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!

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