Back To School Night – Monday, October 2

September 27, 2017

Dear Families of UAS’s Elementary Students,

On Monday, October 2nd, the elementary school will host a Back to School Night event for all families of our ES students. Based upon feedback from teachers and families, the format has been altered to best fit your family’s ability to attend this annual event.

As you are aware, the elementary school held a Back to School Informational Night in August hosted by the ES Administrative Team. At that meeting the administrative staff was introduced, the goals for the year were reviewed, various ES procedures were reviewed with families and a question/answer period was held as well. The informational power point document was shared with all ES families though an earlier ES Principal’s blog.

Therefore, the intended purposes of this coming Monday are for families to meet their child’s classroom teachers, receive an overview of the classroom goals for this school year and to provide an opportunity for teacher-family interactions to enhance the school-family relationship. This night would not be time for an individual teacher-parent conversation about a student, rather an overview of the class program and the opportunity to get to know each other.

Please see the schedule below:

Date – Monday, October 2nd

Times – Families may choose to attend one of the following sessions:
**Teachers will send out more information via their classroom Blog**

  • Early Years (PreK-KG1)
    • Session 1 – 1:00 to 1:45
    • Session 2 – 5:15 to 6:00
  • Homerooms KG2 through Grade 5
    • Session 1 – 3:45 to 4:30
    • Session 2 – 5:15 to 6:00
  • Specialists
    • Art, PE, Music, Counselors will be available in the ES library from 4:30 to 5:15
    • Arabic faculty will be available in the Arabic classrooms at 4:30 to 5:15 and 3:20-3:40 (Rooms 211 or 213)
    • Islamic faculty will be available in the ES library at 4:30 to 5:15 and 3:20-3:40
    • Learning Support and ELL faculty will be available in the ES library from 4:30 to 5:15
    • Ms. Leslie, ES Librarian will be available in the library

ASAs – The ASAs offered by UAS faculty will not run this week due to BTSN sessions. The following ASAs will run on this Monday, October 2nd, from 3:20 until 4:15:

  • Hop Hop
  • Chess
  • Little Engineers
  • UAS Young Chefs

Child Care

  • Grades KG2 – G5
    For those families attending Session 1 (3:45 to 4:30) for grades KG2 through Grade 5, a movie will be hosted in the MPH. Mr. Jones, Assistant Principal, and Ms. Sambola, PYP Coordinator, will monitor students in grades KG2 through Grade 5 in the MPH for those parents attending Session 1. The MPH will be open from 3:30 to 4:45 for this service.
  • EY (PreK and KG1)
    **EY Information will be sent home via the classroom blog**

On behalf of the elementary faculty and staff, we are looking forward to meeting and getting to know you all on Monday, October 2nd!!

David Dorn and David Jones

Blog for the Week of September 24-28, 2017

Hello Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School!

Last week was a pretty busy 4-day week within our school. In addition to the academic induction to the new school year, students in grades 4 & 5 completed a seminar on Digital Citizenship by Ms. DeCardy, grade 4 completed the Cat IV assessment, Ms Leslie began ES Library services for all grade levels, 1st trimester ASA sign-up process began and information concerning Junior Scorpion Soccer was disseminated. WOW, what a week!

This coming week has several important events:

  • Sunday – CAT IV assessment for grade 3
  • Monday through Thursday mornings – MAP assessment for grades 2 through 5
  • Thursday afternoon- Grades 1-5 will have the opportunity to watch the play “Wizard of Oz”
  • Tuesday – ASA payments are due and UAS’s Early Release Tuesday (2 pm)
  • October 1st – ASAs begin
  • October 2nd – ES Back to School Night (more information to be sent home later this week)

The school-wide focus for the past 2 weeks has been on rekindling the learning from last school year, establishing respectful transition behaviors, initiating Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Book Club classes. We are also establishing healthy eating behaviors during both snack and lunchtime. The students, faculty and staff have had a quite successful first 2 weeks of school!

Please have your child bring a reusable water bottle to school and a hat for the playground during recess times. Mr. Jones, our brand new Assistant Principal, has been monitoring the temperatures during recess times. He has established a very good alternative to outdoor recess when the temperature hits 45 degrees; Mr. Jones has scheduled the MPH as an indoor facility for lunch recess as needed during excessive temperatures. Students will be able to socialize, have movement opportunities and the option of viewing a video will be available as well.

Speaking of Mr. Jones….UAS elementary school is very fortunate to have him with us this school year!! David possesses a sound skill set in communication, leadership, school management…most importantly he has developed very good student relationships. He is very much a “student centered” educator! If you see him out on the playground before or after school, please welcome him and take the opportunity to get to know him…you will be impressed.

David and I thank you for the opportunity to be part of your child’s educational life!

David Dorn and David Jones

Thank you for a great first week! Please read about changes to the dismissal process.

