Welcome to Dubai American Academy
Welcome to the Elementary School of Dubai American Academy (DAA). This Family Handbook provides information that will help you become an active member of our DAA community. DAA provides a broad array of enriched opportunities to learn and grow. Our teachers are enthusiastic and caring professionals who are knowledgeable of best practices in early learning and elementary education.
Our students represent more than 87 nationalities which proudly makes DAA a truly international school. We believe that advocating, teaching and respecting a diverse student body from cultures throughout the world fosters peace, justice and global understanding. Visitors and new families to our school immediately sense and comment on our innovative approaches to learning and our Culture of Kindness, signature features of our school community that reflects our core values and philosophy.
In academics, we recognize that the elementary school years are crucial to laying the foundation for future success. Our teachers and administrators regularly collaborate to plan and present an enriched American curriculum that will be intellectually challenging and socially rewarding for your child. We seek to create a climate that fosters self-esteem by celebrating the growth and development of each student. Additionally, we encourage an enthusiasm for life-long learning by making learning an enjoyable experience.
We warmly invite you and your child to acquaint yourselves with this Family Handbook to learn about our School’s policies, procedures, expectations, and opportunities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Dubai American Academy (DAA) is a vibrant international community, deeply rooted in a culture of kindness that creates and empowers leaders and independent thinkers with integrity, character, and drive.
Dubai American Academy offers an enriched American curriculum to students of all nationalities culminating in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and/or an American high school diploma. Beyond its rigorous academic program, DAA prepares students to lead successful lives through the exceptional diversity of its community and the extra-curricular experiences that contribute to the development of the whole person.
DAA guidelines for safety and security are detailed in a Security/Emergency Manual that is used by all DAA staff to ensure uniform, orderly, and timely responses to emergencies. Advisors teach emergency procedures for building evacuation and relocation to a safer area of the school. Drills are practiced so that students know the appropriate responses in emergency scenarios such as a fire at school. While on school property, we encourage all parents to report any suspicious behavior or items to security.
DAA has taken steps to increase security measures which will result in a safer school for all. These measures include:
The Elementary School consists of the Early Years Program (KG1 and KG2), and Grades 1- 5.
The DAA Elementary School faculty, administration, and support staff serve the needs of the children and parents in all aspects of each child’s education. This team is comprised of the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Head of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation, Executive Principal, Principals, Assistant Principal, Director of Early Years, Arabic and Islamic Studies (K-12), Director of IT, Instructional Leads, Innovation and Digital Coaches, Guidance Counselors, Student Support Team Teachers (ELL, SEND, and LS), Teachers, Educational Assistants, Learning Support Assistants, and the Administrative and Support Personnel.
Goals of the Elementary School:
Through an enriched American curriculum, DAA will:
Scheduling for elementary students allows students to experience a rich curriculum including many specials such as Art, Music, Physical Education, Swimming, Arabic Studies, Islamic Education for Muslim students, and Library/Media. An effort is made to arrange these so that some occur each day. The school follows a 10-day cycle of daily schedules. The days of attendance will be numbered one through ten repeatedly.
The benefits of this schedule ensure that:
Teachers are encouraged to remind students and parents of schedules. Here is a sample:
The school day begins at 07:40 and ends at 14:45.
Classrooms are open to receive students at 07:25.
Students will be marked tardy after 07:45.
Tuesdays are an Early Release day where school begins at 07:40 and ends at 13:45.
The hours for after-school activities vary. Most activities start at 15:00 and finish at 15:45; however, some activities begin at 15:00 and finish at 16:00.
Division or grade-level assemblies are held periodically. Assemblies allow us to celebrate our core values of our PAWsitive Behavior Program (PBIS), world citizenship, universal values, leadership qualities, innovation, forward thinking and promote school spirit. Our students develop confidence and competence sharing with others, in addition to learning appropriate audience skills.
A uniform is required in all GEMS Schools.
Physical Education (PE) Uniform
As mentioned, alternative dress is acceptable on designated Spirit Days and special occasions such as national celebrations. Details will be announced as they occur throughout the year with admin approval.
Please ensure that all of your child’s clothing is clearly labeled with his/her name.
