Return To Learn

Urbandale CSD Weekly Update: August 7, 2020

We invite you to read the Urbandale CSD Return To Learn weekly newsletter. The newsletter will be sent every Friday focusing on a handful of brief but informative topics related to our 2020-21 school year. Newsletters will be archived on the Return To Learn section of the district website. Please make note of the “translate newsletter” option which can be accessed by clicking on the "View it in your browser" link at the top of this page. Thank you for helping us create a safe, healthy, and welcoming learning environment!

Rolling Green Instructional Model: Next Steps

During a Special School Board meeting on August 3, the Urbandale CSD Board of Directors unanimously approved Rolling Green Elementary maintaining its existing instructional model (Required Continuous Learning) for two more weeks (August 7 - August 20) to help protect the health and safety of students and staff given the high level of community spread of COVID-19 in Polk County. Although we received approval from the Department of Education (DE) for Rolling Green to be online from July 23 - August 6, the DE did not grant approval to maintain that model through August 20; thus, there is a potential for that time not to count toward the 1,080 hours of instruction required every year. Representatives from the District are meeting with the DE today (August 7) in order to discuss these concerns; we’ll share an update from that meeting next week.

Instructional Model To Begin School Year

The Iowa Department of Education (DE) shared metrics schools can use to determine which instructional model to operate in throughout the school year. Metrics are based on the percentage of positive cases in Polk County over a 14 day period:


  • On-Site: 0-5% Positivity Rate in Polk County over the past 14 days

  • Hybrid: 6-14% Positivity Rate in Polk County over the past 14 days

  • Required Continuous Learning: 15% or higher Positive Rate in Polk County over the past 14 days and school absenteeism is 10% or higher


As the current positivity rate in Polk County is between 7- 8%, the DE metrics indicate we would be operating within the Hybrid instructional model. We also surveyed District families and staff to request their comfort level with the different instructional models given the current status of virus transmission in our community. As the surveys close tonight at 11:59 p.m., final results will be shared with our School Board during the next School Board Meeting which is Monday, August 10. During the August 10 School Board Meeting, the Board will provide approval for the instructional model we’ll use to begin our school year. We’ll share that information with all families and staff on Tuesday, August 11.

Procedure For Public Comment During School Board Meeting

Citizens wishing to address the Board on a certain agenda item must notify the Board Secretary, Mary Beth Fast, prior to the board meeting (fastm@urbandaleschools.com).


The following procedures will be followed for individuals to address the Board of Directors at meetings:

  • Any person wishing to address the Board must inform the Board Secretary prior to the meeting giving their name, address, and subject to be discussed and comments they wish to share. If the subject is already listed as an agenda item, the Board may allow the person to speak at the time the item comes up at the meeting; otherwise the person may address the Board during Open Forum.

  • The presiding officer will allocate an amount of time to each speaker, with five minutes being the usual allotment. (Policy No. 217)

  • The total period of time allotted for the Open Forum shall generally be thirty minutes.

  • The Board of Directors will generally take a subject raised during Open Forum under advisement, unless it is deemed that action is necessary immediately. The Board will attempt to have a response to Open Forum presentations as soon as practicable.

Hybrid Instructional Model

On 7/29, our School Board approved the following revised Hybrid model. Families/students will be informed of Hybrid Teams (either Team J-Hawk or Team U) the week of August 10.

  • Two groups of students for in-person instruction

  • Designated days for instruction:

    • Track “A” attends in person on Tue/Thurs (Team J-Hawk)

    • Track “B” attends in person on Wed/Fri (Team U)

    • Mondays alternate - Track “A” one week; Track “B” the next week

    • Attempts will be made to keep siblings on the same schedule unless a specific request from a family is made not to do that.

    • Late starts* for grades K-8 move to Mondays so as not to disproportionately impact one group of students (late starts provide professional learning and collaboration time for staff)

*UHS students will not have late starts on Mondays, instead they will have early dismissals on Wednesday and Thursdays.


Note: All preschool students will attend school five days per week when the District is following the Hybrid instructional model and the On-Site instructional model. If the District is in the Required Continuous Learning model (all online), then preschool would be online as well.

Remote Classroom Enrollment by Grade Level

We have determined the number of Remote Classrooms for each grade level and are in the process of assigning teachers to these classrooms. Upon rebalancing class sections at the elementary, we were able to reduce Jensen Elementary by a total of five sections, Karen Acres Elementary reduced by four sections, and Webster Elementary reduced by three sections. These reductions at Jensen and Karen Acres will be helpful in creating more opportunities for social distancing at our most crowded buildings.

