Uplifting Urbandale

UCSD Newsletter 3.24.23 #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.

Join the Fun During the UMS Color Run (Register by April 6!)

The Urbandale Middle School PTO is hosting the first annual “Color Run” on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Participants can choose to walk or run a 3.5K or 5K route around Urbandale with stops at various elementary schools and Urbandale High School. The run will start and end at the Urbandale Middle School parking lot located at 7701 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, IA 50322. Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. with the race beginning at 10:00 a.m. and ending at 12:00 p.m. Registration is $30 per person and includes a race kit (t-shirt, sunglasses, stickers, tattoos and more!). Participants must register by April 6 in order to receive a race kit. Proceeds will support students and teachers at Urbandale Middle School. All are welcome to participate. Come out and join the fun during the UMS Color Run! Register Today
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Help Celebrate UCSD Educators—Share Your Appreciation Statement

In celebration of Educator Appreciation Week, May 8 – 12, 2023, we’d like to invite UCSD students, parents, guardians, staff, alumni, and community members to share your thoughts about a current UCSD educator(s) who has made a positive difference in your life and/or your child’s life. Statements will be shared online (district website, newsletter, social media) during Educator Appreciation Week. If you'd like to participate, please complete this brief form by Friday, April 7. Thank you for sharing a statement as a wonderful way to remind educators how much they are appreciated and valued!

Dancing For Kindness

Karen Acres celebrated positive behavior and the completion of their KA Gives Back fundraiser with a dance party on March 8th. KA PTO sponsored a dance party for students as a way to say thank you for their donations to KA Gives Back, which is a fundraiser to support the community. This dance party was also a reward for students earning PBIS tickets for positive behavior during the month of February. Karen Acres collects the PBIS tickets as a school and works together to meet goals. Thank you KA PTO for sponsoring this fun dance party for the students! Keep showing kindness, Karen Acres students! #KApride More photos

Des Moines Metro Opera Visits Rolling Green

Each year, the Rolling Green PTO designates money for Artist in Residence. This has been a time for related arts teachers to think of a special project or experience for RG students. This year, members of the Des Moines Metro Opera visited Rolling Green and performed “Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing.” Students had such a great time laughing and singing along with the opera singers while learning a great life lesson about being themselves. This was such a special opportunity for the students to get exposure to more fine arts. Thank you, Des Moines Metro Opera! #thankU More photos

Webster Students Spread Kindness During Peanut Butter Drive for Urbandale Food Pantry

At Webster Elementary, Mr. Maertens’ fifth grade students celebrated kindness month with a peanut butter drive. Students created social media advertisements, promoted their drive during morning announcements, wrote persuasive essays, and presented to multiple grade levels about why students, families, and staff should donate. The fifth graders collected over 300 jars of peanut butter for those in need, and helped box the jars up at the Urbandale Food Pantry. Before bringing the donations to the food pantry, the fifth grade students added a special message on top of each jar stating, “We 'heart' U" with a drawing of a heart. Great work by Webster students showing kindness to those in need in our community! #WebsterPride More photos

UHS Students Preparing For Their Future In Education

UHS offers a Field Experience in Education program which is a teacher-prep academy for students who are interested in pursuing a career in education. Students have the opportunity to go to UCSD elementary schools and the middle school every Tuesday—Friday 7th and 8th period as “cadet teachers.” They get to see what teaching is like and help out students in the classroom. This is an important program to prepare high school students for their futures! #UHSpride More photos

Celebrating Read Across America Week With The Scholastic Book Fair

During Read Across America Week, the Scholastic Book Fair visited Urbandale elementary schools. Several elementary PTOs (Parent Teacher Organization) generously offered to purchase a book for each student. During their library day, students were given the opportunity to select a free book. Books were distributed at the end of Read Across America Week.

