Clarion Newsletter, June 17, 2021

June 18, 2021

Good afternoon Clarion Parents and Friends,

June rolls on, and we have 10 school days to go in the 20-21 school year. An important note about one of those days:

“Fifth” Moving Up Event:

On Wednesday, June 30th, we will have a “Moving Up” event celebrating our “1st Sixth” at Clarion. We are proud of them, and a team of people including Ms. Joy the 5th grade homeroom teacher, Ms. Srei the art teacher, Ms. Suzanne the VP and others will all help make this a successful happening.

This event will happen at 1 PM on the 30th, and therefore we will have an early dismissal for all students at 12:30 that day. Thank you for all understanding that in order to do this event, KHDA has simply said ‘follow all protocols’ and in order to do so we do need to have this event after dismissal in order to use our facilities properly.

In the future post-covid we will be able to include other students and more external attendees; but this year we are limited to direct family only- parents, and siblings who attend Clarion, as well as a handful of teachers and staff. Weather requires us to use the PE hall for this, and we thank you for understanding that pick up that day will be in the courtyard for 2nd and 3rd grades, and in the street for grades 1 and 4.

Creating traditions is what schools do, and I am proud to help in any way I can as we as a team create a new tradition with our 5th graders this year and every year into the future!

As part of our day, we are then as an entire school staff, celebrating the successful school year with a school lunch off campus from 2:30 until 4:30.

The attachment from Emirates Environmental Group:

I am so proud of our recycling efforts. We have been collecting and processing with EEG (Emirates Environmental Group) recyclables in several areas, one of them plastic. We have surpassed the threshold in plastics with our efforts and the attachment recognizes us for this. We have received previous recognitions from EEG for our efforts this year, and we intend to continue this next year, and to do much more, so we can keep ‘earning’ trees to plant in the name of our school. I look forward to more extensive efforts next school year and I want to thank all of you who have continuously filled the green collection bins in front of school every day.

The Academic Calendar for 2021-2022:

Attached (in the email) is the calendar for 21-22. You will note that there is a longer break for Eid at Fitr the first week of May, and that should help us all to prepare for the last 8 weeks of school next year. School start and end dates, as well as the December Break and Spring Break, are all dates mandated by KHDA. We have kept the “Gratitude Day” (can you say Turkey and Pumpkins?!) and blocked out days to ensure that the weekend in October when the Prophet’s Birthday is celebrated can be a 4 day weekend as a ‘middle of the August-December Semester break’ is possible. KHDA has tightened up their calendar parameters to eliminate “PD” days and mandate other items, so flexibility is limited.

Further additions to the calendar that are school specific such as report cards, MAP testing, and special events, will be added in August in a different format. In particular, special events will need to wait until KHDA and DHA have made their adjustments to school opening protocols for 2021-2022.

Clarion Uniforms:

The office staff will be here on a rotating basis over summer, so you can come in to buy uniforms.

Final Report Card:

The final report card for 2020-2021 will be issued on Wednesday, June 30th. This will be in much the same format as the mid-year report at the end of January, which was the midpoint numerically of the school year.

As this is the official school report for the entire 2020-2021 school year, in order to receive it for your child(ren) it is necessary to clear any outstanding school invoices - this does include tuition payments, bus fees, and even lost library books. The appropriate people (Jafar for tuition fees and bus fees ; Ms. Heena for missing library books ) will contact you for these items if needed.

The final word:

We are finalizing the last make-up MAP tests for the 3rd yearly session and so far I am very excited about our results. Teachers will send the results home in reports at the end of year, and we are still testing one group of students who were out in a covid-bubble over the regular MAP testing period, as well as a few students who need to make up a missing assessment or two. But the results are very good and show significant improvement as a school from last year and even from this past September.

I like to emphasize that every single student and their individual growth is the imperative; and that how each child grows in relation to the ‘standard’ for their age/ grade cohort is also important, but secondary to the child’s individual growth. Grade level cohort growth and school success is part of all this, and our results this Spring show that a Progressive pedagogical approach done with fidelity can move the needle in a very positive way with test scores.

When it comes to individual students, I want to point out that children do NOT grow in completely linear predictable ways; they don’t do so physically, socially or emotionally and this is doubly so for their educational growth. Parents who have more than one child know that is true even in your own household. My mother still talks about how me and my two brothers hit certain ‘markers’ in all the aforementioned areas in different ways at different times (even if my brother Greg CHEATS and wears shoes with extra thick heels every year when we take a 3 brothers photo….I’m still taller! LOL).

My point is this. MAP scores are just a score. It takes a 3 year cycle of scores done 3x a year to get a true picture of how a school progresses for student growth and attainment. Likewise, even your own child will at times flatline from one MAP test to another in a cycle, and may even lose a point or two at times. But over 3 years, we should see growth if the tests are administered the right way, with the right consistency and using the proper procedures.

Consistency and running the MAP (and any other external assessments) in appropriate child centered ways was a priority for us at Clarion this year. It is our professional duty to do so and we took both parts of this seriously – following the rule while still focusing on what is best for YOUR children. This is something I am so proud of from the team who ran MAP for us this year: Ms. Nada our Head Assessment and the teachers and Ms. Rushna our IT manager worked on student adaptations across school so that as we progressed in the year we could make the assessment days more comfortable and inviting for students.

Our Data is strong and it is valid because we did two things: we followed the MAP protocols and we made MAP work for us! This is what a well-run team does and I thank them for this. Yet again this is an example of how the Clarion School staff have taken seriously the challenge of making external assessment and standards and protocols work in a positive way within our progressive child entered environment.

Thank you all for all you do to support Clarion School!


Jim #TheBestIsYetToCome Pastore

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