Eid Mubarak, J-Term and More from the Arts!

Eid Mubarak!

First of all, I’d like to wish everyone a happy and safe Eid al Fitr.  I am always amazed at the resolve of our muslim colleagues, parents and students who work so hard while honoring the fast during Ramadan.  Prior to moving to Dubai, I had a limited understanding of the purpose of the holy month.  It’s great to be a member of a community where everyone is so willing to share these experiences.  I was honored to be a part of a few Iftars this Ramadan, including the wonderful event sponsored by the Islamic Department.  In my new role as Director, I am going to be seeking lots of input from parents.  I have a simple question that I’d like your input on: next year for Ramadan, should we keep the start time of the school at 8:00 like we had this year, or, should we move it back to 8:30 like we had last year.  Please give me your feedback here.

J-Term next week!

There is some confusion out there about what we will be doing after the Eid break.  The answer is… “J” Term!  J-Term is an idea that comes out of many universities where students undertake short-term high-learning projects designed to prepare them for the next term.  Our “J-Term” projects include:

  • Grade 9’s will be undertaking a series of scientific studies, helping them choose which science disciplines they enjoy most.
  • Grade 10’s will be studying “the Great Gatsby” – which is the first novel they will undertake in Grade 11
  • Grade 11’s will be doing an Extended Essay workshop, helping them get a jump-start on one of the most challenging components of the IB Diploma.

This is valuable time.  We have put a lot of energy into making these learning experiences valuable for our students.  We very much appreciate support from parents during these days.  We are confident students will find it useful.  Mr. Coppes will be sending out more detailed information soon.

The Arts Just Keep On A-Growin’

I want to share a clip from Ms. Corarito, who proudly shared with me the success of her students in the new percussion ensemble:

Ms. Corarito is a true visionary.  She was given a generous budget at the beginning of the year and chose to spend it all on percussions.  I questioned her choice on this as I did not see what she saw.  The instruments showed up and she has worked with her students throughout the year and produced some beautiful music.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  I look forward to seeing the music program grow under Ms. Corarito’s leadership in the coming years!

Winding Down and Reports

I’d like to confirm that the last day of school for High School students will be Tuesday, June 26th.  We will do our leaving assembly that morning.  Although some parents have raised questions about why we do this, staggering starts and finishes is good practice for schools.  Having the older students come in early at the beginning of the year gives them a jump-start on learning and allows younger students to ease into the school year.  Similarly, sending the older students home a day early allows us to do a proper transition of files.  We will be pushing reports out to parents on Wednesday, June 26th.  Please read the reports thoroughly and if there are any concerns, we will be in school on Thursday to address them.

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