May 2017 archive

Ramadan: Important Information from the ES!

Dear Families,

As we approach Ramadan, the elementary school would like to give you a few updates about what to expect during the holy month. It’s very important to us that there is two-way communication between families and homeroom teachers about personal Ramadan expectations. As a school, we want to respect the holy month and support families.

School Hours: 

  • KG2 – Grade 5: School hours will be from 8:30 – 1:30 each day during Ramadan. All students must be picked up by 1:30 as no elementary student is allowed on campus past this time.
  • PK – KG1: School hours will be from 8:30 – 11:30. If your child is registered for After School Care, this will continue through Ramadan. All other students must be picked up from school between 11:20 and 11:30.
  • Children are allowed to arrive on campus at 8:10 in the morning as that is when supervision is available.


New Bus Timings:

The Transportation Coordinator emailed home new bus pick up and drop off times to each family this week. Please contact Mr. Louie Garcia if you need further information.


Care for Fasting Students

Please notify your child’s homeroom teacher if they will participate in the fasting tradition. 

Physical Education Class: Classes will run for a shortened 20-25  minute block. Students in grade 2-5 will have a free play swim unit during PE. If a fasting students opts not to swim, they may sit out. KG2 – Grade 1 will have all PE classes in the gymnasium with low impact activities as well. If a student is fasting, they may sit out. Additionally, PE teachers will be keeping a close eye on the health and welfare of all students.

All fasting students will have the option to stay inside during recess times in an assigned supervised space. This will be a quiet and reflective space where students can relax and read. No electronics will be allowed during recess times.

Separating Non-Fasting and Fasting Students During Lunch:
All fasting students will remain in the building under supervision. This will be a quiet and reflective space where students can relax and read. No electronics will be allowed during this time.

Water Consumption: 
Students have been instructed to to follow the protocol of not drinking water in public. The school will do their best to honor the intent of Ramadan in this matter. Students in early childhood will continue to have access to water in their classrooms. Students in grades 2-5 will keep water bottles in their cubbies and access them during short breaks throughout the day. Water bottles will be allowed outside during outdoor recess times or in assigned non-fasting rooms.

Prayer Room: 
Students currently in grades 3 – 5 will not have access to the prayer room during the day.


Care for Non-Fasting Students:

Snack for non-fasting students will be outdoors during recess times. Please send a minimal healthy snack such as a piece of fruit or a nut-free protein bar.

Cafeteria – Lunch
During lunch, all non-fasting students will be in the cafeteria for a typical lunch time. The cafeteria is open during Ramadan.

Outdoor Recess:
Continuing with our guidelines for recess, all non-fasting student must continue to wear hats and have water bottles for outdoor recess. If a student does not have a hat, they are required to stay under one of our many shaded areas.

Indoor Recess:
Students will remain outside until the Real Feel temperature reaches 45 C. This is actively monitored using the AccuWeather app as it provides accurate information about temperature plus humidity. The school will mandate indoor recess if the Real Feel temperature reaches 45 C – students will be required to stay inside. This will be a quiet time where students are not allowed to use electronics.

We wish everybody a happy and joyous Ramadan! If your family plans on leaving school early, please contact your homeroom teacher to let them know.


David and Amanda

ES Principal’s Update: May 21 – 25, 2017

Hello Elementary School Families and Students!

There was so much happening last week at UAS – it was a true time for celebration!

Exhibition Culmination: Last Wednesday was the PYP 5th Grade Exhibition Day. This was the culminating experience for elementary students who have participated in the PYP program from the early years program through grade 5. Our students demonstrated themselves as consumers of information with the purpose of generating new personal learning plus the intellectual ability to act upon their learning with a positive contribution to the world around them. Our 5th graders truly modeled and enacted the PYP Learner Profile! For those of you who attended Wednesday’s Exhibition within the MPH you witnessed the “awesome” learning of our students and the outcome of quality teaching, coaching and facilitating by our 5th grade teaching staff! A “goose bump” congratulation to our 5th grade students and faculty for their outstanding work.

Cultural Breakfast Feast: Thank you as well to our grade 3 families who joined us of the Grade 3 Cultural Breakfast on Thursday. The children displayed the Risk-Taker attribute of the PYP Learner Profile when the sampled food from around the world! Everybody walked away not on full of food, but also full of satisfaction that they tried something new!

Elementary Morning Musical Performances: We are so proud of the elementary students who volunteered to play music in the lobby of our school last week. Each morning from Monday to Thursday there were anywhere from 4-6 students performing songs on instruments they currently take lessons on. These instruments ranged from piano to guitar to violin. It was a lovely addition to our morning routines here at UAS!

