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  1. Good Goodbyes

    June 24, 2018 by escounselors

    June is always a hard time of the school year as students and teachers say goodbye; sometimes for the last time.  This year is particularly hard for Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields as they are both leaving UAS at the end of June.

    Ms. Jen is moving back to the United States to be closer to her family after living in Dubai for 6 years.  She will miss the UAS community and all of the students she had the pleasure of working with for the past 3 years.  The experience of living abroad has helped her to grow both on professional and personal level.  All the friendships and relationships made will always be remembered and cherished.

    Mr. Fields is moving to Hong Kong for the 2018/2019 school year to continue being an elementary school counselor.  He hopes to use Hong Kong as a base from which to explore Asia and the South Pacific.  It is a with a heavy heart that Mr. Fields says goodbye to all of the wonderful students and families that he’s had the pleasure of meeting over the last couple of years here at UAS.  You have made him a better counselor and taught him so much about various cultures from around the region and the world.  Getting to know and teach your student has been an honor and a pleasure and he will miss the UAS community.

    Both Mr. Fields and Ms. Jen have been going into each classroom to conduct a final lesson about how to have a Good Goodbye.  A Good Goodbye, as opposed to a bad one, leaves one with no regrets.  Although you may have a number of feelings, including being sad, mad, or worried, you still try to fix things or say things you need to say with people that are important to you, before you leave.  We also stressed how important it is to express how you feel about leaving those you care about.

    This is a great conversation to continue at home whether your child will be traveling, moving, or just saying goodbye to transient friends.

  2. May’s Lunch Bunch Winners: Risk-Takers

    June 5, 2018 by escounselors

    Ramadan Mubarak!

    May went by very very quickly.  But in that time, several students demonstrated their ability to take risks.  Risk-Takers do not put themselves in danger, but they do allow themselves to be vulnerable from time to time.  When Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields discuss this learner trait with our students, we provide examples such as trying a new math problem that has been hard in the past, or approaching a group of students playing a game you have always wanted to join in on. Risk-taking can vary but it does not mean something dangerous.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is what set apart our Lunch Bunch Honorees in May.

    Because of the Ramadan schedule, Mr. Fields and Ms. Jen decided to invite our May Lunch Bunch honorees to our final Lunch Bunch Celebration on June 26 for KG2-Grade 1, and June 27 for Grades 2-5.   We will remind the students who were picked in May a few days prior to our celebration in June.

    June is our final month of learner traits.  The attribute that students are working on demonstrating in June is being Reflective.  These students consider the world and their own ideas and experience.  They work to understand their strengths and weakness in order to support their learning and personal development.

    May’s Risk-Takers:

    Lois Finney Ibrahim Bakir, Malak Dweik
    Tolu Daramola Tala Azzouni, Shuo Li, Melissa Belabed
    Lauren Alvarez Liyana Dadoo, Mia Kange
    Michelle McCarthy Hashem Osman, Ibrahim Katanbaf
    Aoife O’Reilly Lucius Walters, Sami Soltani

    Grade 1

    Kristin Yates Lyana, Basem, Huda
    Kristen Prideaux Jennaa Al Habahbeh and Yuma Kawamura
    Thao Tozin Abdulqadir Fakhruddin and Oliver Abushakra
    Veronica Jones Saeed Alsawaleh and Ziad El Hindy
    Nancy Salem Amy and Safa

    Grade 2

    Beenish Russell Reina Tsuge and Stephanie Khoukhaji
    Deborah O’Sullivan Jad Dhaini and Yamen Dufan

    Grade 3

    Andrea Kavanagh Armaan Kazani and Michael Chayban
    Gillian King Shadi Abdelgader and Sophia Pamoukian
    Allison Van Dyke Hady Abdelgader and Yasmine Belabed

    Grade 4

    Coleton Tillett Adam Assad, Shoichiro Iwamoto

    Grade 5

    Sharon Davy Ralph and Youseph
    Sinead Ryan Arina Sbodnova and Tiam Torabi


    Rianne Fox Sergey Egorov 2DO

    Layla Mansour KG2LF

    Zou Fraser Ibrahim Ismael (5EK) for his contributions to Exhibition

    Mohammad Khair Khwa (4AT) when presenting at the living museum on children’s rights

