November 20, 2021

Dear Parents,

Thank you for engaging in our three day Parent Teacher Conferences this week.  Using zoom has greatly improved our ability to have our families connect with their son and or daughter's teacher, this is evident from 750 parents being able to have nearly 4,900 individual conferences were able to be held. This is an increase of 1,000 conferences from last November. 

Some positive feedback has included: “Our sessions were very well organized and seamless, it was convenient for our entire family with my husband being out of the country and still being able to connect.”; “We were able to meet all 8 of my son’s teachers and are so impressed with how well our son’s teachers know him and provide him support”; “Our daughter’s teachers were so welcoming and so well prepared to speak about her individual level and next steps for growth”. 

Below you will find additional information about our upcoming HSC (Higher Level, Service and Career) week. We realize that the timeline was truncated shorter than in years past but we did not want to give up the opportunity for international and local travel next semester.  This week is also an important time for our grade 11 IB students to focus on their higher level classes and grade 12 to take their IB mock exams. 

Next week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving together within our CREW classes. For those celebrating, we hope you enjoy Turkey day on Thursday with friends and family.  

Kind Regards, 

Tammy Jochinke

High School Principal

importance of good attendance

Good attendance and punctuality at school are critical for achieving success and are also important life skills. Building this life skill now can lead to greater success later in life when students join the workforce.

Absence from school disrupts learning and hinders progress. Students who are not in school are not learning and could potentially be allowing their grades to suffer. Students who are absent from school frequently could be avoiding assignments which could lead to added pressure and feelings of anxiousness.

Of course we understand that absences due to illness can not be avoided. If a student is suffering from a prolonged illness, they are advised to reach out to their counselor and their teachers for support.

AP exam fee collection

AP Exam fee collection forthcoming from accounts; all AP exams for 2021-2022 are ordered. 

importance of getting picked up on time

Recently, we have noticed that more and more high school students are not leaving school or are not picked up on time after classes are dismissed at the end of the school day. This has resulted in some students making the journey over to the new Starbucks unsupervised. We are concerned that this could lead to issues with overcrowding, altercations or other unnecessary issues. We thank the parent community for your continued support as we support our students.

hsc week update (previously sent to parents)

Thank you all for your understanding and flexibility as we have reintroduced the opportunity for students to travel both internationally and locally for HSC Week in the high school. There have been frequently asked questions about various aspects of the planning process for HSC Week this year that we hope to address here.

Why are we traveling during this time, when COVID is still a concern?

When considering travel, student and staff safety is of utmost concern. Because of the constantly improving conditions of travel destinations, additional safety and health measures implemented by our vendors, and the continued increase of vaccinations, opportunities are open again to students.  

When choosing our international destinations, we considered the current and projected COVID situations for each destination, as well as the location of particular camps and activities. Our international travel providers have worked to create safety measures and refund opportunities that reflect our current reality. 

At the core of HSC week is service and career. We feel that the mitigation of concerns through improved health and safety protocols and updated refund procedures on the parts of our vendors allows us to confidently sponsor these trips for student learning and growth. 

What if I don’t want my child to travel at all? 

We have worked to provide a variety of options for students during the week. If families do not wish to travel, there are in-school, in-community, and self-directed work options available. 

Why was the timeline so short?

In years past, the opportunity to travel was a given and the planning for these types of trips started in September. However, because we did not receive notification that we would be able to travel until mid-October, the process by default moved more quickly. 

Traveling internationally through our vendors requires that all travel be booked and paid for eight weeks prior to travel - a date falling near the end of our winter break.  Because the school is not open during that time, the work must be completed beforehand, thus the December 9 final payment.  

The deposit date is quite close to the final payment date. This is also reflective of the compressed period of time between the go-ahead in mid-October and the introduction of the trip options.  It is our deepest wish that traveling remains a vital part of our curriculum, so moving forward assuming continued recovery from the pandemic, we can move to a longer planning period. The deposit amount for this year’s trips is in line with previous years. 

Are there more options or can more space be made on the trips? 

Trip locations were decided based on the most current health and safety conditions of each location. The trip capacities are decided by the trip providers, thus we are unable to expand any trips.

What will happen if another lockdown occurs? 

All of our vendors have stipulations to cover COVID-related, government-initiated changes in travel expectations.  These stipulations do not include personal choices to not travel. If you pay any money toward any trip and then decide to not travel, you will not be refunded by DAA. 

If your child does not travel because of a concern covered by a vendor, the vendor will handle those cases according to their own policies: 

Camps International: https://www.campsinternational.com/uae/book-with-confidence/ 

Lushescapes’ policy per owner email: We have a flexible cancellations policy on account of Covid  . In most cases , the airlines and hotels give a refund and / or a credit note on account of cancellations due to border closures or covid restrictions laid out by either the country of origin or destination.

We have worked very hard to provide the best possible options for HSC Week quickly and recognize those efforts come with some challenges. We appreciate your support. If you have additional concerns, I am happy to discuss them with you.  Rest assured that your student’s safety, well-being, and learning experiences are at the center of all our decisions.  

ib corner

CORE Corner 21.11.18.pdf

national honor society induction ceremony

A formal National Honor Society induction ceremony and reception will be held on Sunday, November 28th at 6:00pm for inductees and their parents. We look forward to celebrating the induction of Dubai American Academy’s first-ever National Honor Society members.

high school counseling

11.17.21 SPOTS HS Counseling.pdf

GEMS Alumni app

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.


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

Alvin Agtarap/04 704 9831 / a.agtarap_daa@gemsedu.com 
Gr 9: Ms. JoAnn Porterfield A-Z https://jporterfielddaa.youcanbook.me  
Grades 10-12: Katrina Watson: (A-B) https://katrinawatson-4.youcanbook.me/  
Rhiana Courlander: (C-I) https://rhiana-2.youcanbook.me  
Phillip Wenturine: (J-Phi) https://mrphillipwenturine.youcanbook.me/  
Trisha Johnson: (Phil-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: Tara Oswaldt.oswald_daa@gemsedu.com