education teacher Angela Pardun. “During these conversations, we discussed multiple options including a puzzle break table, the sensory path, the addition of a trampoline, and others.”

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Safety Patrol at Edwards Elementary

Safety Patrol at Edwards

If you visited Edwards Elementary School this year in the morning during student drop off time, you were likely greeted with a friendly smile and saw students high-fiving each other. This is the work of Safety Patrol, a rotating team of nearly 30 fifth graders who are taking the lead on establishing a positive environment in their building by greeting students at the front door and at designated points throughout the school.

Principal Kristi Mixdorf saw this concept modeled at another school and approached fifth-grade teacher Chris Douglas about implementing it at Edwards. Douglas said, “I told her I wanted to continue looking for leadership opportunities for our 5th graders so I decided to take the lead on this and told the kids and parents what we envisioned this looking like.”

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