Children are encouraged to be present regularly throughout the year to fully participate in the academic program. Extended holidays and vacations do interrupt and impact students’ educational progress. If a child is absent for more than half of a school trimester, a fully-graded report will not be issued for that trimester.
The building doors are open at 7:15 a.m. and students can proceed to the classroom from 7:25 a.m. Students are expected to arrive at school by 7:25 a.m. and be in their classrooms by 7:40. Punctuality shows respect for others, classmates, and teachers. Late arrivals affect not only the student who is late but disrupts the entire group. Late arrivals are recorded and appears on the quarterly report. Parents are requested to emphasize the importance of being on time with their children.
When your child will be late or absent from school, please email your child’s teacher to notify him/her. All unexplained absences will result in a call home.
As there are different dismissal times throughout the day, we request that parents who are picking up students from the class refrain from entering the hallways to prevent disrupting student learning. KG1 - Grade 2 students will be dismissed directly from the classroom. Students who are not picked up on time will be walked to the ground floor division secretary after contacting a parent/guardian
Students in Grade 3 - 5 should be met by their parents/guardians at the front of the school (Gate 1). All students must be picked up by 3:00 p.m. Parents will be contacted when students are not picked up at this time. Students will remain in the Elementary Office on the first floor until they are collected.
All bus students will be walked to their designated busses by the class Educational Assistant. Students participating in the After-School Activities Program will also be walked to their designated location by the class Educational Assistant. Parents are to pick up their children from the After-School Activity location.
It is the school’s philosophy that attendance in class is of primary importance. There are times, however, when an absence is unavoidable. In such cases, the parent is responsible for contacting the school. Assignments and examinations may not always be available in advance and may have to be completed upon the student’s return.
Parents should notify the Principal, Registrar’s office, and the teacher as far in advance as possible of the withdrawal date. Parents are responsible for completing a withdrawal form located in the Registrar’s office; this will begin the clearing process and final paperwork. A two-week notification is recommended.
The ES Registrar’s office coordinates the gathering of appropriate records and ensures that the Principal, classroom teacher, library, business office, and counselors have cleared the student’s withdrawal. Parents will be notified in the case of outstanding books, fees, and/or fines. Records are not released by the school until all items are cleared.
Parents who wish to hand carry their children’s records may do so. If they are unable to collect the records prior to their departure, they should leave their forwarding address and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the school’s Registrar’s office at the earliest possible date. Again, remember that records cannot be released until all outstanding fees are paid and books are returned.
The Elementary School Division, KG1 through Grade 5, seeks to create an atmosphere of respect and trust where learning is exciting and challenging, where self-confident and enthusiastic students take initiative and productively use their time, and where each child is valued as a unique individual.
The first seven years of formal schooling are critical. During this period, children develop life-long attitudes towards learning and build a foundation in Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Social Studies and Health. At the same time, they learn to work and play independently, in addition to working effectively within groups.
For additional information about the Elementary School Curriculum and Program of Studies, please refer to the Programme of Study.
The teaching and learning of foundational skills in the Elementary School is delivered through integrated cross-curricular units. Students explore various topics and engage in learning opportunities tailored to their interests, utilizing the Future Fluencies as a primary process for acquiring and demonstrating new knowledge. Our one-to-one iPad program facilitates effective utilization of technology for creativity. In addition, the Moral Education Program has been incorporated into all areas of learning.
The Literacy program in the Elementary School integrates skills that include reading, writing, word study, speaking, listening and language usage. The development of these skills is supported through the Readers & Writers Workshop approach in KG1 - Grade 5, as well as through the Hagerty, Handwriting Without Tears, and Words Their Way programs, as age and developmentally appropriate. Further enrichment and extension is provided through appropriate fiction and non-fiction works to gain a rich understanding of language and communication.
The study of Numeracy includes foundational computation, problem solving and real-life applications, using various tools and strategies inclusive of technology. DAA uses the Eureka Math program, to provide concrete experiences that lead to conceptual understanding.
In our Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) program, students are encouraged to exhibit an understanding of key scientific concepts and principles and develop their capacity for scientific thinking and processing through inquiry. Students study life, physical, earth and space sciences where they apply their knowledge and understanding via identifying and working towards solving real-world problems. The engineering and design cycle is an integral aspect of the problem-solving process.
