HIGH SCHOOL highlights

from high school

May 2, 2019

Dear High School Parents,

As we arrive at the mid-way point of the second semester we thought it would be appropriate to send this brief letter to remind everyone in the community of some very important support networks that we have in place at DAA. We strongly believe if students have the support in school and a strong home-school connection, then they are setting themselves up for success. Please review these reminders below and reach out to the appropriate person should you have any concern.

Our Counseling Team:

Please remember that if you have concerns regarding your child, your first point of contact is always their counselor. These could be academic concerns, careers and university questions, behavioural, social-emotional, transitioning to DAA or any other concerns you may have. Please reach out to them directly or contact Mrs. Jan Evans J.evans_daa@gemsedu.com. Remember that students are placed with a counselor based on their last names.

  • Katrina Watson (last names: A-C)
  • Shana Russell (last names: D-Kat)
  • Robert Duff (last names: Kay-Ria)
  • Trisha Johnson (last names: Rib-Z)

Access up-to-date grades Online

All parents should have access to their children's grades via Unified Classroom. This online grade book will be updated instantly as soon as teachers add new grades. This helps to keep parents informed and is especially important as final exams are approaching. If you have concerns or issues connecting to grade book please contact psparenthelp@gemsdaa.net. If you are not receiving email messages or SMS messages from the school, please drop by and see Hilda Tabrizi DAA’s Parent Relations Executive the main lobby. You can also contact Hilda at pre_daa@gemsedu.com.

Contacting our Teachers

Please remember that you are able to contact your child’s teachers any time you have a concern. You can contact them directly via email or you can contact Ms. Nashmia at the high school office and she will be happy to connect you to the teacher. Any concerns about a class should always start with a meeting with the teacher.

Ramadan in the High School

School timings will be from 8:00am -1:00pm

The cafeteria will be open for non-Muslim students, we ask that students are respectful of those who are fasting and refrain from eating and drinking in the hallways/classrooms.

Ramadan Schedule


MAP exams will start during the week of May 12th. Students will take their Reading and Language assessment in their English classes (between May 12th-May 23rd), their Science assessment (between May 26th-30th) in Science classes and Math during the second week in June in their Math class.

High School Exam Week. June 17th- 24th

Grade 9-11 high school second-semester exams will occur between June 17th and 24th. A formal, detailed schedule will follow.

May Week- 2019

We look forward to sharing photos from the various trips and experiences our grade 9 and 10 students had over the past week occurring both here in Dubai and around the world. Our grade 11 students were busy here at school during ‘HL’ week. Students had a packed schedule that included spending additional time in their HL classes, attending workshops for college readiness, CAS and were provided support in completing their Extended Essay. Our seniors are on study leave (although many were here on campus with our teachers!)

IB exams

IB exams start tomorrow morning- rest up Seniors, Good Luck!

Kind Regards,

HS Administration and Counseling office


The UAE is participating in the PISA Based Test for Schools (PBTS), which is being conducted through the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), PBTS tests the skills and knowledge of Grade 10 students in mathematics, reading, and science.

All Grade 10 students at DAA will be taking the assessment on May 8, 2019. They will complete a paper-based assessment comprised of science, mathematics, reading, and problem solving questions, and then answer a questionnaire that asks them about their attitudes and their approaches to learning.

The PISA-Based Test for Schools (PBTS) is based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) also developed by OECD. Like PISA, it assesses the extent to which students in Grade 10 have acquired some of the knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. Skills such as problem-solving, analysis, making inferences, and drawing conclusions will be tested within the domains of mathematics, science, and reading. No additional studying or other academic preparation for the assessment is required.

Historically, students at DAA perform very well during the PBTS. During the last administration of this assessment in 2017, the mean performance for students in reading was 569 points, significantly higher than the mean performance of 434 points obtained by all students in the UAE, in PISA 2015. In mathematics, DAA’s mean performance of 570 points is also statistically significantly higher than the mean performance of 427 points obtained by all students in the UAE. Likewise, in science, DAA’s mean performance of 554 points is again significantly higher than the average of 437 points for the UAE. We look forward to another strong performance from this year’s Grade 10 cohort.

Please note that student reports will be provided individually upon their release in November 2019.

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact our PBTS coordinator at a.gomez_daa@gemsedu.com.

Best Regards,

Marc Starr and Tammy Jochinke

High School Administration

AP Update

AP Updates - Final exams and courses on offer in 2019/2020


AP students at DAA will be taking Final Exams on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May depending on the course they followed. Here is the final schedule.

A mandatory pre-administration session will be organized during AP classes, in order to fill out all the documents College Board requires so that results can be directly shared with students in early July.

For self- taught students a similar session will run after school after May week ( date will be communicated via email to students).

Students are allowed one day off before the exam to finalize their revisions, and are free to leave school once the exam is finished. Please note that some exams might run into after school time, as we will be on Ramadan schedule.

Students do not have to wear their uniform on the day of the exams.

COURSES ON OFFER in 2019/2020

Students who are interested in taking AP courses in the fall, can choose between AP World History and AP Statistics. These courses require a teacher recommendation. They can represent a suitable challenge for Grade 10 students who want to start working at a pre-university level, as the AP is an academically demanding one year course, or can complement a HIgh School Diploma. They can also be taken within a combination of IB courses and AP courses, but are not on offer for students taking the full IB.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions.


Cynthia Frey

AP coordinator

CAS Update

Tim Tschumperlin CAS Coordinator

As we are nearing the end of the school-year, it is important that students register their CAS experiences. There have been a lot of opportunities this year and more will be offered. Great things are happening in CAS including our overseas trips and clothing/toy drives in the school.

As we near the end of the 2nd Semester, I have been conducting spot-checks of 9-12 students’ records in Managebac. Below are notes for specific classes:


All grade students should have completed their CAS requirements by Spring Break. Students that have not fulfilled their requirement by graduation will not receive their diploma until completed.

Here are the minimum requirements:

Full IB Diploma: 10 Experiences with reflections/evidence & 1 Project with 5 reflections & evidence.

Non Full IB: 25 hours of service with evidence. Students new to DAA are required to document 10 hours.


By the end of this school year, Full IB Diploma students should have at least 7 experiences listed (with reflections & evidence), a project started or identified & 2 formal interviews. Non-Full IB students need to have at least 10 HOURS of SERVICE DOCUMENTED. At the end of the 2nd Semester, students will be assessed and a comment will appear on their report card.


Students should have started documenting CAS Hours. At the end of the 2nd Semester, students will be assessed and a comment will appear on their report card. Students are required to document a minimum of 10 HOURS per category (Creativity, Action & Service). Grade 10 students who do not fulfill the minimum requirement will be required to make up their work next year.


Students should have started documenting CAS Hours. At the end of the 2nd Semester, students will be assessed and a comment will appear on their report card. Students are required to document a minimum of 5 HOURS per category (Creativity, Action & Service). Grade 9 students who do not fulfill the minimum requirement will be required to make up their work next year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions. Several of your questions may be answered by going to the DAA CAS website by clicking HERE.

Tim Tschumperlin



If you know your child will be away from school, please contact Roma Agtarap, our HS Attendance Secretary at r.agtarap_daa@gemsedu.com or call her at 047049777 ext 747.

For general High School Inquiries, please contact Nashmia Saleem, High School Secretary at n.saleem1_daa@gemsedu.com