Dear Parents,

MAP is on our radar. During the period of Sept. 25 – October 12, DAIS students in grades 1-8 will be involved in writing the first session of this year’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). MAP tests are completed in the Fall and Spring of each school year. Our purpose in having our students write MAP is three-fold.  To provide us another tool in determining your child’s instructional level, to measure academic growth throughout the school year and to give us comparative data on how our DAIS students are doing in comparison to the ten million plus students in the norm group, and students in over 200 other international schools around the world.

MAP tests are unique in that your child will take the tests on a computer and the tests are adaptive in nature. The questions that appear on your child’s screen adjust in difficulty depending upon prior responses, zeroing in on your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.  Students in Grade 1 will write two different tests (Reading & Mathematics), while students in Grade 2 write three tests ( Reading, Language Usage and Math). Students in grades 3-8 complete an additional test in Science for a total of four tests over the week. Each test is approximately 40 to 60 minutes in duration, though there is no limit for children who require extra time.

It is always important that children try their best, but please know there is no studying that can be done for this type of testing. Preparation is done through the daily classroom learning the children experience. That said, a good night’s rest and breakfast are definite pluses.

One great feature of MAP is that there is no long delay in obtaining performance data. Within a couple of weeks of each testing period, you will receive a complete report showing your child’s results and a comparative analysis of your child’s performance to that of the norm group. For more information on resources for parents, download the Parent Toolkit at: https://www.nwea.org/parent-toolkit/ or as always, our door is open at school for any questions you may have.


Seamus Marriott


DAIS NEWS – Sept 4th Edition

Back to School Night- Wednesday Sept 20 @6:15pm

Our Back to School Night is designed to provide parents with an opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and to learn about the instructional philosophy and the curriculum at the grade level. The session is designed to be a whole group conversation and not an individual parent- teacher conference time. We are extremely excited to share what we do, so we hope you can join us. We wish to include working parents so we purposefully scheduled our event to begin at 6:15pm. We will begin with a whole group session and then move to more specific sessions within the grade level classrooms. To accommodate parents with more than one child in school, each classroom teacher will host two identical twenty (25) minute sessions. Please note that the “Back to School” event is designed as a parent information evening, so children are not expected to attend. That said, there will be child care available if needed.

Evening Schedule:

6:15-6:45 Opening and Specialists

6:50-7:15-Classroom Session 1

7:20-7:45-Classroom Session 2

We look forward to welcoming you.

Announcing DAIS Open Mic

Open Mic is a new initiative aimed to provide students the opportunity to share their learning with an audience in an authentic and timely manner. Open Mic will begin on Monday, Sept.11 and will rotate on a schedule of every second Monday from that point. Individual students, small groups or a whole class, in coordination with their teacher, can sign up for one of the five slots on the assembly agenda. Parents will be notified by the teacher by Friday of the week prior should their child be presenting at the subsequent Monday Assembly.

The Open Mic initiative is intended to replace what returning families have known as Community Time, yet still provide children the opportunity to hone their communication and presentation skills. Besides providing children an opportunity to share their learning in a more timely/authentic manner, Open Mic should also provide parents in attendance an enhanced experience in regard to being able to see and hear their child. In addition, Monday Assemblies are 30 minutes long, so working parents can share in their child’s “on stage moments” and still arrive to the office in a timely manner. Increased enrollment, the foot print of the assembly area and potential audience size was another point considered in making this change.

Revised MAP Test Dates:  Sept 25 – October 12

Elementary children will write during the week of Sept 25 and Middle School students will write after the MS Trip.



Schoology Parent Workshop

Wednesday at 3:30 Lisa Barnhart will host Middle School parents for a workshop on Schoology.  Schoology  is an online platform for teachers to create, manage, and share content with parents and students about assignments, tests, homework and grades.

Please bring a device to this workshop.  If you are using a tablet or mobile device you can download the app ahead of time.

