Welcome Back From Winter Break!

Dear Families,

Welcome back!

We hope the Winter Holiday has brought you and your child an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate.    The end of the academic semester is coming in three weeks, so I encourage all students in the Middle School to quickly refocus on their academic pursuits.  Next week the KHDA inspectors will be touring UAS, so we ask our students to welcome the guests.

Teacher Spotlight

The teachers spotlight this week shines on the PE teachers Josh Kachmarik and Mindy Halpern who organized the UAS Middle School House System.  Below is a description of the House System.

The “House System”, aligns students, teachers and other members of the school community into subunits or “houses” that come together to participate in different competitions and while providing a support network for each individual. (Kind of like Gryffindor and Slithering from Harry Potter).

Each “House” is comprised of students from different grade levels as well as teachers, administrators and support staff in order to create a greater sense of community and belonging and transition from the elementary school into the middle school and with their same “Houses.”

What are the Houses?

Red Foxes

Green Gazelles

Purple Vipers

Black Falcons

Yellow Leopards

When did the House System startStudents were assigned to their houses on the last day before the Winter Holiday. Student Advisory can remind students of their assigned house.

How are students assigned to a House?  Students were assigned to their “Houses” along with their advisory group based on a spin of “The Wheel of Fate” that randomly assigned each group to a house during the introductory assembly. 

 What Does a House System Do?

  1. It provides a sense of belonging to individuals within the Middle School community. 
  2. It provides opportunities for development of social, intellectual, physical and practical skills through competitions and challenges in sport and other academic activities.
  3. It provides opportunities for individuals to experience a sense of achievement both inside and outside the classroom.
  4. It creates fun and excitement through competition and allows individuals to be part of a team that is bigger team than just their own class.
  5. It will provide roles and opportunities for leadership. 

 Earning Points for Your House “Houses Points” can be earned through a variety of ways including house competitions, involvement in school wide house initiatives, and other positive behaviors such as: 

Intramural House Competitions 

Attendance & Tardy Challenges

MAP Results Challenge

Intramural Lunch Initiatives

Below is a video of our first House assembly.  Have a great week!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

 

 

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, January 9th, Week Without Walls International Trips Information Meetings

Sri Lank Trip, 5:30-6:15, Room 2200

Kenya Trip, 5:45-6:30, Secondary Library

Nepal Trip, 6:30-7:15, Secondary Library

  • Thursday, January 31st, Last Day of Semester 1

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

We have had so many wonderful celebrations with the 47th National Day and Commemoration Day.  Thankfully, our coming together continues. Below is a list of events and ways for students and families to both contribute and participate.  Have a great week!

 

Regards, 

AmandaSoliván

 

Upcoming Events

      Wednesday, December 5th, Dental Screening for Middle School, 8am-1pm (letter detailing event is written below)

      Thursday, December 6th, Holiday Dress Down Day (details below) 

      Sunday, December 9th– Final Date to Send Items for Holiday Gift Boxes to Support Staff (more information is written below)

      Sunday, December 9th– Middle School & High School Choir Concert, in the MPH at 6:30

      Monday, December 10th– Band Concert December 10, in the MPH at 6:30

      Wednesday, December 12th– 7th Grade takes Arabic Benchmark Test (details are written below)

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

  

Announcements

Dress Down Day Letter- From the MS Student Council

The Middle Student Council is planning out a School Holiday Dress Down Day for December 6. You will be able to dress in red & green, a Santa hat, an ugly Christmas sweater, or anything else holiday related (following school dress code of course). To dress up students will have to pay 5 dirhams to their advisory teacher.  This is a fundraising event for the Student Council.

Holiday Gift Boxes from Samarah Qadir

Each year the UAS community puts together small Holiday Boxes for our Support Staff, Drivers and Security Guards to remind them of how much we appreciate them. Most of the support staff are not able to travel home for the holidays and will not receive gifts. At UAS there are about 110 support staff, we would like to create small shoebox gifts with toiletries and essentials to give them as a small token of our appreciation.

