Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

I hope Fall Break was relaxing, a rejuvenating time with family and friends, and getting in some exercise to the Dubai Fitness Challenge!  This week, the Fitness Challenge comes to UAS with a Kick-Off Assembly follow a week Focused on Fitness See below for more details.

This week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Middle School PE Instructor Ms. Mindy Halpern for her work in bringing the Dubai Fitness Challenge at UAS.  Mindy is excited about the initiative because “doing something for 30 days makes a habit,” and a fitness habit improves a student’s physical and mental health, academic performance and overall wellbeing, which is part the whole-child approach at UAS.   As a city-wide initiative, Mindy likes that the Dubai Fitness Challenge is social event bringing our friends and family together around fitness.  Here is an article from the Mayo Medical Clinic on all the benefits of exercise (link).  Let’s do it Scorpions!


PE Instructor, Ms. Mindy Halpern

Lastly, during Fall Break our staff was busy creating an exciting new space for student gathering.  Checkout the Blog next week for pictures and updates!

Have a great week!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events  

  • Fitness Challenge: Monday, October 29th All School Assembly.
    • An Exercise of The Day will be provided by Ms. Halpern on the Scorpion Cast.
    • A Fitness Circuit Class will be held every Wednesday on the field from 3:30-4:45.
    • For more information on the Dubai Fitness Challenge visit the website by clicking here.
  • Thursday, October 4- Sunday, November 4th– UAS Book Drive for Children’s Books Grades 1-4 (flyer below)
  • Monday, October 28th– Dubai Fitness Kick Off and PTSO Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign- Assembly Starts at 8:00.
  • Wednesday, October 31st from 3:30-4:45. Circuit class for staff and parents that will be meeting on the track at the field led by Ms. Mindy Halpern.
  • Thursday, November 8th, End of Quarter 1
  • Wednesday, November 14th Quarter 1 grades are available to families.
  • Wednesday, November 14th and Thursday, November 15th – Parent Teacher Conferences (information will be coming out this week)

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

Announcements  

UAS Book Drive

Dubai Fitness Kick Off & PTSO Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

On Monday, October 29th the school will have an assembly and walk around the school.  The assembly will start at 8:00.  To raise awareness for breast cancer, students may wear pink shirts and jeans.  If they are not wearing pink they must be in school uniforms.

Halloween at UAS Middle School

We encourage students to celebrate Halloween at UAS by dressing up.  Please assist your child in making sure their costume is school appropriate.  In this case, skirts, dresses, and shorts should be knee length.   At UAS, sleeveless shirts are okay for students to wear, but shoulders should be covered.  Also, we ask that students don’t have gadgets, like swords.  Lastly, we ask that there is no scary stuff!!  During the flex period when student have advisory, we will be having grade level Halloween celebrations.

Student Absence Form

When students have a planned absence, we request they go to Miss Hana and get a student absence form.  This form helps to facilitate communication between the teacher, students, and parents.  Students will take the form to their teachers to get information about the work they will be missing, and what to make up, along with the deadlines for late work.  Please call Miss Hana for questions on the Student Absence Form.

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

I am continuously overwhelmed by the support from the UAS community.  As part of our MAP Testing celebration, we wanted to give students some free freshly popped popcorn as a reward, and members of the PTSO granted our wish by providing a popcorn machine.  See video below from our Middle School students thanking the members of the PTSO. Again, thank you PTSO for your generous support!

As we move through the year and remain focused on improving communication among parents, administration, students and teachers we are providing and creating more tools to connect. To better facilitate when tests will be pending, our teachers have created an Assessment Calendar.  Communication with you the academic progress of your students is essential.  In their bi-weekly meetings, teachers will discuss when assessments are coming, ensuring each student has no more than two assessment test per day.  You can access the calendar on the Middle School Blog here. Thank you to the parents who communicated with me during MAP Testing to express concerns, share ideas and ask questions.  The communication helps when we – the administration and teachers – take action to improve the experience for parents as students at UAS.

Yet another step toward expanding communication on student performance and strategy for focusing on improved academic performance, is the transition to a Quarter Grading System for the Middle and High Schools.  The Quarter Grading System will provide parents and students with more feedback on academic progress.  Quarter 1 will end on November 1st.  Grades for the first quarter will be made available to parents on November 7th.

TEACHER SPOT LIGHT 

This week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Ms. Marin Thuen, our new Middle School Counselor, coming to us from the United States.  Marin is collaborating with fellow counselor Mr. Mark Gaffney to further develop our comprehensive Counseling Program.  This year, as part of the expanded Student Advisory Initiative, Marin is leading the development of Student Council and Student Voice Projects, and creating small groups driven on student needs, such as the new Mentorship Group. 

