Even Good Kids Make Bad Choices

Hello parents, and greetings from the UAS Middle School!!!

During the past couple of weeks, as I have been going about my “business” as the Principal of our awesome MS, I have been frequently reminded that our kids are not perfect.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to work at the Universal American School, and every day I am reminded of how lucky I am to work with you and your children.  That said, kids by their very nature are lovable imperfect beings.  I know this for a fact, because just like you, I too was once a kid.

While pondering this notion that kids are in fact human: and impulsive, and the fact they don’t come with a set of easy to use instructions, I stumbled upon this intriguing article in a publication called, “Parenting Without a Parachute”.  I truly hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did.

“Even Good Kids Make Bad Choices” – by Crystal Intine Alperin

I always imagined that as a mother I would develop some kind of bad kid radar that would go off inside my head every time one of those kids came near my child, like a faint buzzing sound or the click of handcuffs. While I never really did develop the bad kid radar – I guess you need to be bitten by a bad kid to develop it – I spent years encouraging my children to be friends with certain kids while discouraging friendships with others.

I was convinced that if I could surround my kids with these seemingly perfect children that they would be safe and perfect, too. One weekend phone call, and everything I arrogantly thought I knew about parenthood and parenting was proven wrong.

A dear friend called me and in a tear-filled conversation confessed she caught her child doing something very, very wrong.  My friend’s son, only three years older than my oldest child, is a good kid, a great kid, the kind of kid that you would meet and then tell someone else that you hoped your child would turn out to be exactly like him.  And my friend is a great mom. Her children are older than mine, and I’ve emulated her parenting style for as long as I’ve been a parent.

While her heart-breaking sobs poured from her soul into mine, an overwhelming fear filled my mother’s heart. If it could happen to her child, how will I ever protect mine?

My kids are older now, and I am having a difficult time reconciling their continual need for independence and time with their peers with my need to snuggle with them on the couch like I did when they were toddlers. My oldest daughter started high school this fall, and my second child started middle school. As much as I prefer to live in denial and pretend that nothing bad will ever happen to my children because I’ve raised them with rules and boundaries, my friend’s experience forced me to confront the following reality:

  1. Good kids sometimes make bad decisions.
  2. Good kids raised in beautiful homes with wonderful, supportive, loving parents make mistakes too.

I can vividly remember my adolescence. Sure, I like to pretend that I was a perfect child, a perfect teen, but I wasn’t. I made A LOT of mistakes.

My parents were great parents, strict parents, and I attended an excellent, expensive private school, but if my parents told me not to hang out with a certain group of kids, those kids became my new best friends. And even though my parents warned me about the dangers of certain behaviors, I still experimented with many of them, sometimes even in my own home – just because I was mischievous.

As my own parents did for me, I have given my children the very best foundation I believe I am capable of giving them, but ultimately they will walk out my front door. Their successes, mistakes, stumbles and major mistakes are theirs alone. And this terrifies me.

As much as I want to wrap my children in bubble-wrap and pretend that my parenting is a gigantic force-field surrounding them as they enter the world, the truth is that they will make their own decisions and have to live with the positive and negative consequences of those decisions. My own children will make mistakes. They might even choose to do something which I have explicitly told them not to do. And at a certain point, there is really nothing I can do about it.

However, I can provide a safe place to come home to when they get hurt. I can provide my mother’s arms to comfort, my mother’s heart to forgive and my mother’s intelligence to seek any help that my children may need. Raising children is not for the meek nor the naive.  And I shall plead with the universe for strength and courage.

In the meantime, I will try to find more teaching moments during our day to use as specific examples of good and bad behaviors. I will spend more time alone with each child and find unique ways to connect with them as their interests change. And after they fall asleep, I will try not to sneak into their rooms, scoop their awkward, gangly bodies into my arms and sing to them.  It will be difficult, but I will limit myself to a quick forehead kiss.

Has your child ever really messed up? How did you handle it? How did it change your parenting style?

