October 2017 archive

Week of October 31-November 2 – Flag Day picture this Thursday

Hello Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School!

I trust you all had a “family” 4-day weekend and had some fun!  The two professional development days were quite eventful and productive at UAS.  Early Years Program faculty visited 3 other schools’ early years programs and captured many ideas while reinforcing the great program at UAS.  Other faculty worked on GOOGLE certification and curriculum development…overall a quite productive and meaningful time.

Celebrations from Last Week!

  • Thank you all for your family’s participation in the traditional American holiday of “Halloween”.  The parade was quite wonderful as our students modeled their Halloween costumes!  The day itself was mingled with academics and homeroom celebration activities.
  • Mr. Ayman Fayez, UAS Islamic Studies Coordinator, initiated the Prayer Pass system for students in grades 4 and 5 to participate in daily prayers before leaving school for the day.  
  • Grade 2 held an “Artifact Museum” to celebrate the culmination of the PYP Unit of Inquiry.  Students chose any artifact to demonstrate how people and the world change over time, bringing in personal and historical artifacts and explaining their significance…a fun and insightful experience for all.
  • Grade 3 held a “Tug-of-War” pitting homerooms against teachers within their Unit of Inquiry on forces and motion.  Each 3rd grade homeroom developed strategies to overpower the faculty within a rope “Tug-of-War”…each class had two trials.  It was very interesting to observe the students brainstorm their strategy, apply their strategy in the “tug”, reflect upon its success and design a new strategy based upon their reflections.  The students excelled in their brainstorming and came very, very close to beating the adults!

Upcoming Events

    • Thursday, November 2 is UAE Flag Day.  As in past years, all UAS students will meet on the football pitch at the start of the school dressed in assigned color shirts for the school UAE Flag picture.  Please note grade level colors below:
        • Pre-K: (RED)
        • KG1: (GREEN)
        • KG2: (WHITE)
        • GRADE 1: (BLACK)
        • GRADE 2: (RED)
        • GRADE 3: (GREEN)
        • GRADE 4 (WHITE)
        • GRADE 5: (BLACK)
    • Grade 4 will be participating on a larger flag ceremony hosted by Al Futtaim at Festival City Mall.  Students will be transported to the mall area around 8 a.m. to participate in a larger scale UAE Flag Ceremony.  This experience ties directly into their unit of inquiry.  The goal of this event is Creating the largest human flag on Festival Bay in UAE National Colors”.
    • The ES Counselor Coffee has been canceled for this week Thursday, November 2nd due to the Flag Ceremony.
    • The monthly Principal Coffee will be held on Wednesday, November 8th.   A presentation by “The Change Associate” group will be held with the topic parental-child communication strategies.  As children become older, we parents must develop methods of listening and communication that promotes openness and empathy.  Please come join us at 8 a.m. in the ES Library.
    • Upcoming ES Library Events:
      • Magrudy’s Elementary Book Fair Nov. 12-16, open until 4:30 daily, UAS lobby
      • Author & chef Ying Chang Compestine visits elementary students.  Nov. 21-27
      • Meet author & chef Ying Chang Compestine Nov. 22, 3:30, in the elementary library (her website here)
    • The 4th-5th grade ASA choir has an amazing opportunity to participate in a children’s choir festival on December 6th. The festival will be hosted at Kent College (near Silicon Oasis), and elementary school choirs from all over Dubai will be participating. Our choir will sing 2 songs and also perform a mass piece with the other choirs. There will even be a Santa visit! More information will be coming in the following weeks.
    • A message has gone out to faculty to initiate “Healthy Snacks” for students in the afternoon.  Snacks to bring into school should be crackers, fruit and/or vegetables.  The snacks will be consumed during regular academic time as students work within the classroom.


  • Parent-Teacher Conferences held during the day on Wednesday, November 15, and Thursday, November 16 between 8 am and 4 pm  No school for students on those two days.  More information in next week’s ES Blog.


Finally a school request to parents of students in Pre K through KG2.  In order to ensure a smooth transition from students to parents we ask that parents of:

PreK & KG1 students walk with their child to put their book bag in the cubby and proceed to the EC playground. Parents may stay as long as they like on the playground; however, the EY faculty request that parents do not follow their child into the building.  This request reinforces the developmental need for student to gain confidence and independence at school (i.e. saying goodbye to a parent/caregiver, finding their cubby, unpacking their own bag, following the morning routine of the school etc.).

KG2 students will remain on the “ big playground” and say goodbye to their parents at that time.  For similar rationale as above, parents are requested not to follow their child into the KG2 hallway.  Thank you for your support and understanding.

