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

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)

Welcome Back!

Dear UAS Middle School Families,

The first week of school of the 2018-2019 school year is almost here, one of the most exciting weeks of the year.  On behalf of teachers and the leadership team at UAS, we are overjoyed to welcome you!!

Many of us get the nervous jitters about the start of the year, as we don’t know what to expect.  To help ease those jitters, we want to open the year with a chance to connect, communicate and answer questions or concerns you may have about the upcoming year at UAS.  Please connect with myself and the leadership team by phone, email, social media at the contact information below.

  • Miss Hana Malek, the Middle School Executive Assistant at hmalek@uasdubai.ae, 971-4-232-5222
  • Mr. Kurtis Troittier, the new Middle School Assistant Principal at ktrottier@uasdubai.ae, @kurtis_trottier
  • Ms. Amanda Soliván, the new Middle School Principal, at asolivan@uasdubai.ae, @UASMidPrincipal

We are here and happy to assist you throughout the year!

On Wednesday, September 5th from 7pm to 8pm at the Middle/High School Library, we invite you and your family to join us for Meet and Greet to gather to connect and communicate, to answer questions and concerns.  Refreshments will be provided!

On behalf of the team at UAS Middle School I look forward to meeting your family, and welcoming students next week to the start of a great year!

Warm regards,

Amanda Nicole Soliván

 

 

Schedule for the First Week of School

  • Sunday, September 2ndNew Student Orientation, 10am – 12pm in the MS/HS Library
  • Tuesday, September 4th – First Day for all MS students.                                            (No Early Release)
  • Wednesday, September 5th – Meet and Greet the MS Principal

(For Students, Day 4 School Schedule Observed)

  • Thursday, September 6th – All Student Field Trip to Aquaventure
  • Monday, September 10th – Week Without Walls Parent Evening, 5:00pm – 6:30 pm, in the Secondary Rooms
  • Monday, September 17th – Back to School Night for Parents, 6:30pm -8:30 pm, in the MS

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Students Go When They Arrive On The First Day?

MS students will start the day with their Advisory Teachers.  A list of students, their advisory teacher, and the room of their first class is assessible online here – First Day of School Advisory List – and will be posted at each entrance of the school. Guides will be available in the hallways to get your child to the right room.

 

What is the All Student Trip to Aquaventure Waterpark?

On Thursday, September 6th, all MS students will go on a field trip to Aquaventure, a waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm.  It will be a great time for students to build relationships with their peers and teachers.

To attend, students must return a signed available online here – permission form – and pay the 250 dirham fee to the Accounts Department.  There is a snack bar menu for your child to get lunch, as well as educational tours, click on the links for more information.

What does my child need for School Supplies?

We request that your student arrives to school the first day with their school supplies.  The school supply lists for each grade level are assessible online below.

 

What Annual Forms need to Be Signed?

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. The forms are available at the links below:

How does my student participate in 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)

What is the Uniform Policy?

Students uniforms will remain the same as last year.  The uniform store is open this Saturday, September 1 and throughout the week from 7:30am – 4:00pm. The Uniform Policy is available here – uniform policy.

How does my student select Elective Classes?

Students may select their Elective Classes.  If they did not select their courses at the end of last school year, have them see their Middle School Counselors by the end of the first week.  If students do not complete course selection by Thursday, September 6th the elective will be assigned.

 

Where can I find the School Calendar?

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

More Connecting and Communicating

We love to recognize accomplishment and appreciation of students, parents, and staff for going above and beyond to help others, sharing new ideas, and great teaching and learning.  Please let us know when great things happen!  

We also want to continuously connect and communicate with you on upcoming events, important policies and student performance.  Below is a summary of different ways to connect to what is happening in the Middle School, and how your child is progressing.

  • Scorpion Cast – A daily video or what is happening in the school will continue.  They can be accessed daily at the UAS YouTube, linked here, and will be posted on the Middle School Blog.
  • UAS Newsletter – A weekly communication from the school, this email will provide information from all three divisions.
  • Middle School Blog – this blog, available here will be updated weekly to provide you with important information about our division.  It will include upcoming dates, stories of recognition of students, parents, and staff, as well as resources parents can use to support their children in academics and socio-emotional needs.
  • Google Classroom – You will receive regular notifications from Google Classroom.  Each classroom will provide you with information on daily classwork and homework.  I encourage you to access Google Classroom weekly.
  • Online Gradebook– This is one of the most important keys to monitoring your child’s academic progress.  A weekly check is best! Teachers are required to provide feedback on assessments within 10 school days and update them on Synergetic, which is linked here.   If you are having problems accessing Synergetic please contact the IT department.
  • Social Media: Follow UAS-Dubai on Twitter (@uasdubai) and Instagram(@uasdubai)!