THE ASD KINDERGARTEN
A Description of the ASD
Early Childhood Program
American School of Dubai
P. O. Box 71188
Dubai, U. A. E.
Main Building: (971) (4) 395 0005
Fax: (971) (4) 395 0008
The American School of Dubai, an independent not for profit American community school, offers what is best about American education to provide learning experiences designed to promote the maximum potential of its students. We challenge and inspire each student to achieve their dreams and to become a passionate learner prepared to adapt and contribute in a rapidly changing world.
We challenge and inspire each student to achieve their dreams and to become a passionate learner prepared to adapt and contribute in a rapidly changing world.
Excellence, Respect, Integrity, Compassion, Responsibility.
We believe that
The American School of Dubai Kindergarten program consists of two Kindergarten grades: Kindergarten 1 (K1), for four and five year olds, and Kindergarten 2 (K2), for five and six year olds.
The purpose of both Kindergarten years is to prepare young children for the experiences they will encounter later on; both in our school and in others they may attend. The early childhood program has been carefully structured to allow teachers to consider the emotional and social needs of individual children so that each can adapt in a comfortable way, at their own pace, and with the maximum degree of motivation, to the more formal setting of school.
In each Kindergarten, the day is structured with distinct routines, which provide many kinds of activities, including large group, small group, and individual experiences. Children are encouraged to develop their own interests and abilities. They are also exposed to activities in which they learn to focus and follow teacher directions in a group, important skills that will be needed in the later years of our school program. We also place great emphasis on the acquisition of social skills. In Kindergarten children learn to interact with, and show respect for others.
In the pages that follow, this handbook will describe each of the Kindergarten programs and the way in which the programs accommodate the special needs of developing young children. It will also show how the programs are integrated to provide a natural progression from one Kindergarten to another and a smooth transition from the Kindergarten years to the elementary grades.
The Kindergarten Program
Each year a meeting is held in early spring for parents interested in enrolling their children for the following year. During this session, the principal and the vice principal present information to parents and answer questions about the K1 program. All new prospective K1 parents are encouraged to attend the session.
Children must be four (4) years old by September 1 to enter K1.
Children must be five (5) years old by September 1 to enter K2.
(Note: Children with birthdays in July and August are many times encouraged to wait a year before enrolling to better suit their maturity and social needs.)
Applications for Kindergarten will be accepted on the following priority basis:
* In K1 children from seat holder companies who have assigned an available seat to the child in question will receive priority placement. All students are required to successfully complete the pre-admissions process. After the K1 enrollment limit of 96 students has been reached, a seat holder’s child with an assigned seat will be placed at the top of the waiting list.
In K2 the children of seat holders who have a seat available for the child in question will be automatically admitted to the program subject to the successful completion of a pre-admission process.
Places will be allocated based on the above priorities. If there are more applications than available spaces, a blind draw is used to allocate the remaining available spaces and to determine the order of the waiting list. Please note that K1 children continuing on to K2 will be automatically enrolled in the K2 program.
All prospective K1 families are required to complete the pre-admission process which includes: completing the application packet and student participation in a pre-admission classroom observation. The purpose of the Kindergarten pre-admission observation is to gain a more accurate picture of your child’s developmental and educational needs and to ensure that your child can meet the challenges of our program. Prior to admission you will be contacted by the school to establish a time for the observation of your child. During this pre-admission observation, additional American School personnel may observe your child and you may be asked to meet with the elementary counselor and/or elementary vice principal. This process, held in lieu of the entrance test administered at the higher-grade levels, assists us in determining if our Kindergarten program will meet the needs of your child. ASD reserves the right to review admission decisions in the first few weeks of regular attendance if it is determined that our program will not provide an appropriate educational environment for a given student.
Psycho-educational testing is not done as a standard admissions procedure. If more information is needed about a child, additional testing may be required prior to admission.
At Kindergarten age, children possess varied degrees of readiness for school. Children are products of their own unique rates of growth and development and we expect a wide range of diversity within the children enrolled in the Kindergarten program. In our Kindergarten program there is a place for children to grow and develop at their own rate. However, the program is designed to accommodate students whose social/emotional and cognitive abilities fall within a manageable range.
The first month of the K1/K2 program is a time when children become acclimated to the Kindergarten program and teachers become more familiar with the children in their class. At this time teachers may experience concerns about the ability of the program to meet the needs of a particular child. It should be noted that these concerns are not always apparent on intake. They often arise as children interact within the context of the program. Should this be the case with your child you will be notified promptly as to the nature of the concern expressed. The school reserves the right to reconsider enrollment decisions based on an individual child’s ability to handle the program and the impact they may have on other classmates.
