November 2016 archive

Parent Teacher Conference Feedback Sought!

Dear Parents,

Thank you for attending Parent Teacher Conferences at UAS. We are seeing your feedback about elementary conferences as we are continuously looking to improve our communication about student growth. We thank you in advance for taking a few moments to complete this short survey. Please complete survey by Sunday, December 4.

Thank you!

The UAS Elementary Administrative Team


ES Principal’s Update: Nov. 27 – Dec. 1

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,img_4915

Welcome to UAE National Day Celebration Week at Universal American School! A group of high school students and UAS faculty have been hard at work planning celebratory activities to honor the UAE National Day Holiday. In addition the ES faculty have established a UAE curricular activity day this week as the ES honors UAE…it will be a fun and educational week for all!

National Week Celebrations: img_4917

  • Sunday, November 27th is UAE Dress Down Day
  • Monday, November 28th is the All School UAE Flag Picture Day (Grades level students are asked to wear particular UAE flag colors)
    • PK/KG1/KG2: Red Shirts
    • G1/G2: White or Uniform Shirts
    • G3/G4: Green Shirts
    • G5: Black Shirts
  • Tuesday, November 29th will be an all school UAE National Day celebration with a celebratory Fair held during the day and it will be a UAE Heritage Dress Day for all
  • Tuesday, November 29th from 4 pm until 9 pm UAS will host a Family Fun Fair Evening to celebrate UAS National Day. Rides, food, and entertainment will be a fun time for all of your family…please come and join us!
  • Wednesday, November 30th will be a normal school day
  • Thursday, December 1st No School


Grade 5 Unit of Inquiry Exhibition:img_5826

Last week, the 5th grade students held a Unit of Inquiry Exhibition. The students displayed their experiments, explained the processes utilized and summarized the evidence to validate or invalidate their hypothesis. As one walked around the rooms and chatted with students, it became readily apparent the success of the PYP Unit of Inquiry. Students demonstrated 21st century skills in making img_5822predictions, completing research, conduction the scientific process, collecting evidence, utilize that evidence to generate new learning and communicated their learning in an appropriate and professional manner. A true joy to observe!!

Upcoming Informational Reminders:

  • Second ASA Trimester offering will be posted in December 13th through January 5th…more information to come.
  • UAS Winter Sports Camp information has been sent out and is posted on the ES blog.
  • UAS Elementary School will be posting the 1st Trimester Report Cards to the UAS Parent Portal on December 4th. A reminder that the elementary school moved to trimester reporting this school year in lieu of the past quarter report cards.

Thank you all for attending Parent-Teacher Conferences last week. It was so good to see all of you in the hallways, in teacher classrooms and supporting the Book Fair. A “quick” survey will be sent to families to provide us with feedback to the PTC Conferences. This feedback will be reviewed and utilized to better serve the needs of our families in the future. Thank you in advance for your assistance and support.

On behalf of the ES staff…have a great celebration week!!!

David Dorn and Amanda DeCardy

Mult-Activity Winter Camp for KG1 – G5 Students!

Mult-Activity Winter Camp

Dear UAS Parents,

The Universal American School in association with StyxGulf Sports is excited to promote an exciting MULTI-ACTIVITY WINTER CAMP wintercampopportunity for students aged 4-10 (KG1-Gr. 5).

The Winter Camp will run from December 18th–December 22nd and will be held exclusively at the Universal American School campus. The camp will run from 8am-1pm, the cost of the 5 day camp will be 850AED and is payable to UAS accounts once registration has been completed online.

Activities being offered will include:


Please sign up on the UAS Parent Portal

For further information please refer to the attached Winter Camp Flyer and for enquiries, please contact:

Fall MAP Results Available on the Portal

Dear Universal American School Parents,

The Universal American School of Dubai uses the MAP standardized test for elementary, middle and high school students. UAS will administer the test three times during the academic year; once in the fall, once in the winter and once in the spring. The fall 2016 results are now available on the UAS portal for parents.

The tests help the UAS educational professionals determine your child’s instructional level and measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of reading, mathematics, science and language usage. A Normative Data chart is a part of your child’s scores, which shows the average (mean) RIT scores for your child, in comparison to the average for UAS students and all students who took the test worldwide.

A RIT score is a different type of measure than a typical test that provides a percentage correct. It is also different from many tests that provide results based on your child’s score compared to others in his or her grade (a percentile ranking). Instead, the RIT score is an equal-interval scale, like feet and inches, which is independent of grade level. MAP is not a class ranking system as the tests focus on individual student learning growth.

