Centennial "Spotlight" Celebrations: Valerius Elementary

Throughout the 2016–2017 school year, we’ll be highlighting a school each month that is celebrating Urbandale Community School District’s Centennial Anniversary. Throughout November, Valerius Elementary students shared why they are thankful for Urbandale and the Urbandale Community School District. Students created a very special “Thankful” book sharing their gratitude, developed a “Grateful Tree” where they added leaves with messages of why they are thankful, developed special “Thankful” placemats, wrote heartfelt poetry, organized a “thankful for our community food drive,” and created artwork sharing why they love their school. Check out all the fun here!

Students Healing Through Creation of Artwork, Cards & Care Packages

It was perhaps one of the darkest days in many of our lives as we received the tragic news of Urbandale Police Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Police Sergeant Tony Beminio having died in the line of duty on November 2, 2016. We have likely had many soul-searching moments and conversations since that day as our community continues the process of healing. Students and educators in our schools honored the fallen officers and shared their support for the Urbandale Police Dept throughout the month of November. One such story caught the eye, and the heart, of WHO TV13 as they shared about Urbandale Middle School students having created artwork for Urbandale Police. We'd like to thank our students, staff, and families for coming together with integrity, compassion, and kindness. The strength and leadership you've shown have helped to calm fears, mend hearts and lift spirits. You've reminded us all that we are not only a community school district in name, but more importantly, in action. 

UHS Senior Presents Global Food Security Solutions To World Leaders

Urbandale High School senior, Sreeja Vepa, was among 200 high school students from around the world nominated to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute during the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium. The Symposium drew 1,500 people from more than 60 countries to discuss the world’s hunger and food security issues.    Learn More

UHS Students Qualify And Compete In Statewide Knowledge Bowl Finals
Congratulations to two Urbandale High School Knowledge Bowl teams for qualifying and competing at the 2016 Iowa Knowledge Bowl Finals. The all-day event, that took place at DMACC’s Ankeny campus on October 27, 2016, hosted a total of 27 teams from around the state with schools competing in either Large School or Small School Divisions.  Learn More
School Cancellation Protocols

Every year we experience the need to cancel school due to a variety of reasons which is why we’d like to share more information regarding protocols that guide our decisions. The decision to cancel/close school due to any reason is one that we take seriously and with great caution, care, and concern—caution that we’re making an informed decision based on credible information from key sources, care that our decision supports the safety and well-being of students and staff, and concern that we’re taking into account all of the variables that cancelling school will inevitably impact. Learn More

Winter Break: Dates To Remember

December 19: All registrations due for Adventuretime All Day Program taking place at Olmsted Elementary on December 27, 28, 29 & 30. All Day Programs are not part of the normal monthly fee; please register here. Note: There will be no Adventuretime on December 23, 26 and January 2.

December 23, 2016 through January 2, 2017: Winter BreakNo School. We look forward to welcoming all students back on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Enjoy your Winter Break!

"I am very thankful for my new school Jensen. At Jensen, we are studying the 7 Habits and the Leader in Me. The 7 Habits help me to be a better student and leader at Jensen. One of the 7 Habits is being proactive. Proactive means to get ready and do your work right away, without putting it off. Another habit is to begin with the end in mind, which means to set goals for yourself and then work hard to reach those goals. If you are being bullied, get help and tell someone you trust. If you see someone being bullied, help them or get an adult to help because no one deserves to get bullied." 

Tomasz Tabor, 5th Grade Student, Jensen Elementary

"You should always be happy and thankful for what you have. I am very thankful for having a loving family and my mom to come home to every night. Being able to have food, a warm house, and two great brothers makes me very thankful. So think about all of the wonderful things you have in your life and be thankful." 

Cierra Bemisdarfer, 5th Grade Student, Jensen Elementary

The holiday season provides us an opportunity to give thanks, reconnect with family and friends, and perhaps take time to reflect on our experiences over the past year as we welcome in a new year. It can also be a time where we feel greater stress and anxiety that may have an adverse effect on our daily lives. Often times we have more demands at work due to end of year deadlines, we may experience both joyful and trying moments during family gatherings, or we may be reminded of the loss of a loved one. If you’re feeling a heightened state of anxiousness this time of year, please know you are not alone, and you may find some of these methods helpful in moving through these emotions.

  • Social Support—keep those connections going; sometimes it can help to have a person attend family events with you; don’t skip support groups you regularly attend

  • Volunteer—takes the focus away from self; consider serving dinner at a homeless shelter or bringing meals to those in need or unable to leave their homes; spend time supporting residents of senior centers who may not have frequent visits from family members

  • Set Realistic Expectations—store bought pie is okay, in fact, so is any part of a meal as the focus is on those around the table not necessarily what’s on the table; ask family members for help as you don’t need to do it all by yourself and burn out

  • Exercise—always a good idea; the chemical reaction produced can have a positive impact on the body for several hours after the workout is completed; outdoor exercise is even better, bundle up and take a quick walk in the snow

  • Healthy Eating—altering your diet due to holiday treats brought to the office or holiday parties can leave your system reeling; enjoy a few treats balanced with nutritional foods

  • Gratitudeset aside a few minutes when you wake up and before you fall asleep to focus on what you are thankful for as it may help you remain centered and mindful

  • Prioritize Sleep—we know that sleep deprivation adversely affects cognitive function and often makes us feel irritable and impatient; be sure to make sleep a high-priority item this holiday season

Remember, you are not alone. We are here to help. Please reach out to your school counselor or Employee & Family Resources (EFR) for family assistance. We want to hear from you.

In Urbandale, we’re continuously researching, discovering, and exploring the latest technology tools and practices in order to integrate technology throughout our curriculum. ConnectEd is built on the latest in educational technology, offering interconnected platforms for students and teachers across any device. It is used for K–5 literacy and math, as well as many 6–12 social studies courses. The teacher platform provides teachers with a variety of resources—such as videos, photos, graphic organizers, and e-books—that they can choose from to meet the learning targets of their unit.   

Students also have access to a digital platform of their own, where they can complete and save their work, access and submit assignments and collaborate digitally with their peers and teachers. As part of the ConnectEd platform, students have access to their reading materials, interactive content and engaging games. Each student is assigned a username and password allowing content to be accessible at school and from home. To learn more, check out ConnectEd for Literacy K5 and ConnectEd for Math K–5 and ask your child’s teacher about how they incorporate this resource to enhance classroom learning.

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. If you have questions 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; Mark Lane, Director of Human Resources; and Crista Carlile, Director of Teaching and Learning.