    Rima Wehbi Layla ( KG2 F)-  Tia Tawadros ( KG2F)- Rayyan Khan ( KG2 F)- Salem Khan ( KG TD)- Daniel George ( KG2 F)
    Neveen Yassin Grade 1:Nakshatra, Vanilla   SALEN01

    Grade 2 :Mohamad, Hajar     2DO

    Grade 3: Youssef, Celine      3NK

    Grade 4:Yousef, Saif             4CT

    Grade 5:Raad, Tarek            5EY

    Rahmah Abdullah Grade 1 :1KY Lyana Saad , Saif Kashani

    Grade 2 : 2CM Ahmad Althani ,  2BR Layan Zaher

    Grade 3 : 3NK Talia Kanaan ,  3 GK Faroq ismael

    Grade 4 : 4 AT Salan Fakhreddin , 4 SD Aiya Kashani

    Grade 5 : 5 SS  Marya Droubi  , 5 SR JUDE Elkhansa

    KG2  : LF Layan Mujahed , MM Lilia Zoroub

    Alina Nistor Nawenxuan Li (1KY) Adam Sannan (5EY) Charbel Abboud (5SS)
    Erika Ettl KG2AO Amber & KG2LA Marc


  3. April’s Lunch Bunch Honorees: Well-Balanced!

    April 30, 2018 by escounselors

    Well Balanced


    During our most recent Lunch Bunch, students who showed that they were Well-Balanced were nominated by teachers.  Students were taught that being well-balanced is not about athletic ability, but rather how they spend their time and energy.  An analogy helps to simply.  If you found pirate treasure and decided to spend it all on pizza every day for the next 5 years you would eventually tire of eating pizza.  Instead you could spend some of your treasure on pizza, and also some  fruits, veggies, maybe some pasta, and so on.  Students are taught that their time and energy is like a treasure, and it should not all be spent in one place.  If they’re really good at maths, they should try to spend more time reading and writing.  If they only play with one friend all the time, it would be helpful to branch out and play with other people sometimes too.  Work and play should be balanced as well so we take care of our responsibilities but also have fun.

    There are only two Lunch Bunches left this year!  In May, teachers are looking for students who are willing to take (safe) risks.  Students who try a new game, or play with someone they have never talked to, or sample foods they were kind of afraid to eat.  It is made very clear to students that being a Risk-Taker DOES NOT mean putting yourself in physical danger.  It just means that sometimes it is worth it to be vulnerable and brave.  Courage is action in the face of fear, and it is a skill children can learn to increase resilience and self-esteem.

    Below is our list of April’s Well-Blanced Students:

    Lois Finney Malak Dweik and Moustafa Al Hassanein
    Lauren Alvarez Amara Chagani & Maya Ismail
    Michelle McCarthy Loujayne Rarih and Helen Hamou
    Aoife O’Reilly Mozah Alketbi and Sophia Gutierrez
    Grade 1
    Kristin Yates Silvana Hanh, Nawenxuan Li, and Zayed Zainal
    Kristen Prideaux Judson Furman and Noor Alhazeem
    Thao Tozin Hani Halawani and Oliver Abushakra
    Veronica Jones Yanal Abdo and Yasma Abou Alfa
    Nancy Salem Hamada Chakroun & Daniel Saad
    Grade 2
    Beenish Russell Rashed Shidifat and Stephanie Khoukhaji
    Deborah O’Sullivan Sergey Egorov & Anas Al Issa
    Cindi Meeks Ghazi and Farah
    Andrea Kavanagh Arsh Contractor & Mohamed Abdelazim
    Grade 3
    Gillian King Aisha and Shadi
    Nadine Kidane Lana Zoutinie and Maryam Aldabal
    Elliott Russell Angelo Abushakra
    Allison Van Dyke Ann Zhou and Parker Fucik
    Grade 4
    Coleton Tillett Rashid Hujaij, Anastasia Mansur
    Amie Jones Yasmina Abdul Salam, Issa Mohammed
    Sharon Davy Sumaya and Farah
    Grade 5
    Sinead Ryan Noor Khan, Yousef Al Mojaber
    Erik Yates Aya Fadlallah and Aaryan Sharma
    Shannon Schricker Youssef, Jomana, Yara, Kyle
    Specialist Teachers
    Al Finney Daniel Bou Ayache 5EY
    Catherine Khachatryan Ahmed Bin Turkeya 2CM
    Rianne Fox Safa Qasemi 1NS

