School Profile

 

FROM CRAYONS TO COLLEGE

Universal School provides classes from preschool through 12th grade. During the last school year, there were over 424 students in the preschool and elementary level and 230 in 8th – 12th grades, totaling 654 students. The spacious 70,000 square foot modern facility allows a maximum of 700 students. At the current rate of growth, we anticipate reaching this number in a few short years. Our graduates have been accepted into Harvard University, Yale University, M.I.T., Cornell University, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Washington St Louis Medical Program, Wesleyan University in Connecticut, I.I.T. Dual acceptance Medical, DePaul University, Loyola University Honors Program, University of Illinois at Chicago Honors Program, University of Illinois at Urbana, and other accredited institutions. Last year’s graduates received a total of over 1 million in academic scholarships.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Universal School is governed by a well-diversified group of Muslim professionals, who are not only active in the school, but in the community at large. There are nine members, seven men and two women. These individuals who volunteer their time oversee the basic functions of the school.

ACCREDITATION

Since 1992, Universal has been recognized by the State of Illinois Board of Education and in 2004, Universal School also received accreditation from the very prestigious Advance Ed and North Central Association for Accreditation. Universal School is also recognized nationally as a leading Islamic school by the Islamic Society of North America, Islamic Circle of North America, American Muslim Council, Dar-ul-Islam Inc., and Council o­n American Islamic relations, among others.

BUDGET

The annual budget of Universal sums to over $ 3,500,000.00. Seventy-five percent of this amount is collected through tuition, the remainder is provided through grants and fund raising efforts.

ENROLLMENT

Universal’s 654 students and their parents are from various cultural and economic backgrounds. Over 63% of parents of students come from twenty different Arab countries, 15% represent the Indian subcontinent, 12% are African Americans and 10% from other nationalities.

CURRICULUM & ACHIEVEMENT

The elementary level adheres to an accelerated academic program that leads the students in the high school level to our college preparatory program offering Advanced Placement and Honors classes. Our elementary school students, o­n average, performed better than 90.6%, based on the National School Norms, when compared to students in other private and parochial schools in grades 3rd through 8th, o­n the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Our high school students’ scores averaged 24.6 out of 36 last year o­n nationally conducted achievement tests such as the SAT and ACT, with the score of 34 out of 36 as the highest ACT score, and a perfect 800 out of 800 on the SAT subject test score obtained this past year by Universal Students. This is well above the national average of 20.6 and State average of 20.9.

THE FACILITY

The spacious 70,000 square foot modern facility includes thirty-six classrooms; a state of the art, fully equipped science lab; two computer labs; one journalism lab; newly remodeled library-media center; a cafeteria with a full service kitchen; an indoor regulation size basketball court; soccer field; and a playground.

THE FACULTY & STAFF

The school is home to seventy-two dedicated faculty and staff members. The Principal and Administrative Team hold degrees as high as Master’s in Education and Administration. All teachers of core subjects are certified in their respective fields where certification is offered. Over forty percent have earned at least o­ne Master’s Degree in an education-related field, the remaining have Bachelor’s Degrees. Four faculty members are currently completing their Ph.D. Several elementary and high school teachers have been chosen annually, as Who’s Who among U.S. teachers. Over 50% of the elementary faculty graduated with honors from their respective alma mater. The elementary and high school teachers have an average of nine years teaching experience behind them.

ISLAMIC AND ARABIC/QURAN EDUCATION

The primary objective of our Islamic studies and Arabic program is to firmly root students in a Muslim-American identity that expresses itself in their speech, character and actions as well as to develop conversational Arabic, to build a sufficient vocabulary, and to learn the rudiments of Arabic grammar. Universal School utilizes the Noranyeh learning system for memorization of the Quran. Universal adopted the Learn Arabic and AlAsas Arabic program published by The International Curriculum Establishment. To accomplish our objective some of our Islamic and Arabic/Quran Department staff have graduated from well-known and recognized Universities such as Al Azhar University in Egypt and Zaytuna College in California

