Announcing the first UAS MS Celebration of Achievement!

Greetings parents and welcome once again to the exciting world of the UAS Middle School!  WOOHOO!!!!

It is hard to believe my eyes, but on the horizon I see November 3, and the final day of quarter 1.  WOW, time surely flies when you’re having fun, and please believe me when I share, we are having a LOT of fun in the MS!

On behalf of the teaching staff and leadership team of the UAS MS, I am proud to announce our very first Celebration of Achievement (COA)!  WOOHOO!!!  We will host the first Middle School student recognition assembly on Monday, November 21 @ 10 AM in the UAS Multi-purpose Hall (MPH).  During this assembly, we intend to highlight the achievements of our students in several ways.  Two of the awards we will be giving are the “On a Roll” and the Principal’s Scorpion Awards.  The details about these two awards are as follows:

“On a Roll” Award: Students selected for the On a Roll award will have exhibited a “growth mindset” and demonstrated considerable improvement during the quarter in any one or a combination of the following areas:

  • Academics
  • Arts (Music, Art, Drama, Dance)
  • Behavior
  • Effort
  • Global Languages
  • Learning Support or ELL
  • Attitude
  • Participation

Students earning an “On a Roll Award” will be selected by the members of the grade level team. The target each quarter is to select four students (2 boys/2 girls) per grade level, but that number may vary.  The final decision is at the discretion of the Grade Level Team Leader and the grade level team.

Principal’s SCORPION Award: A recipient of the Principal’s Scorpion Award 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 – A CRITICAL THINKER

The Principal’s Scorpion Award recipients are selected by the grade level teaching teams.  The target is to honor two students/grade level (1 boy/1 girl) each quarter of the academic year.

Other awards and recognition will surely follow the example set by these two awards, so please stay tuned for more details.  It is important to note that the parents of the students who will be recognized will also be invited to attend the COA and join us in celebrating the work of their amazing children. We hope the assembly on November 21, is the first of many opportunities to pause and acknowledge our outstanding students for the extraordinary contributions they are making to our community. I look forward to crossing your path in the very near future.  Until then, please take good care and remember: Middle School matters!

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Please note the upcoming important MS events:

  • November 3: Last day of quarter #1
  • November 4: UAS Gala Dinner – sponsored by the PTSO (tickets are on sale every day in the UAS Reception area)
  • November 7: MS Principal Coffee – 6 to 7 PM in the Secondary School Library
  • November 10: NO school for students – Professional Development for staff
  • November 17: Student report cards are available on the Portal
  • November 23 & 24: Fall parent/teacher conferences

Google Classroom Guardian Summaries

summary We are beginning the process of initiating guardian summaries for our UAS Google Classrooms. In the near future you should receive an email that will allow you to subscribe to a summary email of your son or daughters Google Classroom events. You may choose to receive one email either daily or weekly which will have all of the postings made in each of your child’s Google Classrooms. This will allow you to be informed of assignments and due dates without going into your child’s account. You may choose to subscribe or not.

The First MS Principal Coffee was a Success!

Greetings once again from the exciting world of the UAS Middle School!

On October 10 I had the good fortune to host more than 20 parents at the first ever MS Principal Coffee.  The truth is, the number of participants surpassed my expectations, and I was simply delighted so many parents participated in this first in a series of sharing events.

The theme of my presentation was about community, and I asked the participants to describe why they belong to the various communities in their lives.  The parent responses included:  common values, acceptability, sense of belonging, welcoming, feeling comfortable, an acceptance of differences, relationships, and that there was a sense of caring for each other among the community members, just to name a few.  According to WIKEPEDIA, community is defined as “a social unit (a group of people) who share something in common, such as norms, values, identify, and often a sense of place that is situated in a given geographical area”.  With that in mind, you should not be surprised to learn that our students feel very similar to parents in their thoughts about why they enjoy being part of a community.  Our students shared that they enjoy the communities to which they belong because of: a sense of belonging, being connected, its fun, activities, friendships, and they feel appreciated and encouraged.

Once it was established how we collectively felt about being part of a community, I shared three main areas where the staff of the UAS Middle School is working with our students to build a positive community for our young people.  Those areas are:  All School Activities, Clubs and Activities and Policies and Practices.

