Soliván’s Saturday Coffee

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

Our teachers welcomed families into their classrooms at Back to School Night last week.  It was wonderful to see our community come together!

WEEKLY NEWS

Here are some brief updates on upcoming events at the UAS Middle School:

  • At Back to School night we introduced new elements to enhance our academic programs in our Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Arabic, Advisory, and Moral Education classes.
    • We are also increasing our focus on the use of assessment data to guide our instruction.

Ms. Bibi discussing her art class with a family at Back to School Night

  • Over the next two weeks our students will take the MAP assessment, one assessment we use to measure student growth. I’ve included 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.
    • MAP also correlates its scores to SAT and ACT tests to note college readiness, meaning the degree to which a student is prepared for college. All of the information with MAP can be confusing.
    • To answer questions you may have, we will have a parent coffee on Wednesday, October 3rd in the Secondary Library, to guide you through an understanding MAP scores.

The MAP test is one way we are learning about student’s strengths and areas for growth in Math, Science, Reading and Language usage. Teachers will be helping students understand their results and we will send information on how to read your child’s results a few weeks after we complete all testing in the middle school.   We will be using the data for our planning and goal setting.

TEACHER SPOT LIGHT

For her assistance in our understandings of MAP data this week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Callie Cantu, an instructional coach.   Callie is helping the Middle School teachers better understand MAP reports, assist with student goal setting, and provide information to parents.  Further, she, and the other instructional coaches, are available to assist teacher in understanding assessment data, not only from MAP but other assessments as well.  Teacher Zach Holz says Callie can “deal compassionately” when assisting with a myriad of issues “whether it’s about their own teacher practice, or a technical issue.” We are happy to have Callie’s assistance as we increase our focus on data driven instruction!

Callie Cantu, UAS Instructional Coach

Over the next few weeks, to support your student through their MAP testing, we encourage you to talk about the importance of the test, make sure they have a good night of sleep, a balanced breakfast, and arrive to school with a fully charged laptop.

Warm Regards,

Amanda Soliván

 

 Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, September 23rd through Thursday, October 4th – MAP Standardized Testing
  • Thursday, September 27th– Registration Deadline for Week Without Walls
  • Sunday, September 30 through Thursday, October 4th– Authors Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger visit (see flyer below)
  • Wednesday, October 3rd– Principal’s Coffee at 8am in the Secondary Library. Topic is: What about MAP? A glance inside the MAP testing & your child’s MAP growth.

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

 

Announcements

Letter from Ms. Maram Juma on Reading in Arabic “A” Classes

The letter summarizing new steps the Arabic Department is taking to increase the focus on reading in the Arabic A classes, for native speakers.  To access the letter click here.

Visiting Authors Holbrook and Salinger

We are excited to host authors and educational consultants Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger.  For more information on the authors and their work at UAS click here for the information flyer.

Upcoming Dance & Theatrical Play: Information from Drama Teacher Ms. Cris Meija

This dance & theatrical play gives a platform for youngsters to share and discuss some issues with the support of music, dance and dialogues. The main characters in the play mirror the conflicts and struggles of youngsters, dealing with unrealistic beauty standards, peer pressure, loneliness, body image, attention from the opposite gender, depression and the immense influence of social media. The play addresses harsh realities and encourages open discussions and understanding by lightly using humor and dance in the backdrop.

Soliván’s Saturday Coffee

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

Welcome to Week 3!

Last week, many families attended the Week Without Walls parent evening.  Seeing the excitement of our students participating in community service programs, shows us the importance of such programs in developing the whole child and a love of learning.  There are many ways at school and home we can work at encouraging an excitement for learning.  Sharing your child’s enthusiasm, interests and encouraging her/him to explore subjects that fascinate them is one of many ways.  A Week Without Walls is one opportunity to cultivate your child’s interests, and for other tips on how to encourage  the love of learning in your child you can access an interesting article on 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn by Scholastic Parent Staff, the article may be found here.

