2019-2020 Middle School Teaching Staff

Many families have been wondering: What will next year be like? Who will be teaching at UAS Middle School?  Will all of the core classes be taught by teachers that are highly qualified in that area, like Social Studies?     

We promised to announce all our teachers, with the exception of Arabic and Islamic, this week.   The Arabic and Islamic placements are still being determined and will be distributed as soon as possible.

Yes, all of our core classes are taught by licensed teachers in the content area they instruct.  Below are the teachers for next year, as we continue to build a better school and community.

Please review the May 20th blog for more information on the 2019-2020 School year.

 

Grade & Subject Teacher
6th Math/Science Samarah Qadir
6th English/Social Studies Emma Gordon
7th & 8th Grade Math Steve Quinn
7th & 8th Grade English Zach Holz
7th & 8th Grade Social Studies Anoushae Beram
7th & 8th Grade Science Laurie Langille
Spanish Hannah Donald
French Souha Moubarak
Visual Arts Khalida Bibi
Drama Cris Mejia
Music Ron Malanga
PE Josh Kachmarik

Mindy Halpern

Student Support Services Jeff Kraus

Heather Muske (new staff)

Nick Boucher

Junnel Ramos

Counselor Mark Gaffney
Arabic & Islamic Placement is still being decided throughout the school

 

 

2019-2020: Teaching Staff, New Schedule & an Increased Focus on Academics

Dear Families:

Last week we wrapped up our spring MAP Testing.  We appreciate all the hard work students put into their test! For the final MAP Testing of the year, our staff and students performed a MAP poem entitled “Believe in Yourself.”

2019-2020 Middle School Teaching Staff

Many families have been wondering: What will next year be like? Who will be teaching at UAS Middle School?  Will all of the core classes be taught by teachers that are highly qualified in that area, like Social Studies?

Yes, all of our core classes are taught by licensed teachers in the content area they instruct.  Below are the core teachers for next year, as we continue to build a better school and community.

Our 6th grade teacher and electives will be announced later this week.  Additionally, the Arabic and Islamic placements are still being determined and will be distributed as soon as possible.

Grade & Subject Teacher
6th Math/Science Samarah Qadir
6th English/Social Studies Internal Candidate
7th & 8th Grade Math Steve Quinn
7th & 8th Grade English Zach Holtz
7th & 8th Grade Social Studies Anoushae Beram
7th & 8th Grade Science Laurie Langille

2019-2020 Schedule

Our current 10-day schedule is confusing for students and has led to a myriad of problems from regulating assessments to an inconsistent number of periods available to a class depending on the day of the week the class is taught.

To improve our academics and community, we are adopting a 2-Day Block Schedule, with either 90-minute or 45-minute periods, depending on the class.  The block allows us to:

  • Have a consistent schedule that is easy for students to follow
  • Ensure all classes are taught every day OR every other day
  • Regulate the assessment calendar, so no more than two summative assessments can be given on one day
  • Provide Arabic, French, and Spanish classes every day for 45-minutes, thereby improving our programing by increasing the amount of class time and frequency of the courses

You may ask, won’t 90-minutes be too long for classes?

The 90-minute classes are for Core Subjects.  These classes will have less disruption and more concentrated time making it easier for teachers to do labs and other academic activities that take time to complete.

We will provide professional learning to teachers on instructing 90-minute periods, and as we currently do, monitor classroom instruction with monthly observations.  Click here to view the Middle School Schedule for next year.

Which classes will be 45 minutes?

This will include Arabic, World Language, the Arts, and Islamic courses.   The schedule includes a page that shows how the 90-minute blocks will be divided for the electives.  PE is the only class that will run a 60-minute period.

Won’t seeing a core class every 2 or 3 days a week, instead of 5, negatively impact my child?

No. The two-day schedule, known as the Block Schedule, is popular in international schools.  Further, it allows us to have an average of 225-minutes of “contact time,” meaning the amount of class time a student has every two weeks with a subject and teacher.  The goal for scheduling in American schools is at least 200 minutes per week, so we are ensuring an additional 25 minutes of instruction over that 200.

Increased Focus on Reading for the 2019-2020 School Year

The new schedule will also enable us to have a Regal Reading class for 30-minutes every other day.  Educational research notes the importance of reading for choice in developing a love of reading and the necessity of having time to simply read to develop fluency. We are creating a Regal Reading Room, where students will have comfortable seating and a reading selection.  There they will have silent-sustained reading with a book they select.  Books can be in any language.

Our English teachers will be discussing the books students are reading in their class.  Further, we will be tracking the number of pages read and providing incentives to students.  We are excited to make 2019-2020 a year devoted to reading!

