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At AMS, we strive to meet the needs of all students.


Part of that includes meeting the needs of our high ability learners. Acceleration options are one of the many ways we meet these needs. Acceleration is not a one time, one size fits all opportunity.  There are multiple pathways and entry points into math acceleration, in order to make the paths as individualized as possible according to each student. 8th grade students have the option of Advanced Literacy.

Accleration Process 

The Ames Middle School Acceleration process has undergone slight changes as a result of the shift in the required state assessment formerly known as the Iowa Assessment to the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress. As a result of this shift, data typically used for the acceleration process will be unavailable. For the 2019-2020 all students will have access to acceleration through the Iowa Algebra Readiness Assessment  (IARA) given during the school day to all students within their math or homeroom classrooms. These assessments will provide a score utilized to aid in placement within accelerated courses. Options for accelerated courses include the following:
  • Incoming 6th-grade students

    • Compacted Math 6

  • Incoming 7th-grade students

    • Compacted 7/ 8 Math

    • Algebra I

  • Incoming 8th-grade students

    • Algebra I

    • Geometry (only available following successful Algebra completion)

We are excited this move will also provide a more equitable opportunity for all of our students to access accelerated courses through the use of a universal screener. Students wishing not to take the course can choose to opt out. If your student does not wish to test, please find the “Opt Out” form, complete, and return this to the main office of your building. Students currently taking Algebra or Geometry will not be included in the assessment.

Opt Out Form 2019-20 

Assessments for current ACSD 5th-grade students will be on April 29 during the school day, current 6th and 7th-grade students will be completed the week of April 22-26, make-up tests will be made available for students who are absent and have not elected to opt out from the assessment or who are not current ACSD students will be held on May 8 at 2:45 or on June 6 from 9:00-10:30. If your student requires a make-up date or is a non-ACSD student wanting to test, please contact Nicole Kuhns (

Current 8th grade students wishing to accelerate in the 2019-2020 school year should complete an AHS Acceleration form available below or in the AMS office. Forms are due on April 12.


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