Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 2.10.23 #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.

Roaring Into The New Year

In honor of the Chinese New Year, Adventuretime students at Karen Acres created a 13 foot long dragon made out of paper plates, straws, cardstock, ping pong balls, feathers, strings, and streamers. Each student decorated their own section of the dragon by adding their own personal touches such as their favorite colors or something that signified themselves. This project also gave students the opportunity to practice collaborative team building when assembling the dragon. Great job, KA Adventuretime! #proudofU

Olmsted Students Show How Much They “CARES”

Every month, four Olmsted Elementary students are nominated by their teachers for showing CARES—cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-regulation—in the classroom. On February 6, four CARES Awards were given out to every Kindergarten and 1st Grade classroom. Interim Principal Jolee Donnelly and Dean of Students Kara Paulson announced the nominated students by reading a description of how the students showed CARES throughout the month. Classmates loved to clap and cheer on their friends as they received the awards. The CARES Award presentation is always a special moment for the students to be recognized for their hard work! #OlmstedCARES #OlmstedPride More Photos

View The “We Are Iowa News 5” Story About The Rolling Green 5th Grade Podcast “Urbandale Memory Masters”

Our Rolling Green 5th grade students had a blast sharing about their exceptional work creating the Urbandale Memory Masters podcast with We Are Iowa Ch 5 News. View the Ch 5 story and learn more/view photos about the great work of these outstanding students and inspirational teacher. #RGpride

“BINGO!”— A Fun Filled Night At Valerius

Valerius (at Jensen) held their annual Bingo Night on Saturday, January 28th. This was a free event for all families at Valerius to enjoy. All bingo winners were able to take home a book that had been purchased by the PTO. This annual tradition is a great way to bring together students and families in the community! #ValeriusPride More Photos

Plan On Attending: Parent University February 21

Interested in learning more about potentially dangerous apps for children, the UCSD Extended Learning Program, Illustrative Mathematics, social emotional learning, special education, and our multilingual neighbors? How about talking directly with the Superintendent and School Board members? Then plan on attending Parent University on February 21, 2023. All UCSD parents/guardians are welcome to attend these free sessions. No registration required. Learn More

Sounds Of Mexico: Metro West Students Get To Show Off Their Musical Talents

Metro West students enjoyed listening to the musical talents of CultureAll Ambassador R.J. Hernandez during their third week of the CultureALL workshop focusing on the sounds of Mexico. With his extensive knowledge of music, from having been in a band for 30+ years, he was able to provide students an engaging and fun lesson about different instruments that are used in Mexican music. Students had the opportunity to join in on the fun by playing guitars, sticks, and maracas. What an exciting way to learn about Mexican music—it was definitely music to our ears! #MWpride More Photos

Opt-In To Receive Text Message Notifications

In addition to receiving notifications via email and phone, parents, guardians, and staff can opt-in at any time to receive text message notifications by texting “Y” or “YES” to 67587. The “67587” number is the “short code” that connects to our notification provider, School Messenger.

100 Days Of Learning—100 Days Of Fun

Our kindergarten students celebrated their 100th day of school on January 30th. Students from Karen Acres, Valerius (at Jensen), and Webster celebrated by participating in various activities involving everything 100—sorting, counting, playing games, and eating snacks. All while being dressed up as 100 year olds. That’s the beautiful thing about learning—we can do it at any age! #UCSDpride More Photos

Urbandale Apparel At Hy-Vee

We are proud to announce that Urbandale J-Hawk apparel is now available for purchase at the Urbandale Hy-Vee. Check it out TODAY!
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UHS CORE Students Share Insights During Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, students from Urbandale High School who are part of CORE (Community of Racial Equity) are visiting Urbandale elementary schools in celebration of Black History Month. On February 3rd, CORE students visited Karen Acres and enjoyed reading books and presenting highlights of Black culture, history, and inventions. This was a great opportunity for our “little” J-Hawks to learn from our “big” J-Hawks in recognition of Black History Month. #empoweringU #UHSpride #KApride More Photos

UHS Academic Decathlon Team Takes 2nd Place At Regional Competition Plus 27 Individual Awards