Each homeroom in the school has been allocated a specific item to put into a small shoebox present for a male and female member of the support staff. We are requesting that each student donate the allocated item, so that each support staff member gets a box of assorted items.  Items for boxes will be picked up on December 9th.  Please find attached the Holiday Boxes distribution list. If you have any questions feel free to contact your child’s teacher or myself.

Thank you in advance!

Samarah Qadir (sqadir1@uasdubai.ae)

 

Dental Screening- From Dr. Amna Ahmed Butt

Dental health contributes to general health and well-being. Dental check-ups for Middle School students will be conducted on Wednesday, 5th December between 8:00am – 1:00pm by qualified and registered dentists from Levantine Dental Clinic. The screening is free of cost for the students and consists of visual dental examination using a separate, sterilized mirror for each student.

 You will be notified by a dental report if your child needs to see a dentist for treatment. Dental screening is done to facilitate early intervention and identify children who are in need of urgent dental care; however, it does not take the place of a regular dental check-up.

Please return the consent form given to students in advisory.

 If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact the school clinic.

7th Grade Arabic Benchmark Test- From Maram Juma & Osama Gharib

In order to track our students’ attainment and progress in Arabic, we will hold a benchmark test for grades 1,3,5,7 and 9.  This is a new assessment and if the information is valuable, we will extend testing to all students next year.  The ABT assessment, shared in Mr. Sealey’s 100 Day Plan will assess students’ proficiency in all language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

This exam will take place in the following grades:

Grade 1 : Tuesday 4th of December 2018

Grade 5: Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Grade 3: Thursday 6th of December 2018

Grade 7: Sunday 9th of December 2018

Grade 9: Thursday 6th of December 2018

 For grades 5, 7 and 9, kindly make sure to provide students of the following:

  • Headphone with microphone.
  • A device with Arabic keyboard.

 

This test will measure student proficiency against the Ministry of Education Standards in UAE.  We will use the results to inform improvements in Arabic.  Results will be shared in the next reporting cycle.  For more information click here.

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

It is an exciting time to see our students, parents, teachers and staff contributing their time and effort to build the UAS community!   Last weekend we had the MS performance of the Musical Dr. Edwina Jr.   Despite a few technical difficulties the shows highlighted the sprit and artistic talent of our student artist!

Please click on the link below to watch a slide show of the event.

As part of our continuing development of the whole child, we support our students pursuit of the performing arts.  Research done by the Stanford University for the Carnegie Foundation of Advancement of Teaching found that a student-artist  participating in the arts for  at least three hours on three days of each week were:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math or science far
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely for writing an essay or poem

This past month our students have shown us their academic, artistic and athletic abilities and achievements, igniting a new community spirit. Way to go Scorpions!

Over the weekend, and through Sunday, students in both Middle School and High School participated in the Model United Nations Conference.  This is an opportunity for students to debate on international issues from the perspective of many nations. The student-diplomats continued to master the skills of research, public speaking, and an increasing understanding of international diplomacy.  Thank you to instructional coach Michelle Haag for organizing this conference, and a special thanks to Shelley Reinhardt, and her family, who also worked tirelessly to help organize the event.  Your support was greatly appreciated!

Please see the video below on the MUN event.

Below are details regarding our upcoming events, which we hope to see you there!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, November 27th, Athletics & Activities Awards Evening at 5:30 in the MPH (details noted below)
  • Wednesday, November 28th, National Day Celebration from 6pm to 10pm.
  • Thursday, November 29th Unveiling of Martyrs’ Wall at the DFC Mall, 5 pm (details noted below)
  • Sunday, December 2nd, National Day Holiday, School Closed
  • Monday, December 3rd, National Day Holiday, School Closed
  • Wednesday, December 5th, Dental Screening for Middle School, 8am-1pm (letter detailing event is written below)
  • Sunday, December 9th– Final Date to Send Items for Holiday Gift Boxes to Support Staff (more information is written below)
  • Wednesday, December 12th– 7th Grade takes Arabic Benchmark Test(details are written below)

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

Announcements

Athletics & Activities Awards Evening

National Day Celebration

On Wednesday, November 27th UAS will be celebrating National Day.  Middle School students may wear UAE national dress or the colors of the UAE flag.  Further, we will host an evening event from 6pm to 10 pm including food booths, animal rides, and other activities.

