January 2017 archive

ES Principal’s Update: January 29th – February 2nd

Hello Families, Parents and Students of UAS Elementary School!

Last week was a fun week at UAS ES! Third grade had a field trip to the Dubai Museum and Gold Souks…the students, teachers and parents were able to understand and gain a more in-depth awareness of Dubai’s history and heritage…fun was had by all! In addition, the fifth grade classes performed a “mini-concert” with their recorders for their parents and fellow classmates; it was a musical experience for the ages!

A follow-up note to last week’s blog about reading…vocabulary or word study is a key to the development of reading comprehension. Even though your child’s teacher focuses on word study at school, you, too, can assist in this important process. As you read with your child, please take time to focus on the vocabulary within the story or news article; chat about the word’s meaning, different meanings of the word, and its importance within the context of the reading plus identify another word that might also “fit” within the context. Vocabulary is fun…. have fun with your son or daughter at night while reading with them!

Please note the following upcoming events and information:

  • Grade 2 Music Performance: “Big Beautiful Planet” is scheduled for February 1st at 8 am in the MPH…find more information on your child’s teacher’s blog.
  • ES Parent Coffee: This Thursday, February 2nd, the ES Parent Coffee will be held in the MPH from 8:00 am till 9:00 am. The topic of the day will be ES’s PYP Programme with Ms. Larisa Sharifi, PYP Coordinator, presenting.
  • Grade 1 Music Performance: “Squirm” is scheduled for February 7th at 9 am in the MPH…find more information on your child’s teacher’s blog.
  • Sports Days: Sports Days are coming to UAS Elementary School! During the week of February 12th, we will hold 3 separate Sports Days to maximize student involvement and participation. Look for more information on your classroom teacher’s blog but note the following dates:
    • February 13, 2017: 4th grade/5th grade Sports Day
    • February 14, 2017: 2nd grade/3rd grade Sports Day
    • February 15, 2017: 1st grade/2nd grade Sports Day
  • Saturday Sports Academy: Below is a message from Kurtis Trottier, UAS Athletic Director

This message is just to let you know that another session of the Saturday Sports Academy at UAS is set to begin on February 11th with free trial sessions for Soccer, Basketball, Swimming and Tennis. Registration information will also be sent out very soon, so please be sure to register to confirm your place within the UAS Saturday Sports Academy. In addition, be sure to look for the SSA registration links on the parent portal to sign up. If you have any questions or concerns, please email: SSA@uasdubai.ae.

Finally, our transportation department has a request regarding parent pickups from ASAs.  If your child normally rides a bus home after an ASA and you decide to “pick-up” your child in lieu of them riding the bus home, please contact Ms. Janel in the ES Office to notify the school. If transportation does not have this notification from the ES Office, they will assume that your child is on campus and they will hold the transport as they look for the student. Help all of our children get home on time! Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your support and have a wonderful week! Life is Good at UAS Elementary School!

David and Amanda

ES Principal’s Update: Jan. 22 – 26, 2017

Dear Parents, Families and Students of UAS’s Elementary School,

Life is Good at UAS!

Continuing this week are the mid year assessments of MAP, writing and reading. Please have a conversation with your child about the assessments, the importance for the student to be able to goal set for the remainder of the school year and to recognize the growth they have accomplished this year to date. From chatting with teachers and students about the reading assessments, many classroom celebrations will occur due to the significant growth of students since the beginning of the school year. It is a joy to see the “light bulb” light up in a child’s eye and listen to the excitement within their voice as they share their growth…it is what being an educator is all about! The MAP mid-year reports will be sent home for parents during the first few weeks of February.

As a parent of older children, I very much miss the evening times I had with my children when they were of elementary school age. Danielle, Jessica and I would sit and read together…we would take turns reading aloud our book of choice. We would preview the book by its cover and pictures to make “guesses” about the plot, characters and setting. As we read, we would check our comprehension by asking each other questions about the story…sometimes I think they were checking to see if I was awake! It was a great time to enhance vocabulary, develop conversational language, and share story interpretations and mainly, just to have quality family time. I would encourage all families to participate in such an activity with their children; Moms and Dads are truly the best teachers!

