The J-Hawk Experience!

Info you need to know for week of March 4 - March 8!

Message from the principal

With increases in illnesses like the flu in recent weeks, our school nurse, Mrs. Ness, asked that I included this important communication regarding student health and wellness so as to prevent more illnesses from being spread. I also included a couple of reminders below regarding Parent/Teacher Conferences and a college planning event at UHS tomorrow evening. Later in the newsletter, there is also reference to informational sessions being offered by our strength coach at UHS that are open to all regarding athletic performance training.


Tim Carver




From Mrs. Ness:

"Illnesses and Missing School

It is always difficult to determine when your student is ill enough to stay home from school and when your student should attend. We find there is a positive correlation between good attendance in school and success in learning.

While most illnesses do not require exclusion from school, there are times when students should not be here. The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Education suggest these criteria in determining when a student may be temporarily excluded.

Temporary exclusion from school is recommended when:

  • The illness prevents the student from participating comfortably in activities as observed by the school staff.

  • The illness results in a greater need for care than the school staff determines they can provide without compromising their ability to care for other students.

  • The student has the following conditions, unless a health professional determines the student’s condition does not require exclusion.

    • The student appears severely ill; may include lethargy, lack of responsiveness, irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, or quickly spreading rash.

    • Fever (temperature above 100 degrees F orally) and behavior change or other signs and symptoms, such as a sore throat, rash, vomiting, or diarrhea. Fever as a single symptom may not be a valid reason for exclusion.

Students should be fever free, without the use of medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.

When calling your student in ill, it is helpful to know the student’s name, your name, and the symptoms of the illness, such as fever, sore throat, vomiting, etc.

As always, good hand washing, a healthy diet, and a good night’s sleep are our best defenses against illness.

We encourage you to visit with your student’s school nurse if you have further questions or concerns."

I also wanted to put out another reminder about our final night of Parent/Teacher Conferences. I hope to see you all there!

"Parent/Teacher Conferences

Our 2nd round of parent/teacher conferences will take place on Monday, March 4th, from 4:00-8:15pm in the UHS Commons (lunchroom). Our traditional Parent/Teacher Conferences offer families two opportunities to connect with teachers and school staff in a more face-to-face way.

I have attached a link to the teacher dinner schedule here. Here is a link to the list of the teachers who will be not be available some or all of the time because of coaching or other extra curricular responsibilities.

We welcome all family members and students to come be a part of these opportunities for connecting and improving our partnership aimed at helping improve students' overall experience and learning."

Also regarding tomorrow night, the UHS Counseling Department asked that I include this timely message about a special presentation concerning college planning that's going on tomorrow evening at the UHS Library Media Center.

From UHS Counseling:

"Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) Presentations

You are invited to attend the following ICAN presentations on Monday, March 4, 2019, in the UHS Media Center:

6:00-7:00 p.m. Career and College Planning

This presentation, for parents and students in grades 9-11, will focus on college planning and preparing for the next step after high school.

7:00-8:00 p.m. Financial Aid

This presentation, for parents and students in grades 11-12, will be geared towards paying for college and specifically the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

ICAN offers Career and College Planning Assistance at no charge. Call (877) 272-4692 or visit for more information.

We hope to see you Monday evening.

UHS Counseling Office"

Parent Survey -- UHS feedback requested

UCSD is committed to engaging our parents and families in every child’s education. To continue our journey to excellence in this area, we gather data from stakeholders to determine where we are as a district and to set and act on realistic, measurable goals for continuous improvement.

The Parent Satisfaction Survey allows parents to provide feedback on their experience with their child’s school. Please communicate with your parents in the most effective way and ask them to complete this short survey (about 10 minutes).

The survey can be accessed online at this link: Urbandale Parent Satisfaction Survey.


Be Present. UHS attendance rate for the past week of school.

UHS attendance - 92%

This is a reminder that if a student has an unexcused absence for any period, our automated system will be sending out a call as well as an email as means to notifying you of the absence. If you feel it is in error, please contact Mrs. Chavez in our attendance office at 457-6805.