Increasing Emphasis on Helping Students with Academics & Organization

Under the Block Schedule students will be in a “Flex” period for 25 minutes every day.  During this period Advisory and Moral Education curriculum will be combined, focusing on socio-emotional learning necessary for adolescence growth.

Next year, we are adding lessons on executive functioning (meaning organizational) skills by helping all students with calendaring, study skills, and tracking their assignments.   Further, we are adding lessons from Common Sense Media, which assist students with digital citizenship, so they know appropriate ways to use social media.  Lastly, we are adding typing lessons for all grades.

Common Classroom Expectations- Helping to Improve the Consistency of Instruction

This Spring our teachers helped to develop expectations for instruction in every classroom. These expectations are based on best practice research to help us maximize the positive impacts of instruction.   In doing this, we are providing greater consistency and improved instruction in our classes.

The Middle School administration will continue to conduct monthly observations of teachers, to ensure the common expectations are met in all classes by the end of the month. Click here to see a copy of our Common Classroom Expectations.

Optional Summer Assignments

We will be providing students with optional summer reading assignments and other course work this year, to help them continue to focus on academics throughout the break.  More information will be coming!

UAE Social Studies on 3rd Quarter Report Card

Quarter 3 report cards were published with a report on UAE Social Studies course, as required by KHDA.  The standards for the course were taught in nearly every course in the Middle School, and teachers have been asked to report-out on assignments that cover the standards.  Please note, scores range on a three-point scale, similar to Moral Education.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions to best support your child in our community.

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Middle School Principal

Upcoming Events 

  • 7th Grade Arabic Benchmark Test on Tuesday, May 21st from 9:30-11:15
  • 5th Graders Come to the MS for Buddy Day from 9:00 to 1:30 on May 30th

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

Dear Families:

We love our UAS teachers!  Starting as early as the 19th century several countries around the world started to celebrate a Teacher Appreciation.  At UAS we will be celebrating our teachers this week.  We are grateful for the time, effort, and dedication our teachers give daily to students!

UAE Social Studies on 3rd Quarter Report Card

On Thursday, May 9th Quarter 3 report cards will be published with a report on UAE Social Studies course, as required by KHDA.  The standards for the course, have been taught in nearly every course in the Middle School, and teachers have been asked to report out on assignments that cover the standards.  Advisory teachers are compiling the scores on the assignments and identifying a final grade to report in Quarter 3.  Next year, there will be a UAE Social Studies course on each students’ schedule.

Celebration of Ramadan Schedule

On Sunday, May 6th we will start our Ramadan schedule.  Students will attend classes from 8:30-1:30 every day.   The KHDA has provided us with guidelines for instruction during Ramadan.  Later this week, a detailed letter will be sent to all MS parents explaining the Ramadan procedures.

Middle School Ramadan Schedule

Period 1 8:30-9:10
Period 2 9:15-10:00
Break 10:00-10:20
Period 3 10:25-11:10
FLEX 11:15-11:30
Lunch 11:30-11:55
Period 4 12:00-12:40
Period 5 12:45-1:30

 

Spring MAP Testing

From May 7th to May 14th our students will take the MAP Assessment, one assessment we use to measure student growth.  I’ve included a parent guide entitled 12 Common Questions Parents Ask About the MAP Growth Assessment at the link here  This reading explains what MAP growth, scoring, as well as how the test is formatted.  For more detailed information on MAP growth, click on the Parent’s Guide to MAP growth here.

The MAP assessment is one way we are learning about student’s strengths and areas for growth in Math, Science, Reading and Language usage.  We have been using the data for our planning and goal setting.   Further, during Advisory students have been reviewing their MAP scores and goal setting with their aAdvisory to determine their Spring assessment goals.  The tests will take place during Ramadan.  We encourage all students to still do their best on the test!

 Revision of Assessment Policies

We have revised our assessment policies to improve communication with teachers and families.  Teachers will now notify students and families a minimum of one week prior to the assessment.  The Google Calendar should note whether or not a student will need to do revision at home, and what they will need to study if revision is recommended.  We will continue to review our assessment and grading policies over the remaining Spring Semester and provide you with more consistent practices next school year.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions to best support your child in our community.

