Clarion Newsletter, January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Happy Friday Clarion Parents and friends of Clarion!

You’ve received an email from Clarion about the External Provider ECA’s starting up next week. KHDA and DHA have permitted them to do so. However, Clarion’s internal CCI’s are not yet running. We assume that this will not only go till the end of January as was previously announced, but perhaps well into February. But we will send out the sign-ups for the Monday and Wednesday internal ECA’s run by teachers, the CCI’s, sometime next week.

CPC Initiatives:

CPC has organized a follow up picnic in a park, a cycling club at Al Qudra, and a Friday after school American Football fun day on the Clarion field after pick up, as a few of the events coming up. So look further along in the newsletter for this.

COVID Protocols:

Five classes came back to school this week, one more comes back on Monday the 24th… and one class went out again today until next Friday. I am reminding you here that the protocols for COVID and close contact are still in effect and while Clarion will continue to operate in bubbles, we do expect to have classes continue Face to Face. But this means that when we get a report of a COVID case in a class (as we did at 7ish this morning!) we shut down the class and put them on DL for 7 full days. Thank you all for understanding this.

Try to keep an eye on your public contacts please. I know life is happening all around us and the UAE is so open right now- but do your best to keep all our classes in school!!!

Student arrival for Homeroom at 7:45 AM:

Please try your best to arrive for 7:45 am start of homeroom. We realize that this means some sacrifice on your part to get here a bit earlier. But we do use that 15 minutes of time as a school to get children settled and ready for class. Thank you for doing your best!

Mid-Year reports and Parent conferences on the 25th:

Report cards go out throughout today to all grades. Also you should be getting invites from homeroom teachers to sign up for parent conferences on the 25th. A sign-up link for specialist teachers was sent out by Ms. Rushna as well.

Also, this is a REMINDER that all children are at home on the 25th for this as we have to do conferences online due to protocols for COVID tightening up. Thank you for understanding.

MAP assessments:

The “Measure of Academic Progress” assessments will happen on a rolling basis over the next several weeks in homeroom classes in Language Arts, Reading, Math, and (but not in all grades) Science. Homeroom teachers run these and there is no ‘homework’ to prep for these assessments. We will use the results to help us as additional ‘data captures’ to see where we can better help children at Clarion with growth and attainment as the year continues onward. If your child misses an assessment, no worries- the teacher and Ms. Nada, our assessment coordinator, will do make ups later.

Friday dismissal is 12:00 PM:

We start to prep your children for pick up before 12:00 so you can come and scoop them up at 12:00….so this is a gentle reminder to do so on Fridays. Thank you!

Final thoughts for this windy Friday:

To those of you who saw me looking a little waterlogged, bedraggled and wet this morning at drop off…

My Friday morning started out with a “Dawn Patrol” body surfing session at Sunset Beach here in Dubai. I’ve been tracking the storm hitting us this weekend all week on an app on my phone (yea technology!) and my excitement has been amping up as I watched the wave heights building the last several days.

I got there this morning before dawn, the moon still over the ocean, popped into BookHero café as they were opening for a hot cup of coffee, and then down to the water to see the swell roll in. The lifeguards were already on duty- bless them- and I saw several blinking ocean traffic buoys washed up on the beach. Then the first surfers started to arrive. The shine in their eyes was almost a glow; wind was whipping onshore at a consistent 50 to 60 kph, sand stinging faces, and salt permeated the air.

The swell.

Epic wave sets were pumping in every couple of minutes. Some of them overhead, and perhaps the biggest seen on these shores, outside of a full blown school-closing type storm, in years.

The shine in their eyes. The surfers. Men, women, young, old…I wasn’t the only graybeard there for sure!

And then I saw them….a Clarion family. Surfers. Father and two sons, watching the waves roll in, hair blowing back.

“It’s too big for the kids today Mr. Jim!”

“Yeah. But let’s get a photo anyway!”

So we did. Then I got out my fins. Shucked my shirt. And hit the water.

“See you at school!”

Note- I don’t surf. I bodysurf. fins. Belly. Riding waves.

I did my best. I got sucked down the beach 2 times by the current. I stayed in my safe zone. I got a few rides, and got slammed a few times. The water was very rough and I am still feeling it now.

But. It was Epic. I felt alive.

I staggered out of the water to big Clarion smiles twice…then had to dry off in the wind and head to school.

But I’ve got a huge smile on my face and in my heart. And I still smell like sea salt!

Mental Health is what this is all about. Doing something that challenges us every once in a while, something that makes us feel alive. A bike ride. A hike. Helping a child climb the monkey-bars at the park. Building a mega-galactic cardboard and tape fortress in the living room (all those lockdown boxes in the garage).

This is the Clarion way. Finding challenges that fit ourselves and those around us.

Find something blissful to do this weekend. you’ve got 2.5 days to do so!

Sincerely,

Jim #WaterLoggedAndSmiing Pastore

PS I’ve got a feeling that when I head back to the beach at 2 PM the waves will be too big for me. But I’ll enjoy the experienced surfers charging out and filling their souls with ‘wellbeing’!

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