Creating An Islamic School Kathy Ahmed Slide 2 PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT Phase I Research and Planning Phase II Creating the Foundation Slide 3 Phase I Research and Planning The School Planning Committee Diverse Members Ethnic, demographic Fields of professions Ex: Educators strive for academic excellence but need realistic budget, while financial officers need to be reminded of high academic standards = BALANCE! Establish the mission statement Reminds us of the purpose today and future Slide 4 School Planning Committee Slide 5 Marketing in the Community Slide 6 First School Communities Question whether community will support the idea Seek support from key leaders Utilize various statistical information (i.e. surveys, local Masajid community lists) Use information that will help further marketing strategies, such as community needs and demographics Presentations Show results of other existing schools Identify schools purpose that they can relate to Slide 7 Multiple School Areas Why do we need another school? How is this school different? Identify possible conflicts with other schools and be proactive by creating supporting relationships Slide 8 PHASE II Creating the Foundation Legal Financial Academic Marketing Community Continued Slide 9 A: Legalities Organizational Options State Dept. Non-Profit Corporation or Education Corp. Tax-Exemption Status Charter Schools in your state Religious education is it an option? Non-Public School State Affiliation Drafting By-laws Seek ISNA Education Dept and other schools support Seek attorney with appropriate background Define and Redefine Committees (ad hoc and standing) Executive (Shura), School Board & Administration Define departments, responsibilities, lines of communications Early, thorough planning can reduce power struggles later Slide 10 B: Financial Plan Fiscal Structure RESEARCH What does it take to open What does it take to keep it open Identify Expenses (Mission guided) Identify Realistic Income Sources % Tuition Coverage % Donation Dependent Fiscal research may restructure original goals Long term planning Locations Investments Grade level limitations Slide 11 Some Major Expenses General ExpensesOperating Expenses - Payroll & Benefits -Legal Fees & Taxes - Tuition Assistance -Building and Maintenance -Equipment - Transportation Budgets can be created using percentages per category: Ex: payroll + fringe benefits = 65% of expenses Allocated numbers reflect schools Fiscal AND Academic planning Slide 12 Budget Planning Initial Budget What you need to open Create Tuition Fee Schedule Other fees registrations, books, transportation Decide on the minimum # of students needed to open Or Ensure reinforced $ support regardless of student # but the #s must get better with time and support must continue until it does FUNDRAISING Slide 13 Donations Goal: Fiscal Independence Donations: A dollar given is a dollar spent UNLESS investments made Slide 14 Fiscal Serenity - INVEST Invest in Academics Increases student enrollment Rippling affect Invest in Growing Markets Create a 10% rule Create and Endowment Fund Slide 15 Location - General Defined goals, entity type and budget constraints, will reflect on the location of school Mission Statement Targeting specific area, independent, co-ed, affiliations District (LEA) Various support levels with varying districts Incentive and services transportation, books Fiscal Standing Most influential variable in choosing location IF STEP B WELL-CONSTRUCTED, LESS HINDERENCE OF FISCAL ISSUES! Slide 16 Location Fiscal Related Building Purchase vs. Lease Leasing negotiations, contracts and terms must be clear Purchases depend on funds, building availability, renovations (meets bldg. codes), etc Muslim or Not Create legally binding contracts (Make No Assumptions things change!) Slide 17 Location Identity Related Masjid Affiliations Part of Masjid entity Pros Legal status differs (ex. already tax-exempt), same funds targeted for whole organization Cons Political struggles, focus on high academic structure may be blurred by other community/Masjid related factors In Masjid building, separate entity- Pros Independence, focus on higher academic standards, political struggles can be avoided through clear policies ands terms Cons competing funds and unshared mission provides supporting constraints No Affiliations Independent School Slide 18 Long Term Planning Provides a recurring goal: a reminder of where you are and where you want to be Focuses on ensuring original mission, vision and philosophy do not get lost Gives opportunity for learning and growth Shows the community school aims to build a strong foundation and provide stability Slide 19 Fiscal Summary Step 1 Donations are necessary - fundraise Dont fall into the trap of making it your backbone Extra effort in early planning and marketing Step 2 Increase enrollment every year More students = more tuition More students = more parental involvement Parents are donors too! Step 3 Create an endowment fund, make business purchase, invest 10% funds Slide 20 C: Academics Based on the Mission Statement Comprehend education law & national standards Important especially if planning on competing for academic excellence Board of Directors Founders/New members Interview new members, avoid conflicts of interest if with other organizations and provide thorough orientation Headmaster Compare qualifications to your school needs Know their educational and religious philosophies Slide 21 Academics continued Seek other educational advise Create mentor relationships with professional educators with experience Discuss possible academic structures Decide academic focus or specialties Create curriculum committee (see Dr. Tasneema Qazi paper on Curriculum Development) Slide 22 Academic continued Create the Academic Program Assumption: Board/Admin defined structure Religious aspects Board Expectations Clear Administration Expectations (Contracts) Administration Lead Program Development Staff contract developing Staff and Parental Handbooks Ensure abiding local, state and federal laws Slide 23 Academics continued Creating Administrative Office Office Management establishment of day to day operations Bookkeeping and record keeping of Attendance, fiscal, student records, and correspondences Hiring Teachers Muslims vs. Non-Muslims vs. Certified Advertise Mosques, Job Banks, Papers Interviews Do not settle Background checks Provide clear expectations Support through training Slide 24 D: Community Outreach Continued Community Outreach throughout Legal, Financial and Academic stages provide: Easier recruitment of students Reinforces donors support Develops ties for long lasting relationships Can jump start an active PTA Slide 25 Get Better With Time Keep records of each years accomplishments Timelines Keep you on track Be realistic much depends on time put in per individual Create an annual checklist calendar for recurring projects and deadlines Curriculum review, inspections, staff interviews, governmental forms and applications Slide 26 Final Notes Logistics and Tawakeel A schools purpose is to serve Allah (SWT). Do not be pessimistic and afraid to start better to have tried and failed (actually you dont fail if you count the blessings) than to not have struggled at all. Do not base the schools success entirely on the numbers plan well, but remember: He is the best Planner ALL committee members must truly believe in the common mission if they are to work as a team not just a group There are obstacles undoubtedly but as long as the struggle is for solely for Him Tawakil!