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I sincerely hope you found this article helpful and informative.  The truth is, I wasn’t perfect when I was a kid, why should I/we expect our kids to be perfect now?  An intriguing question to ask, but clearly a very difficult question to answer. Thanks for listening. Important Dates and Activities:

Important Dates and Activities:

Principals Coffee:  Date and topic(s) to be determined.  Please stay tuned.

March 6-9: Annual KHDA inspection

March 15: International Day

March 16: NO School for students – Professional Development day for teachers

March 23: Last day of quarter #3

March 24 – April 8: Spring Break

April 9:  Day 1 of quarter #4

 

Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!!  May peace be upon you.

MS Highlights: The COA and the WWW Program!!

 

Hello parents, and greetings from the UAS Middle School – WOOHOO!

This week I have two programs on my mind: one took place during the week of February 5, and the other is happening during the week of February 12.  Please allow me to share my thoughts and some highlights from the COA and our WWW program.

Celebration of Achievement (COA)

The 2nd installment of our COA was held on February 8 in front of the entire student body of the MS and with a nice group of parents who were able to assemble as well.  More than 130 student certificates were awarded in a wide range of categories including, but not limited to, perfect attendance, student achievement, and Arabic Innovation. In addition, the Principals Scorpion Award (PSA) was again provided to 2 students per grade level: one boy and one girl. A student earning a PSA is one that best exemplifies the foundational traits of the UAS Mission Statement.  A Principal’s Scorpion Award recipient is a caring individual, a responsible global citizen, and a critical thinker.  Twelve of our students – four per grade level – were also recognized with the “On A Roll” award. Students earning an On a Roll award have established a “growth mindset” and demonstrated considerable improvement during the quarter in any one or a combination of various areas. Both the PSA and the On a Roll awards are selected by members of the grade level team.

As the Principal of this awesome school, I couldn’t be more pleased with our many students who were recognized and celebrated during the COA for their various achievements and positive contributions to our learning community.  We have so very much for which to be grateful and proud.  If your son or daughter earned recognition during the latest COA – MABROOK!! BRAVO!! CONGRATULATIONS!!  If your child did not receive a certificate on this occasion, may they aspire, and may you encourage them, to earn such a distinction during the third quarter.

Week Without Walls (WWW) 2017

I had the good fortune to be at the Dubai International Airport on three different occasions from late in the evening on Saturday, February 11 through the early morning hours of Sunday, February 12 to say bon voyage to students traveling on out of country WWW adventures.  For your information: a small, but spirited group of grade 6 students embarked on a journey to Cyprus, while more than two dozen of our students from grade 7 flew southeast for nearly 4½ hours to Colombo, Sri Lanka.  Slightly less than thirty students were represented in our grade eight contingent, which departed for a voyage to Kenya to perform service for some of the indigenous people of this amazing Central African country.

The annual Week Without Walls (WWW) program is designed to provide unique educational and curriculum linked experiences outside of the classroom. These curricular focused trips offer a platform that will truly enrich and deepen student learning. In some cases, students are given the opportunity through service to make a real difference in the lives of people less fortunate than themselves. These types of programs serve UAS’s mission of providing an education that is nurturing, holistic and inspires respectful relationships. It also serves the IB’s mission to encourage students to “create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” UAS is committed to WWW because the activities provide rich, character building experiences that awaken a student’s desire or spark a passion. Students who participate in WWW yield immediate returns in their emotional and academic development, and the memories created on these trips will surely be with them for the rest of their lives.

In addition to the out of country options, many students took advantage of the opportunity to attend an adventure type camp within the UAE.  These camps help students develop their interpersonal skills by having positive interactions with their peers, faculty and guides at the camp location.  Each of the WWW trips strives to reinforce the student’s self-esteem and provide opportunities for practicing independence and becoming more self-aware.  While participating in various adventures outside the walls of UAS, students practice being responsible with their choices, and they gain valuable experience learning the importance and relevance of taking responsibility.