In Social Studies, students are prepared to become responsible and active citizens in a global society, directed by our C3 Framework and incorporating the UAE Social Studies Standards. They inquire into topics and engage in projects linked to relevant global issues. The program takes advantage of the international character of the school and its setting in Dubai. DAA uses instructional materials to support the program and integrates Arabic and global studies. The curriculum uses an inquiry model to approach four dimensions of social science: developing questions, applying discipline perspectives, evaluating evidence, and taking action.
In addition to the core curriculum, specialist programs (specials) for elementary students include Art, Arabic Language, Islamic Education (required for Muslim students), Music, Physical Education, Swimming, Library and Media, and Guidance. Each special has a curriculum which supports the development of the child in their grade level. Health Education is also taught in tandem within the Physical Education (P.E.) Program.
The DAA Elementary School Division is committed to differentiated instruction to attend to the individual needs of all students. In order to inspire excellence in academics for each child, we provide an English Language Learners (ELL) program that uses the sheltered immersion model and WIDA program, as applicable, to support ELL students in the mainstream classroom.
In DAA’s continued commitment to the Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, the Inclusion Program (SEND) is available for students who require additional support in all grades. This support is designed to assist students to achieve grade-level standards, as well as challenge and extend students who are achieving above grade level in the mainstream classroom. The Student Support Team provides planned accommodations, modifications, and teacher training and guidance. Further information can be found in the Inclusion Handbook.
The Elementary Guidance Counselors assess students applying for entry to DAA so as to ensure appropriate grade-level placement. This assessment/placement is the first step of support for the student’s success. The counselor manages the progress of each DAA Elementary student by facilitating communication between student, parents, and staff. They support the classroom teacher in managing the student’s integration and continued experience in the school environment. Counselors support teachers and administration to ensure academic and behavioral success of each student. Counselors work with students individually, in small groups, and at class level.
Counselors initiate and respond to parental contact in order to congratulate students on exemplary progress as well as address challenges in student progress. Counselors play an important role as part of the Student Support Team, with SEND teachers and administrators, to help identify and monitor students who may have additional learning and/or social, emotional, or behavioral needs.
The counselors utilize an array of approaches to accomplish these goals. They include, but are not limited to:
The Elementary Guidance Program supports the academic, social, and personal development of each student.
Student progress is reported to parents throughout the school year, as outlined below.
Official Report Cards are issued three times a year, at the end of each trimester.
The Progress Reports from Grade KG1 to Grade 5 include indicators of progress made by each student towards achieving the curricular standards that are developmentally appropriate for each grade level. These indicators are:
Teacher Narrative comments are also a part of the reports.
Parent/teacher/student conferences are held in October and March to discuss student progress. Conferences may also be scheduled by request of either the teacher or the parents with Specialists. In addition, all teachers are available to meet with parents throughout the year, with prior appointments.
DAA collects data on each child every year to determine grade-level equivalencies and percentile rankings that support the design of differentiated instruction methods that challenge all students.
DAA also recognizes our high ability students in the Elementary School Division through annual talent identification for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) nominations. Nominated students have the choice to continue with the eligibility process through standardized testing for admission to the CTY. Summer programs and online courses provide additional external enrichment opportunities for DAA students.
High ability students are identified using the following criteria:
Students that successfully complete the standards-based objectives for a grade level are promoted to the next grade level at the end of the year. Students that may need additional time to develop the skills needed for a grade level may be retained. Discussions will be held with the parents and the classroom teacher as soon as concerns about a student's success become apparent. The Counselor and Principal will also be involved in this decision where learning difficulties are indicated.
We believe that all students should have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. Our school commitment is to guide students to become progressively more self-disciplined, responsible learners, able to work independently and cooperatively. We will provide a positive learning environment that is developmentally responsive to the social and academic needs of students. This environment, both in and out of the classroom, encourages a wide range of learning experiences, while emphasizing basic skills. We encourage close collaboration and partnerships with students, parents, and faculty. These partnerships will facilitate successful transitions by students from elementary, through middle school, to high school, and beyond.
The following is a statement of rights and responsibilities. It is through mutual acceptance of responsibilities that rights exist.
RESPECT SELF, RESPECT SCHOOL AND RESPECT OTHERS
We believe that a positive academic and social climate is necessary for student success. The responsibility for establishing this climate is shared by each student, faculty member and parents.
