Upper School Orientation

Upper School Handbook

This Upper School handbook is designed for new Upper School students (Grades 6 – 12), including GAAQ students transitioning from Grade 5, to answer common questions, provide critical information for new parents and students and serve as a refresher for existing GAAQ families.   

This handbook is not a contract.  However, as a result of this handbook containing information about student rights and responsibilities, parents and students are responsible for knowing and understanding its contents.  Thus, it is highly encouraged for parents and students to take time and become familiar with the following information and to keep this handbook available for future use.  It can be a valuable reference during the school year as well as a means to avoid confusion and misunderstandings when questions arise.




  • Uniform Expectations

    At GAAQ, we have high expectations and standards for our young people.  We encourage a professional environment, preparing our young people for the world of work and employability.

    Wearing a uniform:

    • Removes opportunities for peer pressure and bullying
    • Reduces distractions
    • Helps all students dress in the same professional standard
    • Readily identifies students compared with strangers on campus

    On days when students have Gym/PE, they will bring their PE uniform and change into it at school.

    Although the initial expense of school and gym uniforms may be costly, over time, it is more affordable and more manageable for both students and parents.

    Correctly wearing the uniform is the responsibility of all members of the school community – students, parents and staff.  There are consequences for not wearing the uniform correctly.  We expect the full support of students and parents to maintain a high standard of dress and presentation every day.

  • Upper School Schedule

    The following documents will help parents and students understand the Upper School schedule from our Middle School and High School perspective.

    • Summary of Upper School Schedule and Planner
    • Upper School Schedule

    In addition, students can download planner templates to help stay organized.

    • Middle School Planner
    • High School Planner
  • Using Alma in Upper School

    The Alma app is the primary communication tool used for Upper School parents and students.  Alma is a secure, easy-to-use online system that brings important school information together in one place.  The platform helps families stay informed and on track with student learning and activities including attendance history, grades/report cards, administrator notes, email updates and class schedules.

    To create, activate and login to your Alma account, please see the links below:

    • Create Your New Alma Account
    • Login to Your Alma Account

    Lastly, for any inquiries about logging into Alma, obtaining your login username or resetting your Alma password, please email the Principal’s Secretary ([email protected]) or our Data Executive ([email protected]). 

  • Google Suite Apps

    GSuites is the technological tool used at GAAQ.  But, what is GSuites?  It is a group of Google Apps that teachers and students use to create, share and submit class work.  A student’s Google Drive is where all Google Docs, Google Slides, Sites and any other apps are stored.

    Click here to complete GOOGLE BINGO and practice various ways that GSuites will be used at GAAQ.   If you are unsure about how to complete a particular task, please watch the videos linked to each box.

  • Student Life

    Student Council

    GAAQ provides opportunities for an active, dynamic student leadership culture for our Upper School students.  These student executives are responsible for the chairing of GAAQ’s Student Council and actively oversee the development of the student voice, fundraising, event management, marketing, public relations and many other important functions.

    These leadership posts will rotate each academic year as Student Council members are democratically elected.   Elections will happen in the first semester.

    Please click here to learn about our Student Council for the 2020 – 2021 school year

    Student Events

    Student events encourage engagement, promote accomplishment, increase togetherness and provide students with a chance to put their learning to the test in a real-world setting.  At GAAQ, student events are a big aspect of building school spirit as our scholars in Grades 6 – 12 have the opportunity to participate in a diverse set of opportunities that are local, regional and international.  Additionally, Upper School students compete in different scholastic and sporting events each month as a part of competitive House Challenges.

    Student Life at GAAQ

    GEMS American Academy Qatar provides a rich extra-curricular program that supports a student’s all-around development, providing opportunities for students to develop talents and explore new interests.  Activities include both individual pursuits and team building activities that empower and support students in their quest for global citizenship.

    Please click here to learn more about student life at GAAQ.

    GAAQ Yearbook: 2020 – 2021 

    Our Student Life Coordinator, Ms. Muna, and the Yearbook Club worked diligently this past school year to develop an efficient and safe manner.  In order to showcase their brand-new yearbook, they decided to create a website to house yearbooks from the past two school years. 

    Please click here to view our school’s digital yearbooks.

    Student Digital Newspaper

    Three GAAQ students dreamed to create a newspaper club and went to work to eventually create a top-quality digital newspaper product.  Their team has become the “eyes and the ears” of what’s happening in the school community – all from the perspective of a student. 

    Please click here to review the student-led digital newspaper.

  • Staff Directory

    GAAQ Senior Leadership Directory




    Mark Lentz

    Head of School / CEO

    [email protected]

    Eamonn Gregory

    Principal, Upper School

    [email protected]

    Jeffrey Wessel

    Assistant Principal, Upper School

    [email protected]

    Jordan Scheer

    Principal, Lower School

    [email protected]

    Susan Cole

    Assistant Principal, Lower School

    [email protected]

    Selina Festus

    Instructional Coach, Lower School

    [email protected]

    Who do I contact...?





    If your child is sick or not coming to school for the day

    Maureen Lastimosa

    Principal’s Secretary

    [email protected]

    If you have any questions about medications or allergies

    Niña Cadiz & Florites Llanes

    School Nurses

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about Student Council and student life

    Muna Ali

    Science Teacher, Upper School & Student Life Coordinator

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams

    Jeffrey Wessel

    Assistant Principal, Upper School

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about pastoral or student care

    Jeffrey Wessel

    Assistant Principal, Upper School

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about bus transportation

    Tharaka Madushan

    Transport Coordinator

    [email protected]

    If you don’t hear back from your teacher or principal in 24 – 48 hours

    Justin Tyler

    Parent Relations Executive (PRE)

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about the college and university application process, career readiness and Grade 12 internships

    Nickeisha Thomas

    Professional School Counselor, Upper School

    [email protected]

    If you have questions on software, hardware and apps (Alma, Google, ELearning, etc)

    Shobana Sivalingam

    Data Executive

    [email protected]

    If you want to contact the Upper School Principal

    Eamonn Gregory

    Principal, Upper School

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about your child’s finance account (tuition, fees, etc)

    Madan Gunasekaran

    Accounts Officer

    [email protected]


    *To contact your subject-specific teacher in Upper School, please email them directly. 

    Please find some pictures of our Upper School faculty and key staff members from the 2020 – 2021 school year.


  • Upper School Map

    Click here to access a map of the Upper School.


  • New Student Checklist

    New students should use this checklist to help themselves get ready for GAAQ life!

    • I have access to Alma
    • I have access to my GEMSAAQ Gmail (…@gemsaaq.org)
    • I have access to GEMS Elearning email address (…@gemselearning.com)
    • I completed the course request form
    • I have seen my class schedule on Alma
    • I have printed a copy of the Upper School Map
    • I have my complete uniforms (regular and Gym/PE)

    Contact for Alma, Gmail, Elearning accounts | Ms. Shobana; [email protected] 

    *Contact for course request forms | Ms. Sima; [email protected] 

    Click the link below to download a copy of the checklist for yourself! 

    New Student Checklist

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