Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 9.16.22 #upliftingU

We invite you to read the UCSD bi-weekly newsletter, “Uplifting Urbandale." Newsletters are archived on the Newsletter section of the District website. Please make note of the accessibility options which can be used to enlarge the text and/or translate this email. Mah hi Hakha holh in don na duh ahcun, Zaangfahnak tein Dar Lian ah peh tlai te.

Congratulations To Our 2022 UHS Homecoming Court

Please join us in congratulating our 2022 UHS Homecoming Court: Riley Anderson, Katelyn Chaky, Lilyan Dykstra, Macy Heinen, Kayton Hinkhouse, Kamryn Kurtz, Ava McConnell, Hannah Neyens, Megan Reinhardt, Ella Troja, Kai Black, Benjamin Booth, Beau Carenza, Jackson Craig, Cole Garwood, Cooper Hardersen, Isaac Hoyt, Brice Lange, Cory Pair, and Joseph Rempe. #UHSpride Photo Credit: Lance McConnell
Urbandale High School Homecoming Court 2022

Final Events During Urbandale Homecoming Week: Go J-Hawks!

Come support your J-Hawks and celebrate our Urbandale community spirit during Urbandale High School Homecoming 2022! Urbandale Lions Club Annual Homecoming Pancake Supper and Varsity Football Game are tonight (Sept 16) with the UHS Homecoming Dance taking place tomorrow night (Sept 17). We wish everyone a safe, fun, and memorable Homecoming 2022!

Friday, September 16, 2022

5:00 p.m.– 7:00 p.m. Urbandale Lions Club Annual Homecoming Pancake Supper 2022

  • Urbandale High School Commons (lunchroom)

  • No tickets required; attendees are welcome to give "free will" donations.

7:00 p.m. Varsity Football Game

  • Urbandale vs. Des Moines Roosevelt at UHS Frerichs Field; kick-off at 7:00 p.m.

  • Please make sure you are prepared to cheer on your J-Hawks at our home venues by either purchasing tickets in advance at www.j-hawks.com/tickets or purchasing tickets at the gate with a credit card (there will no longer be a cash option at the gate).

  • We will be presenting the Homecoming Court at the football game.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

8:00 p.m.– 11:00 p.m. UHS Homecoming Dance “Out of This World” at UHS Commons

  • Cost is $10/person (Note: The Homecoming Dance is only open to UHS students and guests.)

  • Homecoming Dance tickets will be on sale beginning September 6th using the QR code on posters around the building or this link.

  • If a UHS student would like to bring a guest from another school, the UHS student must complete a guest form. Guest forms are located outside of room 231 and 226. The form must be completed and turned in prior to the dance (preferred) or on the night of the dance. Tickets for guest students must be purchased by Friday, September 16th at 4:00pm. Any questions, please email: petersonk@urbandaleschools.com or hansonk1@urbandaleschools.com

  • Must have a School ID to get into the dance; School IDs required for all attendees (Note: guests from other schools could provide a School ID or a driver's license)

Flu Vaccine Clinics: September 28 and October 26 At Urbandale High School

The Polk County Health Department will offer Flu Vaccine Clinics for Urbandale students, staff, parents, siblings, and community members.

Dates: September 28 and October 26, 2022

Time: 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Location: Urbandale High School Commons (cafeteria) (Note: Please enter the high school through the main entrance and turn right to walk toward the Commons.)

Reserve Your Flu Vaccine Appointment Online

Please make note:

  • FluMist and COVID-19 vaccines are not available this year.

  • We will offer the Quad Injectable Vaccine.

  • We will offer the High Dose Injectable Vaccine for those 65 years of age and older.

  • Most major insurance plans accepted.

  • Please bring your insurance card.

  • Flu vaccine for uninsured is $25 ($65 for High Dose); or what you can pay.

  • Parent/guardian must be present with minors and complete a consent form (Note: consent form included in the online registration).

Do your part to stop the flu!

  • WASH your hands

  • COVER your cough

  • STAY home if you’re sick

  • GET vaccinated

5th Annual Karen Acres & Valerius Elementary Fall Festival October 22

Mark your calendars now for the 5th Annual Karen Acres Elementary in cooperation with Valerius Elementary Fall Festival! Held on Saturday, October 22nd from 10:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. Shop from 40+vendors and crafters, enjoy free inflatables, princess and superhero meet and greets, and train rides for the kids.

