Week 4

Prairie Roots adventures in painting, bread making, and outdoor free play

Dear Urban Prairie Families,

Okay, I’m in. Just signed up to bake a pie. Can you beat me? Go ahead and try

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone THIS Saturday, Oct 1, at our Festival of Courage.  Longtimers, please note the time – late afternoon! – 3:30-5:30pm. Newcomers, you’re in for a treat: feats of strength, pie and more pie (go ahead and try…), and a pageant featuring a fierce dragon. I won’t spoil the ending. 😉

As we gear up for the Festival, I’d like to take this moment to thank all of our parent volunteers, past, present, and still to find your way onto our lists. 

  • Schoolday Volunteers: Please always be sure to enter the school at the Main Entrance on Ashland and check in at the front desk. Please do not enter the building at any other entrance. This protocol ensures the safety and security of our students and staff. 

Cheers to fall and to the days and weeks ahead.

In service,



Calendar Highlights


Fri, Sep 30 Medical Forms Due

Sat, Oct 1 Festival of Courage, 3:30-5:30 pm

Mon, Oct 3 Grade 8 Expedition – Bronzeville Guided Tour (Morning Only)

Tue, Oct 4 Grade 8 Expedition – Museum of Mexican Art

Grade 4 Parent Night 5:30-7:30 pm

Wed, Oct 5 Yom Kippur – NO SCHOOL

Fri, Oct 7 First Friday Coffee 8 am (SW corner of playlot on Hastings)

Grade 8 Expedition – DuSable Museum & 31st Street Beach

Mon, Oct 10 – Indigenous People’s Day – NO SCHOOL

Thu, Oct 13 EC Parent Night 6:30-8 pm

Mon, Oct 24 Diwali – NO SCHOOL

Tue, Oct 25 Records Day – NO SCHOOL

School News

Health Forms Due THIS Friday

    • Health Examinations are required for all students via TADS. 

  • Medical forms are due to TADS by September 30! 

  • Failure to submit records by September 30th will result in your students not being allowed to attend school. 

Festival of Courage – Saturday, October 1st 

Our Festival of Courage will be held on Saturday, October 1st, from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in our playlot! 

  • Students are expected to be in their classrooms at 3:20 PM. 

Festival of Courage is a celebration of our courage and deeds of strength, a time for cultivation of our own strength and courage, and a time for reflection on our “dragons.” It is a time to build our reserves of strength and our inner flames to prepare for the long winter ahead. 

Join us in our celebration which will include:

  • A delightful pageant presented by Grades 1 through 8. The pageant will begin promptly at 3:30 PM. You could not, should not, would not be late!
  • Feats of Strength demonstrated through Gigantic Jenga, Hot Potato Races, Dexterity Challenges, and more!
  • Set your heart ablaze with courage by burning your fears in our brave bonfire.
  • Taste an array of competing pies and cast your vote! Buy tickets at the event! 
  • Show your school pride by purchasing t-shirts, hoodies, bumper stickers, tote bags, or recipe books at our merchandise table!

2018 FOC pie contest flashback ~ Miles Hershberger UP’22 wins 1st place in Kids’ Favorite category

Pie! Pie! Calling All Pie Bakers + (Non-Baking) Volunteers!

Celebrate your confidence and courage by joining our pie baking contest!

  • Drop off pies before the festival, with any special instructions and a full list of ingredients (Note: NO tree-nuts, peanuts, or eggs in whole form!!). 
  • Please use disposable tupperware or label the tin clearly with your name. 
  • Please label your pie accordingly if it is gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian!

Meanwhile, volunteers are essential to all of our festivals. If you’re interested in helping set up or clean up, please sign up here!

Seeking an EC Assistant

Sweet and energetic group of hummingbirds and butterflies ages 3 to 6 seek an assistant teacher to sing songs, cook yummy food, and tend a magical garden. Interested – or know someone who might be? Email jobs@urbanprairie.org for more information. 

After School


Aftercare is available until 5:30 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays ONLY for grades 1-8. Billing is quarterly (previously trimesters), with the below dates/prices. Space is limited! To sign up, please email dani.ruiz@urbanprairie.org.

Quarter 1 Sept 6 – Nov 4, 2022 1 Day/Week: $200

2 Days/Week: $400

3 Days/Week: $600

Note: Prices are the same for Quarter 1, 2, and 3. Quarter 4 is lower due to fewer days.

After School Programming

Ms. Kondrat continues here much loved after school programs. Sign up now!

Sign up for Volleyball here! It’s not too late!

Sign up for Basketball here!

