September 24, 2020

Dear Elementary Families,

Over the past two weeks we have been working hard as a team to bring our students back to the classroom. We have done this because we know it is the right decision for our children. As a school we feel very confident in the learning experiences we have been able to create for our students, either in the Spring when we were fully remote, or to start this school year in our hybrid model. As innovative and vigorous our experiences have been though, nothing replaces the time a child has with their teacher. It is the just-in-time feedback, that personal comment to grasp a child’s attention, the live human connection and that respect that a student has for an excellent teacher that drives our students to succeed.

Today our teachers created classrooms for their students. These rooms are designed to be safe and socially distanced spaces that provide familiarity to students, allow for distanced collaborations/conversations, have a sense of community, and support what we value in learning. The reason schools are open is not because students cannot learn remotely, they can. We open our schools because our elementary children’s social-emotional well-being matters. Empathy, integrity, respect and responsibility are fostered when humans interact with one another (even socially distanced). Academically, the impact of being in a learning space allows for the enthusiastic sharing of individual knowledge and interests, and creates an incredible synergy of idea sharing that makes the classroom a special place to learn.

Though we are inviting all students back to campus, we have a number of students who will remain remote. We understand and respect the decision families have made in this time of COVID. Our remote learners will continue to connect with their classroom community, have personalized learning experiences with their classroom teacher through small groups,  1:1 time and participate in our specialist programs. This will look very similar to the past few weeks and we will continue to evolve our program to best meet the needs of our remote and on-site learners.

We are in exciting times and we look forward to introducing our A and B group students to one another on Sunday, and moving forward with what continues to be an excellent and eventful school year.

As always, thank you to you, our Dubai American Academy community, for your continued support and trust in us as we strive to educate the heart and mind of your children.


Craig Cantlie

A Reminder from our PE Team


Stu Williamson Photos

Stu Williamson Photographers are on site to take our annual individual photos.  They will be following all DHA guidelines as they relate to CoVid 19.  New measures being implemented this year include:

The schedule of photos is as follows:

Grades 1-5 students should wear their new uniform polo or the blue button down shirt from last year.  Ties are no longer required. No PE uniforms on picture day, please. Dark blue outerwear will be removed for photos– jumpers/pull-overs/jackets, etc.  

Make-up photos for absent students will be taken on campus on October 1st, October 11th, 12th and 13thStudents on 100% remote learning have an opportunity to have their photo taken at the SW studio during the week of the 4th - 8th October.  You must book an appointment as detailed on the flyer.  Alternatively, should the situation change allowing student return to campus, we will schedule an additional make-up day on campus later in the year. 

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

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