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Middle School Principal

Upcoming Events 

  • Choir Concert- Monday, April 29th from 6:30-8:30 in the MPH
  • Band Concert- Wednesday, May 1st from 6:30-8:30 in the MPH
  • Ramadan Schedule begins May 5th
  • Spring MAP Testing, May 7th– May 14th
  • Quarter 3 Report Cards are published- May 9th

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

Community Announcements

RE-ENROLLMENT FOR THE 2019-2020 ACADEMIC YEAR

Dear UAS Parents,

Thank you for the many of you who returned the intent of re-enrollment form, the information provided is vital for the effective planning of the exciting year ahead. We are writing to inform you that we are now open to receive the re-enrollment fee.  We would appreciate it if you could settle the amount payable to the Accounts Department no later than May 09, 2019.

To view the amount required for your child’s grade level, kindly check the attachment here.

The re-enrollment payment is credited towards the first semester tuition fees for the 2019-2020 academic year. Payment can be made online or in the accounts department by cheque, cash or credit card.

Should your plans change and you will be moving out of the Emirate of Dubai before the start of the school year, the re-enrollment fee is fully refundable.

Kindly disregard this message if you have already settled the re-enrollment fee.

Note: At the end of the academic year, if you have not paid your final installment for school fees, your re-enrollment will be adjusted against the outstanding school fees balance and the place for 2019-2020 will be withdrawn.

Regards,

UAS Administration

We Got Spirit!

Dear Families:

We have spirit! School spirit is a strong, emotional connection with your school, impacting students from elementary education through college.   Last week, school spirit and pride in our home countries was seen at International Day.  This and other events drive our school spirit and bring our community together.  The impact of spirit can be seen in a positive learning environment, fostering relationships amongst people, and increasing academic achievement.

This week we will have a Spirit Week in the MS.  There will be activities at lunch time and a House Competition on Thursday from 9:30am-12pm.  March 25-28 (Monday-Thursday) will also be dress down days IF students dress in theme. If they do not, they need to be in school uniform.  Below are the themes for each day. 

  • Monday: Crazy Outfit/Hair Day (Wear a crazy outfit!)
  • Tuesday: Twin/Triplet Day (Dress the same as a friend)
  • Wednesday: Meme/Vine Day (Dress like your favorite meme)
  • Thursday: House Colors Day (Dress in house colors)

I’m excited to dig through my closet and come up with some spirit wear this week.   Please encourage your student to dress up and demonstrate their spirit so we can continue to build a positive atmosphere for not only a happier school but a more productive learning environment.

Teacher Spotlight: Week Without Walls Videos

To share their learning during a Week Without Walls (WWW) experience, our students have been creating films to show during Scorpion Cast.  The Diverse Performing Arts experience was chaperoned by 7th grade Teacher Ashely Green and teaching assistant Junnel Ramos.  Students worked creatively in the WWW experience and  in making their video, which you can watch by clicking on the link below.

Calling All 6th Grade Parents!

We are planning the 5th grade transition plan for welcoming families moving from elementary to Middle School, to ease the process.  Please take a few minutes to complete a survey on the processes(click here).

8th Grade OPTIONAL Sexual Harassment Advisory Lesson

The 8th grade Advisory Classes will have an upcoming optional lesson on sexual harassment.  Families may choose to NOT have their child participate in the lesson.  If you choose to NOT have your child participate in this lesson, you must sign the opt out slip, assessable here, and return it to Mr. Gaffney or Ms. Thuen, the Middle School counselors. If you do not return this slip signed, your child will participate in the lesson.  Please contact the counselors or the administration with questions.

Upcoming Parent Coffee & Details Of Past Events

On Thursday, March 28th there will be a Director’s coffee to discuss our Arabic courses, from 8am-9am in the library.  Please join us!

Recap – Previous Parent Coffee

On March 7th, Director Sealey hosted a Parent Coffee to discuss our current actions and next steps for growth at UAS.  The coffee included a brief description of the action steps in the Middle School, which focus on increasing academic rigor and grading consistency in our classes.  The actions include:

  • Curriculum and Assessments: Our teachers are working in teams to implement new curriculum and assessments in Social Studies, Science, English, and Math.
  • Observation and Construction: We are observing our teachers (the Middle School has completed over 100 observations so far this year!) and provide constructive feedback on instruction.
  • Peer-to-Peer Learning: Our teachers are also observing each another each quarter to share instructional strategies.

Next year we will focus on:

  • Auditing: audit of our summative assessments to guarantee their rigor
  • Common Expectations: establish Common Classroom Expectations that each teacher is following to ensure best practices
  • Improved Grading: updates to our grading policies to improve clarity, student feedback, and consistency

In addition, we will be focusing on assisting our students with their organizational skills through common calendaring guidelines for homework.

As we continue to improve our communication about Middle School academics, we will begin hosting Academic Nights for parents to get information on what we are teaching and how you can support your child’s learning at home.