Congratulations to the Urbandale High School Academic Decathlon team for earning Second Place at the Central Iowa Regional competition held on January 26-27, where they competed in academic events related to the theme The American Revolution and the New Nation. The Regional teams studied challenging materials to test their academic strength in Art, Music, Literature, Economics, Science, Social Science, Math, Speech, and Interviews. An outstanding 27 individual awards went to 13 members of the teams, which consisted of Alice Tsao (captain), Joseph Sibley, Will Jacobson, Natasha Mills, Brannen Kent, Tyler Nguyen, Elias Bethards, Aldin Omerovic, Bellah McFarlane, Miranda Stiggers, Ruby Boina, Cung Mang, Ethan Huynh, Lilly Hill, Paige Scudder, Alex Belcher, Yaritza Escareno, and Naomy Arechiga-Melendez. Learn More

Urbandale Spring Apparel—Order By March 2

Urbandale Spring Apparel is now available for purchase! Please visit this link to place an order. All orders must be placed by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, 2023. Questions may be directed to Adam Fraher at adam.fraher@j-hawks.com.

Global Learning Opportunities: Metro West Students Learn About African Traditions

For the second week of the Metro West Learning Academy CultureALL workshop, students learned more about African culture. They learned that there are over 3,000 tribes and thousands of languages spoken within Africa. The ambassador, who is from the Luhya Tribe in Kenya, taught students African words, displayed different types of beads made out of shells, seeds, and bones, and had students participate in African dancing. This lesson was a unique way for students to learn more about different traditions across Africa. Thank you to the Metro West team for bringing global learning opportunities to students! More Photos #MWpride

Having A Blast With Their Class: UMS 7th Grade Class Party

On January 27, 7th grade students got to party with their peers with an afternoon celebration. Students enjoyed each other’s company through games, snacks, and gym activities. This was a great way for 7th grade students to socialize and spend quality time with their friends. Way to go, UMS! More Photos #UMSpride

Celebrating Black History Month Throughout February 2023

Black History Month is an annual celebration and recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments of Black Americans. Black History Month began in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a renowned Black American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher, and was originally referred to as “Negro History Week.” It became a month-long annual celebration first acknowledged by the U.S. Government in 1976 under the leadership of President Gerald Ford. Since 1976, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. The celebration is held in February in order to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln; both men having made positive and lasting contributions to the lives of Black Americans. (Source: History.com, Black History Month, January 2010) Join us in celebrating #BlackHistory throughout February. We encourage you to set aside time to learn more about our collective American History by viewing, reading, and listening to these resources. We honor, support, and lift up Black voices everywhere. #empoweringU

Urbandale Residents to Vote on U-Plex in March

On Tuesday, March 7, a special election will be held for Urbandale voters to consider this question: “Shall the City of Urbandale, Iowa, issue its General Obligation Bonds or Capital Loan Notes in an amount not exceeding the amount of $43,000,000 for the purpose of designing, constructing, equipping, and furnishing a new community recreation complex, with related recreational site improvements?”

The U-Plex, short for Urbandale Community Recreation Complex, is a conceptual indoor and outdoor community gathering place set in the Walnut Creek Regional Park. Indoor facility features include a walking track, three gym courts, an indoor playground, community rental space, and multiple rooms for recreational programming. Outdoor features include pickleball courts, a splash pad, a regional playground, outdoor programming space and shaded gathering spaces. Learn more, view renderings, and watch videos about the project here.

Celebrating National School Counseling Week February 6 – 10, 2023

National School Counseling Week 2023,“Helping Students Dream Big,” highlights the essential contribution of school counselors within our school systems and the tremendous impact they have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. UCSD counselors go to extraordinary lengths to ensure every student feels seen, heard, and understood. When faced with a challenge, our counselors always find a way to help students overcome obstacles in order to keep moving forward. Please reach out to your school counselor(s) today and share your gratitude for the important role they have played in your life or your child’s life. We know that as a District, we are absolutely better #becauseofU! #thankaschoolcounselor #NSCW23

Front Row: Liz Donner, Melissa McElroy, Ashley Danner Dove, Yerliana Reyna, Amber McKenna, Claire Riggan Back Row: Joleen Brady, Melissa MacGregor, Danielle Kelly, Carmen Salter, Carrie Laizure, Darlene Wagner, Don Arends (Not Pictured: Jill Duffield)

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Reminder: ‘No School’ Dates In February 2023

Please make note of the following dates in February 2023 when school will not be in session and when school resumes.


