HIGH SCHOOL highlights


January 10, 2019

Dear High School Students and Parents.

Welcome Back!!! We hope that you had a wonderful break and were able to spend quality time with friends and family. We are all very excited to get back to work and finish our first semester. A few important points for this week.

Upcoming Semester Exams

Semester Exams for grade 9 and 10 and non-IB subjects will start on Thursday the 24th and finish on Thursday the 31st of January. A draft schedule has been shared with students to check for conflicts and concerns and a final schedule will be shared with students next Monday. IB Subjects in both grade 11 and 12 and some electives do not have exams. We are mindful that exams start at the end of the KHDA inspection visit and lessons in the two days leading up to exams will be review based in order to help reduce the pre-exam stress levels.

For our grade 9 and new students, there are a few things that I would like to share with you with regards to our procedures. Many of our returning grade 10 students will already be familiar with these. Grade 11 and 12 non-IB students who have exams are granted the day before and the day of the exam as study leave to ensure they are prepared.

Please keep in mind:

  • When the final schedule is shared students should report any conflicts to Ms. Jochinke ASAP to help us reschedule conflict exams.
  • No phones or smartwatches will be allowed in exam rooms.
  • Students are not expected to be in uniform but must follow dress code norms as outlined in the High School Handbook.
  • Students are only required at school when they have exams. They may not leave campus between exams. After exams students have the following options.
    • They may remain on campus and go to the classroom where they would normally have a class for a quiet supervised study space.
    • They may go to the library for quiet study. Our librarian has kindly volunteered to keep the library open until 5:00 pm from the 24th - 30th for extra supervised study space. (Thanks Marta!!)
    • All grade 9 and 10 students will be issued a gate pass and may go home after their last exams for the day, as many prefer to study at home. Parents will need to arrange transport. Security will only let students leave the school if they have a gate pass and student ID. If you do not want a gate pass to be issued to your child, please contact Ms. Nashmia in the High School office at n.saleem1_daa@gemsedu.com.
    • Students taking the bus will have to remain on campus in one of the quiet study locations

Incidents of Vaping on Campus.

Like many schools around the world, we are becoming increasingly concerned with the number of students who are using vaping technologies. This is very difficult to monitor and we are doing our best. We had the chance to meet with grade 9 and 10 students on Tuesday and will find a time soon to meet with grade 11 and 12. Please have a conversation with your child with regards to vaping. In the High School, we have a zero tolerance for vaping on campus and students having any paraphernalia associated with vaping in their possession. The health and legal risks are too great.

Any student caught vaping or in possession of any paraphernalia will have an immediate suspension from school. They will also not be allowed to participate in any athletic/MESAC team, nor go on any school trip for the remainder of the academic year. Any payments made for these trips may be lost. A letter outlining the infraction will also be placed in their permanent file. Please do let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Social Media Concern

Parents the below is a copy of an email sent to all students on Thursday. Please take this opportunity to have a conversation with your child with regards risks associated with social media.

Dear Students,

I am writing to bring a very important issue to your attention and one in which we all need your support. Many of you are aware of social media groups in which numerous students are members or followers. An active group is Snapchat: DAA Rumors.

The way these groups are functioning, go against our acceptable use of technology and behavior policy. The people associated with these groups can get into a considerable amount of trouble based on UAE laws. As students, we advise that you do not want to follow these groups and have your social media accounts associated with them. The article in this link from the Khaleej Times documents how fines have been levied in the UAE for calling someone silly. (See this link).

The intent of these groups may have been to have some fun, but they have clearly crossed the line. To those of you who are administrators of this group, you must come and see me in my office before the end of the day today. I believe that you are not intending to offend and I would prefer to solve these concerns at DAA without any other authorities getting involved. For those of you who are following these groups, I suggest you stop immediately so that your social media accounts are not connected to them.

This is not something that we can ignore and we will continue to investigate until those responsible come forward or are identified.

Thank you for your help and understanding.

Mr. Starr

Grade 12 Students

A letter will be going home shortly with a reminder of key upcoming dates and important information for the remainder of the year. It is very hard to believe that you will be DAA graduates in just under 5 months!!

Have a great weekend!

Warm Regards

Mr. Starr and Mrs. Jochinke

High School Administration.

HS Counseling

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.

Your Successful 11th Grade Student

Your successful 11th 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.
  • 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.
  • Thinking about the first round of predicted IB grades – pre-predicts – will be collected around late May/early June. While this number will not be shared in the college/university application process, this number will provide a baseline for students to create a final college list over the summer.
  • Thinking about which teachers would be outstanding teachers to write their college/university letter of recommendation. We will begin this process in the spring but it is good to begin thinking about this now.
  • Meeting with their counselor to talk about academics, extracurricular activities, possible career paths, and/or their social emotional health. Don’t forget that many colleges/universities will ask for a counselor letter of recommendation so make sure your counselor knows you and what you are passionate about.
  • 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

Coming Soon

Coming Soon to the High School Library is a parent resource center from the HS Counseling Office. More information (and photos) to come once the resource center has been completed.


The Fine Arts team have a BIG announcement.....This year the MS/HS musical production is 'Big The Musical'

The classic 1987 motion picture fantasy bursts onto the stage in the unforgettable theatrical experience, Big The Musical. Featuring a witty, moving and insightful book by John Weidman and a dazzling, energetic, heartfelt, contemporary score by David Shire and Richard Maltby, Jr.

Middle and High school students interested in being part of the CAST for this year's production please see the below flyer for audition information

PAMUN 2018

The Model United Nations Club sent a group of thirteen representatives to the Paris Model United Nations Conference this month. These students represented DAA as two carefully selected chairs, one International Court of Justice Judge and ten honorable delegates in five committees. Over the span of 4 days the students spent long hours training, lobbying with students from numerous other international and local schools, writing clauses and debating current international issues from the perspective of their assigned countries. The students did a great job of representing our school. Khushi Sharma came home with a best delegate award and Nicholas Hensel took home an honorable mention. In the evenings, the students had some opportunity to take in the sites of this beautiful city, rich in culture and history. Overall, PAMUN 2018 was a wonderful success.


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 as a 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.

High School Counseling & DAA Career Conference Committee



summer 2019


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