SEPTEMBER 11, 2018


 Back To School Nights

The first week is in the books and I couldn’t be more happy. We have had successful “meet the principal” evenings and received a lot of great feedback. As leaders, we live the mantra that “feedback is our friend”. So, as we plan for Back to School Night, we should plan with you in mind. We had a meeting today to review what we have always done. The fundamental question we asked was “what do parents want/need to know at Back to School Night”.

Rather than guessing, we’d like your direct input. If you have something that you wish to have addressed at Back to School Night, please add it here.

Note - we cannot answer every question, so we are looking for trends. We will answer the most appropriate questions. The purpose of Back To School Night is to foster community and to share the work we are going to do this year. If the questions are appropriate to the event, we will answer them. Otherwise, put down your email and we will send you a personalized response.

What Are Our Core Values?

If you haven’t already watched it, please check out the amazing First Day Assembly put together by our new High School Administrators, Mr. Coppes, Mr. McManus, and Ms. Hall. I absolutely love the creativity of this work! It has set the tone that we are going to make a big deal out of small things in order to improve our learning.

In the video, Mr. Coppes asks a really important question: What Are Our Core Values? You see, UAS is a very special community. We know our Mission and we have our Vision, but above all that is a more important definition of who we are. I think we all believe that UAS is a powerful place, and I would like to invite parents to help define our identity further.

Mr. Coppes took some initiative to develop our Core Values with a group of students and teachers last year, and I think it’s time to expand that conversation. I’m sure we all have a few ideas and I will be working with faculty and parents this year to establish our Core Values. I am excited to do this work as it will help us to take our school to a whole new level of self-actualization.

If you have any thoughts on these ideas, please feel free to drop me a line:


Director's Update, June 10, 2018

It’s Amazing What One Finds When You Pack!

With only three school weeks to go, I had to face the fact that I had to clear out my office and move things to my home this past weekend. You see, the moving company is coming soon, and I needed to make sure that all my precious books and nick-nacks in my office were safely packed and awaiting the container to arrive at my house along with a large…

Posted by atorris in Director's Weekly Updates on Sunday June 10 at 12:39PM
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Annual Community Survey!

Yes… I know. ANOTHER survey??!??

How many times can be we be asked the same thing???!!!

But trust me... this one is different!

This is our annual parent/community survey which is directly tied to our accreditation process for Council of International Schools (CIS) and Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA).  UAS was reaccredited this year, and now annually it will …

Happy Spring Break Return!

I have a few items of note this week to get us all up to speed after our holiday. I do hope that you all found some time to enjoy the company of your children and had a few laughs and made a few great memories. For the first time in many years, my family stayed “home” for the spring break and enjoyed hanging out in our own home, enjoying Dubai and savoring our last spring break in this…

Director's Update-March 20, 2018

International Day of Happiness 2018

According to Wikipedia March 20th (today) is the international day of happiness.

The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every March 20 and was conceptualized and founded by philanthropist, activist, statesman, and prominent United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement.In 2011, …

Director's Update-March 12, 2018

 Universal American School Receives Council of International Schools Re-accreditation

I am pleased to inform the entire UAS community that the Council of International Schools (CIS) has awarded re-accreditation to Universal American School with immediate effect.

I received confirmation of this decision yesterday afternoon in a letter from Mr. Ray Davis, Director of School Support and …

Director's Update-March 3, 2018

What a wonderful weekend!

Our school community shined proud this weekend at the PTSO sponsored International Fair. This event has been at tradition since 2005 and the event has morphed, changed and developed to be a lovely, exciting and eventful afternoon where we celebrate our diversity.

I cannot express my gratitude enough to the amazing leadership of the PTSO. Their spirit, dedication and …

Director's Update-February 24, 2018

Independent and External Validation

One of my favorite short films of all time is called "Validation".  "Validation" is a fable about the magic of free parking, and stars TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis and is by Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne. The short film was the winner of rather lengthy list of awards including - Best Narrative Short, Cleveland Int'l Film Festival, Winner - Jury …

Posted by atorris on Friday February 23
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Director's Weekly Update-January 15, 2018

Ten days and 21 Visitors!
Last week UAS hosted 7 Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB) inspectors.  This week UAS is hosting 14 Council of International School, Middle States Association and International Baccalaureate inspectors.  These 21 educational professionals have converged upon the school to provide us (and you our customers and clients) feedback and assurance of the quality of …

Director's Update, January 8, 2018

UAS Programs bring access for our students to unlimited educational opportunities 

The holiday time was a wonderful for my family. I do hope it was the same for you.  One of the things that gave me great rewards was some time to reflect and think about my work and the progress we have made at UAS over the past several years.  Whether it be the 73-77% of our students meeting …

Director's Weekly Update- December 10, 2017

Director's Forum Coming up Wednesday.

This Wednesday at 8:00 AM and 6:30 PM I will update parents about the upcoming KHDA visit, the status of our school development plan for 2017-19 and some interesting educational research that we are using to inform our school improvement efforts. Following this brief introduction, newly appointed Director OB Sealey and recently named Deputy Director …

Posted by atorris on Sunday December 10, 2017 at 10:01AM
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Choose groups to clone to:

  • Universal American School
  • P.O. Box 79133, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • +971 4 232 5222
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