Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 8.05.22 #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.

First Day of School Dates & School Year 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

  • Quick-view calendars

  • Helpful links to frequently visited topics

First Day of School at Rolling Green

The first day of school for Rolling Green was Thursday, July 28. “Thank you” Rolling Green teachers and staff for all your incredible work in preparing to welcome students. Rolling Green was full of warm smiles, welcoming words, and calming reassurance for a great first day. “Thank you” Rolling Green families for your outstanding support in preparing your children for the school year. It's a fantastic start to the year #becauseofU!

Reminder: ‘No School’ Dates In August 2022 (Rolling Green)

Please make note of the following dates in August 2022 when school will not be in session and when school resumes:

Rolling Green Elementary (only)

  • Rolling Green Recess Day: Friday, August 12 (no school)

  • Rolling Green Professional Development Day: Friday, August 19 (no school)

  • Rolling Green Professional Development Day: Monday, August 22 (no school)

  • School resumes for Rolling Green students: Tuesday, August 23

  • Reminder: Every Monday is a late start for preschool–12th grade students

Announcing Our UHS Deans of Students

We’re excited to introduce our two new Deans of Students at Urbandale High School. Jared Power has accepted the position of Dean of Students and Johanna Russell has accepted the position of Interim Dean of Students.

UHS Dean of Students Jared Power

Most recently, Jared Power served as a Student Engagement Coordinator, Behavior Strategist, and Special Education Teacher at Goodrell Middle School for Des Moines Public Schools. Prior to that, he was an Elementary Principal in the Chariton Community School District, a Special Education Teacher in the Johnston Community School District, a Special Education and English Language Arts Teacher at Woodward Academy, and an English Language Arts Teacher and At Risk Coordinator at Moravia Community School District. Mr. Power holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Drake University, a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education and Athletic Program Management from Morningside University, a Post Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program from Buena Vista University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Iowa State University.

“As an Urbandale resident, I am proud to be serving the community where I live and I'm excited to work with the team at UHS to form a deeper bond with our students, staff, and community,” said Power. “Being a parent of children who will be attending Urbandale Schools, I want to foster an environment where all students and staff have a strong sense of belonging and feel physically and emotionally safe because that's what I want for my own family. I believe our words and actions should align with continual improvement of our schools and community, and I look forward to finding ways to further engage our students and families at UHS.”

UHS Interim Dean of Students Johanna Russell

Prior to joining the UHS team, Johanna Russell served as a Student Building and Support Specialist, Building Master Instructional Mentor, Master Mentor Teacher, and Art Teacher in the Ankeny Community School District. She has also served as a K-12 Curriculum Advisor in the Knoxville School District, an Iowa Area Education Agencies Instructor, an Iowa State Education Association Instructor, a Grand View University Student-Teaching Supervisor, and an Art of Education University Graduate Instructor.

Next summer, Ms. Russell will be receiving her Doctor of Education with Principal Licensure from Drake University. She holds a K-8 Instructional Strategist 1 License from Morningside College, a Master of Arts in Education from Viterbo University, is a License Master Educator, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Iowa.

“Urbandale has had a special place in my heart since I attended my first 4th of July parade when I was in high school,” said Russell. “The Urbandale community has a tight and powerful bond where I remember instantly feeling welcome. As an educational leader, I purposely sought out UCSD because success and growth are carefully planned. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join this community and to work in service for students, staff, and families. I believe in Urbandale High School’s vision of changing the world and I can’t wait to learn and grow with this community!”

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Power and Ms. Russell to our UHS Administrative Team. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with these outstanding leaders!

Announcing Our New UHS Deans of Students

Iowa Dept of Ed Highlights UCSD Nutrition Services Summer Meal Program

Thank you to the Iowa Department of Education for sharing about our Summer Meal Program at Karen Acres Elementary. We are incredibly grateful for the outstanding work, support, and expertise of our UCSD Nutrition Services Team! View the full article. #empoweringU

Provide Feedback By August 6: Elementary Boundaries

The UCSD Elementary Boundary Committee has incorporated community survey results and priorities established by the Board of Directors in the development of an elementary boundary option. On July 25 and July 26, we hosted two public feedback sessions in order to present the elementary boundary option being considered and gather input from District residents.

If you were unable to attend the sessions you can still provide feedback via a brief survey. Please review the presentation information below and then complete the survey (Note: The survey will close at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 6.).

The Boundary Committee will review and discuss feedback received in order to bring a comprehensive elementary boundary proposal to the Board of Directors 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.

District Notification System Test: 4:15 p.m. August 31, 2022

UCSD will be conducting a district-wide notification test at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. During this test, parents/guardians and staff will receive an email, phone call, and text message (if you have opted-in to receive text messages). The District Notification Test will be sent to parents/guardians who registered to receive notifications; it will NOT include emergency contacts. We will also post an alert on the District Facebook, District Twitter and District website.

The notification test is to ensure we have your correct contact information in our system. If you do not receive the text/phone/email message, parents/guardians should contact their school to request their contact information be updated; staff should contact Kate Johnson to request their contact information be updated.

As a reminder, if you’d like to opt-in to receive text message notifications, please text “Y” or “YES” to 67587. The 67587 is a short code that connects directly with School Messenger (our district notification system).

Annual Notices

State and Federal regulations, as well as some district policies, require UCSD to annually post certain notifications to the public. Please find our list of Annual Notices here.

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:

Full-Time with Benefits:

  • Elementary & Secondary Special Education Teacher positions

  • Math Teacher - Metro West Learning Academy

  • Counselor - Valerius Elementary

  • Spanish Teacher - Urbandale High School

  • Computer Technician

  • Special Education Associates

  • 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!

UCAN Annual Back to School Supplies Event August 10

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.

Pre-registration for the Back to School Supplies event is not required. However, walk-in registration will only be accepted starting at 6:00 p.m. on August 10 and will be based on availability. Walk-in registration still requires the following: 1) identification for everyone in your household (e.g. driver’s license, passport, school ID, medical card, birth certificate, or correspondence from school that includes your children’s names), 2) proof of residency (e.g. utility bill, lease agreement, mortgage statement), and 3) income verification (e.g. two week pay stub or income tax return from last year).

If time permits, please complete the following two forms:

  • 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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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.

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.

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!

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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UCSD Late Start Every Monday: Start Times Per Building

Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, every Monday is 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. Late Start student drop off will be from 6:30 AM - 9:15 AM (Note: there will be no Adventuretime staff at the door past 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!

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

Be sure to register your student(s) for the 2022-23 school year!

Student Registration:

Tonight! Urbandale Community Invited To Attend U-Fest August 5

The Urbandale Education Foundation and Urbandale Alumni Association are excited to announce that the third annual U-Fest is set for tonight, 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.

Please check UrbandaleEducationFoundation.com and UrbandaleAlumni.com 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.

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.