Schoology for iOS

Schoology for Android


Welcome Back to School


Hello Everyone,

Welcome new and returning families to our DAIS Community and the 2017-18 academic year. Our amazing DAIS faculty and staff are busy getting ready and looking forward to an absolutely brilliant “back to school” next week. On a personal note, I am delighted to step into the role of director and be allowed the opportunity to lead and support such a talented faculty. I look forward to reconnecting with those of you I met last year and I am eager to establish relationships and personally get to know our new students and families.

On the first day of school it is especially wonderful to see all the smiles and hear the joy in the voices of all the individuals who make up our school community. It is also marvelous to watch old friends embracing and sharing their news while new acquaintances begin to sew and nurture the seeds of friendship.  The beginning of a new school year is indeed a magical time.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the fabulous new teachers within our school community this year as well as a change to our roster, which occurred over the summer.  Please join me in welcoming Maureen Wade (Kindergarten) joined by her husband Eric, Amy Darden (Grade 3) as well as Shane van Staden (PE/Math) who is joined by his wife Wendy and daughter Gabrielle.  In late July, we learned that due to personal reasons, one of our new hire teachers would be unable to join our faculty. To accommodate this unforeseen situation, we’ve made some internal shifts in teacher assignments and hired a very experienced lower elementary teacher. Norm Munro will move to middle school and Ruth Tsang will join us as the grade 1 teacher.

Mr. Munro has upper school experience and is excited to join our MS Team. Mr. Munro will teach Grade 6 Language Arts/Math/Social Studies as well as Grade 7 Social Studies. Ruth Tsang has sixteen years of experience in lower elementary and is thrilled to join the DAIS Community. Parents of children in Grade 1, please note that Ruth’s actual start date will be delayed by five to six weeks, due to the visa acquisition process.  The very capable Lisa Barnhart will step back into the classroom and take the grade one reins until Ruth is able to join us.

The first day of our new year together will be Monday, August 28th. We will kick off our year together with a welcoming assembly at 8:00 AM in the foyer area. Students will move to their classrooms after assembly and once they are all settled we invite both new and returning parents to join us for a short orientation. In this session, we will cover the day-to-day matters (nuts & bolts) that every parent needs to know and provide time for your questions as well.

On the topic of our first day, we all know how hungry children can get as they transition from the routines of summer back to a school day schedule, so please remember to pack a healthy recess snack.  Children will go home for lunch from 12-1:00pm. A reminder that children are not to be in the Clubhouse over the lunch period unless they are accompanied/supervised by a parent/adult.

Other items for the first few days:

  • Teachers will send home class schedules and other announcements on the first day.
  • A hat, sunscreen and a water bottle are vital necessities for children at DAIS
  • Children have PE each day and as a matter of safety proper foot wear is required (sneakers/tennis shoes).
  • School begins each day at 8:00AM with afternoon dismissal at 3:15PM. Students are welcome to arrive from 7:45AM. Morning Recess 10:00-10:15, Home Lunch 12:00-1:00pm.

The After-School Activity (ASA) program will begin on Monday, September 11th. ASA’s are an important part of school life and enrich the lives of children living in Dostyk. A robust and diverse ASA offering requires more than just teachers. The old adage “that it takes a community to raise a child”, definitely rings true when it comes to ASA’s. There will be four 8 week sessions over the year. If you have time to commit and an idea for an ASA offering, in any of the 4 sessions, we would appreciate hearing from you.

At DAIS we strongly believe that good communication links and a strong partnership between parents and the school are important elements in a child’s success. As a faculty and staff, we all look forward to working with you and welcome any questions or concerns that you may have. We feel that it is essential to always keep the best interests of our children as the focus of our efforts, as in fact they are the reason we are all here together.

Here’s to a terrific year working in partnership and we hope to see you on Monday Aug 28th at 8:00AM.


Seamus Marriott

DAIS Director

Touching Hearts Strengthening Minds