Urban Prairie Waldorf School
Administration Weekly Update - September 10, 2019
Upcoming Events   (7)
Thursday, September 12
6:30 - 8:00pm
Board of Trustees Meeting

All are invited and welcome to attend the first Board meeting of the school year. All meetings begin with a session open to the public, followed by a closed session of the Board. On September’s agenda:

  • Study: Director of Curriculum and Instructor Angela Kiefer leads a seasonally inspired study to feed the soul during this busy back-to-school time.   
  • Board election: Board votes on candidate Janeil Ruiz, Psy.D., grade 4 parent and executive director and founder of Agave Studio, a bilingual therapist who brings an expertise in bi-cultural identity. 
  • Director of Administration inaugural update: Sharla Paul, who began as Director of Administration in late August, updates the Board on her plan for the first 45 days of the year. 
  • Staff recruiting: The Board search committee updates us on recruiting for the Director of Admissions and Enrollment.

Questions about the agenda? Interested in learning more about the Board? Please email Sharla Paul or Board President Shannon Callahan. The Board seeks big-picture thinkers

Wednesday, September 18
Picture Day

Please make every effort to ensure your children are at school on picture day! We recommend solid colors as they appear best in photos. Please pay extra attention to our dress code on this day, especially no big logos.

Wednesday, September 18
6:00 - 8:00pm
Grade 4 Parent/Guardian Evening

Thursday, September 19
7:00 - 9:00pm
Middle School Parent/Guardian Evening

Parents and guardians of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are asked to attend this meeting.

Thursday, September 26
6:00 - 7:30pm
Grade 3 Parent/Guardian Evening



Friday, September 27
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Festival of Courage Community Work Day

During this festival time we find the fortitude within ourselves to roll up our sleeves and get to work. In this spirit we invite community members to join each class as they tackle a project that will beautify and enrich our school.

Click here to sign up to work with a class from 1:00 – 3:00 pm on Friday. If you have children in multiple classes you can spend some time with each!


Saturday, September 28
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Festival of Courage

Come enjoy this festival with the whole community!

You will enjoy:
– A Michaelmas pageant performed by the entire school
– A pie-off for all to enjoy
– A potluck full of delicious food
– Music and good times for all!

Look for an email from Community Connections about your class potluck assignment.

As we say here at Urban Prairie, many hands make light work. We encourage all of our community members to pitch in to make this festival run smoothly, it’s also a great way to connect with each other! Click here to sign up for a shift. You will also find the pie contest sign up at the bottom of the sign-up page.

Mark Your Calendars   (2)
Open Houses

Please share upcoming open house dates with your friends who may be interested in checking out our wonderful school!

October 3
November 6
December 12
January 14

All open houses run from 8:15 – 10:00 am. Learn more here.

Fundraising Events and Parties

Mark your calendars for some signature Urban Prairie parties! You won’t want to miss these shindigs, book your sitters now!

November (date coming soon): Day of the Dead dinner and dance
December 21: Solstice Progressive Dinner
February 1: Mid-Winter Progressive Dinner
March 7: UPWS 10th Anniversary Party

More events coming soon.

School News   (6)
Carpool Map

We are working on creating our carpool map, please login to your BigSIS portal to make sure your contact information is correct. Let administration know if you have any questions by emailing admin@urbanprairie.org or calling 312-733-5337.

In the meantime, if you need assistance organizing a carpool reach out to the Community Connections group at cc@urbanprairie.org.



If you have not yet read the 2019-20 Handbook, please do so!

UPWS Handbook 2019-20


Aftercare will be offered every day after school until 6:00 pm unless otherwise noted.

To complete an aftercare contact and receive the contracted rate of $9.00/hour click here.

If your child/children will be dropping into aftercare the hourly rate is $13.00/hour. Contact the school as soon as you know your child will need to drop into aftercare by emailing aftercare@urbanprairie.org. You can also sign them up for drop-ins in your BigSIS portal.


Allergies, Medication, and Health Forms

Basic health information can now be logged in your BigSIS Portal! Simply go to your child’s record under the “Parents” tab and click on the “Health Info” tab, we are especially hoping to collect allergy info here. (Note allergy and medical forms will still need to be submitted by email to admin@urbanprairie.org or handed in at the front desk).