Concessions include walking tacos, homemade bars, and more available for a small fee. Make sure to check out all the raffle baskets in the cafeteria, especially those put together by each grade's classroom! Raffle tickets are available for a small fee as well.

Join the event page for important details!

Interested in having a booth, information, or sales? Email: karenacresfallfestival@gmail.com

UCSD Certificates of Recognition

During the September 12 School Board meeting, the Board and Administration awarded both UHS students and recent UHS graduates with Certificates of Recognition for the following accomplishments. Congratulations! We are #proudofU!

  • All-State Baseball: Dillon Kuehl and Sam Harris

  • All-State Softball: Bri Tigges

  • 1st Team All-State Boys Soccer: Nate Hersom

  • Academic All-State Boys Soccer: Ben Croll, Nate Hersom, Hayden Marks, and Cody Tiffin

  • Girls Soccer Academic All-State: Megan Sawyer, Riley Anderson, Maria Long, Molly Braaten, Madison Gaul, and Sophie Cochran

  • Girls Golf Academic All-State: Margaret Aylsworth

  • Girls Track Academic All-State: Lauryn Bibbs, Crystal Ruden, and Ena Zerajic

Pictured: UCSD Board President Katherine Howsare, UHS student Molly Braaten, recent UHS graduate Nate Hersom, UHS student Sam Harris, and Superintendent Dr. Rosalie Daca.

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The “Write Stuff” Elementary Writing

Elementary teachers launched their school year by deepening their learning related to writing instruction. Students will experience explicit instruction around sentence and paragraph instruction aligned to three core types of writing narrative, informative/explanatory, and opinion. Elementary students kindergarten through fifth grade will engage in the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing supported by teacher modeling and conferring. Be on the lookout for pieces of writing your student develops across the school year.
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Design and Construction Progress Update September 2022

Click here for an updated summary of actions that have been taking place for design and construction projects throughout the District. Thank you to Stahl Construction for sharing these beautiful progress photos of the new Valerius Elementary School.

Join Us In Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15

Join us in celebrating our Hispanic and Latinx students, families, staff, and community members during National Hispanic Heritage Month! Every year, the United States honors the history and legacy of Hispanic and Latinx people by observing National Hispanic Heritage Month. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate the cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. National Hispanic Heritage Week was first recognized by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and expanded to 30 days by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Ultimately, it was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.

There are many great resources to learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month including this collection of documentaries and programs on PBS. We’d like to take time to recognize and honor our students and staff of Latinx descent. We’d also like to empower and educate our non Latinx students and staff surrounding the contributions and impact Latinx people made and continue to make in our community, state, nation, and world. We are #strongerwithU!

Suicide Prevention: You Are Not Alone

The health and well-being of our students are top priorities. We strive to ensure all students feel heard, understood and valued. We care deeply about every single student which is why we believe it’s important to raise awareness and build understanding for suicide prevention. You are not alone. Please reach out. We will help you get through this. You are not alone.

How To Use Your Student Assistance Program

All UCSD students and their household family members have access to the Student Assistance Program provided by Employee and Family Resources. The Student Assistance Program is here to help you and your family members manage the concerns in your life through free, confidential counseling. The SAP is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is strictly confidential.

How To Use Your SAP:

  1. Call (515) 244-6090 or 800-327-4692 if you’re outside of the Des Moines area.

  2. The intake counselor will collect some basic info such as name, phone number, and date of birth. This counselor will also help you through any urgent needs or issues.

  3. Then you will make your counseling appointment. You will receive a reminder call the day before your scheduled appointment.

Watch the demo of what a call to your SAP is like (video below).

SAP Call Demo

Reminder: No School Dates October 2022

Please make note of the following dates in October 2022 when school will not be in session.


  • Friday, October 7: No school due to a teacher in-service/professional development day

  • Monday, October 10: No school due to Fall Break

  • Adventuretime All Day Program (PreK–5) on October 7 and 10: Registration must be completed by September 21 at 11:59 p.m. Learn more

Rolling Green Elementary

  • October 11 – October 14: No school due to Intersession

  • October 17 – October 21: No school due to Intersession

UHS Distinguished Alumnus Award and Celebration Saturday, September 17

The Urbandale Alumni Association is proud to present the UHS Distinguished Alumnus Award and Celebration taking place at the Urbandale Golf and Country Club on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Please join us in presenting Rick Kading (Class of ‘76) with the first UHS Distinguished Alumnus Award, enjoy a great buffet style meal, bid on amazing class and business auction baskets (a few included below), answer Urbandale trivia questions, and receive your very own “U” gift bag! The UHS Distinguished Alumnus Award and Celebration committee would like to give a big shout out to the class coordinators, classmates, and all donors who did an outstanding job putting together the remarkable, creative silent auction baskets. Tickets are $45.00 per person and can be purchased here. Proceeds go toward supporting scholarships for Urbandale High School students. Thank you for your support. Go J-Hawks!

