Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Is American Islamic School officially registered as a Canadian or American school?

American Islamic School is registered as a Canadian school and is approved by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Our Ministry BSID# is 667049. AIS is listed as a private Elementary school on the Ontario Ministry of Education website.

In order to also provide an American High School diploma, AIS has to be accredited by an American accreditation body.

American Islamic School will pursue candidacy and accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) – the premier American international school accreditation organization in the world under their ACE Learning framework. The accreditation process will begin in 2021 Insha Allah.

For more information on the NEASC accreditation framework please click on the following link: ACE Learning Framework

Is the school for Canadian and American students only?

No. American Islamic School is for students worldwide. Students can enroll from any country and nationality.

As a registered Canadian school, do students need to live in Canada to take courses?

No. Students can complete American Islamic School courses from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and an iPad or Android tablet.

Please refer to the Technology Requirements document for further details.

When can I enroll my child in a course?

Students can enroll at any time however, they will be registered to begin courses in the upcoming term.

How many Terms are there in an academic year?

There are three Terms in each academic year. For more details, please refer to the Family Handbook on our website.

How long does it take to complete a course?
  • PBL projects take 10-12 weeks to complete
  • Traditional Pathway courses are divided into units or modules that are completed throughout the academic year
  • Depending on the content and complexity of the project, Islamic Studies projects also take approximately 10-12 weeks to complete
  • Quranic Studies are an ongoing process on a continuum.
Do students need to purchase textbooks or other offline materials?

No additional textbooks or essential learning materials are required. However, depending on how students choose to complete their projects, additional arts and crafts materials may be required.

What do I receive when I register for a course?

Once students are enrolled, they receive access to the course content, including lesson activities, discussion portals, assignments, and tools to track student achievement. Parents also have the same access to monitor the progress and outcome of their child.

Do courses include support for parents as Tarbiya Coaches?

Yes. As Tarbiya Coaches, parents are highly valued members of our community who partner with us in the education of their children.

American Islamic School collaborates with highly qualified Muslim Educational Psychologists to provide ongoing support to our Tarbiya Coaches through:

  • Informative videos;
  • Regular Q & A Sessions;
  • Monthly Webinars and;
  • Intervention when needed

The videos, Q & A sessions, and monthly webinars will be provided at no additional cost to our families and Tarbiya Coaches.

How do students communicate with their Project Coordinator and Tutor?

Students communicate with their Project Coordinator and Tutor through the school’s learning management system called AGUA.

Can students take American Islamic School courses and attend a school at the same time?

Yes. American Islamic School can be used to supplement the material your child is learning in their day school. Parents can also use AIS courses to develop the skills and dispositions that are not taught through traditional schools.

When will you open the High School section of American Islamic School?

High School (Grades 9-12) will be available beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year Insha Allah.

Will my child have to choose between a Canadian or American High School Diploma?

No. Upon graduation, students will receive a Canadian and American High School Diploma.

What is your refund and withdrawal policy?

As a parent, if you’re not 100% satisfied with our programs, you may withdraw at any time before the last day of the Term by sending a “withdrawal & refund” email to admin@americanislamic.school to receive a full refund. All school-initiated withdrawals automatically qualify for a full refund.

Tarbiya Coaches and families who wish to withdraw their children from American Islamic School must contact their students’ Tutor and notify them of their desire to withdraw. A representative from American Islamic School will later contact you to schedule an exit interview, Insha Allah.

Students who are withdrawn from the school by way of a family request shall not be permitted to re-enroll at American Islamic School until the following term.

Students who are withdrawn from the school by way of a school-initiated academic or behavioral withdrawal shall not be permitted to re-enroll until a meeting with the Principal or his/her appointed designee has taken place. If the Principal approves the re-enrollment, it will take place at the start of the new term.

The school reserves the right to reject a re-enrollment request for a student who has been withdrawn due to a school-initiated or family-initiated withdrawal.

Note: Students who are withdrawn before the last day of the term may not receive a Report Card.

Project Based Learning (PBL)

What is Project Based Learning?

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience.

As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as success skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills in the context of doing an authentic, meaningful project. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and educators.

How does PBL differ from “doing projects” or “hands-on activities"?

Project Based Learning is a more rigorous and extensive way to learn compared to a typical “project” or ”hands-on activity” that adults may remember from school. In PBL, the project is not just a lesson or an activity done after a unit of instruction; it is the unit.  PBL is not the ”dessert”—it is the “main course,” the primary way for students to learn targeted academic content and skills.

Does PBL really work? And how does it benefit students?

When done well, PBL has many positive results for students. It can increase student engagement and motivation, improve retention of content knowledge, provide students with real-world applications of learning, and build success skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity.  See more reasons why educators are introducing PBL into their classrooms.

What does the research say about Project Based Learning?

Research shows that PBL can promote student learning and may be more effective than traditional instruction in social studies, science, mathematics, and literacy. The continued emergence of research findings to support PBL as a valid instructional method for all students, including those who are furthest from opportunity, is promising and growing.

Research demonstrates that PBL:

  • Increases students’ understanding of concepts and their ability to apply knowledge.
  • Helps students to remember what they have learned longer and to use that knowledge in new situations.
  • Teaches students how to work in teams, solve problems, and communicate what they have learned.
  • Improves student attitudes and motivation.

