Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 7.22.22 #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.

Bus Transportation Request Form Due By August 1

To be on a bus route for the first day of school, UCSD needs to receive your completed bus request form no later than August 1st (July 1st for Rolling Green). After that date, UCSD can still add your student for bus transportation, but the bus stop locations will be set; thus, students may have to walk farther to their bus stop and possibly wait several days before they can begin riding the bus. All bus transportation information, including the bus request form, can be found here.

Register by July 29 for the UCAN Annual Back to School Supplies Event

The Urbandale Community Action Network (UCAN) has multiple programs which can assist with school supplies, clothing, shoes, and more for your family. All families are required to register with UCAN once a year. The UCAN Annual Back to School event will be held from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at the UCAN Office located at Aldersgate Church (lower level) 3600 75th Street, Urbandale.

In order for UCAN to have backpacks and supplies ready for your family, families must complete the following two forms by July 29, 2022:

  • 2022 UCAN Annual Client Application Please fill out the Client Application form and include all supporting documentation. You’re welcome to take photos of your supporting documentation (proof of residence, income, etc.) and upload those photos in the application. All information requested must be provided in order to be eligible for assistance. If you have not completed a Client Application with UCAN before July 31, 2021, please contact UCAN at 515-334-2684 or Admin@UrbandaleNetwork.org to schedule an appointment.

  • Back to School 2022 Once you have completed the Client Application, please register for the Back to School 2022 event (click ‘Register Here’) on the link provided for Back to School 2022.

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Elementary Boundary Feedback Sessions: July 25 & 26

The UCSD Elementary Boundary Committee has incorporated community survey results and priorities established by the Board of Directors in the development of elementary boundary options. UCSD is hosting two public feedback sessions on July 25 and July 26 in order to gather feedback from District residents regarding the options being considered. Attendees of the sessions will have an opportunity to view boundary sketches, listen to a presentation for each boundary option, and provide feedback. The same content will be presented both nights.

Following the two sessions, the Boundary Committee will review and discuss feedback received in order to bring a comprehensive elementary boundary proposal to the Board in September. The proposal will outline new elementary school attendance boundaries to be implemented in the 2023-24 school year. The new elementary boundaries will coincide with the opening of the new Valerius Elementary School.

Event: Elementary Boundary Public Feedback Sessions

Dates: Monday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Location: Urbandale High School Media Center (enter through media center doors)

As previously shared, here are the Board-prioritized elementary boundary criteria, which were informed by survey respondents’ preferences.

Board Prioritized Elementary Boundary Criteria (from most important to least import): Capacity Considerations / Balanced Enrollment, Neighborhoods In Tact, Students Impacted by Boundary / Demographic Considerations, Duration of Boundaries, Transportation Considerations, and Boundary Natural Features

We look forward to welcoming you to the feedback sessions on July 25 and July 26.

Grading for Learning at UHS

UHS will implement Grading for Learning (standards referenced grading) that better communicates a student’s progress of learning toward course outcomes. We will continue to have traditional grades (A, A-, B+, B, etc) and grade point averages for students (4.0 scale that we’ve always had). Students and families will continue to be able to see grades on PowerSchool as in the past. However, they will also now be able to see a more direct tie between the standard the student is learning and the degree to which the student has demonstrated learning around that standard.

One difference from the past will be that grades will now be based on a student’s progress toward a standard on a 4 point scale with 3 being proficient (3 will be an “A”). We will still have A-, B+, B, B-, etc that is correlated to a number (A= 3.0-3.49; B+ = 2.84-2.99; B = 2.67- 2.83, etc). You will not see grades based on a 100, 90, 80, percent scale like many of our classes had been doing. More information will be sent out to families in the coming weeks regarding more details about how we are communicating learning through grading.

