Return To Learn

Urbandale CSD Weekly Update: July 31, 2020

We invite you to read the Urbandale CSD Return To Learn weekly newsletter. The newsletter will be sent every Friday focusing on a handful of brief but informative topics related to our 2020-21 school year. Newsletters will be archived on the Return To Learn section of the district website. Please make note of the “translate newsletter” option which can be accessed by clicking on the "View it in your browser" link at the top of this page. Thank you for helping us create a safe, healthy, and welcoming learning environment!

Remote Classroom: Sign Up By August 3

For families who do not want their children in a school building this year, families can choose the Remote Classroom option. Students would complete all coursework from home with online instruction with district teachers. Families can sign up one semester at a time. Learn more about Remote Classroom by viewing the Town Hall Meeting video or reviewing the Town Hall Meeting presentation. Sign up by August 3 for the first semester by completing this form.

Town Hall Meeting 7/30/20 (virtual)

Thank you to all of our families, staff, and community members who attended our virtual Town Hall Meeting. The meeting is posted on our YouTube Channel and can be accessed here. The presentation is posted on the Return To Learn section of our site; here is a direct link to the presentation.

Rolling Green Instructional Model: Next Steps

Given that various public health metrics indicate that our community is experiencing a high level of community spread of COVID-19, we are planning to follow the guidance and recommendations provided by the Polk County Health Department which is for Rolling Green to continue operating in the Required Continuous Learning Instructional Model (online). During the July 29 School Board meeting, the Board approved the District pursuing permission for Rolling Green to continue in the Required Continuous Learning model after the current permission from the Iowa Department of Education (DE) expires on August 6. We submitted our request to the Department of Education on July 30 and will keep you informed of their response. There is Special School Board Meeting scheduled for August 3.

Hybrid Instructional Model Update

On 7/29, School Board approved the following revised Hybrid model:

  • Two groups of students for in-person instruction

  • Designated days for instruction:

    • Group “A” attends in person on Tue/Thurs

    • Group “B” attends in person on Wed/Fri

    • Mondays alternate - Group “A” one week; Group “B” the next week

    • Siblings will be kept on the same schedule unless a specific request from a family is made not to do that.

  • Maintain late starts as indicated in approved school calendar (preK-8) & early outs (UHS)

    • Late starts move to Mondays so as not to disproportionately impact one group of students

    • Professional learning for staff

    • PLC and collaboration time for staff

  • Rationale for this hybrid model:

    • Consistency for families who need to find childcare on non-school days

    • Will work to balance classes to ensure as close to 50% maximum capacity as possible - improves ability to social distance

    • Thorough daily cleaning protocols to provide the healthiest possible learning environment.

Return To Learn Protocols

In order to align our instructional delivery model with the current state of public health, we will be working closely with the Polk County Health Department (PCHD) to determine the best approach for delivering instruction, while maintaining the health and safety of our students, staff, and community throughout the 2020-21 school year. To help our students, families & staff be prepared, we’ve developed the following elementary, middle school, and high school protocols. Be aware, these protocols are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. For questions specific to your school, please contact your school principal.

Response To Positive Cases

  • When an individual (student/staff) presents with symptoms while at school, we will immediately isolate the individual and have them go home as soon as possible to consult with their medical provider.

  • When we learn of a positive case, we will implement the following protocols:

    • We will then be working directly with the Polk County Health Department (PCHD) communicable disease team on the immediate steps we need to take in regard to the length of quarantine required for those that test positive and are close contacts. They will proceed with an investigation of the contacts and make recommendations regarding others who need to quarantine based on the degree of contact with the person who tested positive and when they were last in contact.

    • As a part of that investigation, we’ll provide info to PCHD about adherence to mitigation strategies such as cohorting, when and where they were wearing a mask, how long the contacts were, and any other questions PCHD may have that will help them determine the scope of the individuals or groups that need to be recommended for quarantine.

    • For those that are considered to be close contacts, they will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days after last exposure and monitor their health and any symptoms closely.

    • We will be in ongoing communication with all who test positive and close contacts to make sure they don’t come back to work/school until they are healthy, symptom free, and cleared to come back.

    • There will also be a process followed to communicate pertinent information, maintaining confidentiality, to the appropriate groups that are directly impacted by the positive case.

