Author Archive

Class Placement Process 2017/2018

Student Information for 2017-2018
Elementary Classroom Placement
Optional Parent Form

April 17, 2017

During the upcoming weeks, the elementary school will begin creating class lists for the 2017-2018 school year. When planning classrooms for next year the Class Placement Team will divide the children into balanced groups. Class lists will then be posted the day before the first day of school.

Creating well-balanced, heterogeneous classroom groups is our comprehensive goal at UAS. Some, not all, of the more important factors in creating that balance include:

  • balanced number of boys and girls
  • strong English skills vs. less developed English skills
  • a mix of students from varying academic levels
  • a good social blend of students
  • representation from various nationalities

We want your child to flourish while attending Universal American School and your input as our partner in education is important.  This optional online form is where you can provide additional information to assist the school in the class placement of your child for the 2017-2018 school year. If you choose to provide input for the class placement process, please complete the online form no later than Thursday, April 27th. The information you provide will be shared with the Classroom Placement Team, which includes the current and future grade level teams, counselors, and administration.

We respectfully ask that parents not make requests for a specific teacher. As the school grows, teachers shift grade levels, some leave, and new teachers arrive, the best way for you to provide input into the process is via this feedback form. UAS is committed to employing teachers who are well qualified and able to meet the needs of all students enrolled at the school. Requests for a specific teacher will not be considered, as all UAS students should be able to be successful in any one of our classroom communities.

UAS is committed to providing an excellent teaching team and will ensure that your child is placed into a well-balanced classroom. We will consider the information you provide when placing your child, however the information provided does not guarantee placement in a specific teacher’s classroom.

Thank you for your continued support,

David Dorn
Elementary Principal

Amanda DeCardy
Elementary Assistant Principal



ES Principal’s Update: April 16 – 20, 2017

Dear Families of UAS Elementary School Students,

What a great week our students and staff have had being back from spring break! The school’s daily attendance has been increasing each day meaning more students are returning from their vacation, 5th grade students are actively engaged within their PYP Exhibition Project, 4th grade students are polishing up for the musical performance next week, 3rd grade students had a “wet and wild” day during a field trip to the Aquaventure Waterpark, Grade 2 had a fun time at LEGOLAND and KG2 had an underwater experience at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo while the PreK students splashed and played in the UAS swim pool. We ended the week by inviting a local theater company to school to share a performance of Snow White with students in grades 1 – grade 5. A truly busy and fun filled week for many of our students!

Parent Coffee Notes
At the Parent Coffee held this past Tuesday, Ms. Amanda conducted a presentation on the use of the MAP assessment. Ms. Amanda and the parents in attendance had a very fruitful and insightful dialog as to the purpose, MAP scores and parent informational reports. Please see the presentation information here. The final MAP assessment for this school year will be from May 10th through May 23rd.

Nurturing the Student Voice Continues
This week, Dr. Quaglia will be here to continue his work within the UAS initiative “Student Voice”. Dr. Quaglia will continue to consult with students, teachers and UAS administration to enhance our students’ education experiences. In conjunction with Dr. Quaglia’s visit, the ES Student Voice Committee has planned an Elementary School Spirit Week. Please note the below “Spirit Week” Dress-Up schedule:

SPIRIT WEEK for G1-G5 brought to you by Student Voice!

April 16: School Holiday- No school

April 17: Career Day- Dress as what you want to be when you grow up!

April 18: Reverse Day- Students dress as teachers and teachers dress as students!

April 19: Twin Day- Pick your favorite friend and wear the same outfit!

April 20: Crazy Hair Day- Get wild and crazy with your hair today! And complete 1 act of kindness towards the Earth in lieu of Earth Day! 


SPIRIT WEEK for Pre-K, KG1, & KG2 brought to you by Student Voice!

April 16: School Holiday- No school

April 17: No Dress Up—regular day!

April 18: Reverse Day- Students dress as teachers and teachers dress as students!

April 19:  No Dress Up—regular day!

April 20: Crazy Hair Day- Get wild and crazy with your hair today! And complete 1 act of kindness towards the Earth! 

