Skip to content

Articles from August 2020

Friday, August 28, 2020

This will be a year like none other.  Please know that we are dedicated to supporting the start of the school year.  We know that there are still many hurdles and bumps in the road, but we will work together to get them resolved.

Along with communication regarding your student(s) rotation number, parents and students will have access to student schedules today.  The counselors have worked diligently to eliminate open periods and to ensure that students have the courses they need.  With that said, we also recognize that there is still much more work to do.   Please be patient with counselors as they work to resolve individual student schedule issues.  Here are the things that counselors will be able to address:

    •    Ensure that students have all their required courses
    •    Fix incorrect courses (i.e. Honors World studies instead of World Studies)
    •    Accommodate dual enrollment/PSEO class schedules
    •    Change elective courses (if available)
    •    Eliminate open periods/assign study halls (9-12)

At this point, we can’t make changes due to teacher/period preferences.  We will focus primarily on first semester courses only.

Please note: To ensure that students are assigned to a classroom throughout the school day, counselors have filled some schedules with available courses.  Please don’t be alarmed by the changes.  If a student wants to switch elective classes, we will make every effort to accommodate.

Homeroom teachers and Special Education teachers will contact students on their rosters to ensure that students and parents are aware of the educational delivery models available to them this year, as well as to assess student and family needs (housing, food, technology, etc.).  Some families may receive more than one call if you have multiple students at the high school.  Please review your Infinite Campus contact information to make sure it’s up to date.  Dates and times allocated for Parent/Teacher conferences are as follows:

    Monday, August 31:            8 – 4
    Tuesday, September 1:        10 – 6
    Wednesday, September 2:     8 – 4
    Thursday, September 3:        11 – 7
    Friday, September 4:        8 – 4

These conferences will be via phone and virtually, depending on parent preference and availability.

The AHS staff have taken time over the summer in order to put together a comprehensive school supply list.  You can find it HERE

Due to the rising Covid-19 rates in Story County, we will cancel our Ninth Grade orientation (scheduled for Wednesday, September 2) and New Students (scheduled for Friday, September 4) orientation.  The district is planning a centralized device distribution and will contact families with more specifics.

Reminder to fill out your students registration packet if you haven’t already done so. It is very important to have work processed before school starts to make the transition run smoothly. Parking permit hang tags need to be assigned, activity stickers need to be placed on ID’s, the nurse needs all updated medical history forms reviewed and filed. If you still have forms, please complete them now and mail them in or drop them off in the office at AHS.

Due to the rising Covid-19 rates in Story County, we will cancel our Picture Day, scheduled for Thursday, September 3.  We will notify families when this is rescheduled.

All sophomores and juniors are highly encouraged to take the PSAT test given at the high school on October 14th and 29th. This test is a good practice test for the SAT or ACT college admissions test and is a mandatory qualifying test for juniors seeking National Merit Scholarships.  It also will prompt colleges to contact your student with admission invitations.

Registration for the PSAT will be taken throughout the first week of school (Sept. 8th-11th). The cost of the test is $17. Please submit exact cash or a check made out to Ames High School in an envelope to the Main Office. On the envelope please clearly write:

PSAT test
Your student’s name
Your student’s grade level

You will be emailed confirmation that your registration was received.

The two most efficient methods of notifying the school of an absence are by signed note or phone call. Please call the Attendance line at 515-817-0601 first thing in the morning if your child will be absent from school. If you know the night before an absence, you may call and leave a message. Messages may be left on the attendance line 24/7. These messages are checked regularly during school hours, and entered into Infinite Campus. Please do not email absences to the secretaries, as these notifications are not processed as efficiently and could result in an absence not being excused.


If you know in advance of an upcoming extended absence due to a college visit, surgery, travel plans or family events, your student will need to obtain a Prior Form from the Main Office. In order to obtain a prior, your student will need to bring a signed note from a parent/guardian indicating the dates and reason for the absence, the secretary will attach that note to the prior form, the student will then have his/her teacher sign the form to alert them about the absence. At that time the teacher will let the student know if there is work that needs to be turned in prior to the absence or after the student returns from the absence. Once the Prior form is filled out completely, the student will turn it into the Attendance secretary prior to the absence.


