Dear Clarion Parents and Friends of Clarion,
Ramadan Kareem everyone!
I am so pleased with how staff and students have responded to schedule adjustments as well as cultural adjustments in school to support the holy month of Ramadan. In particular I want to thank Ms. Shaimaa and Mr. Mahmoud, the Islamic Studies teachers, for their efforts with our Muslim students to support those who are fasting- some for the first time- and in prayer at school. The entire student body has been so understanding of the need to respect our use of water and food at school, and the staff as well. It truly is a blessing to be in such an international school, and to see how we can all come together on this.
Re-Enrollment for 2022-2023 school year: You have received the forms and so many of you have replied and our reenrollment looks fantastic so far. Thank you to those who did it already, and thank you in advance to the rest of you for getting to this item of ‘business’ as soon as you can. I do want to remind you that spaces are filling up- our retention rate is higher than last year, which was higher than any previous year at Clarion (except for year 1 when there were 100 students!). We are hitting and surpassing reasonable targets for a natural sustainable growth, but please do not hesitate to contact us and send in the re- enrollment form.
Stephanie the PLO is making calls to some of you who have not yet done this and thank you all in advance for taking her call or answering her emails.
Sibling re-enrollments- Please make sure we have room for the sisters and brothers of students already in Clarion! To enroll your child, please reach out to Asia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramadan Food Drive: We will collect canned food and other items for a Ramadan food drive. There are great savings at the supermarkets right now especially for the ‘staples’ and we will send a list of those for you to focus on for the month of April.
We will start an all school food drive on Monday, April 18th for the next two weeks. Our goal is to kit out boxes for the needy, and the items we would like you to bring in are below:
Ashik and the facilities team will have boxes at Gate 3, or you can pull in at the Kiss and Drop gate and bring your donations right into the atrium. Your children can also bring in items to class and we will go around and collect them.
Construction News: Impact on use of the large pool for the next 3 months: Due to construction taking place above the big pool out back, that pool will be closed the remainder of this school year. This means that Grades 2-6 will not have swimming in May and June and instead will have their regular PE lessons.
PK to Grade 1 however will swim in the smaller pool next to the courtyard.
The construction is for a “Multi-Purpose Hall” (Gymnasium and Canteen space) that will be open for the 22-23 school year. We are so excited about this and more news will come in later newsletters.
Open Morning: The next open morning is Wednesday, April 20th, at 10:30 AM. We will follow our normal format and welcome potentially interested parents to Clarion for a brief presentation in the Atrium and then tours. Please “refer a friend” to come and find out in person all the great things you have been telling them about Clarion! You will find more information on Clarion's refer a friend program later in this newsletter.
Clarion Commons with Ms. Suzanne: On Tuesday, April 19th, at 8:45 AM Ms. Suzanne the Clarion VP, will lead a workshop session on “Reflective Learning”. So far 18 people have RSVPed which is important as we want to have the atrium set up for the space you will need for this very participatory learning experience. It is also ok to bring a friend from outside Clarion to experience our learning model- just RSVP the friend as well with Stephanie. RSVP to Clarion Commons
ECAs: Our ECA’s by external providers i.e our CCE’s will be back from Monday, April 18th. Make sure you contact them for any changes due to Ramadan timings! For parents who would like to register their child for the activity sessions, please contact the provider of choice directly.
Dress DOWN day on Friday, April 29: This month our dress up/dress down day for April will be low key to keep in the spirit of Ramadan. It would be wonderful if everyone came to school in a ‘free dress down’ day- no school uniform that day.
In May we will do a “Spirit Week” with inexpensive/free recommendations for that week for “dress UP!” And we will also plan the long awaited “fruits and vegetable” dress UP day after Ramadan in May some time.
New Counselor at Clarion: Ms. Yasmin is our new counselor at Clarion. We are blessed to have found her, and look forward to her interaction with all students in class groups, with small group sessions, and with individual students as well as parents. Attached to this newsletter is a wonderful letter I asked her to write and it introduces Yasmin much better than I ever could! Thank you Yasmin for joining our team and I am quite positive that you will add tremendous value to how we care for each other in our Clarion School community.
Final Word: For the last 7 years I have done what I call an “empathy fast” during Ramadan. I am not Muslim, but I do this to show my understanding, empathy, and care for what students, parents, staff and the larger UAE community is experiencing. I thought that in this multi-ethnic and multi-denominational place we call home, that sending out this note on Good Friday would be appropriate.
All of us celebrate our relationship with the world, life, and religion in different ways. It is on us to respect everyone and their needs, and as teachers and parents we need to show children the right way to show respect. Wrapped in our showing of respect is care. We show our care by making food donations is one example- so I encourage you all when you shop this weekend and over the next 2 weeks to pick up an extra bag or 3 of groceries (see the list up above) to bring in to give to those less fortunate than us.
Thank you for all you do and for being a part of our community!
Jim #TWoBagsofFoodToGiveMonday Pastore