Schools that use PBL, along with other programs and personalized approaches to support students, report fewer disciplinary problems, better attendance, and higher graduation rates compared to similar students in non-PBL settings.

Study after study show that passively learning content in a rote manner no longer proves sufficient to prepare students for success in today’s world, especially now that subject content is accessible via one quick click on the web; however, research shows that PBL helps equip students to troubleshoot in the “real world,” and will help develop fundamental skills “for living in a knowledge-based, highly technological society.”

How Does PBL work?

With Project Based Learning, knowledge, skills, and dispositions are developed through four steps:

1. Launch the Project:

Students explore the project to get excited about the topic, garner interest, and develop a set of need to know questions for their PBL 

2. Conduct Research:

Students explore and conduct research to learn more about the topic and develop necessary skills to apply their new knowledge

3. Develop the Product and Receive Feedback from Peers and Experts:

Students develop a proposed solution to the real-world problem. Develop, critique, and refine the products

4. Present to a Public Audience: 

Students share their products and solutions with an audience of peers, educators, and experts in the real world

For more information about the PBL process, we invite you to watch the short video on our website called How PBL Works.

What is the difference between Project Based Learning and Traditional Pathway?

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from 10 - 12 weeks – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question.

They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by creating a public product or presentation for a real audience.

As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as essential skills and dispositions such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills that extend beyond content-based knowledge. Project Based Learning unleashes a contagious, creative energy among students and teachers.

Traditional Pathway

What is the Traditional Pathway?

The Traditional Pathway is content-based and generally focuses on educational practices and mastery of academic learning in the core subject areas (mathematics and literacy). The curriculum is subject specific, standardized, and broken down into units or modules.

For families who would prefer a traditional education pathway instead of Project Based Learning, American Islamic School offers Literacy and Math courses aligned to the New York State Standards.

Can we switch from a Traditional Pathway to PBL (or vice versa) once a course has started?

Changes are allowed within the first two weeks of every Term. After the first two weeks, changes can only be made at the beginning of next Term.

Technology Requirements

What are the technology requirements to be enrolled at AIS?
  • All children must have access to an individual or shared (family) iPad running iPad OS 13.1 or higher, or Android Tablet running Android 8.0 Oreo or higher.

Important Note: We strongly recommend an iPad 9.7 or a higher iPad model, or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 or a higher tablet model. A lower quality tablet or iPad can seriously marginalize a student’s learning experience.

  • Parents need a mobile device (iOS or Android) or a desktop/laptop computer to monitor the progress of their children as well as communicate with the tutor.
  • A stable Internet connection is required for students to access online programs.
  • Parents should have the ability to download the recommended apps by the school for themselves and their children.
  • To seek help from the Tutor, children would need access to school’s online portal called Agua through a web browser (Google Chrome or Safari).
  • Parents are responsible for monitoring the online activity as well as the usage of the device by their children.
  • If family prefers to print work and assignments, then a printer is recommended

Student Support

What is a Project Coordinator?

A Project Coordinator (PC) is a highly-qualified subject expert that supports students throughout the project. These are experts in the topic that the students are researching and working on. For example:

  • if the student is working on a Mars PBL project, their PC would be an expert in Engineering
  • if the student is working on a Successful Business PBL project, their PC would be an expert on Entrepreneurship and Business Management.

The role of the Project Coordinator is to provide expertise, mentor the learner, review each weekly report and to provide developmental feedback.

What is a Tutor?

For additional PBL support, students are also assigned a tutor throughout the learning process. The Tutor provides support and guidance, and works with students to ensure that their project and work is moving in the right direction.

What is a Tarbiya Coach?

Parents are Tarbiya Coaches and provide support to the student at home. They monitor the student’s work ethic at home and engage with weekly family reflections at home with their children that is shared with the school.

What type of support is available for Tarbiya Coaches?

American Islamic School collaborates with highly qualified Muslim Educational Psychologists to provide ongoing support to our Tarbiya Coaches through:

  • Informative videos;
  • Regular Q & A Sessions;
  • Monthly Webinars and;
  • Intervention when needed

Our highly qualified Educational Psychologist will address topics that are highly relevant to the educational experience and success of our families. Topic such as:

  • Building Resilience
  • Praise vs. Encouragement
  • Understanding Your Child’s Character
  • Building Intrinsic Motivation and so much more.

The videos, Q & A sessions, and monthly webinars will be provided at no additional cost to our families and Tarbiya Coaches.

What additional support is available for students?

In addition to the PBL or Traditional Pathway, students also have access to:

Digital Library: Students have access to an award-winning reading program called Raz-Kids that provides comprehensive leveled reading resources for students. With over 800+ leveled eBooks offered at 29 different levels of reading difficulty, it's easy to put the right content in every student's hands.

Students access their leveled text through an interactive learning portal designed to keep them motivated and engaged. Every eBook is available in online and mobile formats, and allows students to listen to, read at their own pace, and record themselves reading. 

IXL: Students also have access to IXL, a math and language arts practice website for K-12. It has unlimited questions on thousands of math and language topics and a comprehensive reporting system.

The program provides analytical tools to track student and classroom performance and identify areas for academic improvement with each student. 

Both programs are available to all students at no additional cost.

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