- Where will the school be located? Have you found a location yet?
6785 Business Pkwy, Elkridge, MD 21075 Google Maps.
- How many grades will be in the school?
We plan to have grades KG through 5th grade for the 2015-2016 school year. After that, we will consider adding one grade level per year (contingent on facility and enrollment) until we complete high school. We also anticipate adding pre-K in the near future.
- What age does my child have to be for acceptance in KG & 1st Grade?
For information on acceptance requirements for students in KG & 1st grade, please see the KG and 1st Grade Age Requirement.
- What is the reason for the school leadership's decision to not be affiliated with a particular masjid?
Our decision to not be affiliated with a particular masjid is based solely on the fact that we would prefer to be an independent entity with greater freedom to govern the school, and not be subjected to the politics or struggles that come with being affiliated with a masjid. Our mission is focused on education and providing materials, training, and a facility that will enhance the education of our community’s children.
- If the IB program is so great, why don't all schools implement it?
MashaAllah there are a number of schools both private and public in the US who are implementing the IB program and are very successful. Because of the onus on specific training for teachers and added materials, it is costly for a majority of schools to implement; therefore, many choose not to become a part of the program.
- How will Islam be implemented in the curriculum?
Islamic studies will be a separate curriculum where 1) Quran, 2) Seerah, 3) Aqidah, Fiqh and Akhlaq, 4) Islamic History, and 5) Islamic social studies are taught. We will also integrate these areas into the curriculum where feasible.
- How is IB different from the classical educational philosophy?
IB is similar to classical education in the sense that it teaches students from a young age, how to learn and gives them the tools to do so. Children work at their own pace and are self-directed learners. Units of study are built around inquiry from the student(s). However, in IB, there is more guidance from the teacher in this process, at least for the younger grades. Units of inquiry are less structured in the younger grades than the middle and high school years. We are researching the IB program because we felt it takes many of the advantages of homeschooling and imports them in a school. Some of these advantages include, working at your own pace, self-directed learning, teaching how to learn, and application of knowledge in experiential -based learning in which the world is the classroom.
- What is the curriculum and who developed it?
Tarbiyah Academy is developing its own curriculum using a team of experts and educators within the community. Our educational consultant (see bio) Jose Acevedo is currently actively engaged in incorporating International best practices and 21st century skills into our innovative curriculum. In addition, we are exploring various Islamic studies and Arabic curricula and are working to finalize our decision soon, inshaAllah.
- What is the difference between IB and Montessori?
IB differs from Montessori in the sense that it is has much higher academic standards, involves more collaboration amongst the students, and relies heavily on project and community-based learning. There are similarities to IB in the sense that learning can be an independent process and each student works at his or her own pace. Both methods focus on self-directed learning. IB teaches students how to learn in order to be lifelong learners. The world is their classroom; therefore, students will have field trips to locations pertaining to subject matter they are currently learning. Teachers in IB collaborate to create units of study or inquiry that incorporate many different subjects.
- What kinds of textbooks will you be using to teach subject matter? Will all the standard subjects be included (Science, Math, History, Art, etc)
Textbooks for all subjects will be obtained from various educational supply companies. We have our choice of textbooks for each subject and grade, and plan to choose materials that will support the high academic standards we have set for the school.
- Will the school get sufficient funding to open on time?
Through the blessings and mercy of Allah, we have reached over fifty percent of our first year’s start-up cost, and we are diligently working to raise the remainder capital on schedule. We owe a huge debt of gratitude and respect to our generous donors, who have stood by us since the beginning, and we are confident that the generosity will continue to increase as we show more progress in the coming months of 2015 inshaAllah
- Will students be segregated by gender? What is the policy on wearing Hijab? Will there be a dress code for teachers?
We currently have guidelines for gender interaction, dress code, and other Islamic issues. The dress code/uniform for K-5th grade girls emphasizes modest attire, and does not mandate hijab. Tarbiyah believes in developing morally upright, spiritually-grounded students who are able to interact with eachother responsibly inside and out of school. To achieve this vision, students in K-5th will be learning in a supervised, healthy co-educational environment.
- Will non-Muslim teachers/students be allowed?
Alhamdulillah the community has a wealth of highly qualified teachers and staff members. InshaAllah we will aim to recruit as many Muslim teachers as possible. The priority of Tarbiyah is to hire the best and brightest teachers and, therefore, we are open to applications from all qualified educators. In the event that a non-Muslim teacher or student applies to TA, they will go through the same rigorous selection process as any other applicant. Once they are welcomed as members of Tarbiyah Academy, they will be required to adhere to all moral, ethical, and dress standards that are set forth in the Staff and Students handbooks. At this time, we are unable to offer non-Muslim students an option to opt-out of any classes, such as religious studies.
