Principal’s Newsletter 12/3/20

As Salaamu ‘Alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
Even though we are limited in our interactions these days we hope you were able to enjoy some cozy family time over Thanksgiving weekend.
We would like to thank everyone who attended parent teacher conferences last week.  The impact of a healthy school-home partnership cannot be emphasized enough and conferences are a great time to nurture this relationship as we share the challenges on both fronts and celebrate the successes together.  If you were not able to attend and would like to reschedule please email your class teacher.
PTC has planned a Porto’s Night fundraiser on December 17th!  More details are to come very soon.  Please save your appetite!
PTC is has also arranged an online Islamic book fair for January.  We are so grateful for these volunteers who are working hard to keep our spirits high despite distance learning this year!
MashaAllah, we are already nearing the end of the first semester.  Report cards will be sent home during winter break, in just a few weeks.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Muniba Ali

Principal ICN Noor Academy

fts.icnmasjid.org

Principal’s Newsletter 11/19/20

We hope everyone is safe and well.  Parent teacher conferences are next week.  If you have not done so already, please sign up for them via the Class Tag invitations sent to you by your classroom teacher.  Parents will speak to the class teacher, and the Quran and Islamic Studies teachers during the same time slot.
As a reminder, Pre-K will only have classes on Tuesday, and Kindergarten, first, and second graders will only have class on Monday.  There will be no special subject classes next week.
The Noor Academy PTC has arranged an online Islamic Book fair in the last week of November.  To make it even sweeter, they will also be taking pre-orders of hot chocolate so you can pick up your books and your cozy beverage together!  More details on ordering are soon to come inshaAllah.
I would like to thank the students who have sent video responses to the questions asked during the assembly.  It’s all about you, guys – our school spirit is our student spirit!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.  Wassalaamu ‘alaikum.

Principal’s Newsletter 11/12/20

As salaamu ‘alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
Parent Teacher conferences are right around the corner.  Please check Class Tag or your emails for sign up information from your child’s class teacher.

Because ICN has closed all three facilities as of this week, all conferences will now be virtual.  Teachers have been preparing student toolkits for the upcoming units of study, however it is possible there might be a delay due to the building closures.  We are planning to have the toolkits ready to be picked up immediately after Thanksgiving break and will notify you of arrangements to collect them once they are ready.

Reminder and Clarification regarding classes during the week of conferences:

 Monday 11/23Tuesday 11/24
KG, 1st, 2ndCore classes only, per regular scheduleNo class
Pre-K J and Pre-K ZNo ClassCore classes only, per regular schedule

We are thrilled to see several student videos that were sent in, in response to the assembly.  MashaAllah, it’s beautiful to see them take interest in building these good habits and reflecting on Allah’s creation.  We look forward to including these a few at a time in the assemblies to come inshaAllah!

A reminder to 2019-20 families about that last year’s yearbooks are available for purchase for a few more days.

Thank you, salaam, and have a wonderful weekend.


Muniba AliPrincipal

ICN Noor Academy

fts.icnmasjid.org

Principal’s Newsletter 11/06/20

As salaamu ‘aliakum ICN Noor Academy Families,

Crazy Hair Day was a lot of fun this week, thanks to PTC’s first initiative of the year, and thanks to everyone’s creative spirit!  The PTC also has a few more things lined for this fall inshaAllah.

For the parents who were with us last academic year the 2019-2020 yearbook is available for purchase now.  Please purchase your copy at the link below. Although the flyer says the last day to purchase them is November 13, this deadline has been extended to November 15th.
Please click HERE to order the 2019/2020 yearbook

Parent Teacher Conferences will be the week of Thanksgiving and teachers will send sign ups to the parents of each respective class or grade. Important – Please note:  The school calendar says there will be class as usually on Monday, November 23, but no classes on Tuesday, November 24th.  This is still true for Kindergarten and up, however, the Pre-K schedule has been flipped.  For Preschool, classes will be on Tuesday, instead of Monday.  There will be no special subject classes that week because those teachers will be attending conferences for all grades, both days.

Thank you, salaam, and have a wonderful weekend!


Muniba Ali

Principal

ICN Noor Academy

fts.icnmasjid.org

Principal’s Newsletter 10/29/20

As Salaamu ‘Alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
Due to the circumstances posed by the COVID-19 pandemic our school has seen a decline in enrollment of a little over 50%.  This was one of the topics brought up at the Coffee With The Principal meeting last week and several families voiced their support by offering to help raise funds to make up for some of the loss the school is experiencing.  Some parents requested a brief statement of the situation.
Below is a breakdown of our operations budget.