Posting Photos/Videos of Online Learning

To help ensure we are honoring the privacy preferences of all families and keeping our students and staff safe while operating in an online learning environment, please do not post photos or videos online (including social media) of your student’s classroom (or your classroom if you are a student) that is meeting virtually via Zoom. If you would like to take a photo/video of your child participating in online learning and share that photo/video, be sure that the photo/video does not capture the actual Zoom screen in the photo as the screen may contain images and names of other students and teachers. Thank you for helping us to maintain a safe online learning environment.

Governor Reynold’s July 30 Press Conference

We are currently in the process of reviewing materials shared by the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Department of Public Health during Governor Reynold’s press conference on July 30. We will make updates to our plans if the new content requires us to do so and we will communicate those updates with you. For now, here are several key areas that were mentioned:


In addition, the document shared by the Governor and Iowa Department of Education (DE) yesterday is causing a bit of confusion for school leaders, the media, and families due to its use of the term “hybrid.” On the materials provided by the DE, it states “Hybrid Learning as necessary based on parent or guardian preference”.


What this means in Urbandale CSD is that parents/guardians have the choice of selecting either Path 1 (which includes On-Site, Hybrid, Required Continuous Learning) or Path 2: Remote Classroom. It does NOT mean that the UCSD Hybrid Instructional Model (Tuesday/Thursday Group, Wednesday/Friday Group, and alternating Mondays) is a parent choice as this model is a component of Path 1—not a choice within Path 1.


Thus, there are two paths parents/guardians may select from for the 2020-21 school year which include:

  1. Path 1: (On-Site, Hybrid, Required Continuous Learning) When parents register their children for school, children are automatically registered for this Path.

  2. Path 2: (Remote Classroom) When parents register their children for school and would like to select this Path, parents must complete this form by Monday, August 3 in order for your child to participate in the Remote Classroom.

Timeline

  • July 23: Rolling Green first day of class; Iowa Department of Education (DE) approved the District’s request to begin the RG school year in the Required Continuous Learning (RCL) model.

  • July 29: School Board approved the District pursuing permission for Rolling Green to continue in RCL model after the current permission expires on 8/06.

  • July 30: District requesting permission from DE for RG to continue in RCL.

  • August 3: Special School Board Meeting.

  • August 3: Deadline to sign up for Remote Classroom.

  • August 10: School Board will receive recommendation from the District for which instructional model to begin the school year in for the first day of class on August 25.

  • August 11: District will inform all families & staff what instructional model the School Board approved to begin our school year on August 25.

  • August 25: First day of school (Traditional Calendar & Remote Classroom)

Mandatory Face Mask Guidance

All Urbandale CSD staff, K-12 students, vendors, visitors, and spectators are required to wear a cloth face mask (2-ply) while in district buildings and when riding a school bus. Cloth face masks are recommended for preschool students, but not required. Please review this Face Mask Guidance for Families & Staff that shares information about how to properly wear, wash, and dry a face mask as well as answers to several questions. Exceptions will be made for medical conditions or special circumstances. If your student has a medical condition or a special circumstance, please complete this form by August 10th.

Chromebook Distribution Agreement

We’ll be providing a Chromebook to all kindergarten through 12th grade students. In order to make that happen, please take a few minutes to read and discuss each item included within this Chromebook Distribution Agreement (note: English, Spanish, Bosnian, and Hakha Chin languages included below):


Please indicate your agreement with each item by checking the boxes for both parent(s)/ guardian(s) and student. Checking each box will constitute an electronic signature which indicates your intention to comply with the terms outlined in the agreement. Complete one agreement for each student. Please complete the agreement(s) at your earliest convenience.

Internet Service

We’re providing families Internet service who do not currently have Internet at home due to the cost of service being a barrier. Options for service are included in the survey. Please complete this survey (one survey per address) to indicate your need for obtaining Internet service at home. (Note: If you signed up for Internet access this past spring, you do not need to sign up again; your Internet service will continue through the 2020-21 school year.) If you are in need of Internet service, please complete the survey at your earliest convenience.

Join Our Team

The employees in any school organization represent the most important resource for providing a quality educational program to the students it serves. It is the goal of the Urbandale Human Resources Department to recruit, select, and support the very best available candidates; promote employee/employer relations; and develop a culture in which optimum staff performance and satisfaction are encouraged and created.

  • Are you interested in making a positive difference in the lives of Urbandale students?

  • Do you enjoy building relationships and helping others reach their potential?

  • Are you looking for a meaningful position within an organization who values equity, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, we’d love to hear from you! Click here for available job openings.

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