Dear Parents and Families of UAS’s Elementary School,

On behalf of the ES staff, thank you for such a fantastic start to the 2017-2018 school year! Your children had a very productive, engaging and meaningful first week of school. This was due in large part to our staff conscientious preparations for the start of school and the partnerships formed between the parent community and the school/teacher. UAS Elementary School is truly an exceptional learning community because of your children and our fine staff!

The first few weeks of school are critical in establishing the successful learning patterns for the school year. Teachers strive to induct and master classroom/school routines with their students, develop the foundation for long lasting student-teacher relationships, rekindle the students’ previous learning and decipher individual student learner profiles. As a whole school community we strive to imbed common norms of behavior for a mutually respectful social environment that promotes a positive learning climate and establishes a productive learning environment to facilitate success for all of our students. Typically this process of instituting routines, developing learner stamina, establishing common behavioral expectations, forming a positive atmosphere and meeting the initial learning needs of our students is progressive in nature; thus the school and classroom may “look” differently on a day to day or week to week basis as we adapt our strategies to accomplish these initial goals. Thank you for your support, patience and understanding during this time period!

Changes in the End of School Dismissal Procedures

If you have been at our school at the end of the day, you know the confusion, mass movement and extreme crowdedness that 5 grade levels of students converging on a group of parents in a small confined area is created to the detriment of a positive school environment. Therefore the following changes will be implemented with parental support requested:

  • All grade 1 parents are asked to utilize the school’s reception area, as a waiting area prior to the Grade 1 classroom pick-up at 3:10. This will eliminate parents going up a stairwell and meeting the 300 students who are attempting to exit school by going down that same stairwell.
  • Grades 5, 4, and 3 will have a time-staggered release with grade 5 dismissing at 3:00, grade 4 at 3:05 and grade 3 at 3:10. This process will allow less crowding in both the 2nd floor hallway, stairwell and ground floor exit to the playground/bus areas.
  • Grade 2 will be dismissed from their classes at the end of the Arabic Class at 3:10.
  • KG2 parents may pick-up their children at the KG2 classroom beginning at 3:00. KG2 parents are asked to utilize the school’s reception area as a waiting and pick-up area.
  • To eliminate the over crowdedness and disorder at the corridor by the playground/bus area on the ground floor, parents will be asked to move outside that area at 3:00 until grade 5 has exited the building. At that time parents are very welcome to come into the building to visit classrooms, teachers, meet their students at a designated location, etc. Your assistance is needed and greatly appreciated.
  • If you would like your child (grade 2 through grade 5) to meet you at a different location on campus that is AOK as well. As in past years, please inform the homeroom teacher of those arrangements.
  • Finally, if parents would like to have a meeting place to meet, greet or socialize with other parents, please drop David Dorn or David Jones an email. We will search out such a spot for you!

Early Release Tuesday, September 19th

This coming Tuesday will be the first Early Release Tuesday. Students in grades KG2 through grade 12 will be dismissed at 2:00 with buses departing by 2:15. PreK and KG1 students will be dismissed at the usual time of 12:45.

The intent of this time is for staff to collaborate on professional development, academic planning and prepare for the multiple accreditation visits to occur this school year. This well planned teacher meeting time will provide instructional benefits for your child and eliminate the heavy need of substitute teachers as well.

Cat IV Assessment

Per KHDA grade 4 will be given the CAT IV exam on Wednesday, September 20, and grade 3 will be given the CAT IV exam on Sunday, September 24. This assessment information provides an insight into your child’s aptitude and methods of learning that will assist the classroom teachers in meeting your child’s learning style and needs.

The CAT IV is a 2½ hour exam. The school will provide a healthy snack during the exam time. Please ensure that your child is present due to the importance of the assessment information.

Healthy Eating

Thank you all for your support regarding healthy student snacks and lunches. The students are eating the appropriate healthy snacks at snack/recess time; it is joyful to watch the varying social groups play, chat and engage with each other as they snack at recess time…it makes one smile both inwardly and outwardly!

Students are eating very healthy at lunchtime as well. This is quite noticeable walking through the cafeteria and observing students later in the school day where students are more engaged in the learning process than last year to date.

Please continue to provide healthy snacks and lunches for your children. Lunch card information is accessible through the business office or contact via email at uascards@uasdbai.ae

Finally, please remember this coming Thursday, September 21st there will no school.

Have a great week and thank you for your trust in UAS!

David Dorn and David Jones

WELCOME to the New School Year!

Dear Parents and Students of UAS Elementary School,

WELCOME to the New School Year!

The first day of school is upon us!!!! After a fun summer break we begin the 2017-2018 school year on Monday, September 11.
A special thank you for those parents who attended our first before school parent Orientation Meeting last Wednesday evening. Please see the attached link for information from that meeting.
Click HERE.