Here’s hoping your child enjoyed their WWW adventure, wherever it is they traveled, and whatever it is they did.  If you have an opinion about our WWW program/offerings, or about what options you would like to see us make available in the future, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts with the MS leadership team at your convenience.  We look forward to your insight and feedback.  Thank you!

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Important Dates and Activities:

February 9: MS/HS report cards were posted to the Portal.

February 12 – 15:  Week Without Walls

February 16: School Holiday

March 6-9: Annual KHDA inspection

March 15: International Day

March 16: NO School for students – Professional Development day for teachers

March 23: Last day of quarter #3

March 24 – April 8: Spring Break

That’s the news from your neighbors in the Middle. Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!!  May peace be upon you.

 

Welcome to the World Café

Greetings from your UAS Middle School, home of excitement, projects, and adventure galore! It is safe to say that we have enthusiastically jumped into Quarter 3 and have hit the ground running! The first week of the 2nd half of the school year included the annual Sports Day program, which was held on Thursday, February 2. From my observation and participation, a LOT of fun was had by all!! WOOHOO!!! Earlier in the week, the grade 8 grade team hosted the first ever “World Café” for our students. Please read the following interesting details about this awesome event, and enjoy the pictures that follow.

On Sunday, January 29th, the 8th grade had their first World Café experience. The World Café is about bringing our ideas, opinions and knowledge together in a creative, thought-provoking and meaningful way. The objective of the workshop was to focus on being responsible global citizens when interacting within different global communities. In essence, these students got to experience an intellectual discussion in a mature fashion. We “served” them questions—an appetizer, entrée, and dessert—and they shared their thoughts with each other. It was truly a meeting of the minds – and the students especially enjoyed the café ambience with enchanting Kenyan music, soft lighting, yummy hot chocolate, and fancy petite cookies.

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Important Dates and Activities:

February 8: Middle School Celebration of Achievement (COA) @ 10 AM in the MPH

February 9: MS/HS report cards are posted to the Portal.

February 12 – 15: Week Without Walls

February 16: School Holiday

March 15: International Day

March 16: NO School for students – Professional Development day for teachers

March 23: Last day of quarter #3

March 24 – April 8: Spring Break

That’s the news from your neighbors in the Middle. Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!! May peace be upon you.

“Welcome to High School” Grade 8 Parent Meeting – February 5

Dear Parent(s) of the Class of 2021,

We would like to invite parents of current Grade 8 students to our “Welcome to High School” evening on Sunday, February 5th at 18:00 in Secondary Library.

The Grade 8 event will cover the following topics:

New Regulations for American Schools in Dubai.
An introduction to the new structure for American Schools.
How UAS will ensure all students qualify for an American Diploma.
How UAS will ensure all students get the pre-requisites to enter the IB Diploma Programme.
An opportunity to discuss hopes and concerns… we want your feedback!

We look forward to seeing you on February 5th.

RSVP for Grade 8 Parents

Yours sincerely,

OB Sealey

High School Principal

osealey@uasdubai.ae

How About a Resolution for the Second Half of the School Year?

Greetings Parents and welcome to the amazing world of your UAS Middle School!!  We have reached the half way point of the 2016-2017 school year and the 2nd semester has officially begun.  WOOHOO!!  As I was pondering the remainder of this school year, I came across the following article in Parent and Child magazine that focused on New Years Resolutions.  Because we are starting the 2nd half of our academic calendar, I thought it was appropriate to encourage you to consider a conversation with your pre-teen about setting achievable goals and making resolutions moving forward.  I hope you enjoy this article.

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How About a Resolution?

Learn how New Year’s pledges help maximize learning.

New Year’s resolutions give a perfect opportunity for you and your child to discuss areas in which there’s room for improvement — so don’t miss out! Here are some ideas on how to take advantage of those January 1st (2nd semester) declarations.

 Getting Started

Simply stating your own pledge can open up a rich conversation. Be prepared to discuss, discuss, discuss! Kids who are more curious can go online to explore how the traditions of making resolutions came to be.