If your child has a food sensitivity or allergy please complete the below form and submit it to the front office. We ask that all families submit these for the new year even if you have submitted them in years past.

UPWS Allergy Form
UPWS Food Sensitivity Form

If your child needs an epipen, inhaler, or other medications at school please send it in with your child in a clear plastic bag with their name written on it. With the medication should be any necessary instructions. Medications will stay with the class teacher.

Health Examination Requirements
Due to public health concerns regarding vaccinations and state tracking, we are asking that we receive a state health form from every student this year by October 15. (typically it is required in 1st and 6th grades). This is to ensure our existing records are as accurate as possible. Note that all students must provide proof of the following immunizations or a religious exemption waiver:

Hepatitis B

All students entering 6th grade and above must provide proof of the following immunizations or a religious exemption waiver:


Forms can be handed in to the front desk or emailed to admin@urbanprairie.org.

Your doctor’s office should have the forms, you can also find them here: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Health-Requirements-Student-Health-Data.aspx.

Meals at Urban Prairie

Nut and Egg Free Environment
To protect our community please be sure snacks and lunches are free of nuts in any form and eggs in pure form (ex/ hard boiled eggs are not allowed, but a pastry with egg is).

Lunch Delivery
Bare with us as we cobble together lunch option while we prepare out kitchen space! If you have ideas for local restaurants for us to partner with please let Sophie Baumgartner know (sophie.baumgartner@urbanprairie.org).

Ventra Cards

Every student, especially in grade 3 and up, should have a student Ventra card for field trips. Students get a special low rate that the school cannot get from our end. Cards must be renewed every fall.

Cards will be mailed to the school, once they arrive we will give them to students so they can be loaded with funds.

If this is your first time applying for a students Ventra card complete this form.

If you are renewing a students Ventra card complete this form.

Curious Questions   (2)
Does Urban Prairie have a new leadership structure?

Indeed we do!

Interim Director of Administration: Sharla Paul
We are very pleased to announce Sharla Paul as our new Interim Director of Administration, as part of our new governance structure.

Sharla brings a decade of experience as a leader at Urban Prairie, where she fostered the strategic planning initiatives to establish long-term financial modeling and reserves, our middle-school-into-high-school plan, and our long-term facility search, culminating in a $600k capital campaign and our new home. Sharla’s experience in education communications and planning includes her work for the University of Chicago, which this spring won a Grand Gold Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Most recently, she wrote the project plan for the National HeadStart Association to draft ethical guidelines for Artificial Intelligence and Technology in early childhood education, and she serves on the year-long working group kicking off that initiative this fall.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Team
Our new DoCI team of Angela Kiefer, Becky Moskowitz, and Brian Gleichauf will oversee faculty mentoring, evaluation, recruiting, and retention; curriculum planning and teaching; and faculty meetings and study. Together these three make up the role that was previously the Pedagogical Director and is now called the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, as part of the new UPWS governance strategic plan.

How can community members help?

It definitely takes a village! Your help and support are always appreciated. Two great ways to pitch are:

Community Wish List, this is an always changing list of items we could use around the school that you might have collecting dust!

Community Connections, email cc@urbanprairie.org to find out how you can lend you talents.

Community Connections Corner   (2)
Volunteering with CC

Thank you to everyone that signed up for our volunteer teams; Library, Kitchen, Facilities, Delegates, Maker’s Guild! We will be in touch soon if we haven’t connected with you already!

We do need Delegates for 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grade. If you are in one of these grades, enjoy connecting with people, and would like to represent your class within the greater school community, please let us know at cc@urbanprairie.org.

Maker's Guild

Our summer Maker’s Guild consisted of amazing sewers and random talent at our summer potlucks that helped measure, cut, pin, and fill our bean bags for our sewers! A shout out of gratitude to those potluck hands (you know who you are 🙂 AND to our Maker’s Guild team; Marekesh, Valarie, Grandma JoJo, Sarah, Danila, and Heather for getting those bean bags done and crayon rolls ready! Starting the year off in grand style as we make our way to the Festival of Courage!

If you are interested in joining the Maker’s Guild contact cc@urbanprairie.org.

In Gratitude   (1)
Thanks to all for a great first week!

It takes every single member of this community to make Urban Prairie successful. Our deepest thanks to every family, old and new, who have come together to make this place a vibrant and joyful place of learning.