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.


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




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