Originally cited in 1983 by the United States Department of Education as an ”exemplary school,“ Ames High School was one of 82 charter high schools in the nation honored by the Department of Education. In 1989 in its Recognition of Excellence, the Department of Education again honored the high school. The high school has been identified by various business periodicals as being among the top high schools in the nation. Ames High consistently ranks in the top 5 schools in the Iowa AP Index.
Newsweek and US News and World Reports both include Ames High in their 2012 rankings of the best high schools.
Ames High School rests on a 74-acre campus, which includes a 20-acre natural prairie. The building is located in the northern part of the city. The original facilities were built in three phases during the 1960’s and have periodically been renovated. A $5.2 million building program was completed in 1995. A media center, multiple purpose room, eight science laboratories and an art classroom highlighted the new construction, while extensive remodeling took place throughout the original structure. Our brand new, state-of-the-art building opens in August 2022.
The school prides itself in being a comprehensive, four-year high school with emphasis on college preparation. From the class of 2020, 71% of the school’s graduates enrolled in four-year colleges and universities nationwide. An additional 23% continued their education at community colleges or vocational schools. A broad curriculum is committed to the goal of meeting the educational needs of all students. Over 30% of the enrollment is comprised of students of color.
Traditionally the school has one of the highest numbers of National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in Iowa. Over the past 65 years, 1,847 Ames High students have been named National Merit Finalists, Semifinalists and Commended Scholars. Fifteen have been named Presidential Scholars. Additionally, students’ performances on the ACT and SAT annually exceed state and national mean scores.
There are 96 full or part-time professional faculty members. Sixteen staff members are assigned to student-at-risk or Special Needs Program, which serves local and other students from neighboring communities. Sixty percent of the faculty have earned their master’s degree. The staff is actively engaged in curriculum development and staff development.