2022-23 After School Program / Mondays, 3:30 – 5pm
Sept 19 – Nov 14, 2022

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM



Grades 6+

No Class Oct 10, 24, 31

Dec 5 – Jan 30, 2023

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Basketball Grades 6+

No Class during Holidays

Feb 6 – Mar 20, 2023

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Board Game Club Grades 4+ $120
April 10 – May 22, 2023

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Skateboarding Grades 3+

Makeup Day June 5, 2023



Questions? Please email dani.ruiz@urbanprairie.org. Cost of the program will be billed via TADS.

Private Music Lessons

Music Lessons are available for all students, from Early Childhood through 8th Grade!

New Music Lesson Schedule
Quarter 1 September 19 – November 11
30 Min Lesson $45/Session
45 Min Lesson $60/Session
60 Min Lesson $75/Session

If you are interested in Music Lessons or if you have any questions, please fill out this form, and we will reach out to you!

Community Connections

Why did the coffee bean keep checking his watch?

Because he was pressed for time!

Next Friday, Oct. 7th, is our 1st First Friday Coffee! Join us behind the goat shed at 8 am, or right after drop-off. Feel free to bring a treat to share or just come for the hot coffee and warm conversation. Community Connections will be bringing donuts and coffee. This is such a great way to connect with others at Urban Prairie.

Buy a Yearbook Ad!

The 2021-22 Yearbook should be ready by October! The Yearbook team is looking for businesses that would like to advertise…do you have one or know anyone that does? Please contact me at anne.mcdonough@urbanprairie.org

Feeling like a little more Community Connection?

We’ve made a private Facebook group! This group is for discussions, reminders, open play-dates, item donations, proud moments, and anything else we can think of. This link is available for 48 hours, but you’ll always be able to join. Feel free to email me if the link doesn’t work anne.mcdonough@urbanrprairie.org.

Need to get some new winter gear or get rid of what you have? This is a great way to do it!

Check out our Swap n Sell page on FaceBook

Get Involved

Community Connections is always looking for volunteers! If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact Community Connections Chair Anne McDonough at anne.mcdonough@urbanprairie.org

  • Yearbook – Helps produce our annual yearbook
  • Facilities – Helps keep our outdoor space clean and welcoming
  • Library – Manages and provides volunteers for the school library
  • Class Delegates – Connects the class to Community Connections opportunities
  • Makers’ Guild – Makes fabric-based items needed in the classrooms
  • Social Club – Helps in planning the fun stuff, like 1st Friday Coffee, Beach Days, BYOB Fridays, and Color Team Potlucks


Anne Elizabeth McDonough


Community Connections Lead

Health and Safety

Medical Forms

Medical forms are due to TADS by September 30! Failure to submit records by September 30th will result in students not being allowed to attend school

Please contact jessica.goc@urbanprairie.org with any questions. 

Back to School Forms
Immunization (non-Covid) Early Childhood students, new/transfer students, students entering grades 1 & 6 Via TADS
Alternative: Illinois Certificate of Religious Exemption to Required Immunizations and/or Examinations Form Students who are opting out of vaccines and/or examinations via TADS
State of Illinois Certificate of Child Health Examination All students via TADS
State of Illinois Proof of Dental Examination Students entering grades 2 & 6, new/transfer students via TADS
State of Illinois Eye Examination Report Students entering Kindergarten, new/transfer students via TADS
Allergy and/or Dietary Restrictions All students via TADS
Medical Insurance Information All students via TADS
Birth Certificate All students via TADS

Managing Covid-19 

To keep our community safe and healthy, Urban Prairie will follow these 4 simple rules to mitigate the spread and severity of Covid-19:

  1. Stay home when sick!
    • If positive, stay home and isolate for 5 days. Alert the school!
    • Upon return, wear a well-fitting mask for 5 days. 
    • If symptoms persist, stay home and isolate for 10 days.
  2. Household contacts must wear a well-fitting mask indoors for 10 days. 
    • Alert the school if you have Covid in the house.
    • Test regularly! 
    • If symptomatic, follow the instructions above. 
  3. Updated vaccinations are key!
    • Students under 5 are now eligible for vaccines, and students ages 6-12 are now eligible for boosters.
  4. Keep rapid antigen tests at home!



Absences. Call the main office at 312-733-5337 or email attendance@urbanprairie.org no later than 7:45 am. Please 

Curriculum & Classroom-Related Questions/Concerns: Please start by contacting your class teacher or subject teacher.

Administrative questions may be directed to:

Dani Ruiz, Operations Coordinator


Jessica Goc, Operations Manager


Jen Kang, Director of Curriculum & Instruction


Jenn Zielinski, Director of Enrollment Management & Variable Tuition


Sharla Paul, Head of School