Author Archive

Student Led Conferences 2017-2018

Dear Parents,

We are pleased to announce that student-led conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26, 2018. Our approach to teaching and learning is intended to support our school’s Primary Years Programme core values by empowering our students to be active participants in their education. It is important for students to think critically and reflect on their learning which helps them become self-directed learners. One of the ways UAS accomplishes this goal is through student-led conferences.  

Process to sign up for Student Led Conferences

Click here for directions for using Synergetic to login and schedule the time in your student’s homeroom class that best meets your needs. Please note that we will go live on Tuesday at 4:00 pm; there are times available throughout both days, with up to four places for each time period.

Student-Led Conferences: A Celebration of Learning at UAS!

UAS students put a lot of time and effort into getting ready to celebrate their learning with parents. A student-led conference involves the student and parent in a discussion centered on student achievement. In this format the student takes the lead in the conversation and talks about their learning.

Teachers are present in the room and will offer encouragement and/or clarification as needed. Please note, this is not a time for you to engage in an individual parent-teacher conference. The time is for your child to share their successes and goals in moving forward for the remainder of the school year. During your conference time, there will be other students sharing their learning with their parents as well.

All families are encouraged to visit the student’s specialist and support teachers on a drop-in basis as they are an integral part of each child’s education. You and your child are also encouraged to visit the Book Fair and to observe the Arts Alive display.

If you have additional time or are waiting for another conference, you are welcome to read in the library with your children or supervise them while they are playing on the playground. During conferences, staff will be monitoring the hallway so that siblings may sit in the hallway to wait. We encourage bringing something for the sibling to do while they wait, such as a book to read, a notebook for writing or drawing, etc.


UAS Elementary School Administration

Have a great Spring Break!

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,

Have a wonderful Spring Break!!!!  We at UAS wish you all a restful, fun-filled and family time vacation.  We will see you all when students return on Sunday, April 8.

A  special Thank You goes out to UAS’s KG1 Teacher Team, KG2 Teacher Team and Ms. Crystal Hana, EY Coordinator, for their outstanding Mother Day Celebration program!  The students sang wonderfully, the student-to-Mom gifts were cherishable and the recognition of Moms special relationships with their children was memorable.

Congratulations to ES’s group of Grade 2 students who performed in UAS’s Wizard of Oz…a great performance was completed by all our students!!

Thanks to PTSO for a very informative and insightful PTSO meeting on March 21st.  The two speakers provided great information…please come and join the next PTSO meeting in April!

Principal Coffee

Please see the attached FAQs from question submitted at the last Coffee.  If any additional questions or clarity needed, please email David Dorn ( for additional information to be added to the FAQs.     FAQs

The next Principal’s Coffee will be held on Wednesday, April 18, from 8am-9am in the ES Library.  Topics will be school lunch, school-wide behavioral reinforcement plan, parent school-home communication needs, and the PYP program.  See ya all there!

Ramadan Schedule

The Ramadan school day timing have been finalized.  The school day will begin at 8am and end at 1pm for all grades, Pre K through Grade 12.  The actual days of the Ramadan schedule will be published later.

All UAS transport students will be able to ride buses home with buses departing UAS at approximately 1:15pm.  Early Years (Pre K – KG1) who wish to pick-up their child from school, may do so at the normal dismissal time of 12:45pm.

Student Led Conferences

Student Led Conferences will be held on Wednesday, April 25th, and Thursday April 26th.  The intent of these student-family conferences is for the student to showcase the learning that has taken place over the school year.  The goal is for the parent and student to have an active conversation which celebrates the student’s learning experience to date. It is not a time for parent-teacher talk, rather student-parent dialog.  The children very much enjoy sharing their school experience with the parents…it is a unique intimate experience for both child and parent.

More information to include times, sign-up process, etc. will be sent to families the week of April 8th (after Spring Break).  More to come…..

Update on Arabic Staffing for Grades 1, 2 and 3

Ms. Rima and Mr. Mahmoud will be assuming teaching elementary Arabic classes in lieu of the recent substitute teacher. Ms. Rima and Mr. Mahmoud’s teaching skills and knowledge of the Arabic curriculum will be an enhancement to the program.