It’s important for the community of UAS to provide daily encouragement for the love of learning and pursuit of lifelong learning.  Staff at UAS are leading by example by enrolling in continuing educational courses.   This week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Middle School French Teacher Ms. Souha Mouarak & Executive Administrative Assistant Miss Hana Malek.  Both participated in a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) course this summer.  They obtained three certificates each, TESOL in English, French, and Arabic, to share their learning with the Middle School.  Congratulations for the hard work and continuing to find new learnings to meet the needs of our students.

If you have any other stories of the UAS community of students, staff, and parents living our mission, philosophy, and beliefs let us know and we will feature their pursuits right her on Soliván’s Saturday Coffee.

One import note on an upcoming event; We will be hosting our Back to School Day on Monday, September 17th and there are events in the morning and evening (see the calendar below).  Refreshments will be available so, please come and fellowship with us.   We look forward to seeing you there!

Warm Regards,

Amanda Soliván

            Upcoming Events

  • Monday, September 17th – PTSO Back to School Morning Coffee, 7:45am- 8:45am, in the Secondary Library
  • Monday, September 17th – Back to School Night for Parents.  Refreshments available at 6:00. Program runs from 6:30pm -8:30 pm, starting in the MPH
  • Thursday, September 27th– Registration Deadline for Week Without Walls
  • Sunday, September 23rd through Thursday, October 4th – MAP Standardized Testing
  • Sunday, September 30 through Thursday, October 4th– Authors Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger visit (see flyer below)
  • Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here – 2018-2019 school calendar.

Announcements

 

Back to School Night Schedule

On Monday, September 17th we will have the Middle School Back to School Night.  We will start the evening with student musicians playing, and refreshments in the MPH Foyer at 6:00 and the program begins at 6:30., consisting of a Principal’s Welcome and Curriculum Leaders presenting new initiatives.  At 7:05 we will move into the MS Hall, for a Parent – Teacher Meet and Greet.

The PTSO Welcomes You!

Visiting Authors Holbrook and Salinger

We are excited to host authors and educational consultants Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger.  For more information on the authors and their work at UAS click here for the information flyer.   

Athletics Update and Letter from the Athletic Director

“Amazing job by our boys and girls volleyball teams after playing their hearts down at Abu Dhabi for their first match of the season.  The girls were able to pull out a win in a best of 3 set against the always tough ACS Vipers.  The boys were not fortunate enough to grab a win after losing in two sets but kept things close and worked very hard the entire game.  We are very proud of both teams.”

“Good luck to all of our competitive swimmers who are heading over to DAA on Saturday for their first time trial of the year!  These times can be used to set individual and team goals for the rest of the season!”

Information about the upcoming Junior Scorpions soccer season for any grade 6 students interested.

A Letter from the Athletic Director

 

JUNIOR SCORPIONS SOCCER PROGRAM

Hello parents and students,

I hope everyone had a great first two weeks of school so far and that everyone is enjoying their classes.  Starting the week of September 23rd, we will once again be starting up our Junior Scorpions soccer program for grades 4, 5, and 6.

Junior Scorpions is a developmental program offered by UAS which gives students the opportunity to participate and learn the fundamental skills of soccer in a fun and safe learning environment while also staying fit.  Any student is free to join no matter their experience or skill level.  This program takes place after school on the field at UAS.

Our program is part of the JEAC conference which includes other international schools in the UAE.  The focus of JEAC is to reinforce the value of sportsmanship, respect, teamwork and self-discipline through healthy and fair competition.  During competitions against other schools all students will receive equal playing time and scores will not be kept.  The emphasis we put on this program is learning and fun.

This year we are going to have students purchase a Junior Scorpions uniform that includes a top, shorts, and a water bottle.  The uniform is required and can be purchased from the school store for 120AED.  The same uniform will be used for all sports (soccer, track and field, basketball) and will only need to be purchased once even if the child participates in all three.  These uniforms can be used the following school year as well, as long as they still fit.