Throughout the year your child's progress is reviewed in all areas (social/emotional, physical and intellectual). During the year your child's teacher(s) will recommend/determine the most appropriate placement and/or program for your child.
- K1/K2 -
Conferences are scheduled to take place twice a year - during the first and third trimesters, November and April. However, parents or teachers may request an appointment for a conference at any time during the school year if they feel it is necessary. On scheduled conference days, there is no school for students, to enable teachers to have enough time to meet with each parent.
- K1/K2 -
The K1 faculty continually observe, record, and assess each student’s progress throughout the year. This information is conveyed to parents at conferences.
the K2 level, student's progress in the social/emotional,
cognitive/intellectual, aesthetic and physical domain is observed,
recorded and assessed throughout the year. This information is conveyed
to parents via a number of means, which include written reports, two
scheduled parent - teacher conferences, a student led
conference during the spring term, as well as informal feedback given
- K1/K2 -
Additional informal communication happens throughout the year with; conferences, notes home, telephone calls, websites, emails, electronic newsletters, and classroom celebrations.
The student review team at ASD discusses students who are experiencing difficulty at school or possible retention candidates. It is the responsibility of the student review team to coordinate the efforts of the regular school program, and when appropriate, our special services to ensure that we are doing everything possible to assist these students.
Occasionally the student review team, with prior parental approval, will also enlist the support of services outside the school.
The student review team consists of the elementary principal, the elementary assistant principal, the elementary counselor and the learning support teachers. The homeroom teacher of the child under discussion and any other pertinent ASD personnel also attends student review team meetings. You will receive prior notification if your child is referred to the student review team.
Occasionally as the school year progresses a student’s homeroom teacher may feel that a student’s educational needs would be best met by repeating the year. Should this be the case, the teacher will consult concurrently with parents and the student review team regarding the child’s situation. This may result in the student review team making a formal recommendation for retention to the principal. The school reserves the ultimate right to mandate a grade placement unless special circumstances exist and the final decision for a child’s retention will lie with the Principal.
- K1/K2 -
K1 and K2 students may not be left unattended at anytime or anywhere on the ASD campus. Teachers are responsible for children only during designated school hours. Outside of school hours, each student must have an adult responsible for his or her care. Children should be handed over to teachers upon arrival, at which time the teacher and paraprofessional are responsible for your child. At dismissal children are handed over to a parent or responsible adult, at which time the children are no longer the responsibility of the teacher or paraprofessional.
If you arrive before your child’s scheduled start time, please wait with your child until 7:45am when staff supervision is provided. Please do not leave a child unattended before 7:45. Promptness is important. Each student needs time to put their things away, greet teachers and friends, and prepare himself or herself for each new day.
Children should be picked up from the K1 classroom using the outside doors promptly. Promptness is important. It is often difficult for a student to watch other students being picked up on time when they are also ready to go home. If for any reason you are late, and the teachers are not in the classroom, you can pick your child up from the elementary principal's office. The same conditions apply for the after school care program.
If your child is to go home with someone other than you, please notify the teachers in advance, in writing or leave a message with the elementary administrative assistant.
Attendance is taken at 8:10 a.m. If a child arrives after this time, the parent should notify the elementary administrative assistant in the Elementary School office. She will ensure that the child is brought to the appropriate classroom door in case the class has left the room. If your child is to go home with someone other than you, please notify the teachers in writing.
- K1 -
ASD offers an After School Care Program for K1 students with a sibling, or siblings, at the school. This program runs from Sunday to Thursday, 1:45pm to 3:00pm. The program is not academic in nature, but more of an informal supervised play structure. Students are generally hungry by the late afternoon, so please pack an extra snack for your child. Students must be registered through the business office in order to attend, and there is a scheduled fee for the program.
- K1/K2 -
Absence procedures are designed to help us keep track of where students are. This is done to ensure that a responsible adult is in supervision of the children at all times. Please take the time to let us know if your child will be late or missing from school.
A short absence is when students are sick for a day or two. Parents should telephone the school in the morning before 8:30 a.m. and leave a voice mail message if their child is going to be absent for any reason. This will allow the school to be sure all children are safe and accounted for. If your child has been home sick for the day, please do not send them to attend after school activities. Doing so can prolong their illness and spread whatever illness they are suffering from, to other children.
When students are late for school, they should report to the Elementary office. We would like them to have a written excuse signed by a parent. At that point they will be given a pass to take to their teacher.