School Board Special Election Results

Results of the Urbandale School Board Special Election are as follows:

  • Daniel Gutmann = 1,192 (55.96%)

  • Steve Avis = 936 (43.94%)

  • Write-in = 2 (0.09%)

We thank both candidates for their dedication to UCSD students, staff, and families! #weappreciateU

UCSD Board Director Dan Gutmann

Congratulations to our newest Board member, Dan Gutmann, who participated in a swearing-in ceremony on July 20, 2022. Director Gutmann is now officially a member of the UCSD School Board. #welcomingU

Summer Meals Program Now Offering 2 Options: Grab N’ Go or Eat On Site (June 6 - August 5)

Now Offering 2 Options: Grab N’ Go or Eat On Site
Beginning July 18, 2022, UCSD Nutrition Services will be offering grab and go meals, in addition to on-site meals, at Karen Acres Elementary. Meals are served Monday through Friday. The last day Summer Meals will be served is August 5.

Breakfast 9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

  • Children may take a to-go breakfast with them or eat breakfast on site.

  • Children will still need to come inside Karen Acres to either pick up their to-go breakfast or to eat on site.

Lunch 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

  • Children may take a to-go lunch with them or eat lunch on site (Note: A to-go lunch will only be available during lunch time.).

  • Children may also take a to-go breakfast with them during this time.

  • Children will still need to come inside Karen Acres to either pick up their to-go meals or to eat on site.


Urbandale Community School District is participating in the USDA Summer Food Service Program this summer. The Summer Food Service Program was created to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months when school is not in session and children do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.

Meals will be provided at no charge to all children ages 1 to 18 years. Children do not need to be enrolled in the District. The meals and service provided will be the same for all children regardless of race, creed, color, sex, religion, ethnic background, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or socio-economic background.

Meals will be provided on a first come, first served basis at the following:

  • Site Name: Karen Acres Elementary, 3500 74th St. Urbandale, IA 50322

  • Dates of Operation: June 6, 2022 – August 5, 2022 (no meals served on July 4)

  • Days of Operation: Monday to Friday

  • Breakfast Start & End Serving Times: 9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

  • Lunch Start & End Serving Times: 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • Procedure: Children should enter through the main doors. Children may take meals to go or eat on site (note: see above for information about Grab N’ Go meals). Parents may accompany children while they eat.

Please Note: Summer Meals are being provided for children only. Adults who accompany children are not allowed to eat off children's trays. Thank you for your cooperation.

Join the Urbandale Booster Club

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

Minor School License/School Permit Information

Processing of school permits will now take place at the high school, instead of the District Administration Office, in hopes of making the school permit process more convenient for UHS families. If your student is interested in obtaining a Minor School License, also known as a school permit, please bring this form with section 1 completed to the UHS main office. Any questions, please contact Brittany Hogue hogueb@urbandaleschools.com.

Remember: to qualify for a Minor School License (school permit) the Iowa DOT will verify that students:

  • Have had their Instructional Permit for at least 6 months

  • Have a clean driving record for 6 months

  • Have completed Driver’s Education

  • Live at least 1 mile away from UHS

In addition, information about parking at UHS can be found here.

Order Your J-Hawk Apparel By August 3

Need some new J-Hawk Apparel? Order today from the Urbandale Booster Club’s Fall Order here: Fall Apparel Order Order deadline is Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at 11:59pm.

Save the Date! UHS Distinguished Alumnus Award and Celebration 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!

Design and Construction Progress Update July 2022

Click here for an updated summary of actions that have been taking place for design and construction projects throughout the District.

Join Our Adventuretime Team! Before & After School Associate Positions Now Earning $15.03/hour

Adventuretime offers before and after school programming for preschool – 5th grade students at all UCSD elementary schools. Associate positions are great for parents, retirees, community members, college students, and high school students. Work up to 5 hours per day between the hours of 6:30–9:00 a.m. and/or 3:30–6:00 p.m. Must be 16 years of age or older to apply. Beginning hourly rate is $15.03/hour. Learn more and apply today! Also, check out all UCSD open positions by visiting: urbandaleschools.com/jobs
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2022–2023 School Year Calendars & First Day of School Dates

Please make note of the following dates for the 2022-23 school year. Plus, here are some helpful links to frequently visited topics.