Lastly, below are answers to questions from the coffee:

  • Question: Will the Middle School teacher next year be highly qualified to teach the subjects they will instruct?

Answer: Yes.  100% of our core (Math, Science, English, and Social Studies) & elective teachers are teachers are certified to teach their content area.  69% of our teachers have a Masters degree.

  • Question: What is being done to improve Arabic Classes in the Middle School?

Answer: All Arabic teachers are engaging in professional learning on instructional strategies and reading that is done within UAS and by an outside provider.  Many Arabic teachers are being coached by our instructional coaches. Arabic staff are undergoing a rigorous evaluation process, under the direction of the Al Futtaim Educational Foundation, to assist with development.  Lastly, 7th and 8th grade classes have been created in order to better group students by their abilities.  We will also be reporting out to families scores on their next Arabic Benchmark Test (ABT), a standardized exam new to UAS.

Please let us know if we can answer any questions to best support your child in our community.

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Middle School Principal

Upcoming Events 

  • Sunday, March 24th– UAS Blood Drive from 9:30-1:30, Blood Drive Truck outside the Cafeteria
  • Sunday, March 23rd– Wednesday, March 2th- The Greatest Show Spring Musical at 6:30pm in the MPH
  • Monday, March 25th-Thursday, March 28th– Middle School Spirit Week
  • Thursday, March 28th– House Competition Day (formerly known as Sports Day) from 9:30-12:00
  • Thursday, March 28th– Early Dismissal, school is over at 12:00pm
  • Sunday, March 31st to Thursday, April 11th– Spring Break

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

Community Announcements

2019-2020 9th Grade Registration- From High School Administration

Dear Parents of Grade 8 Students,

UAS kindly invites you to a meeting on Sunday, March 24th at 2:00 in the MS/HS Library. At this meeting, the High School Administration will discuss the IB and American curriculum pathways on offer for students once they reach grades 11 and 12. It is important to understand the full journey through high school in order to make informed course registration choices for next year.

Following the presentation, students and parents will select courses and fully complete the registration process.

We look forward to seeing you on the 24th and continuing to work together to support your child.

Blood Drive

 

 

 

Coffee Q&A, Parent Surveys, and Much Much More…

Dear Families:

It was wonderful to see families and teachers come together at our 2019 Spring Conferences! Our students shared their learning, teachers provided feedback, parents shared their thoughts, and we came together as a community in the MPH. We tried a new format this Spring and we would love your feedback. Click here to complete a quick survey on the success and next steps in improving our conferences.

Middle School Spring Conference 2019

Parent Coffee Q&A
Last week Director Sealey hosted a Parent Coffee to discuss our current actions and next steps for growth at UAS. The coffee included a brief description of the action steps in the Middle School, which focus on increasing rigor and consistency in our classes. The actions include:
• Curriculum and Assessments: Our teachers are working in teams to implement new curriculum and assessments in Social Studies, Science, English, and Math.
• Observation and Construction: We are observing our teachers (the Middle School has completed over 100 observations so far this year!) and provide constructive feedback on instruction.
• Peer-to-Peer Learning: Our teachers are also observing each another each quarter to share instructional strategies.

Next year we will continue to improve by:
• Auditing: audit of our summative assessments to guarantee their rigor
• Common Expectations: establish Common Classroom Expectations that each teacher is following to ensure best practices
• Improved Grading: updates to our grading policies to improve clarity, student feedback, and consistency

In addition, we will be focusing on assisting our students with their organizational skills through common calendaring guidelines for homework.

To improve our communication about Middle School academics, we will begin hosting Academic Nights for parents to get information on what we are teaching and how you can support your child’s learning at home.

Lastly, below are answers to questions from the coffee:
• Question: Will the Middle School teacher next year be highly qualified to teach the subjects they will instruct?

Answer: Yes. 100% of our core (Math, Science, English, and Social Studies) & elective teachers are teachers are certified to teach their content area. 69% of our teachers have a Masters degree.

• Question: What is being done to improve Arabic Classes in the Middle School?

Answer: All Arabic teachers are engaging in professional learning on instructional strategies and reading that is done within UAS and by an outside provider. Many Arabic teachers are being coached by our instructional coaches. Arabic staff are undergoing a rigorous evaluation process, under the direction of the Al Futtaim Educational Foundation, to assist with development. Lastly, 7th and 8th grade classes have been created in order to better group students by their abilities. We will also be reporting out to families scores on their next Arabic Benchmark Test (ABT), a standardized exam new to UAS.

Please let the Middle School Administration know if you have any questions regarding the action steps we are taking this year and in the planned future.