We value having students follow agreed upon expectations and guidelines, and it is important for students to understand their purpose. Part of the learning process involves making decisions and mistakes; however, we do expect that students will learn from their mistakes and demonstrate growth. The DAA staff uses a positive discipline approach that is in line with our Culture of Kindness and is quite effective. The approach focuses on looking at misbehavior as an opportunity for learning and takes a restorative rather than punitive approach.
Our Discipline Philosophy:
When a child is struggling with reading, we teach strategies to read.
When a child is struggling with math, we teach strategies to solve problems.
When a child is struggling with behavior, we teach strategies to solve problems.
Disregard of classroom expectations and/or handbook regulations may result in detention, suspension or expulsion.
Students are to remain on campus at all times during the school day. If students must leave because of illness, the school nurse will call the parents. Students may not excuse themselves from campus. If a parent wishes to take their child out of school before the regular dismissal time, the parent must notify the Elementary Office/s and teacher as soon as possible. The Office/s will issue a ‘release note’ at the designated time/day; this will allow the parent to collect their child from the class. Parents can not go directly to the classroom during instructional time.
Students will be charged for all school property that is lost or damaged.
Textbooks are provided to all students on a loan basis. Students are responsible for books checked out by them and must pay for lost or damaged books. Students will also be charged for deliberate damage (including writing and graffiti) to books.
iPads are provided by the school for students from K-5, for the purpose of creation and active engagement in learning activities. The iPads remain the property of DAA and are provided to students as a loan. Students are responsible for caring for the iPads. Parents sign a loan contract, which highlights procedures in case of loss or damages to the iPads caused by negligence. Students are to receive the iPads only after the contract has been signed and returned to the classroom teacher. Each class is provided with a charging station, however students who take the iPads home are expected to bring them back fully charged on the following day. Students have access to a wide array of Apple native apps, Seesaw, as well as additional paid apps. Periodical review of the list of apps is conducted, to ensure alignment with curricular goals. Teachers may choose to send iPads daily or on specific days as required to complete, extend, or enrich learning at home. Students and teachers are expected to establish essential agreements with regards to the use and care of the iPads at the beginning of the year.
See section 5.7.2 for the guidelines on iPAD use at home and in the classroom.
Each student must have an appropriate uniform and shoes for P.E., including swimming, as per the uniform requirements. Please see Daily Uniform section for specific requirements.
Each student in Grade KG1 through Grade 5 has a locker/cubby allocated to them upon arrival at DAA. Students are not allowed to use locks as younger students often find it difficult to manage keys or combinations. Students should not keep any valuable items in the locker as DAA will take no responsibility for any valuables, money, mobile phones, games, etc. that are lost at school.
According to www.stopbullying.gov, an official website of the United States Government, bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior is often aggressive and includes a series of malicious behavior with the intent to hurt or harm others.
Bullying is associated with behaviors causing an imbalance of power whereby kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same or different people. Some bullies target individuals while others target a variety of people.
In order to be considered bullying, unwanted or unwelcome behaviour typically occurs more than once. A single, unkind act does not usually constitute bullying, however incidents of harm and wrongdoing will still be addressed according to the school’s PAWSitive behaviour program.
DAA does not tolerate any form of bullying (verbal, physical, social or cyber). Offences will be addressed by the classroom teacher, the Elementary School Counsellors, and, where appropriate, the Elementary School offices for follow up and consequences.
Bullying that occurs outside of school is the responsibility of parents/guardians. Parents and guardians are reminded that students must be of legal age to use social media. Please refer to the guidelines associated with specific social media for age restrictions.
All students will be treated respectfully regardless of (but not limited to) gender, ethnicity, and abilities. We take incidents seriously and will take immediate action in any case of discrimination.
As students at this age are less able to manage their health conditions without the support of adults, he Elementary School has been designated as a nut-free environment. DAA does not serve any nuts in our cafeteria through our caterer Slices. Parents have been informed about our new nut free policy. The school has installed Epipen cases to ensure that they are in a close proximity to classrooms, as well as any key areas of activity.
In an effort to maintain our facilities, DAA is a gum free campus. Candy and carbonated drinks are not permitted for sale on campus as per UAE Law.
Students are expected to abide by all pool and gym safety procedures explained by adults and supervisors.