Rolling Green (year-round calendar)

  • The first day of school for Rolling Green K-5 students is Thursday, July 28, 2022

  • The first day of school for Rolling Green preschool students is Monday, August 1, 2022 (which will be a “late start”)

  • Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, all UCSD schools (preschool–12th grades) will have a late start every Monday

  • View quick-view calendars

UCSD (except Rolling Green)

  • The first day of school for UCSD K-12 students (except Rolling Green) is Tuesday, August 23, 2022 (Note: UHS “early out” days will be replaced with a “late start” every Monday beginning in the 2022-23 school year. All UCSD schools, preschool–12th grades, will have a late start every Monday.)

  • The first day of school for Olmsted and Webster preschool students is Thursday, August 25, 2022

  • View quick-view calendars

UCSD Late Start Every Monday: Start Times Per Building

Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, every Monday will be 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. To help with traffic congestion, we'd like to request all students attending the Adventuretime Before School program arrive by 9:15 AM.

Complete an Application for Free & Reduced Meals, plus Fee Waivers

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.

To see if your child(ren) qualifies for free and reduced price meals—plus other benefits such as free or reduced fees for books and materials, driver's education, busing, activities, and other district services—please review the following information.

Complete an Application for Free & Reduced Meals
The 2022-23 Iowa Eligibility Application (also known as Free & Reduced Meals Application) is now open. Even if you completed the 2021-2022 application, you will still need to complete the 2022-2023 application. Only one Iowa Eligibility Application per household is required. 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.

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.

Student Activity Tickets On Sale Now

Purchase your 2022–23 Student Activity Tickets via RevTrak. Please note, Elementary and Senior Passes will be created and mailed in early to mid-August. Middle School and High School SATs will be printed on your student's school ID. Please contact Andrew Olson andrew.olson@j-hawks.com in the Activities Office with any questions. Go J-Hawks!

Join the UCSD School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC)

The Urbandale Community School District School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) consists of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members who learn about and discuss student achievement, programs, and practices. Members of the committee collaborate to develop school and district improvement recommendations for consideration by the School Board.

SIAC typically meets on a quarterly basis from 6:00 p.m.– 7:30 p.m. at the Urbandale High School Media Center. If you would like to participate on this voluntary committee, please email Julie Mitchell mitchellj@urbandaleschools.com by September 1, 2022. Thank you!

UCSD District Office Summer Hours: June 20 – July 22, 2022

From June 20 – July 22, 2022, the UCSD Administration Office will close at 12:00 p.m. on Fridays. Summer programming in UCSD school buildings will continue as scheduled on Fridays as summer hours do not apply to scheduled summer programming.

Administration Office Hours June 20 – July 22
Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Noon)

Contacting Your School During the Summer
Please contact your school principal(s) if you have any school-related questions over the summer. For student registration questions, please contact the District Administration Office.

Activities Office
The Activities Office is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. through the summer. In the event Activities is out of the office on a game field working, they will post a sign with their return time.

Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Grant Program

UCSD is excited to be partnering with Johnston CSD, West Des Moines CSD, and Dallas Center-Grimes CSD as recipients of Governor Reynolds’ new Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Grant Program. Collectively, we have been awarded $3,681,641 in funding for this program.

This program will provide opportunities for current Urbandale High School students and adults to earn their paraeducator certificate and associate's degree. It will also provide current paraeducators an opportunity to earn their bachelor's degree all while working in the classroom. If you are interested in this new program, please contact UCSD Director of Teaching & Learning Mr. Brandon Schrauth schrauthb@urbandaleschools.com

Affordable Connectivity Program

Under the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) authorized within the bipartisan infrastructure law last November, eligible households can receive a $30 per month subsidy to assist with the cost of Internet service to help close the homework gap, accommodate online learning, telemedicine, and other services for families. Families can qualify for the ACP through their participation in other federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and Pell grants. To determine eligibility, households may access details at www.getinternet.gov or https://affordableconnectivity.gov/ A fact sheet is available online at www.fcc.gov/acp.