Unveiling of Martyr’s Wall at DFC

Holiday Gift Boxes from Samarah Qadir

Each year the UAS community puts together small Holiday Boxes for our Support Staff, Drivers and Security Guards to remind them of how much we appreciate them. Most of the support staff are not able to travel home for the holidays and will not receive gifts. At UAS there are about 110 support staff, we would like to create small shoebox gifts with toiletries and essentials to give them as a small token of our appreciation.

Each homeroom in the school has been allocated a specific item to put into a small shoebox present for a male and female member of the support staff. We are requesting that each student donate the allocated item, so that each support staff member gets a box of assorted items.  Items for boxes will be picked up on December 9th.  Please find attached the Holiday Boxes distribution list. If you have any questions feel free to contact your child’s teacher or myself.

Thank you in advance!

Samarah Qadir (sqadir1@uasdubai.ae)

Dental Screening- From Dr. Amna Ahmed Butt

Dental health contributes to general health and well-being. Dental check-ups for Middle School students will be conducted on Wednesday, 5th December between 8:00am – 1:00pm by qualified and registered dentists from Levantine Dental Clinic. The screening is free of cost for the students and consists of visual dental examination using a separate, sterilized mirror for each student.

You will be notified by a dental report if your child needs to see a dentist for treatment. Dental screening is done to facilitate early intervention and identify children who are in need of urgent dental care; however, it does not take the place of a regular dental check-up.

Please return the consent form given to students in advisory on Tuesday, November 27th by Monday, 3rd December.

If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact the school clinic.

7th Grade Arabic Benchmark Test- From Maram Juma & Osama Gharib

In order to track our students’ attainment and progress in Arabic, we will hold a benchmark test for grades 1,3,5,7 and 9.  This is a new assessment and if the information is valuable, we will extend testing to all students next year.  The ABT assessment, shared in Mr. Sealey’s 100 Day Plan will assess students’ proficiency in all language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

This exam will take place in the following grades:

Grade 1 : Tuesday 4th of December 2018

Grade 5: Wednesday 5th of December 2018

Grade 3: Thursday 6th of December 2018

Grade 7: Sunday 9th of December 2018

Grade 9: Thursday 6th of December 2018

For grades 5, 7 and 9, kindly make sure to provide students of the following:

_ Headphone with microphone.

_ A device with Arabic keyboard.

This test will measure student proficiency against the Ministry of Education Standards in UAE.  We will use the results to inform improvements in Arabic.  Results will be shared in the next reporting cycle.  For more information click here.

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

Thank you to all of you who took time to attended Parent-Teacher Conferences to discuss how we can best support your child’s progress, and share thoughts about the school curriculum, activities, and culture.  We are grateful to work in partnership with you in developing the whole child’s individual academic and socio-emotional needs.

This quarter our student-competitors have been busy representing UAS in the Academic Games NESAC Championships in Beirut and made the semifinal round; Go Scorpions!   This young team of scholars challenged much older student-competitors from surrounding schools and almost brought home the Championship. Congrats to our student-competitors on their successful trip!   The Scorpions Volleyball Team won the Sportsmanship Award at the NESAC Championships and congratulate these student-athletes on their good spirt of competition.

This week, we will watch 50 student-artist put their best work forward both on and behind the stage with their performance of Dear Edwina Jr. Please come out and support out students this Wednesday and Thursday evening.

