March 23, 2021

Dear Parents,

Thank you for making our second semester parent teacher conferences a success. Feedback from students, teachers and parents was overwhelmingly positive.  We had several comments from students stating that the conference was informative and provided them targeted areas of feedback to ensure we end the semester strong and ready to transition into the next grade level. 

For our grade 11 IB parents and students, at the end of June, there will be another round of feedback in the form of a mid-course review. This meeting is a student led discussion in which the teacher shares the pre-predicted grade halfway through the IB course and the teacher provides reflection on how the grade was calculated as well as areas for improvement with actionable skills, concepts and or content to work on over the summer. More information will be forthcoming as we draw closer to the end of semester. 

As we head into the Spring break, we wish you a restful break with family and friends.  So very well deserved by all.

With gratitude,

Tammy Jochinke

High School Principal


Senior Updates

This week we held our first ever, and probably only (Inshallah!) Prunch. Senior students unfortunately missed out on gathering for their annual Prom and Senior breakfast, so the senior committee decided to combine the two into a celebration on campus on Tuesday, March 23rd.  With a theme of Mask-uerade, students were asked to create or buy a mask to wear with full black-tie attire or smart casual clothes.

Our seniors have just a few short weeks until the end of school (last official day is April 22nd) before we have study leave ahead of IB exams.  Behind the scenes we are working on multiple scenarios for graduation based on the guidelines we are given to work within. As always, we will ensure the most personal ceremony to highlight the hard work, determination and perseverance shown by your children in these last years of high school. 

Seniors! Have you registered for the alumni APP?  Remember to stay connected beyond DAA using the app.  Here's a link to register for an upcoming session.   Register for the alumni webinar HERE.


Student Reflections on HSC Week

Dear Parents, 

As you know, we held our HSC Week recently and it took on a very different form this year.

Below, please read a student reflection from Ahmad Alsayouf who is in Grade 10. During HSC Week, Ahmad took part in a virtual community service program that was organized through The Explorars Lab. Thank you Ahmad for sharing your experiences. You will find out more about it below:

My experience during Virtual HSC Week has been phenomenal! The Virtual Community Service program in Tanzania has opened my eyes to many topics which aren’t acknowledged or discussed very often in society. Throughout the course of the week, we have studied social work in Tanzania and looked at a case study as an example of how social work would benefit families and other locals in poverty. We have talked with multiple local families and students about their living circumstances and we have virtually visited a local school in Tanzania and got to meet a lot of the children there. In the time of COVID-19 with all the restrictions around the world and almost every student in the UAE enrolling in distance learning, students in Tanzania are still physically walking to school since there is a lack of technology, the rough situation, and crippling poverty that they are living in.

I was touched by their lifestyles, culture, customs, beliefs, and ways of education. It was an amazing experience that changed my mindset, making me realize that we should appreciate what we have, always think about what we can do to support those in need, and never underestimate any action you can do like registering in these virtual programs such as this one, even a smile or a letter can make a difference.

Student Reflections on Being New to DAA

Dear Parents, 

Moving to a new school is never easy. It takes courage to meet new people, whether it be other students, your teachers or your counselor. Below, you will read the reflections from Ziad Raad who is new in Grade 10 this year. Thank you Ziad for sharing your experiences.

Having attended the same school until grade 9, I had never gone through a change in environment or had to adapt to being with new people. It didn’t quite sink in that my life was completely about to change when I joined DAA until I signed up for the football team. At my previous school, I had been part of the football team for as long as I can remember, and had played with the same group of people my entire life. We grew up together: I went from never having kicked a ball to being elected team captain with my teammates, and changing teams felt like I was being separated from my family. It took me a while to properly adjust.

In the classroom, I am doing quite well. Coming from a program where my classes were in French and Arabic, I had some trouble adjusting to taking all my classes in English. With the help of my teachers and my peers, I was able to quickly get on track. I am most thankful to the incredible staff at DAA, especially my teachers and counselor, who did absolutely everything possible to support me during this transition and make me feel welcome. I am also particularly impressed with the level of organization and coordination at DAA, which makes for a very relaxing and comforting environment.

Since the age of three, I had been going to school with virtually the same group of people. Coming to DAA was super intimidating at first. I felt alone in a sea of people I did not know. Two days in, I started meeting more people, and everyone I met was always so nice and welcoming. With time, I finally truly felt like I was part of a great and accepting new family. 

Moving to a new school can be tough, but it is up to you to make the best of the opportunities that are presented to you. Get out there, work hard, make new friends, and stay positive.

Congratulations to 10th graders Valeria and Soledad for winning the Entrepreneurship top prize in Girls' Symposium! An incredible competition founded and led by 11th grader, Vedha Sitlani, Girls Symposium saw young ladies from various countries in the region present their ideas and receive feedback from some of the most successful and innovative business women in the UAE. Hear what they had to say about this dynamic duo. We are so proud to have young, passionate and driven young lady leopards at DAA! 

Watch the Full Video HERE.

MS/HS Musical

It’s a Wrap! The MS/HS collaborative production MASK-I-CAL was shared on Youtube with our families on March 18th!  This year, it had more meaning. It wasn't just a show.  It represented hope.  It reflected our commitment to the arts, our commitment to our school and our community.  It was about collaboration, passion and creativity. We are so proud of the determination of our students in the cast, crew and band who worked together to put together a successful event.  We are thankful for our phenomenal fine arts teachers who coached, encouraged and inspired our students while ensuring that health and safety remained a priority.   And a big thank you to all of our staff behind the scenes who worked to put together what is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our year. We hope you enjoyed the show! 

Missed it live? Watch it Now!  

From the Library

The subject selection process for the 2021/22 academic year is well underway. Students and families have been given a range of information about the different pathways and the subjects on offer here at DAA and having until the 13th of April to register their requests in PowerSchool. Please ensure that you have read through the Subject Selection Website so you can make fully informed decisions.

Please find the links below to the grade level specific letters which will help guide you through the subject selection process:

Grade 9 2021/22 letter

Grade 10 2021/22 letter

Grade 11 2021/22 letter

Grade 12 2021/22 letter

If you have not completed your requests please ensure that they are in the system by the 13th of April so we can begin building your schedule for next academic year.

High School Counseling 

3.23.21 SPOTS HS Counseling (1).pdf


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