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

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