February 11, 2022

Dear DAA Middle School Families,

We are almost halfway through February, which means our new semester classes are underway and we have Week Without Walls quickly approaching!

This week, our Grade 7 students had their CREW assembly and watched this video from the 2006 Olympics to start a discussion about perseverance after a setback. It was a great reminder to everyone about the importance of staying humble, working hard, and remaining focused. Students then engaged in a discussion about how such characteristics and attributes could translate to success in both their school lives as well as their personal lives. The assembly concluded with a fun competition on stage and the announcement of the Panther House as the current point leaders in the color house competition.

As a reminder, we will only be at school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week due to a professional development day on Thursday and school holiday on Friday (Feb 17-18).  We hope you enjoy the long weekend with your family!

Upcoming Dates

Upcoming Dates

For all events, click here for the K-12 Academic Calendar.

after school activities

Many After School Activities (ASAs) began this past week in the Middle School and any students interested in participating are encouraged to contact Mr. Murphy (s.murphy_daa@gemsedu.com) or the assigned teacher leader of the activity. 

Be sure to go through the Google Slides and check out what is on offer so you don’t miss out!

middle school map testing

With MAP testing wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, students are reminded to stay focused and do their best on each and every test. Students should also continue to remember to bring their fully charged iPads to school each day and get plenty of rest each night.

Have a look at this article from NWEA for information on the importance of learning comprehension and how you can support at home.

Art exhibition

The Middle School Fine Arts department is delighted to present the talented and creative artworks from our grade 6 Quarter 2, and Semester 1, Grades 7 and 8 student’s Unit 2 projects. Currently the actual artworks are displayed in the commons area and on the screens around the school, but so the wider DAA community can view the artworks we have created this digital exhibition for you. We hope you enjoy. Congratulations to all of our students for making this happen. 

Music Performance celebrations

It was a pleasure teaching your child in Semester 1 Music Class. I am very proud of their growth throughout the semester, and I hope they enjoyed learning new things. Because our January 24th Music Concert was canceled, the students instead performed in class and I created a class video montage for students and parents to enjoy. You will see that some students have been playing their instrument for a long time while others are just beginning to learn their instrument. Therefore you will hear a variety of instrumental levels and music presented. In addition, some students were not able to perform due to Remote Learning from home without access to their instrument. 

These videos are for your enjoyment and are not to be used for public use.  To protect the privacy of all students, please do not share on social media or outside our DAA community. 

Thank you for the opportunity to teach your child and I wish you and your family continued success and happiness in Semester 2. ~ Sara Hall, MS Music Teacher

Grade 8 Monday/Wednesday Class Video

Grade 8 Tuesday/Thursday Class Video

Grade 7 Monday/Thursday Class Video

Grade 7 Wednesday/Friday Class Video

remote learning

As parents, your role in keeping our students safe is crucial. If your child is showing any COVID-19 symptoms at all, you must not send them to school. From January 31, students who are symptomatic would be marked as absent, and are not able to access online learning as we wish for your child to fully recover prior to returning to campus. If your child is COVID positive, or is a close contact, they will be able to access online learning.

tech-free friday

Technology dominates all our lives, and more so for our young learners who often carry up to 3 devices on them every day.  So it’s about time we learnt how to say ‘No’ to unnecessary tech usage and engage with the people around them.  This Friday, as part of our Safer Internet Week, we are asking students and teachers to observe a dopamine fast in the form of a tech free snack break.  Even though it's just 15 minutes, this could set the trend for students to learn that it's OK to be away from technology.  NoMoPhobia is a real condition amongst many people today and we hope this Tech Free Friday students can begin a longer journey on recovery from this. #TechFreeFriday

week without walls

Thank you for your patience while we waited for guidance from KHDA regarding activities and trip options for our Week Without Walls trips this year. All trips have been finalized and all students have now been placed into their groups!

This week, students met with their trip leaders and collaborated to create a T-shirt design for this year’s Week Without Walls! After all votes were cast, we now have our official T-shirt for this year! 

Students on the “ES volunteering” or “School Stay” trips that have indicated that they want to purchase a t-shirt will need the fee of 50 AED to be paid on the GEMS parent portal no later than 12pm on Sunday, 13th February. Here are the steps for payment:

If your child is on another trip, the cost of the t-shirts was factored into the cost of their experience. 

Students have received a copy of the behavior contract to review at home and bring signed to our next meeting.

If you have any further questions please email s.velasquezbar_daa@gemsedu.com

lunch expectations

We have been having reports of students not paying for their food in Slices during lunch. Please ensure that your child has either money or a Student ID card topped up to pay for food. Students that do not have money will not be able to purchase food if they have an outstanding balance. From March 7th, students will need to use their Student ID to pay for food in the cafeteria, otherwise they will not be permitted to purchase food.  This will help with the efficiency of the lunch line and help maintain safety with COVID.

Middle school staff directory

Would you like to contact a middle school teacher or staff member?  Please see the list of email addresses here.

technical issues

If you are still having technical troubles, please make sure to raise a ticket if the teacher is unable to help your child with a fix.  Send an email to studenthelpdesk@gemsdaa.net and they will help resolve the issue.

I hope you all stay well,

Dr. Justin ReynoldsPrincipal, DAA Middle School

Counselors Corner

counselor's corner issue 19.pdf


key contacts

MS General Email: 



Sonal Gandhi s.gandhi_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9722

Middle School Attendance: 

msattendance_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9728

Middle School Counselors

Grade 6 - Mrs. Christina DeMers - c.demers_daa@gemsedu.comGrade 7 - Mrs. Mira Nasr - m.nasr_daa@gemsedu.comGrade 8 - Mrs. Pushpa Dasari - p.dasari_daa@gemsedu.com
MS Principal: Justin Reynoldsj.reynolds_daa@gemsedu.com
Assistant MS Principal: Maggie Moffat Baxterm.moffat1_daa@gemsedu.com
Assistant MS Principal: Sean McGarveys.mcgarvey_daa@gemsedu.com