HIGH SCHOOL highlights

from high school

May 14, 2020

Dear Parents,

This week, I would like to focus on our seniors who have had to reimagine how traditional events such as the senior breakfast, senior prom and graduation would be celebrated. Senior breakfast was transformed into a Senior Break-Fast (Iftar) cooking competition publicized in two papers (details below). Currently, our seniors are planning their virtual prom, we apologize in advance if they turn your home into a disco!

Graduation is a seminal event in the life of a young adult, this must be kept as precious and as traditional as possible. But, with these unprecedented times, we have been pushed to think about this event in a distinct way to keep us all healthy and safe. We will keep the same date and time: June 4th at 5pm but will hold the ceremony virtually, specific links to the event will be shared in the coming weeks.

Special Delivery! Please Complete the Form

We are currently organizing a personal delivery of a special graduation gift, graduation programs, invitations and diplomas. For that to occur, we ask that you fill out THIS form. Additional information, including the logistics of returning gowns will be sent once finalized.

Please see below for a special banner created for our class of 2020, please pass by the school when you are able. We celebrate you and your graduating child, this is such a special time.

Looking forward to sharing this special event with you and your whole family,

Tammy Jochinke

High School Principal

Banner Celebrating our Class of 2020!

Prom Update

Due to the pandemic and unpredictable times, we feel that it is best to provide the DAA graduating class of 2020 as many memorable high school activities as possible. Therefore, we have decided to host DAA's first official virtual prom on May 29th! We encourage parents and seniors to log on and watch our live stream as performances, awards, DJ music, and other activities will be broadcasted. This event will remain a magical night to remember for all seniors. So save the date and we hope to see you there!

Senior Break-Fast

Ramadan 2020: tradition and technology combine to put virtual iftars on the menu, (Thenational.ae)

  • As safety measures adopted to combat Covid-19 continue to keep people at a distance, a mix of tradition and technology is ensuring the bonds of friendship and family remain unbroken during Ramadan. (Interview Rory Courlander, grade 12 senior advisor at Dubai American Academy).

Dubai pupils turn to technology to cook up online iftar, (The National Edarabia.com)

DAA’s Pre-University Program is well underway. A new course offering that we are excited about is from Yale and can be found here.

Below, you will find our line-up of webinars that are taking place over the next 2 weeks. To access these, please go to the website here.

Collection of Possessions in Lockers

This week, a form has been sent to all students asking them to complete the form if they have any items in lockers that they would like to collect. Our HS admin team will then gather the items and communicate a time and date for collection. We will organize collection so that social distancing guidelines are adhered to. We kindly ask that students and parents are mindful of their allotted collection time.


O2xygen Smart Mask - Official Entry into the GEMS X Youth Innovation Competition

GEMS X hosts youth innovation competitions in multiple categories in the largest of it’s kind across 1500 students globally. Of those entries, Narun Singh, Aditya Borkar & Yusef Alwan designed a smart mask that filters air quality, monitors variables and reports to an application on personal devices. This entry into the Xcelerator program puts them in the top 10 selected projects and this week they have been attending entrepreneur boot camps to design the best possible product before they go before industry professionals to judge next week. GEMS X Innovation awards ceremony will be held on May 21st at 3:30pm and we wish them the best of luck!

Stress Management in PE

Ms. Morphet’s PE Class has been exploring a variety of stress management techniques which included using the Calm App to improve stress management, learn the power of meditation and reflect digitally on ways they can improve.

Future Careers & Artificial Intelligence Projects

Artificial Intelligence students in Mr. Mack’s class have been researching their future careers, how it has impacted those industries and make predictions for the next 10 years. Projects ranged from healthcare, space exploration, engineering, law, marketing, finance, child psychology, bioinformatics and more. More will be posted to the schools Twitter page @LeopardPrideDAA.


