November 5, 2020

We hope you all enjoyed last week’s long weekend and look forward to seeing you during Parent Teacher Conferences which are fast approaching! They will take place on November 18th and 19th from 7:30 to 3:30pm. Log in details to our school bookings website and directions will be released on Tuesday, November 10th.

As we started last semester, we will be sending out Progress reports at the end of next week to ensure you have a clear picture of your students' progress thus far ahead of Parent Teacher Conferences.  We ask that if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress, that you reach out directly to their subject teacher as they will be the most well equipped to provide a well-informed discussion about the next steps for improvement.  

As a school, we are proud of the resilience and agility our staff and students are showing during a time of restrictions aimed at ensuring the health and safety of our community.  As the saying goes ‘The show must go on’ and our staff have ensured that we are still providing our students with opportunities to become involved in activities which complement our rich academic program.

Our Arts Department is moving forward with a production and have enlisted the help of our budding artists to help bring it to life the set/mural painting, costume/fashion design, publicity and film/editing of the production.  

We have our golf team running as well as basketball, volleyball, soccer and swimming as part of DAA run after school activities. 

A big shout out and good luck to our MESAC Academic games team who had its opening ceremony yesterday and games to continue today- GO Leopards!

We hope you have a lovely weekend.

Kind Regards,

Tammy Jochinke

High School Principal

Grade 11 Learning Plan Survey 100% Remote/On Campus

Grade 11 Learning Plan Survey

We recognize that grade 11 is a critical year of high school ahead of university and therefore would like to explore the possibility of bringing grade 11 students back to school every day.  

We are asking for a firm commitment from parents to either 100% remote instruction or 100% in-school instruction until the end of the semester.  To determine if this is feasible, we need to have firm numbers of students who would return to school every day. If approved by KHDA, a 50/50 option will not be available. 

Once we have the feedback we will be able to analyze the numbers and determine if we can move forward with this option to ensure we adhere to all health and safety guidelines outlined by the DHA and KHDA.

Please complete this SURVEY by Tuesday, November 10th.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership in your child's education.

How best to support our Class of 2022

Grade 11 parents are invited to a webinar on Thursday 12th November 8-9am with Mr. Courlander (IB Psychology teacher and grade level advisor for grade 12) on the topic “How to best support our highschool students, Class of 2022.” 

It is evident that highschool can be a time of significant personal and academic development. Within this unique stage of development and academic pressure, students can start to experience distress and the associated negative effects. 

The learning intentions for the webinar will be: Explore stress and recognizing its effects; Discuss the most common sources of stress; Discuss practical and effective stress management strategies; Shifting from their mentor to their coach - “stop telling and start asking”

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 811 6382 4822

Passcode: 6Yb2nK

We hope you join us. 

High School Hub

The High School HUB

Remember to have a look at our new  HIGH SCHOOL HUB. This new website hopes to provide students and their parents/guardians with an important resource in various areas of the high school including but not limited to areas such as: the IB, AP, Counseling department, Student Council, CAS, HS Program of Studies to name a few.

We hope you find this new resource helpful.


On the Importance of Attendance

As students enter middle school and high school, reasons for poor attendance tend to relate more to student needs, attitudes, and behaviour. Therefore, strategies to support attendance in middle school and high school must be student-focused (Robert Balfanz).

Research in the UK found that pupils with no absence were consistently more likely to achieve success in exams at age 16 than those who missed 10% or more sessions. (Taken from DfE Research report, 2016: The link between absence and attainment at KS2 and KS4: 2013/14 academic year:

Chronic absenteeism is typically defined as missing 10 percent of school per year. This is approximately 18 days a year – an average of two days every month. 

During COVID with our Remote Learners, monitoring attendance has become increasingly challenging. With many parents working back in the workplace, their high-school aged students are at home sometimes alone. This is a big change from last year; even during lockdown

Your child might say they are fine and attending every class, but how do you really know?


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

Innovation Spotlight

Lots of innovative practices have been taking place across High School over the last week and a bit.

We have students taking the lead on their learning in IB DP Biology through dissecting the heart structure to learn more about the function of the blood flow through the heart. #Inquires #DeepLearning #RiskTakers

We have also had High School teachers invest time in #Discovering #Exploring #Collaborating on innovative ways to integrate all the ‘Exponential Technologies’ available to them and their students in the Ai & Robotics Center of Excellence. 

With curriculum adaptation at the forefront the focus will be on allowing students to engage in these ‘Exponential Technologies’ to enhance their 21st Century Skills.


High School Counseling Corner

11.4 SPOTS HS Counseling.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