Jun 24, 2021

Good evening Clarion Parents and Friends,

The end of any school year is filled with wonderful projects, sending home of work, and report writing and classroom organization. I had the chance to interact with several class sections today: K1 class visiting my office; students in Grade 3 and K2 helping teachers deliver resources around the school; and looking in upstairs to see the Solar System the Grade 1s made as hands on project. School is still busy and we are proud of all that the teachers and students are doing.

A few notes below:

Dogs on the Clarion Campus:

As our wonderful year rolls to a close, I do have to clarify for our community that dogs cannot visit school. There have been at least three requests to bring family dogs to campus to ‘show them to my classmates’ before summer. The regulations pertaining to this from the relevant authorities are stringent. I do understand that dogs may have visited in the past at Clarion. But the SIG liaison to KHDA has clarified that this is not possible.

Thank you all for understanding and I will investigate safe and approved ways for next year to try again. Thank you for understanding.

Class Lists:

As we are getting ready to roll students up to their next grade level, the current grade level teachers have meetings to work on placements for students in homeroom sections for next year. This is a reminder that we need you to have your child’s re- enrollment completed through admissions and accounts so the teachers can do this work next week. This is important work, as we try to get a great balance in each class for next year and the teachers will ensure that we have a great mix in every homeroom.

Thank you for your understanding and help in this matter!

Early Dismissal Wednesday the 30th at 12:30 PM:

Thank you all for understanding that next Wednesday the 30th we have two events at school that necessitate an early dismissal:

  1. At 1:00 PM, the grade 5 class has a “1st Fifth!” event to recognize them moving up to be our “1st Sixth!” next year.
  2. At 2:30 all the staff- drivers, TA’s teachers, and administration- have a “We BEAT Covid this year!” luncheon off campus. At the luncheon we will celebrate staff, recognize the leavers, and overall congratulate the entire team at Clarion School for an excellent job done this year. I asked for a luncheon so as to make it possible for all of our staff to attend and I thank you as parents for recognizing my need as Principal to do this with the entire staff.

There will not be after school activities on Wednesday, June 30th.

Clarion’s 1st Fifth:

I would like to thank in advance the team at Clarion for their work in preparing for the Grade 5 event next Wednesday. Ms. Joy, the specialists (especially Ms. Srei the Art Teacher), the Grade 4 students and their teacher Paige, and many others have been working on this, making it a very student centered event.

While we would, in any other year, have a community wide event, protocols limit the amount of people we can have present. But I promise…as we roll down the road and continue to grow and expand, we will celebrate our successes as a whole community.

We are working on putting the event on Zoom, and will send out a link we before the event, if possible. Thank you all for understanding.

ABT and IBT Assessments Last Week:

As part of the National Curriculum for the UAE all children must take Arabic. Native speakers and those who hold a passport from a country that is Arabic, are mandated to take Arabic A (with few exceptions) by the MOE. All others take Arabic B as 2nd language learners of Arabic.

Likewise, for Islamic studies, children who hold a passport from a country that is considered to be an Islamic country, are mandated to take Islamic studies. A small % of the total students at Clarion take Islamic studies.

During this school year, we have implemented various ways to make all our external assessments mandated by KHDA (MAP, for example) be received by the students in as organic a fashion as possible. We want students, of course, to do their best and to take the assessments seriously as a challenge on that day to do their best. We also understand that we do not want to make these external assessments stressful. I chose as Principal to be ‘extra organic’ with the ABT/IBT external assessments this year. We did the assessments in a low-key fashion and my feedback from the teachers and Ms. Rushna, our IT manager, has been positive. Ms. Rushna ensures the use of iPads for the external assessments goes well for the students and technology does not get in their way.

This is the first year we are doing ABT/IBT for Grades 1 to 5 school. We will use the results to check our progress as a school and also to check our students’ progress against their own learning over the years. Personal growth is the objective. School growth will be a positive result of all children obtaining personal growth in their own ways.

Summer access to IXL and Razkids:

Please remember that your children have personal IXL and Razkids accounts that are accessible 24/7 all summer long. No, this is not mandatory; I still in fact prefer reading a good old fashioned book, newspaper or magazine! But these programs are available for the students and they have used them all year long.

End of Year Report Cards:

These will be sent home on the 30th and the format will be very similar to the mid- year report you received at the half-year mark in the end of January. I want to thank the teachers for their work on the reports, for their care and professionalism. This is also a reminder that all accounts should be up to date for any invoices you have for the 2020-2021 school year. Please contact Mr. Jafar accounts@clarionschool.com for any information regarding accounts!

The last Word:

The summer solstice has passed us by this week, and we have long days as we finish the school year. It has been a year filled with powerful learning experiences and joy. I want to thank all the parents who have reached out to me to compliment our dedicated team of teachers and staff. It has been a pleasure to hear all your appreciation and postive feedback about how our staff and teachers work closely with your children.

When contacted about any queries, I am happy to address these and take the time to look into it to keep our families happy at Clarion.

Please be rest assured that our team of teachers, staff and myself respect the privacy of every student and family as we are all a part of the same community – I believe privacy and respect go hand in hand.

I truly do enjoy helping Clarion parents at all times, as does our entire staff.

Thank you all for your support as we finish up with a fabulous five days next week!

Sincerely,

Jim #Clarion1stFifth Pastore