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The Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC) Annual Summer Challenge Program, organized in collaboration with Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group (ADUKG), has seen 2550 high school students successfully complete training programs in English, IT and Entrepreneurship.
As one of the leading scientific programs in the UAE, the Summer Challenge’s objective is to equip and Boost the students’ knowledge in key subject areas by providing interactive learning and experiences.
In the English training program, 1515 students improved their English language skills in writing, speaking and listening, while 901 students improved their computer skills through the International Computer Driving License (ICDL) training course. Several projects in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 were submitted by 134 students as part of the Entrepreneurship training.
Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University (ADU), emphasized the importance of this program. “In order to provide quality education across the Emirates, young students need to be equipped with the right skills and qualifications to set them on their successful career paths,” he said.
He added that with the aid of the latest facilities, scientific laboratories, and innovative educational tools, all the students who attended the Annual Summer Challenge were able to achieve positive results. “The program raised the performance of participating students in the English language, as well as encouraging their interest in the field of IT and Entrepreneurship,”
Meanwhile, Dr. Ahmed Badr, Chief Executive Officer of ADUKG, said that the group has been working together with ADEC for four years providing dedicated scientific sessions which enable students to excel in their education as well as providing them with basic knowledge in Entrepreneurship.
The Summer Challenge program was well received by all students as demonstrated by Aisha Al Azazi, an English language student, who said: “I have benefited greatly from the course as it gave me self-confidence in speaking English in front of others and enhanced my grammar and conversational skills.”
Another student, who participated in the Entrepreneurship program, Aisha Noor Balochi, said, “We were encouraged to implement our projects through a process that involves planning, thinking, and researching new ideas and information. The Entrepreneurship course also pushed me to think of methods of getting partnerships and showed me how businesses work.”
Meanwhile, an ICDL student - Ali Saleh Al-Harthy said, “The session was of great benefit because now I am able to create a professional PowerPoint presentation, understand and use Excel and prepare spreadsheets and tables as well as researching online.”
The Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group (ADUKG), professional training and development arm of Abu Dhabi University, is the united face for a number of specialist and knowledge-oriented institutes. ADUKG provides a wide selection of innovative courses designed to develop the potential of people and, by extension the organizations they work for now and in the future. On a broader level, through a combination of research, academic excellence, responsive course structuring and key sector focus, ADUKG makes sure that organizations throughout the region are competitive, sustainable and equipped with highly qualified and enlightened people to lead them.
Aug. 1—The Brownsville Independent School District is preparing for a school year as nearly like the pre-pandemic normal as possible, ready to close achievement gaps, address social emotional learning, and ready when it comes to school safety.
Some 270 district administrators participated in BISD's annual leadership academy this past week. New employee orientation is Thursday and Friday, campus staff development Aug. 10-11, followed by district staff development Aug. 12, teacher preparation Aug. 15 and the first class day on Aug. 16.
"BISD continues to move forward in ensuring that students are college, career and military ready," Alysia R. Trevino, the deputy superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said.
"And one of the things that we are doing is that we want to Engage, Empower and Excel, so that's the theme for the year. We want to engage our students in instruction, engage the teachers in the curriculum piece and get them excited about what they're going to teach the students. We want to empower, so when you provide the teachers the autonomy to teach and you empower the students to learn, and everyone excels at the end. That's why that theme was selected."
Trevino said teachers would "continue to work on the standards that the students possibly didn't do as well in last year, celebrate the successes but yet move forward and continue to close gaps."
The Texas Education Agency is expected to release final STAAR accountability ratings for 2021-2022 to districts along with the start of school.
"They look favorable for BISD. We're anticipating they will release them to the districts on the 12th and publicly on the 15th," Trevino said.
2022-2023 will be the first year since the pandemic that districts will have an accountability rating. "Last year we didn't have a rating this year we will. This year all districts statewide will get a rating, A, B, or C."
With the exception of a small number of students still opting to learn virtually, everyone is coming back face-to-face. Trevino said the emphasis this year is to get students more engaged.
"We're hoping we have even more opportunities for hands-on learning for students," she said. "We want them to be able to speak more in the classroom. The speaking part. Listening, speaking, practicing and writing in every classroom every day is kind of what we are trying to hook our students in, because they are going to be engaged, listening, speaking, practicing and writing and thinking in every classroom."
Social Emotional Learning, which educators began emphasizing a year ago, will continue to be a priority this year, Trevino said.
"We will continue that. Our district recognizes that, so we will continue that to make sure student are excited to come to school and are successful."
"The state assessment will provide us results and those will indicate where we have gaps. Once we identify those, we're going to work really really hard to close those gaps," she said.
Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said the academy addresses common concerns.
"This academy is about preparing for what's coming up for the next year, from the state assessments to academics to CTE programs as well as safety and security of our staff. So we've got to go through a variety of sessions throughout the week so our entire leadership team is on the same page, so we all have the same goals and targets."
Pena Elementary Principal Yolanda Turbeville said safety is top of mind for everyone.
"I think the number one question, the golden question this year, is going to be safety, you know, what are those protocols. Everyone's talking about it, so I think that's going to be key," she said.
"I think we all have a role to play, from the district all the way to the students. Having procedures in place day one that everyone understands what needs to happen. Fire drills, soft lockdowns, hard lockdowns, having those in place, participating more in those types of drills is only going to make us stronger," she said. "Learning is the reason we're there, but safety is our No 1 priority and communicating those expectations to our parents, our students, and to our community" is greatly important, she said.
BISD Police and Security Chief Oscar Garcia referred to "situational awareness" when asked about school safety. He said the department regularly holds parent police academies at schools around the district. Parents who participate become aware of issues surrounding school safety and help keep schools safe said.
"They're involved, they're engaged and to me that's very important. You've got to get involved, now more so than ever. The elephant in the room" is always going to be school security, he said.
Garcia said the district would be offering CRAZE training to staff, which stands for Citizens Response to Active Shooter. The training was taking place Friday at the CAB cafeteria on Palm Boulevard.
"There's going to be a lot of requirements that the TEA has rolled out based on the governor's new mandate (after Uvalde.) We're Getting ready for all that. We'll be ready. We'll be ready to respond, we're not going to wait for anyone," he said.