New Horizon: Private Islamic school in Irvine blends modern learning with faith’s traditions

IRVINE– Her face framed by a gauzy white hijab, instructor Amira Abdel-Aal leans over the shoulder of a youthful child in a dress shirt and also striped connection as he peers at a laptop.

The photo was part of the application submitted by New Perspective, the personal Islamic primary school in north Irvine, to the united state Department of Education and learning in its bid for Blue Bow status.

For Head of School Dina Eletreby, the snapshot highlights completely the school’s mission.

“She clearly uses hijab, so you get that feeling of tradition. You know our identity with this photo,” she stated. “Yet at the exact same time, he’s resting with a Macbook before him and also she’s working individualized with him, so you get that sense of customized education and learning, which is just what we provide.”

New Horizon, the only independent Islamic school in the county, has about 200 students, an ordinary course size of 13, and also test ratings high sufficient to make it the title of Blue Bow college in September– one of just 50 personal colleges across the Usa and 4 in the state to get the designation.

The college, which opened in 2001, has 3 sis schools in Los Angeles County. The Irvine school joins its Pasadena branch as one of 2 Islamic schools across the country to get the honor in the 32-year past history of the Blue Bow protocol.

Eletreby and Uzma Said, who directs the school’s elementary program, traveled last week to Washington, D.C., to represent the school at the honors ceremony.

On Nov. 15, the school will hold its own Blue Ribbon event.


New Perspective opened with 85 students on Sept. 10, 2001, the day before collaborated strikes on the U.S. by al-Qaida, an Islamic terrorist group.

Describing such barbaric acts, done by fanatics in the name of Islam, is difficult with elementary-age youngsters, Eletreby claimed.

“It’s interesting due to the fact that their reaction is the reaction of the majority of us: That’s not Islam. Exactly what are individuals doing?” she stated. “We attempt and also browse through that as ideal we can, as most ideal as anybody can, aiming to recognize insane. Exactly how else do you describe it?”

That conversation takes location in 4th or fifth quality, she said.

As soon as students leave New Horizon, they will likely be deemed a depiction of the faith, so it is crucial they are able to discuss it with others that could be not familiar with it, she said.

Recently, students in a New Perspective class put on earphones as they researched verses of the Quran on laptop computers, sometimes stopping to record a snippet and also send it to their educator, that checked their studies using Google Classroom.

The innovation enables pupils at various degrees to get tailored guideline, Said stated. The school has a 1-to-1 computer system protocol for its 5th- as well as sixth-grade pupils; 3rd- and also fourth-graders use iPads.

That very same day, pupils in an additional class Skyped with a classroom in Louisiana to discuss the unique “Fish In a Tree,” concerning a female with dyslexia.

Abdel-Aal organized the digital conference via a program called Global Read Aloud; instructors curious about exchanges link up via Twitter.

Subsequently, Abdel-Aal’s equivalent in the South informed the Irvine educator that the session had actually spurred an “informing course conversation” among her students, some of whom were “stunned” when they took a look at that the New Perspective students didn’t match “the stereotype of Muslim individuals that they sadly take a look at on TELEVISION.” She recommended keeping the link in between the class.

Abdel-Aal was one of the instructors that piloted the college’s entry right into modern technology in the class, which began in earnest regarding four years back, Said claimed.

Teachers and also students alike are expected to lead, she included. New Perspective students greet any sort of classroom visitors; they regulate regular assemblies as well as lead their peers in prayer.

“It’s a part of having confidence,” Said stated. The institution’s goal is to elevate “American Muslim leaders,” she said.


When New Horizon was established, the majority of its pupils lived outside of Irvine. By 2006, when the institution got to storage capacity, fifty percent lived in the city.

“So we understood, somehow, we were enticing households to the community,” Eletreby said.

Today, it’s about 75 percent. “We opened our doorways in September and also our preschool was complete. We have actually currently begun a waiting list,” she stated.

By fall 2017, the college wants to have more area to offer pupils. New Perspective has 4 acres in Irvine where it intends to place a second university, which would permit it to broaden through grade 8.

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