Course Registration for the 2019-2020 School Year
It’s time to start planning for next year! On March 19th, our 6th and 7th graders will be registering for their courses. 6th and 7th grade parents will receive an email this week with information on the course registration so they may determine the best courses with their child.

UAE Social Studies Grade Reporting
We are now reporting on your student’s academic progress in UAE Social Studies. The KHDA has provided us with course standards, which are instructed in classes throughout the Middle School. As a result, you will see assessments in each class on UAE Social Studies standards within Synergetic. At the end of the 3rd and 4th Quarters, we will combine the assessments in all classes for a final grade.

Grading for UAS Social Studies will be communicated on the same 1-3 scale as Moral Education, rather than the 1-7 scale for other classes. Next year, we will have a separate class on UAE Social Studies.

Please communicate with Middle School Administration if you have any questions.

Winter MAP Testing Results
The MAP test is one way we learn about student’s strengths and areas for growth in Math, Science, Reading and Language usage. The results for the Winter MAP assessment have been uploaded to Synergetic for you to review. Attached here are instructions on how to access your child’s MAP test scores.

MAP reporting and testing can be difficult to read and understand. To assist you, we have a parent guide entitled 12 Common Questions Parents Ask About the MAP Growth Assessment at the link here. This reading explains what MAP growth is, scoring, as well as how the test is formatted. For more detailed information on MAP growth, click on the Parent’s Guide to MAP growth here.

5th to 6th Grade Transition & New Parent Feedback
We want to make the transition process better for those who are entering into our Middle School community. As we start to plan for next year, we are looking for feedback on the transition from UAS Elementary to Middle School from students and parents. Further, we would like to know more about how we can support families who are new to UAS. If you are a 6th grade parent or new to UAS please look at your email and respond to our feedback forms. Emails will arrive this week.

8th Grade OPTIONAL Sexual Harassment Advisory Lesson
The 8th grade advisory classes will have an upcoming optional lesson on sexual harassment. Details on the lesson will be shared with 8th grade parents by email, and you will be provided with a method to “opt out” of your child taking the lesson, if you see fit.

Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Quinn
The American Curriculum Standards, called the Common Core State Standards, focus on teaching 21st Century skills. In math, that means answering real world problems. The 3 Act Math questions, from Pearson curriculum, has students answer real world problems in videos. Eight grade math teacher Mr. Quinn created his very own “3 Act Math” problem on linear equations. To see the video click here. Great work in making real world applications engaging questions Mr. Quinn!

Please let us know if we can answer any questions to best support your child in our community.

Regards,
Amanda Soliván
Middle School Principal

Upcoming Events

● Saturday, March 16th – International Day, 2pm to 7pm

● Sunday, March 17th – TIMMS Testing for Selected 8th Grade Students

● Tuesday, March 19th- 6th and 7th Graders Course Registration for 2019-2020

● Thursday, March 21st- UAS Film Festival Bake Sale from 1-2 & 3:10-4:15 in the Reception (details written below)

● Sunday, March 24th- UAS Blood Drive from 9:30-1:30, Blood Drive Truck outside the Cafeteria

● Thursday, March 24th- House Competition Day (formerly known as Sports Day) from 10:00-12:00

● Sunday, March 31st to Thursday, April 11th- Spring Break

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

Community Announcements

2019-2020 9th Grade Registration- From High School Administration

Dear Parents of Grade 8 Students,

UAS kindly invites you to a meeting on Sunday, March 24th at 2:00 in the MS/HS Library. At this meeting, the High School Administration will discuss the IB and American curriculum pathways on offer for students once they reach grades 11 and 12. It is important to understand the full journey through high school in order to make informed course registration choices for next year.

Following the presentation, students and parents will select courses and fully complete the registration process.

We look forward to seeing you on the 24th and continuing to work together to support your child.

 

Re-Enrollment for the 2019-2020 Academic Year- From the UAS Administration
We are writing to inform you that re-enrollment payment for the 2019-2020 academic year will officially open on April 14th. In order to serve you best and to plan effectively for the next academic year, we would appreciate it if you could complete the attached re-enrollment form and return it to the admissions office as soon as possible but prior to the payment deadline of May 9th.

Click here to download the re-enrollment form.

To view the amount required for your child’s grade level, please click here.

The re-enrollment payment is credited towards the first semester tuition fees for the 2019-2020 academic year. Payment can be made online or in the accounts department by cheque, cash or credit card.

Please note that, if your plans change and you will be moving out of the Emirate of Dubai before the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, the re-enrollment fee is fully refundable, as per the KHDA regulations.

