Return To Learn

Urbandale CSD Weekly Update: August 21, 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!

Board-Approved Guidance For Transitioning Between Instructional Models

During the August 20 School Board meeting, the Board approved a resolution regarding the authority of the Board to exercise any broad and implied power to operate, control, and supervise all public schools located within the District’s boundaries. This resolution for local control aligns with the Board’s focus for implementation of SF 2310. In accordance with SF 2310, local Boards are encouraged to review other sources of information in addressing the potential move to a fully online environment. In doing so, rates of positivity were investigated:


  • A recommendation from Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that the number to transition to fully online should be considered at 5% and further describes that number is in line with the World Health Organization.

  • Those same sentiments were echoed by Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

  • Dr. Eli Perencevich, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa indicates a rate of 5% should be considered, and perhaps a rate as low as 3%.

  • Dr. Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General of the United States, indicated during an interview that a positivity rate of 10% should be the considered rate for school or district closure.


No other observed rates were found that are like those that were shared by the Iowa Dept of Education (IDOE) or Iowa Dept of Public Health (IDPH) at a 15% positivity rate in conjunction with increased student absences, or 20% overall. The CDC has set no specific benchmark.


UCSD's Board of Education was not comfortable with the guidance provided by the IDPH and IDOE; thus, board-approved metrics were created that the District will use to make decisions to move to/from different instructional learning models. The UCSD Board of Directors believes that only identifying a single indicator (positivity rate) is insufficient to make school-district-based decisions. With this belief in mind, UCSD is developing additional data considerations that would further assist us in determining when a change in our instructional delivery would be appropriate. We will continue to work with local and state public health for guidance.


When data considerations are reached under each level (Green, Yellow, Red), the UCSD Board of Education will convene a special meeting to consider moving into a different instructional learning model for the District as a whole. The following Board-Approved Guidance For Transitioning Between Instructional Models will be considered by the Board when a need arises for transitioning between UCSD's instructional models (On Site, Hybrid, Required Continuous Learning).


In addition, the Board directed the District to begin consultation with an epidemiologist to provide expertise in reviewing the existing Guidance document in order to provide feedback on the guidance and determine the best approach for implementation. As COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving virus, the Guidance document will be reviewed again during the September 14 School Board meeting.

Hybrid Instructional Model: Begins August 25

During the School Board meeting on August 10, the Urbandale CSD Board of Directors approved the Hybrid instructional model to begin our school year. All schools, including Rolling Green, will operate within the Hybrid model beginning Tuesday, August 25. Here is a description of the model and examples of what students could be doing during their remote Hybrid days.

  • 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. Here is a link that shows the schedule for each Monday. Note this schedule includes every Monday of the year, and these assignments will not change.

    • Track A “Team J-Hawk” will begin in-person instruction on Tuesday, August 25.

    • Track B “Team U” will begin in-person instruction on Wednesday, August 26 (Note: "Team U" will NOT attend online instruction on August 25; the first day of school for "Team U" will be Wednesday, August 26 when students attend in-person instruction.)

    • Hybrid 2020-21 Calendar (traditional school year)

    • 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). Note: This change for “late start Mondays” is not specific to the Hybrid model as this is a calendar change that will be applied to all models.

      • Monday Late Start for Jensen, Karen Acres, Valerius & Webster: School begins at 10:00 a.m.

      • Monday Late Start Rolling Green: School begins at 10:05 a.m.

      • Monday Late Start UMS: School begins at 9:30 a.m.

    • UHS students will not have late starts on Mondays, instead they will have early dismissals on Wednesday and Thursdays. This follows the same early dismissal process that UHS has had in previous years.

    • All full-day preschool students will attend school five days per week (half-day preschool students will attend school four days per week Tuesday - Friday) 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.

    • When UCSD is in a Hybrid instructional model, Adventuretime will provide childcare programming for students during before/after school hours on the days they attend school. Monthly fees will be adjusted at the end of the month based on the number of days that before/after school programming was offered. Information will be communicated to families regarding refund/credit options.