Recess Requirements and Home Lunches
Dubai’s weather is truly amazing; the days and evenings are so beautiful! Though it appears that we have moved from “winter” into “summer” daily temperatures. Please remind your student to bring a hat and water bottle to school to utilize on the playground during recess times. If the temperatures reach a “real feel” 45 degrees, student recess will occur within the air-conditioned classrooms. In addition, UAS ES has put in place a lunch transport system to have all student lunches transported to the cafeteria to be stored in an air-conditioned setting while students are on the playground prior to lunchtime. This new process will ensure the safety of lunches within the warm weather.

More Information…

  • 2017-18 school year class placement process will be communicated this week via the ES Principal’s blog
  • Elementary teachers will be sending home your assigned time for Student Led Conferences early this week.
  • Please view the Ramadan school schedule here. Please note that transportation anticipates a 2+ hour turn around time from PreK/KG1 buses to return to UAS for the older student end of school bus routes; thus the posted timings for early childhood student dismissal
  • Phone calls to home by UAS Registrar will be made this week to verify next year’s school enrollment

Thank you all for your support and trust in UAS!!! Life is very, very good because of our students and families!

David and Amanda

Important Dates: 

  • April 17 – 20, 2017: ES Spirit Week
  • April 17 – 26, 2017: Girl Scout Fundraiser for School Supplies
  • April 20, 2017: PTSO Popcorn Day
  • April 23, 2017: No School: Lailat Al-Meiraj Holiday
  • April 24 – 27, 2017: Book Fair in the UAS Lobby
  • April 25, 2017: Grade 4 Concert @ 8:15 in the MPH
  • April 26, 2017: Half Day of School: Student Led Conferences Conferences
  • April 27, 2017: No School: Student Led Conferences

ES Principal’s Update: April 9 – 13, 2017

Welcome back from what we hope was a relaxing Spring Break for you! As a community, we were thrilled to return to school to continue the learning that has been happening all year. We were also thrilled to see the Fine Arts Booster Club’s Bridges of Color project taking hold of our trees and buildings. Our campus looks beautiful and it’s wonderful

Squares from former Assistant Principal Jen Stockbridge in the Dominican Republic.

to see so many teachers, administrators, teachers, former teachers, students, and parents participating in this project.

We have lots of activity in the elementary school this week and we invite you to be a part of it!


Elementary Principal/Parent Coffee – Tuesday, April 11th @ 8am
Please join us in the MPH for coffee and snacks for the ES Coffee. Amanda DeCardy will share a presentation about how the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test fits into our assessment portfolio. Parents will walk away with knowledge of how to read the results, how we use the results in school, and will have a few resources shared with them.


Elementary Vaccinations Reminder – 
This is a gentle reminder that vaccinations for students in the elementary school are scheduled on April, 11th. These vaccinations are provided free of cost by Dubai Health Authority for students six years old and above. If your child is due for vaccination you should’ve already received an email from the school doctor, Dr. Amna. Please send duly signed consent form along with your child’s vaccination record to school clinic if you would like to have your child vaccinated in school. Originals can be collected a week after the vaccinations.

If you do not wish for your child to be vaccinated at school or he/she has already been vaccinated, the health authority makes it mandatory to complete and return the refusal form along with an updated copy of vaccination record.

For more information please contact the clinic staff on , or 042326252.


Spirit Week Next Week!

Help your children plan ahead for Spirit Week next week! Each day will have a different theme – see below. We look forward to seeing UAS spirit!


Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, April 13: ASA Term 3 Registration Deadline
Sunday, April 16: No School
Monday, April 17: Spirit Week Begins
Monday, April 17: UAS Girl Scout Fund Raiser Begins
Thursday, April 20: PTSO Popcorn Day
Sunday, April 23:  No School Lailat Al-Meira Holiday
Monday, April 24 – April 27: Elementary Book Fair in the Lobby
Tuesday, April 25: Grade 4 Concert @ 8am in the MPH
Wednesday, April 26: Half Day of School – Student Led Conferences
Thursday, April 27: No Classes: Student Led Conferences

ES Principal’s Update: March 19 – 23, 2017

Hello Families and Students of UAS Elementary School!