PYP Exhibition Corner – PYP Coordinator Ms. Sambola

We are very excited to announce that the 2018 UAS PYP Exhibition will be held at Dubai Festival City Mall! We are looking forward to hosting the Exhibition at this new venue where students will be able to share their projects with a larger audience. Please `mark these dates on your calendar and plan to visit and support the grade 5 students and their learning.

  • Sunday, May 6 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm
  • Monday, May 7 from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm

Blog for week of March 18 – last week of school before Spring Break

Dear Parents, Families and Students of UAS Elementary School,

Spring Break

It is the week before our 2 week vacation for Spring Break!  The vacation begins this Thursday, March 22nd at 12:00 noon…this is an early dismissal day.  All students, Pre K through Grade 12 will be dismissed at noon on Thursday.  School will resume on Sunday, April 8. UAS wishes a fun and relaxing vacation for all families…a last hurrah before the warm weather sets in within Dubai!

Principal’s Coffee

Last Wednesday the monthly Principal Coffee was held with many parents in attendance.  The meeting focussed on parental input as to their child’s needs for both curricular and co-curricular programming plus the nutritional needs of their children.  Please read the attached minutes of the feedback session; please note the color blue are comments that were quite common amongst all seven groups.

Principal Coffee Parental Input

The ES administrative team will combine the parent input along with feedback from grade 4 & 5 students and ES faculty to design the 2018-2019 daily schedule.  A schedule’s purpose is utilize the resource of time to accomplish the academic mission of the school. Our mission at UAS is to optimize the conditions of learning for all students!

The next Principal’s Coffee, Wednesday, April 18, will focus on a positive school-wide behavioral management plan; parental input on cafeteria foods and communication needs of families from the school.  See you all then!!

PYP Exhibition Corner

We are proud to say that our grade 5 students have successfully begun their PYP Exhibition journey. They have selected topics, gotten to know their group members, and received their mentor assignments. This week they will meet their mentors, narrow the focus within their topic, and begin to research their topic using a variety of sources. If you have an opportunity, talk with a grade 5 student about this learning experience and encourage them to keep working hard.

Mother Tongue Book Drive

Ms. O’Reilly (KG2 teacher) is organizing a Mother Tongue Book Drive to enhance our literature holdings within our students’ mother tongue language.

Please read the Book Drive link for more information.

Upcoming Events

    • Monday, March 19 Grade 5 musical performance in MPH 8:30 – 9:30 am
    • Wednesday, March 21, KG1 Mother’s Day performance at 8:00 am in cafeteria
    • Thursday, March 22, KG2 Mother’s Day performance at 8:00 am in cafeteria
    • UAS Theater, “Wizard of Oz” Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday of this week
    • Student Led Conferences – April 25 and 26…scheduling information to be forthcoming
    • UAS Elementary School Trimester 2 Progress Reports posted on Tuesday, April 10



Blog for Week of March 11 – Principal Coffee on March 14 – 8-9 am

Dear Families of UAS Elementary School,

Thank you all for your support during last week Thursday’s favorite Book Character Parade! How fun it was to see the children dressed up as their favorite book character! In addition to the parade, our students had numerous activities last week to Celebrate Book Week…

Upcoming Events

Principal’s Coffee – Wednesday, March 14, 8-9 a.m. in ES Library


  • Specials Schedule for 18-19 School Year – The ES Administrative Team has very clearly heard parent and student concerns about this year’s “4 week block schedule” for specials.  Thus, a change in schedule will occur for the next school year.  At this meeting the Administrative Team will hear parent thoughts on their child’s needs in relationship to PE, music, art, lunch and recess/snack
  • A student instructional day runs from 7:55 to approximately 3:00.  The following time commitments must be built into the daily student schedule:
    • KHDA Moral Education – 60 minutes per week
    • Arabic Education 40 minutes daily 5 days per week
    • Islamic Education/Reading Club 30-40 minutes either 2 days (80 minutes weekly) or 4 days (120 minutes weekly)  per week
    • Math Curriculum 60 minutes daily
    • Literacy Curriculum 80 minutes daily
    • Specials (art, music or PE) 45 to 50 minutes daily
    • Recess and Lunch/Recess 60 minutes daily
    • PYP (science or social studies) 60 minutes daily
    • Plus the transition times (5 minutes of movement to or from classroom) between classes, recess, etc…
  • Mr. Jones will review and solicit feedback regarding a faculty developed school-wide student behavior reinforcement plan.