A local leave occurs when a family leaves Dubai on a trip that requires students to miss some days of school. Parents should notify the school, as soon as possible, if they will be taking a local leave or are withdrawing early. If you know you are going on a local leave trip, let the Elementary administrative assistants and homeroom teacher know well ahead of time. Be sure to arrange a meeting with your child's homeroom teacher who will help you plan out work that your son/daughter can do while you are away.
Parents Out Of Town
If you and your spouse plan to travel and leave your child with another family, please notify the Elementary administrative assistants and the homeroom teacher with the name of the family your child is staying with and their phone number.
The ASD school uniform is designed to recognize and respect the sensibilities of our host country while at the same time reflect the style of smart/casual attire found in the United States. The ASD uniform allows students some choice and flexibility and ensures that students are dressed neatly and appropriately when at school, or on school-sponsored events. All clothing articles of the ASD uniform must be purchased from Zaks. Students may not wear their own clothes of similar color and style. Zaks is located at:
Beach Center on Jumeirah Beach Road (Tel : 04-342 9828) or
Green Community Mall, Dubai Investment Park (Tel: 04-885 3316).
It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day. Please see below a list of available options for boys and girls at the Kindergarten level.
Please Note: All students are required to have a dress uniform (indicated with this symbol *) for special occasions such as visiting other schools, performing in concerts, or participating in field trips.
Students will not be allowed to attend a field trip if they are inappropriately dressed. This would include the white button front shirt and khaki long pants for the boys and the white button front shirt and khaki skort for the girls.
Unless a specific non-uniform day has been identified by the administration, students will be expected to be in uniform at all times. The exception to this rule is students attending a scouting event after school. Scouts may wear their scouting uniform to school that day. Boys may wear the school uniform shorts or pants and the class "A" scouting uniform shirt. Girls may wear their scouting outfit.
Returning elementary students must be in school uniform on the first day of school. New students must be in uniform as soon as possible within three school days from their first day of attendance.
Footwear: As part of the ASD Uniform
Policy we require students to wear a shoe
supports, protects, and encloses their foot. This
allows students to be active and comfortable throughout the school day.
This ensures that when students are on the playground or at recess they
will be able to utilize all equipment available to them on the ASD
campus in a safe and appropriate manner.
Hats: Students in grades K1-5 will be required to bring two hats to school. One hat may be worn back and forth from home to school. The second hat will be left at school for those “off days” when the child forgets his of her hat at home. Students could wear baseball caps or cricket hats or simply floppy hats. The choice of hat style will be theirs. However, below are some suggestions:
It would be helpful if the cap / hat was a lighter color.
The cap / hat needs to be able to fit in the child’s cubby.
Cotton based fabrics make the head cooler.
All hats should be clearly labeled with your child’s name.
Hats will be worn during outdoor play and outdoor physical education classes. Hats are not allowed to be worn in the school buildings.
In cold weather: Students must wear their school regulation navy blue sweaters or the approved sweatshirts purchased the ASD Booster Club to school. If they are still cold, they may put a jacket over their sweater.
In grades 1 - 3 students must wear khaki shorts and a polo shirt to
school on days that they have P.E. classes. Beginning with the fourth
grade, students are required to wear the school's physical education
clothes for their P.E. classes. For grades 4 and 5, ASD PE. clothes are
worn on PE days instead of the ASD uniform.
Shorts and pants at the grades 1 - 3 level are tailored with an elastic waist. Shorts and pants for grades 4 - 5 are tailored with belt loops. Students moving from grade three to four may continue to wear their elastic waist pants and shorts if they still fit. Belts worn with the school uniform must be solid brown or black in color.
To prevent loss, be sure that you clearly label each item of your child's uniform. Blank labels have been sewn into each article of clothing specifically for this purpose.
The elementary principal will decide if any type of dress is inappropriate or if the overall appearance of a student will create a distraction to learning for the student or other students in the classroom. As a general rule the uniform should fit as intended. The waistband of shorts and pants should be worn at the waist. The length of shorts, skorts and jumpers should fall at the knee or slightly above the knee.
Articles of clothing should not be ripped or torn. If a student is inappropriately dressed, he/she will not be able to attend class until a new set of clothes is brought to school by their parents. If the parents cannot be contacted, an alternate set of clothing may be provided by the principal and/or a letter will be sent home.
Dress on non-uniform days must be similar to uniform – NO sleeveless tops, spaghetti straps, bare midriffs or short skirts/shorts.
