Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Student Orientation

We went to the school this morning for a New Student Orientation.


It is a large campus with separate buildings for Elementary School, Middle School and High School.

There is a Main Office with a Secretary and then each Grade Section (Elem., Middle, HS) has its own Principal and Secretary. There are large outdoor play areas and two separate (covered) playground structure areas. The school goes from KG1 (like Pre-K in the States) to 12th grade.

Swimming is a PE activity during the later part of the year and the kids have several extra-curricular activities (including a Swim Team).

Bella has a fantastic teacher named Mr. Fernandez (the first male teacher for either of our kids). The class only has about 22 kids with an aide for 6 hrs a day. There are three 3rd grade classes there. It is a slight ethnic mix with mostly Americans. The turtle pictured above is in Bella's class. She was so excited today that it was hard to make her leave.

Alexander has a great teacher too, named Mrs. O'Shaughnessy and he has about 24 kids in his class with an aide 6 hours a day. There are three 5th grade classes there and they are all connected. Two boys that he met (we went to Al Ain with them last week) are in his class so that's great.

The kids seem excited about some aspects of school starting and I think even Alexander is excited, even though he's trying hard not to show it too much.

The school day is a FULL HOUR longer than their old school. The bus picks them up at 7 am and school starts at 8 and finishes at 3:10. They have a three-day rotating schedule with PE one day, Art one day and Music one day. On PE days they have to wear their PE uniform all day. Otherwise, they wear what they want (within typical school dress guidelines).

They ride a bus with other Embassy kids. It will be weird putting them on a school bus for the first time tomorrow (Maybe I'll finally need those tissues Cecile!).

We had a lengthy parent orientation today and we were both impressed with the school. It all seems top notch. We walked into the Auditorium and there were Mac Pros sitting at everyone's spot with Arabic/English keyboards:

Not sure why it looks green, it wasn't.

There is a fantastic communication system set-up. There is a way to log on through google to the school website and you can access the usual things like grades, calendars, lunch menu (healthy American choices and Ethnic choices each day), newsletter. But, everyone is given an email account and you can access the school directory online and send emails to anyone. They advise doing it this way and not through personal emails since people may have email accounts that aren't recognized by others.

There is also an active PTA.

Tomorrow is Day 1 and I'm hoping it's a fantastic one!!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing! looks like everyone is settling in well.