    Maya Ismael KG2LA

    Zou Fraser Shuo Li (KG2TD) for knowing when to work and when to play.

    Charbel Abboud (5SS) for making efforts to balance his exhibition workload appropriately.

    Rima Wehbi KG2: Ciftci Alper- Mansour Layla

    Grade 2: Amina AL Hussari-  Saeed Al Ghass

    Grade 3: Anthony Sawaya- Sophia Pamoukian

    Abdelrahman Mohammed Gr.2 : Haya  2Cm – Ghazi 2Cm .

    Gr.3 : tarek 3Nk  – Ibrahim 3NK

    Gr4  : Hagia Sophia – Omar Halawa.

    Gr.5 : Fajr – Farah .

    Hadeel El-Sawa Gr.4: Amin Kurban 4CT- Omar Watar 4SD- Karl Tawadroos 4SD


    Gr.5: Reagan Fucik 5EY- Amelia De Cardy-Torris (Both girls have overcome their struggle in balancing between their academic and sport lives & have succeeded).

    Heba Fares Kg2: Alfalasi, Noora (LF)

    Gr.1:Yacoub,Anzor (NS)

    Gr.4: Kashani, Aiya

    Gr.5: Ali,Hala (EY)

    Neveen Yassin  

    Grade 1: Sharif Anaya (TOZIT01)

    Grade 2:AlHeraiz,Sarah (MEEKC01)

    Grade 3:Shwaish,Haya (RUSSE01)

    Grade 4: Prince,Lulwa (JONEA01)

    Grade 5 Fakih,Kareem (SCHRS01)

    Nisreen Al Soloh KG2: Jad Hachem & Dana Husseinali (LA)

    GR1: Ayah Nassar & Mohammed Aljabor (TT)

    GR2: Lara Dawoodi & Mohammad Dweik (BR)

    GR3: Zeina Lahham (GK) & Yara Sheikhali (AV)

    GR4: Mayssa Rarih & Taya Fakhra (AT)

    GR5: Lara Nassar (SR) & Evangelina Taiba (SS)

    Alina Nistor Norah Furman (3GK) Parker Fucik (3AV)
    Erika Ettl 1NS Gabriella & 1KP Danny
    Rob Calandra Fajer 5SR and Hyjein 5SS
    Fatma Elsafty Gr5: Abdullah Aldaboos 5EY & Michelle Abou Fadel 5SS

    Gr4:Mayed Al ghandi 5AT& Ceceilia Hassaniieh 4AJ

    Gr3: Adnan _ Sholia

    Gr1: Rihito 1KP& Cifci, Gabriel 1KP

    Kg2:  Gabriella 2TD& Lea 2TD& Sol 2TD

  4. Belly Breathing and Melting: Strategies for Calming Down

    April 19, 2018 by escounselors

    Below are some additional resources that have been incorporated into PreK, KG1, and KG2 counseling lessons.  I encourage you to try them at home with your child.

  5. Recognizing and Managing Strong Feelings

    April 15, 2018 by escounselors

    In the early childhood wing (PreK-G1) students have been learning to turn their Feelings Detective Skills on themselves.  We’ve been learning about the difference between small and big feelings.  Small feelings happen all the time.  Its almost like they run in the background.  Sometimes we’re aware of them, when we tune into them, but most times we’re not.