Here are examples of what students could be doing during their remote learning days while in the Hybrid instructional model:


  • Logging on to a class to check in with in-person students and their teacher. This time is to build a sense of community and support students' social and emotional well-being or provide specific instruction.

  • Completing instructional activities provided by their teacher in an asynchronous manner, meaning these are not led "live" by the teacher. Rather, they are provided in a carefully constructed schedule that students can access on their own.

  • Completing assignments or practice provided by their teacher. We have both teacher-developed assignments and practice as well as technology-supported assignments and practice that we have purchased for this purpose.

  • Writing or journaling about a variety of topics.

  • Traditional "homework-type" activities such as reading or preparation for an upcoming lab or class activity.

  • Collaborating with other students on a group assignment or project.

Required Continuous Learning

If an Urbandale CSD classroom, school, or entire district would need to transition to the Required Continuous Learning instructional model (all online) in response to health concerns, schools would work directly with students and families to ensure students have the materials needed to participate in online learning. Students would not be expected to be online the entire school day. Teachers would provide students a schedule outlining the timeframes they would need to connect with their class online via Zoom for planned instructional time as well as expectations for demonstrating learning through class assignments. Additional details will be shared if/when necessary.

Remote Classroom

Elementary: Our Remote Classroom Welcome Email was shared last week with families whose students signed up to participate. If you did not receive this email, please reach out to your school principal. Chromebook and school supply pick up for elementary Remote Classroom students is today, Friday, August 21 from 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM at your child’s home building. Your child’s home building would be the elementary school he or she would attend if they were attending school in person.


UMS: Our Remote Classroom Welcome Email was sent this past week. Families can pick up Remote Classroom student materials (Chromebooks, yearbooks from last year, textbooks, etc) today, Friday, August 21 from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Use the bus lane for materials pick up and stop at the activities door on the east side of the middle school.


UHS: Our initial Remote Classroom Welcome Email was sent this past week. We will be sending out more detailed information today (8/21/20) regarding our plans. Contact Brittany Hogue at the UHS main office at hogueb@urbandaleschools.com if your student does not have their Chromebook yet.

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.

Monitoring, Reporting Illness, Exposure

Monitor Your Child’s Health At Home

It is very important for parents and guardians to monitor their student’s health including their temperature. If they have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, we ask that you keep your student home, observe for symptoms, and follow up with your healthcare provider. Symptoms often associated with COVID-19 include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, headache, body aches, generalized aching, nasal congestion, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite. This chart may be helpful as you determine if your child should go to school when experiencing symptoms. As always, those with a temperature 100.4 or above and any accompanying symptoms should stay home.


Please be sure to contact your school’s attendance line, leaving your student name, grade, symptoms, temperature, and a number we can reach you if we have further questions. We request you call in whether your student is attending virtually (Required Continuous Learning), in the hybrid model (either virtual or in a building that day) or on site (in the building). Those that have chosen to be in Remote Classroom for the semester should also call in as well.


If Your Child Becomes Ill At School

Students feeling ill at school must be seen by the school nurse for assessment before leaving the building. The student should let the teacher know they are not feeling well. The teacher will contact the nurse and appropriate safety measures will be taken before the student is assessed by the nurse. The school nurse will follow up with the parent if the student needs to go home and contact their healthcare provider for further recommendations.


Students should not call a parent directly or leave the building without first seeing the school nurse. This could delay their release to return to the building.


We are working with public health to make our school and community as safe as possible. The symptoms of COVID-19 are very similar to other illnesses. Students with possible Covid-19 symptoms may require a note from their healthcare provider before returning to school.


