June 23, 2020

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that another school year draws to a close this week. 2020 has certainly brought about many challenges but we have been truly impressed with how flexible, adaptable and resilient both our students and staff have been in adapting to the new reality of Remote Learning for the last three months.

This is my final SPOTS message as Middle School Principal @ DAA. It has been a pleasure to lead this division and serve in such a wonderfully vibrant learning community. It is the people that make a community and it has been my privilege to work in partnership with you and your children. 

While I have worked with all age groups over a long and rewarding career, middle schoolers are definitely my favorite! I have so enjoyed getting to know your children during my time at DAA as well as working collaboratively with a team of educators who share in our middle schoolers’ successes, who help them to get back up when they fall, and who guide them to realize their potential. Young adolescence is about seeing the potential and the possibilities NOT the problems!

I would sincerely like to thank the Middle School staff, a dedicated team of professionals, who work diligently to ensure that we continue to strive to offer a quality learning program for our young people. I would like to personally acknowledge my two co-administrators and congratulate them on the next steps they will take in their respective careers. Ms. Aimee Fleming, our Assistant Principal with her passion for curriculum development has made a significant contribution to our MS Learning Program. She will take on her first Principalship in China after 11 wonderful years at DAA. I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Scott Macdonald who has worked tirelessly with the wellbeing team to support your children in his role as Dean of Students. Scott will remain with GEMS taking on an Assistant Principal’s role in Abu Dhabi. I am sure you will join me in congratulating them both on their well-deserved promotions and for their contributions to this truly vibrant learning community.

Reports will be available from 23 June via PowerSchool. Your child’s Semester 2 results will be shown together with a summative comment and targets for how to continue to move forth in their learning. Your child also had the opportunity to share their own reflection of the school year, a year that will go down in history! If you cannot access your child’s report please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Hole, our Middle School secretary, s.hole_daa@gemsedu.com for assistance. If you have any questions or concerns in respect of your child’s attainment or effort grades please contact the subject teacher directly. 

To avoid the typical holiday dip in learning the team has created a MS Summer Learning Website. Your child will find many fun and engaging activities and we encourage them to browse the various options on offer.  

On Tuesday our Grade 8 students celebrated the end of their Middle School education. This is the first cohort of students who have completed their 3 Middle School years at this campus and the first to have a remote celebration. We wish all our students every success as they transition to High School. They have shown throughout this year their resilience, perseverance and adaptability that they are more than ready for the challenges that lay ahead. The completion certificate has been emailed directly to the students and at the end of the week they will have an opportunity to view the full Middle School Memories video and access the digital Yearbook as mementos of their time in our division.

School will officially conclude at 12pm on Thursday. While this year we could not organize our traditional end of year spirit events, our Heads of Department and Heads of Grade have been working together to ensure we send off our students with some fun collaborative activities for our last two days.  Please encourage your child as usual to check grade level bulletins for any updates. 

For students returning to DAA it is important that your ID card is kept in a safe place during the vacation. The ID cards are attached to your Slices account. They will remain valid until such time as new IDs are printed and issued.

This week every student and member of staff will have access to a complimentary copy of the Middle School 2019 – 2020 Yearbook; the link will be shared on Thursday. Students and member of staff may choose to print a personal copy or some may prefer to keep a soft copy. With sincere thanks to Mr. Thomas Joyce for his creativity in coordinating such a huge task, ensuring that wonderful memories from this school year have been captured.

To the students and staff leaving the DAA community this year we wish you all the very best for your future endeavors. Remember you will always be part of the DAA alumni. To all in our community keep safe and for those who will return in September we look forward to welcoming you back for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

We leave the Middle School in highly experienced hands and I know you will join me in welcoming Mr. Justin Reynolds, Ms. Maggie Moffatt-Baxter and Mr. Sean McGarvey as they take over the role as the new Middle School Senior Leadership Team.

Kind regards

Lisa Hewitt


Thank you for a wonderful year in the library. We have developed the library space into a quiet, calm and respected space. Students were able to enjoy playing Chess or Checkers, reading, completing homework and searching for their next good read. The number of check-outs had doubled from the previous year as we continued to support students’ love of reading and the 40 Book Challenge. If you still have a book, please keep it safe and return it to us in the new school year. Students who owe fines from earlier in the year will have to settle the payment with accounting. Thank you once again for your support.

My email is amanda.gintaut@gemsdaa.net, please reach out to me if you need anything.

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

Attendance Mobile: 052 – 1054491

Middle School Counselors

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