If you would like to register your child for the Junior Scorpions soccer program please click the link below and fill out the google form.

Junior Scorpion Soccer Registration Form

You must also submit these three forms for your child before they are able to participate.  Once these are handed in your child will be covered for the entire school year.

Medical Release

Insurance Form

UAS Athletic Participation Form

This year, there will be no weekday single games.  Instead, each team will have two jamborees, one midseason and one at the end of the season.  Here are the practice schedules and Jamboree schedules for each grade:

Grade 4 Boys

Practice: Mondays and Thursdays (3:20pm – 4:30pm)

Jamborees: Wednesday, Oct. 17th at ASD (4:00pm) and Saturday, Nov. 10th at ACS Abu Dhabi (9:00am)

Grade 5 Boys

Practice: Sundays and Wednesdays (3:20pm – 4:30pm)

Jamborees: Wednesday, Oct. 17th at Dunecrest (4:00pm) and Saturday, Nov. 10th at Dunecrest (9:00am)

Grade 6 Boys

Practice: Sundays and Wednesdays (3:20pm – 4:30pm)

Jamborees: Wednesday, Oct. 17th at UAS (4:00pm) and Saturday, Nov. 3rd at DAA

Grade 4, 5, and 6 Girls

Practice: Mondays and Thursdays (3:20pm – 4:30pm)

Jamborees: Wednesday, Oct. 17th at DAA and Saturday, Nov. 3rd at ASD

We hope to see many students signed up by the week of September 23rd.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact to me.

Thank you,

Rob Calandra

 

UAS Health Clinic Policies and Procedures

Dr. Amna, the School Physician, has released the 2018-2019 policies and procedures, which includes health forms.  Click here to access the document.

 

We Heard Your Feedback: Cafeteria Options

Based upon parent feedback last school year, the UAS cafeteria has refined its menu.  We now have a daily healthy meal option.  For 15 AED students will receive a meal of a main course (to include a protein), a vegetable, a fruit and water.  Other decisions are as follows:

  • Pizza once a week to be served on Tuesday only
  • Sides of salad bar, tabbouleh, hummus, fresh fruit juice, fruit smoothies (no powder)
  • Corn Cobb two times weekly (no cup of corn)
  • Fruit whole wheat pancake once weekly
  • Sandwiches containing protein (no processed meats)

A Letter from Experiential Learning Coordinator – Week Without Walls Registration

Dear Parents,

It is time to register your child for the Grade 6 – 11 Week Without Walls program in February 2019.  WWW is a compulsory component of the UAS curriculum and we have some exciting opportunities for our students to enhance their learning, whether it be on an International Trip, at an Adventure Camp, or through Local Day workshops.

Please download our Week Without Walls magazine here to help you in your selection and preparation.  You will also find useful information regarding immunizations.

It is important that you read the Pre-Trip/Activity Participation Terms & Conditions, which you can find here.

For the cost list, please click here.

You can download the timeline of events for easy reference here.

Follow the guidelines below to select and register for the 2019 UAS Week Without Walls program. Official registration will not be complete until ALL steps are completed.

Step 1: Initial registration to be made on this link, where you will be able to select your child’s chosen trip or activity. After clicking on the link, you will need to input your Synergetic username and password, then click on the Week Without Walls tab to proceed with the registration.

Step 2: Next week, we will send you a second link from the provider in order for you to complete the registration according to your child’s chosen trip or activity.

Step 3: The deposit payment will need to be made at the UAS Accounts desk by September 27th.

When the above steps have been completed, you will be officially registered for the 2019 UAS Week Without Walls program.

Note 1: Spaces on these trips and activities are limited and will be booked on a first come, first served basis.

Note 2: If a trip or activity falls below the specified quota, then the trip or activity will be cancelled and your deposit will be moved to another trip or activity of your choice.