All School Activities: We aspire to have our students feel they are a part of something unique, something special, and something to which they are proud to belong.  During the first week of school, we took the entire MS student body to IMG: Worlds of Adventure. And what an adventure it was for our students, our staff, and a handful of parents too!  We spent the day having fun together and building our community.  In order to enjoy working together, I believe it is imperative that we enjoy playing together first.  Students got to meet and interact with some of their peers they would not normally interact with on a regular day.  In addition to this event, the U-14 volleyball team recently hosted students from DAA in a match that was held at 2:00 in the UAS Gym.  Once again, the entire student body attended the match and showed their Scorpion pride!  These two activities are samples of the types of all school/community building fun we hope to continue hosting throughout this school year.

Clubs and Activities: Our awesome Middle Schoolers have many, many opportunities to belong to a club, sports team or group.  Research tells us that students who belong to school organizations or teams have fewer behavior problems, they have a more positive outlook on school, and they perform better academically.  Some of the activities in which our students can engage include, but are not limited to:  After School Activities, Student council, Student Voice Initiative, National Junior Honor Society, Million Solar Stars Club, Academic Games team, U-14 athletics, music (band and choir), drama production and Model United Nations (MUN).  Participating in a group helps our students feel that sense of community as well.  Is your middle schooler participating in a club, organization or sports team at UAS?

Policies and Practices:  The final piece of the puzzle in our efforts to build a meaningful community is in regard to maintaining a safe and orderly environment.  The staff and leadership team of the UAS MS has been working hard since the launch of our school in August 2015, to create policies and practices that students are expected to follow, and which we must be willing to enforce.  We have created a behavior policy that aspires to hold students accountable for poor behavior, while helping the classroom teacher effectively do their job, and helping students work within the least disruptive environment as possible.  The MS will host its first ever Celebration of Achievement (COA) on November 21.  Students will be recognized for their positive efforts to improve themselves and to make our school even more terrific!  Finally, we have created and are fully implementing a student Advisory program.  The Advisory model is intended to help students establish a positive relationship with a small group of their peers, and with one caring adult to whom they can address their challenges, questions or concerns. Weekly lessons are provided to help students cope with their social, emotional, and academic needs as a pre-teen in the 21st Century.

I hope you find that our efforts to build a meaningful community are truly helping your student enjoy a rich Middle School experience.  Rest assured, that your continued active participation to that end is encouraged and always welcome.  I look forward to crossing your path in the very near future.  Until then, please take good care and remember: Middle School matters!

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Please note the upcoming important MS events:

  • October 25: Technology Tuesday – 7:45 to 8:45 AM
  • October 27: Counselors Coffee – 7:45 to 8:45 AM
  • November 3: Last day of quarter #3
  • November 4: UAS Gala Dinner – sponsored by the PTSO (tickets are on sale every day in the UAS Reception area)
  • November 7: MS Principal Coffee – 6 to 7 PM
  • November 10: NO school for students – Professional Development for staff
  • November 23 & 24: Fall parent/teacher conferences

Technology Tuesday – October 25

Please come to room 2200 from 7:45 – 8:45 for our Middle School Technology Tuesday Meeting. This month we will be focusing on the following topics:
All Things Google
Google Classroom – Google Apps
Google Drive – Staying Organized
Blogs
Assessment Calendars
Time on the computer – a few apps and sites to help out
Grade books on the Portal
What’s Next?

We look forward to seeing you there.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 22. The topic will be “What are all those social media apps my kids are using?” We will look at the top 15 social media apps students are using. We will look at how they work, what kids are doing on them, and what parents should know.

WWW Registration – Re-Opened for a LIMITED Time

Registration has been re-opened for all trips grade 6-10. Please keep the following in mind:

INTERNATIONAL TRIPS
International trip registration will close for the final time on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20.
Online registration must be completed AND deposit must be received by this time.
Requests for international trip registration will no longer be accepted after this deadline.

There are 5 Spots Remaining for the Grade 7 Sri Lanka Trip.

UAE/DUBAI TRIPS
UAE and local trip option registration will close on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27.
Online registration must be completed AND deposit must be received by this time.

Please click on the following links for information and registration process.

2016-2017 WWW Information Pack
Week Without Walls Online Registration

TRIP CHANGE REQUEST
If you wish to change trip destinations, please click on the link below and fill out the form completely.
Individual email requests for trips changes will not be accommodated.
Trip Change Request will be open from October 17-20.

Trip Change Request Form

Getting Organized

On October 3, 2016 Mr. Hould shared some information about routines and habits to help you support your middle schooler at home. Today I’d like to offer some ideas and resources about GETTING ORGANIZED.

