HIGH SCHOOL highlights


December 13, 2018

HS Counseling

Notification of Office Closure over the Winter Break:

This is a gentle reminder that the counseling office is closed over the winter break. We will re-open with the rest of DAA at 7:25am on Sunday, January 6th. Have a wonderful break!

GEMS Uniconnect Partnerships

GEMS has partnered with a group of colleges and universities around the work to provide access and scholarship opportunities for GEMS students. Please visit this link to learn more about Uniconnect.

Upcoming Parent Coffee Morning:

On Monday, January 21st, the High School Admin Team will present on two important topics in the Auditorium. We will be covering:

  1. How to use Unifrog – This wonderful free resource for DAA students takes the place of Naviance. Come learn to use this very cool tool to research career paths, create a student resume, and research college/university options. Please bring a device to log into Unifrog yourself during the meeting.
  2. Understanding Vaping – Vaping is a popular trend among teenagers. Mr. Starr will lead you through a discussion of what is vaping, what do vaping tools look like, and how does vaping affect the teenage body.

For 12th Grade Students and Parents:

Just a reminder to our Class of 2019 students and parents that the High School Counseling Office has internal deadlines established to support those students with upcoming university deadlines.

These deadlines allow both counselors and teachers to carefully prepare university documents, and give us time to best support students during this important time in their lives.

Also, as a reminder, the counseling office is closed over winter break. None of the counselors or the department secretary will have access to e-mail during this three week period.

If you need help over the break, here are a few things to guide you:

  • If you have an application deadline over the break, please let your counselor know if they should submit your application materials before winter break. Most colleges/universities will not mind if the DAA materials arrive before your application arrives in their office. If you don't want your counselor to send your application materials before winter break, please know that we can send your application materials to most schools up to two weeks after your deadline. Many schools have different deadlines for counselor materials than they do for your application. This is true for almost every college/university in the US. Please check with the non-US universities for their policies.
  • If you receive an e-mail over the winter break from a college or university and they need something from DAA, please forward the e-mail to your counselor and they will take care of this request when we return to school in January. Many high schools around the world have a winter break and this should not be a surprise to a university admissions office. They will expect a delay in receiving this information until our school re-opens in January.
  • If you add a new school to your final college list (aka "the colleges I'm applying to" tab) over the winter break, please send your counselor an e-mail and let us know the name of this school, that it's been added to Naviance, and what needs to be submitted from DAA on your behalf. Most US based universities give your counselor up to two weeks after your application deadline to submit your supplementary materials.
  • Mid year transcripts will be available in mid-February. We will need to know if your university is requesting this piece of information. Please make sure you are communicating with your counselor in a timely manner (two weeks prior to the deadline). Otherwise this could impact your application status.

Your Successful 10th Grade Student

Your successful 10th grade student should be thinking about:

  • Regularly checking grades in Power School to see where they are and to create a plan to get where they want to be academically.
  • Thinking about the subjects they enjoy and the subjects they are good at as a way to guide future academic planning. Students may see success in advance level (AP and IB) subjects that they enjoy.
  • Meeting with teachers during their free periods to review homework assignments, quizzes, tests, and any other assessments if they need more support in a particular area.
  • Completing all assignments, regardless of whether this assignment is graded, in order to understand information and to prepare (vs. cram) for upcoming assessments.
  • Meeting with their counselor to talk about academics, extracurricular activities, possible career paths, and/or their social emotional health.
  • Getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night and eating health foods to promote health, well-being, and to retain learned information.
  • Spending time with family and friends, with limits. Everyone needs natural breaks in a day. If you have been studying for 45 minutes, give yourself 15 minutes at the end of this time to get up, get a healthy snack, have a conversation with a friend or family member, and then get back to studying.
  • Logging into Unifrog to research career options, to build a CV/resume, and so much more. Please see code information below.
  • Placing limits on gaming, social media, and texting.
  • Expressing gratitude to all of those people in your life who support you – your parents, your friends, your teachers.

Unifrog Reminder

Unifrog – An Amazing Resource!

This is your second reminder to please check out Unifrog, a free resource for all DAA students and parents, over the winter break. This portal has many interesting features, such as:

  • 3 libraries (with useful information and videos):
    • for Careers
    • for Subjects
    • Know How
  • MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)
  • Logs to record what students are doing during high school (useful when they need to compile all this information for university applications):
    • Activities
    • Competencies
  • Search engines for universities in different countries/regions
  • Drafting application materials:
    • Tool to work on Personal Statement for the UK
    • Tool to work on Common App Essays (USA)
    • CV /Resume builder

To access Unifrog for the first time (in case you haven't accessed it before), please click on the link. Once on the page, click on "sign up for the first time" and you can register by using the following codes: (if they ask for a UK code, you can enter 0):

Please note, parents will be able to access the same resources as your student but they won't be able to see what their student is working on.

Additionally, Mrs. Russell is on the Unifrog advisory board and works to incorporate the needs of DAA students into the system so you are welcome to contact her to suggest improvements, s.russell_daa@gemsedu.com.