You can find out more about the MAP tests and how to read the results from the following presentation:

MAP Parent Presentation Link:

MAP Report

Sample MAP Report and Key

In some cases a student’s RIT score may have gone down or their growth may be in the negative range from spring to fall testing. If this happened with your child, please do not panic as this is a single snapshot of the child’s progress and cannot be considered as an indication of a lack of learning. Our guide here is the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), which states, “Each assessment is only a snapshot at a single point in time. Negative growth does not necessarily mean a student is not learning, or that classroom instruction has not been effective, or that NWEA data is not reliable. Rather, negative growth allows for additional opportunities to change the way we discuss our students’ learning. Instead of ignoring these instances as anomalies or assigning blame for their results, we should recognize negative growth as an important element in the culture of data driven instruction. Simply put, for unexplained reasons student scores sometimes fall.”

As UAS continues to develop our data driven instructional practices, we believe we can address these anomalies while at the same time meet the needs of the students whose learning challenges may not have been detected before with our old tests. It is our intention at UAS to continue to administer the MAP test and look for trends that can be examined and determined.

Universal American School has put together a website on each of the divisional blogs that will give you information on the MAP test, on reading your child’s test results, and answers most questions you may have concerning MAP testing and test results. Links to other resources for parents are also available on this site. Additional information is also available from Northwest Evaluation Association at

The UAS Administrative Team

ES Principal’s Update: November 20 – 24, 2016

Hello UAS Elementary School Parents, Families and Students!


Last Thursday was an amazing day! The UAS Arabic Department hosted an Innovation Day display where Arabic Language students created, displayed and informed visitors about a student designed innovative idea, invention or process that displayed the students’ critical thinking skills within the Arabic language. As Ms. Amanda and I walked through the displays and listened to our students, we were both quite impressed with their thought process, ability to communicate and unique ideas…a truly exemplary day for our students!

In speaking with Mr. Mahmoud Ali, our K-12 Arabic Coordinator, he linked the Innovation Day to our UAS Mission: To empower students to be caring individuals, critical thinkers, and responsible global citizens. Using their img_5763thinking skills and creativity, students found scientific solutions to real world challenges and we believe they all should be congratulated for their hard work!


Today’s blog is mainly about the following informational updates…many happening here at UAS:

Parent Teacher Conferences:

  • This Wednesday (1-6 pm) and Thursday (8-12:00 noon) will be Parent-Teacher Conferences. Families should have received an invitation for a scheduled appointment with their child’s homeroom teacher. School will be dismissed at 12:00 noon on Wednesday. Students are asked to go home versus waiting for parents to attend PTCs; due to conferences UAS ES will not be able to provide after school student supervision on that day.

National Day Celebrations:

  • The Week of November 27th will be National Day Celebration Week! There will be NO SCHOOL on Thursday, December 1st. The week will be celebrated with a National Dress Day, a Fun Fair Day for students, a Fun Fair evening for families, National Flag Colors Day and a UAS whole school picture day recreating the UAE Flag. The celebration is being planned by a core of UAS High School students with exact information to be forth coming later this week. Should be FUN! Please come and join us at the Family Fun Fair Evening.

Junior Scorpion Track and Field:

  • Junior Scorpion Track & Field is ready to begin for Grades 4-6. It is a great way for our young UAS athletes to run, jump and throw their way to personal success. The season will begin on Sunday November 27th. Practices are Sunday and Wednesday from 3:20 – 4:20pm.  To find out the details for the activity please CLICK HERE to access the Junior Scorpions page. Please read the information letter and register your child if you wish for them to participate. There are limited spaces for this activity.bookworm-poster

Book Fair Time!:

  • The Bookworm Book Fair for elementary students will be in the ground-floor elementary lobby November 21-24. We will also be open during parent-teacher conference hours. Your children will visit with their teacher to preview, so look for those Bookworm money envelopes if you would like to send in money with your student. Come and shop great picture books, Arabic books, nonfiction, and novels for your kids! And come up to the library and say “hi” while you’re at it! Remember: Readers Are Leaders! See you there! Leslie Baker Elementary Librarian

Have a great week and we will see you on Wednesday and Thursday!!!

David Dorn & Amanda DeCardy

Junior Scorpions Track and Field Begins!

Students in Grades 4 – 6: Junior Scorpions Track and Field Begins!

Junior Scorpion Track & Field is ready to begin! This is a great way for our young UAS athletes to run, jump and throw their screenshot-2016-11-18-07-17-57way to personal success. The season will begin on Sunday November 27th. Pratices are Sunday and Wednesday from 3:20 – 4:20pm.

To find out the details for the activity please CLICK HERE to access the Junior Scorpions page. Please read the information letter and register your child if you wish for them to participate. There are limited spaces for this activity so sign up now!

ES Principal’s Update: November 13 – 17, 2016

Hello Families and Students of UAS Elementary School;

Wow! The fall weather is upon us and it has transformed Dubai into a beautiful climate and outdoor environment.