A special “THANK YOU” to UAS PTSO, elementary teachers, middle school teachers, elementary students, middle school students, high school music students and ES parents for such a great International Day last Thursday! The ES students did an excellent job in creating informational booths for their chosen country, 5th grades’ “Mexican Hat Dance” and piñatas were a great success and the middle school’s “classroom museums” were a tremendous hit with the elementary students. The PTSOs late afternoon and early evening stage performances were a hit with the crowd, as well. It was a truly fun event!

Looking Ahead

Aqua-thon this Thursday Afternoon!
Our elementary students in grades 3 – 5 had the opportunity to sign up for Aquathon. We have over 60 students in the elementary braving the enduring swim/running event! The race begins at 1:50pm and the event will run until the end of the day. Parents of our athletes are welcome to come cheer on the kids! Join us!

ASA Term 3 Registration Open Today!
We are pleased to offer a variety of After School Activities for our students during the third term. Look for an email with the list of activities. The important dates are as follows:

  • Spring ASA Term: April 23 – May 24, 2017
  • Spring ASA Registration Deadline: April 13, 2017
  • Spring ASA Payment Due Date: April 17, 2017
  • Parent Registration Confirmations Sent Home: April 18, 2017

ES Trimester Report Cards: 
The trimester report cards will be posted this Thursday after school. Parents should login to the parent portal to access report cards. Keep in mind that the school will be closed over Spring Break so if you need assistance logging into the parent portal, you will need to use the “Forgot Password” option for assistance. You will be able to reset your password with that function.

Spring Break Reminder:
Just a quick reminder that the UAS spring break runs from March 24th through April 8th. Classes will resume on Sunday, April 9th.

Spring Break Camp
The Universal American School in association with StyxGulf Sports is excited to promote an exciting opportunity for students aged 4-10 (KG1-Gr. 5).  UAS will be offering a MULTI-ACTIVITY SPRING CAMP. Similar to the Multi-Activity Winter Camp, the Spring Camp will offer a variety of activities for our students. Therefore, if you are interested in participating, be sure to complete the registration process before this Thursday March 23rd to ensure your place in the camp.

Click here to see the schedule for the day. Click here to register or the camp!

ES Parent Coffee – Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Save the date! On Tuesday, April 11th, the elementary school will hold our monthly Parent Coffee at 8:00 am in the MPH. The main topic will be MAP assessment with Ms. Amanda providing an informational overview of how we interpret MAP scores and what we as a school do with the information to guide learning for students. See ya there

Register for Junior Scorpions Basketball


Finally, please read the following information about Junior Scorpion Basketball:
EVENT DETAILS: Practice Timings: -Every Monday and Thursday (starting April 10th) from 3:15pm-4:30pm

WHERE: UAS Gymnasium


  • Basketball clothes (P.E. Kit or shorts and t-shirt)
  • Good quality running shoes or basketball shoes

END OF SEASON JAMBOREE: May 20th, 2017 hosted at various schools

END OF SEASON CELEBRATION: May 23rd, 2017 after school in UAS Cafeteria

**Additional “Friendly” Games with other Dubai schools will also be arranged throughout the season

Junior Scorpions Basketball Video
Junior Scorpions Registration Link

In addition, please note that transportation after practices is dependent upon ASA bus availability so please contact the Transportation Department for any inquires you may have pertaining to buses.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Mr. Trottier at:

Have a great spring break holiday!
David and Amanda

ES Principal’s Update: March 12th-16th, 2017

Hello UAS Elementary School Families!

KHDA Commendations
KHDA Inspection Week is behind us! I believe the KHDA report on the elementary division will reinforce the commonly held notion that the UAS Elementary Division does a superb job with our students’ education. The KHDA inspectors commented on the quality of teaching, positive teacher-student relationships, student support programs and, most importantly, on the high quality of our students’ character. UAS is truly a great place to be!