The school doors are opened to allow students to enter the building at 07:15. Students are then to wait on the playgrounds, ground floor reception area, or in the ES library until 07:25 before going to their classrooms.
KG1 to Grade 2 students are dismissed at 14:45 and are escorted by an adult to the buses, or should be collected promptly from their class. Grades 3 to Grade 5 students are dismissed at 14:45. Students should be met promptly by their parents or other designated guardian at the front of the school pick up point or ride the bus. Parents and drivers should wait in the Foyer until classes are dismissed rather than waiting along the hallways. Waiting in halls distracts students and teachers, disrupting student learning.
Elementary students dismissed at 14:45 should either be promptly picked up by the parents (or their designate) or proceed to their bus. If a child is involved in a school-sponsored, after-school activity, the student should be met promptly at the completion of the activity. All KG1/KG2 students will be escorted by an adult to their after-school activities.
Students who are not met within 15 minutes of the dismissal times will wait in the reception area for their transport. Elementary School students and parents who stay after school may use outdoor playground facilities only and must be directly supervised by their parent/guardian. The playground is closed every Tuesday to allow staff to attend meetings and/or Professional Development.
Please send a note to the teacher if your child is going home in any way different from their routine. Students should make arrangements to go home with another student the day before and inform the school of the change in plans. If any change in plans occurs during the school day and a student is leaving with a different parent, please inform the School Receptionist or the Primary/ Elementary School Secretary as appropriate.
The campus is closed on Friday and Saturday except for special events.
Honesty in school work requires that students do their own work. Students are expected to give credit to ideas, language or thoughts which are not their own. To take ideas, writing, or thoughts from someone else and pass them off as one’s own is called plagiarism and is a violation of academic honesty. This can occur with print or non-print sources such as the Internet. DAA regards acts of academic dishonesty as a serious violation of the community’s trust. Students who commit academic dishonesty will face serious consequences. If the offense is repeated, a student could be asked to leave the school. Any violation or suspicion of violation will be reported to the Principal immediately.
Submitting words or ideas that are not your own without acknowledging the original author. This includes copying another student’s paper, report, lab book, or assignment in whole or in part and submitting it as your own to a teacher or examiner. A superficial change of wording, structure, or conclusion is not sufficient to turn aside the charge of plagiarism.
The intent of this policy is to give an overview of the acceptable and unacceptable use of these resources without exhaustively listing all possible uses and misuses. These guidelines are meant to define and enhance ethical, moral, and educational uses of the school Network and the Internet and provide procedural information.
We believe our school’s technology offers vast, diverse, and unique resources to both students and staff. While our intent is to make Network and Internet access available to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access other materials as well. We believe that the benefits to students from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, vastly exceeds any disadvantages. Families should be warned that some materials accessible via the Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or potentially offensive to some people. Ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources.
Dubai American Academy and its staff will not be responsible for any damages suffered including but not limited to the loss of data or interruption of services, nor is the school responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the system. In addition, no responsibility will be taken for any financial obligations that come from the unauthorized use of the system.
Revisions to the Social Media Policy are anticipated and will be communicated as soon as they are available.
Please note that the level of discipline issued may vary from the above outline, based on the severity of the incident; specifically, some of the previous steps may be bypassed depending on the situation.
Copyright laws apply to electronic publishing (web pages) in addition to print publishing. Web page developers must have written permission to publish information, graphics, or photographs on their pages when they are not the copyright owners.
Any student information communicated via DAA web pages will comply with DAA policies on data privacy and public use of school records.
Web pages shall not include any student’s surname, phone number, street address, or email address, the names of any student’s family members or friends, or any information that indicates the physical location of a student at a given time, other than attendance at a particular school or participation in school activities.
School maps may only identify venues used by the public, such as the main office, cafeteria, gym, athletic fields and parking lots.
Photographs published on web pages may not identify individual students by name without permission.
The Library Media Centers are located on the ground floor next to the cafeteria, and on the first floor next to the Drone Aviary. Both libraries have over 15,000 items, including print books, e-books, audio-books, read-alongs, and magazines. The libraries also contain computers with Internet access, a Clever-Touch board, Makerspace areas, and the Follett Destiny system (online catalog). Destiny allows students, teachers, and family to find books and other library materials via the Destiny app and can be utilized on any computer, iPad, or mobile phone at any time.
