A Letter from Head of School
Assalamu Alaikum 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 28th 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 state of the art, three campus institution based in the greater Saint Louis area. The main campus, known as ADS, Early Childhood Center and ADSN, is the main campus that hosts an Elementary, Middle, and College Preparatory School. It is home to over 200 students. We are especially proud of our Early Childhood Center that hosts the Infant and toddler programs, and our Montessori Kindergarten School. It brings us great pride to successfully say that ADS-North Campus just ended its first academic year as well. Alhamdulillah, Al-Salam Day School witnessed several key milestones in its recent history.
Additionally, the College Preparatory school celebrated its second graduating class this year. With Allah’s (swt) blessing, half the graduating class, Alhamdullah, are Hafiz Ul Quran. Our seniors honorably were accepted to prominent top universities in the region, with several full scholarships offered from various colleges and universities. Congratulations to the class of 2018!! It should be mentioned as well, that currently, our Middle School graduating class has over 30% of its students’ as Hafiz’s Ul Quran, Mashallah.
With regards to our curriculum, we have taken major steps to align and document our programs of studies, so that it is easily communicated to parents. We hope and pray that we have been successful in doing this. As an institution, we made the decision to purchase a curriculum mapping software called Atlas Rubicon to help better organize and communicate our curricula. With this new program, 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.
We also changed our methods for standardized testing. ADS saw its first MAP testing session in October 2017. 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.
And also, an “Accelerated High School Program” option was introduced to our High School students. Students will now be able to finish their High School Diploma within three years, should that choice be made, instead of four. The regular four-year program track is still available.
Finally, we launched the first Strategic Plan in the Spring. Four different surveys were sent out to all stakeholders using the Missouri Non-Public Association, Council of International Schools, and AdvancedEd’s benchmarks. This “Self-Study” will be our guide in establishing plans to improve and leap with ADS into the 21st Century.
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.
Mohamed Salah Ahmed