A Letter from Head of School

 

Salam Alikum Wa Rahmat Allah Wa Barakato.

 

Alhamdullah, all glory, and praise to Allah SWT, Al Salam Day School has been blessed for almost three decades.  As we end our 29th academic year, it is important and an honor to reflect on our accomplishments and our current state. Despite our humble beginnings as a small school with only a few students, Al Salam Day School has grown by the blessings of Allah (swt) to a district with three campuses based in the greater Saint Louis area. The main campus, known as ADS Main which hosts our Elementary, Middle, and College Preparatory School sections and home to over 200 students. The Early Childhood Center which hosts the Infant and toddler programs, and our Montessori Kindergarten School with over 150 students. It brings us great pride to successfully say that ADS-North Campus just ended its second academic year with our first Kindergarten graduating class. Alhamdulillah, Al-Salam Day School witnessed several key milestones in its recent history. 

 

Our third graduating class, Class of 2019 was exceptional. Our seniors were accepted to prominent top universities in the region, with several full scholarships offered from various colleges and universities including Mizzou, Truman, SLU, UMSL, Marymount University, University of the Pacific in California. 

 

We are exceptionally proud of one particular student who is the first to graduate one year early. We started the Accelerated High School Program in August 2018 and this student took advantage of it and finished her junior and senior courses all in one academic year. This student was able to double up on several courses to be able to graduate a year early. It should also be noted that this student got accepted and is planning to attend the Islamic University of Indonesia. Congratulations to the class of 2019!

 

As an educational institution, we made the decision to purchase a curriculum mapping software called Atlas Rubicon to help better organize, digitize, and communicate our curricula. With this new tool, teachers were able to upload their curriculum standards and benchmarks, along with resources and sample assessment for each topic/unit/chapter. As a result of this implementation, parents will be able to see what is being taught and when throughout the academic year. Parents will also be able to see the resources used by individual teachers, as well as sample assessments for each unit. It is imperative to us as an institution, that our parents feel comfortable with the academic material, and are very much a part of their child’s education. Our vision for the near immediate future, inshAllah, is a plan to upload tailored tutorial videos supporting our curricula beyond the classroom.

 

Moreover, in order to keep up with emerging and accredited academic trends, we began incorporating STEM programs/curriculum into our science courses, ranging from the first grade all the way to Middle School. Resources (MySci) were purchased from Washington University, where our students were forced to use more active and project-based learning skills facilitated by a hands-on approach. Our methods pushed our students to explore and actively learn more laboratory techniques while using the scientific method as a core approach. 

 

This academic year also witnessed several new initiatives and programs. We extended our Operation Cooperation program to Middle School which was a great success. Middle School students were partnered up with Saul Mirowitz Jewish Middle School. ADS students used this opportunity to learn how to conduct proper Dawah to non-Muslims. In regards to sports, we also partnered up to Saul Mirowitz, Dar-Ul-Jallal, and Dar-Ul-Quran where we played several Basketball and Soccer games. 

 

We also changed our methods for standardized testing. ADS saw its second year MAP testing sessions. Teachers, now,  are able to get individualized MAP reports for each student, detailing their individual strengths and weaknesses. These reports also provide teachers with a tailored “Learning Continuum” for each student. Specifically, this addition allows our teachers to properly plan their lessons while keeping in mind how to differentiate in the classroom. Alhamdullah, our academic growth is greater than what is expected for many of our students in K-11. 

 

In regards to accreditation, AlHamdullah, ADS’s AdvancED accreditation was extended an additional year ending in 2021 instead of 2020. We are still accredited by CISNA (Council of Islamic Schools of North America) and MNSAA (Missouri Nonpublic School Accrediting Association. The Missouri Nonpublic School Accrediting Association is affiliated with the National Federation of Nonpublic School State Accrediting Associations, which is recognized by the United States Office of Education and CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). The Missouri Nonpublic School Accrediting Association is approved for purposes of teacher certification by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

 

InshAllah, during the next academic years, ADS hopes to witness more academic improvements while continuing to focus on, improving and structuring the Islamization process. Al-Salam Day School prays that we continue to grow and flourish, as we have been, alhamdulillah, while serving the Muslim Community in the greater Saint Louis area, for many many years to come.

 

It is our pleasure to serve this community of believers and inspire our incoming generations to their greatness.

 

Jazakallah Khairan,

Mohamed S. Ahmed

Head of School