Students receive direct instruction in age-appropriate material search and location, database usage, and general research skills during their library visits. They also learn about the different literature genres along with skills and techniques that directly relate to Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop in their classroom. In the Makerspace areas, students are able to explore using inquiry learning, while sharpening their problem solving and innovation skills. They accomplish this by utilizing a host of robotic, coding, Lego, and creative materials that will change periodically. Students are able to work individually or collaboratively, as required.
DAA elementary students may also have access to the other divisional libraries, at the discretion of their teacher, in order to meet their individual needs.
Respect others by keeping noise to a minimum
Eat and drink in the cafeteria
Ask for help if you can’t find what you need
Do be conscientious when using library materials
There is one School Health Office at DAA. The office is located across the Registrar’s Office and to the left of reception as you come in through the main entrance. Health Office responsibilities include, administering first aid, treating minor ailments, health education, updating vaccinations and medical information, and liaising with the Department of Health and Medical Services.
We invite all new and returning families to drop into the Health Office and introduce themselves to our Health Office team. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us any time during school hours from 7:25 AM - 3:30 PM at 0543077458 and we will do our best to assist you.
Along with your child’s application forms, your registration package also contains 2 Health Forms.
Health Information Form
We would appreciate your help in getting your child’s school health records completed. Kindly confirm with us any special medical concerns, conditions, and allergies, as well as any medication your child may be taking.
The Dubai Health Authority requires that these completed forms be kept on file to enable us to care for your child effectively. These forms must be completed and returned to the Health Office directly before your child begins school.
The school should be informed immediately of any change in telephone numbers to enable us to contact a parent or guardian in the event of sickness or accident. In the event of both parents being out of the country, an alternative contact number must be left with the Health Office and with the Registrar.
A sick child cannot learn effectively and is unable to participate in classes in a meaningful way. Keeping a sick child home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows your child the opportunity to rest and recover.
It is recommended to keep your child at home for the following reasons:
The Dubai Health Authority requires that all students in both private and public schools entering Grades 1, 5, 9 and 12, as well as any students new to the school to have a health examination filed in the School Health Office. That examination can be done by the doctor of your choice and a report provided for our Health Office.
School Medicals will also be conducted on both campuses throughout the year by our school doctor and nurses. These exams include a basic head to toe assessment, height and weight measurements, as well as distance and color vision checks. If you wish for your child’s medical exam to be conducted at the school, please ensure your consent form has been completed, signed, and returned to the Health Office.
If your child is taking any regular medications during school hours, either on a long or short-term basis, it is necessary that these medications be given by our nursing staff for dispensing. All medications should be clearly labeled with your child’s name, medication name, dose, and time to be given. Teachers are not permitted to administer medication to students except under special circumstances i.e. field trips, emergencies.
Students are not permitted to keep medications with them in the Elementary School campus with the exception of personal inhalers to prevent/treat asthma attacks in some cases.
Provided here is the recommended vaccination schedule from the Dubai Health Authority. This schedule may vary from that in your own country. It is based upon recommendations for the region by the World Health Organization and Department of Health and Medical Services.
It is recommended that you discuss your child’s vaccination schedule with your doctor and arrange for your child to have any required vaccinations.
We require a photocopy of your child’s immunization record for our medical files and please inform us of any updates so that your child’s health records can be kept current.
BCG – Tuberculosis
DPT/ DaPT– Diphtheria, Pertussis, (Whooping Cough), Tetanus
OPV/ IPV – Injectable/ Oral Polio Vaccine
HIB - Haemophilus influenza B
MMR – Measles, Mumps, Rubella
Varicella – Chicken Pox
Td – Tetanus, Diphtheria
HEP B – Hepatitis B
Mantoux – If child was not vaccinated against Tuberculosis, Mantoux or PPD skin test should be repeated every 2-3 years.
The sun and heat in Dubai are intense. Soaring temperatures can cause rapid dehydration and sunburns. Please provide a hat that can be kept in your child’s locker to cover their heads when out in the sun and apply a high factor sunscreen every morning before coming to school to prevent sunburns and skin damage.