Student Announcements and Day 1/ Day 2 for the week

Stay updated on daily student announcements for the past week by clicking here.

This week Monday, March 4, is a Day 2. Tuesday, March 5, is a Day 1. Block days are a Day 2. Friday is a Day 1.

UHS Strength and Conditioning offering two information sessions

Pete Traynor, Director of Strength and Conditioning will offer two information sessions for students currently in grades 8-11 and their parents as well as all coaches on Thursday, March 7, 2019, and Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 7:00pm in the Urbandale High School Performing Arts Center. These identical information sessions are designed to provide students, parents, and coaches with an overview of our Athletic Performance Program and will touch on strength training, conditioning, recovery, outside work, nutrition, overuse, and more. Please make plans to attend one of these two sessions to learn more about the great things Coach Traynor is doing with our students. Each session will last approximately one hour.
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Scholarships -- Rotary Club Scholoarship and more

UHS Seniors,

Please be sure you are going to UHS Counseling website at and clicking on the "Scholarship Info!" link in the middle of the page to sign up for scholarships. Below, we have highlighted one of those potential scholarship opportunities.

Once again the Rotary Club of Northwest Des Moines is asking for your assistance in getting the word out. We will be sponsoring two students to attend a leadership conference this summer, July 14-19 at Grinnell College. High school sophomores and juniors (2018-19 school year) may apply. Generally, applicants selected have excelled in one or more areas of high school involvement, have proven leadership experience or have shown leadership potential. Applicants must be able to stay for all 6 days of the conference.

Students may apply

Applications are due April 30, 2019.

Please help us get the word out. If you would like me to come and talk with you and/or students about this amazing all expenses paid conference please email me.

Students and/or parents with questions may call me at 515-681-4327 or email me at

Senior graduation and senior pictures

UHS graduation for the Class of 2019 will be on Wednesday, May 29th, at 7:00pm at the Drake University Knapp Center.

UHS senior pictures to be included in the yearbook are due to Mrs. Oda-Lawler by March 14th. Link to more information about senior pictures in the yearbook.

Link to the senior Baby Advertisement for the yearbook

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Post Prom - parent sign up info

I'm sending this out on behalf of our volunteer parents who are organizing Post Prom again this year.

"Calling all UHS Parents:

Please join our 2019 Post Prom Committee with planning and hosting a safe, fun-filled night for UHS Juniors, Seniors and their dates! This year's Post Prom will be held on Saturday, May 11th. We are looking for several Committee Chairs to shadow/assist our current Chairpersons for the 2019 Post Prom and then to take over for the 2020 Post Prom. We are also looking for many Committee members to assist our current Committee Chairs. See link below:

Urbandale Post Prom is a Nonprofit organization solely ran by parent volunteers and funded by parent donations, fundraising, and registration fees. Also, with the cooperation and support of UHS, which provides us a free, safe, and chaperoned place to host this event."

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UHS Student Clubs & Organizations...get involved!

The UHS Counseling Office recently released the list of Student Clubs & Organizations for the 2018-19 school year. Here is the link to the list of UHS clubs. All students are encouraged to get involved one or more club/organization that aligns with a passion or interest.
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UHS Athletics and Activities for the week! Go J-Hawks!!

Click here for link to for upcoming events this week. Go J-Hawks!!

Message Monday - Transportation Matters for Iowa

Message Monday - Life is a highway - drive safely all day long from the Iowa Department of Transportation

Shout Outs

Girls basketball competes hard at state tournament!! UHS students out in force to cheer them on!

The Urbandale Girls Basketball Team advanced to the State tournament, playing Johnston in a hard fought game that saw the J-Hawks leading at half but then getting edged out by the end of the game. The UHS student body was out in full force, cheering and encouraging on the girls in a positive way along with the UHS Cheer Squad. Congratulations to Coach Tennal and his staff along with all of the girls for a very successful year!!