Wrapping Up Literacy Month – Celebrating Literature
In addition to our KHDA week, elementary students got a chance to get up close and personal with authors at the Emirates Literature Festival last week! Ms. Ryan’s 4th graders went to a presentation of “Horrid Henry” author Francesca Simon on Monday. They heard her talk about her most famous book character, and even got a chance to meet her in person and so she could autograph their new books! Twelve lucky 3rd graders (and Conejo!) went to a fantastic presentation by the author-illustrator team Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre on Wednesday. They had a drawing lesson and participated in an audience-created board game, “racing” pug dogs from Dubai to the Frozen North! They, too, met the author-illustrator team in person and got their autographs (and personalized drawings) in their books. What a wonderful week for literature lovers!

Discovering the Treasures of Hatta
This past Thursday, 10 Grade 5 Exhibition students and 15 service-oriented Middle School students, participated on the KHDA-sponsored experience, “Discover the Treasures of Hatta.” This is a brand new program, designed in collaboration with Ecoventure and the Ground-Up Initiative and is designed to give students a feel for life in a smaller Emirati town. In the next year, the KHDA will be building an educational wellness center in Hatta in order to extend this learning and to support the local community. Some of the highlights of our trip:

  • the opportunity to interview elders of Hatta about their daily lives
  • visiting the Hatta branch of the Dubai Womens Association to get a feel for how Emirati heritage impacts the present
  • practicing orienteering – students were the leaders to get us around from place to place
  • students reflecting on how they can take action to eradicate poverty in the UAE and in the larger Arab community
  • practicing mindfulness with our guides from the Ground-Up initiative
  • having Stephen Ritz, Esol sustainability consultant, join us on our adventure

According to Reem in 5JH, “From now on, I will start to say hi to people and be friendly.” Meanwhile, this from Farah in 5LW, “You need to be patient and work together. Hatta was one of the best places that I’ve ever been in my life!” Thank you to these UAS students for being so Open-Minded!

International Day Updates
This week is a BIG week at UAS and the ES school. On Wednesday UAS will host the Annual International Day celebration in collaboration with UAS PTSO. ES students will begin the day with a parade in their “National Dress”, they will then view fellow classmates’ booths of specific countries, they will visit the Middle School’s classroom country museums, they will enjoy game booths and view a musical performance sponsored by elementary through high school students. All this will take place between 8:15 to 2:50. The Family/Community celebration will begin at 3:30 and go until 7:30 p.m. with several exciting events sponsored by the PTSO. ES students will be dismissed in the typical manner beginning at 3:10.

As a special treat, our 4th grade and 5th grade students will have the opportunity to purchase their lunch from several food trucks. Please send between 20 and 30 dirhams with your child for lunch that day. Alternatively, they may still purchase lunch from the cafeteria.

As a reminder: there will be no school on Thursday, March 16, due to UAS Professional Development.

Thank you all for entrusting us with the care of your children and being a part of our vibrant community! UAS is a GREAT place to be!


David and Amanda

  • Thursday, March 16, 2017: No School for Students: Teacher Professional Development Day
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2017: UAE Mother’s Day
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017: Elementary Aquathon Day
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017: Elementary Report Cards Posted to Portal @ 3:30pm
  • March 24 – April 8, 2017: Spring Break Holiday
  • Sunday, April 9, 2017: School Resumes
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017: ES Principal’s Coffee: Understanding and Learning with MAP Data

ES Principal’s Update: March 5 – 9, 2017

Hello UAS Elementary School Families!

On behalf of the ES faculty, we thank all the Dads and Moms who participated in the UAS celebration of Literacy Month by joining us in “Dads and Donuts” and “Moms and Muffins”…the students and teachers thoroughly enjoyed having you all within the classroom! This week the Celebration continues with parents visiting and reading books to students in Mother Tongue languages. It is so keen to see the students’ eyes “light up” as they interact with a parent about a book within their native, mother tongue language!
This week several 4th and 3rd grade students are travelling to the Emirates Literature Conference. Ms. Leslie, ES Librarian, has secured tickets for our students to see authors and hear the authors’ stories…. what a valuable experience and potential life changer for some of our students. In addition, Ms. Larisa, ES PYP Coordinator, will travel to an eco-experience at Hatta sponsored by KHDA in collaboration with the Ground-Up Initiative and Ecoventure on this Thursday.