Parent Coffee Recap

Last week Wednesday, the ES held its second monthly Parent Coffee. The topic was mainly UAS Arabic Program. Mr. Mahmoud Ali, Arabic Program Coordinator, and Ms. Rima, ES Arabic Department Leader, gave a brief overview of the program, the established KHDA requirements and fielded questions from the parents in attendance. As Mr. Mahmoud explained, the Ministry requirements for native Arabic speakers combined with the Arabic language instruction for non-Arabic speakers create a challenge for meeting ALL family needs. The parents identified issues and discussed language fluency, homework, home-language connection, student motivation and third (plus) language for many families. Needless to say, these will be on-going discussions within the Arabic Department.

Mr. Mahmoud shared that his staff meet twice a week at 6:45 in the morning to collaborate on curriculum, teaching strategies, student management and program development. The ES Arabic faculty are thanked and complimented for their dedication to meet Ministry requirements while at the same time diligently working to establish an effective learning environment.

School Photos and Ordering

aA reminder that ES School Pictures are scheduled for this week. The schedule and picture purchase information was sent home last week through both UAS and school family postings. You can find a link to the order form here. Ordering has been streamlined this year – ordering and payment for photos is done online. Please place your order by November 20th.

More, More, More Space and Equipment for Recess

Because the weather has become so wonderful, Ms. Amanda met with the ES PE Department to develop a plan to improve free play recess opportunities for our students. The PE staff spent last Thursday’s Professional Development Day designing game/activity locations on the playground, searched for outside storage areas for playground equipment and designed PE classroom activities to teach new playground games in order for student to play “on their own” during recess. More playground activity opportunities will be the outcome from the PE staff’s work and students will begin to see the additions within the coming weeks.

Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences Information

Homeroom teachers sent home your scheduled time for conferences next week. Please know that we took the time to schedule elementary siblings back to back. If you have children in the middle school or high school, please take note of the elementary schedule time as you sign up for your MS/HS conferences on the portal .

Homeroom teacher conferences are scheduled while conferences with our specialist teachers will be done on a “drop-in” basis. We will send out information early next week about where specialist teachers are located during the conference so that you can meet with them as well.

Please take note of the Director’s Forum at 8 a.m. this Tuesday.

On behalf of the ES staff, Ms. Amanda and I thank you for your support, trust and presence at UAS…what a great place to be!!!

Have a great week!

David Dorn

Photo Days in UAS ES!

Hello UAS Elementary!

Please note that the school photos (individual & group) will be taken next week November 13- November 17.

Elementary School: November 13 & 14
High School: November 15 & 16
Middle School: November 16 & 17

All students should wear their school uniforms (white polo shirt) for the pictures on the day of their photos. If they have PE, they can change into their PE uniforms during their scheduled PE class.

Please find the Elementary School schedule below and the online ordering instructions received from the International Photo company for your reference.

Enjoy your weekend!



ES Principal’s Update: November 6 – 10, 2016

Hello Elementary School Families and Students!

Thank you all for a wonderful Halloween Day celebration!!! The students and faculty dressed in delightful costume dress for the day, the student parade was awesome, the parent/family participation was truly remarkable and the day was just plain FUN! UAS-Dubai is truly a community school where parents and school act in tandem to provide our children with quality school experiences.

A quick note about some upcoming events:

  • On Wednesday, November 9, from 8:00 to 9:00 in the MPH the month Principal-Parent Coffee will be screenshot-2016-11-07-05-07-34held. Topics will include an overview of the UAS Arabic Program and a question-answer period.
  • On Monday, November 7, the 3rd grade will do a field trip to IMG World of Adventure. This trip is an extension of the 3rd grade Unit of Inquiry main topic of motion. This will be a fun “hands-on” experience to see the concepts in real world experiences.
  • On Wednesday, November 16, from 3:30-4:30 in the cafeteria will be the Junior Scorpion Soccer celebration…please come and join in the end of season fun. Note that this is a new date!
  • There will be No School for students on Thursday, November 10. This is a very intensive staff Professional Development Day with agenda items of MAP Assessment analysis, PYP Programme review and Grade Level teams focused on literacy planning.

Important Notice Concerning Lunch Cards
Please note, starting November 15, 2016, CASH will no longer be accepted for any cafeteria food transactions atunknown the Point-of-Sale registers in the cafeteria. All students are required to produce their student IDs for any cafeteria food transaction starting Nov 15 2016. Please ensure that there is sufficient balance on your cards to enable the use of cards appropriately. Parents can check the balance on your cards via the Parent Portal under the Cafeteria Menu options

Additional credit can be added to your cafeteria account by the following ways:

  • Online form available from the Parent Portal to request for credit of up to AED 400
  • Paying at the Accounts Department
  • Paying at the Top-Up Station in the Cafeteria (will be available starting Nov 15 2016)

If any student does not have their student ID or have lost their student ID, please or get in touch with the IT Office. If a student ID has been misplaced or lost a card, please kindly send an email or inform the IT office at the earliest to block any further transactions on the card.

Have a great week!

David Dorn and Amanda DeCardy