A special "shout out" goes to UHS senior, Dee Dee Pryor, who scored her 1000th point during the game. She is just the second girls UHS basketball player to eclipse 1000 points in a career. Great job, Dee Dee!

Urbandale Singers perform at the American Choral Directors Association national conference in Kansas City!

Congratulations to the Urbandale Singers for their hard work and dedication in performing at the 2019 ACDA National Conference in Kansas City on Friday, March 1st. This event brought together high school and college vocal music directors and performers from all over the country and from around the world. Being selected to sing at this event is a great honor.

On Friday, the Urbandale Singers sang before a packed house at the famed Kauffman Center's Helzberg Hall at 2:00pm then again in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at 5:15pm. Special thanks also goes to Mr. Brimeyer for not only directing this tremendous group but also for helping to secure this well deserved honor for our top vocal group! Great work, Singers!!

Pictured here are the members of this year's Urbandale Singers along with Mr. Brimeyer.

J-Hawks compete at Quiz Bowl Winter Open

On Saturday, February 16th, Alec Albrecht (not pictured), Cole Janssen, Damon Drury, Quinten Burnett, and Blake Arntzen comprised a team for Urbandale High School to compete in the Iowa Quiz Bowl League's Winter Open at Ankeny Southview Middle School. Congratulations to the team for representing our school and to Alec for scoring well enough to be named part of the All-Tournament Team.

UHS Academic Decathlon competes at state!

The UHS Academic Decathlon team competed at the state event over the weekend in the large school division. They represented UHS well and had lots of success. Some of that came through individual competitions. Specfically, Ben Moeckly won a scholarship for the senior essay in the large school division. Also, Teona Rainey and Cole Janssen took home individual awards. Thanks also to Mrs. Forristall for her coaching. Congratulations to all of our decathletes!!

Mrs. Steel recognized as Hero in Education by Rotary Club!

Mrs. Steel, one of special education teachers, was recognized by the NW Des Moines Rotary Club for the Hero in Education award.

Congratulations, Mrs. Steel!

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UHS student leaders and staff members speak to UMS 8th graders at "What To Expect Night"

UHS student leaders along with UHS staff members spoke to a large group of current UMS 8th graders and their families about transitioning to high school. The UHS Cheer Squad started things off with the UHS fight song and then Jacob Sammon, UHS student body president, served as the master of ceremonies. All involved represented UHS very well and left a positive message and impact on 8th students and their families.

Learning around UHS

African American Read-In in the LMC

As part of African-American History Month, the UHS Library Media Center hosted an African American Read-In. Teachers were able to sign up their class to come to the library if they chose that day to be a part of this event. At the start of each period, Ms. Watson and Ms. Fullmer introduced students to two African American Authors and read a short poem or excerpt from an African American author. Once complete, students were asked to select a book from the display or their table (the library staff had a selection of books on the tables in the LMC ready to go) to read for the remainder of the period. At the end of the period, students had the chance to share about their book or short story with their table.

2019 Rube Goldberg Physics Projects

Physics students have completed their Rube Goldberg Physics Projects. Enjoy viewing them! Pictured here are members of the winning team from 2018.

UCSD interpreter shares cancer survivor experience

Last week Mrs. Hammerand’s first period biology students got to interview district interpreter Selina Hamilton about her cancer story. Students interviewed her in English and then in Spanish. This was a part of the Biology Quarter 3 Investigation. It was great for our kids to be able to talk to a real cancer survivor, and that some of our kids got to conduct the interview in their native language.

New #UHSREADS posters go up around the building!

Ms. Watson and members of various UHS activities and clubs have joined forces again to create posters highlighting the UHS initiative started by Mrs. Smith and Ms. Watson #UHSREADS to encourage students and staff to read.

Guest speaker in Mr. Davis' Consumer Math class

Bryan Rowland from State Savings Bank came to speak to my Consumer Math class about credit and credit cards.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Monday, March 4th, 4-8:15pm

7111 Aurora Avenue

Urbandale, IA

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