- Will there be an assessment for students before they join? What if a board member’s child is not a fit for the school? Will Board members still be committed if that child is not in the school?
ALL students interested in learning at Tarbiyah Academy will go through a screening process. This will indicate if there are any major concerns that would indicate this student may require an alternate educational program. Staff members and parents will make a joint decision as to whether or not Tarbiyah is the best option. This rule applies to all children of board members, staff, and anyone else directly involved with the foundation of Tarbiyah. Alhamdulillah, this project is being done for the sake of Allah and for the children of our community.
- Will there be uniforms?
Yes, uniforms will be a part of the student dress code.
- Will there be a musala/designated prayer area on site?
We will have a space designated for prayers. Prayers will be established by the student body, teachers, and staff during the school day.
- Is Tarbiyah Academy open to other denominations?
Tarbiyah Academy is welcoming students from all denominations in Islam. We all believe in Allah (swt) and therefore must encourage unity among all Muslims.
- What is the tuition going to be?
Feedback from the community is that the value of what we are offering at Tarbiyah is significant and goes above and beyond what we will likely charge for tuition. Our vision is to provide a top quality educational and spiritual experience, whilst maintaining the long term economic viability of the school. To achieve both of these objectives, we will offer sibling discounts for families with more than one child in the school, discounts for families who pay the annual tuition at the start of the year, scholarships for top achievers (eventually), and a tuition assistance program. With current enrollment projections we expect the average tuition paid by a student in Kindergarten whose family is paying monthly over a twelve month payment plan to be under $850.00 per month. In comparison to other academically focused schools, our tuition will be less than half of what these other schools charge.
- How will Tarbiyah handle diversity within its student body?
At Tarbiyah Academy, we recognize that although we may have the same faith, we come from many different backgrounds. We believe in not only recognizing, but celebrating the different backgrounds and cultures that culminate in making our community so unique. Insha’Allah we plan to have all our teachers go through professional development training that includes diversity and cultural sensitivity training, differentiated learning styles, and a variety of courses that will address working with all students.
- What will the teacher salaries be?
InshaAllah we aim to provide teacher salaries that are close to the starting salary of public school teachers.
- How will you recruit and retain qualified teachers?
Our vision is to create an environment that will welcome and foster retention of highly qualified teachers. We want teachers to work in a supportive and collaborative environment where their needs and concerns will be heard and addressed. Teachers will have autonomy in the classroom yet they will collaborate with others to provide the best educational experience for their students. The salaries will be competitive with regional public schools, and some benefits will be offered. Teachers will engage in regular professional development courses and seminars.
- Is the Tarbiyah Academy board up to the challenge?
We (Board of Directors) are a group of professionals who have experience in a number of areas relevant to the operations of a school. We have done the research, investigated the options, identified resources to help us to achieve our objective; every member has dedicated large tracts of time, money, and effort on the project to date. We are passionate about our children and are dedicated to creating an excellent educational opportunity for the community, based on the traditions and ethics within our faith. We recognize that this project is a huge undertaking and will be challenging. We are committed to dedicating our time and resources for this much needed school.
- Who is on the Board of Directors?
Currently the board is made up 6 members who can be seen HERE. We are currently developing bylaws and rules of governance which will lay out all of the rules and regulations surrounding the Board and the running of Tarbiyah Academy. We anticipate in the future that there will be some elected Board members but at this point the Board is taking advice to remain appointed to ensure the consistency of vision and mission.
- What role will grandparents play?
Grandparents as well as extended family members and community members without school aged children will be an integral part of Tarbiyah Academy. There will be several opportunities and options of being financial donors, offering assistance with committees, volunteering in the school, and many more. We value and welcome all members to be a part of the Tarbiyah Academy family.
- Will we (the community) have access to the details of the finances and progression of TA?
- How can I become involved?
There are a number of ways that community members can become involved with Tarbiyah Academy (See HERE). You are welcome to join TA as part of the volunteer action committees group (Sign up HERE). This will include donating a little of your time (not a lot!) and some of your expertise with like-minded parents to facilitate development of a specific area of the school. If you are able, we would love for your to host a salon party at your house! Call some of your friends over, and the dinner and conversation are provided by us (email us for details)! Also, If you have not done so already, please make sure your children are Pre-Registered for 2015 (Click HERE for more).
- How can I make a monetary contribution to TA (preferably by check).
Tarbiyah Academy is a tax-deductible charitable organization under 501(c)(3). If you would like to make a donation to Tarbiyah Academy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Jazakum Allahu Khairan.