Clarion Newsletter, July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

Good afternoon Clarion Parents and Friends,

Yesterday saw several major Clarion School events.

1st Fifth Moving Up Ceremony:

Our “1st Fifth” finished the cycle of primary school in a wonderful ceremony at 1:00. The staff were a magnificent support for Ms. Joy as she led the Grade 5 students in preparing, organizing and running the event. “The Clarion Way” was evident in how the students led the preparation for yesterday; preparation that makes me supremely confident that they are ready as young women and men for our 6th Grade in the fall.

Thank you to Joy, Ashik in facilities, JR (‘mista coffee!’), Roralyn, Alwyn, Rasool, Rushna and Elham (for the videos!). The event was a success due to the work of our dedicated staff supporting our students.

Clarion Yearbook:

We issued the 2020-2021 yearbook and I want to give a big shout-out to Ms. Rana Ghazal Laghoutis, who supports Clarion from SIG. She did the heavy lifting to organize the yearbook and to ensure we had it in our hands for the last week of school. Thank you Rana!

Staff Celebration:

We had the staff celebration lunch at 2:30 off campus. I was able to thank the support staff at Clarion for their hard work:

The front office/admissions team: Shazia Khaleel the front office executive, Asia Minervini the Admissions manager, and Heerral Asnani the Parent Liaison. These 3 ladies keep the front of the school humming!

Our Accountant: Jafar Mohammed, works with dignity and a gentle smile so patiently with everyone.

Our IT Manager: Rushna Patel, makes sure our internet is safe and operational, gets out reports and messages to parents, and so much more!

Our HR Manager: Onita Fernandes, works tirelessly to make sure that the staff and teachers get the support they need.

Our School Nurse: Kristine Ballares. The hardest job on campus this COVID year- I am so proud of her patience with KHDA and DHA!!!

Clarion’s Facilities Manager: Ashik Nizar, makes sure the AC works and the property is kept up!

Our Facilities support: Roralyn Delfin, is always smiling, always making sure we have what we need!

Our procurement person: Rodolfo Garcia (JR), you might miss his coffees, but he keeps us supplied for teaching and learning!

The Clarion Handyman: Alywn Costa. Dignified and service oriented- a wonderful man.

The Gate guard and more: Thaddeus Edoga, cheerful and professional- he makes a late round to shut the back gate when I am here after dark!

Pool Lifeguard and handy helper: Rasool Mohammad, always with a smile and hello and here to help in all ways possible!

Sunrise 1st floor Restroom Supervisor: Georgett Ajong, is cheerful and caring in her support of students and teachers.

Sunset 1st floor Restroom Supervisor: Lorna Villabito, is friendly and compassionate and so wonderful with your children!

And our 5 bus drivers: Mohammed Shuaib, Nowshad Khadar, Suthakar Subramanian, Murali Reddy, Arab Shah.

I am so proud of the diligence the drivers displayed in keeping your children safe to and from school this year!

We also saluted our departing staff:

We wish them all well in their future endeavors and thank them for the time they spent with us at Clarion- particularly this challenging yet rewarding COVID year.

I want to thank the board for supporting the event yesterday with teachers and staff!

Summer notes from me to you:

During the weeks when school is closed for summer, I will send periodic emails. For example, next Thursday I will send out an email regarding summer programs and ways to enjoy reading and maintain progress made this year.

I will also send an email on the new staff and the amazing talents they are bringing to your children in the new academic year.

Information will be forthcoming on the special sports programs that we will run in grade level blocks (Grades 1-2 as one block; Grades 3-4-5-6 as another block) as we push out to find a group of 3 to 6 schools of like size to Clarion for home and away games for our children. Football, basketball, swimming will start us off, and we will add more when we find schools who wish to partner with us!

I will also send you an email with a breakdown of the fantastic results at a school wide level from our end of year external assessments - this proves that teaching and learning in a progressive environment does prepare students for external success on a personal level, and promotes success school wide in attainment.

Other emails will give details for the restart of school - first day August 29th- as more information comes in from KHDA and DHA and MOE.

I can’t promise to limit the information and I thank you in advance for understanding that we have so many great things planned for you and your children for next year.

Summer hours on campus:

8 AM to 3 PM. There will be several people here each day, but not everyone every day!

Admissions will be open, and they can help with most requests.

Final word:

Part of life is to work hard and enjoy the fruits of your labors. I am particularly proud that we as an organization were able to keep our word on some of the big items that were brought to me this year.

  • We launched Grade 6, and are projecting that we will have from 12 to 16 Grade 6 students when we open for 2021-2022.
  • We re-started the yearbook after a two year hiatus, and this 2020-2021 production continues in the style of the first two years of Clarion yearbooks.
  • We graduated our first 5th Grade. The “1st Fifth”, who will be the “1st `Sixth” when we reopen on August 29th, 2021.

I hope I have the honor to graduate at least 7 more fifth Grades so I can be here to see all of the current children complete the cycle of Pre-K to Grade 5…and graduate this years’ “1st Fifth” from Grade 12 as well one year later!

It has been a fantastic year, one that I will treasure. Your support as parents has been second to none in this city, or, I firmly believe, around the world. I speak to principals and teachers at many schools here and abroad; they are amazed when I say that I literally get zero complaints about how we have run things during this year of COVID

You as parents have complied with requests, followed protocols, accepted that meetings were online, did your diligence with your children for their “Student Led Conferences”, which we plan to make another Clarion “tradition” continuing next year and in the future.

As a team of parents, staff, teachers and students we grew stronger as the year went on, and COVID brought no fear to us. We all adjusted, we all persevered and we all grew.

And mark these words…the CAFÉ will be BACK and so will the CPC (Clarion Parent Community). Both will be amazing ‘reboots’ as we ride out of COVID in 2021-2022.

The support given to me and the staff by the Clarion Board, led by the CEO Ms. Aparna Verma, and the COO Mr. Kumar Verma, has been brilliant. They brought me to Clarion and I am proud to say they have supported me as I did my best to support all of you throughout this year. Along with the Verma’s I was also supported by Mr. Dileep Menon for SIG Operations, Ms. Janet O’Keeffe the Director of School Improvement, and Susan Whistler the Director of Marketing/Admissions/ Communications.

Thank you Aparna, Kumar, Dileep and Janet for all you do!

My final thank you goes to two ladies who helped me grow, who adjusted to me and with me, and who persevered together in putting up with me throughout this COVID year reboot of Clarion:

Thank you Ms. Suzanne Rodricks, our amazing VP. We would not have the professional growth and curricular acumen to be ready to take off even further next year without your vision, care and patience.

Thank you Ms. Nada Iskandar, our fantastic Internal and External Assessment Leader. You spearheaded the use of MAP for growth for each student, and the fruits of that labor are already showing.

I am a better person for having worked with you this year.

Thank you all for all you do to show your support for Clarion School.

Have a fantastic summer!


Jim #ClarionRocks #ClarionCares #ClarionTriumphs Pastore

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