We remember how fun it is to bring home a new book from the Book Fair. Many thanks to the PTOs for providing students this wonderful gift to be enjoyed at school and at home. #UCSDpride More photos

Conditions for Learning Survey

During April 17-28, 2023, if your child is in grades 3-12, they will be invited to complete a brief Conditions for Learning Survey (Survey) online. Student participation in the Survey is highly encouraged, but is voluntary and no student is required to fill out the Survey. If you do not want your student to participate please notify your school principal. The Survey will take about 20 minutes to complete. The purpose of the Survey is to obtain information about how students feel about the culture and climate of their school and teachers, as well as the safety of their school. The information collected will help the state, our schools, and local community improve the school. It is important to ask children to tell us what is good and working about their experience in school, and what needs to be improved, in their eyes. The Survey questions are available using the links below, or you may request copies from your school:

Grades 3-5 Conditions for Learning Survey

Grades 6-12 Conditions for Learning Survey

Iowa Statewide Assessment of Academic Progress

The Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) is an assessment that must be administered to all Iowa students in grades three through eleven. To comply with the state of Iowa law requiring all school districts to conduct this test during the last quarter of the school year, Urbandale students in grades three through eleven will take the ISASP assessments from April 17-28, 2023. Specific schedules for each school building have been developed and will be shared by the school principal prior to the start of testing. Below is a table showing the ISASP assessments students in UCSD will take:

ISASP Test Name & Grade Levels

  • Reading: 3rd - 11th
  • Language & Writing: 3rd - 11th
  • Mathematics: 3rd - 11th
  • Science: 5th, 8th, & 10th

More information regarding the ISASP assessments, including practice tests, may be found by visiting the following website: https://iowa.pearsonaccess.com/test-prep/

Reminder: ‘No School’ Dates In April 2023

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


  • Friday, April 28: District-wide Teacher In-Service / Professional Development Day (no school)

  • Reminder: Every Monday is a late start

Rolling Green Elementary (only)

  • Monday, May 1 – Friday, May 5: Rolling Green Intersession (no school for Rolling Green only)

  • Reminder: Every Monday is a late start

Design and Construction Progress Update March 2023

Click here for an updated summary of the construction progress at the new Valerius Elementary School.

Free and Reduced Price Meal Availability

If you have already completed the Iowa Eligibility Application for this school year, you do not need to reapply. Federal law requires that School Food Authorities provide information regarding the availability of free and reduced price meals two times a year. To learn more, please visit UCSD Nutrition Services. If you believe you may qualify for free and reduced price meals but have not applied, you can visit TITAN to complete an application. No login is required. For questions, please contact Cassie Mayrose at mayrosec@urbandaleschools.com or 515-457-6911.

Reminder: Elementary Boundaries Next School Year

With the opening of the new Valerius Elementary School in the fall of 2023, UCSD is also implementing new elementary school boundaries beginning in the 2023–24 school year. These boundaries were created through the work of the Elementary Boundary Committee which was comprised of parents and school employees. The boundaries were approved by the school board on September 26, 2022. Learn More
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Celebrating Women’s History Month

Throughout March, be sure to reach out to the women in your life who have made an impact on you. We're all stronger for the insight, support, wisdom & leadership of the outstanding women in our school district. https://bit.ly/30bZe8x #WomensHistoryMonth

UHS Seniors: Apply For Scholarships By April 1, 2023

Attention UHS SENIORS: Applications are now being accepted for the Urbandale Dollars for Scholars scholarship program! Scholarships will be awarded to graduating UHS seniors. Many scholarships will be available and students can apply for multiple scholarships with just one profile and application! Scholarships to be awarded include, but may not be limited to:

  • Dollars for Scholars – Merit-based (multiple to be awarded)

  • Dollars for Scholars – Need and Merit-based (multiple to be awarded)

  • Dollars for Scholars – Trades

  • George & Helen Newsom Scholarship – Need and Merit-based (two $2,500 awards to one male and one female student)

  • Richard L Haynes Memorial Scholarship – Merit-based (one $1,000 award for (grand)child of a military veteran or servicemember)

  • Urbandale Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship – Merit-based (award(s) for (grand)child of an Urbandale High School alumnus)

Students and parents can learn more about Urbandale Dollars for Scholars by clicking HERE. Last year, Urbandale Dollars for Scholars awarded $18,600 in scholarship awards to graduating UHS seniors! In addition, learn about financial aid and more scholarship opportunities by visiting the UHS Counseling site.

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.

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: Music Teacher [2023-24 School Year] 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.

Opt-In “Uplifting Urbandale” Newsletter

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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.