  • ICN Noor Academy derives about 99% funding from tuition, and the remaining 1% from donations, and funds raised by the PTC.
  • Of this budget, 76% is spent on staff salaries, and 24% is spent on other operating expenses such as rent, licenses for curriculum, professional development, educational materials, etc.
  • Any surplus is returned to the ICN masjid

The decrease in income this year is greater than the decrease in expense, which explains the loss each month.  ICN Noor Academy reports directly to the ICN board and president. The ICN board feels it is important to continue providing a choice for quality Islamic and secular education to the families of our community.

For those who would like to support us in raising funds or finding additional sustainable sources of income, we welcome your ideas.  Please feel free to contact me directly (mali@icnmasjid.org), or you can get in touch with our PTC co-coordinators, Nadia Awan (nmkhan926@gmail.com) or Sonia Arsalan (soniaarsalan1@gmail.com).  This way your ideas can be supported and turned into actions.

There is some good news.  The Parent Teacher Committee held their first meeting last Friday, and al hamdulillah they have already generated some exciting ideas to stir up the school spirit and make this year more fun and enriching inshaAllah.  They are warming up with Crazy Hair / Crazy Hat Day, but stay tuned for more great things to come!

REMINDERS……
No school Tuesday November 3rd – Election Day – PLEASE VOTE!

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5TH IS…

Students can show their SCHOOL SPIRIT

by attending classes in their wackiest hairstyles or hats!

Principal’s Newsletter 10/22/20

As salaamu ‘alaikum, ICN Noor Academy Families,
Our second attempt at Coffee With The Principal had a good turnout al hamdulillah.  I would like to thank all parents who attended, as well as Ms. Farhana for taking the host role, and the teachers who chose to drop in as well.
Here is a summary of some of the input we received.

General:
– Art class as an asynchronous enrichment is a nice way to offer a creative outlet for students without adding yet another online meeting to the schedule.- There was a positive response about student toolkits and how they are being used to keep the classes interactive- Some Pre-K and Kindergarten families are interested in returning to on-site learning.- Please send in video responses to the assembly, particularly video clips of your child saying bismillahir rahmanir raheem before doing various things, and reciting surah al fatiha when requested.  There will be other response requests as well, inshaAllah, the goal being student involvement.

On-site / In-person learning:
This comes with its own set of challenges, such as expectations of 3 and 4 year olds to wear a mask the entire time, implications of a schedule change including special subjects where the same teacher has multiple grades, and concerns about teachers workload doubling, willingness of parents to switch to remote temporarily if the need arises.

School Operations and Finance:
As with most other private and Islamic schools in the country, declined enrollment has impacted the finances of our school as well.  The ICN Board has been gracious in wanting to continue to offer Islamic Education to the children of our community and thus the school continues to operate this year, although at a loss.  We are asking help from our school families to enlist the community in making up some of the loss by raising funds through virtual fundraisers, fun community events, or any other creative ideas.
We are humbled and touched by the support and eagerness to help that was expressed by all of you – jazakumullahu khair.  While we check with ICN leadership regarding how to go about this, please keep in mind that if you choose to enlist help through social media messages of your own, I humbly request that the message be approved by myself first.  Although we certainly want everyone to get excited about raising funds, we do not want to start a panic or have it reflect poorly on ICN leadership or the school administration.  Those of us on the “inside” are aware of what we face and why, but others may not see it that way.  Long story short, it’s important to choose our words carefully.

PTC Meeting:

The Parent Teacher Committee is having their first virtual meeting tomorrow morning from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m.  Those interested in talking about fundraising or other ways to make this year fun and meaningful are free to attend.  The meeting link is below.  The PTC coordinators this year are Nadia Awan and Sonia Arsalah.  The PTC teacher liaison is Jabeen Shaik.  Much appreciation for these volunteers!

PTC meeting link

Password: pkYFmEmm834

https://icn1.webex.com/icn1/j.php?MTID=maeac2d2ebf9cdb83483662ffcf4f9248


Coming up

Parent Teacher Conferences will be November 23 and 24.  Details and sign up options will be sent in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

Principal’s Newsletter 10/15/20

As salaamu ‘alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
We hosted our first virtual Coffee With The Principal last night.  Thank you to those who attended – it was a pleasure chatting with you.  We had a very low turnout, but we suspect it might be due to problems connecting through the Eventbrite page.  If this was the case, we apologize for any inconvenience this caused.
To make up for it, we will host another Coffee With The Principal next Wednesday, October 21, from 7 to 8 pm.  This time it will be a direct WebEx meeting link and password.  We will not go through an event app such as Eventbrite.
The Parent Teacher Committee meeting for this Friday has been rescheduled to next Friday, October 30th at 10 am.  We need your ideas and your energy!
We cannot stress enough the importance of parent involvement in student success, so we hope to see a good turnout at both events, inshaAllah.
Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.

