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Frequently Asked Questions

Administration Who to Contact / Responsibilites 

     2019 Administrative Staff Contacts and Responsibilities 

What are school day start and dismissal times?

• School begins at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays
• School begins at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. This is a late start for staff professional development.
• School dismisses at 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday

What time may I drop off my child for school?

The building opens at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On Wednesdays, the building opens at 9:00 a.m. Teachers are not on duty earlier, so no supervision is available.  If students arrive before the building opens, they must wait in the entryway between the front double doors. 

What time does the building close?

The building closes at 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students whose ride arrives after 3:30 p.m. must wait in the entryway between the double front doors.

How do parents and students find out about bus transportation?

Durham School Services provides our District busing. Dee Hehr is the District’s Transportation Coordinator. Contact her by email:

Approximately two weeks before school starts, Durham sends postcards to homes with information about the student’s bus number, pick-up time and location, and drop-off time and location. Durham does not issue bus passes to middle school students.

Is there an opportunity to visit AMS before school starts??

Yes.  AMS Welcome Event is August 16, 5-7.  This is for all new families and incoming 6th graders.  Families will receive information about middle school and tour the building.  Please note, teachers will not be present.

Is there a New Family Orientation?

Yes. All new families are invited to Orientation at 5 p.m., Tuesday, August 16. Sixth grade families who did not attend an earlier orientation may attend.

When will students receive their computers? 

Each student will be issued a Chromebook during school.  Students and parents must sign the District’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) to receive a computer. Please read AUP information on the ACSD 1:1 handbook regarding damage charges.This device is used in students’ classes and can be used at home for projects and research as well. Students and their families are responsible for the safe-keeping of the device and prompt return of it in the spring. 

What can students expect for the first week of school?

On the first day of school,Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 students will report to the homeroom listed in their schedule. At that time,teachers will go over the schedules with the students, help them locate classrooms, and answer questions.  Teachers will provide ample time explaining how to use locks and lockers. They will direct students on how to get to their buses at the end of the day.

The cafeteria will be fully operational for lunch, so students don’t need to bring a sack lunch the first day of school.

When is Back-to-School Night?

6/7/8 grades Back-2-School night will be held on Thursday, August 30, 2018 @ 6 pm

When is school picture day?

Lifetouch Photographers will take students’ pictures during the school day, in September ;  Students will bring home order forms the week before picture day. On picture day, please give the order form along with your payment to your student to give to the photographer.

Is there a Parent/Student Handbook?

Yes. The handbook contains valuable information for parents and students to review together.

2018-19 Middle School Handbook

May parents ask to change a student’s classes or teachers?

School counselors and administrators work with teachers, parents and administrators from the student’s previous grade-level or building to build balanced class and team lists. Each year, we establish students’ class and teacher assignments for the upcoming year before the current year ends. We will not accommodate requests for class or teacher changes made during the summer or in the first days of school.

What are the grade level teacher teams?

Sixth grade students are placed onto one of four teams of approximately 90 students each with three core subject teachers. Their classes are located in the Sixth grade lower wing and Sixth grade upper wing.

Seventh and Eighth grade students are placed onto one of three teams with about 120 students in their grade level and four core subject teachers. Academic teams hold classes in close proximity to enable teachers to collaborate effectively to individualize instruction.

Read more about our teams:

How do students pay for Lunch?

• Students’ Lunch PINs are the same as student ID numbers and are printed on student schedules
• If students do not receive a PIN, they may tell the cashier while going through the lunch line.
• Students or parents who have questions about lunches, account balances, etc., may call the  Food Service office at (515) 268-2417.

Does the middle school provide lockers and locks?

All students get their locker assignment and combination padlock on the first day of school during homeroom. There is a $5 replacement fee for a lost padlock. Staff is available to help students having difficulty with locks or lockers.

How is Band/Orchestra/Chorus scheduled?

• Students taking Band, Orchestra and Chorus (shown as BOC on the schedule) have these classes during their Activity Period.
• The music department has created a schedule that allows students to participate in any or all of the music opportunities. Plan on classes and lessons to begin at the start of the school year as soon as schedules are completed.

What are the procedures when students are sick or tardy?

• Students who arrive late to school must check in at the Main Office..
• If a student is not able to attend school due to illness, family emergency, etc, parents must call the office at 515- 268-2400 as early in the morning as possible. Please provide the student name, grade level, and reason for absence. Students whose absence is not called in by a parent or guardian will receive an unexcused absence.
• If a student will be late attending school due to a medical or dental appointment, for example, parents must contact the Main Office and give the reason and estimated time of the student’s arrival.
• Parents must report all absences, late arrivals, medical appointments, vacations, early pick-ups, etc. to the Main Office. Parents must not relay the information through the student’s teachers.


 What do Activity Tickets cost and what do they provide?

• Activity tickets are available to all  students for an optional fee of $40 per school year. They may be purchased any time during the school year.
• Activity tickets allow the student free admission for the entire school year to all Ames Middle School and Ames High School athletic events, with the exception of state -sponsored tournaments and musical events. Activity tickets are identified with a round colored sticker placed after purchase on the student’s Ames Middle School I.D. card and must be presented at the event ticket booth for admission. Students who don’t present their ID card must pay the admission fee.

May students use their own Gym clothing?

• Students may provide their own gym clothing consisting of shorts, shirts, socks, and shoes.

• Students will also have the opportunity to purchase a set of Little Cyclone shorts and t-shirt by contacting Mr. Dana.Goodwin.


What is Infinite Campus?

Infinite Campus is an online information system that allows parents and guardians who set up an account to track their child’s grades and assignments, attendance, and behaviors through its Parent Portal. Parents will receive weekly announcements and updates sent to the email address they provided for Infinite Campus.If you need assistance, call 268-2412.

How do I sign up for conferences?

Parents will be able to sign up for fall conferences using the online School Conference Scheduler program. Details will be sent prior to fall/spring conferences via Infinite Campus and email.

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