The next step, of course, is asking your child if he/she has any ideas for a resolution of his own. Encourage him by challenging the rest of the family to come up with similar resolutions. For example, if your child wants to improve his reading skills, invite everyone else to come up with one reading-related resolution. You can even put your child in charge of collecting each family member’s resolution and making a poster chart of them. Promote one of these for a happy, healthy, learning-filled year:

I resolve to . . .

  • Be more organized! Your child make the most of his time by making sure he knows how to take notes, organize his work, and schedule his life. Once the clutter is vanquished, homework and studying will be simpler — and he’ll have more time for fun.
  • Break a bad habit! Poor posture, biting your nails, too much TV, computer, or phone use: all are great candidates for kick-the-habit New Year’s resolutions. Quitting can be tough, but with encouragement your child can learn about determination and willpower — qualities that are valuable for years to come.
  • Cut down on soda! Ring in the New Year by making sugary, caffeinated drinks a treat, not an all-the-time beverage. After 6 p.m., implement a “decaf-only” rule so your child isn’t wide awake at bedtime. Substituting other liquids (such as water, milk, or juice) at dinner will have a calming effect and make it easier to sit down and concentrate on homework in the evening.
  • Eat healthier foods! Encourage your child to get balanced when it comes to eating. Not only will this resolution help your child’s body, but there are benefits for his brain too! And while switching from sugary snacks to nutritional foods can be a difficult transition for kids, it doesn’t mean treats have to go away completely or forever. Try using the term “cutting back” instead of “giving up” — it’ll make the task less daunting.
  • Get a good night’s sleep! Snoozing for at least eight hours per night can increase energy and boost concentration. Encourage reading in the evening, instead of stimulating activities such as TV, Web-surfing, or video games.
  • Improve academic habits! Suggest that your child aim to change his/her study habits, starting with creating a kid-friendly workspace. Try to be involved in his/her homework routine. Listen to the frustrations he/she might have with a certain subject, and work together to find a solution.
  • Move my body! Exercise is important for a healthy heart and brain, so spend time each afternoon working up a sweat. Even if your child isn’t involved in organized sports, you can still feel the burn with a daily walk together or a fun game (think Dance Dance Revolution!!!).

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Parents should note that the 2nd quarter report card will be available via the Portal on February 9.  When viewing this particular report card, you will find two statements to which I want to draw your attention. The comments are:

  1. REPORT CARD STATEMENT: PLEASE NOTE:  Comments will only be provided to students currently earning a level 1, 2, 3, or “INC”.
  • Explanation: Remember that a student earning a level 4 is meeting grade level expectations.  While we certainly want to encourage our students to achieve at the highest level possible, we are content if a student earns a level 4.  That said, as a staff we want to draw attention to any student who is not meeting grade level expectations, in hopes of continuing a dialogue between the teacher, student and parent.  These comments are intended to remind the student there is still work to be done, and that we are ready and willing to support their learning.
  1. REPORT CARD STATEMENT: PLEASE NOTE: An “INC” (Incomplete) indicates the teacher is unable to assign a 1-7 mark because the student did not complete a summative assessment.
  • Explanation: The UAS MS adopted a new summative assessment policy in October 2016.  The policy states that students must complete all summative assessments in order to earn a mark/grade. Because we no longer assign the mark of “0”, we cannot assign a mark/grade for any assessment that is not yet completed. If a student fails to complete their summative assessments prior to the end of quarter deadline, they will earn an incomplete mark and “INC” will be indicated on their report card.  In order for the student to earn an end of the year mark, they must complete their summative assessments.

If you have any questions about a mark/grade on your student’s report card, please contact the individual teacher directly, or feel free to email me at your convenience.

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Important Dates and Activities:

January 29: Frist day of quarter 3/semester 2

February 2: MS/HS Sports Day

February 8: Middle School Celebration of Achievement (COA) @ 10 AM in the MPH

February 9: MS/HS report cards are posted to the Portal.

February 12 – 15:  Week Without Walls

February 16: School Holiday

That’s the news from your neighbors in the Middle. Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!!  May peace be upon you.

