Urbandale Community Education Coordinator and former ISU kicker, Scott Krava, encourages all to keep dreaming big...

"The mission behind DRMN BG is not only to encourage people to 'dream big' but to take action toward pursuing those dreams, to make that jump – big or small," said Krava. "Sometimes the biggest and hardest step is starting.The goal is to help motivate people AND help make people’s dreams come true. Coordinating courses and creating learning opportunities for Urbandale Community Education aligns with the mission of DRMN BG, as the majority of my job is in creating new learning opportunities for students and parents outside of their everyday school/workday. I feel fortunate to be able to have both my passion and my profession share a common purpose."

As we begin the 2017–2018 school year, we often find ourselves busy updating calendars with important dates, purchasing school supplies, and getting schedules prepared for the new school year. In addition to all of these tasks and 'to dos,' we may also want to consider setting aside time to pause and check-in with our children to learn more about their feelings on starting a new school year. For some, the start of a new school year may be a time of great excitement and anticipation. For others, it may stir feelings of nervousness or uneasiness. For many, it's likely a combination of both.

By taking time to pause in the hustle and bustle in order to connect with our children and listen to their feelings, we as parents/guardians will be better prepared to provide the support and encouragement they may need. As Dr. Brené Brown shares, when we listen with empathy, we "communicate that incredibly healing message of 'You're not alone.'" View this powerful 4-minute video by the Cleveland Clinic that asks, "If you could stand in someone else's shoes...hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?"

An important section on the Urbandale CSD's website is the "We Appreciate" section on the homepage. Created several years ago during the launch of the redesigned site, its aim was simple: to create a space for students, staff, families and community members to share their appreciation—knowing appreciation is one of the many ways we let others know that they are making a difference in our lives and the lives of those we care about most.

So as we begin a new school year, if you experience something that you appreciate we encourage you to share it on the "We Appreciate" section of the UCSD homepage. Once you submit your statement, it's reviewed and posted. The person or group of people referenced will also be notified. We've had recipients share that receiving your notes of appreciation truly made a difference in their day.

"Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated." H. Jackson Brown

Educational Equity Statement

No student enrolled in the Urbandale Community School District shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in the District’s programs on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, marital status (for program), ethnic background, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age (for employment) or socio-economic background (for program). The policy of the District shall be to provide educational programs and opportunities for students as needed on the basis of individual interests, values, abilities and potential. 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 Ave, Urbandale, IA or call 515-457-5000. The district’s Equity Coordinators are Dr. Keri Schlueter, Coordinator of Student Services, schlueterk@urbandaleschools.com, Mark Lane, Director of Human Resources, lanem@urbandaleschools.com and Crista Carlile, Director of Teaching and Learning, carlilec@urbandaleschools.com.