MIDDLE SCHOOL messages

FROM THE MS PRINCIPAL'S DESK

October 4th, 2018

Please NOTE: A follow up letter to the September 25th parent meeting will be sent on Sunday as we are finalizing a few details.

Dear Middle School Families,

It has been a great week of learning in our classes! During the Back to School Night, each teacher spoke extensively about their curriculum and their communication through Google Classroom. Google Classroom provides you with a window into the classroom learning and a sense of your individual child’s work and achievements. POD leaders will begin communicating out to families weekly, and classroom teachers will continue their communications to parents as needed. Yet another way of communication is the new Unified Classroom portal in which you will be able to track your child’s learning progress towards the adopted learning standards. By now you should have all received login details for Unified Classroom that will give you access to attendance information, schedules and the online grade book. Please refer to this letter that was sent home on Tuesday for more information including instructions as to what you have to do if you are having issues signing on.

As was said at Back to School Night, you are important partners in the learning here at DAA, and these are all ways to keep you informed. To that end, we will be holding our next Parent Coffee on Thursday, October 11 beginning at 8:00 am in the auditorium. Our topic will be Standards-Based Grading and Reporting. Our learning is grounded in the Dubai American Academy adopted Curricular Standards as follows:

DAA Adopted Standards

English/Language Arts: Connecticut Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Mathematics: Connecticut Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

Science: Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Social Studies: C3 Framework aligned to the Connecticut Social Studies Standards, with the UAE Social Studies

Foreign Language: American Council on the teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

Art: Connecticut ARTs Standards (National Core Art Standards)

Drama: Connecticut ARTs Standards (National Core Art Standards)

PE: Connecticut Physical Education & Health Standards

Moral Education - UAE Moral Education Standards

Music: Connecticut ARTs Standards (National Core Art Standards)

Hopefully on Back to School Night you were able to also see our Learning Walls (Bulletin Boards) and hear about the learning taking place in classrooms. If you have not yet had a chance to see the Learning Walls HERE or classroom activities HERE.

As your child comes home each day from the learning environments here in Middle School at Dubai American Academy, they will be given “home learning” (formerly known as Homework). Our goal is to provide home learning that supports their growth as learners and extends the daily learning in class. For example this will look like home reading, questions to provoke conversations at home that support the class inquiries, math activities and learning tasks that reinforce math concepts and build the child-parent learning relationship, digital learning through programs such as IXL, Newsela, and other programs our teachers are using to challenge and support student learning. All home learning will be relevant to the classroom learning.

Example: Gr.8 Mathematics

Example: Gr. 6 Science

Example: Gr. 6 English

Breast Cancer Awareness Day(s)

Breast Cancer Awareness Day(s)

Next week, we will be recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness month, which occurs during the month of October. We will hold various fundraisers over the week, and all proceeds will be donated to Brest Friends - a charity that is within the Al Jalila Foundation. Pink is the color of the Breast Cancer Society.

Bake Sale

On Tuesday, October 9th, Student Council will be hosting a bake sale during lunch in Commons 2. On Sunday, your child's TD teacher will be asking for volunteers to bring in baked goods on Tuesday. Please encourage your child to sign up to bring in an item if you are able to support us. On the day of the bake sale, tickets will be available for the cost of 3 AED per ticket, or 5 AED for 2 tickets. Each ticket will allow students to purchase one item.

Thursday Dress Down Day

The student council is also helping raise money via a Dress Down day. If students donate 10 AED, they will be allowed to dress down and wear pink on Thursday, October 11. If students dress down on Thursday, they must adhere to the following rules:

  • at least one item of clothing must be pink
  • Pants: no shorts, ripped jeans, leggings, or sweatpants. Students can wear jeans, or khaki type pants (or pink pants!) but they cannot be ripped
  • shirts: no tank tops, belly shirts, or inappropriate words/phrases
  • pink dresses or shirts for girls is allowed if it reaches the knee (same as uniform)

Teachers will be collecting money in T&D classes next week. When students bring in money, they will receive a pink ribbon which they MUST display on Thursday in order to be allowed to dress down.

Assembly and Breast Cancer Awareness

We will be holding an assembly on Thursday. Part of this assembly will include a guest who will speak to students about breast cancer awareness. After the assembly, students will have the opportunity to purchase bracelets and other items to support Brest Friends. Additionally, students will spend some time in their T&D classes this week being educated on breast cancer, and how they can support awareness this month.

Swimming Begins!

Please read the swimming letter for information and reminders about our DAA swim program.

Week Without Walls

Please visit our new website with Week Without Walls information by clicking HERE.

You will find location details, prices (some prices will be added next week), activities, grade levels for each trip and links to the company websites. We are planning a parent presentation on October 16th to share final prices, trip details and our travel representatives will answer any questions you may have.

Middle School After School Activities Cycle 1 for 2018

The sign-ups link was shared October 1st at 9am. Activities will commence the week of October 7th. The schedule and description of offerings including instructions on how to book can be found in the document provided. Activity details can be found HERE.

It is going to be an excellent year for your child(ren) here at Dubai American Academy. We have incredible educators and staff who will continue to challenge and support learning so that our students have the ability to critically think, communicate and collaborate. We will continue to keep you informed of all that is happening at our school. If you were not able to attend the Back To School Night, HERE are the slides presented to all the parents if you have not had an opportunity to see them. As well, should you wish to have your finger on the pulse of learning at the school, Twitter is another way to stay informed. Our Twitter handles are @DAAMiddle @GEMS_DAA and @DAA_Innovate

Professional Development and Standards Based Grading -

Our Middle School staff received training by Dr. Thomas Guskey, a leading consultant in Education specialising in standards based assessment and grading. Through a variety of learning experiences teachers have been working on the development of our Middle School grading proficiency scale and assessment rubrics. We hope to see you all at the Parent Coffee on Thursday to share some of these new learnings and progressions with you.

Have a great weekend.

Harry Houlis and Aimee Fleming

Middle School Administration

PowerSchool Unified Classroom Parent Help

PowerSchool Parent Help will be available October 7th - 9th for parents of students in MS/HS who are having difficulty logging in to their account.

Timings

Morning 7:30 to 8:15

Afternoon 2:45 to 3:30

daapa

Middle school had their initial coffee morning were new moms were welcomed and all had an enjoyable morning discussing their favorite sport, their kids...You may reach us at stayintouchwithdaams@gmail.com for middle school.

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