"Optimism is one of the most powerful tools young people have. Our optimism radiates to our peers, community, and universe. If we can stay optimistic, the world we live in will be a much better place."
UHS Senior, Maya Sims


"'Here Comes the Sun' by The Beatles encourages me to look forward to what is to come, and to forget about the past. It helps me remember that we cannot go back or change anything that has happened, so we must make sure that the next time is better. Remember to always try your best, and keep moving even when it feels like the world is against you because it will get easier."
UHS Senior, Mercedes Hendricks 


"High school is very important because students are trying to figure out who they are, what they value, and what it is they love to do.The biggest thing I would encourage my fellow and future high school students to do is to be kind and to get involved. By doing this you are able to make a positive impact in other’s lives and learn more about yourself. Keep in mind that thoughtfulness and a genuine interest in other’s lives goes a long way. I truly believe that there’s a little bit of good in every person and celebrating that will make them, and the community, a happier, more supportive place to live."
UHS Senior, Grace Rempe

From childhood to adulthood, every single person experiences joy, pain, connection, loss, and everything in between. Our society has made great strides over the past few decades in welcoming conversations about what it means to be human . We’ve learned that often times, what’s on the outside doesn’t always match up with what’s on the inside. We show our best selves at school, work, and on social media, but in the quiet of our own mind, we may feel as though we could use a hand getting through something, over something, past something, or rid of something. As Jane Fonda shared on an episode of “Super Soul Sunday,” “We’re not meant to be perfect; we’re meant to be whole.”

We’d like to encourage students and families to reach out to your School Counselor(s) if you feel stuck, uncertain about the future, hopeless, depressed, or just not yourself. Discussing what’s in our hearts—even the hard stuff— especially the hard stuff —creates the beginning of the healing process. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide , please know, you are not alone—reach out to your School Counselor(s). Review suicide warning signs . We are truly here to help.
Is it better to take notes by hand or by laptop?

We thought it might of interest to dig into a topic that is certainly relevant today for students of all ages—is it better to take notes by hand using pen and paper or by using your laptop/device? For those of us who can remember the sound of a dial-up connection...perhaps we can also remember how we took notes using pen and paper in our high school and/or college classes. Fast forward 20 years when we can now carry mini-computers in our hands and on our wrists, how does this level of accessibility of technology translate into retaining information, creating understanding, and developing knowledge? Ultimately, when in an environment where we’re learning new information, should we take notes by hand or by laptop?

As Daniel Pink summarizes, the research has shown that when we take notes using our laptop we tend to transcribe, but when we take notes by hand, we can’t capture word-for-word what is being stated which forces our brain to summarize, synthesize, recap, and put content into our own words which is key for long-term comprehension.

Check out Daniel Pink’s 99-second video as well as a few evidence-based articles about the most effective approach for taking notes: For Note Taking, Low-Tech is Often Best and Take Notes by Hand for Better Long-Term Comprehension.


  • 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
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 .
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