This week is UAS’s KHDA Inspection. And next week on Wednesday, March 15th will be the UAS-PTSO International Day Celebration…more information to come from the UAS Newsletter. With International Day on the 15th, this means that ASAs will conclude on Monday, March 13th for this session. If your child is involved in a paid ASA on International Day or the Professional Development Day on March 16th, you will be notified of a make-up session time after Spring Break.

The following is from Dylan Carter, UAS Co-Athletic Director:

The UAS AQUATHON is back! We want to see all our fantastic swimmers and runners come out on March 23rd to compete. 

In the Aquathon you will SWIM 100m (4 laps in the pool) and RUN 800m (twice around the track!). You can do this INDIVIDUALLY or WITH A PARTNER. This is for Grade 3-5 students ONLY. 

The cost to participate is 75 AED and you will get a cool T-Shirt. All the money from the event will go to the Red Crescent Society and a NEW School Scorpion Mascot! 

In order to register for this awesome event, each child’s parent must sign them up through the link by clicking HERE or on the Parent Portal. Once registered you must make your payment at the UAS Accounts desk. Please pay to the UAS AQUATHON Account. 

Registration needs to be completed by Tuesday March 14th at 3pm. 

All Grade 3-5 students will need to complete a SWIM Assessment before the event, more information will be provided. 

We hope to see lots of young swimmers and runners competing and having LOADS OF FUN!

Go Scorpions!

Have a great week and see you all at next week’s International Day Celebration!

David and Amanda

Upcoming Dates:

  • March 5 – 9, 2017: Literacy Month: Mother Tongue Read Alouds
  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017: Grade 5 PYP Exhibition Parent Information Session @ 2:30 in the ES Library
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017: Elementary Trimester 2 Ends
  • Monday, March 13, 2017: ASA Session 2 Ends
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017: UAS International Day!
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017: No School for Students: Teacher Professional Development Day
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2017: UAE Mother’s Day
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017: Elementary Aquathon Day
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017: Elementary Report Cards Posted to Portal @ 3:30pm
  • March 24 – April 8, 2017: Spring Break Holiday



Celebrating Physical Literacy – ES Sports Days!

While many of our middle school and high school students were away at their annual Week Without Wall’s trip, our elementary students in KG2 – Grade 5 participated in their Sports Day activities. The weather held out and the rain stayed away long enough for our students to be outside and participate in activities where they worked together as a team of champions! A special shout out to our incredible elementary PE teachers for organizing a fun-filled day for students and faculty alike. Thank you the high school students who stayed back from WOW week so that they could help out with the activities. Also, thank you to our tech team for putting together the following three videos to highlight the fun that was had throughout the week. Take a peek and fill your heart!


ES Principal’s Update: Feb. 26 – March 2, 2017

Hello UAS Families!

It is hard to fathom that March 1st is upon us – the school year seems to be flying by! As February comes to an end, March is coming in like a “lion”! This month holds many school-wide activities to celebrate and embrace our students’ education.

Last week began the designated celebration of literacy with “Literacy Month”. Even though everyday is a literacy day, the intent of this selected month is to create patterns of behavior and awareness concerning reading and writing for all. At times, as students become older, the habit of “recreational reading” falls away for many reasons. Therefore, the celebrations of Dads & Donuts, Moms and Muffins, Read-It-Forward, Drop Everything and Read (DEAR), Favorite Character Parade (this Thursday morning at 8:05), are designed to bring back “literacy” into our daily lives, conversations and sit-downs with our children. There is nothing as special as sitting and reading a book with your child as it opens the opportunity for parent-child sharing!

The week of March 5th brings UAS’s annual KHDA visit and school audit. To ready for this inspection UAS has been preparing a “Self-Study” that allows the school to investigate and reflect upon our practices over the past year. Persons from KHDA will come to our campus, observe classrooms, talk to students, parents, teachers, and administrators and give us feedback regarding our self-study. The inspectors will give the school a rating based upon established KHDA criteria; this feedback will generate both celebrations and an action plan for improvement. Last year, UAS was noted for proving a good quality educational program for its students. The elementary division was found to have very good progress towards academic attainment, a strong personal and social development program for students, a very safe campus and a school environment effectively supporting creative learning opportunities. This inspection provides UAS an outstanding opportunity to enhance our students’’ educational programs and we look forward to the visit!

