October 22, 2020

Dear DAA Families,

What a beautiful change in the weather we have just had, it seems to have come at an opportune time.  As we wrap up our second month of the school year, we wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to our families and students who have shown their flexibility and resilience as we all learned how to be blended educators and learners.  

Blended teaching and learning requires an immense amount of skill, patience and a decent amount of ‘letting go’ of our normal school routine.  The need to ensure you are keeping well has never been more important.  The previous week we celebrated ‘wellness’ and we continue to keep our community's wellness at the forefront of our decision making. Our Psychology students recently completed a positive self-reflection activity using the PERMA Model to create plans for their well-being and happiness. Watch some powerful messages from them in the video below. 

Recent student survey feedback has indicated that students are starting to find balance in this new routine but nearly all agree that organization is the key to their success.  Students cited that there was a direct correlation to their level of organization to their stress levels.  We appreciate their candid responses and in the coming weeks will be ensuring that we implement measures that both provide organization skill building as well as measures to reduce stress levels.

Thank you for your support at home during this time, we had so many responses citing that their family has been the key to their success during this first semester.

Wishing you a restful weekend,

Tammy Jochinke

High School Principal

The High School HUB

We would like to introduce you to the 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.

Academic Updates

Grade 12 IB Registrations

PDFs were sent out to families for the students to carefully check the details they entered into Managebac so that the IB Coordinator can register them for their IB exams. This is for all students who are taking any IB courses or the full diploma. There is a mandatory form to be completed to acknowledge that details have been checked.

CAT4 Testing

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn and what their academic potential might be. It assesses how students think in areas that are known to make a difference to learning. Every year we ask students in Grade 10 to complete the CAT4. This year, we will begin CAT4 testing on Sunday, October 25th for Grade 10’s during PE lessons. All students in Grade 10 will complete this test whether they are in school or learning remotely. These tests have no impact on students' grades in courses and will not affect their GPA (grade point average).

MAP Testing

The Measures of Academic Progress Test (MAP) is used to measure a student's progress or growth in school. The testing information is important to teachers because it indicates what a student's strengths are and identifies any areas that require extra attention and support. Teachers at DAA use this information to help them guide instruction in the classroom. We track this information over time to ensure that students are meeting their targets for growth in Reading, Language Usage, Math and Science.

MAP testing will begin November 1st and run for two weeks. Grades 9 and 10 will take MAP tests in Reading, Language Usage, Math and Science. Students in Grade 11 and 12 who are non-IB students will also take the Reading test. These tests have no impact on students' grades in courses and will not affect their GPA (grade point average).

PSAT update

The PSAT/NMSQT helps students prepare for the SAT Reasoning Test which is part of the university application process, and provides grade 11 U.S. students the opportunity to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation competition. The PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading skills, mathematics problem-solving skills and writing skills.

Unfortunately, due to the current situation with Covid-19, we will not be in the position to host the PSAT this October. The College Board has recognized that test centers around the world are unable to open during the regular testing date and have therefore added January 26, 2021 as a testing date. Please register your interest by completing the PSAT Google Form which will be sent to parents shortly. 

Welcome to the IB Night

Thank you for all who were able to join us at the ‘Welcome to the IB night’ we held last week.  The presentation team included Ms. Katie Sheffield, Dr. Deborah Gallant and Mr. Ben Barnett who provided students and parents with information to better understand the IB and how it is run and managed at DAA.

If you missed the presentation, the slide show can be viewed here

The presentation can be viewed here. 

CAS (Creativity,Activity, Service)

Want to know more about CAS? 

Watch this! 

Intro to CAS @ DAA! (2).mp4

Innovation Spotlight

This week we saw Pepper the Humanoid and Programmable Robot emerge from behind the scenes in the AI & Robotics Center of Excellence.

Not only did she dance for us but she also gave us a breakdown of all the ‘Exponential Technologies’ available to us at DAA.

We can't wait to get her out and about into the DAA community to continue innovating with our students.

Watch Pepper Dance    

Art Displays

The HS Art Department are slowly but surely displaying our students work out and around the school.

Check out this new installation looking at texture, pattern and color created during our ceramics and sculpture elective. 

Pass by the HS/MS canteen to have a closer look!  

It's fantastic to see the students individual pieces displayed together to form a collaborative Artwork!

Musical Production

MS/HS Musical Production 2020/21

We are excited to announce we will be having a school musical production again this year. However, due to the pandemic, there will be quite a few changes. Middle and High School students, if you have a passion for the performing and fine arts, this is a great opportunity to get involved in this after school activity on Monday and Wednesdays from November-January for a 10 week period. This is also a fantastic opportunity for High School students to gain CAS hours. 

Please look at the google.slides presentation carefully and read all the information. You will need to complete the application form, and for those interested in auditioning to be part of the band or cast, you will need to record and submit an audition video. 

The MS/HS Musical Production Team

Library News

Do you love books? 

Do you love trivia? 

Do you love trivia competitions about books?

If you answered yes to all three questions, then you absolutely must join our Readers’ Cup team for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2021!

The Readers’ Cup is a competition in which a team of four students read a selection of books and then compete in a quiz competition to show off their knowledge of the books. The three selections for the first round are:

Registration for the competition closes on 28 October 2020, which is really soon! Email Ms. Brewer, the HS Librarian, today if you have questions or are interested in representing : a.brewer_daa@gemsedu.com

All of the information about the LitFest competitions can be found on the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature website

High School Counseling Corner

10.20 SPOTS HS Counseling (1) (2).pdf


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