Back to school

After the recent family fun day organized by Arcadia Prepatory school and the end of Spring break, I was inspired to find out more about progress at the Arcadia school which is set to be up and running for September.

I am pleased to share my interview with Pamela E. Chikhani, Director of Strategic Alliances. I hope that other JVT Residents will enjoy this update on this new school we will be welcoming very soon.

[JVT Blog] Since we first spoke to you in November last year, the JVT community is keen to hear about the status of enrolments at Arcadia. Can you tell us how many pupils are registered for September and in which grades?

Pamela: We have had a keen interest over the last four months with several pupils registered to start the first term of school in September. We expect this number to rise in April when parents really start looking to finalise places for their children for the beginning of term in late August. We will be opening classes from FS1 to Year 4 for the first year.

[JVT Blog] Where is the catchment area for students registered at the school? Are the majority from JVT or from neighbouring communities?

Pamela: With The Arcadia Preparatory School being strategically located within 15 minutes of Jumeirah Lake Towers, and just 20 minutes from Dubai Marina, we expect to have a larger catchment than just JVT, The Springs, Jumeirah Park and Emirates Hills.

The location was chosen for it’s ease of access to not just JVT and the surrounding areas but also a little farther afield. With the school set to offer the highest standards of education and facilities available in the city we fully expect to welcome students from across Dubai. We will also be offering bus services to make it convenient for parents.

[JVT Blog]  We see that the school construction is progressing well. Are you on schedule? What is the current stage of construction and what is remaining?

Pamela: We are actually ahead of schedule, which means that we will be able to showcase the facilities to parents and potential students by the first week of July. Currently we finalized structure and are in the building closing stage. We’ll soon have a model classroom that visitors can visit and get a taste of The Arcadia Preparatory School.

[JVT Blog]  Arcadia is located on a plot just off a main road in JVT. We could expect traffic problems at drop off. How will the parking and school bus situation be handled to avoid inconvenience to residents?

Pamela: For safety and security purposes, all of our buses will drive into a dedicated bus parking area on the school grounds. This will of course mean that there will be no buses outside on the public roads. For parents dropping off their children we will have a designated car park also on the premises, so there should be minimal disruption to our JVT neighbours.

[JVT Blog]  We have seen on your website that there is a sibling discount. Do you have any fee reduction for residents of JVT?

Pamela: Our school fee is all-inclusive and includes four sets of uniforms, all schoolbooks and all in-house extra curricular activities. The Learning Enrichment Programme is a unique concept offering learning experiences to compliment the curriculum and at no extra charge to parents. We will deliver a wide range of specialist activities, including homework support, that will embody our ethos of nurturing lifelong learners. We believe that parents shouldn’t have to pay substantial amounts of money for fees and then in addition pay extra for books, activities and uniforms, Hence we’ve included all of this in one fee that is payable in three instalments.

Editor’s Note: Moreover, since I spoke with Pamela, the school founders announced that all students entering in the first academic term (2016/17) will be automatically eligible for a 30% scholarship reduction applicable for their entire tenure in the school. See related blog post.

[JVT Blog]  Arcadia recently held a family carnival on Friday, 4th March. How did this idea come about?

Pamela: Arcadia wants to be a part of the community, not just a school within it. We wanted a platform to connect with the JVT residents and decided the best way to do that was to go out and meet them. Short of knocking on each and every door we thought this was the best way of achieving that goal. We decided a community event for the family would be the perfect way of doing this.

[JVT Blog]  What was on offer at the carnival? 

Pamela: The carnival was a fun day out for families. We had a range of entertainment including jugglers, magicians, musical performances, face painting, balloon modelling, art and craft, games and bouncy castles to name a few. Visitors could also tuck into delicious snacks and sweet treats from the food trucks.

[JVT Blog]  How many people attended? Were the teachers or school administration present at the carnival?

Pamela: Over 1000 people attended the event. Our Principal and Head of Infants were in attendance along with our Chairman and Founder, Mohan Valrani and CEO, Navin Valrani. Other members of the senior leadership team were also present.

[JVT Blog]  How would you qualify the success of the carnival? Do you plan for this carnival to be an annual event for the whole community?

Pamela: Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, so to us it was a huge success. Our main goal was simply to give something back to the community. We plan on doing another event in the coming months for anyone who missed this one and will continue to do going forward.

[JVT Blog]  In what other ways will the neighbourhood kids gets to take part in activities organized by or at Arcadia?

Pamela: We will host a number of community events at the school for children in JVT to take part in. We also plan a number of fun days at the school for children to come and use the facilities on the weekends and in the evenings.

[JVT Blog]  How does one organize a meeting to discuss enrolment?

Pamela: To meet up with our team and discuss enrolment please get in touch with our school registrar, Stephanie Tawfiq, by phone or email on +971 4 551 4264 / info@arcadia.sch.ae or send us an enquiry through our website at: http://www.arcadia.sch.ae

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