Total Number of Students choosing Remote Classroom by Grade Level:

Pre-K = 10; Kinder = 40; 1st = 39; 2nd = 37; 3rd = 48; 4th = 40; 5th = 43; 6th = 36; 7th = 60; 8th = 48; 9th = 35; 10th = 41; 11th = 36; 12th = 28.
Total = 541

Return To Learn Protocols

In order to align our instructional delivery model with the current state of public health, we will be working closely with the Polk County Health Department (PCHD) to determine the best approach for delivering instruction, while maintaining the health and safety of our students, staff, and community throughout the 2020-21 school year. To help our students, families & staff be prepared, we’ve developed the following elementary, middle school, and high school protocols. Be aware, these protocols are subject to change as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. For questions specific to your school, please contact your school principal.


Timeline

  • August 10: School Board Meeting

  • August 11: District will inform all families & staff the instructional model the School Board approved to begin our school year.

  • August 25: First day of school (Traditional Calendar & Remote Classroom)

Mandatory Face Mask Guidance

All Urbandale CSD staff, K-12 students, vendors, visitors, and spectators are required to wear a cloth face mask (2-ply) while in district buildings and when riding a school bus. Cloth face masks are recommended for preschool students, but not required. Please review this Face Mask Guidance for Families & Staff that shares information about how to properly wear, wash, and dry a face mask as well as answers to several questions. Also, please review this information from UnityPoint Health about 8 Ways to Help Kids Adjust to Face Masks. Exceptions will be made for medical conditions or special circumstances. If your student has a medical condition or a special circumstance, please complete this form by August 10th.

Chromebook Distribution Agreement

We’ll be providing a Chromebook to all kindergarten through 12th grade students. In order to make that happen, please take a few minutes to read and discuss each item included within this Chromebook Distribution Agreement:


Please indicate your agreement with each item by checking the boxes for both parent(s)/ guardian(s) and student. Checking each box will constitute an electronic signature which indicates your intention to comply with the terms outlined in the agreement. Complete one agreement for each student.


IMPORTANT: UHS parents/students, please complete the agreement by August 9. Elementary and Middle School parents/students, please complete the agreement by Wednesday, August 12.

Internet Service

We’re providing families Internet service who do not currently have Internet at home due to the cost of service being a barrier. Options for service are included in the survey. Please complete this survey (one survey per address) to indicate your need for obtaining Internet service at home. (Note: If you signed up for Internet access this past spring, you do not need to sign up again; your Internet service will continue through the 2020-21 school year.)

UCAN School Supplies For Kids In Need

Urbandale Community Action Network (UCAN) is providing Back To School supplies for Urbandale residents and Urbandale CSD students. UCAN requests that families bring proof of address and income verification as supplies are limited.


UCAN Community Resource Center
7509 Douglas Avenue, Suite 5
Saturday, August 8 from 9am - 11am
Tuesday, August 11 from 4pm - 7pm

District Administration Office: Open By Appointment Only

In continuation of our health and safety protocols, the District Administration Office remains closed to the public. If you would like assistance, please schedule an appointment in advance. Several areas that may be of assistance to you include:


Free & Reduced Meals And Fee Waiver Program

Urbandale CSD’s Free and Reduced Meal Application can be completed online making it faster and easier for families to apply for free or reduced priced meals. To complete an application, please visit the Free and Reduced Meal Application website.


Urbandale CSD also 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. Please click here to learn more about the program and complete a Fee Waiver Application.

Grab N’ Go Meals: Extended To August 21

Our last day for the Grab n Go Meals has been extended until August 21st! The program serves free breakfast and lunch every Monday - Thursday to children ages 1-18 yrs.

Summary of Meal Locations and Times:
(Note: Meals will not be distributed on Fridays as additional meals will be provided on Thursdays.)

Apartment Buildings
Timberland at Meredith (78th and Iltis) Monday - Thursday 11:00am-11:20am

Bristol Ridge (Fareway parking lot on Meredith) Monday - Thursday 11:30am–11:50am
Cross Creek (86th & Meredith behind Git N’ Go) Monday - Thursday 12:00pm–12:30pm

Elementary Schools
Jensen Elementary Monday - Thursday 11:00 AM – 11:20 AM
Karen Acres Elementary Monday - Thursday 11:30 AM -11:50 AM
Valerius Elementary Monday - Thursday 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Please click here to learn more about our Grab N’ Go Meals Program that serves free breakfast and lunch every Monday - Thursday to children ages 1 - 18 yrs. Reminder: Children ages 1 to 18 years do not need to be present in order for families to pick up meals.

Join Our Team

The employees in any school organization represent the most important resource for providing a quality educational program to the students it serves. It is the goal of the Urbandale Human Resources Department to recruit, select, and support the very best available candidates; promote employee/employer relations; and develop a culture in which optimum staff performance and satisfaction are encouraged and created.

  • Are you interested in making a positive difference in the lives of Urbandale students?

  • Do you enjoy building relationships and helping others reach their potential?

  • Are you looking for a meaningful position within an organization who values equity, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, we’d love to hear from you! Click here for available job openings.

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