May 21, 2022

Dear DAA Middle School Families,

We are finished with our first set of MAP tests, and we are so encouraged by your children’s hard work and progress that has already been made!  Please remember one of the most important factors during testing is making sure that your child is well-rested and has a good breakfast in order to do their best.  We are looking forward to seeing the progress made by all of our amazing students after all of the tests are complete in the coming weeks.

As we start the homestretch of the school year, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the awesome school year so far!  At DAA, our strategic plan has guided us to provide an Inspired, Individualized, and Interconnected experience in order to focus and support our students' growth academically, socially and emotionally.


Well-being is a foundation of middle school life.  It is evident in our CREW, our hallways, and interactions between students and teachers every day. We believe that our students must feel they are coming to a safe and welcoming environment to achieve to the best of their abilities. We hold regular well-being surveys with our students and we follow up with our community as needed. We ensure to make our students aware that the adults in the Middle School are there to support them in every way, not just academically. We have the structures in place to help our students at every level, classroom teachers, CREW teachers, Heads of Grade, counselors and leadership team. Our student support team has an open door policy to ensure our students feel comfortable while in our care.

We take a collaborative approach to student well-being. We feel that support from our DAA families is essential to helping our students navigate the challenges of the middle school years. This year we have had guest speakers on campus to speak with our student and parent communities on a variety of topics including social media, building resiliency, and our upcoming parental session by Dr. Saliha Afridi entitled “Falling Forward: The Value of Failure and Adversity”. This session will take place on Wednesday, 1st of June from 8 am - 9 am in the Auditorium and is open to all DAA families, K-12.

Personalized Learning

Our individualized approach to learning means that each student has a unique pathway to meet their own potential as a learner.  We understand that every child learns differently, so our approach supports that one size does not fit all.  Students have voice and choice within their lessons, whether it is which book they choose to read that fits their interest and ability, or how they want to showcase their learning- through a poster, a presentation, an essay or a play. 

Another way we personalize learning is through our use of data to help our students make progress and reach their goals. Two ways we do this is through the use of MAP and IXL. From the data we receive using MAP we are able to target learner strengths and deficits and set them tasks within IXL so they can practice those, to improve their overall understanding and prepare for their next MAPS session. 

We also are very strong with the use of technology to differentiate instruction and enhance lessons in the middle school. Students are using multiple platforms daily to process and understand their learning, from Google Classroom and docs, to Nearpod, Padlet, Scratch and of course the coding that has been integrated into their lessons. It is one more way that students' learning styles and abilities are catered to within the middle school!

Student Voice

Middle school is a very important time in the life of a student.  It is a time where they begin to find their path as an individual. We believe that students’ voices should be heard in our classrooms.

Our Student Council, elected by their peers, meets once a week to discuss activities that can be carried out to build community, earn house points, and add some fun and excitement to the middle school. 

Students have planned two spirit weeks where students were able to choose from a variety of dress-up options. We have also hosted two opportunities where students were able to purchase a sweet treat for a friend, write a thoughtful note and then have the student council deliver it during CREW classes. When students receive these thoughtful notes and treats their eyes light up and a smile quickly appears.

Our Middle School Ambassadors meet regularly to plan activities for new students and to share their input on the transition process for new families. They work as grade-level specific teams with a Grade 8 captain assigned to them. The Ambassadors are supported by the Middle School Counselors, but it is a student-driven group. They plan all initiatives and lead the meetings themselves.

Whether gathering feedback on a unit or activity, selecting how they would like to present information that has been learned, or choosing “mild, medium, or spicy” homework, student voice is also evident in our classrooms every day!

Student Agency

Related to student voice, student agency is the act of making students active learners in the classroom.  Teachers ignite agency when they are able to tap into students’ passion, purpose, and focus.

In our CREW classes, our students explored and shared their interests in Passion Projects where our students identified, researched and created a presentation on something that they felt passionate about. It was wonderful to see our students showcase their varied interests during their presentations.

Teachers work together to make lessons purposeful and meaningful for our students.  For example, our G6 Social Studies classes conducted autopsies on the fall of the Roman Empire and in G8, students experimented with chemical reactions in order to create a way to safely transport eggs from an excavation site to a lab to save their animals.

Our high-quality learning is grounded in the Common Core State Standards.  We connect our students’ passion and purpose and focus our activities on the standards in order to prepare our students for the world that awaits them after middle school and beyond.

upcoming dates

Upcoming Dates

       For all events, click here for the K-12 Academic Calendar.


It is essential that your child misses as little class time as possible every day. We understand that anybody could be late on a given day. However, we must avoid our students being persistently tardy to school. From Monday, 23rd of May any student that accumulates three unexcused morning tardies (Block 1) at any time until the end of the school year will serve lunchtime detention on a date and location specified by the Middle School office. Three further tardies, you will serve after-school detention until 4 pm. Your family will receive communication from our attendance secretary, Ms. Shah in both cases as outlined above. 

Parent session

ALL DAA Parents are welcomed to join us for our last parent session of the year!

islamic education



Middle school staff directory

Would you like to contact a middle school teacher or staff member?  Please see the list of email addresses here.

technical issues

If you are still having technical troubles, please make sure to raise a ticket if the teacher is unable to help your child with a fix.  Send an email to studenthelpdesk@gemsdaa.net and they will help resolve the issue.


Dr. Justin ReynoldsPrincipal, DAA Middle School

Counselors Corner

counselor's corner issue 29.pdf
Flyer-How to Outsmart Test Anxiety-23 May 2022-Dr. Daniela.pdf
Flyer-Coping With Anxiety-25 May 2022-Dr. Catherine.pdf


key contacts

MS General Email: 



Sonal Gandhi s.gandhi_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9722

Middle School Attendance: 

msattendance_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9728

Middle School Counselors

Grade 6 - Mrs. Christina DeMers - c.demers_daa@gemsedu.comGrade 7 - Mrs. Mira Nasr - m.nasr_daa@gemsedu.comGrade 8 - Mrs. Pushpa Dasari - p.dasari_daa@gemsedu.com
MS Principal: Justin Reynoldsj.reynolds_daa@gemsedu.com
Assistant MS Principal: Maggie Moffat Baxterm.moffat1_daa@gemsedu.com
Assistant MS Principal: Sean McGarveys.mcgarvey_daa@gemsedu.com