A school Student Advisory Initiative is essential to a strong middle school.  According to the article Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Program, an advisory initiative facilitates the development of meaningful relationships among students and with teachers “provid[ing] the structure that creates ‘connectedness’ in a middle school.

Connectedness is important to school culture. Meaningful relationships between students and adults within the school, increase student engagement in the school activities and academics improve a sense of belonging to the school. As article states “School connectedness is linked to higher grades [and] higher test scores.”  To improve our Advisory Initiative, Marin has assisted in implementing the Second Step Advisory Project, focusing on mindsets and goals, values and friendships, emotions and decisions, as well as serious peer conflicts. For more information on the advisory initiative within out Counseling Program you can access the above article by clicking here. For more information on the Second Step Advisory Project,  click here.

Please let us know if you have any questions advisory or the Middle School Counseling Program.

Warm Regards,

Amanda Soliván

 

Upcoming Events  

  • Sunday, October 14- MS Yearbook photo day
  • Thursday, October 4- Sunday, November 4th– UAS Book Drive for Children’s Books Grades 1-4 (flyer below)
  • Thursday, November 8th, End of Quarter 1 (note this date was moved on October 16th)
  • Wednesday, November 13th Quarter 1 grades are available to families. note this date was moved on October 16th)

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

Announcements  

UAS Book Drive

Update on UAS Middle School Athletics from Athletic Director Mr. Calandra:
“Really nice job by our Middle School swim team by placing 3rd overall at the Nancy Crosser Memorial Invitational Tournament this past Saturday, Oct. 6th.  This Saturday our middle school swim team will be heading down to ACS in Abu Dhabi for the EAC championships for their last competition of the year.  Good luck to all of our swimmers!

This Thursday, UAS will be hosting a Middle School pep rally game for both the boys and girl’s teams starting at 2pm.  This will give the entire middle school staff and student body a chance to come and support the teams.  UAS will be taking on ACS in this match for their last conference game of the season.

Next Saturday, Oct. 20th the Middle School EAC Championships for volleyball will be hosted at GAA in Abu Dhabi.  So far, our boys have qualified for the tournament and depending on how the game goes on Thursday, we will find out if the girls qualify as well.

Our grade 6 Junior Scorpions soccer team will be competing in their first jamboree of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 17th.  The jamboree will be hosted here at UAS from 4:00pm – 6:00pm.  ASD and DAA will be the other schools participating.  Please come down and show your support!

Student Absence Form

When students have a planned absence, we request they go to Miss Hana and get a student absence form.  This form helps to facilitate communication between the teacher, students, and parents.  Students will take the form to their teachers to get information about the work they will be missing, and what to make up, along with the deadlines for late work.  Please call Miss Hana for questions on the Student Absence Form.

 

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

Last week was our final week of Fall MAP Testing.  Middle School administrators, teachers and parents put forth their best efforts to create a quality testing environment for students.  To congratulate everyone for their hard work, we spent the final period on Thursday celebrating the end of testing.  Students played capture the flag, soccer, and had a ride on tricycles, and below are images that captured the fun!

 

Next Week, we will begin CAT 4 Testing for 6thand 8thgrade students.  CAT 4 testing is an assessment designed to help students and their teachers understand how students learn, giving teachers critical data needed to meet a student’s individual learning needs. The process of personalizing a student’s education is called Differentiated Instruction.   The CAT 4 assessment includes questions about shapes and patterns, words, numbers, and student’s ability to transform visual images.  Our Student Support Services also uses the test to support students who are struggling or advanced. Here is an article called What Parents Need to Know about Differentiated Instruction.  To access it click here.

TEACHER SPOT LIGHT 

This week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Hasina Pokardasfor her working with our students in preparing for CAT 4 Assessment. Hasina is our new Program Lead for Middle School Student Support Services Department. Acknowledging that all students learn differently, Hasina says the assessments like CAT 4 help us to know how to assist students in reaching their potential.  Although Hasina’s primary job is to assist all students and by working with teachers, identify techniques to and meet a student’s learning needs every day.

When CAT 4 and MAP testing results are posted, I will be sure to let you know, and post guides to assist you in better understanding the results.  The MAP results will be distributed in November.  We encourage parents to review the CAT 4 Assessment with your child, to connect with your student’s teacher and Hasina to ensure we are working together to support our children’s reach for their highest potential.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding these assessments.

Warm Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events  

  • Thursday, October 4- Sunday, November 4th– UAS Book Drive for Children’s Books Grades 1-4 (flyer below)
  • Monday, October 8Grade 6 CAT 4 Testing
  • Thursday, October 11Grade 8 CAT 4 Testing
  • Sunday, October 14- MS Yearbook photo day

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

Announcements  

UAS BOOK DRIVE