Most importantly on March 15th, UAS will hold the Annual International Day Celebration! Our students and staff have been working since January creating ways and communication tools to celebrate the diversity at UAS and within Dubai. Information for the day’s specifics will be communicated through the UAS Newsletter. Your child’s Homeroom Teacher is in need of assistance in preparing and facilitating this event; please contact your child’s teacher if you would be willing to donate your time to assist our students in this celebration during the day. This opportunity provides another great opening to share within your child’s educational program and life at UAS!

Last but not least, take a few moments to login to the parent portal as the latest MAP results are now available for your child. This was a mid-year check-in and the teachers are already using the data in their planning of lessons to meet the needs of the students. You will receive If you have specific questions, you may contact your child’s teacher. Additionally, CAT4 results are available for our grade 4 parents. The CAT4 report gives both you and your child insights into how they learn best.

Thank you for being a positive part of amazing community and enjoy the rest of your week!

Life is Good at UAS ES!

David and Amanda


Upcoming Dates:

  • March 5 – 9, 2017: Literacy Month: Mother Tongue Read Alouds
  • Wednesday, March 8, 2017: Grade 5 PYP Exhibition Parent Information Session @ 2:30 in the ES Library
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017: Elementary Trimester 2 Ends
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017: UAS International Day!
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017: No School for Students: Teacher Professional Development Day
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2017: UAE Mother’s Day
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017: Elementary Aquathon Day
  • Thursday, March 23, 2017: Elementary Report Cards Posted to Portal @ 3:30pm
  • March 24 – April 8, 2017: Spring Break Holiday


ES Principal’s Update: Feb. 19 – 23, 2017

Hello Parents, Families and Students of UAS Elementary School!

One has to enjoy the rain and cool Dubai weather! Last week, the students enjoyed the days of light rain as they relaxed during recess time! They love the feel of the rain, catching drops on their tongue and playing in the wet sand…the joy of life as a young person experiences it!

This weekend the UAS ES staff was sent an article from the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) that focused on a student’s prior knowledge as a significant force within their literacy (both in reading and writing) development. In summary, the article stated that reading comprehension, deep thinking, and an individual’s creativity strongly rely on the person’s wealth of background experiences, an understanding of those experiences and the application of that prior knowledge to a future learning opportunity. Your home is a significant place of learning for your child; as your family talks about the rain, challenges of the UAS Sports Day or your family’s travel experiences, please note that these are real educational opportunities –  especially for future learning.

Last week was the Elementary School’s Annual Sport’s Day competition amongst like grade levels. Wow, all had fun! Mr. Calandra and Mr. Chip, UAS ES PE teachers, designed and facilitated a slew of fun and physically motivating activities that promoted sportsmanship, gamesmanship and individual competition. By the end of each day, the grade levels that participated within that day were quite tired and happy…it must have been a quiet evening at home that night!

Also last week, the 4th grade had a two-day outing for their overnight camp experience. Ms. Ryan, Ms. Davy, Ms. Deborah and their students enjoyed researching the mangroves, completing a ropes course and evening camp activities, plus much more.

A special event for this week within UAS’s celebration of Literacy Month is Dads and Donuts for first and second grades! Your child’s teacher’s blog should have the day and time for the classroom invite.

Life is good at UAS ES!
David and Amanda

Grade 4 Camp Update!

Our Grade 4 kids have had a full day of adventure! Students, counselors and teachers visited the mangroves on their way to camp and discovered much about the ecosystem. They are now at camp and are settling in for dinner and a few evening activities. The grade 4 teachers have shared out a folder of photos on their blogs… you can keep an eye on that folder as they continue to uploads pictures.

The busses will arrive back at UAS tomorrow around 2:30. You are welcome to pick your child up at that time or you may have them take their regularly scheduled bus home. They will be ready for a weekend of rest after Sports Day and camp for two days!

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