September 19, 2019

Dear Parents

Time flies! It is hard to believe our Middle Schoolers have already completed their first three weeks of the new school year. Classroom routines and expectations are firmly in place and students are actively engaged in their learning.

To support their organization every Middle School student received a Student Planner with the expectation that it is brought to every lesson. If the planner is misplaced or damaged students may purchase a new one from the office. Homework should be recorded for easy reference. On occasion teachers may also put in a brief note for your information or attention. We request that the student returns it to school each week signed by a parent or guardian.

Consistency is important for Middle Schoolers; consistency of expectations and consistency of follow through. We refer you to our Middle School Handbook which outlines our expectations and procedures. Two areas we are currently focusing on are attendance and uniform. We would greatly appreciate your support in ensuring your child is wearing the correct uniform each day. Details may be found on page 23 of the handbook for your reference.

Punctuality is also incredibly important as valuable learning time is lost when students arrive late to school. A student who is late not only interrupts their own learning but disrupts the flow of the lesson when a teacher needs to stop to repeat instructions. If a student arrives late due to circumstances beyond their control we request that a brief note is recorded in their planner. If a school bus is late we are advised by the transport office and this is an excused tardy as it is outside the students’ control. If your child is absent due to illness or other extenuating circumstances please inform the Middle School Office so it can be recorded as an explained absence. Please note this year absence and tardy will be recorded on the end of semester report.

Break times are a time for social interaction. While many students use this time constructively to create their own fun, others benefit from guided activities. Unfortunately, during the very hot months students are not permitted to go outside during break times and therefore must spend this time indoors. This means that there is little opportunity to burn off some energy; very important during this period of significant growth. In response to feedback, a Middle School activities coordinator was recently appointed to create a range of break time opportunities for students. Some examples of activities include reading or games such as chess in the library, a designated quiet zone. Other opportunities include a multi-age choir. While we discourage the use of laptops during break times some online activities provide an excellent opportunity to interact with peers, and at other times students choose to research an area of interest. However, the use of laptops during breaks will only be available under supervised conditions and usage will be carefully monitored. If a student is constantly opting for this activity they will be redirected to alternate opportunities. Once the weather cools down we will include more physical activities and students will be highly encouraged to enjoy the outdoor environment.

While the vast majority of students appear to have settled well into their new grade level please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s Counselor or Head of Grade if you have any concerns about your child.

We look forward to meeting you during our Back to School night which provides an opportunity to meet the teachers who will work with your child this year. It is scheduled for Wednesday 25 September from 6:00 – 8:30pm. We will commence with a welcome address in the auditorium and then parents will be directed to their child’s homeroom where they will receive a schedule for the evening.

We look forward to meeting many of you at one of our upcoming events.

Kind regards

Lisa Hewitt

Counselor's Corner


2020 International Schools Theatre Association - Middle School Theatre Festival - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Dear DAA community,

The DAA MS Drama department is again looking to send a group of student artists from DAA to attend the International Student Theatre Association's Middle School Festival happening in Chang Mai Thailand next January. If this is something you would be interested in taking part in please carefully read through this information letter and let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in joining this trip.

There will be an information session about the trip at 6:00 pm on September 24th for parents and students to attend who are interested in the trip to attend, please RSVP via the google form attached.

Yours in the Arts,

Daniel Last

Middle School Drama Teacher

Please take a look at the video clip below to see the fun that was had by all who attended and the and creativity in action from last year’s trip.

Choir Club


Our MS Music Choir Clubs are starting during lunch this week! If you like to sing (either by yourself or in a group), then come join the choir club and sing with your friends at lunchtime. We will work on a variety of things such as vocal tone and pitch, harmonies, and large group/small group songs. Bring a lunch from home so you can eat quickly before we get started. If you want to join, please see the information below:

6th and 7th Graders: Please fill out this form. 6th and 7th grade Choir Club will meet on MONDAYS during lunch. Bring your lunch from home and come to room T10 (MS Music Room) at the beginning of lunch.

8th Graders: Please fill out this form. 8th grade Choir Club will meet on WEDNESDAYS during lunch. Bring your lunch from home and come to room T10 (MS Music Room) at the beginning of lunch.

For further questions, please see Mrs. Hall in Room T10 or email her at s.hall_daa@gemsedu.com


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

Powerschool Support will be available for parents during Back to School Night on September 25th!

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.

key contacts

Middle School Secretary:

Sarah Hole s.hole_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9722

Middle School Attendance:

Ariadni Nerkizoglou a.nerkizoglou_daa@Gemsedu.com / 04 704 9728

Middle School Counselors

Mira Nasr M.NASR_DAA@gemsedu.com
Frank Becvar f.becvar_daa@Gemsedu.com