Arrival to School
The first day, 11-September grades 1 through grade 5 students are asked to arrive between 7:30 and 7:40 and go directly to their new homeroom teacher. Parents are welcome to join their child in meeting the teacher, ensuring that your son/daughter is well situated and give that final hug! Beginning on the second day of school, students will line-up on the playground at their designated classroom spot and will be escorted into the school by their homeroom teacher.

Dismissal from School
The student dismissal procedures are very similar to last year:

  • Pre K and KG1 parents are asked to promptly pick-up their child from the classroom at 12:45
  • KG2 and Grade 1 parents are asked to pick up their child directly from the child’s classroom. Grade 1 parents may pick-up their child at 3:10; KG2 parents may pick-up their child at 3:00
  • Grades 2 through Grade 5 will be escorted at 3:10 to the exit doors closest to the playground for release to the busses or parents
  • Students attending ASAs will be escorted to either the bus area or the school’s reception area at 4:15

Snack & Lunch
The school is requesting that parents pack their child a simple healthy snack for their child to eat at snack time (i.e. fruit, yogurt, etc.). The school is reverting back to a practice from the 2015-16 school year of having snack and recess combined. Students will take their healthy snack outside to eat. The reasons for this is as follows:

  • Last year, many students ate their complete lunch at snack, thus not having anything healthy to eat at lunchtime. This negatively impacted both learning within the classroom and student behavior for the rest of the school day.
  • Lunch times have been moved to earlier within the school day. This year lunch will be at 11:00 or 11:30 am.

We ask your assistance in healthy eating habits with your child; as it will greatly impact their educational experience and develop life-long healthy eating habits.

Early Release Tuesdays Beginning September 19th
This year UAS will have a student dismissal at 2 pm for grades KG2 through 12 and 12:00 pm for Pre K and KG1 on every Tuesday throughout the school year beginning on Tuesday, September 19th.

The purpose of the Early Release Tuesday is to provide UAS faculty and staff time to address, plan and act upon the school’s goals and ESOL UAS Action Plan. These meeting days in combination with the revised elementary school schedule will significantly eliminate the need for substitute teachers to provide coverage for classroom teachers in school-wide meetings. This was an area of concern for school administration, teacher and parents last school year.

After School Activties provided by outside vendors will occur on Tuesdays. This outside vendor coordination is designed to consistently and continuously provide students with active after school experiences.

Class-Specialist Schedules for the 2017-2018 School Year
Based upon teacher feedback, the class schedule last year did not promote the optimum learning environment. In addition, the school had a significantly high frequency of substitute teachers to provide coverage for teaching planning meetings; thus hampering the opportunities for student successful learning. The class schedule for this school year was designed to provide for the following:

  • To provide ample sustained blocks of time for the classroom teacher to facilitate the implementation of UAS educational programs within literacy, math and PYP
  • To provide significant blocks of consistent time for special teachers to develop an in-depth coverage of their content
  • To provide deeper student-teacher relationships to enable a better understanding of a student’s learning process, motivation, behavior and needs for active engagement within the child’s learning process
  • To significantly eliminate the need for teachers being out of their classroom and the need for substitute teachers
  • To significantly reduce the number of transitions that students experience from classroom-classroom/recess/different teachers, etc.

The school’s new schedule has significant blocks of time for the homeroom teacher to teach literacy, math, PYP and other subjects. Below are highlights of the schedule that were addressed in the Parent Orientation meeting last Wednesday:

  • A student will experience only 3 -4 different teachers within a school day (i.e. homeroom teacher, 1 specialist, an Arabic teacher and (as scheduled) an Islamic Studies Teacher
  • Students will receive either Music, or Physical Education or Art instruction over 5 days for a 45-55 minute period (depending upon grade level) for an approximate 4 week time period. After 4 weeks all classes switch to a different special; after 4 weeks switch again to the remaining special. This provides for strong student-teacher relationships, in-depth coverage of specific content/skill development and continuity between the homeroom teacher and specialist.
  • Homeroom teachers will have 60-80 minute blocks of time for instruction throughout the school day
  • Teachers and specialists will be able to meet weekly for PYP and instructional planning without the need for substitutes
  • Student behavioral expectations will be consistent amongst the grade level teachers and specialists serving that grade level
  • A recess intramural program and Tuesday ASAs will provide for additional student activities to incorporate a healthy, active lifestyle

This is a student learning based schedule and will serve out children well. If you have questions, please send an email to David Dorn.

School Uniforms
School uniforms are available at the school uniform store located in the reception area. Most importantly all students must wear a UAS shirt with the appropriate dark blue pants, skirts and/or shorts.

On behalf of our faculty, David Jones, the ES new Assistant Principal, Sabrina Sambola, ES new PYP Coordinator and Crystal Hana, EC Coordinator, I thank you for the honor of serving your family and being a part of your child’s life. It is a joy and honor that our school takes quite seriously and professionally.

Next week’s blog I will include the Parent Handbook and discuss some of the highlights of that publication.

I look forward to seeing you and your child this week…have a great first day of school!!!!!

David