To prevent dehydration and overheating, please provide your child with a water bottle that can be refilled at one of our many water coolers and reinforce that your child continues to drink, drink, and drink water throughout the day. Help us to educate your child about the potential dangers of exposure to the elements in Dubai. Please label the bottle with permanent marker to ensure that it is returned to your child, in case it is lost or misplaced.
An external vendor provides the food service program at DAA. The school has worked closely with the vendor to establish a program that meets the needs of the students and employees. Standards for these services are in compliance with Dubai Municipality guidelines.
Warning for student with allergies: Please bring food from home if you have concerns regarding the food provided in the cafeteria. There is no guarantee that the food provided by the external vendor is nut free. A copy of the menu and ingredient list will be available from the Health Office.
Students have a short break at mid-morning recess to enjoy a snack. This helps children to function at their optimum level throughout the morning. Students may bring a drink and a light snack of nourishing food (fruit, crackers). Eating will be restricted to the cafeteria, classrooms, and designated outdoor areas only. Students are not permitted to bring carbonated drinks and candy to school. Student nutrition and positive academic/social success are very closely linked, so parents are encouraged to send their children to school with healthy food options.
Out of respect for the religious and cultural values of our host nation, and in compliance with UAE law, pork products are not allowed at any in-class, or school-wide events.
Lost and found items are kept in the cafeteria on the ground floor and a cupboard outside the first floor office. Students are encouraged to check these areas frequently. Watches, jewelry, and glasses are usually kept with the Principal’s secretary for the first week. Any unclaimed items are donated to charity at the end of each trimester.
Limited bus transportation to Dubai American Academy is available via STS. Information on their services is available on our website: www.gemsaa-dubai.com under the heading of Admissions/Transport or with the division secretaries. Other bus services are independent contractors and are not associated with DAA. Parents are in no way restricted to the use of DAA service and are welcome to investigate alternative bus transport services should they desire at their own expense and risk.
All Bus services used by DAA students, including those that are independent of DAA, have established rules to ensure safety on the buses. Parents are advised to review these rules with the child.
DAA expects students to behave in a manner that is in line with the school’s PAWSitive Behavior expectations when riding on any bus. Any incidents that occur on the bus should be reported to the bus driver and STS Manager for immediate follow-up in consultation with Elementary School Administration.
An After-School Activities (ASA) Program is coordinated for elementary students. An effort is made to accommodate each student’s first choice of activity, with other choices being offered based upon availability.
DAA has dozens of options for students. Some activities that have been offered in the past include soccer, cooking, arts and crafts, dance class, coding, Drama, Mad Science, karate, yo-yo, horseback riding, skiing, world languages, mask making, Student Council, Yearbook, creative writing, and musical productions. This program is designed as a service to our students. Sessions are generally 45 minutes in length and usually meet once a week for 8-12 weeks. Parents are encouraged to participate by organizing an activity to expand the offerings. Community members may also be invited to provide sessions after approval of the elementary office. Fees for the activities will vary.
Communication between parents and school is a high priority at DAA. Parents receive notices throughout the year about school events. Classroom teachers typically create their own weekly blog via Seesaw. Information is also available on our website at www.gemsaa-dubai.com.
Communication between parents and school is a high priority at DAA. Parents will receive notices throughout the year about school events as well as SPOTS.
In September, a ‘Back-to-School Night’ is held to introduce parents to classroom expectations, a description of the year’s curriculum, grade-level policies on homework, and other details related to the functioning of each class.
We are pleased to announce that DAA will be using PowerSchool and PowerSchool Learning systems during the 2018-2019 school year.
PowerSchool is DAA's new electronic student management system where student information will be collected and stored. The parent portal will be a gateway into the system giving parents access to real-time information that may include attendance, grades, behavior reports and detailed assignment descriptions along with school bulletins. Everyone stays connected. Teachers will be able to share information with parents and students, which will allow students to stay on top of their assignments, and ensure parents are engaged in their children's learning and progress.
The various capabilities of the platform will be phased in steadily once we begin the new year.
We encourage sharing special celebrations such as national holidays and birthdays with your child’s classmates at school. Parents should discuss, in advance, the upcoming event with your child’s teacher. For a party that will not include all classmates, invitations must be distributed outside of school. The classroom teacher should not be asked to distribute the invitations.