ES Students Enjoying the Basketball ASA!

Upcoming reminders and event information:

  • A 3rd grade field trip occurs this week to the Dubai Museum and Gold Souks
  • The PE Department and Ms. Amanda will continue to be planning for Sports Days in February. More information to come within next week’s blog.
  • On Thursday, 2nd grade will hold a Career Symposium in the MPH beginning at 1:00 pm.
  • Ms. Cor is readying her 1st and 2nd grade students for their upcoming February performances that have been advertised within her music class blog.
  • We are entering the 2nd full week of second trimester ASAs!
  • 5th grade camp registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 23. Please see the teachers blogs for details!

Thank you all for your continued support of UAS! Have a great week!


ES Principal’s Update: Jan. 15 – 19, 2017

Hello Families, Friends and Students of UAS Elementary School!

One has to take some time to truly appreciate the January weather in Dubai…it is remarkable!

This week begins the ES mid year student assessment process. ES will begin both the mid year MAP testing and open the administration window for the ES Writing Assessment. This collective information will be utilized by the classroom teacher to guide and direct instruction of the course of the next few months.

This “Winter” MAP testing session is an important part of our assessment practices at UAS. The information gained from this assessment lets us know how our students are progressing towards their predicted end of year goal. UAS teachers and administrators will review the assessments once the testing window closes at the end of January and help the students update their learning goals for the remaining of the year.  If you would like to review information about the MAP  assessment and what it entails, please click here or visit the UAS MAP Parent Resources Page.

The Parent Coffee was held last week with the ES Counselors, Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields, conducting a presentation. Their presentation consisted of an overview of the UAS ES counselor roles and an in-depth informational dialog about student conflict versus student bullying. Their presentation PPT is shown below for your review. Please contact either Ms. Jen or Mr. Fields with any questions and/or concerns. The next Parent Coffee will be held on Thursday, February 2nd. Ms. Larisa Sharifi, PYP Programme Coordinator, will conduct a presentation of UAS’s PYP Programme.

The 3rd grade classes performed in a concert playing a variety of songs with their recorder’s last Thursday. Under the direction of Ms. Layton, 3rd grade music teacher, the students performed for parents and staff. The students did an amazing job…it was a great listening and music appreciation session! What budding musicians!

Also this week begins the 2nd trimester ASA program. Ms. Sarah Ghanem will be the new ASA Coordinator. She has done a remarkable job in a very short period of time to organize the start of the new ASA cycle. Ms. Sarah will have posted ASA student rosters with room assignments throughout the ES wing…if you have any questions please contact Sarah or Ms. Janel, ES Administrative Assistant.

On behalf of the ES staff, Ms. Amanda and I thank you for the trust you have placed in UAS ES! Your children and your partnership make Life Very Good for All at UAS!

David and Amanda

G4/G5 Camp: Updated Parent Information Session Timings


As mentioned in previous blog posts, UAS is gearing up for our Grade 4 and Grade 5 camps coming in February. Students met with EcoVenture earlier this week and now it’s time for the parents to have their information session. Please note the new time for grade 5 below: 

Grade 4 Parents: Wednesday, January 11 @ 3:15 in the Music Room

Grade 5 Parents: Wednesday, January 11 @ 4:00 in the Music Room

The form to sign up will be sent after the EcoVentures presentation on Jan 11th

If you are unable to make the parent information session, we’ve posted the main presentation for you online that the EcoVentures staff will discuss in further detail on Jan 11th.

Please come to the Jan 11th meeting if you want to know more! We look forward to seeing you there!



ES Principal’s Update: January 8 – 12, 2017

Hello UAS Elementary School Families!

January is a busy month at UAS!