Together, We are Building a Community

Hello parents and greetings once again from the wonderful confines of your UAS Middle School!  WOOHOO!!

I was so very pleased to see many parents in our Middle School last week. As we conclude our 6th quarter of existence as a Middle School on Thursday, January 26, the significance of parent involvement in our school did not go unnoticed.  Specifically, there were three events that drew parents into our “house” and helped to strengthen our relationships and build a more viable community.

On Monday, January 16, a group of parents gathered for the MS Principals Coffee, and to learn more about the progress being made within our MS Arabic Program.  Mr. Mahmoud Ali did a masterful job of detailing the Professional Development opportunities provided to, and the high level of expectations being required of, the MS Arabic staff. It is worthy to note that the Arabic staff, under Mr. Mahmoud’s leadership, is in fact rising to the challenge. Though there were many questions, the parents acknowledged the efforts and improvement being made.  Is there still room for improvement?  Of course the answer is yes, but as we focus on a growth mindset, the MS Arabic Department is fostering a climate of quality instruction and student academic achievement.

Thursday, January 19 brought a nice group of parents into the Middle School hallway for the monthly installment of the Counselors Coffee.  Hosted by our caring and talented duo of counselors: Kara Haines, and Mark Gaffney, the visiting parents engaged in conversation for nearly 2 hours that focused on our most precious commodity – our students. From my perspective, it is heartwarming to know our parents are so passionate about the safety and well being of their children.  Rest assured, the staff of the UAS MS shares that sentiment.  Parent voice was well represented, and most definitely heard!

Our final parent involvement opportunity happened on Wednesday, January 18, with our first ever MS band and choir concert.  Nearly 100 students graced the stage during the 2-hour musical extravaganza, and I would venture to guess that nearly 200 people filled the chairs of the MPH!  A fabulous crowd under any circumstances! The entire evening was a HUGE success starting with the grade 6 choir singing Scat Cat, and ending with the combined forces of all choir members singing a heart warming selection called Song of Peace. Many parents commented on what a magical evening it was, and I must wholeheartedly agree.  Emma Gordon deserves accolades for her work with all six groups spanning three grade levels and including both instrumentalists and vocalists.  Student introductions prior to each performance highlighted interesting details about each selection, and I couldn’t have been more proud of how our students conducted themselves throughout the evening.  The future is bright for the MS music program, of this there is no doubt!

The prevailing theme throughout the week of parent participation was: community.  One of the things that makes me so very proud as the Principal of the awesome UAS Middle School is to see all key stakeholder groups – students, staff, parents – engaging in meaningful and various ways.  We are only as strong as the sum of our parts, and it is obvious to this observer that we are growing stronger by the quarter.  I appreciate and commend those parents who were able to join with us this week, and I encourage all parents to seek opportunities in the future to participate in “our” learning community.  I am reminded of a quote I read early in my career from an unknown author: “While students may comprise only 20% of the earths population, they are 100% of our future.” How very true.  The lives of our students’ matter, and thus our collective contribution to their success matters.  Together we will make a difference in the lives of our young people, and I thank you for your willing partnership to that end.

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Important Dates and Activities:

January 26: Last day of quarter 2/semester 1

January 29: Frist day of quarter 3/semester 2

February 2: MS/HS Sports Day

February 8: Middle School Celebration of Achievement (COA) @ 10 AM in the MPH

February 9: MS/HS report cards are posted to the Portal.

February 12 – 15:  Week Without Walls

February 16: School Holiday

That’s the news from your neighbors in the Middle. Until our paths cross again, please take good care, and please remember, Middle School students matter!!  May peace be upon you.

What A Middle School (pre-teen) Boy Needs Most From His Parents

Happy day to you and greetings from the UAS Middle School!  WOOHOO!!

I hope you enjoy the following informative article that addresses what Middle School (pre-teen) boys need most from their parents.  Having raised a son of my own, and after my years of experience as a Middle School Principal, the “research” is very clear:  The middle years are a time when your Middle Schooler needs you more than ever.  Each of our pre-teens is unique, and develops and matures at a different rate. I hope the information below will inspire you to continue your active participation in their life.  Good luck!