    Big feelings are easy to recognize because they do strange things to our thinking and our bodies.  They might make us breath heavy, make our hearts pound, turn our hands into fists, make our faces get hot, or our muscles get tight, and other things.  Although its perfectly fine to have a strong feeling from time to time, its hard to make smart choices when we’re having them.  When we can recognize those body clues we can learn how to calm down and better solve problems.

    Students have been watching videos from Second Step and Sesame Street to figure out what they can do to calm down their big feelings.  We watched the video below in G1 and refer to the poster above in all grades.

  6. Trying New Things is Fun!

    April 8, 2018 by escounselors

    March was a very short month here at UAS, but in that time several students demonstrated their Open-Mindedness in a variety of ways.  They tried to make friends with people they never spoke to before.  They tried new foods that they previously had never eaten.  They participated in a new activity or sport.  Or maybe they listened to and considered someone else’s ideas.  These students were horored at our Lunch Bunch celebration the Tuesday before Spring Break.  We had outdoor lunch, listened to sweet jams, had a special treat, and held speed races.  It was a blast!  The list of invitees is below.

    Lois Finney Adam Khalil, Layan Mujahed
    Tolu Daramola Ceila El Rayes, Sol El Lahham,
    Lauren Alvarez Ali Eid, Lydia Apostalatou
    Michelle McCarthy Gia Bachir, Amlie Martin Nistor
    Grade 1
    Kristin Yates Abdulla Aldabal and Lyana Saad
    Kristen Prideaux Danny Saleh & Yuma Kawamura
    Thao Tozin Khowlah Latif & Maria Ines Ochoa Lopez
    Veronica Jones Alia and Katherine
    Nancy Salem Carl Hanna and Carly Khoury
    Grade 2
    Beenish Russell Mai Ali and Mohammad Dweik
    Deborah O’Sullivan Xinyang Liu, Cici Ding
    Andrea Kavanagh Zara & Zahra
    Gillian King Naya & Hamdan
    Grade 3
    Nadine Kidane Dan Milli and Talia Kansan
    Elliott Russell Chloe Naffah and Mohammad Alqadi
    Allison Van Dyke Yahya Gad and Anthony Assaker
    Grade 4
    Coleton Tillett Salama Adabal, Awab Al Issa
    Amie Jones Adam El Dali, Yara Sulaiman
    Sharon Davy Jude
    Alicia Talbot (students coming in from last month’s)
    Grade 5
    Sinead Ryan Andrei, Mario
    Erik Yates Alice Borrero Schulle, Seamus O’Sullivan
    Shannon Schricker Evangelina, Elizabeth, Adam
    Al Finney Danial Bou Ayache gr.5EY, Lulwa Prince gr. 4AJ
    Catherine Khachatryn Sheikh Dalmook Al Maktoum G3 AVD
    Rianne Fox Sara Liu 2DO

    Rayan AbuShawish KG2MM

    Zou Fraser David Puscasu 1VJ

    Norah Furman 3GK

    Abdelrahman Mohammed Mai Mahmoud G2, Mohamed Ahmed G2

    Jasmin G3 , Tareq G3

    Salan G4 , Yara G4

    Belal G5 , Adam G5

    Rabab Housino Almazrouei, Hind 2BR -Faraj, Laelia 2AK

    Diab, Haya KG2AO- Ali-Hasan, Malak KG2MM

    Al Lahham, Mia  3GK- Baker, Abdullah  3NK

    Chamlian,Aya 1KP -Maayah,George 1TT

    Neveen Yassin Grade 1:Sulaiman,Eyad – YATEN01

    Grade 2:Dufan,Yamen – LAWRD01

    Grade 3:Kassab,Yasmeen – VANDA01

    Grade 4:Alzamly,Khalid – JONEA01

    Grade 5:Kahale,Amir – RYANS01

    Erika Ettl 2CM Ghazi Z. & 2DO Zoe M.
    Rob Calandra Sarah 3AVD Sebi 3NK






  7. Rockstar Recess: March 15, 2018

    March 15, 2018 by escounselors

    Presenting some amazingly Open-Minded Early Elementary students!  Look for older students to be honored at Lunch Bunch this upcoming Tuesday, March 20.