Thank you,

David Dorn    David Jones


ASAs and Interactive Reading from Sarah Ghanem

The end of UAS’s season 2 ASA is quickly upon us (see below important dates).  Sarah would like to take this opportunity to thank all the wonderful teachers and outside providers for offering a wide range of engaging and successful activities this year.

There will be no ASA season 3 due to a short time between Spring break and Ramadan.  Plus Ramadan will be 4 weeks during this time period.

ASA Important notes and dates:

  • March 15 ASA season 2  and Interactive Reading will end
  • March 15 last day of scheduled late / ASA buses
  • March 18 ASA season 2 Make up session for only External ASAs Advance Group Tennis, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Easy Peasy coding (as communicated earlier, on that day parents will need to arrange pick up at 4:10pm)


UAS Splash and Dash from Dylan Carter  – Co-Athletic Coordinator/Experiential Learning Coordinator

It’s time for the

UAS Splash & Dash!

We want all our fantastic swimmers and runners to come out on Tuesday April 17th.

The event will take place during the school day.

The Splash & Dash is for any STUDENT, PARENT or TEACHER in Elementary (Grades 2-5), Middle & High School.

You can participate Individually or with a Partner.

Elementary students will SWIM 100m (4 laps in pool) and RUN 800m (2 laps of track).

The cost to participate is 75 AED. Participants receive a T-shirt and Winners receive prizes.

To register for this awesome event, you must sign up by clicking HERE.

The Link can also be found on the UAS website.

Once registered you need to make your payment at UAS Accounts.

Please pay to the SPLASH-DASH Account.

Registration & Payment needs to be completed by Wednesday March 21st at 3pm.

We hope to see lots of students competing and having LOADS OF FUN!

Go Scorpions!


Happy Book Week!


Wow…PTSO put on a FANTASTIC International Day Celebration this past Saturday.  The variety of country booths, the cultural information (not to mention the food) were outstanding.  The entertainment, flag parade and other booths created a strong feeling of community within our UAS family.  Thank you all for attending and thank you PTSO for an outstanding show.

There are several happenings at UAS this week:


To celebrate UAS Book Week, the school will have several authors visiting UAS, all of which would appreciate marketing support for their books.  Terri Allen in particular, as we have to sell at least 30 of her books to cover the cost of her visit.  In addition there are several events and activities occurring for our students.  For more Book Week information please contact Zou Fraser at

Author Schedule is:

Sunday 4th: Stacey Sudlow with KG2

Monday 5th: John Felton with grades 1 & 2

Tuesday 6th: Stacey Sudlow with KG1

Wednesday 7th: Terri Allen with grades 4 & 5

Thursday 8th: Sammy Fongang  grade 3

Other Book Week Activities

  • Daily DEAR time (drop everything and read)
  • Class trips to the Emirates festival of Literature
  • Book Character Dress up day and parade on Thursday, March 8th Parents please come and view the parade beginning at 8:00 am on the elementary recess playground.
  • An “Escape Room”
  • A sandy beach reading area
  • A jungle theme reading area
  • Students may wear their Book Week T Shirts all week

This is the first year that UAS has asked a student to design the T-Shirt for Book Week.  A hearty congratulations to the winner of the competition is Karen El Natour in Grade 8.  A congratulations to the runner-up  Norah Furman in Grade 3.  


March is Music in Our Schools Month!

The UAS Music Teachers will be highlighting our amazing students and staff to promote music throughout the school!

The following is a schedule of  music performances this month…come and join us!