Helping our students get organized is not just a passing thought. Standard A of our Counseling Curriculum states: Students will acquire the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that contribute to effective learning in school and across the life span. All grade 6 students recently participated in advisory activities to help them understand the benefits of being organized and to enhance their capacity to be independent and organized.

Where’s My Stuff? by Samantha Moss and Lesley Schwartz is a great resource for ideas and suggestions to help our young adolescents get organized. I have summarized a few key points from this book below.

What are the top 5 benefits of getting organized?

  1. Score Bonus Time: Getting organized saves time often wasted by looking for your stuff.
  2. Cash In: Replacing things that get broken or lost can be expensive.
  3. Chill Out: When your life and stuff is in order you will be less stressed.
  4. Stay Connected: When you’re not living in chaos you’ll have more time and energy for the people you care about.
  5. Be Independent: Learning how to manage your own schedule demonstrates your ability to be more responsible.

SCHOOL STUFF: Students need a School Organizing System (SOS). This may be a three-ring binder, an accordion file or a spiral notebook system. Choosing the system that works best is an individual decision. Try using a Backpack Checklist and follow a routine for sorting and cleaning out things you don’t need. Lockers can be useful and fun when they are kept clean and organized.

TIME AND ACTIVITIES: We live in a busy world. There will never be enough time to do everything you want to do. You need to have a plan. In Where’s My Stuff? they suggest starting with “The Brain Dump”. Spend 10 to 15 minutes writing down all your to-dos and then organize them into categories; do now, do soon, and do someday.

YOUR ROOM: Help your teen make their room welcoming, rewarding and inspiring. Break the room into spaces such as study space, dressing space, music space and sleep space. Organize stuff so it’s easy to find. Keep like items together and store things rarely used in an out-of-the-way location. Organize one section of the room at a time by doing a “Room Dump”. Sort belongings into these 4 groups: Group 1-Stuff to Keep, Group 2-Stuff to Toss, Group 3-Stuff to Give Away and Group 4-The Doubt Box.

Thanks for taking the time to read about and consider implementing some of these strategies. Your middle schooler and their teachers greatly appreciate your support. These grade 6 students; Josh, Upasana and Noor are proud of their organized lockers.

img_5190 img_5188 img_5186

Kind regards,

Ms. Beverly

Where’s My Stuff?: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide gives comprehensive advice on how to organize school-work, lockers, bedrooms, and even one’s schedule. This book is available in hard copy and also as an ebook. It can be ordered through Amazon here.
DATES TO REMEMBER

  • October 19 & 20: NO school for students.  Teachers have Professional Development
  • October 24: Directors Forum from 6 to 7 PM
  • October 25: Tech Tuesday from 7:45 – 8:45 AM
  • October 27: Counselors Coffee from 7:45 – 8:45 AM
  • November 3: Last day of quarter #1
  • November 10: NO school for students. Teachers have Professional Development

Awesome Middle School Week Without Walls Trips

Registration for the Week Without Walls is due on Thursday, October 13. We have some AWESOME opportunities for your child this year. In order to insure your child is able to participate in the trip of their choice, please look through the links below and fill in the required information. Thank you for your support.

2016-2017 WWW Information Pack
Week Without Walls Online Registration

Here is the timeline for payments:

Thursday, October 13
Registration ends/DEPOSIT DUE TO ACCOUNTS

Sunday, October 16
Confirmation of trip assignment

Thursday, December 15
Final payment due

February 12-15, 2017
Week Without Walls

Questions? Please email Linda Honigford at lhonigford@uasdubai.ae or check out the Week Without Walls blog.

The UAS MS Proudly Presents the FIRST Principals Coffee!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dear parents!

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

I am writing to invite you to attend a MS Principal Coffee on Monday, October 10.  The Secondary School Library is the place to be and 7:45 is the starting time for the first ever MS Principal coffee program. During this one hour meeting I will be talking about the concept of community, and I will specifically speak about the UAS Middle School community.  In addition, I will be be sharing highlights and reflections from our first 5 weeks of school.  To conclude our time together, I will host a question and answer session in order to address any inquiries parents may have at this time.

During this get-together, I will provide parents with the opportunity to suggest topics they would like to discuss during future coffee meetings.

I look forward to meeting and greeting you on Monday, October 10.  Until then, please take good care and may peace be upon you.

Respectfully,

Patrick Hould: UAS Middle School Principal