The week of May 21st continues with celebrations of our students and school. Below are a few important upcoming dates:

  • The Class of 2017 celebrates the end of their high school journey with their graduation commencement program on Sunday, May 21. Congratulations to the graduates, their families and their teachers for the achievement of such an important milestone within the lives of these students. Congratulations Class of 2017 and Best Wishes!
  • The PreK Class of 2017 will hold its end of the students first year in school celebration on Thursday, May 25th at 8:00 in the UAS cafeteria. Thanks to our families for the trust placed within UAS for the care and initial school experience for their children. And a special thank you to UAS faculty Ms Lawrence, Ms King, Ms Waldo, Mr. Kevin and Ms Crystal for a job well done!
  • The 5th grade will celebrate their transition from an elementary school setting to a middle school setting for the next academic year. The Transition Ceremony celebration will occur on Wednesday, May 24 at 9:00 in the MPH. A note of thanks for a job well done to Ms Beram, Ms Green, Mr Hempstead, Ms Werner and MS Jenn for their dedication and commitment to the quality educational program our 5th grade students received this year.
  • Prior to the Ceremony, all grade 5 parents are invited to a meeting with UAS Middle School counselors at 8:00 in the MPH to discuss the “transition” process from grade 5 to grade 6.
  • The Memory Book orders forms are due this week for students in KG1 – Grade 5 if you are interested. Students in grades KG1 – Grade 5 will have the opportunity to create a memory book to mark their current time in the journey of life.  You will need to sign up online this week and send the required fee to cover the supplies to the elementary office by the this week. Thank you to our volunteer moms for bringing this project forward!

On a final note Ms Amanda and I on behalf of the UAS Elementary School staff thank the PTSO for their support and their hosting of the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon last Thursday. The food, conversation and kindness were greatly valued by all UAS staff!

Life is very good at UAS ES!

David and Amanda

ES Principal’s Update: May 14 – 18, 2017

Hello Parents, Students and families of UAS Elementary School!

A very warm thanks to our Emirati parents for their wonderful organization, festive decorations and “treats” for their work on celebration of Hal Al Leila. The hallways were decorated very nice, the informational posters were a gathering point, the parade was fantastic and the kids enjoyed the tradition of their treats…Thank you!

Send in a Hat with your Child’s Name Written Inside
Wow! The weather is becoming quite heat intense. The school conducts “indoor” recess as the “Real Feel” temperature hits 45 degrees. The ES administrative team monitors this with a very watchful eye prior to the recess times. It is very important that parents supply their children with hats (a must on the playground due to the UV index spiking around lunch recess) and a water bottle. Children must wear their hats during outdoor recess. If children do not have a hat they will be isolated to the covered playground area for their UV protection. All families’ assistance is greatly appreciated to provide all children with a safe outdoor recess experience.

Packing a Snack and a Lunch
It is important that snacks be quite healthy and “ONLY” eaten at the designated morning snack time. It appears that many students are eating their full lunch during the morning snack time, thus they have no nutrition for the remaining 5 hours of school…not a good thing for a child. Please help your child plan their nutrition with a brief morning snack of healthy items (fruit, vegetables) and a healthy and consistent nutritional lunch. A sound nutritional timeline would be a good breakfast before school—a nutritional snack in the morning—a sound lunch at noontime—a snack in the late afternoon.

Elementary School Dress Down Day to Support Grade 5 Exhibition Projects: May 15th
In support of the Grade 5 Exhibition projects, the elementary school will have an optional Dress Down day on Monday, May 15th. Students may choose to wear blue, green, pink, white or black. If students dress down, we ask that they bring in 5 AED to participate in this dress down day.

The Grade 5 students will use the money to:

  • promote more recycling within our community (blue/green)
  • support families of kidnapped children (black)
  • support an organization who has had loved ones impacted by cancer (black)
  • breast cancer research (pink)
  • support the education of children living in poverty (white)

We are so proud of our Grade 5 students and their Exhibition projects. Please help them take action by supporting their causes by contributing during the upcoming dress down day.

This Week’s Events

  • Continued MAP testing
  • 5th Grade PYP Exhibition on Wednesday, May 17 all day in the MPH
  • Optional Drawing by Me deadline is Monday, May 15
  • Grade 3 Cultural Breakfast on Thursday, May 18
  • Grade 3 Field Trip

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant community and have a wonderful week!


David and Amanda

ES Principal’s Update: May 7 – 11, 2017

Dear Families and Student’s of UAS Elementary School,

The pace of time within a school year is truly an amazing concept. It is very hard to believe that the end of the 16-17 school year is drawing quickly to a close. The school has begun its final round of assessments with MAP and literacy; we are beginning the class placement process for the 17-18 school year; 17-18 new teacher induction process has begun; and the plans for school during Ramadan are being finalized, just to mention a few of the planning processes that are occurring.