March 1st @ 5:30 pm– Room One rock band performance at Season 2 Athletics Award Night (MPH)

March 7th @ 8 am– 1st Grade Musical “The Day the Crayons Quit” (MPH)

March 8th @ 9 am– Senior Parade accompanied by live tabla drumming (around the school)

March 12th @ 6pm– Grade 11 IB Music Recital (M02/03)

March 15th @ 2 pm– Mission Not Impossible Part II: Awards Assembly (MPH)

March 18,19, 21 @ 6 pm– high school production of “The Wizard of Oz” (MPH)

March 19th @ 8:30 am– 5th Grade Musical “Adventure is Out There”


Counselor  Update

In light of the DAA incident the counselors have posted below the link to the ES Counselor Blog with an informational update about the lessons they are currently doing in grades KG2 – G4.  Ms. Jen recently finished classroom instruction for grade levels 2 through 5 prior to last Wednesday.  Mr. Fields is in the midst of teaching within his classes. The counselors started this unit of information prior to the reported DAA incident, their instruction appears to have been quite timely considering the circumstances.

Here is the counselor blog link:


MAP Assessment Information

Universal American School has just completed their mid year MAP testing session. The MAP assessment is used as a check-in for students and teachers to understand how learning is progressing towards the end-of-year goals. Please review the MAP report with your child and discuss how they are growing in their learning.

When looking at data for students, UAS looks at external and internal data to show a full profile of student learning. The MAP assessment is just one source of the learning profile.  Please contact your child’s classroom teacher if you have further questions about your child’s learning. If you would like more information about how to read the MAP assessment, please visit this presentation shared with earlier with parents or the UAS MAP Resource page.


Principal Coffee, Wednesday, March 14 from 8 am to 9 am in the ES Library


  1. Parental input into the music, physical education and art schedule for 18-19 school year
  2. An information and feedback session regarding a proposed elementary school school-wide management program

Have a great week and thank you for the trust placed with UAS in the education of your children!

David Dorn David Jones

International Day is coming!


In preparation for our 11th annual International Day celebration at UAS, which is hosted by the PTSO on Saturday March 3, students are invited to wear clothes to school that represent their country – International Dress-down Day.

The dress-down day will be on Wednesday, February 28! Students will be engaged in cultural activities within their classroom instead of a parade.


Sports Day and MS Cookie Sale Fundraiser – updated with Book Week information

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,

What a great week we had last week!

  • Students participated in a dress-down day to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year; this was also a way to connect to current and previous learning.
  • Grade 4 and Grade 5 students went to EcoVenture camp and had a fantastic time! All students made it home with stories to tell to their families who were anxiously awaiting their return.
  • Grade 3 performed for their families and peers on Monday and did a wonderful job showing us “Where the Wild Things Are!”

This upcoming week is sure to be busy as well, and of course will be packed with fun.

  • ES Sports Day is this week!
    • Students will be asked to wear a certain color for their class to show their team spirit as they perform sports-type activities.
    • KG2 and Grade 1 will participate on Tuesday, February 20 at 9:00-10:45 on the field.
    • Grade 2 and Grade 3 will participate on Wednesday, February 21 at 9:00-10:45, and again at 12:35-2:45 on the field.
    • Grade 4 and Grade 4 will participate on Thursday, February 22 at 9:00-10:45, and again at 12:35-2:45 on the field.
    • Parents are welcome to come support your students as they have fun.
  • The Middle School Student Council is having their 6th annual Cookie Sale fundraiser for the UAE Make-A-Wish Foundation this Thursday, February 22.
    • Students can buy a cookie and then decorate it and eat it after their lunch time on Thursday.
    • Each cookie costs 5 dhs, students can buy up to two cookies at a time.
    • All profits go to local children with terminal illnesses and help make a wish come true for them.

Coming Soon!

  • International Day Saturday, March 3 – you will want to be there!
  • Book week March 4-8
    • T-shirts (designed by Grade 8 student) will be for purchase via pre-order form for 28 dhs
      • The t-shirt will be displayed in the library, and are same size as the PE t-shirts
    • Authors will be visiting throughout the week, please see teacher blogs for more information
    • Sunday, March 4 – Wordy t-shirt dress-down day
      • Students may wear t-shirts with words on it.
      • The words/phrases may be in any language but must be appropriate for school.
    • Thursday, March 8 at 8:00 – Book Character Parade Day
      • Parents are welcome to come to watch the parade (same parade route as Halloween Parade)

Have a great week!

David Dorn and David Jones


More Amazing Results From Our Elementary Swimmers!

Last Monday Feb 12th UAS competed against DAA in a dual swim meet.  We had many successful swimmers.   