The school understands that parents may want to make a birthday special by having it celebrated with the child’s classmates at school. If that is the case, we ask that you please recognize that the school emphasizes the importance of healthy treats. We also have many families who would like to determine how much sugary food their child eats. Because of this, we ask for your help in doing the following if you would like to host a celebration for your child’s birthday:
There are many ways in which parents can support the school program and their children both at home and in school.
While you are always welcome in the Elementary School, if you would like to discuss a specific issue, we strongly encourage you to contact the appropriate secretary to schedule appointments with the Principals, Assistant Principal or Counselor(s). If the issue concerns a particular staff member, the parent should make an appointment to discuss their concerns with that person directly via email, phone, and/or message left with the school secretary or receptionist. If after meeting with the staff member directly there is still a concern, only then should the office be contacted.
All students attending DAA are required by the UAE Law and DAA Policy to live with their parent/s or legal guardian throughout the school year.
DAA students should always have proper home supervision by a parent. If, due to an emergency, you will be out of town and your child will not be under your direct supervision, please send a formal letter to let us know who will have guardianship responsibilities.
DAAPA supports the development of a sense of unity and community among parents, faculty, administration, students, and staff by cooperating in different capacities to enrich the lives of the students and guide parents toward a better understanding of the aims, policies, and philosophy of Dubai American Academy. The achievement of these aims relies upon the cooperation of every parent. All parents of students enrolled in Dubai American Academy are automatically members of the Parent Association. DAAPA is an important part of our school community, and we encourage all parents to get involved and/or support Association activities throughout the year, i.e. the Santa’s Workshop and the Spring Family Festival.
Teachers welcome parental expertise on topics related to the curriculum. Parents willing to be guest speakers or to share collections and artifacts should inform the classroom teacher of their areas of interest. Parent presentations at assemblies are also greatly appreciated.
Elementary School Philosophy: When homework is an engaging and relevant learning activity that is purposefully designed and connected to learning expectations, it can positively influence student learning. High quality homework assignments can (a) improve speed and accuracy with important skills and processes, (b) activate prior knowledge, and/or (c) introduce, extend, or elaborate on new learning. Such assignments provide students with deliberate practice, which can be tailored to the needs of individual students. Effective homework assignments cultivate positive, open school-home partnerships between teachers and parents, while providing students with opportunities to create authentic products and rehearse important academic skills.
Although students often need to practice academic skills at home to master them, the best “homework” for 4 to 8 year-olds is their active engagement in activities that help them develop socially, emotionally, and academically. Such engagement can involve play, socializing with friends and family, participating in sports or other physical activities, taking music lessons, etc. As students learn to read, we ask them to read independently nightly to improve their fluency and comprehension.
In Grades 1 and 2, homework is assigned, as needed, to provide specific and purposeful practice. At times teachers will provide extra practice to individual students (targeted intervention) to close a learning gap in foundational math and/or English skills such as phonics, working with base 10 numbers, etc. Periodically, to extend student thinking, students at any grade level will be asked to work on projects at home. In these cases there will be a minimum of one week’s notice, a clear purpose and learning outcomes, and clarity about parents’ and the child’s roles and responsibilities.
Finally, time spent on homework should be appropriately balanced with the importance of personal and family wellness.
Teachers are responsible for:
Students are responsible for:
The family is responsible for:
Parental involvement and supervision helps to ensure that correct learning is taking place. The Elementary School strongly suggests that parents set up a regular, designated time and place for children to do their homework. Such procedures reinforce study habits learned in school and promote concentration. Encourage your child to be responsible about completing assignments and bringing them to school when they are due.
The school encourages students to read every evening and for parents to read to their children regularly.
Field trips are activities that are designated to enhance student learning. Students are expected to give the teacher in charge and all chaperones full cooperation. All school rules apply. No student is allowed to go on a field trip without a signed permission slip. We cannot accept phone permission.
DAA Telephone: 971-4-704-9777
Directory of telephone extensions will be updated soon!
Principal of Learning, Grades 1-5
Principal of Community & Organizational Systems, Grades 1-5
Assistant Principal, KG1 AND KG2
Director of Early Years, Arabic and Islamic Studies
Library Media Center
School Related Issues:
After School Activities Program
Via e-mail to the teacher
Secretary to Principal
Parent Association (DAAPA)