 

Junior Scorpion Basketball Program- From Athletic Director Rob Calandra
During the week of March 17th, we will be starting our Junior Scorpion basketball program here at UAS for grades 4, 5, and 6.

Like all of our Junior Scorpion programs, these basketball teams are put together to be all-inclusive, teach students about the rules and regulations of basketball, help to develop each child’s skills in the game of basketball, and to create a safe and fun learning environment for all children involved.

Each team will practice twice a week from 3:20pm – 4:30pm in the gym. There will also be two jamborees during the season for each team. The jamborees are on Wednesday, May 1st and Saturday, May 4th.

The teams are free to join. However, each student is required to purchase the Junior Scorpion multi-sport uniform for the jamborees. These can be purchased from the school store for 126dhs including VAT. The uniform comes with a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Kids are asked to wear these for the games. If they have already purchased one earlier in the year, they do not need to purchase another one.

Kids are asked to wear athletic clothes and sneakers everyday to practice and to bring a refillable water bottle.

If your child requires a late bus, it must be noted on the registration form so that the coaches know to let those students leave 10 minutes early.

We will have MPAC Basketball Academy supporting our teams and coaches throughout the season during our practices as well.

Below are the schedules for each team:

Grade 4 Boys:
Coach: Stephen Quinn (8th Grade Math Teacher and MS Boys Basketball Coach)
• Practice: Mondays and Thursdays
• May 1st Jamboree @ Universal American School
• May 4th Jamboree @ American School of Dubai
Grade 5 Boys:
• Coach: Josh Kachmarik (MS Boys PE Teachers)
• Practice: Sundays and Wednesdays
• May 1st Jamboree @ Dunecrest American School
• May 4th Jamboree @ To be determined
Grade 6 Boys:
• Coach: Serdrick Chattman (JV Boys Basketball Coach)
• Practice: Mondays and Thursdays
• May 1st Jamboree @ American School of Dubai
• May 4th Jamboree @ Universal American School
Grade 4,5,6 Girls:
• Coach: Peter McManus (ES PE teacher and MS Girls Basketball Coach)
• Practice: Sundays and Wednesday
• May 1st Jamboree @ Dubai American Academy
• May 4th Jamboree @ American International School in Abu Dhabi

Please use the link below to register your child.

JR Scorpion Basketball Registration

Thank you all for your continued support of UAS Athletics.

International Day- From the PTSO

Conferences Are Coming!

Dear Families:

Your voice has been heard- at the last Middle School Parent Coffee – and we listened!  Parents who attended asked for conferences with their child and to meet with all teachers.  Our Spring Conferences format will include Parent and child requested meetings with all their Middle School Teachers. We are asking all students and a parent   to attend Spring Conference so students and teachers can share strengths, discuss opportunities for improvement, and next steps in student learning.  In addition, the Middle School Counselors will be available for brief meetings in their own rooms in the MPH.  A list of the room numbers is here.   We look forward to seeing you there!

Winter MAP Testing Results

The winter MAP tests were completed on Thursday.  The results have come in and will be shared with parents during the Spring Conferences.  You will be notified by email when they have been published to Synergetic.

A special thanks to 8th grader Noor Halawa and other Middle and High School students for helping us make the High Hopes Winter MAP video. You can see it at the link below!

8th Grade Optional Sexual Harassment Advisory Lesson

The 8th grade advisory classes will have an upcoming lesson on sexual harassment.  Details on the lesson will be shared with 8th grade parents by email, and you will be provided with a method to “opt out” of your child taking the lesson, if you see fit.

Momo Challenge

The administration and counselors at UAS Middle School would like to pass along some information regarding the internet-based “Momo Challenge.” The purpose of this email is to make you aware of this social media “challenge” and urge you to monitor your child’s social media and internet usage. The “Momo Challenge” allegedly involves children being contacted by “Momo,” a disturbing character, who then asks them to complete a series of dangerous tasks. While this “challenge” has been reported by numerous news outlets to be a hoax, children may still have real fears and worries associated with it.
Please see the links below to learn more information:

https://parentzone.org.uk/article/three-minute-briefing-momo-challenge
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyrobertson/2019/02/27/dont-panic-what-parents-really-need-to-know-about-momochallenge/#3a15f6fa3a4b
We want to pass along information to our parents/guardians as well as to our students to ensure that we are encouraging all to make safe and smart decisions online. Children may have fears, concerns, or misinformation related to the “Momo Challenge.” We will be briefly discussing this topic with 7th and 8th grade students during Advisory on Tuesday and with 6th grade students on Monday. The main points of these conversations will be:

  • Children should always report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe online to a trusted adult
  • Students should never share personal information online and should make sure they have strong privacy settings on social media accounts
  • We should not be encouraging anyone to watch “Momo Challenge” content

Please visit the links below for some information on children’s use of technology and parent tips:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-parental-controls

https://www.parenting.com/gallery/social-media-monitoring-kids?page=0

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s administrator and/or school counselor.