- K1/K2 -
All Kindergarten children should bring a healthy and nutritious snack and drink each day. During the warmer months, we also suggest sending an extra bottle of water, which can be kept at your child's table. School policy for Kindergarten snack requires that glass containers SHOULD NOT be sent to school. In addition, as we encourage the children to eat healthy food, chocolates, chewing gum and candies are NOT allowed. Items such as cereal, granola bars, etc. are acceptable. Please do not send any items that require refrigeration or heating. Help support your child's growing independence by having them practice at home opening and closing their lunch box, containers, thermos, and juice box.
Some suggestions for healthy snacks are fruit, cheese, vegetable sticks, crackers, sandwiches, yogurt, and granola bars. As you know your child's taste best please feel free to add to this list.Classrooms may be nut-free environments. If this is the case, please check food item labels for traces of nuts or nut oils. Your child’s teacher will notify you if the classroom is nut-free.
- K1/ K2 -
Students require a lunch in addition to the above snack. It is often helpful to students if snack and lunch are packaged separately eliminating any confusion as to what is to be eaten at snack and what is to be eaten at lunch.
- K1/K2 -
If you wish to send a treat for your child's birthday, please make arrangements with the teachers in advance. We regret that K1 or K2 teachers will not be involved in distributing birthday invitations unless the whole class is invited. Please consider healthy food choices for student birthday treats.
- K1/K2 -
for parties will be collected through the year as needed. Parental
help for baking and other party jobs will be requested during the year
- K1/K2 -
An unwell child cannot learn effectively and is unable to participate in classes in a meaningful way. Keeping an ill child home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows your child the opportunity to rest and recover.
We request you keep your child at home for the following reasons:
Vomiting and/or diarrhea. A temperature of 37.8c/100f. and above: A child with any of these symptoms should stay at home and only return to school after being symptom and fever free (without medication) for 24 hours.
Conjunctivitis (Pink eye) or a Streptococcal throat infection: Following a diagnosis of either of these contagious diseases, a child may return to school only following 24 hours of the first dose of prescribed medicine.
Rashes: Many rashes are not contagious , however, common infectious diseases with rashes are most contagious in the early stages. A child with a suspicious rash should return to school only after a doctor has made a diagnosis and the school nurse has seen your child before returning to the classroom.
Colds: Please keep your child at home if he/she is experiencing discomfort from cold symptoms such as nasal congestion and/or cough.
If your child has a medical condition which would not preclude them from attending school but would preclude them from attending P.E., e.g. a broken or sprained limb, please send a note from a doctor to your child's teacher indicating the problem and that your child cannot attend P.E. that day.
If your child contracts a communicable disease or infection (chicken pox, strep throat, scarlet fever, head lice, pin worms, etc.) please notify the school nurse and classroom teacher immediately.
If your child has allergies, takes routine medication or has a significant medical condition of any kind, you must notify the nurse’s office and the child's teacher at the beginning of the school year.
(In accordance with the Department of Health, Dubai)
- K1/K2 -
- K1/K2 -
All students must be toilet-trained. Please prepare your child to use good bathroom habits (e.g., managing clothing, cleaning self, flushing toilets, and washing hands). In the event that a student is experiencing consistent accidents, it may be determined that our Kindergarten program cannot meet his or her needs.
- K2 -
Swimming classes are held in the fall and spring for K2 students. You will be notified about your child's swimming schedule. The aquatics program at ASD is designed to allow students to gain confidence in and around water, and to improve and advance their own skill level. Because weather conditions are conducive to almost year-round swimming in Dubai, and because of the preponderance of pools and beach clubs, we believe safe water habits and adequate swimming proficiency are essential components of the physical education program at ASD.
The school supplies towels. On swimming days, your child should wear a swimsuit to school under clothing, which is simple to remove and put back on, e.g. no buttons or belts. A change of underwear should be brought in a plastic bag.
If a child is well enough to attend school he/she is expected to swim. If your child is too ill to swim, he/she should remain home from school. Any note to excuse a pupil from swimming must be written by a doctor and have a clear diagnosis, time frame for removal from the activities, and a treatment plan. Notes from parents will not be accepted. If a student becomes ill during the day they will be sent to the nurse for a written note to excuse them from swimming class. This is school policy and no exceptions are made.
- K1/K2 -
The library provides a welcoming place for students and families to explore, select, read and share books. Besides learning check-out procedures and how to care for books, children are encouraged to develop a love of learning that fosters their interests and curiosity.
The library is open from 7:30am to 4:00pm Sunday through Thursday Parents are invited to accompany and supervise their children to check out books and magazines before and after school. Respectful behavior in the library includes leaving backpacks and food/drinks on cubbies in the hallways, talking quietly, using the shelf markers, leaving your space the way you found it and taking cell phone calls outside. Please return materials promptly or renew if a longer time period is required. Reference books are for use only IN the library and may not be checked out.