We are proud of our students’ accomplishments!

 Katelyn Chattman, Meraj Popal, & Rawaad Badami at the Academic Games in Beirut

UAS JV Volleyball Team at the NESAC Championship game in Kuwait

The MS Spotlight

The Middle School spotlight this week shines on Mr. Kurtis Trottier, our Assistant Principal.  In our last blog we discussed our work in the last 90 days regarding refinements to our Academic Curriculum.  This week we would like to share with you our work on Student Culture, which has been under the leadership of Mr. Trottier.  One focus has been on the integration of Restorative Justice in the MS.

Restorative Justice has three main goals:

  • Accountability– providing opportunities for wrongdoers to be held accountable to those they have harmed and enable them to repair the harm they caused to the extent possible.
  • Community Safety– Recognizing the need to keep the community safe by building relationships and empowering community members to take responsibility for the well-being of each other.
  • Competency Development – Increasing the pro-social skills of those who have harmed others, addressing underlying factors that lead youth to engage in wrongdoing, and building on the strengths in each student-youth.

Why should schools use Restorative Justice?

Restorative justice emphasizes values of empathy, respect, honesty, acceptance, responsibility,  and accountability, and:

  • Provides ways to effectively address behavior and other complex school issues;
  • Fosters a supportive environment that can improve learning;
  • Improves safety by preventing future harm.

Mr. Trottier says “Since formalizing some restorative practices within the Middle School this year as a way to supplement traditional consequences such as reflection time (detention) and suspension we have had a number of students and staff members go through processes of reconciliation. Through the use of Restorative Justice (RJ) Circles, both victims and wrongdoers have been brought together to share their feelings in an attempt to restore/repair relationships that have been harmed. Both victims and wrongdoers who have been involved in these processes have expressed feelings of vindication, remorse, understanding, empathy, and empowerment.”  We thank Mr. Trottier for his leadership on restoring justice in our school.

For a graphic that shows questions asked during on Restorative Justice meeting click here.

This Wednesday, November 21st we are celebrating a Thanksgiving Feast at 3:30 in the School Cafeteria for all students and parents.

After Thanksgiving dinner please walk over to the MPH to see out student-artist perform Dear Edwina Jr Musical at 6:30.  We look forward to seeing you, and have a great week!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, November 21st, Thanksgiving Feast at 3:30 in the School Cafeteria (details are listed below).
  • Wednesday, November 21st, Middle School Musical Dear Edwina Jr. at 6:30 in the MPH.
  • Thursday, November 22nd, Middle School Musical Dear Edwina Jr. at 4:00 & 6:30 in the MPH.
  • Tuesday, November 27th, Athletics & Activities Awards Evening at 5:30 in the MPH.

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

Announcements

UAS Middle School Presents- Dear Edwina Jr.

You are invited you to the 2018 Middle School Musical, Dear Edwina, Jr.! It’s a classic musical that the MS musical team has modernized, telling the story of three girls who are auditioning to play the lead role of “Edwina” in the Disney YouTube series.   The show involves over FIFTY students in Grade 6, 7, 8 both on-stage and working backstage. It’s a fun show, filled with crazy songs, dances, and lots of hilarious character acting.

When can you come see this wonderful show? You have three chances!

  1. Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 pm in the MPH
  2. Thursday, Nov. 22 at 4:00 pm in the MPH (this show is FREE for everyone to attend)
  3. Thursday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 pm in the MPH

Tickets are 30 AED each to the evening shows, and kids under 6 get in for free. You can buy tickets from any cast member or at the door.

The Thanksgiving Feast

Athletics & Activities Awards Evening

 

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

Last week the Scorpions were road scholars!  The 6th grade students ventured to Abu Dhabi to enjoy art at the Louvre, and to Kuwait and Beirut for NESAC championships in JV volleyball and JV Academic Games.   Our Athletic Director provides more updates on these events, in the announcements below.  In our continuing efforts to support the s the whole child here at UAS we were delighted to see our students active in the academic games, athletics, and the arts!