  8. Positive Discipline

    March 12, 2018 by escounselors

    Does your child talk back, or do the exact opposite of what you told them to do?  Do the simplest requests sometimes turn into massive power struggles?  Do you often feel at a loss of how address these issues?  You’re not alone.

    Parents often come to Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields to get some tips on how to stop overtly disrespectful or defiant behavior from their child.  Whether this happens toward the parents themselves, or towards others, the parents just want to figure out how to get it to stop.  As counselors, we are constantly advocating for what’s called the Positive Discipline approach, and even advise teachers here at UAS on its merits.  We’d encourage you to do some research on how and why it works.  Follow the link to access the Positive Discipline blog and take a peek at the video which articulately outlines the guidelines of the approach.

    Positive Discipline Blog


  9. February Lunch Bunch: Knowledgable!!!

    March 8, 2018 by escounselors

    “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”  – James Keller

    February’s lunch bunch honored students who have demonstrated serious knowledge.  Maybe they are fascinated by dinosaurs.  Maybe they have brushed up on their arithmetic.  Maybe they are obsessed with proper grammar.  Either way, they’ve shown their teachers and peers that they have a wealth of knowledge and are willing to share it with others.

    Our honorees are below:

    Lois Finney Zaid Mobeen and Rayyan Khan
    Lauren Alvarez Ibrahim AlSaadi, Sofia ElYacoubi
    Michelle McCarthy Saif Almannaei,  Twinkle (Chenxi) Shi
    Aoife O’Reilly Saeb Matraji, Nia Sophia Gutierrez
    Kristin Yates Jadd Osman-Price, Eyad Sulaiman
    Kristen Prideaux Gabriel Cifci and Ghazi Droubi
    Thao Tozin Ashton Bester and Abdullah Adham
    Veronica Jones Libya Ghariani and Jad Abou Chacra
    Nancy Salem Roman Lyuberets and Carly Khoury
    Deborah O’Sullivan Habib Al Sabbagh, Kian El Haddad
    Cindi Meeks Andoin and Farah
    Andrea Kavanagh Laelia Faraj and Anissa Mansoori
    Gillian King Zeina and Rayyan
    Nadine Kidane Lucas Vegara Nugent and Lana Zeitounie
    Allison Van Dyke Peter Tawil and Rehan Ahmad
    Coleton Tillett Aaloy Bhowmik, Chloe Hanna Said
    Amie Jones Zimu Wang, Carla Al Sabbagh
    Sharon Davy Omar and Zaineb
    Alicia Talbot Michael Zheng & Salan Fakhreddin
    Sinead Ryan Judy El Shansa, Amir Kahale
    Erik Yates Hussein Al Kaar & Hala Ali
    Rianne Fox Khaled Nasrallah KG2M McCarthy

    Aser Naem KG2L Finney

    Hamza Ismael 2A Kavanagh

    Zou Fraser Dongwoo Jegal 4AT for applying his knowledge of persuasive features

    Keigo KG2TD for using his knowledge of letter sounds to read trickier words

    Rima Wehbi KG II: Tawdroos, Tia ((LF) – Chagani, Amara (LA)
    Abdelrahman Mohammed Grade 2 : Lara 2BR – Zoe2Do

    Grade 3: Anthony- Hamdan

    Grade 4: jud 4ct–– Omar  H 4at

    Grade 5: Eva 5ss – Ali  5ss

    Hadeel El-Sawa KG II: Ketabchi, Amirali (KG2TD)- Holmes, Deon (TD) –

    Gr.4: Siddiqui, Areej (4SD) – Yates, Piper (4SD)

    Gr.5: Furman, Aliza (5EY) – Yuan, Hanting (Lisa) (5SS)