In the 8 and under division:

  • Umme Aiman Bootwala came 1st in Freestyle, 2nd in backstroke, and 3rd in both breaststroke and fly.
  • Serena Abushakra came 1st in breaststroke and fly, 2nd in freestyle, and 3rd in backstroke.
  • Noura Furman placed 3rd in freestyle
  • Sergey (Phelps) Egorov placed 1st in all his events; freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and fly.
  • James Wagstaff placed 3rd in freestyle.

In the 10 and under division:

  • Amelia DeCardy-Torris placed 1st in Freestyle and Butterfly, 2nd in backstroke, and 3rd in breaststroke.
  • Aliza Furman placed 3rd in freestyle
  • Arina Sdobnova placed 3rd in backstroke
  • Peter Zou placed 3rd in backstroke
  • Zimu Wang placed 1st in Breaststroke and 3rd in butterfly.

In the 12 and under division:

  • Alice Borrero Schulle placed 2nd in freestyle and backstroke, and 3rd in breaststroke.
  • Hyejin Jegal placed 1st in breaststroke and 2nd in butterfly.

New to competition were  Zihan Lei, Jodi Hassanein and Maria Mangawang.  All three of these swimmers placed in the top 10 of their freestyle event.   

We are now looking forward to the swim meet here at UAS on Thursday March 15th.

Blog for Week of February 12, 2018

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,

We had a busy and fun week this past week! We’re so proud of our students and the growth that we see in them. Thank you for supporting your students, and for supporting UAS to be the best that we can be.

Last week students participated in multiple activities, including:

  • Islamic Field Trips for Grades 2, 3, 4, and 5
  • Sports Day for PK and KG1
  • Grade 3 students participated in Dress Rehearsal for their Musical on Monday morning

This week has already started great! We had a day off of school yesterday (Professional Development for teachers and staff), and this morning Grade 3 students put on a wonderful performance in the MPH!

The remainder of this week will be exciting as well!

  • Grade 4 and 5 students go to EcoVenture Camp this week.
  • Wednesday, February 14 will be a dress-down day for students to participate in different celebrations taking place this week. Students can wear red, pink, or white in recognition of Valentine’s Day, or students can wear red or yellow in celebration of Chinese New year. Students have recently learned about these celebrations and more, and/or will learn more about those celebrations this week.

Thank you!

David Dorn and David Jones

From our fantastic PTSO, “UAS Gives Back” Fundraiser:

Last week was WRAD!

Dear Parents and Families of UAS Elementary School,

We had another great week culminating in World Read Aloud Day – students will tell you that it was WRAD! An announcement was made at 8:15 for everyone to ‘drop everything and read.’ Students enjoyed reading with their teachers and some guest readers who came to read with them throughout the day.

Posh Paws came to visit with students in Early Years. Many students were able to see and interact with several types of animals – a great experience for all!

MAP testing is nearly completed. At this Tuesday’s Early Release day teachers will begin using this data along with other data to help make decisions about how to best support our students in their learning.

A few reminders:

  • To help with student transitions and minimize possible distractions, please:
    • Drop your students off at the playground area in the morning by 7:40 so they can walk with their peers to class. If students aren’t with their class when the anthem plays, they need to report to the Attendance office to get a blue late slip.
    • Avoid going to the classroom in the morning so students can get started right away. If you need to inform the teacher of something, please inform the Elementary office, and we will inform the teacher.
    • In order to best facilitate afternoon pick up, please adhere to the following times per grade level. This will help both with traffic and the number of people in the hallways.
      • KG2 students are released at 3:00.
      • Grade 1 parents please wait until 3:10 to pick up your student.
      • Other grade levels, please wait until your student comes to you.
      • Additionally, we are asking that students not play sports while waiting to be taken home.
  • Attendance concerns:
    • Please follow Dr. Amna’s advice – keep your child at home if they’re sick, and notify school of the reason for their absence.
    • You may receive communication from us regarding your student’s attendance in the form of automatic letters, phone calls, or requested meetings, depending on the number of absences. Please contact with any questions.
  • No school on February 11, 2018 and no school on February 25, 2018 – both are for Teacher Professional Development.
    • This also means that there will be no ASAs and no Interactive Reading groups those days.

Let’s have a great week!

David Dorn and David Jones

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