We look forward to discussing your child’s progress at conferences next week!

Upcoming Events 

  • Thursday, March 7th at 8am- Scheduling closes for Parent, Student, and Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, March 7th – Director’s Coffee at 8:30 am in the Secondary Library
  • Sunday, March 10th & Monday, March 11th– Parent, Student, and Teacher Conferences
  • Saturday, March 16th – International Day
  • Sunday, March 17th – TIMMS Testing for Selected 8th Grade Students
  • Sunday, March 31st to Thursday, April 11th– Spring Break

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

2nd Semester Begins: Where Will Our Students Go?

Dear Families:

Welcome back students! Last week many UAS students engaged in a number of learning activities, around the region and traveling to Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Kenya, and engaged in learn activities in the UAE.  On February 27th, students will share their learning in an all school assembly, and we are excited to hear about the variety of new skills and connections made to their everyday classroom experience.

6th Grade Sri Lanka Trip

7th Grade Nepal Trip

8th Grade Kenya Trip

 

Teacher Spotlight

The Teacher Spotlight this week shines on Mrs. Sarah Ghanem, our Experiential Learning Coordinator, for her work in organizing Week Without Walls.   Sarah works tirelessly with numerous providers to help ensure our students have a broad menu of experiences to choose.  Thank you Sarah for your hard efforts in supporting Middle School students through these wonderful experiences! Sarah will provide a summary of this year’s experiences during the February 27th School Assembly, and what may be included in the 2019 Week Without Walls.

Sarah Ghanem & A Few of Our Amazing UAS Moms

2nd Semester Begins: Where Will Our Students Go?

On Monday, February 11th students begin their first day of the Second Semester.  They will be receiving new schedules in their first period class.  Please note schedules have changed and click here for a list of students and their first period class.  Lists will also be posted at both ends of the Middle School Hallway.  Teachers are also posting the list on their Google Classroom.

Report Cards & Celebrations

The end of a semester and the start of a new is a wonderful time to reflect and celebrate.  Report cards, with comments, will be published this Thursday, February 14th.  The comments will explain what students have been learning, how they have been assessed, and the next step students should take in their learning.

To celebrate student achievement, on Tuesday, February 19th we are hosting the Celebration of Achievement Awards Ceremony.  Awards will include:

  • On A Roll Award for students who demonstrated significant academic growth;
  • Principals’ Scorpion Award for students embodying the UAS mission and
  • Subject Specific Awards.

All students receiving awards and their families will be notified this week.

Middle School Coffee

This Wednesday, February 13th there will be a Middle School Principal’s Coffee where we are looking to hear your voice!  We are wondering your thoughts on our grading practices, Week Without Walls, Spring Parent Teacher Conferences, and other issues that are on your mind.  The coffee will be from 8:00-9:00 am in the Secondary Library.  We hope to see you there!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, February 11th– First Day of the 2nd Semester
  • Monday, February 11th– Sports Camp, Future Engineers, and Performing Arts Week Without Walls Make-Up Day
  • Wednesday, February 13th– Middle School Parent Coffee, 8:00-9:00 am in the Secondary Library
  • Tuesday, February 19th– Celebration of Achievement at 5:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 19th– Scuba Diving and Art Camp Week Without Walls Make-Up Day
  • Thursday, February 21st– Virtual Reality Week Without Walls Make-Up Day
  • Sunday, February 24th to Thursday, February 28th– Winter MAP Testing
  • Monday, February 25th– Season 2 Athletic Awards Night, 6:00-7:30pm in the MPH

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

Dear Families,

Last week we completed the 2018-2019 KHDA Inspection. The inspectors praised our community of students, parents, and teachers renewed focus on academic improvement, preparing the whole child for success in life and creating a caring community.  Thank you for the support and care your family brings to the UAS community!

Please note, January 31st marks the end of the second quarter.  To assist students in ensuring they will get the best grades possible, our Advisory Classes have gone through the Synergetic On-Line Gradebook completing the Student Review of their academic performance. As part of the review, students filled out a form to note any missing assignments.  We now encourage parents to review Synergetic with your student, and the Advisory Form to check if a Student Plan for completing upcoming assessments or past due assignments needs to be prepared.  Please reach out to your child’s advisory with any questions.

Teacher Spotlight

The teachers spotlight this week shines on Ms. Cris Meija, the Middle School Drama teacher, for organizing the upcoming UAS Fringe Festival.