 

By Monica Swanson

Middle School.  Just saying the words brings me frightening flashbacks of puberty and pimples.  Of insecurity and awkwardness. (not to mention, bad hair and braces.) Really, there may be no more challenging time in life than those middle school years.

Raising four boys of my own, I am keenly aware of all that they go through to transition from boyhood to manhood.  Their body, mind, and emotions are changing so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. And parents, here’s what I know:  If there is ever a time your son needs your support, it is in their Middle School years.

Your Middle School son may be pulling away more now. He may be telling you that he’s really grown up now, and ready for all kinds of freedoms.  He might tell you that his friends get to do this and that and play this and that, and you’re the really lame parent if you don’t do the same.  I know, I know.  Because, many parents hit the middle school years and then step back.  Maybe there is an awkwardness to this new season in their son’s life, or perhaps the parents just get busy or hit burnout, I get that, but pulling away and giving kids too much freedom at this age is premature, and can be extremely dangerous.  Sure, you may have taught your kids basic values and morals in their younger years, but now is the time to help them apply it all.  Middle School is an ideal time to mentor your son in how to practically work out the character qualities that he learned as a boy. So even if it seems like the other parents are giving freedoms and privileges that you are not, I say to you, Mom and Dad:  Don’t feel pressured to do the same. You’re better than that.

You know your son better than anyone, and you can make the call when the time is right.  The tricky thing with middle school boys is that there is a huge spectrum of developmental and maturity level among them.  You may have a sixth grader who is developmentally still like a fourth grader.  On the other hand, you may have an eighth grader who looks and sounds like a seventeen year-old.  Things are happening at an inconsistent rate, wildly varying from one young body to the next.  And perhaps your greatest job during these years is to study that boy, and determine just where he is on that spectrum.  You, the parent, will know the very best where your son is developmentally and maturity-wise, and you must parent him accordingly.  Not according to a number (grade or age.)  Not according to what his friends are doing.  According to what is the very best thing for your son, in the stage he is currently in.

Hitting the middle school years is like getting to half-time of an important game:  You may be ahead now, but the game’s not over.   Towel-off, get a big drink of water, and then gear up for the second half.  You want to finish strong.

To be fair, there are some middle school students who are very mature, responsible and self-directed.  But here’s my thing:  If they think they are so grown up, give them a chance to prove it.

My parenting MANTRA:  WITH FREEDOM COMES RESPONSIBILITY.

You want more freedom?  Show me how responsible you are!  Whatever maturity level you find your middle school son in, here is list that applies to all:

WHAT EVERY MIDDLE SCHOOL BOY NEEDS MOST FROM HIS PARENTS:

  1. Love and support:  Tons of it.
  2. Supervision: with ever-so-gradual increasing freedoms.
  3. Help with friends! Give them guidance and counsel.  My favorite quote: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”  Meet their friends, and get to know them as well.
  4. Self-control:  Talk about it.  What does it look like?  How to apply it.
  5. Lots of communication: Talk to him about growing up.   Choices.  Girls.  Peer pressure.  Please get Dad in on this.  Talk to him and let him talk to you.
  6. Activity: Your Middle Schooler is all pent-up with energy, stress, and hormones.  Get him moving every single day and it will help tremendously.
  7. Laughter: He may not have a fully matured sense of humor yet, but he is getting there.  Laugh with your son and enjoy him.
  8. Hugs and touch: Mom AND Dad – he needs these from both of you.
  9. Healthy food: A Middle Schooler is old enough to understand that his food choices will affect his health, his acne, and his moods.  Try hard to have healthy food at home, and help him make good choices when he is not home.
  10. Positive place to hang out:  Middle Schoolers begin to crave fitting in and hanging out somewhere besides just at home.  Find a good after school program, sports team, or club.  Not just hanging out down the street, at the skate park or beach, but give them opportunities to connect with good people in good places.
  11. Tons of encouragement. “You are growing into such an amazing young man!” “Wow, look at your muscles!”  “I’m so proud of WHO you are becoming.”  “You are making really good choices!”  Etc etc etc.  Do not hold back on encouragement!