The High School Counseling Office Contact Information

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your student’s counselor:

Surname A-C - Katrina Watson, k.watson_daa@gemsedu.com

Surname D-Kat – Shana Russell, s.russell_daa@gemsedu.com

Surname Kay-Ria – Robert Duff, r.duff_daa@gemsedu.com

Surname Rib-Z – Trisha Johnson, t.johnson_daa@gemsedu.com

For appointments, please contact Mrs. Jan Evans, j.evans_daa@gemsedu.com


Othello at Dubai Opera

119 DAA HS students and staff will attend a showing of Othello at Dubai Opera.

OTHELLO will take place at Dubai Opera on Tuesday, January 29 at 7 pm. The students should be there at 6:40 PM sharp (Doors close at 6:55 pm). The production is 2 hours & 50 minutes long including intermission of 20 minutes. Students, you are responsible for getting there by 6:40 pm and also getting picked up no later than 10 pm

Please find the ticket allocation for Othello tickets HERE Simply find the ticket that corresponds with you (from ticket allocation form) and print it out or download on to your device for the performance. There are 11 official teacher chaperones from DAA as well as many other DAA teachers who will be in attendance. Students, your ticket will be shared when you return your signed CONSENT FORM and signed Code of Conduct to Mr. Downey or better yet, you may get them signed and upload under your FULL NAME in the folder HERE

Congratulations to all the cast and crew of The Crucible who showcased a wonderful version of the classic by Arthur Miller by kind permission of Samuel French Ltd. The play is on the IB English Literature course as is Othello. What a fantastic way for the students involved and the viewers to boost their learning and understanding of the texts. Miller’s play, a very challenging text to undertake, was executed with finesse by the High School students. The students also designed and managed the tech, the backstage as well as the creation of the costumes! Bravo to one and all and a huge thanks to Yvonne Sidani, Hilda Tabrizi, Mahesh Rajagopal and Yaashna Punia for their assistance with the production.

World Famous Theatre to Visit DAA

We are thrilled to announce that the UK’s leading physical theatre company: “Gecko” will visit DAA on Friday, February 1 from 8:30 am to 3:30pm. This is a huge coup to get them over as our IB Internal Assessment in theatre deals directly with them. Gecko is on the course! Gecko have been featured on the NY Times, The Guardian Newspaper as well as Broadway World and are debuting a show at The Barbican in London next month. The IB Theatre students will be working with three of their leading directors for a whole day along with Mr. Downey in the Black Box of DAA from 8:30am to 11:30 am and then again from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. Students should dress comfortably and appropriately for movement (no jeans allowed). Students should also bring a water bottle. Gecko will work with 20 students. If you are interested in working with them but are not an IB Theatre student but are still interested, please see Mr. Downey. There are some places for non-IB Theatre students. For more info., please see http://geckotheatre.com/


Tim Tschumperlin, CAS Coordinator

As we near the end of the 1st Semester, I have been conducting spot-checks of 9-12 students’ records in Managebac. Below are notes for specific classes:


At the completion of the 1st Semester I will send notifications home to parents who have sons/daughters in danger of failing CAS. Full IB Diploma students need to complete the requirements of the ‘checklist’ by the end of Spring Break. Non-Full IB students need to have completed 25 HOURS of SERVICE by the end of Spring Break.


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.


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)


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)


On a weekly basis I send out opportunities for CAS Experiences through Managebac. These messages get forwarded directly to the students’ school email accounts. It is their responsibility to ensure that they take advantage of these opportunities. There are still several students that have not opened up the program yet.

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.

I wish you and your entire family a safe and great winter break.

Tim Tschumperlin


Grade 10 Annual Career Conference

Dubai American Academy (DAA) will be hosting our annual Career Conference on Thursday, March

7, 2019, which is run specifically for our Sophomore Students. While students are in the thick of

course registration and deciding what IB/AP classes are best for them, we are happy to provide these

same students an opportunity to learn about different careers and job paths.

This is a closed event to just grade 10 students. We ask that you please click on the link below to

complete the short survey to let us know if you can contribute to this Career Conference.

This year’s conference theme is “Discover Your Passion-Turn That Into Your Career". You can either volunteer yourself asa speaker or share contact information of someone you know who would be willing to speak at the Career Conference.

Please RSVP no later than Thursday, January 31st, 2019. Career Conference Volunteer Form

Thank you very much for your continued support of your students and DAA.

Warm Regards,

High School Counseling &

DAA Career Conference Committee



Thank you to all the middle and high school parents who made it to our festive holiday lunch last week at The Address Marina Hotel.


January 14th - Kickoff Meeting for DAAPA Int'l Food Festival

February 1st - DAAPA CarBoot Sale. More details to follow when we return from winter break!

March 8th - DAAPA International Food Festival (see all school news for details)

PowerSchool Unified Classroom

If you have not yet logged in to PowerSchool Unified Classroom, please click here to view instructions on how to set up your parent account. If you have not yet received an email with your child's Access ID and Password, or if you are having any difficulty logging in, please email psparenthelp@gemsdaa.net.

We have created a video tutorial to help you navigate the dashboard once you have successfully logged in. The dashboard also includes a help function if you require additional assistance in navigating the dashboard.


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