November 19, 2020

Dear Elementary Families,

This week’s SPOTS is a cornucopia of information for you.

Student Achievement

As you know over the past two weeks our students in grades 1-5 have been participating in MAP assessments and we have been very proud of their efforts and achievements. Assessments will be finalized at the end of next week but the observations we have made is an upward trend of progress and growth which is a testament to the efforts of our staff and the drive of our students to demonstrate their personal excellence.

Health and Safety

As you will have seen through the whole school emails there have been a few positive COVID cases at the school in the last two weeks. As we become aware of a case we engage in a thorough investigation, identify the first contacts and alert impacted families. With over 1200 cases a day in the UAE as of late, we appreciate all our families continuing to be diligent in mask wearing, hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing.

Over the next few weeks we ask that we all remain vigilant and that when picking up your child(ren) at the end of the day parents come just before dismissal time and quickly depart campus once you have met them. Reminders to your children that they should remain socially distant at school will also help reinforce the messaging we are providing students at school.

Return to School

Towards the beginning of the school year we asked parents to commit to on-site or online learning and then apply for any changes. We very much appreciate everyone’s commitment to this process as it helped ensure consistency of learning for all students.

Until winter holidays we will continue to honor the intentions you shared.

If you would like to change your child’s learning from on-site or distant from January to Spring Break please complete this Form https://forms.gle/YvqfF7JUNFXx1Sbj7. If we do not receive a Form we will assume that you intend to continue as you have this trimester.

DAA Elementary is publishing the first issue of its new literary magazine; The Leopards’ Literary! The Leopards’ Literary magazine will be publishing student writing from KG1-G5 in our monthly issues, beginning with our first issue going out on December 9th. We are calling all student writers to submit the work they are most proud of- be it short stories, small moments, poetry, book reviews, persuasive writing, or informational text- to their homeroom teachers before Tuesday, November 23rd. Our publishing committee will review all submissions and select the best of each grade level to publish in our first issue. Written submissions can be submitted to homeroom teachers, or typed submissions can be emailed to Ms.Laine at laine.palendat@gemsdaa.net. We are looking forward to reading all the amazing work that our Literary Leopards have been working on!

Winter Holiday Sweaters

In what is becoming an annual tradition here at the school, we invite all staff and students to wear winter holiday sweaters on December 6 and 9th. This is your chance to again wear the sweater you bought for last year’s days or go out and buy a new winter holiday sweater for your collection. We would love to see full school participation as we build our community holiday spirit!

This week our Innovation Activator Megan McKellar virtually presented to our parents through Zoom. The focus of her time was to share insights into innovations in elementary learning and provide parents with an opportunity to hear more about DAA being an Apple Distinguished School. Megan has done a screen recording of her presentation for all those who are interested in learning more but were unable to attend.

Have a great weekend and as always, thank you for all your support!



Elementary Update from November 12th, 2020

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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: Rene Botha  r.botha_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