Adventurously yours,

Sarah Ghanem
Experiential Learning Coordinator

Soliván’s Sunday Coffee

Dear UAS Middle School Families,

It has been an exciting first week for all of us at UAS!  The nervousness, joy and activity filled the hallways as students met new friends, reunited with old ones, and began the school year with their new classroom teachers.  The Scorpion energy that filled the building this week, and at the Aquaventure Water Park, was amazing!

To support and develop the whole child, we must also live whole lives.  This week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Eight Grade English Teacher Mr. Holz.  In addition to teaching, Mr. Holz has many passions, including music, photography, writing, and his blog on building personal wealth.  Mr. Holz has blended these passions into his blog, The Happiest Teacher, which was recently recognized in an article by The National – UAE Edition.  When discussing the blog, Mr. Holz identified the values learned from his mother, how having multiple interests not only provides him with more balance, but it also makes him a better teacher.  He stated, “a lot of the ideas incorporate themselves into my teaching practice, the things I learn aren’t just compartmentalized.” Mr. Holz encourages students to find multiple interests in their lives, and to live, along with him, the UAS belief that we must enjoy a positive and healthy lifestyle.  For more reading on the importance of having multiple passions in your life, I’ve linked the Forbes article The Case for Pursuing Multiple Passions.  And, for more information on Mr. Holz’s blog, click here to view the article in The National – UAE Edition.

As begin this new school year, I am excited to join you in supporting the development of our children’s academic curiosity, intellect and social values.

This week will begin “The Week Without Walls” program, which is one of the many opportunities we provide at UAS to enable our students to explore new interests and learn through service to others.  On Monday, September 10th, we will host “The Week Without Walls” Parent evening from 5:00pm – 6:30pm.  There will be a rotation schedule for the event, with international trips in the Elementary library and Local Camp Providers in Room #2200.  The rotation schedule is listed below:

  • Middle School Night (5:00 – 6:30pm):
Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
5:00 – 5:30 International Trip Talk Adventure Camp Talk Local Activities Fair
5:30 – 6:00 Local Activities Fair International Trip Talk Adventure Camp Talk
6:00 – 6:30 Adventure Camp Talk Local Activities Fair International Trip Talk

If you have any other stories of students, staff, and parents living our mission, philosophy, and beliefs please let me know.  Have a great week!

Warm Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, September 10th – Week Without Walls Parent Evening, 5:00pm – 6:30 pm, in the Secondary Library. Also, the first Scorpion Cast with your daily announcements will be posted on the MS Blog, available here.
  • Monday, September 17th – Back to School Night for Parents, 6:30pm -8:30 pm, in the MS
  • Important dates are noted on the online school calendar, available online here – 2018-2019 school calendar.

Announcements

 

Registration with Emirates ID, by Director of Admissions

As a school we are required to register all students with the Knowledge & Human Development Authority (KHDA). As such, all parents are required to bring both their child’s and their own Original Emirates IDs to school where we will scan the ID’s and transfer the information into the KHDA system.  Once your child’s details are registered into the system, we will be able to download your Parent School Contract which you will have to sign. For your information, the contract includes all relevant information pertaining to the school, including school fees and transport fees.

To complete the registration, you are kindly requested to attend the Admissions office, from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, Sunday to Thursday and no later than Thursday, September 27. If the registration is not done by this date, students will not be able to request or receive any official documentation required from the school, such as report cards, enrollment letters, etc.  Thanking you in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Lunch- Please have the lunch cards

Starting this week, students will not be able to purchase lunch using cash.  Please assist your child in charging their student card.

Annual Forms Signed By Thursday, September 13th

We will continue to use previous policies on technology, phones, and academic honesty under the Student Honor Code.  Parents are asked to review the policies and sign them with your student.  Hard copies of the forms were given to your student last Sunday, and  are available at the links below:

Forms for Athletics

To participate in athletics, forms must also be signed.  Paper copies will be printed and given to each student in their Advisory Class.  You are welcome to review, print, and sign the forms before school begins.  They are accessible at the links below.

  • Athletic Forms (For Students Planning on Participating in UAS Athletics Only)