Ms. Meija & UAS artists participating in the Fringe Festival

Ms. Meija describes the festival as an event designed to “foster equality and tolerant, in hone of the 2019 Year of Tolerance, by allowing all members of the school community, regardless of position, race, religion, social status to be seen in a new light.”  The Fringe Festival is an evening in which students, support staff, teachers and parents create art together.  In doing so, groups of community members produce several small performances that resemble Street Art.  Come continue your engagement in the UAS Community of artists on Wednesday, January 30 from 5:30-8:30pm!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

 

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, January 25th– Fun Fair fundraiser to support Special Needs Future Development Centre (information below)
  • Wednesday, January 30th– Fringe Festival from 5:30-8:30 pm
  • Thursday, January 31st– Last Day of Semester 1
  • Sunday, February 3rd- Start of Week Without Walls
  • Sunday, February 10th– First Day of Semester 2

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.

Announcements

On-Line Payments- From the Director
One thing that has not sat well with me since becoming Director is the way we ask you to pay accounts.  I am so pleased to announce that effective January 1st, our online payment gateway has gone live. This will allow you to pay fees online for tuition, transport, After School Activities, WWW, cafeteria card re-charge and any other upcoming school trips and activities. Payments for uniform and other store purchases, will still have to be made at the accounts department.  It comes at a cost to us, but we feel that it is important to absorb this cost to ensure our parents have the best possible experience to meet their responsibilities.  While you will always be welcome to meet our accounts department, our new on-line system should make paying easier for everyone.

Click here to view the guidelines on how to use our online portal.

International Day- From Areej Hanandeh PTSO President

We are pleased to announce that our much anticipated International Day at UAS will be held on Saturday March 2, 2019.  If you are interested in becoming an ambassador for your country at this event and to help with the organization of the event, please email us on ptso@uasdubai.ae.  Please note that requests for country ambassadorship shall be given strictly on a first come basis.

Let’s join our efforts in making this a spectacular event where families and friends will be celebrating our school’s diversity and different cultures.

Fun Fair Fundraiser- From Emily Ray

Welcome Back From Winter Break!

Dear Families,

Welcome back!

We hope the Winter Holiday has brought you and your child an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate.    The end of the academic semester is coming in three weeks, so I encourage all students in the Middle School to quickly refocus on their academic pursuits.  Next week the KHDA inspectors will be touring UAS, so we ask our students to welcome the guests.

Teacher Spotlight

The teachers spotlight this week shines on the PE teachers Josh Kachmarik and Mindy Halpern who organized the UAS Middle School House System.  Below is a description of the House System.

The “House System”, aligns students, teachers and other members of the school community into subunits or “houses” that come together to participate in different competitions and while providing a support network for each individual. (Kind of like Gryffindor and Slithering from Harry Potter).

Each “House” is comprised of students from different grade levels as well as teachers, administrators and support staff in order to create a greater sense of community and belonging and transition from the elementary school into the middle school and with their same “Houses.”

What are the Houses?

Red Foxes

Green Gazelles

Purple Vipers

Black Falcons

Yellow Leopards

When did the House System startStudents were assigned to their houses on the last day before the Winter Holiday. Student Advisory can remind students of their assigned house.

How are students assigned to a House?  Students were assigned to their “Houses” along with their advisory group based on a spin of “The Wheel of Fate” that randomly assigned each group to a house during the introductory assembly. 

 What Does a House System Do?

  1. It provides a sense of belonging to individuals within the Middle School community. 
  2. It provides opportunities for development of social, intellectual, physical and practical skills through competitions and challenges in sport and other academic activities.
  3. It provides opportunities for individuals to experience a sense of achievement both inside and outside the classroom.
  4. It creates fun and excitement through competition and allows individuals to be part of a team that is bigger team than just their own class.
  5. It will provide roles and opportunities for leadership. 

 Earning Points for Your House “Houses Points” can be earned through a variety of ways including house competitions, involvement in school wide house initiatives, and other positive behaviors such as: 

Intramural House Competitions 

Attendance & Tardy Challenges

MAP Results Challenge

Intramural Lunch Initiatives

Below is a video of our first House assembly.  Have a great week!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

 

 

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, January 9th, Week Without Walls International Trips Information Meetings

Sri Lank Trip, 5:30-6:15, Room 2200

Kenya Trip, 5:45-6:30, Secondary Library

Nepal Trip, 6:30-7:15, Secondary Library

  • Thursday, January 31st, Last Day of Semester 1

NOTE: Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here - 2018-2019 school calendar.