University Visits

Many of our Junior and Senior students have been attending the university visits that have been taking place during lunch time. Parents of High School students are also invited to attend the on-going university visits that are taking place at UAS. This is an opportunity to discuss with the university representatives the details related to these esteemed organizations’ admissions requirements, programs offered, student accommodations as well as the many questions that parents have when supporting their children throughout the university planning process.
The attached document will be updated continuously. Please email Ms. Zeina to confirm your attendance, in case unexpected changes to the scheduled meetings occur.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the counselors (Ms. Zeina at zmouganie@uasdubai.ae and Mr. Patrick at pcunningham@uasdubai.ae).

University Visits

Eid Mubarak

On behalf of all the high school teachers and staff, we wish you a wonderful extended weekend and Eid Mubarak.

Please remember that Tuesday will be a half day for students, finishing at 12.00pm. The grade 9-12 assessment calendar for quarter 1 has been posted on the parent and student portals. Also available on the portal are the tutoring times for each department. Students are encouraged to attend these tutorials for extra support with homework or in preparation for assessment.

When we return next week we will prepare the students for the first round of MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing. Students in grades 9-10 will do the Language Usage, Reading, Mathematics and Science tests. The results of these test will be posted on the portal for parents. The MAP tests are interim assessments that measure growth, project proficiency on high-stakes tests, and inform how educators differentiate instruction, evaluate programs, and structure curriculum. More information will be communicated closer to the testing dates.

See more at: https://www.nwea.org/resources/map-overview-brochure/#sthash.xL4Ql366.dpuf

Simone Sebban

Changes to schedules for 2015

Last year, a High School Task Force was created and met regularly throughout the year to engage in discussions about possible changes that would improve our current structures. Our goals were:

  • To improve literacy
  • To raise our students’ IB scores
  • To increase the number of students applying to prestigious colleges/universities
  • To raise the academic rigor in grades 9 and 10 to better prepare our students for the IBDP
  • To increase the number of students doing the full IBDP

With these goals in mind we have introduced several new initiatives and structures for 2015-16.

Change in length of teaching lessons: Previously classes met for 50-60mins periods depending on which period of the day they were scheduled. This meant that English for example averaged 495 minutes of instructional time per 10-day cycle. There is much evidence to support the correlation between time in class and academic success.  A 2011 study at California State University showed that adding 15 minutes of instruction time per day adds up to over one week of increased instruction time over the year.  The result was higher achievement by students ranging between 1 and 37 percent.  The changes in our program have added over 7 hours of instruction time to each of Math, Science and English. Already teachers in practical subjects such as Science and Art have noted an increased productivity in the work with the extra time.

Improved literacy: This is a school wide goal and in both Middle School and High School a reading period has been introduced. For most grades in the High School the reading period is conducted during homeroom (35mins) 4-6 times in a 10-day cycle. Students can bring their choice of reading materials or read a prescribed novel or textbook. Research shows that increased literacy improves the students’ performances in assessments. They are able to respond to higher order thinking questions more articulately and with more precision.

Homeroom: Homeroom has become more than simply taking attendance and announcements. It has become a time for reading, assemblies, CAS and Advisory. Dedicating 35 minutes per day to Homeroom has enabled us to conduct our support programs without impacting on academic instructional time.

Homeroom has also been moved to 12.45pm just before lunch. There are several reasons for this. The first is to improve punctuality in our students. When homeroom was at the beginning of the day (7.45am) we had a high rate of students arriving late. By making 7.45am the beginning of period 1 we are encouraging students to arrive on time to school.

Lunch break: The lunch break has been reduced by 15 minutes this year to enable us to increase instructional time. The students still have a 20-minute break at 10.00am and a 40-minute lunch break following homeroom. 40 minutes is still ample time for students to eat, socialize and relax. Around the world 40 minutes is a generous amount of time for lunch in schools. The 15 minutes have been added to our instructional time.

College Counseling: Our aim for this year is to increasing our HS counseling team to 3 people to better provide social/emotional and college counseling to our students. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we still need to fill the full time college counseling position. Having said that, we do have a college counselor Mr Patrick Cunningham who is here and already working with parents and students on their college applications. Both Mr Cunningham and Ms Mouganie will be meeting with each senior to map out their college plans. There are a series of workshops for seniors about college applications on Wednesday 30 September followed by a parent information session. There will be a similar session for grade 11 students and parents in early October.

Of course we will fill the third position as soon as possible to support our current counselors. We urge parents and students to meet with Mr Cunningham as soon as possible so that he may support your child in his/her application.

We are very excited about these changes, knowing that they are consistent with best practice around the world.  Our students deserve the best quality education and we know that an increase in instructional time, pastoral care, and literacy will result in higher academic achievement.  These programs are new to our students and we are grateful for your support and patience as they become part of the fabric of our school.

Simone Sebban

Grade 11 IBDP Information Night

Thank you to the parents who attended our information evening on Monday. Ms Bellino the IBDP Coordinator gave an overview of the Diploma Program at UAS. We were able to answer questions and discuss subject options, find out more about CAS etc.

If you were unable to attend the PowerPoint presentation is now available on the IBDP page of the portal. If you have any questions regarding the program for your child please contact Ms Bellino. We are here to support you and all of our students.

Simone Sebban

Our Wonderful Students

As you know this year is one of transition with the introduction of separate Middle School and High School. There are also some changes to the timings of lessons. In the first week of school, our students have been amazing at adjusting to the new timings. As the music begins at 7.40am the students are making their way to their first period lessons. Students have been in their classes before the end of the music. This just one way which exemplifies how wonderful our student are.

Simone Sebban

Portal Open to Parents

Dear Parents

The High School portal pages will be open to parents this afternoon. All parents will be receiving an email from our IT department with your user credentials. If you have any difficulties accessing the portal, please send an email to portalsupport@uasdubai.ae.

Teachers will use the portal to post updates, resources and messages to parents/students. Very shortly the assessment calendar for quarter 1 will also be posted o the portal.

Simone Sebban