Exposure To Positive Case of COVID-19

Please contact your school nurse and report any exposure your student may have to a presumed positive or positive case of COVID-19. Please contact your school nurse and report if your student is diagnosed with COVID-19. Again, this information is needed, no matter what instructional model your student is in (either learning at school or virtual).The sharing of this information will be kept confidential and only shared with Polk County Health Department as they will be following up with you regarding contacts.


We appreciate your support in notifying us with the above information, as we all work together to keep our community safe.

Volleyball and Football Ticketing Information for Fall

The Central Iowa Metropolitan League, based upon guidance received from Governor’s Office of the State of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, and the Iowa High School Athletic Association, has released its procedures for spectator admission to the CIML member school fall sports seasons.


Volleyball and Football Ticketing

  • Entrance is limited to those with a ticket voucher issued by the host that allows a spectator to purchase admission or use a school issued pass.

  • Ticket vouchers will be issued to students on the roster based upon stadium capacity and roster sizes. On the road, only two tickets are issued per student. There are no additional ticket vouchers available to the community at this time.

  • Your patience and cooperation with site administration, gate workers, officials, coaches, players and other spectators is both expected and appreciated.

  • Masks are required at both Volleyball and Football contests at home and on the road.

  • Once you arrive at your designated area, we ask that you do not wander to other areas of the venue to visit with others. Please stay in your selected area for the entire game.

  • Any younger fans admitted to the game will not be allowed to roam the venue, play catch, or run freely – they will need to remain inside your seating area.

  • Limited concessions will be available at home games.

  • To limit on waste and distribution, printed rosters will not be available. Rosters may be available by downloading the Varsity Bound app.

  • Social distancing guidelines are in place and will be enforced while in the facility.

  • Your patience and cooperation with site administration, gate workers, officials, coaches, players and other spectators is both expected and appreciated.

  • All spectators are asked to stay home if they show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have been in contact with an individual with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

  • All varsity events will be streamed online at www.j-hawks.com/live.


Unfortunately these plans have placed limits on attendance at our events for students, families, and the community. We all hope for the day when we can remove spectator limits on events, but until then, we appreciate your patience and cooperation.

Timeline

  • August 24: School Board meeting

  • August 25/26: First day of school (Traditional Calendar & Remote Classroom)

    • Remote Classroom will begin online instruction on Tuesday, August 25

    • Track A “Team J-Hawk” will begin in-person instruction on Tuesday, August 25

    • Track B “Team U” will begin in-person instruction on Wednesday, August 26 (Note: "Team U" will NOT attend online instruction on August 25; the first day of school for "Team U" will be Wednesday, August 26 when students attend in-person instruction.)

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.

How To Attend School Board Meetings & Procedure For Public Comment

All School Board meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. To join the virtual meetings being held via Zoom Webinar, please visit the Simbli site, select “Meetings” and select the “Meeting Title” of the meeting you would like to attend. The Zoom Webinar invite information is included for each virtual 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 (by 3:00 p.m. on the day of 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.



Click here for School Board Meeting information (Note: This can also be found by visiting the district site and selecting “Board Meetings” within the QuickLinks menu.)

We Support U—Scholarships & Classroom Grants

The Urbandale Education Foundation and Urbandale Alumni Association have set a goal to raise $30,000 by October 2 in support of classroom grants and scholarships for students in the Urbandale Community School District. Please consider making a donation. Your support makes all the difference! #wesupportU

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.

Annual Notice Of Non-Discrimination

The Urbandale Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following service areas:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

  • Information Solutions

  • Applied Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing

  • Health Sciences

  • Human Services

  • Business, Finance, Marketing, and Management


Admission Criteria for Career and Technical Education (CTE) Courses: In order to enroll in a career and technical education course, students must successfully complete prerequisite course(s) (if applicable). In order to enroll in a career and technical course offered for concurrent credit through Des Moines Area Community College, students must have passed prerequisite course(s) (if applicable) or be identified as talented and gifted. Lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in Urbandale Community School’s CTE programs.


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 Mr. Ryan Williamson, williamsonr@urbandaleschools.com.

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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