Though the most important item on our end of year agenda is your child! Our goal is to provide your child with an engaging and successful learning experience that develops the necessary skills for their next academic year. With equal importance, we want your child to have developed long lasting, fond memories of their school year and experiences. True learning is not an easy process; rather it is fraught with challenges that push beyond one’s learning comfort zone. The feelings manifested by students may range from the joy of success to expressed frustration of learning struggles; thus parental assistance in assisting their child identify the successes and joys is quite important in the reflective, internalization process. As you experienced during the Student Led Conferences, your child’s eyes lit up as they shared with you their learning experiences. Those conferences helped transfer those learning experiences into positive school memories. Please continue to have those types of talks with your child; these conversations are an important part of the learning process.

Last week was the Elementary School’s Annual Spelling Bee…what a great event! The heated competition was between grades 3 through 5. We are so proud of the students who stepped up to compete in the classroom competitions, the grade level competitions and the UAS final competition. A special congratulations to our winners!

Grade 5 Winner: Gahyun Kim 5AB
Grade 4 Winner: Mariska Nettikaden 4SR
Grade 3 Winner: Jet Goff 3AS
Overall Winner: Paulo Mercado 5LW

This coming week’s ES important events at a glance:

  • Parent Coffee 8-9 am on Wednesday in the ES Library. Lisa Gibson, UAS Director of Curriculum, will present an overview of the 17-18 school year UAS literacy Program.
  • ES School Hag El Laila Parade and Celebration on Thursday at 8:15
  • 3rd Grade music performance on Thursday at 9:15 within the MPH
  • MAP Assessments begin this week on Wednesday (see teacher blogs for specific dates)

Thank you, as always, for trusting us with your child!

David Dorn and Amanda DeCardy

ES Principal’s Update: April 30 – May 4, 2017

Dear Families and Friends of UAS Elementary,

What an wonderful week we’ve had at UAS! After the celebration of learning at our Student Led Conferences, we are looking forward to the learning and community celebrations that will be happening the month of May. See below for the GREAT things that are happening around UAS over the next few weeks….


Hag El Leila Parade Preparations:
Last school year we started a new tradition at UAS as we celebrated Hag El Leila! This year, a group of parents are organizing an Emirati traditional celebration for Elementary students called ” Hag El Leila ” which is celebrated on the eve of 15th of Shaaban (8th month of the lunar calendar) in the UAE encouraging children to ring in the fasting month of Ramadan with the spirit of joy and giving. Last year’s parade can be seen below:

Traditionally , the children roam their neighborhood door to door asking for their “right of the night” (Hag el Leila) which is a cup of assorted candies and nuts poured out from a basket and into each of their bags. At UAS, the celebration will occur on Thursday May 11th at 8:15 am in the ES hallways, as a few students walk in a parade singing the traditional song for the celebration and volunteers fill small bags with candy in the each of the classrooms.

We are looking for volunteer parents to participate in this celebration. Volunteers will be assigned to
individual classes from PK to Grade 5 that morning to help out with distributing the candy to
the students in their classroom so everyone can experience the Emirati festive culture first hand. All community members are invited to volunteer!

Please email your child’s classroom home teacher if you are willing to be one of our Hag El Leila
volunteers. It is approximately a two hour commitment at 8:00am Thursday May 11th. This can be a learning opportunity for you AND for the children in UAS elementary! Thank you for your support!

Ali Khichi – 2016 Champion


Spelling Bee: 
Our UAS ES Spelling Bee will occur all day on Wednesday, May 3. Each class in grades 3 – 5 have already
completed their first round of the Bee and have put two names forward to complete in the grade level spelling Bee. We are looking forward to a Busy Bee kind of day and celebrating the hard work of our spellers!


Drawings By Me:
Back by popular demand! A hearty thank you to our two fabulous art teachers for promoting the Drawings by Me project for all of our elementary school children in their classrooms. Both teachers started the project in their classrooms over the past week. We’ll send order forms home next week so that you can order your coffee mugs, calendars, notebooks or cards with your child’s artwork taking center stage. Keep an eye out for the order forms on Sunday and watch the teacher blogs for more information!


Elementary MAP Testing Begins Soon:

Many of you with middle school children noted that MAP testing began this week for middle school students. Elementary MAP testing will begin next week on Wednesday, May 11th and last for nearly two weeks. Please watch the teacher blogs for specific information on testing dates for your child’s class. Remember that the best preparation is a good night sleep and a healthy breakfast!


A Note a Trial Arabic Reading Program: 
The Arabic department is  pleased to inform you that they are putting an action plan in place that includes the implementation of a literacy improvement effort. The literacy action plan will include a data driven literacy program. The department is exploring the option of subscribing to an interactive online reading program “ireadarabic “ which is an Arabic reading platform that will support our Arabic language learning objectives.

All Arabic teachers have received training with this program and have been given a 2-week trial period to use the program with a small group of students. The small groups will be selected randomly. Based on feedback gathered and data collection, the Arabic department will decide wether or not to move forward with the program for all students next year. We will keep you posted and informed as we move through the implementation process!


Thank you all for your continued support of UAS and the elementary school and we hope you have a wonderful week!


David and Amanda