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Seeking the Best of Two Worlds

MS Principal Letter

A very warm welcome to all new students and families, all our grade sixes coming up and all our returning students and families.

This year marks the fifteenth year for Hayah and we are pleased to announce that Hayah has become a candidate school for MSA (Middle States Association) accreditation. This certification, alongside our existing accreditation with AdvancED until 2020, will affirm that the school is providing quality in its educational programs, services, activities, and resources as expected by its stakeholders and endorsed by the education world. During the 2017-18 school year, Hayah will be engaged in a comprehensive self-study and evaluation of our school against the Middle States Standards for Accreditation. Parents, students and staff were involved last spring in completing surveys to rate the school against indicators of quality outlined by MSA. The data from those surveys will serve as an important source of insight into the strengths and needs of the school. As a final step to full accreditation, in Fall 2018 we will host an authorization team from MSA to review our findings, school goals and action plans.

Looking specifically at middle school, being a very critical transition year for students coming from elementary and those going to high school, we will continue to build on programs that were initiated in the past couple of years and have positively marked the academic as well as the behavioral development of the students.

Last year we started implementing a multi-tiered support system (MTSS) which focuses on two main benefits for students. Firstly, it reduces the time it takes struggling students to receive interventions. Secondly, it also effectively transitions students through several interventions (tiers) based on their needs.

To ensure that students are viewed holistically taking into consideration both their academic success as well as their behavior, growth and wellbeing, a positive behavior intervention and support system (PBIS) was also introduced last year. This approach provides the help needed for students whose behavior interferes with them reaching their goals. Through this approach, students are also learning to carry more responsibility for their actions and are better able to provide suggestions to improve their choices.

These two approaches in conjunction with our Behavior Interventionist program, also initiated last year, and in addition to our ongoing Advisory program, are strong tools to help support students in a proactive rather than a reactive manner.

Another ongoing approach this year is the integration of more subjects via Project Based Learning (PBL). This is a student-centered approach applying an inquiry based learning technique in which students work together to acquire deeper knowledge and skills by exploring real life problems and challenges. Results of this integration have been seen in end of unit projects and trips as well as in deeper and more dynamic class discussions.

Middle school has also been fortunate to witness several important changes this year. Ms. Yasmine Halima is our new academic advisor and instructional coach in addition to teaching IB psychology. Ms. Omnia will continue to fully carry the responsibilities of middle school assistant principal as well as teach grade 6 study skills. Ms. Iman Fouad has joined the Behavior Interventionist team with Ms.Yasmine Samir and Ms. Hoda Sharabash has become both middle and high SEN department head.

We are also very pleased to continue to welcome even more alumni to the Hayah team as more are entering our gates and taking their first steps with us in their teaching career. This always gives us such a sense of pride.

Wishing all our students and families a wonderful year