We recognize that students may come to school feeling fine, but exhibit symptoms at some point during the day. In addition, we know that many students seek the nurse for non-illness related reasons. We want to ensure that these two groups of students have little to no interaction, yet are able to obtain the school-base nursing assistance they need. As such, we have implemented the following protocols:

1.  Students exhibiting symptoms of illness will need a pass from the classroom teacher indicating sick (COVID-suspected illness) vs. well pass (S vs.W)

2.  Students with an S pass will enter the nurse’s office through the door closest to the Activities main door. The sign above the door indicates that is the nurse’s office. The building has established a designated waiting and treatment area for students with COVID-related or COVID-suspected symptoms.

3.  Students with a W pass will enter the Auxiliary Main Office (typically referred to as the Principal’s Office) to check in with Mrs. Kathy Packer who will contact the nurse via radio.

4.  Students seeking non-COVID-related treatment will go to the existing treatment room.

The nurse records attendance for those who leave the building for illness during the school day. If a student does not go through the nurse, the absence will not be excused.

Due to many changes during the week please click on the link below for the schedule of athletic events.

Read More

Friday, August 21, 2020

We are well into the construction of our new high school. As you may know, over the late spring and summer we lost a substantial amount of parking in front of our building. To compensate, we will have students park at Furman. Students will still need to get a parking permit and display it appropriately in order to park on campus and at Furman.

As the school year gets underway, please be mindful as you drop off and pick up your students during the day. There is a considerable amount of construction truck traffic. We want to ensure everyone is safe.

Lifetouch will take Ames High students’ pictures in the Spirit Room on Thursday, September 3 from 8AM – 4PM for ALL 9th – 11th graders. In order to maintain appropriate social distancing and to facilitate contact tracing, students are required to sign up ahead of time. WALK INs will not be accommodated. Please SIGN UP HERE Picture packet forms may be picked up from the Central Axillary Office (Old Principal’s Office) or parents can go online at enter code EVTZDWK2P to order and pay for a picture package. Extra picture packets can be picked up on picture day. ALL non-senior students MUST have their picture taken, as these pictures are used in the Yearbook and for student ID’s. This year, due to the requirement to wear face coverings, ALL students will be required to wear their IDs where they’r e visible. An initial lanyard will be provided to each student for this purpose.

If for some reason your child is not able to attend, another date, yet to be determined, will be held after the start of the school year. We can’t stress enough how important it is for your student to take their picture.

Student schedules are being finalized and will be available the week of August 31 – September 4. If your student has a ISU or DMACC class please contact their counselor directly.

This year’s Freshman Orientation is planned for the week of August 31 – September 4. With the need to social distance and ensure contact tracing, we are still putting these details together. Parents of an incoming freshman can expect to have an updated date, time, and plan by Wednesday, August 26. Minimally, students will tour the school, follow their schedules and meet some teachers. Bus routes will help facilitate student transportation to this event.

All 10th – 12th grade students new to Ames High will have an orientation during the week of August 31 – September 4. Minimally, students will tour the school, make their schedules, and meet some teachers. Parents of new incoming students can expect to have an updated date, time, and plan by Wednesday, August 24.

As stated earlier, we have limited parking due to the ongoing construction. Parking permits in the school based lot will be awarded accordingly:
• Juniors and Seniors with a 3.5 GPA or higher
• Seniors
• Other upperclassman

We will also provide parking passes for Furman Aquatic Center. Parking in that lot will follow the same policies and procedures as the school-based parking lot.

All school vehicles parked at AHS or Furman Aquatic Center during the school day must be registered with the school. Students are required to purchase a hang tag that must be displayed on the rearview mirror. The cost of a parking tag is $5. Lost or replacement tags are $8. Students that violate the hang tag requirement or park in restricted areas or illegally may receive a fine of $5 per infraction, not to exceed $20. Students who accrue up to 2 parking tickets will be subject to towing and/or may lose their on-campus parking privileges. Parking tickets will be issued for both directly on campus parking as well as at Furman. Students should NOT park anywhere else beside the two official parking lots, especially not Northminster Presbyterian.

We have a two step process at Ames High for school permits. Students need to be in an activity before or after school outside the normal school hours at least 3 times a week. There is a form in the Central Auxiliary Office (OLD Principal’s Office) for students to fill out and have their coach or sponsor sign to verify they are in that activity warranting the need for a school permit. Once that has been completed and turned back in, the school will fill out the DOT form with our school principals signature. Students should bring their learners permit with them when obtaining the DOT form in the school office.

