Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 8.19.22 #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

Safety & Security

As we look forward to another great school year, we do so with the safety, security, and well-being of students and staff as our highest priorities. In partnership with law enforcement agencies, UCSD has worked extensively in the development of comprehensive, agile, and actionable emergency operations plans. We’d like to invite you to review a page on our site which provides more information regarding District safety and security measures. For security reasons, we are of course limited in the extent to which we can publicly share information; however, we are able to provide an overview of our emergency plans, preparedness, protocols, reunification, and what parents/guardians should do during a school emergency situation.

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.

Welcoming New UCSD Teachers & Administrators

Please join us in welcoming 85 new teachers and administrators to UCSD! The photos below were taken as we kicked-off New Teacher Academy on August 15. Our new teachers and administrators enjoyed breakfast together at the high school, followed by a warm welcome from Superintendent Dr. Daca, Board President Katherine Howsare, and Instructional Coaches Lindie Truitt and Lance McConnell. New teachers and administrators then began their “J-Hawk Walk” as they rotated through 10 stations at the high school. Each station was designed to help our new team members learn more about Urbandale and build relationships. We’re thankful this outstanding group of educators selected UCSD to begin or continue their professional careers. #welcometotheU #empoweringU
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We are introducing a new feature this school year, called ClassLink. It's intended to be a one-stop shop for the various platforms and sites that we use across the District for students. ClassLink can be accessed from any device through our District website. Under the “Quick Links” section, click on “ClassLink” and students will use their Google username and password. Once students login with their UCSD username and password, they will see a grid of icons representing the web applications students utilize. Many of the web applications support Single Sign On (aka SSO) which means that when your student clicks on the app, it will automatically login with no further action required.

2023–2025 Academic Calendar Planning Underway

Planning has begun for the 2023–2024 and 2024–2025 school calendars. Be looking for a survey August 26 to provide important feedback to inform the development of the next two school year academic calendars.

Ticketing Moves Online in 2022-2023

Effective this fall, purchasing tickets for all Athletic and Performing Arts Events in grades 7–12 must be done online. Those wishing to attend events are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at www.j-hawks.com/tickets. If you purchase tickets at the event, we will only be accepting credit card payments as there will no longer be a cash option at the gate.

The only venue where cash payment will still be accepted this year will be for Urbandale Middle School football games. This is due to the lack of infrastructure at that venue. All other Athletic and Performing Arts Events will only be accepting online payments in advance or credit card payments at the gate.

When attending events away from our home venues, we anticipate most opponents in the CIML will also be only offering online ticketing. To aid in the process of purchasing tickets in advance for away events, you may wish to visit www.cimltickets.com.

Please make sure you are prepared to cheer on your J-Hawks at our home venues by either purchasing tickets in advance at www.j-hawks.com/tickets or purchasing tickets at the gate with a credit card. We look forward to welcoming you and appreciate your support of Athletics and Performing Arts.
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Parent University Begins September 20: Register Today!

We are excited to launch a new program, Parent University, in the 2022-23 school year. Through this program, parents/guardians will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and informational sessions as well as receive resources to help you support your child in their learning. All UCSD parents/guardians are welcome to attend these free sessions.


Parent University is scheduled to take place on the following dates:

  • September 20, 2022

  • October 18, 2022

  • February 21, 2023

  • April 18, 2023


Parent University consists of two sessions. The first session runs from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. and the second session runs from 7:00 – 7:45 p.m. There are a total of 10 topics to select from for each session. Parents/guardians are able to select one topic they’d like to attend for session one and select a second topic they’d like to attend for session two. Topics will be the same for session one and session two (i.e. the content from a topic in session one will be repeated in session two). Ideas for topics were generated from feedback received in the parent/staff survey as well as by the UCSD School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC).


  1. School Board Listening Post: Question and Answer session with two School Board members.

  2. Superintendent Listening Post: Question and Answer session with Superintendent Dr. Daca.

  3. Safety and Security: Learn about district safety and security plans and protocols.

  4. Supporting Technology: Learn about Classlink, Canvas, Seesaw, and PowerSchool.

  5. Grading for Learning: Learn the "Why, What, and How" of Grading for Learning in UCSD.

  6. Elementary Student Support: Learn tips to help your child develop habits to set them up for success for a new school year and beyond. Collaborate with other parents on ways to support teachers and learning at home.

  7. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Elementary: Learn how the school counselor supports social emotional instruction in elementary schools by gaining an understanding of learning expectations for grade levels and example lessons that are taught with tips for use at home.

  8. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Middle School: Learn how depression and anxiety may impact adolescents as well as warning signs. Learn about resources available to support students and families in these areas.

  9. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) High School: Learn how depression and anxiety may impact adolescents as well as warning signs. Learn about resources available to support students and families in these areas.

  10. Facilitator of Family Outreach (FFO)/Counselor Drop-in: A member of our FFO team will be available to answer questions about district and community resources.


Please take a moment to RSVP for the Parent University sessions and topics you plan on attending on September 20, 2022. We will be hosting Parent University at Urbandale High School on September 20. Room assignments will be shared closer to the date. Your RSVP will help us to ensure we have the appropriate space, seating, and audio visual requirements. Please RSVP by September 13, 2022.

Community Open House Events: Olmsted Elementary & UHS Performance Lab & Studio

Please join us in celebrating the completion of Olmsted Elementary and the Urbandale High School Performance Lab and Studio (fitness center) during our Community Open House Events from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. Attendees will have an opportunity to take self-guided tours of both Olmsted and the UHS Performance Lab and Studio during the two-hour timeframe. In addition, a short program will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Olmsted. We look forward to welcoming you!
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Design and Construction Progress Update August 2022

Click here for an updated summary of actions that have been taking place for design and construction projects throughout the District.

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 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

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
  • Facilitator of Family Outreach - Karen Acres & Valerius Elementary Schools
  • Spanish Teacher - Urbandale High School
  • 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!

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:

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.