Middle School can be awkward, and challenging, and with your son, you will encounter moods swinging and hormones cranking.  It can also be a positive time, as kids gain self-confidence and maturity.  Be involved in your kids’ lives to make these the best years possible!

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Important Dates and Activities:

 January 16: MS Principals Coffee – 7:45 AM.  During this informative presentation parents will learn more about the great work being done within the UAS Middle School Arabic Department.  This parent session will be hosted by Mr. Mahmoud, the UAS Head of the Arabic Department, and Mr. Wasel, the Head of the Middle School Arabic Department.  These dedicated gentlemen will outline the work being done by the entire Arabic team to raise the level of Arabic within the Middle School.  In addition, the Arabic course outline will be shared, resources will be made available, and questions will be encouraged.

 January 18: MS Band and Choir Concert – 6:30 PM in the MPH:

January 19:  MS Counselors Coffee – 7:45 AM

January 26: Last day of quarter 2/semester 1

January 29: Frist day of quarter 3/semester 2

February 2: MS/HS Sports Day

February 9: MS/HS report cards are posted to the Portal.

That’s the news from your neighbors in the middle. Here’s hoping our paths cross soon and very soon. Please take good care, and please remember, Middle School matters!!  May peace be upon you.

MAP Begins and Principals Coffee Approaches

Welcome back to the exciting world of the UAS Middle School!  WOOHOO!!!  It is safe to say that the students and staff at our awesome school have hit the ground running in 2017.  In addition to end of the quarter assessments and project due dates, the calendar is filled with activities and programs to keep us all very, VERY busy.  The truth is, after a 2-week winter holiday, being busy is a good thing!  J

Please rest assured that we are doing everything we can to find a balance between activities, programs and due dates.  It is our hope we can effectively manage the calendar in order to find an appropriate mix of concerts, final exams, and test schedules.  Finding this balance is of course an attempt on our part to keep student, parent and teacher stress to a minimum.  Planning, organization, eating properly and getting a good night of sleep are essential elements to helping our young people manage their hectic lives and keep a positive attitude.  Thank you for supporting your child in this fashion.  Your guidance can make such a huge difference toward ensuring their academic success and emotional stability.

Please note the following dates and important information:

 January 9, 10, 11 & 12:  Students started the second session of MAP testing on Monday, January 9. The Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP, is a computerized adaptive test which helps teachers, parents, and administrators make informed decisions that promote student academic growth. For the first time, the test will be administered three times during this academic year; once in the fall, once in the winter and once in the spring. Please note that MAP helps determine your child’s instructional level and measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year, in the areas of reading, math, science and language usage.

January 16: MS Principals Coffee – 7:45 AM.  During this informative presentation parents will learn more about the great work being done within the UAS Middle School Arabic Department.  This parent session will be hosted by Mr. Mahmoud, the UAS Head of the Arabic Department, and Mr. Wasel, the Head of the Middle School Arabic Department.  These dedicated gentlemen will outline the work being done by the entire Arabic team to raise the level of Arabic within the Middle School.  In addition, the Arabic course outline will be shared, resources will be made available, and questions will be encouraged.

 January 18: MS Band and Choir Concert – 6:30 PM in the MPH: Under the watchful eye of Ms. Emma Gordon, our instrumentalists and vocalists will take to the stage for what promises to be a delightful musical extravaganza!  I hope you can attend!

January 19:  MS Counselors Coffee – 7:45 AM

January 26: Last day of quarter 2/semester 1

January 29: Frist day of quarter 3/semester 2

February 2: MS/HS Sports Day

February 9: MS/HS report cards are posted to the Portal.

That’s the news from your neighbors in the middle. Here’s hoping our paths cross during one of the various programs in the coming weeks. Please take good care, and please remember, Middle School matters!!  May peace be upon you.