December 8, 2020

Dear Parents,

As we head into a much needed winter break, we wanted to wish you very much deserved down time with family and friends.  

Upon return from winter break we have just a few short weeks until the end of the semester where there will be final exams for grade 9/10, AP courses and some non-IB courses.  PSAT for grade 10 and 11 will take place on January 26th, detailed assessment dates and times to follow. Our first semester reports will be sent at the end of the first week of February. 

We all look forward to closing this chapter of 2020 and look ahead to a happy and healthy 2021!

Wishing you and your family well,

Tammy Jochinke, HS Principal

Extended Essay Update

Class of 2022: IB Extended Essay Update

This week full IB diploma students submitted their extended essay pre-proposals for assessment by subject specialists. Students will receive the status of their pre-proposal on Wednesday.

Depending on the success of the pre-proposal, some students may be asked to submit a second attempt at the pre-proposal before January 4th at midnight. Those students asked to retry will receive guidance, such as “the topic would be better explored in another subject” or “the topic is too similar to another assessed IB topic.” Most often pre-proposals are accepted because students do not spend the necessary time reading the IB guidelines. For these students the best course of action over the winter holidays is to review the IBO and CORE websites as they revise their pre-proposals.

Students who successfully complete the pre-proposal process can use winter holidays to read more about their proposed topics. 

During the first week of CORE class after winter holidays, students will begin preliminary research as they begin the proposal process. The proposal includes a brief literature review. Proposals will be submitted on January 10th.


We hope you find this new resource helpful.

Safe Socializing

Many of us are struggling with the fact that we may not be able to visit with family over the winter break. We may be staying in Dubai instead of traveling. Please remember to be mindful of social gatherings and physical distancing when gathering. While the news of vaccines in our future is certainly exciting, they are not here yet, and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to continue to stop the spread of COVID 19.

Raising Awareness for the Conservation of Water and Electricity

On Tuesday, December 8th, students and teachers were able to tune into a Live DEWA presentation which spoke about how precious our natural resources are. Water was a particular focus for the presentation. The UAE has the 3rd highest water consumption per person in the world. Students learned some shocking facts including that one kilo of coffee can take up to 18,000 litres of water to produce.

We hope that this awareness campaign can help our students to understand that each one of them can make a difference by making better choices and encouraging others to do the same.

Arabic Language Day

Watch this G12 SL collaboration to commemorate the Arabic language International Celebration. Click HERE for video.

DHA Declaration

As our winter break quickly approaches, we wanted to remind our families of the mandatory DHA declaration that is required before students return to school on January 3rd, 2021. 


All parents are required to complete the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) Declaration before their children return to school on January 3rd, following the winter break. You are asked to complete the declaration form, even if you are not traveling.  

For those intending to travel this season, please note that students may not return to school unless they have either quarantined for 14 days following their return or received a negative PCR test (with a validity of 48 hours).  See the DHA Declaration page in the DAA SPOTS Newsletter for further information.

Here is the Dubai Health Authority DeclarationLink: https://www.dha.gov.ae/en/Pages/coronaregistration.aspx

IMPORTANT: When completing the DHA online form, the system will prompt you to enter the "school email". Please enter traveldeclaration_daa@Gemsedu.com in that field. 

As we have seen over the course of the last few months, global circumstances and regulatory guidelines continue to shift.  Therefore, we ask that you follow the updates as provided by the authorities in the coming weeks. We thank our community for their vigilance and look forward to a safe and healthy winter break. 

High School Counseling Corner

Did you know how many clubs are up and running at DAA?  Click HERE for more! 


The best tool that we can suggest to you is the Powerschool App. The Powerschool App allows you to see your child’s:

For troubleshooting Powerschool contact: psparenthelp@gemsdaa.net

Powerschool App on Google Playstore

Powerschool App on App Store


HS General Email: 


HS Attendance Secretary

Roma Agtarap / 04 704 9747 / r.agtarap_daa@gemsedu.com

HS Secretary to Principals

Nashmia Saleem/ 04 704 9723 / n.saleem1_daa@gemsedu.com 

HS Secretary to Counselors

Jan Evans/04 704 9831 / j.evans_daa@gemsedu.com 
Gr 9: Ms. JoAnn Porterfield A-Z https://jporterfielddaa.youcanbook.me  
Grades 10-12: Katrina Watson: A-C https://katrinawatson-4.youcanbook.me/  
Rhiana Courlander: D- Kep https://rhiana-2.youcanbook.me  
Steven Johanson: Kh-Q https://sjohanson.youcanbook.me/  
Trisha Johnson: R- Z https://mstrishajohnson.youcanbook.me/  
HS Principal: Tammy Jochinket.jochinke_daa@gemsedu.com
Assistant HS Principal: Jim Atkinsonj.atkinson_daa@gemsedu.com
Assistant HS Principal: Joshua Doubledayj.doubleday_daa@gemsedu.com
High School IB Coordinator: Katie Sheffieldk.sheffield_daa@gemsedu.com
High School Dean of Students: Lisa Fosterl.foster_daa@gemsedu.com