Ms. Bibi’s 6th Grade Art Students at the Louvre, Abu Dhabi

The Middle School Parent Coffee last week continued our ongoing dialogue with parents.  I thanked parents for the opportunity to present an update on the administrative and curriculum work we have been doing in the Middle School over the last 90 days.   Our goals in the last 90 days were

  • continue cultivating a positive school culture,
  • foster teacher leadership,
  • develop common expectations for teaching and learning.

During the first 90 days, we applied best practices endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals to conduct classroom observations including teachers observing one another in the classroom. In addition, we analyzed MAP Test data, discussed literature on our curriculum standards, the KHDA instructional framework, and our inspection report.

The result of all this hard work was the creation of professional development plans for each of the Middle School Departments, to continuously improve our instruction to students.  Lastly, we also made improvements to our visual school culture by adding a  the new Student Lounge!

In our next blog we will discuss our work with the last 90 days on overall student culture.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to voice any thoughts regarding our work so far this year.

K-12 Curriculum Coordinator Ms. Jessica Jones & Instructional Coach Dina Coppes speaking with community members small groups during the MS Parent Coffee

Teacher Spotlight

The teachers spotlight this week shines on Ms. Ashley Green, for her participation in ASCD’s Emerging Leaders Program.  Ashley is the 7th grade Level Team Leader responsible for continuously improving school culture among 7th grade students and teachers.  ASCD is one of the premier American education media outlets providing professional learning to both teachers and administrators.  For Ashley, the conference helped her develop leadership skills she will apply at UAS to help the school become part of the international “connected community.”  We are delighted to support the professional learning of our teaching staff!

Ashley Green, Emerging Leaders Conference

This Wednesday and Thursday during the Parent Teacher Conferences, Assistant Principal Mr. Trottier and I are available to meet with you one-on-one.  If you have not already, please sign up for a time.  The window to sign up for conferences through Synergetic has closed, but you can contact Ms. Hana, the Executive Assistant in the Middle School Office to schedule a time.   We look forward to seeing you soon.

Have a great week!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, November 13th– Diabetes Awareness Day (details written below).
  • Tuesday, November 13th Quarter 1 grades are available to families. (Please note tuition bills must be paid prior to release of grades).
  • Wednesday, November 14th and Thursday, November 15th – Parent Teacher Conferences (more details are included in the announcements below)

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

Announcements

Diabetes Awareness Day

On Tuesday, November 13th UAS will participate in Diabetes Awareness Day.  In doing so, students watch a video on Diabetes Awareness at the start of the day through our Scorpion Cast.  You may view the video by clicking here.  Our PE teacher, Mr. Kashmarik, will have fitness activities students can participate in during lunch.  Further, healthy snacks will be available after school in the foyer.  Students may also dress out of uniform in blue, the color representing diabetes awareness, as long as they remain school appropriate.  Therefore, skirts and shorts should go no higher than above the knee, no midriff tops, if a student is wearing tight leggings a shirt must be cover the student’s hips and bottom.  Lastly, shoulders should be covered.

Report Cards and Quarter 1 Conferences

On Tuesday, November 13th Quarter 1 report cards will be published.  You will receive an email confirming the report cards are open, and with directions of how to view them.  On Wednesday and Thursday, November 14th and 15th we will have parent teacher conferences.  If you have signed up, your schedule is available on Synergetic.  A list of room numbers and schedules will be available at the entry way to the Middle School, by the foyer, in case you would like to see the times and locations of the teachers whom you have signed up to see. You may also reference the list by clicking here. The window for signing up for conferences has closed, but if you would still like to see if there are time available please contact Miss Hana, the Executive Assistant of the MS.   She can also assist you in locating your schedule, if you need.

Fall MAP Test Results are Published

The Fall MAP test results have been published on Synergetic. 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 Fall 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.