As we approach the June 3rd deadline, I have given feedback to all students in the 9th, 10th and 11th grade High School Diploma program. The requirements for you are 15 hours of service as well as a reflection or evidence that explains how your activity was a service for the community. That feedback can be obtained through the MEA teachers. Many still need to get some service hours documented in Managebac, so be sure to check in with your MEA teacher to find out what you need to get still. The other tricky one is that some students have enough hours but have not done any reflections or evidence, so you will be marked as approaching expectations. Make sure you have at least one reflection or it will not show up when I download the evidence.

For the 11th grade IB students, the requirements are:

    • Aims and Goals Complete
    • Start SEVEN experiences (Can be any combination of Creativity, Activity, and Service) and record your two reflections and/or evidence in Managebac for each
    • Identify your CAS project and complete your first two reflections for it incorporating research and planning documentation (The CAS project can be completed over the summer or next year, but you need to have a good start on it already).

I am giving individual feedback in Managebac for each student in the IB Diploma Program. There will be an individual note for each student and your status will be updated.

Concern means that you need to put in significant work to get up to the requirements.

On Track means you have quite a bit there but still need to add more to reach the requirements.

Excellent means you have met the requirements for 11th grade.

I have finished Mrs. Amuriza’s Classes, and I will go through the rest this week.

Many ideas for getting service hours have been shared through Google Classroom, but if you have any questions or concerns, please email me at t.buteau_daa@gemsdaa.net.

Subject Selection 2020/2021

Student subject selection requests went out to families this week via email. If you have any concerns or have not completed your subject selections please reach out to your counselor or Ms Jan Evans j.evans_daa@gemsedu.com to schedule an appointment.

AP Update

Dear DAA AP Students and Parents:

We hope this letter finds you and your family well. With AP Exam dates rapidly approaching, it is imperative that students follow the directions below to make sure that the testing device is configured properly before the date of the scheduled AP Exam.

Per the AP College Board every student should take these five steps to get ready for each exam.

Please watch the linked video carefully and refer to the About the AP 2020 Exams for additional information.

Five Steps to Take Before Exam Day

  1. Review your contact information
  2. Check you technology
  3. Practice submitting your response by completing the online demo
  4. Gather what you need for each exam
  5. Receive your exam confirmation and e ticket emails

DAA AP Exam calendar and links AP links for your review.

AP Exam Dates, Times and Subject-Specific Information: HERE

AP Online Class Review Calendar and YouTube Link: HERE

If you haven’t already, please check out the AP College Board site for updates and consider taking part in the online class and review sessions that AP has developed for your use on YouTube.

Please do not hesitate to contact Ms.Gannon with any AP questions or concerns @ e.gannon_daa@gemsedu.com.

Thank you and good - luck!


Ms. Gannon, AP Coordinator

Tammy Jochinke, HS Principal

IB Updates

The IB has published a little more detail on the methods used to assess student work in order to reliably award IB certificates and the Diploma.

Additional guidance from the IB has been created including this video, letter and slides. (Please note ‘Anticipated Students’ does not apply to any DAA students).

We are proud to say that DAA’s track record of accurately predicting grades will stand us in very good stead as these confidential grades which are shared exclusively with the IB annually will take on more significance in how the grades will be awarded this year.

Many families have asked about potential refunds of exam fees. The IB responded to our latest query last week stating that their current focus is training IB examiners to mark all of the Internal Assessments (IAs) and awarding student’s certificates and diplomas within the usual timeframe (by July 6th).

They will revisit the question of potential refunds at a later date and we will provide additional guidance as we receive the information. We don’t believe there will be a full refund as there are of course costs incurred with the exceptional marking of all IAs (normally only a very small sample are moderated). DAA alone sent in 1,517.

Please be assured that as soon as we have any information, we will pass this on to you.

Counseling Connection

5.13 SPOTS HS Counseling.pdf


PowerSchool is our student information management system which houses grades and marks for middle and high school.

If you have not yet received an email with your child's Access ID and Password for your PowerSchool account, or if you are having any difficulty logging in, please email psparenthelp@gemsdaa.net.


HS Attendance Secretary

Roma Agtarap / 04 704 9747 / r.agtarap_daa@gemsedu.com

Attendance Mobile: 052 105 4552

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