Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 12.21.22 #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.

Take A Listen! Rolling Green 5th Grade Podcast “Urbandale Memory Masters”

Rolling Green 5th grade English Language Learner (ELL) students are honing their broadcasting skills with their latest innovative project—the “Urbandale Memory Masters” podcast. Rolling Green ELL Teacher Laura Beth Vander Ploeg was awarded a Making A Difference Grant from the Urbandale Schools and Alumni Foundation (URBSAF) which provided the ability to purchase podcast equipment. Developing the podcast directly supports the work taking place in the EL program as students continue working on their language acquisition through reading, writing, listening and speaking. The students were thrilled to have recently completed their first episode about the history of Rolling Green. What a fantastic project—take a listen! Stand-alone Link or Spotify Link #empoweringU
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2023–24 Preschool & Kindergarten Pre-Registration Opens January 24

Preschool Pre-Registration Opens at 6:00 p.m. January 24, 2023
Save the Date! Preschool Pre-Registration will begin online at 6:00 p.m. January 24, 2023. Click here to review detailed Preschool Pre-Registration Information for the 2023–2024 school year. Please note: Preschool Pre-Registration will not only pre-register your student, but will play a key role in determining facility and programming needs for the 2023–2024 school year. Pre-registering your student does not guarantee your student a spot in the Urbandale Preschool Program. Once all facility and programming decisions are confirmed, you will be contacted regarding your acceptance into the Urbandale Preschool Program by April 14, 2023.

Kindergarten Pre-Registration Opens January 24, 2023

Kindergarten Pre-Registration for the 2023–2024 school year will begin online on January 24, 2023. We'll share more information here once Kindergarten Pre-Registration opens. Please note: Kindergarten students must be residents of the Urbandale Community School District or file the appropriate paperwork. Please see the section of our website about Open Enrollment if you do not live within district boundaries. View the UCSD elementary boundary map beginning in the 2023–2024 school year. To be eligible for kindergarten a child must be 5 years old by September 15, 2023.
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UHS Seniors: Apply For Scholarships By April 1, 2023

Attention UHS SENIORS: Applications are now being accepted for the Urbandale Dollars for Scholars scholarship program! Scholarships will be awarded to graduating UHS seniors. Many scholarships will be available and students can apply for multiple scholarships with just one profile and application! Scholarships to be awarded include, but may not be limited to:

  • Dollars for Scholars – Merit-based (multiple to be awarded)

  • Dollars for Scholars – Need and Merit-based (multiple to be awarded)

  • Dollars for Scholars – Trades

  • George & Helen Newsom Scholarship – Need and Merit-based (two $2,500 awards to one male and one female student)

  • Richard L Haynes Memorial Scholarship – Merit-based (one $1,000 award for (grand)child of a military veteran or servicemember)

  • Urbandale Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship – Merit-based (award(s) for (grand)child of an Urbandale High School alumnus)

Students and parents can learn more by clicking HERE. Last year, Urbandale Dollars for Scholars awarded $18,600 in scholarship awards to graduating UHS seniors!

UMS Winter Door Decorating Contest—Prepare To Be WOWED

Urbandale Middle School students and teachers are collaborating to create the most creative winter-themed classroom doors they can imagine! Students and teachers are participating in a Winter Door Decorating Contest as part of their U-time classes. All classrooms are welcome to participate. Students are driving the creativity for this project by deciding on the design and doing all of the construction of each door. Teachers are providing materials and guidance for what types of items fit within a winter theme (non-holiday) design. Students who construct the winning door for each grade level will get to choose having a pizza party or ice cream party. UMS Art Teachers Mol Eisen and Will Warren are the judges in the competition.

The idea for the contest came from 6th grade student, Mireille Isumbelo, who shared her experience doing a similar activity in elementary school and was interested in recreating it at the middle school. That idea turned into a school-wide competition with students and teachers building positive relationships as they collaborate on absolutely incredible design ideas.

What a wonderful project for creating a fun and festive school community as students and staff head into winter break. Be sure to check out a sampling of more door designs here—many made us chuckle with their wit and humor! #empoweringU #UMSpride

Valerius Students Are “Breaking Out With Confidence”

What do solving puzzles, deciphering codes, and rearranging positive messages all have in common? They’re part of the fun, engaging, and meaningful activities Valerius Elementary 5th grade students participated in during their self-awareness unit in guidance. Valerius Counselor Liz Donner developed the “Breaking Out With Confidence” activity as a way to promote self-confidence. Similar to “breakout rooms,” students were given the opportunity to work together as a team to solve challenging puzzles and complex codes. Students would complete one puzzle and then move on to the next; the segments were timed and teams competed with each other to “break out” or finish all of the puzzles before time ran out. Students learned they could achieve difficult things by working together toward a common goal.

"I liked this activity because it challenged me and I worked with Stella instead of on my own," said Valerius 5th grade student Zoey C.