Student Meal Pricing and Payments

UCSD Nutrition Services recognizes the important connection between a healthy lifestyle and a student’s ability to learn effectively which is why we ensure all students have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the federal waiver for free school meals was not extended to the 2022-23 school year; thus, families will need to carry a positive balance in their children’s school meal accounts in order for children to access breakfast and lunch while at school.

Meal Prices

Breakfast Meal Prices

Elementary: $2.00

Middle School: $2.50

High School: $2.75

Reduced price breakfast: $0.30

Second complete meal: $2.75

Lunch Meal Prices

Elementary: $2.70

Middle School: $2.95

High School: $3.10

Reduced price lunch: $0.40

Second Complete Meal: $4.15

Milk for students bringing a lunch from home: $0.50

For more information about meal prices, please visit the Nutrition Services website.

Funds can be loaded onto student accounts electronically through TITAN or by bringing cash/check to your student’s building (please place in an envelope and include your student’s first and last name so the money is credited to the correct account). Online payments are preferred because they happen instantaneously. You can also add payments through the Titan app available on the App Store (for iPhone) or Google Play Store (for Android).

If a student has a negative balance in their meal account, parents/guardians will receive an automated notification. No student shall be denied a meal, no matter their outstanding balance or qualification for assistance. For more information on negative account balances, please view Board Policy 702A.

Iowa Eligibility Application
To see if your child(ren) qualifies for free and reduced price meals please complete the 2022-2023 Iowa Eligibility Application.

Student Fee Waiver Program
UCSD offers financial assistance to families qualifying for the district’s free and reduced meal program. If your child(ren) qualifies for free or reduced price meals, you may also be eligible for other benefits such as free or reduced fees for books and materials, driver's education, busing, activities, and other district services.

In order to receive these additional benefits, make sure you complete the Waiver of Confidentiality portion of the 2022-23 Iowa Eligibility Application (which is located on tab 2, “Additional Questions” within the online application form). If you have already completed the application and did not select “yes” for this option, or if you received an email or letter stating that you were Directly Certified by the State, you can complete the waiver separately by using this form. By completing the waiver form, you waive your right to confidentiality of your eligibility status for the selected programs. Please note: The application and waiver forms need to be completed each school year.

To learn more about applying for free or reduced meals, please visit the Nutrition Services website.

For assistance in completing the application or for questions, please contact the Nutrition Department at 515-457-6911.

The Urbandale Community School District is an equal opportunity provider.

Join Our Nutrition Services Team!

Work with dedicated team members who are making a difference, one meal at a time. Learn more and apply today.
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Ticketing Moves Online in 2022-2023

Effective this fall, purchasing tickets for all Athletic and Performing Arts Events in grades 7–12 must be done online. Those wishing to attend events are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at www.j-hawks.com/tickets. If you purchase tickets at the event, we will only be accepting credit card payments as there will no longer be a cash option at the gate.

The only venue where cash payment will still be accepted this year will be for Urbandale Middle School football games. This is due to the lack of infrastructure at that venue. All other Athletic and Performing Arts Events will only be accepting online payments in advance or credit card payments at the gate.

When attending events away from our home venues, we anticipate most opponents in the CIML will also be only offering online ticketing. To aid in the process of purchasing tickets in advance for away events, you may wish to visit www.cimltickets.com.

Please make sure you are prepared to cheer on your J-Hawks at our home venues by either purchasing tickets in advance at www.j-hawks.com/tickets or purchasing tickets at the gate with a credit card. We look forward to welcoming you and appreciate your support of Athletics and Performing Arts.
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Join Our Team! We’re hiring for various positions and we’d like to hear from you!