With conferences pending, please ask your child’s teachers questions you have related to the MAP results. We look forward to the conversations.

Athletics Update from Athletic Director Robert Calandra

This weekend, 9 of our middle school students flew to Kuwait to represent our JV volleyball teams in the NESAC championships.  We also have 4 of our middle school students representing our JV Academic Games team in Beirut for their NESAC Championships. We are so very proud of them all and we are confident that this weekend will have a lasting impact on each one of them.

Our season 2 tryouts will start this week for our soccer, basketball, wrestling, tennis, and cross-country teams.  The days and times of tryouts are posted right across from the main office in the middle school hallway.

Track & Field Application from Athletic Director Robert Calandra

Beginning on Monday, Nov. 19th, UAS will be starting practice for our Junior Scorpions Track and Field team.  Like all of our Junior Scorpion programs, the team is free to sign up and all student are welcome to join, as long as they are in grades 4, 5, or 6.  During this program students will learn all of the rules and skills associated with track and field.  They will also receive a tremendous amount of fitness in a fun and safe environment.

This program will last 7 weeks and during those 7 weeks there will be practice every Monday and Wednesday from 3:20pm – 4:30pm.  In these 7 weeks the students will also be able to participate in two Jamborees.  One will be Wednesday, Dec. 5th at ASD and the second will be Saturday, Jan. 26th also at ASD.

During the jamborees the Junior Scorpion kit must be worn.  If the kit was not already purchased for Junior Scorpions soccer, then it can be purchased at the school store for AED 126, including tax.  The kit comes with a shirt and shorts.

This year we have four coaches for the program.  They are Asha Burton (HS PE), Nick Boucher (MS Learning Support), Briana Thomas (7th Grade Social Studies and English), and Darlene Tezdiker (Substitute Teacher).  Please register your student by using the google form below.

JR Scorpions Track and Field Registration 

Dubai Student Wellbeing Census

In the upcoming week students will be taking the Dubai Student Wellness Census.  A parent letter explaining the census may be accessed here.

 

Greetings UAS Middle School Families,

Wow! It was an exciting week at UAS as we celebrated the UAE Flag Day, Halloween, the start of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, and we raised awareness for breast cancer.  Thank you to all the students, parents, and teachers who worked hard to make these events happen.  Below are a few pictures of these exciting the activities!

Scooby Doo Crew Contestants at the 7th Grade Costume Contest 

Flag Day, with elementary, middle, and high school students coming together in celebration of the UAE!

Last week a new Middle School student lounge was completed.  Mr. Mark Gaffney our MS Counselor worked with a group of students to design the space and Ms. Khalida Bibi, our Middle School art teacher, helped to turn the design into reality.  Mr. Gaffney, Ms. Khalida and our student team shared a belief to create a space for our Middle Schoolers to have “a space of their own.”  Linking academics and real-world application will be a growing part of our UAS program, and we look forward to more initiatives between teachers and students in the future!

Students Mariam Osman, Noor Safa, Darosham Ayaz, and Farah Heikal, & teachers Mr. Gaffney & Ms. Bibi in the new student lounge.

Teacher Spotlight

The teachers spotlight this week shines on Drama teacher Ms. Cris Meija for her presentation The Beauty of Failure- Educating Children to Dare to Fail at the Asian Undergraduate Symposium in Japan.  In her work, Ms. Meija discusses the importance of teaching failure in developing children who are resilient and better prepared for life’s challenges.  Her work has been well received by the international community, Abstracts of her work can be found by clicking here.

Ms. Meija also coordinates the annual Fringe Festival, which promotes social inclusion and artistic expression at UAS by showing the art created of students, families, support staff, and other community members.  If you are interested in participating in this year’s Fringe Festival, please contact Ms. Meija.