Principal’s Newsletter 10/8/20

As salaamu ‘alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
It is when we shift from simply belonging, to actually doing things together, that our community begins to matter.
We would like to hear from you, learn about you, and see you in action!   We invite you to two separate events next week.  The first one is Coffee With The Principal.  This is an informal virtual event about what is happening with school these days.  If you have questions, ideas, or would just like to meet the principal and others in our school community please join us.  The link to register is below.

Please click HERE to register

The second event is to start up the Parent Teacher Committee.  Even if you haven’t signed up yet, we invite you to come check it out. The first meeting will be next Friday, October 16th, from 10 to 11 am.  We are fortunate to already have a PTC Coordinator this year and are looking forward to getting a head start inshaAllah.  The link to that meeting will be shared with you soon.  Here is a little video that conveys what we hope to accomplish.

Click HERE: What is PTC?


In addition to parents we’d also love student involvement.  Students are so important – we’d like to make the assembly their’s.  As requested via a Class Tag message, please send in short clips of your child saying Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem when starting something  – eating, drinking, working, getting in the car.  We would like to include these in the assembly video.

Lastly, please remember that Monday there is no school.  October 12th is Indigenous People’s Day (also known as Columbus Day).
Have a wonderful long weekend!

Principal’s Newsletter 10/1/20

As Salaamu ‘Alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
Al hamdulillah, our school is among the winners of the Empower Grant for Islamic schools.  Congratulations to Ms. Jabeen and Ms. Fatima for being awarded $4000 for our school!  We would like to share their grant application videos with all of you on Class Tag and, after we assess and plan, will let you know how we intend to use the funds, in-sha-Allah.
Students’ initial formal assessments will be scheduled by your class teacher during the next few weeks.  A meaningful assessment is made up of many components, including observations of student work, learning style, and more, over time.  Baseline assessments such as the ones conducted in fall make up one of these components, and are used by teachers to plan instructional groups, and identify individual needs.

At the start of the school year we stated that an evaluation would be made regarding in-person instruction after 6 to 8 weeks.  The fourth week of school is now complete.  We continue to monitor the trend of COVID cases in our area, and are aware that our local school districts are looking at phasing in on-site instruction.  In addition to health metrics, there are a number of other factors that we must consider.  Evaluating these, as well as working with the ICN board to ensure consistency in building and health related policies is a process that can take a few weeks.   We estimate that this process will take us through the end of October.  We understand that families need time to make arrangements for any change, and to that end, we thought it fair to say that school will remain on line until then.  We will update our families at that time and intend to provide sufficient notice in the event of a change.  We will also consider the best way to accommodate families who wish to continue remote learning.

Reminders:

(1) The PTC Agreement forms must be completed and submitted along with registration forms.  If this form is missing you will be contacted by the office.   

(2) Immunization, dental and vision forms are required by the State of Illinois.  If you have received a reminder from the office please submit these forms or provide evidence of a scheduled appointment.
If you have already completed these steps, thank you and please disregard these reminders.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!

Principal’s Newsletter 9/24/20

As Salaamu ‘Alaikum ICN Noor Academy Families,
MashaAllah, as I’ve dropped into a few classes this week, I’ve seen some really great things!  Students are participating in discussions, teachers are trying new things to bring purposeful interaction into the virtual classroom such as a teacher taking the camera outside on a mini field trip to observe the autumn leaves, observing the details of collected leaves on the document camera to discuss the role of chlorophyll in leaf color, and a students participating in a literacy discussion using their own whiteboards.

To the teachers who work hard to keep things meaningful and fun, to the students who show up on time with a smile, and to the parents who are working to support learning from home – thank you all!  It is by working together in our respective roles as educator, and parents that we can truly achieve student success.  Of course you knew that already, but here are some tips about how you can help even more.

SOME WAYS YOU CAN HELP

  1. All homework assignments are required.  Please remind your child to complete them.  Homework is essential in providing practice for things introduced in class, for developing self discipline and problem solving skills, for preparing for a discussion in the next class, and connecting school learning to the children’s real world.
  1. Allow your children to solve problems on their own during class and with homework.  To truly help a child’s mind grow, it is important to allow the child to struggle a bit and try to remember, or solve a problem on their own before providing them with the answer.  The objective, as we tell our students, is to “become better learners.”  This will help them go far beyond just storing up knowledge.
  2. Try to keep the background clear during classes.  Remember, everyone who is attending can see everything going on behind the students while on camera, so avoiding a lot of “traffic” in view of the camera will minimize distractions and also protect your privacy.

COMING UP….

We are so excited to add Art back into the mix.  Starting this week, Ms. Shazia will post art videos for each class on Seesaw.  Students can watch the videos and send in photos or videos of their work directly in Seesaw, like their other assignments.  We look forward to seeing our students’ creativity in action!
Thank you, salaam, and have a great weekend!