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The Islamic School of Seattle

720 25th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122

(206) 860-1543


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

"The purpose of education is to be an aid to life." Maria Montessori. In the Preschool-K Program, the curriculum is designed around the "sensitive periods" for children ages 3-6 years old. The sensitive periods can be described as periods of "heightened readiness" for certain kinds of learning. The Preschool-K (3-6 years) and Elementary (6-9 years) Program will be child-centered, thematic-based, bilingual (Arabic & English) and multi-age classrooms.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Visual arts
Physical activity
Other subjects taught Islam

From the Director:

Our approach to Islam is a positive one. The mercy and compassion of Allah are mentioned in each surah of the Qur'an and these are the attributes that we stress in our teaching. Children are best indoctrinated into Islam through the wonder of Allah's creation, an appreciation of His limitless love, kindness and compassion and the realization that He guides us through the Qur'an to live the best possible life for our own sakes. The promise of Paradise is a motivation for behavior that is pure and good. Children will be aware that there is a place of punishment, but details of this punishment are not appropriate for young children. Our function as teachers is to provide the inspiration and guidance for our children to be active Muslims participating fully in the transformation of the American society into one of God-consciousness. As our guiding philosophy, Islam is incorporated into every part of the school day. Exposure to Islamic principles, values and practices is experienced in a warm, loving atmosphere. Teachers seek ways to integrate Islam into the curriculum, including choosing some themes that are strongly based in Islam. The ability of the teachers to seek and take advantage of the "teachable moment" is of special importance in teaching about Islam. The children are encouraged to approach the understanding of Islam with the same sense of wonder and curiosity encouraged in other topics. They look through Islamic eyes at history, literature, math and science and every other part of their day. Our long-term goal is to educate thinking Muslims. To accomplish this we provide them with the transmitted knowledge of Islam, but also equip them with the intellectual ability to think as Muslims, inquisitively and creatively. The mathematics curriculum at the Islamic School of Seattle is based on the most recent research on how children learn math and incorporate it into their life experiences. We have adopted the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the development of our curriculum has been consistent with their recommendations. The English language is presented as an integrated whole at all levels. Our primary goal is to develop an appreciation and facility for the written/read and spoken/listened-to language. Our reading program is literature-based. It is essential that every child learn to read with fluency and comprehension, but this is only a partial goal of the reading program at ISS. Writing At the Islamic School of Seattle content is stressed over form. Children are encouraged to think like writers and to express themselves in writing long before they have mastered the mechanical aspects of language. Our youngest children engage in writing on a daily basis from drawing circles and lines in a sand tray to writing single letters. Initially they may communicate their ideas through a picture or by dictating a story written down by the teacher. They practice using chalk, pencils, crayons, or computers as well as more unusual media such as decorative frosting or playdough. With the understanding of the relationship between letters and sounds they begin to communicate in words of invented spelling. Science is primarily addressed through our use of thematic units. Children at ISS are exposed to a variety of hands-on experimental units and field trips as integral parts of classroom themes. In addition children learn about scientific personalities and their discoveries. All themes have a scientific component, but some of the yearly themes will have a particularly strong scientific basis. Our social studies curriculum, encompassing history, geography and the social sciences is taught entirely through themes. We take a more international, global view of social studies than is typical, with emphasis on the Muslim world. Our Arabic program is designed to fulfill the Islamic obligation to know the language of the Qur'an. With this end in view, classical Arabic is stressed at every level. At the preschool-kindergarten level and at the elementary level, our program is bilingual with equal emphasis given to Arabic and English. (Excerpted from school website)

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Mohammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) guide our philosophy. Islam is an integral part of our daily lives and therefore pervades the atmosphere of the school.

The Islamic School is very visible in our local neighborhood where children express Islamic attitudes and behavior proudly and openly. Our goal is not to isolate, but to prepare our children for leadership roles in this society. This can only occur through selective participation in activities offered by the surrounding community.

Our curriculum and philosophy of education are child-centered. The God-given desire of children to learn is nurtured. Our primary role is to provide the environment and encouragement that allow children to become God-conscious, self-directed learners and thinkers. Frequent field trips, hands-on materials, computers and other technology assist us in achieving these goals.

Each individual is unique and in learning style and in their strengths and weaknesses. We endorse this by offering many approaches to learning and fostering teamwork and cooperation among students through shared assignments, games, discussion and cooperation

Vision: To respect, nourish and guide to fruition the pure nature (fitrah) bestowed by Allah swt upon every child.

Mission: To provide educational excellence in an Islamic environment that promotes creative inquiry with a passion for learning and develops ethical leaders committed to bringing excellence to a diverse society.

* God-centeredness (taqwa)
* Integrity
* Justice
* Responsibility
* Respect

-To provide our children with an atmosphere close to the Islamic ideal in which they can grow and learn as whole individuals: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, socially and physically.
-To strengthen and prepare students to effectively navigate the challenges of living in the modern American society
-To nurture learning from an Islamic world view and with a global perspective.
-To prepare students for active leadership roles in the world in which they live.
-To foster lasting friendships among classmates.
-To encourage mastery of the Arabic language so that they may access the sources of Islamic knowledge.

(Excerpted from school website)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Communications & Parent Participation

The learning experience of your child is complete when school and home support one another. We expect families to encourage the children in their school work and to give verbal approval of their achievements. Islamic values must be encouraged and discussed, keeping in mind that children are most influenced by example.

Classroom Visits - parents are always welcome to visit their child's classroom. We welcome regular, informal opportunities to touch base with parents. We recommend that parents speak with their child's teacher and arrange a convenient time to talk. Routine is essential for the development of the child.

School-to-Parent Communications - communications from either the administration or your child's teacher(s) are sent home on an as-needed basis.

Service Hours - Parents are required to attend monthly Parents and Teachers Together (PTT) meetings, to participate fully in school events, and to perform nine (9) service hours each month. Four of the nine hours may be earned by attendance at the monthly PTT meetings. Parents not completing the required hours will be billed. There are many ways to fulfill these service hours and opportunities will be offered during the academic year.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be scheduled twice a year to discuss your child's progress report. Progress reports are given out three times during the school year.

(Excerpted from parent handbook)


Handling Separation: From the Director

The first day of school can be scary for your child(ren). Parents should be prepared to spend some time at school until their child(ren) feel comfortable. Each child is different and will be treated accordingly. Parents positive attitude in saying goodbye and assurance of their return will give the child(ren) the confidence needed to adjust to this new situation. If a child is inconsolable after 30 minutes, we will contact the parents. (Excerpted from parent handbook)