Ms. Meija presenting her research on the Beauty of Failure

To learn more about our current programs at UAS, and to offer you a space to share your feedback on the work we are doing in the Middle School, you are invited to attend the Middle School Principal’s Coffee, this Wednesday, November 7th from 8am-9am in the Secondary library.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Have a great week!

Regards,

Amanda Soliván

Upcoming Eventsand Announcements

  • Tuesday, November 6th – French and Spanish Grade 6 Exhibition from 9-9:30 am (section 2) and 12:35-1:05pm (section 1) in the MPH Foyer.
  • Wednesday, November 7th– Middle School Principal’s Coffee from 8am-9am in the Secondary Library.  We will available for a Q&A, along with feedback, in a small group setting.
  • Thursday, November 8th, End of Quarter 1
  • Wednesday, November 14th Quarter 1 grades are available to families. (A gentle reminder that school policy states tuition bills must be paid prior to release of report cards).
  • Wednesday, November 14th and Thursday, November 15th – Parent Teacher Conferences. Sign up on Synergetic through November 12th.

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

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

Soliván ‘s Saturday Coffee

Greetings UAS Middle School Families, 

 Last week was our first week of Fall MAP testing.  Our teachers encouraged students to do their best on the test by having a pep ralley at assemblies where they showed a teacher created MAP music video.  The video has become hit online and gone viral!  See the video here.

Mr. Josh Kachmarik, PE Instructor, leading a MAP Pep Rally with 6th Graders

Our hallways have also been decorated to create a learning environment that shows we care about our student’s success, supporting their academic and emotional growth. As I said before, at UAS we care about the growth of the whole child.

Miss Mavs helped decorate the MS Hallway and Bulletin Boards for MAP Testing

During this final MAP testing week, we encourage you to talk to your child 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.   

To assist you in better understand both the MAP and CAT 4 tests, we are hosting a Parent Coffee on MAP Testing this Wednesday at 8am in the Secondary Library.  We hope to see you there!

TEACHER SPOT LIGHT  

For her assistance in leading our teachers in Moral Education this week’s Teacher Spotlight shines on Ms. Hannah Donald, our program lead of Moral Education and MS Spanish Teacher.   The Moral Education curriculum is given by the KHDA for all Dubai schools.  It is based on four pillars including character & morality, the individual & community, civic studies, and cultural studies.   Overall there is a connection with the Moral Education curriculum and our UAS mission to empower students to be caring individuals, global citizens and our committed to supporting the growth of the whole child.   Having taught Moral Education last year, and now leading it for the Middle School, Hannah said she is “excited to continue this year because of deep and meaningful conversations with kids.  It led to more relationships.”

Ms. Hannah Donald, Moral Education Teacher Leaders & MS Spanish Instructor

To give a sample of what the Moral Education curriculum offers, last week all grade levels discussed empathy.  According to the article from the Greater Good Magazine, Seven Ways to Foster Empathy in Kids, there has been a decreased focus on others and a lack of empathy.  You can read the article by clicking here.   Not only have our teachers focused on empathy in Moral Education, but every day we highlight a student for a good deed in our “Caught Being Good” section of the Scorpion Cast.  Through these types of character education, we embody our shared values and encourage students to demonstrate kindness and empathy towards others.

If you know a student or staff member whom you would like to honor for their good deeds, please let me know.  We would like to feature them as a community member “Caught Being Good.” Tweet it to me at @UASMIDPrincipal

Warm Regards, 

Amanda Soliván 

Upcoming Event 

  • 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) 
  • 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    Also, Camps International the provider for the 7th grade Week Without Walls Nepal trip will be available to answer questions.
  • Thursday, October 4th– UAS Community Fair from 12pm-4pm in the UAS Main Building (see flyer below).
  • Sunday, October 14- MS Yearbook photo day

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

Announcement

UAS Community Fair

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.    

Go Scorpions!

Below is a photo from the MS Volleyball Tournament that both boys and girls participated in today.  

Coaches Quinn and Walters with the MS Boys