What curriculum will be followed at Sakinah Circle?
As an approved alternative program of Edmonton Public Schools, Sakinah Circle curriculum meets the outcomes of the Alberta Program of Studies from a Qur’anic worldview. Units of study draw on Qur’anic content and Islamic concepts to integrate learning, faith and life. Curriculum development is an ongoing process and we use Understanding by Design principles in order to explain the connection with and the integration of Quranic content, Islamic concepts, and values which are central to the Islamic way of life. Reflection and contemplation are central to the Sakinah Circle philosophy.
What are the Islamic components and resources that will be used in Sakinah Circle?
In Sakinah Circle, the teaching of Islam will be integrated into classroom activities and thematic learning experiences. We begin the day with du’a and recitation in the morning assembly. All resources are carefully chosen. In language arts, social studies and science, students may read stories from sirah, Islamic history and civilization. In a topic about travel, the children may learn about traveling to Hajj; when studying the water cycle, they learn about the balance and sustenance of Creation. Wudu and salah will be learned by doing them. In addition the children will spend some time with a hafiz (or hafizah) to memorize Qur’an and learn proper recitation. The amount of Qur’an memorized will depend on the grade and the individual ability of each child and the support for this learning at home.
Sakinah Circle is based upon a belief in the Oneness of ALLAH and the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad (ALLAH bless him and give him peace) as understood by Ahl Al-Sunnah wal Jamah. The focus in Sakinah Circle will be on inculcating a foundational understanding and internalization of Islam.
Sakinah Circle is a program within the Edmonton Public School. Why are there program fees?
Edmonton Public Schools (EPS) is a public institution. Sakinah Society is the parent/community group that supports the program, affiliated with Muslim Education Foundation, which is a registered nonprofit organization. EPS and Sakinah Society agreed that the Society will arrange for and fund the technical study of the Qur’an at Sakinah Circle.
Interested parents and community members are welcome to join the Sakinah Society and participate in the work of the Society. Sakinah Society membership fee is $50/family/year.
The Society carries out the following tasks:
- Communicate to parents, community members and the general public the philosophy, vision and objectives of Sakinah Circle.
- Support Sakinah Circle teachers by providing additional human and material resources that the school cannot provide.
- Hire a certified Hafidh/Hafidha to provide Qur’an instruction, give leadership in the morning assembly, and enrich the school environment with spiritual presence and Islamic knowledge.
- Communicate and negotiate any issues related to Sakinah Circle and the school with the administration and/or EPS.
- Assist EPS and the school administration in recruiting teachers suitable for the program.
- Organize monthly parent meetings/workshops to build a supportive community among the Sakinah Circle “extended family”, nurture lifelong learning, and enhance Islamic knowledge within the family.
Program Fees are required to conduct the above tasks. Program Fees are $100/month/child for G1 to G4 students, and $75/month/child for KG. Program fees are for educational related costs, whereas the society membership fee is for administrative costs.
The Society membership fee is refundable if families are unable to register in Sakinah Circle.
What is the extent of parental involvement in Sakinah Circle program?
Sakinah Society aims to foster a home and school partnership whereby Sakinah Circle becomes an extended family for everyone involved. Parents’ involvement with Sakinah Circle is essential for the success of the program. We strongly encourage and request that parents participate in their children’s education. As part of Sakinah Circle admission requirements, parents (or other family members) are requested to volunteer minimum 5 hrs/month in support of Sakinah Circle and/or Sakinah Society. A list of volunteer activities is attached to the Sakinah Circle reflective document. Parents are asked to submit three $65 cheques at the beginning of the school year to motivate parents to support and participate in their children’s education and will be returned to parents who meet the volunteer minimum.
What are the criteria for teacher selection?
Sakinah Circle teachers are employees of Edmonton Public Schools and meet the District’s hiring criteria. There is expectation that they support the vision and mission of the Sakinah Circle program and are committed to its goals. Staffing is coordinated through EPS Human Resources. Sakinah Society has input into the process and the principal of the school is responsible for the selection of staff.
Will the children learn Arabic language?
Sakinah Circle’s curriculum provides instruction for Arabic as a Second Language, with emphasis on communication and understanding and to support and extend knowledge of the teachings of the Noble Qur’an. Students have regular scheduled language learning experience and additional informal opportunities to communicate in Arabic. (Second language instruction for Gr. 4 to 6 mandates 150 minutes per week.)
Would there be an after school care?
Sakinah Circle follows the dismissal schedule of the school. There is playground supervision of students for 15 minutes before school begins and 15 minutes after school dismissal.
Is there bus service?
EPS bus service will be offered to/from a number of pick-up locations (not from house to house). Bus service will cover Zone 1 only. Transportation costs will be paid by the parents.
Parents are encouraged to develop a car pooling scheme. Sakinah Society can possibly network families living in the same neighbourhood.