We thank our Metro West Learning Academy students for sharing their encouraging words this month. #beginswithU

  • "Make a wish for something good and soon something good will happen! Keep looking up!" -Judi P

  • "Treat others the way you want to be treated" Tristan G. 12th

  • "If you don't try hard in the things you're not good at, you won't accomplish a lot in life" Money D. 11th

  • "Stay positive! Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day. YOU CAN DO IT!" -Anonymous
It’s that time of year again; people are making new year’s resolutions. While some people have a lot of success with their resolutions, others like me, struggle to keep those resolutions much past February. 

Last year, a friend suggested that instead of a resolution, perhaps I could settle on a theme for the year. I wrote the theme down in a couple of places I would see it regularly and tried to keep it in mind as I made decisions and plans. As the year progressed I noticed myself more naturally incorporating my theme into decision making and activities of daily living.  

This year, my theme is “living with intention.” Merriam-Webster defines intention as a determination to act a certain way. My take is to be intentional when I am listening, speaking, or even walking the dog. I see this theme impacting my daily activities where I am challenging myself to be and stay present in the moment by intentionally engaging in whatever I might be doing. To make sure my mind is just as present as my body in any given situation. 

While my theme is a focus for myself, I’ll be curious to see if “living with intention” becomes contagious for those around me—more eye contact, less habitual checking of the phone, more focus in the moment, less mental list making, more experiences, fewer posts. No matter if you choose to make resolutions or identify a theme for the year ahead, I wish you and your family a safe, rejuvenating, and enjoyable new year. Best wishes as we kick off 2019! 

Michele Hamilton
Urbandale CSD
Coordinator of Student, Family & Community Services
The purchase of a 3D printer for my classroom this year, thanks to a grant from the Urbandale Education Foundation, has truly been a great asset to my program. My students are very excited to learn how to use the printer and how they can apply what they make towards earning credit in my class. It is a learning process for both students and myself. Being able to learn with them has great implications for the whole learning process. Students have commented that they see how excited and enthusiastic I am and it makes them want to participate more. 

We have printed several things so far: 3D cells (both plant and animal), a DNA model, and parts to a complete T-rex skeleton which has 25 separate parts and will take a while to get them all printed. Students are planning a display to show off what is being printed. They are also printing all the components for a shelf to display them. In addition, students are encouraged to come up with ideas as to how to incorporate 3D printing into all subject areas here at Metro West. 

Two years ago, I received another grant from the Urbandale Education Foundation which funded lab equipment for a Bio Technology class. Through a partnership with Iowa State University, we receive supplies for multiple labs from DNA extraction, genetic modification of bacteria, and DNA fingerprinting.

Jim Happe
Science Teacher
Metro West Learning Academy

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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 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).