Students who have a school permit are not automatically granted a parking space. Parking will still be awarded based on the process stated above.

Due to COVID-19, Ames High athletics will not hold its traditional fall sports kickoff. The following are the dates, times and locations for the player introductions and parent meetings for each sport. All athletes and parents should park in the new parking lot east of the stadium and enter behind the video board.

Football: August 21
9th grade football scrimmage – 6:30 p.m.
Varsity football scrimmage – 7 p.m.
A brief parent meeting will follow at 7:45 p.m. with information on clothing sales, ticket allotment for varsity games and information from Coach Ferguson.

Fall Cheer: August 25
Fall cheer athletes will be introduced at 6:30 p.m. with a brief parent meeting to follow. Information will be given on ticket allotment for varsity games.

Volleyball: August 25
The volleyball team will be introduced at 7:30 p.m. with a brief meeting to follow.

Cross Country: August 27
The boys cross country team will be introduced at 6:30 p.m. with a brief parent meeting to follow. The girls cross country team will be introduced at 7:30 p.m. with a brief parent meeting to follow.

Swimming: Sept. 1
The girls swimming team will be introduced at 6:30 p.m. with a brief parent meeting to follow.

As you know, this year will be like none other. The first day of school for each household will be determined by their group assignment. Families will be assigned to a group randomly, but if there are problems with the assignment, you may contact AHS to be reassigned to a different group. PLEASE NOTE: Assignments are based on the household, so all children within the household will be assigned to the same rotation group.

In order to acclimate students to this new school year, and to ensure that they have their schedules, September 8 – 14 will have an alternate schedule to allow for homeroom on each student’s first day of school.

As instructed by the Ames Community School District Board, we are implementing a phased-in hybrid. This is intended to provide additional safeguards to staff and students, while still serving students’ academic and social-emotional needs. As a result, on any given day of in-person instruction, only 25% of those students who have opted into the Hybrid 1 option will be in physical classes. The numbers in the Hybrid schedule refers to the block schedule not the class periods.
See below for schedules.

Initial Phased Hybrid Schedules

Breakfast doors will open at 7:15 AM and close at 8 AM. Students will have time to eat breakfast before the 7:50 AM class start time. Students will have the opportunity to select their seat on the first day, and will be assigned that seat each day going forward. Tables will be marked with a color coded system to identify which student is at each table during both breakfast and lunch.

In lieu of the current health crisis and our ongoing construction, AHS is moving to a closed campus. Students may not leave for lunch or snacks. Students attending off-campus programs such as DMACC, ISU, internships, and work-based learning, may continue to participate in these programs. We are working hard to ensure that these opportunities are at the beginning or end of the school day to limit the exposure and spread of Covid-19 that may occur with traveling students.

Due to many changes during the week please click on the link below for the schedule of athletic events.

Read More

Team Neutrino: #morethanrobots

Team Neutrino

Team Neutrino’s social media accounts often use the hashtag #omgrobots. It’s a fun tag to posts that communicates the light-heartedness of the organization while also serving as a reminder that these students BUILD ROBOTS! In its simplest form, Team Neutrino is organized to compete in robotics competitions. But it would be a mischaracterization and a disservice to leave it at that. Although robotics is the face of the organization, it is only a fraction of the work they do. The reality is that student members, along with their mentors and community partners, function like a well-rounded business. 

Read More

Return to Learn Update – Building and School Board Meetings

Return to Learn (August 12, 2020) – Building and School Board Meetings

Due to the ongoing power restoration and clean up effort across Ames, we are rescheduling a variety of meetings. 

School Board Meeting (August 14, 2020):
The school board meeting scheduled for noon today is being rescheduled for Friday, August 14 at noon. The meeting can be found at the Zoom URL below or streamed on our YouTube Channel.


Read More

Dr. Kathi Arnold named new Emergency Management Coordinator

08 Kathi Arnold

The Ames Community School District is pleased to announce Dr. Kathryn Arnold as the new Emergency Management Coordinator. In this position, she will organize and manage many of the COVID-related logistics across the District throughout the school year. 

Arnold most recently served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri St. Louis, teaching online courses in numerous topics. Prior to that, she was an Education and Policy Consultant at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. 

Read More
Juicebox Interactive