Adventuretime Before & After School Program Registration For The 2022-23 School Year

Registration for the 2022-23 Adventuretime Before and After School Program began May 11, 2022. Learn more about registering your student.

Register Today! Student Registration For The 2022-23 School Year

We know this is a busy time of year for students and families. Thank you in advance for taking time to register your student(s) for the 2022-23 school year.

Student Registration:

Urbandale Community Invited To Attend U-Fest On August 5

The Urbandale Education Foundation and Urbandale Alumni Association are excited to announce that the third annual U-Fest is set for Friday, August 5, 2022 at the Walker Johnston Softball Diamonds. The event will start at 4:30 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m.

U-Fest is a fun, family-friendly event featuring food trucks, beverages, live music performed by Faculty Lounge and bounce houses among other activities. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships and classroom grants throughout the Urbandale Community School District, providing funds for projects and initiatives not supported within existing school budgets. At last year’s U-Fest, roughly $5,000 was raised as part of the $16,000 awarded for classroom grants for Urbandale educators and $26,000 for scholarships for Urbandale students.

“We are looking forward to hosting another festive U-Fest event in support of our mission to enhance educational opportunities for Urbandale Community School District students, teachers and staff,” said Meribeth Haynes, president of the Urbandale Education Foundation and co-chair of Urbandale Alumni Association. “U-Fest is a great opportunity for the community to enjoy a casual social environment together and alumni to reconnect.”

Admission to U-Fest is $10 for adults 18 and over and $3 for individuals age 13-18. Children 12 and younger will receive free entrance. Admission may be purchased at the event’s gates with cash or card. Entrance fees also include one free drink ticket. Parking will be available off of Douglas Avenue at Walker Johnston Softball Diamonds and on the eastside by the shelter house. The southside by Valerius Elementary will be fenced off and not accessible. Attendees are welcome to bring portable chairs or a blanket to relax and enjoy all of the festivities.

As U-Fest draws closer, please check UrbandaleEducationFoundation.com and UrbandaleAlumni.com often for the latest updates and information regarding this year’s event. RSVP on Facebook!

Register Today! Urbandale Community Education Summer Camp Series

The Urbandale Community Education Summer Camp Series is open for registration.


Choose one of three convenient ways to register:

  1. Online at UrbandaleCommunityEd.com (click on “Register” located in the top navigation on the UCE website)

  2. In person at Urbandale High School (East entrance near stadium)

  3. Mail to Urbandale Community Ed, 7111 Aurora Ave, Urbandale, IA 50322

Be sure to register in a timely manner as classes do have capacity limits.

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:

Looking Ahead for 2022-23 School Year

Full-Time with Benefits:

  • Elementary & Secondary Special Education Teacher positions

  • Math Teacher - Metro West Learning Academy

  • Special Education Associates

  • Nutrition Services Storekeeper/Transport Driver

  • General Workers - Production Kitchen


  • 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

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!

UCSD 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.

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.

Share Your Uplifting Stories/Shout Outs

We’d like to invite you to share your uplifting stories throughout the year. Uplifting stories could include a quick photo/video, a quick recap of a special moment, a shout out to someone in the district, a message of gratitude, a message of hope; anything that uplifts our human spirit. Please email your uplifting message to Dena Claire and your story will be included in an upcoming newsletter. Thank you!

Opt-In “Uplifting Urbandale” Newsletter

This email is sent to UCSD parents/guardians and staff on a bi-weekly basis. If someone you know would like to receive this weekly newsletter, please invite them to Opt-In here. Thank you!

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.