  • Monday, February 20: No school due to a teacher in-service/professional development day.

  • Tuesday, February 21: School resumes for all UCSD students.

Rolling Green Elementary (only)

  • Friday, February 17: No school due to a recess day.

Community Ed “Think Safe Self-Defense” Class February 24

Would you know what to do if you were face-to-face with violence, confronted by someone intent on hurting you, or suddenly attacked with no one around to help? Empower yourself with effective skills to deal with the possibility of violence. You’ll feel more confident after learning valuable awareness and self-defense concepts and practicing important physical skills to help keep you safe. This is a "no experience required” seminar. Don’t be intimidated! Our professional instructors are not only self-defense experts, but they also make learning fun! Make it even more fun by signing up with a friend or family member! Open to women ages 16 and up.

6th–12th Health Curriculum Review

The Teaching and Learning Department is beginning its next phase in the curriculum review process for 6-12 and 4th-9th Human Growth and Development. As part of the review of this curriculum topic an ad hoc committee is being formed and we are looking for parents and community members that would like to volunteer to serve to support the development of the health scope and sequence along with providing feedback in the selection of instructional materials to support health instruction in Urbandale. This ad hoc committee will meet on the following dates/times:

  • February 22 3:45-5:15 pm

  • March 8 3:45-5:15 pm

  • March 29 3:45-5:15 pm

  • April 12 3:45-5:15 pm

  • April 26 3:45-5:15 pm

Interested individuals should visit this link: Health Curriculum Review Ad Hoc Interest Form

6th-12th English Language Arts Curriculum Review

Beginning in the Fall of 2022 the Teaching and Learning Department began the curriculum review 6th-12th grade English Language Arts. This review is evaluating current and future practices in the area of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The English Language Arts Teachers 6-12 have engaged in learning and an ELA leadership team representing grade levels will field test instructional materials to support ELA instruction. During spring conferences, all ELA staff and parents/guardians will have the opportunity to provide feedback as part of the curriculum review process. Materials will be available for review at Urbandale Middle School and High School. Following field testing and our learning communities' feedback, the ELA leadership team will evaluate and make a recommendation for the adoption of new instructional materials. The following materials will be field tested in select 6-11 English Language Arts classrooms.

6-8 Amplify

6-12 myperspectives

9-12 Springboard

6th-8th Social Studies Curriculum Review

Beginning in the Fall of 2022 the Teaching and Learning Department began the curriculum review of 6th-8th grade Social Studies. This review began with learning for all social studies educators around the inquiry design model along with observation of a fifth-grade classroom within the district to ensure K-8 alignment in instructional experiences for our students. The 6th-8th grade teachers then used existing materials to implement instructional shifts to align with the inquiry model. In the next phase, teachers will field test instructional materials for 6th-8th grade materials. During spring conferences, materials will be available for review at Urbandale Middle School Following field testing and our learning communities' feedback, the team will evaluate and make a recommendation for the adoption of new instructional materials. The following materials will be field tested in select 6-8 social studies classrooms.

TCI Social Studies

McGraw-Hill Social Studies

Community Ed: Adult First Aid / CPR / AED Certification

Need to obtain or renew your CPR certification? Join us! Participants will learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillation (AED) use of ventilations with a barrier device and relief of choking. This is a great way to stay ready in case an emergency happens and someone needs your help. Don’t delay, sign up today and get CPR certified to keep your loved ones safe. Visit urbandalecommunityed.com for more information or to register!

Preschool Pre-Registration Now Open

Preschool Pre-Registration began 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. https://urbandaleschools.com/learn

Welcome Preschool Families: 2023-24 Pre-Registration

Kindergarten Registration Now Open

Kindergarten Registration for the 2023–2024 school year is open! Click here to review detailed Kindergarten Registration information for the 2023–2024 school year. 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. https://urbandaleschools.com/learn
Welcome Kindergarten Families 2023-24

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

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 posted positions for this school year include: Full-Time Special Education Associate (Olmsted Elementary) and Full-Time Special Education Associate (Karen Acres Elementary) Learn More

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!

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.