January is the month that UAS completes mid-year assessments of our students. These mid-year assessments will assist classroom teachers in designing the 2nd trimester and 3rd trimester scope of skill based instruction. Over the next 3 weeks, ES students will complete a writing assessment, a reading benchmark assessment and the mid-year MAP assessment. The teacher and grade level team will integrate these three assessments coupled with your child’s classroom performance into an academic skill based focus for instructional purposes. This information is crucial to enable staff to design differentiated instruction, meet individual student needs and provide a student engaged learning environment. In next week’s ES Blog, Ms. Amanda will share information concerning MAP interpretation.

ecoParent Informational Meeting for Camp!

Also this month, 4th and 5th grades begin planning for their February Camp experiences with the Ecoventure Camp. Our 4th and 5th grade students met with Ecoventure on Sunday of this week and now it’s time to meet with parents. Please join us for Grade Level Parent Meetings with Ecoventure this week on Wednesday, January 11th:

  • 4th Grade this Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 3:15 pm in the ES Music Room
  • 5th Grade this Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 4:00 pm in the ES Music Room

Sports Days Coming in February!

Ms. Amanda and the ES Physical Education staff will begin planning for next month’s elementary sports days! These days are a fun time for each grade level as they compete and have fun in a variety of physical activities and games. More information will follow in upcoming blog posts!

New Playground Equipment!

recessThe students of UAS starting the new year off with special assemblies led by our physical education teachers which showed them all of the new equipment we have on the playground. Students learned about new games and what we all can do to ensure we respect each other and our equipment. The kids are already trying their hand a tetherball, foursquare, basketball, soccer and jumproping. They are ready to be health and move!

ASAs Begin on Sunday, January 15th!

2nd Trimester ASA’s will begin on Sunday, January 15th. Information will be posted throughout the school beginning Tuesday of this week. All our teachers are involved in after school activities either through direct sponsorship, supervision of activities with outside providers or through the coaching of our students. We are lucky to have such a dedicated faculty!

Parent Coffee this Wednesday!

On Wednesday, January 11th at 8 a.m. in the UAS MPH will be the January Parent Coffee. This week, ES counselors Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields will join us for a discussion about the UAS ES counseling program and other topics.

Also, don’t forget that on Sunday, January 15th MAP testing will occur for 2 weeks. Please see your classroom teacher’s blog for exact testing times.

On behalf of the ES staff, Ms. Amanda and I thank you for your support…we believe we work with the best kids and families in Dubai!

David and Amanda

ES Principal’s Update: January 2 – 5, 2017 – Happy New Year!

Dear Families, Students and Friends of UAS Elementary School,

Welcome to 2017… all of us at UAS wish a warm and prosperous new year to all!

Yesterday was our first day back from break and it was absolutely fun to rekindle student-family-school relationships after the two-week break. This week is a 4-day school week with students and teachers, alike, hitting the instructional arena as though time had stood still. It is great to be back!

A couple of informational reminders for this week:fullsizerender-12

  • Lost & Found– a table is placed on the ES playground with lost & found items from last year; please go through to see if any of those items belong to your family. We have lots of sweatshirts, water bottles and hats! After Sunday of next week, all remaining items will be donated to a charity.
  • A Parent-Principal Coffee will be held next Thursday, January 12th from 8 am to 9 am. The topic will focus on ES Counseling Services.
  • Parent Information Session: Grade 4 and Grade 5 Camp: An important informational meeting for all 4th and 5th grade parents concerning the upcoming Camp outing will be held on January 11th after school. Please join us in the grade 4/5 music room (Room 214) at the following times:
    • Grade 4 Parent Information Session: 3:15 – 3:45
    • Grade 5 Parent Information Session: 3:45-4:15map-testing
  • Winter Session MAP Testing: The 2nd administration of the MAP assessment will begin on January 15th. Please see the classroom teacher’s blogs for information on exact testing dates for your child’s class. Next week’s blog will provide an informational update as to the use of this information. Please remember that this is not a assessment to study for ahead of time. The best preparation is a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast!
  • ASA Sign Ups Open! 2nd trimester ASA sign-up will end this Thursday, January 5th. Please see this blog post for information about offerings and sign ups.

Have a great start to the new calendar year!

David and Amanda