    Rabab Housino Sama Alghanma 2DO- Tantawy, Seif 2AK

    youssef,Kalil KG2AO – Abou Jaoude, Adriana KG2MM

    Saeed ,AlSawaleh 1VJ- Omar El Ghazal 1TT

    Sheikhali, Yara 3AV- Touma-Sawaya, Michelle 3GK

    Heba Fares KG 2: ‘Khalil, Adam

    Grade 1: ‘Bataineh, Mohammad (E1)- 1 NS

    Grade 4: ‘El Dali, Adam (E4) – 4AJ

    Grade 5: Abboud, Charbel (E5) – 5 SS

    Nisreen Al Soloh KG2: Lea Al-Sabbah KG2TD/

    Mohamad Seifeddine KG2AO

    G1: Abdulla Al Dabal 1KY/ Ania Mohamed 2NS

    G2: Farrah Algebaly 2AK/ Jodi Hassanein 2AK

    G3: Maya Abouzeid Gad 3NK/ Haya Matraji 3ER

    G4: Youssef Mahmoud 4AJ/ Ziad Mohamad 4CT

    G5: Farrah Heikal 5SS/ Ali Baker 5SS

    Elizabeth Tyrrell Amara (KG2-LA), Youssef (KG2-AO)
    Alina Nistor Ali Al Shouli (4AT) Naveen Siddiqui (4SD)
    Erika Ettl KG2 LA: Karim & KG2 AO: Manha
    Fatma Elsafty KG 2 : Azzouni, Tala- Elqasem, Sarah

    Grade 3: Smaili, Hamza 3NK-Rane, Sarah 3AV

    Grade 4: Chayban, Jonathan 4CT- Sallam, Ziad 4AT

    Grade 5: El Zein, Jad 5SR – Elsadek, Youssef 5SS



  10. Stranger Safety

    February 28, 2018 by escounselors

    For the past 2 weeks and continuing into mid-March, Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields, are teaching KG2-G4 students in-depth lessons on how to keep yourself safe from strangers.  The lessons are introduced through a fun, kid-friendly film called “The Safe Side: Stranger Safety,” with frequent pauses for discussion.  A letter for parents outlining the program has (or will soon-be) sent home with every student so you can continue the conversation at home.  Our goal is to make our UAS students savvy about what personal safety is with knowledge of what to do to keep themselves away from harm.  Please see the letter sent home below and feel free to reach out to Mr. Fields or Ms. Jen with any questions about the program.

    Dear Parents,

    Learning about personal safety is an important part of your child’s development. Today your child learned about stranger safety during our monthly classroom counseling lesson. During the lesson, students viewed and discussed the video, The Safe Side – Stranger Safety: Hot Tips To Keep Cool Kids Safe.

    In the video students learned some vocabulary about strangers:

    • All children have “Safe Side Adults” – these are usually the child’s parents and any other adult you, as the parent, know and trust for your child to go with (e.g. driver, nanny, friend’s parent etc.)
    • An adult who is unknown to your child is a “Don’t Know” and they should never talk to or go with that person unless they are with their “Safe Side Adult.”
    • A “Kind of Know” is an adult they don’t know well, such as a coach or an adult from the school that isn’t their teacher. Children should only go with a “Kind of Know” when given permission from their “Safe Side Adult.”

    To reinforce the messages your child learned today, please review with your child the following, “Hot Tips:”

    • Keep your Safe Side Adult close. If you can see them, they can see you.
    • Never open the front gate or door without your Safe Side Adult.
    • STOP AND THINK! Don’t fall for tricks. An adult you don’t know should not be asking you for help.
    • Don’t let anyone inside your “Safe Side Circle – an appropriate amount of personal space. Run from danger!
    • Know your three “Safe Side Adults”? Three people your parents trust for you to go with.
    • Never go anywhere, with anyone, including a “Kind of Know” unless you ask your “Safe Side Adult” first.

    Also, please decide who your child’s three “Safe Side Adults” are (adults you can trust to care for your child if you were unavailable) and share this information with your child.

    If you would like further information about the video or would like other safety tips, please visit or contact me at


    Kevin Fields

    Early Elementary Counselor

    Jen St. Amour

    Upper Elementary Counselor

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