As always, the ES staff feels extremely fortunate to be a part of your family’s educational experience…Thank You for the opportunity!

David Dorn & David Jones

Week of October 22, 2017

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

This school year is just breezing by!  It is hard to believe that within 2 weeks it will be the month of November…I guess time flies when you have a great school, outstanding students wonderful faculty and a sound educational program!

Celebrations from Last Week

  • Last Thursday was the PTSO Walk-A-Thon…even though it felt like it might have been the most humid day of the year, our kids, parents and staff had fun!  This was an outstanding event to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month…Thank you PTSO, Students and Staff!
  • Last Thursday Grade 4 traveled to the Etihad Museum for a field trip related to the student s PYP Unit of Inquiry.  The students, parents and teachers received a well-informed tour regarding the formation of the United Emirates.  It was great information and the students loved the movies, exhibitions and the huge flag/flag pole!
  • Junior Scorpion Soccer held a few games on campus last Wednesday.  It was fun to watch our kids compete against students not enrolled at UAS.  The school’s vision is to have our students engaged and have fun…as students chatted on Thursday morning it appeared that both had been accomplished!
  • Mr. Jones, Assistant Principal, and Ms. Sambola, PYP Coordinator, are organizing the Elementary Division Student Voice-Student Council group.  The purpose of this student group is for 2-way communication to seek input into school issues (i.e. cafeteria, playground, et).  An invitation to apply was sent out to Grade 4 and 5 students with an overwhelming response…we have kids who want to be involved in their school!
  • Several Grade 5 girls are attempting to initiate an Elementary School Newspaper or Magazine.  They are super excited and have outstanding thoughts on this project.  Fantastic student initiative to better our school community!

Upcoming Events

  • Halloween Parade PreK through Grade 5 beginning at 8:00 am on the ES Playground on Thursday, October 26.  Please come and watch the march of fun costumes on the ES playground!
  • PTSO Halloween Sale on Thursday, October 26 in the school lobby/reception area.
  • Wednesday, October 25 Junior Scorpion Soccer at ASD beginning at 4 pm.
  • No School on Sunday, October 29, and Monday October 30th for UAS Professional Development Days.
  • November 2nd from 8:00 to 9:00 am in the ES Library is the ES Counselor Talk.

Enjoy your week…we certainly will at the ES…we have a fun bunch of kids and great staff…how could life get any better!

David Dorn and David Jones

Week of October 15 – Walk-A-Thon and Field Trip on October 19

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,

Highlights from Last Week

  • This past week UAS completed its fall MAP assessment process.  Your student’s teacher will have the MAP results in a report format for you during the Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences (PTCs) coming in November.  
  • Also this past week Ms. Rianne Fox (ES ELL teacher) hosted the year’s first Mother-Tongue Read Aloud; a mom volunteered to read two Chinese story books to a group of 20 of our Chinese students…what fun!
  • UAS ES Choir ASA is taking off like rockets!  As David and I were supervising recess this week, we kept hearing a chorus of students singing as they walked around the playground.  When asked, they said they are part of Ms. Austin’s (new UAS ES music teacher) ASA choir…they could sing enough accolades of that ASA!
  • Mr. Osama will be back this Sunday!  Mr. Osama, UAS Arabic teacher, was out the past few weeks due to serious family illness needing his support in Egypt.  The ES is glad he is back with us and we wish his Egyptian family the best.

Book Club-Read Naturally Program

One elementary school reading intervention designed to increase our student reading levels as indicated within the MAP assessment is “Reading Club”.  This program is not an additional curricular program; rather it is designed to reinforce classroom instruction within reading.  Students not enrolled in Islamic Studies go to  Reading Club in lieu of Journalism (Journalism is no longer a class at the ES); Reading Club is a research based reading program named Read Naturally.  Students practice their reading fluency, comprehension skills and enhance vocabulary through this program.  

For those students enrolled in Islamic Studies in grades 1 though 5 the Read Naturally Program will be offered via 2 options:

  • Option 1 – If an Islamic Studies student has a MAP reading score below the grade level mean, he/she will be invited into an after school ASA program for Read Naturally.
  • Option 2 – If an Islamic Studies student is at or above the MAP grade level reading score, she/he may request to be in the Read Naturally ASA.  The enrollment would be based upon license availability.