Are you interested in making a positive difference in the lives of Urbandale students? Do you like building relationships and helping others reach their potential? Would you enjoy hours within a school-day schedule while being a member of IPERS (the state’s largest public retirement system)? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, we’d like to hear from you! We’re currently seeking team members for a variety of positions which include the following:

Full-Time with Benefits:

  • Elementary & Secondary Special Education Teacher positions

  • Spanish Teacher - Urbandale High School

  • Full-Time Substitute Teachers

  • Special Education Associates


  • Physical Education Teacher - Metro West Learning Academy

  • Special Education Associates

  • General Education Associates

  • General Workers - Production Kitchen & Serving Kitchen

  • Various High School and Middle School Coaching positions

  • Before/After School Adventuretime Childcare Associates and Greeters

Learn more about available positions. For questions or additional information, please contact UCSD HR Manager Kate Johnson johnsonk@urbandaleschools.com We look forward to hearing from you!

Join the Urbandale Booster Club

Join the Urbandale Booster Club and support our students in Activities. Join today here: Urbandale Booster Club

UCSD Late Start Every Monday: Start Times Per Building

Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, every Monday is a “Late Start Monday” for all UCSD students (preschool through 12th grades). The previously scheduled “early out” days at Urbandale High School will be replaced with a “late start” every Monday. Our preschool program, elementary schools, middle school, and high school utilize this time for professional learning and collaboration. Bus routes will run later to coincide with the late start time. Dismissal time at the end of the day remains the same. Thank you for making adjustments in your schedule to accommodate this time.

Kindergarten – 12th Grade “Late Start Monday” Times:

  • Karen Acres — 10:00 AM

  • Olmsted — 10:10 AM

  • Rolling Green — 10:05 AM

  • Valerius (at Jensen) — 10:00 AM

  • Webster — 10:00 AM

  • Urbandale Middle School — 9:15 AM

  • Urbandale High School — 9:20 AM

  • Metro West Learning Academy — 8:40 AM (Note: Metro West AM Session will begin at the regular time on Mondays as Metro West does not have a late start on Mondays.)

Preschool “Late Start Monday” Information:

  • NO instructional preschool will be offered on Monday for three or four-year-olds who attend half-day AM or PM preschool.

  • Three-year-old students who attend half-day instructional preschool, half-day wrap-around care and before/after programming may be dropped off between 6:30 AM - 9:15 AM on Monday mornings.

  • Three and four-year-old students who are enrolled to attend all day instructional preschool from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM, will start preschool at 10:00 AM on Monday mornings.

  • Four-year-old students who attend all day preschool from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM and before/after school programming, may be dropped off between 6:30 AM - 10:00 AM on Monday mornings.

Adventuretime Before School Childcare:
Our Adventuretime Before School Childcare program still opens at the regular start time of 6:30 AM on Late Start Mondays. Late Start student drop off will be from 6:30 AM - 9:15 AM (Note: there will be no Adventuretime staff at the door past 9:15 AM).

UCSD Return To Learn / COVID-19 Guidance

We continue to take the health and safety of our students, staff, and families seriously which is why we’d like to share the following guidance regarding current COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Please be aware, all of the following strategies/practices are current as of July 19, 2022, and are subject to change pending federal, state, and/or local decision-making.

Reminder: if you test positive for COVID-19:

  • Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must remain home for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms or the date of the day of the positive viral test for asymptomatic persons).

  • Individuals may return to school on day 6 if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

  • It is highly recommended that individuals wear a mask when around others at home and in public for an additional 5 days.

  • For students who test positive while school is in session, families need to contact their School Nurse.

  • For students who test positive while school is not in session and are participating in school programming or Activities, families need to contact the supervisor of the program (e.g. Adventuretime or Summer School) or Activities Department.

  • For staff who test positive, employees need to contact their supervisor and Kate Johnson.

  • This guidance applies to both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

Come On Out & Support Your J-Hawks!

You can find information about all activities to include athletics, the performing arts, and the Booster Club right at your fingertips. Be sure to visit j-hawks.com for all of the latest information, upcoming events, and highlights. Plus, purchase your fan gear online at the J-Hawk Shop. Let’s go J-Hawks!

Check Out What’s New In The Flyer Hub

The UCSD Flyer Hub is a great resource for finding information about community activities, opportunities, and services. We post flyers from our district, community education, and organizations within our community. Flyers are frequently updated so be sure to check back often.

Opt-In “Uplifting Urbandale” Newsletter

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Educational Equity Statement

It is the policy of the Urbandale Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, marital status (for program), ethnic background, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age (for employment), or socio-economic background (for program) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact the District office at 11152 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA or call 515-457-5000. The District’s Equity Coordinator is Dr. Ryan Williamson, williamsonr@urbandaleschools.com.