Grade 10 Math Update and the Senior Sahoor

Last Thursday, Mr. Coppes and Ms. Abdellateef put together a very informative presentation about the options for Math in Grade 10.  Next year, Ms. Abdellateef is taking over as department chair and her impact has already been felt, working alongside Mr. Campbell to improve the status of our Math department.  Ms. Abdellateef and Mr. Campbell noticed some anomalies the results in Grade 10 and so an analysis has been done and corrections have been made.  She also talked about the options for Grade 11 courses and pre-requisites.  One of the parents in attendance said: “if we had known it was going to be this more parents would have come!”.

Please take a moment to watch this 9-minute presentation

On Wednesday night, we celebrated the Senior Sahoor.  It was a spectacular event!  Inspired by the Red Carpet event sponsored by the Arts Department, the Senior Sahoor recognized the incredible academic achievements of our Seniors.  Graduation is tomorrow night at 9:00 and it is sure to be another wonderful event.

Finally, if you are in your car this afternoon between 4:15 and 5:00, please consider tuning into Dubai Eye.  I have been invited to sit as a guest on the show talking about trends in education, and, discussing opportunities and challenges schools face in the digital age.

Have a great day!


Important End of Year Information

I absolutely can not believe there are only 7 and a half weeks left for High School Students!  Wow!  Where did the time go?

Final Grades:

It’s a good time to check in on your children’s grades.  Please go into Engrade and take a look at how your children are doing.  As you may remember from the beginning of the year, the school will not promote students who have a “2” or lower in any core class.  A core class is defined as a full-credit course that is not an elective.

To clarify:

  • a “1” represents a failing grade – this student has failed that course.
  • a”2″ represents a grade that is technically a pass, but does not meet the standard for promotion at UAS.

We expect our students to achieve at least a “3” in every subject.  Our students are more than capable of this and the school will no longer pass students along without expecting them to pursue their personal best.

What happens if my child gets a 1 or 2?

If your child has a “1” or “2”  in any subject they can do one of two things:

  • Go to an externally accredited on-line agency such as iCademy and get the credit.  They can also go to summer school overseas.  We will accept the credit as proof from an appropriate organization.
  • Or they can complete a summer work package designed by the school, these students will use that as a study guide and they will re-sit their exams in the last week of August.  Students who are in danger of this will be contacted in the coming weeks.  All of these students will already be on academic probation.

What happens if my child has several 1’s or 2’s.

This is rare, but it does happen.  If the student has three or more 1’s or 2’s, they will automatically not be promoted.  This means they will repeat the year if they are to return to UAS.

I am pleased to announce that as a result of the hard work of Mr. Pomainville, over 50 students have successfully pulled their grades up and are off of academic probation!

Math Improvements

I am delighted to announce that there will be a change in leadership in the Math department next year, as Ms. Soha Abdullateef will take over.

Our MAP data is showing very promising trends in Mathematics.  We have some incredible students at UAS who are not being served by the IB 1 to 7 scale.  This is another reason we are putting in the American Curriculum.  Many of our newer teachers are new to the IB system and we have had conversations focused on the fact that were we to be grading on the American System, many students’ GPAs would be much higher.  These grades do not appear to be aligned to the students’ progress according to the MAP results.  Ms. Abdullateef and I are working closely with those teachers to ensure that the grades we give students accurately reflect their abilities in Math.  We are investigating the cause for this discrepancy and if appropriate, corrections will be made to student grades.

The changes coming to the Math Department are long overdue.  Ms. Abdullateef and Ms. Gibson will be presenting the changes at an upcoming High School Coffee.  I’m sure parents will be enthused with what they hear about them!

Ramadan Hours

School will run from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM During Ramadan.  Here is a breakdown of the schedule:

End of Year for High School – Tuesday June 26th

Although some parents find it inconvenient, many schools do staggered starts and finishes.  I have been asked why several times recently and would like to communicate the answers.  For the little ones, KG1 and KG2 a staggered start is essential for the emotional well-being of the child.  We bring students in in small groups so they can get to know the teachers and the new environment.  This is the first time many of them have been away from their parents and having 18 three year olds in a room without their parents for the first time is scary for them.  Smaller numbers mean fewer meltdowns!

For older students, much of the more meaningful learning time is better served at the beginning of the year.  You may recall that we had high school students come in 3 days early this year to introduce the IB and to work on Extended Essays.  We anticipate big gains in the IB Core points.

That said, we have a very exciting program for students post exams.  The Grade 9’s will be doing a STEM project centred around physics.  We will take the students to IMG and study the physics of roller coasters.  The students will then come back to school and create roller coasters.  This will help them get ahead of the Grade 10 Science curriculum.  For Grade 10’s – they will start their IB work!  Every year the English Department covers the Great Gatsby as it’s first IB book.  Since all students take this course, we are going to get a head start on Grade 11!  Grade 11’s will get a workshop on the Extended Essay.

In the past, we have not done a good enough job of supporting students after exams.  We intend to change that this year.  Parents, please support us.  All returning students must be at school until Tuesday, June 26th.

School Culture and Fundraising

As we develop as a not-for-profit school, we will be looking for alternate streams of revenue so that we can The Fine Arts Booster Club supported the Arts Department with our first ever red-carpet celebration of the Arts.  What an amazing event it was!  The kids were all dressed beautifully and the speeches were amazing!  The FABC donated the amazing artwork, portraits of celebrities that are absolutely beautiful.  If you are interested in purchasing one, several are still available.  We are asking 1000 Dirhams per poster (they are worth it – I bought 3!).  All proceeds will go towards supporting the Arts Department so we can continue build capacity to showcase the enormous talent of our students.  We will use the money to upgrade sound and lighting equipment and run arts events.  We hope you will contribute.  If you are interested, please contact:


Have a great week!