Helping each other overcome obstacles, searching for viable answers, and encouraging one another to keep going are all important life skills that were strengthened during this fun-filled activity. Many thanks to Valerius Counselor Liz Donner for this terrific activity that brought learning to life! Well-done! #empoweringU

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Bob Brown Chevrolet Donates Nearly $5,000 In Winter Weather Gear To Support UCSD Students

Many thanks to the Bob Brown Chevrolet team who donated nearly $5,000 in winter weather gear that included 71 pairs of winter boots, 85 pairs of mittens, 31 pairs of gloves and 41 snow pants for a total of 228 items. Students throughout the district who are in need of hats, gloves, mittens, boots, or snow pants will now be all set to enjoy the winter weather. We appreciate this incredibly generous donation that will do so much good for so many students. Thank you, Bob Brown Chevrolet, for helping keep our students warm. We are #thankful4U!

Pictured Left to Right: Bob Brown Chevrolet Executive Assistant and Accounts Receivables Dianne Schiltz, Olmsted Elementary Facilitator of Family Outreach Joelly Scheff, Bob Brown Chevrolet General Manager Tim Manning, UCSD Superintendent Dr. Rosalie Daca, Bob Brown Chevrolet Customer Experience Director Caitlin Weirich, and UCSD Coordinator of Student, Family & Community Services Michele Hamilton. Not pictured, but integral to this project: Bob Brown Chevrolet team members Bryce Manning, Erik Palmer, and Mackenzie Armstrong; UCSD Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Ryan Williamson and all UCSD Facilitators of Family Outreach.

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Rolling Green 3rd Grade Students Hone Their Entrepreneurial Skills

Rolling Green 3rd Grade Teacher Christina Piscitello was awarded a Making A Difference Grant from the Urbandale Schools and Alumni Foundation (URBSAF) to support third grade students in learning how to create, market, and run a business as part of their business study project. Students created MacraChains (braidchains and rainchains) in order to sell them at school for $3.00 each.

Students learned all the many facets of running a business as they developed advertising and sent out a survey to teachers in order to schedule time to visit each classroom to provide a sneak peek at sample products. Students posted MacraChain Lane posters around the school to drum up excitement for the sale. On the day of the sale, 3rd grade students also served as “shuttle buses" as they went to classrooms of younger students to pick up students to visit the sale and safely walked them back to class afterward. All proceeds from the sale will benefit Florida schools affected by Hurricane Ian.

What an outstanding project for 3rd grade students to lead and involve the entire school community! Incredibly well-done! #empoweringU

New Class Offerings With Urbandale Community Education

Urbandale Community Ed is excited to offer new classes in Science, Engineering, and Robotics. Your student can also learn Spanish, Chess, and Art in fun and engaging classes offered at UCSD elementary schools. Check out urbandalecommunityed.com for all of our new classes for any age. Don't forget to come back in March when the Summer Camp Series is released for all of the fun camps and clinics offered here in Urbandale!

What Parents Need To Know About Fentanyl—Community Forum January 17

Urbandale Community School District is hosting a community forum regarding the dangers of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorneys Mallory Weiser and MacKenzie Tubbs will share critical information about counterfeit pills, warning signs, NARCAN, and how social media is impacting distribution. Attendees will also gain an understanding of Des Moines metro area statistics on seizures of fentanyl, drug cases, and overdoses. The forum is the next session in the District’s “Parent University” program. All metro area public or private school parents and guardians are welcome to attend this free event.

  • Event: What Parents Need To Know About Fentanyl Community Forum
  • Time/Date: 6:30 p.m. January 17, 2023
  • Location: Urbandale High School, Performing Arts Center, 7111 Aurora Avenue
  • Attendees: All metro area parents and guardians
  • Tickets: No tickets necessary; free admission
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Reminder: No School Dates Winter Break 2022

Please make note of the following dates over winter break when school will not be in session.


  • Thursday, December 22 through Monday, January 2: No school due to Winter Break. Learn more about the Winter Break Adventuretime All Day Program for preschool – 5th grade students.

  • Friday, December 23; Monday, December 26; Monday, January 2: District Administration Office closed due to Winter Break.

  • Tuesday, January 3: School resumes for all UCSD students.

Rolling Green Elementary (only)

  • Wednesday, December 21: No school due to Winter Break. (Note: Rolling Green’s Winter Break begins one day earlier than all other UCSD schools.)

Year-Round Learning—Year-Round Fun! Learn More About Our Year-Round Elementary School

Take a few moments to listen to what our students, parents, and teachers have to say about our year-round elementary school! Any family living within the UCSD boundaries, or outside the UCSD boundaries, can choose to attend our year-round elementary school. Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, the year-round program will move to Karen Acres Elementary. Bus transportation is available anywhere within district boundaries outside of the walk zone. We would love the opportunity to share more about our year-round school with you and all it has to offer your child and family. Please reach out to Principal Dania Wilson to learn more.
Year-Round School: A Wonderful Place To Learn

Cancellations & Delays

When UCSD needs to delay, dismiss early, or cancel school due to inclement weather or emergency situations, UCSD will notify families directly via email, phone, and text*, post an alert on the district website, district Facebook, district Twitter, and communicate with media outlets (WHO 13, KCCI 8, WOI 5). Please make note of the following two-hour delay, early dismissal and cancellation information. Be sure to keep your contact information updated with your school in order to stay aware, updated, and informed. *SMS (text): Parents/guardians can opt-in at any time to receive text messages by texting “Y” or “YES” to 67587. The “67587” number is the “short code” that connects to our notification provider, School Messenger.

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. Our newly posted positions include: Elementary Special Education Teacher (Karen Acres/Valerius) and Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (Webster) Learn More

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.

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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.