MIDDLE SCHOOL messages

FROM THE MS PRINCIPAL'S DESK

October 18th, 2018

Dear Middle School Families,

It has been another great week of learning in our classes!

As a reminder, please work with your child to access their Google Classroom. Google Classroom allows parents to see daily and weekly summaries of what their child has accomplished, and view any class announcements. POD leaders have been communicating with families weekly, and classroom teachers will continue their communications to parents as needed.

Another great communication tool is the new Unified Classroom portal, which enables you to track your child’s learning progress towards the adopted learning standards. You should have received login details for Unified Classroom that gives you access to attendance information, schedules, and the online grade book. Please refer to a letter that was sent home last week for more information on how to use this tool and troubleshoot if any sign-on issues arise. As students progress through their units of learning, assignments and related proficiency levels will be added to the Unified Classroom gradebook. A parent guide with instructions for viewing the standards based grading system is forthcoming.

SWIMMING

Swimming has begun! The decision to make Swimming co-ed stems from several important factors: to maintain the highest safety standards and to improve the quality of teaching and learning for all students.

Last year we had two swim specialist teachers assigned to several groups of students in the pool for one unit per year. To add, their ability levels ranged from beginner to advanced. From a safety perspective, it was challenging to advance such a vast number of ability levels at the same time. This year, not only have we assigned each PE teacher their own class, we have also assigned them their own designated pool area, providing more space for safer leveled instruction.

With regard to the quality of our swim program, last year our single gender student groups would cycle through one block per year. As a result, the specialist swim teachers would be responsible for the swimming development of over 250 students within a short window of time. As previously mentioned, this year each PE teacher will teach their own class of students over the course of one year. Teachers will already know their students and therefore learn their ability levels at a faster rate, enabling them to focus their instruction and develop their skills more consistently for a longer period of time.

The swimming curriculum is also enhanced whereby students will be assessed according to their current swim levels. Students will gradually and progressively develop through to mastery level. The proficiency levels of skill, which address students’ individual needs, are displayed in detail throughout the swimming pool area for swimmers to view and work toward achieving.

Week Without Walls

This week your child received the ‘Week Without Walls’ booklet to take home and share with you. If your child was absent, the booklet was emailed home. Students have been asked to fill out the booklet with their top 3 choices of trips/activities, and have it signed by themselves and their parents. Students can return the signed booklet to the office as early as Sunday, October 21st. The last day to hand in the WWW booklets is October 23rd. If your child plans to travel Internationally, they must attach 2 copies of their passport and 2 copies of their residency visa to the booklet before handing it in. For those children wishing to travel locally, please view some of our amazing and impactful Dubai trips by clicking HERE.

Tech Integration in the DAA Middle School!

DAAPA and Autumn Decorations

We would like to thank our DAAPA parents for all of their work over the last week in preparing the halls for our upcoming fall celebrations. The common areas look fantastic!

Have a great weekend!

Harry Houlis and Aimee Fleming

Middle School Administration

Important Dates to Remember

October 23: last day to turn in Week Without Walls packets.

October 21-25: CAT 4 testing for students in grades Grade 6&8 and new students in Grade 7.

October 28: Middle School Spirit Week

October 31: Fall/Halloween celebrations

November 1st - Kris Fade Show comes to DAA

Scrabble Anyone?

DAA IS LOOKING TO BUILD OUR FIRST COMPETITIVE SCRABBLE TEAM!

This December 13-15th, DAA will be hosting the LARGEST youth scrabble tournament in the world and we are looking for middle and high school students to represent the Leopard community! We are looking for students who are willing to work hard to expand their minds and vocabularies - all while meeting new friends and having a lot of fun! Club meetings and practices will happen every Monday from 3-4pm in the high school.

If you think you have what it takes and would like to represent the Leopards in this December's WESPA Youth Scrabble Tournament, then please contact Mr. Eric Kinderman as soon as possible!

EMAIL:

e.kinderman_daa@gemsedu.com

key contacts

Middle School Secretary: Sara Hole s.hole_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9722

Middle School Attendance: Souraya Itani s.itani_daa@gemsedu.com / 04 704 9728