Announcements from Board of Education
Jazakum’Allah Khair to all parents who attended the Parents General Assembly on Thursday, April 5th. The Board was excited to share information about the new campus facility and answer questions from parents. For anyone who was unable to attend, we are sharing the slide deck from the event, a brief recap of announcements below and a summary of frequently asked questions.
New School – ISSD 2.0:
· New name revealed: Bright Horizons Academy. Parents voted and chose this name at the new campus town hall in February.
· New Principal appointed: Br. Aftab Diwan brings a long track record of success. Please see details on attached slides.
· New highly-experienced Director of Education appointed: Official announcement coming soon. See more information on attached slides.
· Vision and Goals: To build the “Best” Islamic School in the United States, led by a Dream Team of highly qualified and experienced leaders, to grow the school to more than 500 students, and deliver the best education from TK through high school.
PGA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
· What grades will be at the new school?
For the 2018-2019 academic school year, we plan to have middle school (6-8), and the first-ever 9th grade class beginning at the new Allied Gardens campus. We also plan to open TK and KG classes at the new facility if we have enough enrollment. That is a total of six class grades for next year in Allied Gardens.
Each subsequent year, we plan to open additional grades at the new campus facility, insha’Allah (subject to enrollment and capacity)—meaning 2019-2020 adds 1st and 10th grade, 2020-2021 adds 2nd and 11th grade—so that all students who begin TK/KG and 9th grade, may continue their education and move to the next grade at the new campus. Please note that this is our intention and plan insha’Allah. Actual progress will be contingent on financial ability and enrollment.
· Are we keeping the current school location?
At the current Clairemont campus, we plan to continue school operations from TK-5th as before.
For the foreseeable future, we plan to operate and maintain both campus locations. At this point, the new facility is not intended as a replacement to the current school. The Allied Gardens campus is intended to help our school grow, accommodate expansion in enrollment and serve as the first-ever private Islamic high school in San Diego.
· What are the school operating times for the next academic year?
Clairemont Campus will stay the same:
o 8 am school start – 3:30 dismissal Mon-Thursday; 8 am – 1:15 pm dismissal Friday
o Grounds open for drop-off at 7:30 am
Allied Gardens Campus:
o 8:15 am school start – 3:15 pm dismissal Mon-Fri
o Bus will leave Clairemont Campus at 7:45 am arrive at Allied Gardens at 8:10 am insha’Allah. Afternoon bus will leave Allied Gardens at 3:20 pm arrive at Clairemont at 3:45 insha’Allah.
o Grounds open for drop-off at 7:45 am
· Please explain the transportation shuttle to the new campus?
For families with children across elementary and middle school grades, the ISSD board is offering free transportation for middle and high schoolers to the new facility. Drop-off and pick-up will be at the Clairemont campus at the timings specified above permitting for traffic.
· What are the current security measures in place for school safety?
ISSD employs a full-time security guard and has a partnership with the San Diego Police Department to ensure the safety of our children and staff. In addition, ICSD secured a grant which was utilized to enhance security-including cameras etc. The school was denied the grant last year, but plans to reapply for the grant this year insha’Allah. Please note that similar security measures will be taken at the new campus, including a security fence (contingent on permits). Student and school safety is a top priority, and the Board, school administration, and local police are in full partnership and cooperation on all security matters.
· What are the plans for the new facility in terms of construction and expansion?
While the new campus is 4.28 acres, the classroom capacity is currently just 10 classrooms students. This should be sufficient for next 2 to 3 years but as we look to increase enrollment and add grades in the future, we will need to construct new classrooms at the new campus. This will require planning, budgeting and a full assessment of needs, and the Board has a committee who will oversee any projects and communicate updates to parents in the future. Currently, our primary focus is on getting 9th grade up and running first and assuring successful high school enrollment.
· Will there be a dedicated Masjid at the new location where students can pray?
Yes. There will be a musalla for students and staff to pray in. Current plan is not to open this for the general public.
· What are the plans for the high school?
The foremost priority for the high school is to ensure a top-notch academic program, Islamic curriculum, and college preparation. In addition, advanced level and foreign language classes are being explored. Also, efforts are underway for a robust extracurricular program. Our goal is to be the best Islamic school in the US, #1!
· What is the partnership with UCSD and SDSU; and what does that mean for the high school?
UCSD and SDSU certification for the school essentially means that these colleges will recognize our high school curriculum ensuring that graduating students have the essential coursework required for admission to a UC college and SDSU.
· How is the new school being funded?
We anticipated and have been planning for this event for a few years. So right now, we are well prepared with more than $500,000 cash reserves to make it happen, Alhamdulillah. Please see attached slides for more details.
· Who is on the Board and how do I contact the board?
See slide about Board Members. Please note that the Board is 100% volunteer, with some board members elected by parents and some selected by MAS San Diego. The Board meets weekly (more than weekly these days ☹), communicates frequently, and is open to receiving any questions and concerns by email at issd-boe-feedback@yahoogroups.
· Are there specific board members who are liaisons with the parents?
Yes. Specific questions on ISSD 2.0 can be addressed to board members Tamer Kadous and Tauseef Kazi.
· How can parents help?
Parents can help first and foremost by promoting and marketing the school to prospective parents. This is key to growth and success. In addition, parents can initiate programs offering their expertise. This will require working with the administration and Extra-Curricular Committee and presenting their ideas for any program they wish to start.
· The recent threat to Muslims was not handled well by school. How is the school planning to handle these threats going forward?
We realize that we did most of the mechanical drill for the children’s safety but could have done a better job communicating and educating the students. Going forward we plan to compose a unified message from the administration which will be delivered to the students of each grade, in’sha’Allah.
· Is the board planning grass over turf in the new campus?
We will look into it insha’Allah.
· Why are we not moving all grades to new campus?
We can’t expand all grades into the new facility immediately because we only have 10 class rooms there.
· Will the STEAM lab be relocated to the Allied Gardens campus?
We will have a brand new lab, in’sha’Allah.
· Will we have a school counselor?
We will look into it, depending on needs and budget.