PTSO Breast Cancer Awareness Walk-A-Thon

This Thursday, October 19th, UAS PTSO is sponsoring a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk-A-Thon for students in grades 2 through 11.  Beginning at 8:05 a.m. the High School will begin its loop around the UAS campus with Middle School and Elementary School having a staggered start from that time.  Grades 2 & 3 are expected to begin around 8:20 and Grades 4 &5 beginning around 8:25ish.  The students will loop around the campus with support from parents and other students with water, cheers, etc.!  This will be a Dress Down Thursday all students will be asked to wear some “pink” demonstrating the support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It will be a fun walk for an outstanding cause!

Student Voice and Engagement

This week Russell Quaglia and associate will be on campus.  Mr. Quaglia has been working with UAS for the past 1½ years on our “Student Voice Initiative”.  Russell and associate will be meeting with faculty, students and observing classes; the focus is the promotion of student engagement and voice within the students’ learning process.  This Tuesday, Mr. Quaglia will be working with faculty in promoting faculty classroom walk-throughs; this is a process where faculty team-up to visit each class and provide feedback to each other on the degree, type and student engagement observed within a teacher’s classroom learning environment.  The process is an outstanding reflective practice that promotes faculty collaboration, a focus on our students and a dialog on engaging students with their learning.

Within our elementary division, Mr. Jones, ES Assistant Principal, and Ms. Sambola, PYP Coordinator, are in the process of establishing a 4th and 5th grade Student Voice/Council group.  The purpose of this group of students will be to gather information about our school, discuss their perceptions of how UAS can better meet the needs of our students, gather input on issues such as school lunch, school assemblies, school spirit and solicit their assistance with student-student interactions.  Last year’s Student Voice Committee provided positive feedback and felt engaged within their own educational environment; our goal is to continue and enhance their engagement!


  • Grade 4 Field trip this Thursday, October 19 at 10:30 a.m.  The team will be traveling to the Ethiad Museum as part of their PYP Unit of Study
  • Please remember healthy snacks!  With Halloween fast approaching and the store having bags and bags of candy…that candy would not be an appropriate school snack or dessert for school lunch.  The “sugar high” quickly fades into massive tiredness.  Please have your children bring protein bars, fruit, vegetables and other protein items for snack (as well as lunch). Please feel free to pack a healthy after school snack as well!

Have a great week…UAS is the best school in Dubai…because of your children!!!

David Dorn & David Jones


Good morning! – Updated with removal of Halloween Sale

Hello Parents and Families of UAS’s Elementary School!

Thank you for your support and attendance this past Monday for the ES Back to School Night.  The faculty and staff very much enjoyed seeing all who attended and having the opportunity to make that “personal” connection with you.  We hope the new BTSN format to met your family needs; a survey will be sent out within the week to ask for your feedback to this year’s format, classroom informational presentations and your suggestions for next year’s event.  Please watch for the Google Survey…your feedback will be greatly appreciated and valued.

After School Activities

This past Thursday marks the end of the first week of ASAs!  What a great week for our students with after school activities.  Ms. Sarah Ghanem has done a superb job of developing an ASA program with a variety of offerings to meet the differentiated needs of our students!  These activities range from sports activities to craft activities to academic activities to academic extension activities…if you have not had the opportunity view all the offerings, please do so…you will be impressed.  

Ms. Sarah and I chatted about students needing nourishment at the end of the day; students should bring snacks to their ASAs…a healthy and small snack is quite appropriate within the 10-15 minute transition time to ASAs.

Ms. Ghanem has a few requests:

  • Any outstanding ASA payments must be paid as soon as possible to ensure your child’s registration for the ASA.
  • If your child is registered for a specific ASA but doesn’t wish to participate, please inform me. This will enable other students to attend the ASA who are currently on a waiting list.
  • Please be on time or a bit earlier to collect your child: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday at 4:15pm & Tuesday at 3:15pm
  • Students waiting for parent pick-up will be located in the school lobby.  

UAS Elementary School Family Handbook

Please read and store the ES Family Handbook.  Our school calendar, operating procedures and school information are located within this document.  After reviewing, if you have any questions, please email David Dorn or Janel Blakely for clarifications.

Parent Volunteer Needed

Our school is seeking a parent volunteer who speaks fluent Korean and English.  Several students have entered our school whose mother tongue is Korean and do not possess English language.  The volunteer would work with teachers and students in support of classroom academic translations as the student progresses in English language acquisition.  If interested please contact David Dorn at ddorn@uasdubai.ae

Upcoming Events:

  • Continued MAP testing for grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 (Grade 1 will be assessed in both reading and math; grades 3-5 will be assessed in science)
  • The ES Principal’s Coffee will be on Wednesday, October 11th to be held in the Elementary School Library from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.  The main topic will be Bully Prevention Month program presented by the UAS ES counselors Ms. St Amour and Mr. Fields
  • The Director’s Forum will be held on Thursday, October 12th from 8:00 am to 9:30 am
  • ES Halloween Parade will be on Thursday, October 26 at 8:00 am (more information will be coming)
  • 4 Day Weekend for all UAS students with no school on Sunday, October 29 and Monday, October 30

Life at UAS elementary school is outstanding because of our students!  Have a great week!