DISTINCT AWARDS

2013: 1st place school recognition in the Regional Science Fair out of 50 participating schools. From the 330 projects judged, Universal School students received the greatest percentage of “Outstanding Projects” recognition and special project and special project awards, with 22 projects going to State Fair. 1st place school recognition in the Regional and Sectional WYSE Competition. 18 students were recognized as AP scholars, 5 students were recognized as AP Scholars with distinction, and 1 student was recognized as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars with Honors, 2 Students were Finalist in the All American Boy and Girl Competition and the Highest ACT Score was 34 out of  36  in addition to ACT subject scores of  36 out of 36 in all subject areas.
2012: 1st place school recognition in the Regional Science Fair out of 55 participating schools. From the 300 projects judged, Universal School students received the greatest percentage of “Outstanding Projects” recognition and special project and special project awards, with 15 projects going to State Fair. 1st place school recognition in the Regional and Sectional WYSE Competition. 11 students were recognized as AP scholars, 6 students were recognized as AP Scholars with distinction, and 1 student was recognized as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars with Honors,  2 Students were  Finalist in the All American Boy and Girl Competition and the Highest ACT Score was 33 out of  36  in addition to ACT subject scores of  36 out of 36 in all subject areas.
2011: 2nd place school recognition in the Regional Science Fair out of 60 participating schools. From the 300 projects judged, Universal School students received the greatest percentage of “Outstanding Projects” recognition. 1st place school recognition
in the Regional, Sectional, and/or State WYSE Competition. Universal School students received 2nd place state recognition at the WYSE (World-wide youth in Science and Engineering) Competition, 14 students were recognized as AP Scholars, 10 students were recognized as AP Scholars with distinction, and 3 students were recognized as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars with Honors,  2 Students were  Finalist in the All American Boy and Girl Competition and the Highest ACT Score was 33 out of  36  in addition to ACT subject scores of  36 out of 36 in all subject areas.
2010: 1st place school recognition in the Regional Science Fair out of 60 participating schools. From the 300 projects judged, Universal School students received the greatest percentage of “Outstanding Projects” recognition. 1st place school recognition
in the Regional, Sectional, and/or State WYSE Competition. Universal School students received 2nd place state recognition at the WYSE (World-wide youth in Science and Engineering) Competition, 10 students were recognized as AP Scholars, 7 students were recognized as AP Scholars with distinction, and 3 students were recognized as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars with Honors,  2 Students were  Finalist in the All American Boy and Girl Competition and the Highest ACT Score was 33 out of  36  in addition to ACT subject scores of  36 out of 36 in all subject areas.
2009: 1st place school recognition in the Regional Science Fair out of 48 participating schools. From the 300 projects judged, Universal School students received the greatest percentage of “Outstanding Projects” recognition. 1st place school recognition
in the Regional and Sectional WYSE Competition. Universal School students received 2nd place state recognition at the WYSE (World-wide youth in Science and Engineering) Competition, 9 students were recognized as AP Scholars, 7 students were recognized as AP Scholars with distinction, and 3 students were recognized as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars with Honors,  2 Students were  Finalist in the All American Boy and Girl Competition and the Highest ACT Score was 34 out of  36  in addition to an ACT subject score of  36 out of 36.

Extra Recognitions

  • 2013:WYE Regional and Sectional winners out of 20 private schools and students attending
  • 2012: Quest Bridge Scholars accepted and attending University of Chicago and Northwestern University
  • 2011: Meridian Scholar, Full Scholarship to SIU, All American Eagle Essay Winner, Metro Prep Basketball Champions.
  • 2010: Camras Scholarship Recipient, Quest Bridge Scholar attending Yale University
  • 2009: Comcast Community Scholarship Recipient, ISNA Scholarship recipient.
  • 2008: Bronze Medalist of the Presidential Community Scholarship, Marquette Scholarship Recognition.
  • All American Girl Contest, winner: Sponsored by U.S. Congressman Lipinski; National Merit Scholar: Awarded to 1 in 250,000 high school seniors.
  • Illinois State Scholar, awarded to top 1% of Illinois H.S. seniors; 30% of Universal graduates received this designated Honor in 2010 and in 2011. Highest SAT score, 1570 out of 1600.
  • WGN Extra Effort Award.

TAKING THE LEAD

: Universal is known as the pioneer in taking bold steps toward establishing and refining North America’s Islamic school movement. Some of our unique endeavors include: creating and utilizing an Islamic Studies curriculum as well as textbooks for the elementary grades; participants of the Tarbiyah Project, a national Islamic character education program; independent student newspaper, The Constellation; joining an official IHSA private high school basketball conference; initiating and hosting a volleyball tournament for girls involving other Muslim schools in the area, a wrestling program where students participated and won at the regional level, track and field team for boys and girls (Islamic dress code worn through special permission) has participated in the State Sectional Meet for many years, and several students competed o­n the state level.

LOCATION

Nestled in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, Universal School draws students from the entire Chicagoland area with a significant number living up to an hour’s drive away.

IMPACT ON COMMUNITY

Since its inception, Universal School has played a dynamic and significant role in the community. Many school programs involve the students in community services, such as feeding the indigent, visiting nursing homes, participating in activities at homeless shelters and sponsorship of orphaned children. Universal students publish their own student newspaper three times a year, and have an o­nline newspaper as well. The first high school chapter of IMAN (Inner-city Muslim Action Network) was established at Universal in which students actively work in the community to help those in need.

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