We thank our Karen Acres Elementary students this month for sharing their Encouraging Words:

  • “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up you better be running.” -Mia S., 5th grade

  • “I can, I will, I must!” -Gabe G., 5th grade

  • “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” -Makayla M., 5th grade

  • “You are as good as anybody else. Make your own decisions and do the right thing.” -Averia C., 2nd grade

  • “You are unique no matter who you are. Don’t change yourself, be yourself!” -Lydia J., 2nd grade

Dr. Jeff Kerber, Clinical Manager of UnityPoint Health Des Moines Counseling Centers and Des Moines Employee Assistance Program, shared that while many people believe the highest rates for suicide occur around the holidays, the actual highest rates for suicide are in March and April . This is why we’d like to bring greater awareness of suicide prevention this month. 

According to the Iowa Youth Survey (2012), 13,772 students in grades 6, 8, and 11, reported they have seriously thought about killing themselves in the past 12 months, and 7,415 of these developed a plan. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 34 in our state. There is no single cause to suicide. It most often occurs when stressors exceed the current coping ability of someone in need of support. Please view this powerful video and reach out to your school counselors and principal if you believe your child would benefit from additional support. You'll also find resources on the suicide prevention page on our district website Remember, you and your family are not alone—please reach out—we are here to help.

Michele Hamilton
Urbandale CSD Coordinator of Student, Family & Community Services
There are certain rights of passage that we typically pass through as we age. We likely can recall our first childhood school experiences, our first time on an airplane, and our first time driving a car. As children have greater and greater access to technology, another right of passage that some families may be experiencing is the first time purchasing a mobile phone or tablet for your child. 

One aspect of keeping kids safe online is the option for parents to use monitoring apps/software. Every family will have their own preferences for using such tools; some families may believe monitoring tools are too intrusive while other families may believe the tools give them the ability to better help their children stay safe online. Both perspectives have equally important views and pros/cons. If your family is interested in parental monitoring tools, we’ve compiled a short list of websites that have researched, reviewed, and compared monitoring tools. Please note: we do not endorse any of the tools mentioned in these articles; we’re sharing these links as a way to help you make an informed decision should your family have an interest in these tools. 


  • District Calendars (1-page quick-view calendars; remember 'Late Start Wednesday' dates noted with blue boxes for grades K - 5; noted with * for grades 6 - 8)

  • Flyer Hub (flyers for community activities and events)
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).
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