October 8, 2020

Dear Parents,

We hope you have settled into the school year well, we have seen our teachers and students transition over the last several weeks feeling more comfortable in this blended learning environment.  Below you will find several updates and upcoming sessions we hope you are able to attend.  

We hope you enjoy this weekend as the weather starts to turn beautiful.

In appreciation of your support,

Tammy Jochinke

High School Principal

There is no doubt that good attendance and academic success go hand in hand. With the current situation surrounding COVID-19, we are seeing that some students are struggling with their attendance while at home. For those that are 100% remote learners, the importance of them taking ownership of their learning and being responsible for their attendance can sometimes be too much. We kindly ask that parents assist us in monitoring their child’s attendance while at home in order to ensure their child is as academically successful as possible.


Health forms provide our School Clinic with the necessary information to treat your child with the best possible care. Unfortunately, we have many students who have not submitted their medical forms. We will be reaching out to parents soon in order to ask for the outstanding forms however, if you are aware that you have not submitted your child’s form, please do so as soon as possible. 

Eco Committee

The DAA Eco-Schools Committee is a group consisting of student representatives and faculty members that work hard to implement stronger environmental awareness throughout the DAA community. From managing school-wide engagement to monitoring the school’s water and electricity consumption, we use scheduled meeting days to find eco-friendly solutions that can further reduce the school’s already-low carbon-footprint. 

Our team has begun with Eco-School Information boards for every division that includes information on our school’s environmental initiatives, a QR code for suggestions to improve our school’s role in protecting the environment, as well as activities that students and staff can participate in. 

Some initiatives that we are preparing for are: plans to raise awareness about plastics in our environment in order to encourage all students to bring water bottles, and eco stickers that students and staff can use around the school as reminders to be conscious about the environment. 

These initiatives are only the beginning, and the Eco School Committee can’t wait to introduce more amazing activities to make DAA more environmentally friendly. As a group, we believe that no matter how small, our actions can truly make a difference or even inspire others to join the fight against climate change. 


Last week, DAA hosted its first ever virtual clubs and activities fair. Students were able to choose from over 40 different clubs and activities. With choices ranging from Model United Nations to Super Smash Brothers Club, there was something for everyone. The DAA Virtual Clubs and Activities Fair provided students a great opportunity to get involved in their school community. Check out the Clubs and Activities website at gemsdaa.club


Students were busy this week in the AI & Robotics Center of Excellence, using Ozobots to plan and test a sequence of steps (algorithms) and then develop and create their own solutions in relation to emerging technologies.

Using all the collaborative tools available to them during the blended learning model they were able to virtually code and test their creations. #TeamWork #Coders #Innovation 

The Center of Excellence is open for all DAA students. We had mini innovators visiting the AI & Robotics Center of Excellence. Delving into how Technology is used in everyday life students were able to experience workshops as they maneuvered through the different Tech Zones.

Spotlight on Learning

The 11th grade IB Environmental Systems and Societies SL Year 1 class would like to give a big thank you to Eoin Nield and Khansaheb for taking their time to present on local construction and their relationship to our content area of Environmental Impact Assessments. 

 The students were able to demonstrate IB Learner Profile attributes of being knowledgeable by engaging with ideas and issues that have a local significance and inquirers by being curious and asking questions to our speaker.

High School students in Introduction to Psychology have created videos for their parents and teachers on the neuroscience of the teenage brain so adults can better understand and support them. They then shared their work and provided peer feedback using @flipgrid. Some very creative presentations as they explored their own minds with purpose!

Academic Updates

IB night will be held next Wednesday,  October 14th from 6pm. Ahead of this, we will send a letter to all grade 12 which includes the presentation and link for questions. All questions will be answered on the following Wednesday as well as an open forum for additional queries.  

Practical work/ IB Internal assessments- grade 11 and 12

While we understand that some students have decided to be 100% online, we do need to point out that this could hamper their ability to successfully perform some practical assessments/IB assessments. We have considered this and have the following options for students:

High School Counseling Corner

10.7 SPOTS HS Counseling (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