At the end of each trimester, a student’s report card will be held until all of the items that they have checked out from the LMC have been returned. Students are required to pay for the replacement of books/magazines lost or damaged, including the cost of shipping and processing.
Please visit our website, accessible from the Go Page, to explore our on-line resources and library catalogue. If special circumstances or assistance is needed, please feel free to contact the library media specialist.
The ASD Elementary Counseling Department is a comprehensive school counseling program that offers preventive services, developmental learning and strategies for existing concerns. The counselors visit classrooms once a week for thirty minutes to present the guidance curriculum. This curriculum includes character education, safety lessons, sessions on friendship, sportsmanship and kindness.
We believe that students learn best when they feel valued and safe to take risks in a welcoming environment. This enhanced student learning is accompanied with a positive, supportive home-school partnership, Our doors are always open to you and your child.
Learning Support Services (LSS)
The Learning Support Services (LSS) program at ASD provides support to students requiring academic assistance with the goal of helping them achieve grade level curriculum expectations. The LSS team uses data from assessments and information from the homeroom teacher to guide instruction as well as monitor and measure student growth through the use of one to one and small group instruction, in-class instruction, and the use of engaging instructional tools, including technology. The LSS team strives to enhance student learning and support independence.
The Home/School Connection
Talk to your child - encourage self-expression of thoughts and needs clearly. Listen to your child! Help your child to develop relationships with others - have your child invite friends to play and allow your child to visit others. Provide crayons, scissors, glue, and paper for your child to experiment with at home. The use of blocks, puzzles, and clay at home is also very beneficial to the development of Kindergarten skills. Accept what your child produces and praise him/her for it. Be encouraging! Teach your child to dress and undress himself/herself.
Read to your child daily. Ask questions about the story, or ask him/her to retell it in his/her own words. Try open-ended questions like: "What do you think will happen next?" "How else could the story have ended?" “Does this story remind you of something?”
Make greeting cards for friends or relatives. Provide CDs or DVDs of stories and songs for your child to listen to. CDs or DVDs with accompanying books are ideal. Teach your child songs, rhymes, and poems you can remember from your childhood. The alphabet song is a good example. Have your child teach you some songs he/she may have learned in nursery school. Play language games like "I Spy with My Little eye something that starts with..." or "In My Grandfather's Trunk."
Whenever you go on a trip to visit zoos, museums, parks, market places, beaches, or other cities, talk about what you see or have seen. Have your child help in the kitchen preparing simple foods. Repeating sequences of at least three ingredients or cooking steps is a good exercise. When watching TV, ask what is happening. Have your child describe what he/she has just watched. Encourage your child to speak in complete sentences. Help your child by being a good role model.
Family library visits are very important. It is also important for your child to see you reading for pleasure at home.
Have your child do lots of counting of things in his everyday world: silverware on the table, buttons on clothing, items in a package. Counting games are important. Have your child pick a color and count, for example the number of cars of that color that pass by. Reading stories involving numbers and learning counting rhymes are beneficial activities. Encourage your child to notice attributes: size, thickness, weight, color, etc. It is important to be aware of shapes and their names. Sorting and grouping of objects is helpful as well. Measuring and estimating can be done with simple objects: how many shoestrings can fit along the edge of the table?
The Parent Teacher Association of the American School of Dubai was established in September 2007. It aims to bring together the Association membership for the support of school-related activities. It also encourages the free exchange of ideas among the members of the Association, school personnel, and the Board of Trustees.
The PTA membership consists of all the parents or guardians of students at the school, and of ASD personnel directly involved in student education. They are automatically members of the Association, no fees or dues necessary.
The PTA organizes a number of annual events at ASD such as International Day, Breakfast with Santa, and the Carnival which is its main fundraiser. In addition, the PTA coordinates the liaison between the teachers and the parents at all school levels. The PTA is also keen on helping the new families who join ASD with their transition into Dubai and the school.
Parents are encouraged to volunteer for the various events and committees that the PTA organizes. Being active in the PTA events and serving on its committees are excellent ways to contribute to the ASD community, and ultimately to promote the welfare and development of our students.
PTA OfficersJane Elliott, PTA President
Norma Khayat, PTA Vice President
Salwa Wahba, PTA Secretary
Vivian Barette, PTA Treasurer
- K1/K2 -
is often a child's first "big school" experience outside of their
family. We view these years as building a bridge from home to school
and building a foundation for future years. Parent volunteers play a
key role in this experience. We encourage parents to volunteer and
support their child's education at ASD. Opportunities to volunteer are