David Dorn & David Jones

Community Fair Tomorrow

Good afternoon! The following message is from the PTSO:

The PTSO will be hosting a Community Fair tomorrow at UAS. The event will run from 12:00 PM until 5:00 PM at the school’s main reception area and elementary lobby and exits.  There will be a variety of booths selling cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream, pizza and sandwiches. There will be service booths as well (including: ASA vendors, beauty salons, health and fitness services, accessories and more).

ES Blog for the week of October 1, 2017 (Edited – Swimming Info)

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,

This will be a short blog this week due to the upcoming Back to School Night on Monday, October 2nd (previous notification sent electronically last week). Please note families may attend sessions either 1:00 or 5:15 for PreK/KG1 and 3:45 or 5:15 for KG2 through Grade 5; Specialists will be in the library between 4:30 to 6:00. We look forward to seeing you!

Just a reminder ASAs begins this Sunday, October 1st. Families should have received electronic information about their child’s program. If you have not received information, please contact the Ms. Janel at the ES Office.

Lunch Card Information Reminder

UAS provides each child with a lunch card at the start of the school year, starting at grade 1. The cards are stored in the cafeteria and provided to the children when they need to purchase lunch.

On the parent portal, you can signup for notification emails to see what your child is purchasing. You can also select what items what are okay for purchase and set daily spending limits.

You can add lunch funds at the accounting desk by giving your child’s name. The physical card is not necessary for adding funds.

Children are able to purchase items even if the account balance is negative or at zero. This is to ensure every child has a lunch.

Letter from UAS Elementary Counselors

UAS Elementary Counselors Dear UAS Elementary Parents,

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, where across the world schools and communities spend an entire month of education and awareness activities. Our Elementary Counselors, Ms. Jen and Mr. Fields will be busy conducting lessons in your child’s classrooms, grades K2 – Grade 5 using the Bullying Prevention Unit through the Second Step program. The Second Step program teaches children important skills about getting along with others and doing well in school. It also helps our school to be a safe, respectful place where everyone can learn.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and the behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as age, size, physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once and the person it is happening to has not been able to get it to stop. It is unfair and one-sided.

In these Bullying Prevention lessons, your child will learn specific skills to help stop bullying.

Students will learn how to:

  • Recognize when bullying is happening
  • Report bullying to a caring adult
  • Refuse to let bullying happen to themselves or others
  • Be an Ally who stands up and is part of the solution of bullying

As parents, we need your help too! Get involved in making our school a safe and respectful place by letting us know if you hear about bullying at our school. Make sure your child knows to tell you or someone at school if he or she is being bullied. Ask your child how they can be an Ally at school and give your child the clear message that it is never okay to bully others. Mr. Fields and Ms. Jen will be in attendance at the Parent Coffee Morning on Oct. 11 to provide parents with a more in-depth overview of our Bullying Prevention curriculum and to answer any questions you may have.

We are excited to provide this important lesson to our students in the hopes that it will enrich our school community and make it a safer and more fun place to learn and grow. Please contact either Ms. Jen jstamour@uasdubai.ae or Mr. Fields kfields@uasdubai.ae if you have any further questions.

Kindest Regards,

Mr. Fields and Ms. Jen


Letter from Ms. Terry Papov, UAS Aquatics Director

On Thursday Oct 5th after school we will begin tryouts for the competitive elementary swim team.    These practices will occur every Thursday from 3:15 – 4:15 until November. Late Busses will be running.

Tryouts are open to grade 2 – 5.   This team is for students who are good swimmers and can swim 50m without stopping.  We can only manage a maximum of 25 students on the team so there will be cuts made after the first practice. Grade 1 is only by invitation and I have already invited those students in grade 1 who I feel can swim well enough to try out.   Our development team, the Junior Scorpions, will begin in January. I encourage any student who does not make the competitive team, to join the “Junior Scorpions” development team in January.

 I will be at the evening event on Monday in the elementary library to answer any questions parents might have.


Ms Terry Papov

Swim Instructor

Aquatics Director