Dear Urban Prairie Families,

From Wednesday’s lovely Rose Ceremony to today’s 6-mile round trip walking expedition for our Middle School… what a first week it has been, what a joy to welcome your students into our classrooms, and what a way to start this year. Thank you for being part of this community, and thank you for choosing Urban Prairie. Looking forward to all that is still to come. Read on for updates, news, and reminders!

This Back to School update includes:

  • Calendar highlights

  • School News

  • Welcome Letter from Community Connections

  • Reminder:  Important documents

  • Reminder:  Sign-up links for afterschool/aftercare programs

  • Important UPWS Admin Contacts

Cheers to the year ahead,



September 13 Aftercare begins

September 16 No School, Mexican Independence Day & Yom Kippur

September 20 Capoeira afterschool program begins

September 28 New Family Welcome Dinner

October 2 Festival of Courage

October 11  No School, Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 26 Flag Football afterschool program begins

School News

New Family Welcome Dinner

We are so pleased to inaugurate our New Family Welcome Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 28, 6pm. If you are new to Urban Prairie this year or last year, mark your calendars!

Check Your Junk Folder

With new google emails and classes being created, some emails are going to junk folders rather than inboxes. Please check junk folders to make sure you are not missing any UPWS communications.

Urban Prairie Community S.E.E.D. Seminars

What is S.E.E.D. (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity)? Founded in 1987 by Peggy McIntosh (author of White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack), The National S.E.E.D. Project is a peer-led development program that promotes change through self-reflection and interpersonal dialogue that builds capacity for more equitable communities.

What does it involve? Participants attend 8 monthly 2 1/2 hour-long seminars, where they explore their education in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual identity, abilities, and age, and how these factors currently impact their communities. These seminars will be co-facilitated by Rob Welcher and Jenn Zielinski.

How do I join? Contact Jenn Zielinski at either 312-858-4562 or jenn.zi…@urbanprairie.org to save your spot or get more information. Groups are limited to 15 participants who must commit to attending at least 7 out of the 8 seminars that run from 4:30-7:00 pm via zoom on the following Tuesdays –  Oct 26, Nov 30, Jan 4 & 25, Mar 1 & 22, Apr 26, & May 24.

Community Connections Corner


Hello Urban Prairie Families and welcome to the 2021/2022 school year! My name is Anne McDonough and this is my first year leading the Community Connections Team. I’m super excited for this new year to begin! My husband, Kevin, and I have 2 children in the Early Childhood program (Maxine and Hutch) and I’m often outside near their play yard at pick-up and drop-off. Please come say hello!

If you’re a new family at UPWS, Community Connections is our parent/guardian group. This team focuses on supporting the school’s amazing administration, staff and teachers. We encourage all parents/guardians to become part of the school community through the many volunteer opportunities and social engagements throughout the year. The Yearbook Team, Welcome Wagon, Maker’s Guild and The Festivals Committee are just some of the ways we lend our help. Community Connections has meetings about once a month and everyone is welcome to attend. Watch for CC meetings, updates, and volunteer opportunities in the Admin weekly emails!

Feeling the urge to get involved and volunteer? We would love to have you!

Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions or interest at Anne.mc…@urbanprairie.org.



2021-22 Health Forms

Please photograph and upload your health forms in Operoo, or drop them with Administration. Requirements by age/grade:

  • Immunization: Early Childhood (submit annually), new/transfer students, students entering Kindergarten, 1st, and 6th grades.

  • Medical Examination: Early Childhood (submit annually), new/transfer students, students entering Kindergarten, 1st, and 6th grades. Physical must have been completed within one year prior to October 1, 2021.

  • Dental Examination: Students entering Kindergarten, 2nd, and 6th grades, and all new/transfer students. Due April 1, but encouraged sooner. Examinations must have been completed within 18 months prior to May 15, 2022.

  • Eye Examination: Students entering Kindergarten, new/transfer students. Examinations must have been completed within one year prior to October 15, 2021.


Aftercare starts Monday, September 13! Aftercare is available until 5:30 pm each school day, and the program includes both outdoor and indoor time. Billing is by the day, not hour or minute.

Annual Pre-Registration Rate

  • 5 days/week: $3,500

  • 4 days/week: $2,800

  • 3 days/week: $2,100

  • 2 days/week: $1,400

  • 1 day/week: $700

Drop-In Rate

  • One Time Drop-In: $50 a day based on space availability

  • Late Fee (Not picked up by 5:30 p.m.) $25

* Any child not picked up from school by 3:25 pm will be entered into the aftercare program.

* Variable Tuition families please reach out aj….@urbanprairie.org to discuss adjustable rates.

Afterschool Activities

This year we offer a range of afterschool activities, including instrument lessons, capoeira, and flag football (eligibility is grade dependent). To enroll, please log into Operoo. Forms will be visible immediately upon login if your student is eligible. Questions? Contact Sophie Baumgartner at sophie.ba…@urbanprairie.org or 312-733-5337.

Afterschool and Aftercare Planning:

Please follow these steps to plan your student’s afternoons after school:

  1. Plan your child’s afternoons through December (or for the entire school year).

  2. Sign up for any afterschool clubs or lessons.

  3. Consider if you will need aftercare before or after extracurricular afterschool programming, or on other days – or all year long.

  4. Sign up for an aftercare contract for the days needed.

Capoeira Afterschool

Beto Defreitas’s successful summer camp is now an afterschool program!


Grades 1-3, Mondays, after school until 4:15 p.m.

Grade 4-8, Wednesdays, after school until 4:15 p.m.

September 20 – November 15

Session Fee: $150-$170

Flag Football Afterschool

We’re hearing a buzz among the students about Ms. Adriana Kondrat’s flag football afterschool program! Over six sessions, the students will build skills and self-confidence via review of fundamentals, insight into the positions’ strengths and strategies, and weekly scrimmage. A perfect program for students who cannot get enough flag football, or for those  interested in sports but who have not had the opportunity to play much. Your student should bring an extra snack for the session and athletic all-weather clothing. Play will be outside in the nearby green space.

When: Tuesday, Grades 6-8, after school until 4:45pm

Dates: October 26 – December 7

Session Fee: $120

Instrument Lessons Afterschool

We are adding more private lessons with the hiring of a new instructor.

When: Monday – Friday, Grades 3-8

Dates: September – June (available in trimesters)

Fee: $45 per lesson


For curriculum and classroom-related questions and concerns, please start by contacting your class teacher or subject teacher.

Administrative questions may be directed to:

Kim George, Operations Coordinator, kimberl…@urbanprairie.org 

Sophie Baumgartner, Pedagogical Operations, sophie.ba…@urbanprairie.org

AJ Lee, Director of Operations & Finance, aj….@urbanprairie.org

Sharla Paul, Head of School, sharl…@urbanprairie.org

Jen Kang, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, jen….@urbanprairie.org

Jenn Zielinski, Director of Enrollment Management, jenn.zi…@urbanprairie.org