January 7, 2021

Library News

Dear Elementary Families,

Welcome to 2021!

I think we can all agree that we were happy to see the calendar turn to January 1st. Last year had about 300 days no one will ever forget. What I reflect on about 2020 is that though there were challenging times, we learned a lot. We learned about ourselves, our children, the global community, and much more. In education, there is much for us to take away from this experience.

Why did some students thrive as remote learners while others found it incredibly challenging and how do we embed what we learned from those experiences into our practice going forward? 

How did teaching pivot over the past 10 months and what new practices will we adopt and what old approaches will we modernize because of it? 

As a Future Fluent school, how do we continue to adapt and redefine the learning experience to ensure we identify and challenge the personal excellence of each student, and provide them with the tools and mindsets to thrive in a future that will continue to be filled with unknowns.

Our mindset and way of being as a school is designed to address these questions, and that makes this an exciting time to be part of the Dubai American Academy.  Along with the future we look forward to the hope the vaccine provides that we will soon be permitted to return to all aspects of DAA learning that makes our school outstanding.

We take great pride in the work our teachers do every single day and we are confident that as the world returns to one where physical distancing and COVID risks diminish, the lessons of 2020 will not be lost and we will continue creating a path to greatness for your children.

“(Don’t) see things in terms of good and bad but rather in terms of ahead and behind. To see our work, our community and the world as part of a continuum.”  Simon Sinek, An Optimist’s View Going into 2021 

Finally, as we enter a new year we always welcome new families and staff members! Thank you for joining our community, we know you are going to love it here.


Craig Cantlie

Executive Principal, Elementary

Library News

DAA Elementary Library is excited to announce a virtual author visit with acclaimed author Mac Barnett. Mac is a prolific author with many picture books and novels. He is an award-winning author with two Caldecott Honors, three E.B White Read Aloud Awards, and three New York Times Best Illustrated Awards. Mac will be making two virtual visits to our school through Zoom; 

February 3rd for grades 3-5, and February 10th for grades 1-2. 

We are so thrilled to be hosting him and look forward to discussing his writing and publishing process with our students. Though we have many of Mac Barnett’s books available in the library, his book can also be purchased at the Bookworm or Kinokuniya should your child wish to get familiar with his wonderful books before the visit. 

Please contact Ms. Laine at laine.palendat@gemsdaa.net with any questions.

The Elementary Literary Leopards Magazine published its first issue before the winter break! It is a wonderful platform to showcase student writing and storytelling and we are very proud to celebrate their work! 

Download the E-book via the link below: 


Elementary Update from November 25th, 2020

A window into our world as a learning community.


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key contacts

Should your child(ren) need to be away from school due to illness or appointments, please contact our School Secretaries.

KG1 - Grade 2: Grace Ajib  g.ajib_daa@gemsedu.com /04 704 9705

Grades 3-5: Jessica Oppermann  j.oppermann_daa@gemsedu.com /04 704  9724

General Elementary Inquiries:  elementary_daa@gemsedu.com

Craig Cantlie 

Executive Principal of Elementary (K - Grade 5)c.cantlie_daa@gemsedu.com

Nathalie Salemeh   

Elementary Principal, Grades 4 and 5n.salameh_daa@gemsedu.com

Noha Bishara              

Assistant Elementary Principal, Grades 2 and 3n.bishara_daa@gemsedu.com

Tooshna Gandhi          

Assistant Elementary Principal, KG1, KG2 and Grade 1t.gandhi_daa@gemsedu.com