Jenna Daudpota Arts & Entertainment Editor, The Pawprint
As many DAA students may already know from their various group chats or simply from being at school the past few days, the school’s superintendent—Tammy Murphy—sent out two emails detailing the new precautions that DAA is taking against the spread of COVID-19.
The first email, sent out on February the 28th, was an overall view on the changes made to all schools, universities and learning centers in Dubai according to the KHDA’s guidelines. Every private school in Dubai is, or at least should be, following these guidelines. The guidelines entail the banning of “all internal and external trips…competitions, festivals…activities,” even those “between schools or teacher[s].”
The next day, the second email was sent out, which clarified which events were canceled at DAA. Here is an incomplete list of all the events canceled: middle school Week Without Walls, all After School Activities and clubs, MESAC and nonMESAC sports practices and events, any and all possible field trips, US Primary Voting (Today, March 5, March 7), US Passport Renewal (Today, March 22), highschool Career Conference (March 5), all Dubai American Academy Parents Association (DAAPA) meetings, the International Food Festival (IFF) and swimming lessons in PE. It is unclear if Parent-Teacher Conferences (March 11-12) are canceled.
DAA is not only canceling extracurricular activities, but breaks are now to be spent in classrooms. Students are not allowed outside of class at any time, other than for the bathroom and passing time.
Just today (March 3 2020), Mr. Atkinson sent out an email saying that instead of the lunch inside the classrooms that everyone had been required to have the past two days, students will have to eat lunch outside. While students are advised to bring their own lunches, they are allowed to buy food from the various carts on their way out. A large lunch outside will give the students the opportunity to socialize and spend time with their friends.
The various emails also warn against the spread of false information. Fake news about the COVID-19 infection is always spreading, especially in relation to the severity and the areas/people that the virus has spread to. The emails warn to always verify information in relation to COVID-19, as it is better to be skeptical than to spread false news.
DAA has taken every possible precaution against the spread of COVID-19 while still ensuring that school runs properly. However, according to the KHDA website, this is no cause for alarm and simply to make sure that everyone in Dubai stays safe. The KHDA is in direct contact with the Dubai Health Association and will be giving us updates along the way.