Introduction of new team members, updates, and looking ahead to next week

Dear Parents,

Last week I wrote about some upcoming events and I wanted to follow that up.

Athletics and Arts Awards Nights Next Week!

Please join us on Monday and Wednesday Next Week for two important events.  On Monday we will have our Term 3 Athletic Awards Ceremony.  This is where we celebrate our Term 3 sports as well as give out our Athlete of the Year Awards.  It will follow the regular format.  Mr. Coppes will be representing High School at this event as unfortunately, I am off campus that day.

Fabulously, our Arts Department has decided that they would like to celebrate our students as well.  The idea is a Golden-Globes type event with Artistic Awards for those students.  I am delighted to attend and I hope you will too!

Senior Attendance

Senior Attendance has been disappointing this week.  Our teachers have prepared active review lessons for our students and those who have been here have benefitted.  There is a belief among some of our students that we “aren’t doing anything”.  This is not the case.  I have been in and out of classes and seen some wonderfully well-prepared lessons which directly support preparation for our IB exams.  Many students believe that they will be better off studying on their own at home.  The other important point is that due to the late start this year, we need to teach up until the end of this week to get our students to the 240 hours required for HL courses.  That number is reached on Thursday.

For that reason, Thursday we will allow academically eligible students to choose to stay at home for next week.  We strongly recommend that students come in, as “study weeks” often put students in a negative rhythm.  They study at night and sleep in the day, but then when they write exams they are often sleep deprived which impairs cognitive function.  School will be open and we recommend students come to class.

Some students are expected to come in.  Those who have a 3 in any subject, or are predicted on less than 26 points will be asked to come to school.  Ms. Cummins is working on an intervention plan to help those students achieve their personal best.

Parent-Teacher Conferences and Q3 Grades.

Next week we will be hosting our Parent-Teacher Conferences.  You should have received an email with instructions on how to get into PTC Fast, our sign-up program for conferences.  The sign-up system is now live so please feel free to go in and book your appointments.

In my last post I promised that Q3 Grades would be on-line by Thursday.  A number of teachers asked for an extension as several large projects have recently come in.  We have extended the deadline for teachers until Sunday.  All grades will be on Engrade before P/T Conferences.

Required After School Hours (RASH)

Did your child get a RASH?  Last week I wrote about the mandatory after school hours, which one of our teachers cleverly dubbed “RASH”.  Required after school hours ensure that students get their work in.  Many teachers were concerned that certain students were not staying on top of their obligations.  This week we launched RASH and it’s been a huge success.  So far over 100 pieces of work have come in.

RASH is successful because many teachers are involved.  We have one subject area teacher from each department on hand, so that students can get the support they need while working on their projects.  Last year we simply had one teacher, but often times if a student got stuck, that teacher could not help.  With this system, we have appeared to fix that problem.  Work is coming in and students are supported.

Best RASH ever!

Director’s Forum Next Tuesday.

I do apologize to Grade 4 parents who noted that next Tuesday’s Forum conflicts with the Grade 4 performance.  We can not change the time as we have Ms. Iman Fattoum joining us to talk about her experience running and managing curriculum.  We will also introduce Dr. Farah Sarraj, who is the new Managing Director of Arabic and Islamic for the Al-Futtaim Education Foundation.  Ms. Fattoum will be the lead on Arabic at UAS and both her and Mr. Fayez will report to Ms. Sarraj and myself.

We are eager to learn together and to hear about the experiences of parents in Arabic at UAS.

Seats Filling Up Fast!

The school is going to be smaller next year as we are targeting a lower enrollment.  Obviously, our budgets are based on the number of students enrolled and so this year we are going to cap enrollment across the school.  There are fewer than 50 seats left in High School; Grade 10 having the fewest at less than 10 seats left!  If you have not re-enrolled, it’s best you do so because we will fill the school next year and we’d hate for anyone to miss out!

Important Information regarding: the Home Stretch for High School!

Dear parents,

Where has the time gone?  It seems like only a week ago we were just coming back from summer and now there is only 11 weeks left until next Summer!

Seniors – Attendance is Crucial!

I was visiting Senior classes this week to see the active review that is taking place in all the classes.  I saw some very creative and engaging review lessons.  In some classes, the content is still being delivered.  Here is the plan for the next 2 weeks for Seniors:

On Thursday, all Seniors will have a “Q3” Grade on their Engrade.  This will be the final mark for IB Diploma students going into their final exams.  If you haven’t used Engrade yet, here is a video to remind you of what Engrade is.

ALL Seniors are to be in school until April 19th – classes are still going on, and teachers are giving “active review”.

After April 19th, Academically Eligible Seniors may be allowed to stay home.  To qualify, students must have over 26 points and no “3’s” on their Engrade reports, and, they must have their CAS completed.

We will send a letter home to those who qualify.  If you do not receive a letter, your child is expected to be at school!

Parent-Teacher Conferences Coming Up.

On April 25th and 26th, we are having our last Parent-Teacher Conferences of the year.  Priority sign up will be given to parents whose children are on Academic Probation.  Sign up will open on Sunday April 15th for those parents, and for everyone else we will open sign up on Tuesday, April 17th.

On Thursday, April 19th, we will be placing a year-to-date grade on Engrade (Q3).  Please make sure you check this before the conferences.  It is the grade your child would get if the year were to end today!

Mandatory After School Study Hall for Incomplete Work.

As you probably remember from last year, it is an expectation that all work be completed, in full, otherwise they can not be promoted to the next grade level.  Starting next week we are re-structuring our Study Hall to ensure that all students get their work in.

Here is how it will work: when an assignment/due date is missed, the student will be placed on the Study Hall register and parents will be contacted.  Parents and students will be given 2 days notice so parents can arrange transportation.  If the paper comes in within the two days, the student can be removed from Study Hall.  If not, the student will come into Study Hall from 3:15 to 4:30 every day after school until the work is completed.  If, after 2 weeks of Study Hall, the work is still not done, the student will receive a zero.

Study Hall is mandatory for all students who do not submit work and we appreciate parental support in this matter.  Thank you for helping us help your children!

HS Principal Coffee Next Monday

Next week on Monday, April 23rd, Mr. Coppes will be running his first High School Principal’s Coffee morning at 8:00 AM in the library.  It will be a great chance to interact with the new High School Principal and give feedback about what you want the American Curriculum to look like for 2019 and beyond.


We look forward to seeing you April 25 and 26!  Have a great day!