UPDATES AND EVENTS FOR OUR DAA COMMUNITY
March 26th, 2020
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Next Update: April 9th, 2020
Highlights and Reminders
Tuition payments for term 3 are due by April 1st! The deadline to claim the GEMS FAB Card discount of 1.25% on tuition fee payments for term 3 has been extended to March 31st, 2020.
Dearest DAA Families,
On behalf of the entire DAA faculty, I must start with saying thank you. Thank you for being our partners in this new journey, thank you for the endless support you have provided your children and thank you for your feedback on our first survey. We appreciate with all that is going on, that over 300 families responded to our first weekly survey. Our Senior Leadership Team meets via Zoom every morning at 8:30 to discuss what went well (WWW) and what could be even better if (EBI). Your comments and compliments in the survey will help us to make adjustments in the Remote Learning Plan.
Your survey responses were filled with great information for us to study by division to ensure that we make some tweaks for next week and most importantly, acts as a guide as we look to make even more changes as we plan for the potential of Week 3. There has been no official word but we are preparing, so that we are ready to continue to deliver a high-quality program to our learners.
Some survey highlights...
WWW (What Went Well)
· KG2: “Children were excited to do assignments and hear comments from teacher.”
· Grade 1: “Group interaction has been smooth on Zoom. Zoom meetings, activities on See Saw are simple to follow and engaging for the students.”
· Grade 5: “Great to have the live sessions going so they can see their classmates and teacher.”
· Grade 4, 6 and 8: “My kids have really enjoyed their online sessions. I've seen that they're engaged well throughout the day, and are challenged too. PE has been a massive success! They're all absolutely loving those sessions!”
· Grade 6: "I am impressed with how streamlined the whole process has been, the teachers have been interactive, the kids have still been able to speak to each other and have a laugh, the classes seem to be organized with enough to keep the kids busy and challenged. I am also impressed by my son who is very conscious of not missing any of the roll call times, interacting and getting stuff done. I think all of it is working well so far. From my perspective it appears that DAA has really worked hard to make this a smooth transition and it has paid off. THANK YOU."
· Grade 8: “The effective and efficient use of collaborative tools while delivering sessions. It has enhanced a sense of responsibility in my son. Taking accountability for your actions is incredible. I have seen a change. Well planned, purposeful and engaging lessons."
· Grade 9 and 10: “The teachers and students are committed and trying their best.”
· Grade 11: “Organized helpful teachers and a structured online schedule.”
· Grade 12: “Thanks so much to DAA academic staff to be prepared well for this process. Students are so excited for this new education style.
EBI (Even Better If)
· Theme K-12: “Please consider reducing the workload. We are spending endless hours trying to get through everything. It’s not sustainable.”
· Made me smile -Grade 4: “I think all you’re doing is in a perfect way thanks DAA. Only thing is about swimming that the kids cannot show how to swim in dry land.”
· Theme K-12: “It’s a very long day for students to be seated on a desk in front of a screen. It’s a very long day to do the remote learning. Please consider a shorter day.”
· Theme K-12: “I wish my kids all had the same lunch hour, then we could stop and have time as a family.”
· Theme K-12:
“It would be great if we know "what is the necessary outputs" of the day by subject in clear, simple format. If more and more Zoom live time increases, the output can be reduced as the kids will have fewer hours to finish all the slides. Or vice versa.
We feel for teachers. Please do make the system simple for teachers as well - teachers need time to rest, keep of them from screens, relax, breathe under special circumstances.
Having said that, we are SO thankful to all your wonderful, dedicating efforts to continue learning, and we (parents and kids) are feeling the love of teachers all the time even at home!! Thank you so much for your continuous support!! “
The feedback has been very instructive to us and we will be having team, department and leadership virtual meetings to make the necessary adjustments to our Remote Learning Plan next week. We are working on a revised all-school lunch schedule in Week 3 where everyone has time off together to rest their eyes, have a conversation with your family and get some time to just be.
I thought I would share this with you, which was written to the Nantucket community a beautiful place in the US. It makes me smile when I think about it.
- Social distancing is not social disconnection. Social distancing is absolutely essential to “flattening the curve” but social connection is also an essential part of the human experience. If playdates, dinners with friends, and friendly conversations while running errands are on hold, what else are you doing to fill up on social connection? Maybe it’s a long phone call to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or a look back through a family photo album. Some people may enjoy the opportunity to turn inwards and spend quiet time at home, others may experience loneliness.
- Choose happiness. When possible, expose yourself to things that make you happy. If you are having difficulty doing this in your own life, try doing this in someone else’s life. This could be texting a friend that you are thinking about them or sending a picture of a manatee to a co-worker who you know loves manatees.
- This is a marathon, not a sprint. You will need to take breaks, you will need to rest, you may even need to take time off. Think of a choir singing a long note. The choir will hold the note longer than any one individual singer can, singers will stagger their breaks so the music continues. We are stronger when we trust that every member of the community is doing the best they can.
- Recognize that everyone copes differently with stress. Everyone is impacted by COVID-19, but everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Some people may want to talk about COVID-19 a lot, some people may not want to talk about it at all. Some people may use humor to cope that others may find inappropriate. Don’t assume that someone’s personal reaction indicates they are not taking the pandemic seriously. If you want to talk about COVID-19 or joke about COVID-19 check in with people to see if they want to participate in the conversation.
I am humbled by your support and please know that our teachers are working so hard to do right by our students and their families. It certainly doesn’t mean that we are perfect, but we have the can-do attitude thanks to your unwavering support.
Sending each of you the biggest virtual hug.
We're In this Together DAA!
Be sure to share your Remote Learning experiences with us by tagging us on our social feeds! Or send an email with photo/video to firstname.lastname@example.org!
covid-19 parenting resources
Useful Websites and links for for up-to-date information:
Dubai Health Authority: https://www.dha.gov.ae/Covid19/Pages/home.aspx
UAE Information and Services re COVID19 - https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/justice-safety-and-the-law/handling-the-covid-19-outbreak/2019-novel-coronavirus
ADMINISTRATIONADMISSIONS - Registrar_daa@gemsedu.com 04 704 9707Director of Admissions, Gabrielle Keane email@example.com / 04 704 9706
FINANCEfinance_daa@gemsedu.com 04 704 9740 / 04 704 9744
HEALTHhealthoffice_daa@Gemsedu.com / 04 704 9761
PARENT RELATIONSHilda Tabrizi firstname.lastname@example.org / 04 704 9730
GOVERNMENT RELATIONSSoheir Mohamed S.MOHAMED_DAA@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9736
SLICES CATERINGMikhail@slices.ae / 054 792 7509https://pay.slices.ae/support/ticket/submit
STS BUS SERVICEKelvin Sicat email@example.com / 04 704 9755
Elementary Reception: 04 704 9724
Middle School Reception: 04 704 9722
Middle School Attendance: 04 704 9728
High School Reception: 04 704 9723
High School Attendance: 04 704 9747
Athletics, Activities & Aquatics: 04 704 9842