Universal School Profile

Universal School Video

Universal School PROFILE
2020- 2021

FROM CRAYONS TO COLLEGE: Universal School provides classes from preschool through 12th grade. This school year, there are over 292 students in the preschool and elementary level and 241 in 8th – 12th grades, totaling 533 students. The spacious 92,000 square foot modern facility allows a maximum of 1000 students. At the current rate of growth, we anticipate reaching this number in a few short years. We expanded our building in 2015 to meet the needs of our community. Universal’s expansion project has added over 20,000 square feet to the existing building; Educating the leaders of tomorrow and Insha-Allah serving 1000 students within the next few years. Our graduates have been accepted into Harvard University, Yale University, M.I.T., Cornell University, Brown University, Penn State,  University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Washington St. Louis Medical Program, Wesleyan, University in Connecticut, I.I.T. Dual acceptance Medical, DePaul University Medical Pathways Program , Loyola University Honors Program, University of Illinois at Chicago Honors and GPPA Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana, and other esteemed, as well as, accredited institutions.

THE 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 2005, 2011 and 2016 Universal School received five year accreditations from the very prestigious Advance-Ed. 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 $ 4,200,000.00. Seventy-five percent of this amount is collected through tuition, the remainder is provided through grants and fund raising efforts.

ENROLLMENT: Universal’s 533 students and their parents are from various cultural and economic backgrounds. Approximately 83% of our parents of students come from twenty different Arab countries, 8% represent the Indian subcontinent, 8% African and African American and 1% from other nationalities.

CURRICULUM AND 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 perform better than 90%, of students testing on MAP Standardized tests when compared to students in other private and parochial schools in grades 3rd through 8th grade.

Our high school students’ scores averaged 24.42 out of 36 last year o­n nationally conducted achievement tests such as the SAT and ACT, with the score of 35 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 top twenty-five percent of the graduating class have an average ACT score of 32.

THE FACILITY: The spacious 92,000 square foot modern facility includes fourty-six classrooms; a state of the art, fully equipped science lab; two computer labs; o­ne journalism lab; a STEAM lab, a newly remodeled library-media center; a cafeteria with a full service kitchen; a MPR room/auditorium, an indoor regulation size basketball court; soccer field; and a playground.

THE FACULTY/STAFF: The school is home to seventy-eight 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 Love 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.

DISTINCT AWARDS:

2020: 1st place school in WYSE sectional and State competition, 1st school in many categories at the Annual Mathletics Competition in Algebra, Geometry and Pre-calculus, Thirty -five percent of our students are Illinois State Scholars and over 20 students again achieved recognition as AP Scholars with the highest ACT test score this year being a 35 out of 36, with the top 25% of students achieving an average score of 32. We also are proud to announce we have again been awarded Quest bridge Scholarship for a full scholarship for a student to a prestigious University.

2019: 1st place school in WYSE sectional competition, 1st school in many categories at the Annual Mathletics Competition in Algebra, Geometry and Pre-calculus, Individual and Team awards at MIST (Muslim Interscholastic Tournament),  at the Illinois Junior academy of Science Fair and several notable awards were received, including Best engineering project. Thirty -eight percent of our students are Illinois State Scholars and over 20 students again achieved recognition as AP Scholars and with the highest ACT test score this year being 35 out of 36 and more than 25% of the students averaging 32 on the ACT. We also are proud to announce we have again been awarded Quest bridge Scholarship for a full scholarship for a student to a prestigious University.

2018: 1st place school in WYSE sectional and State competition, 1st school in many categories at the Annual Mathletics Competition in Algebra, Geometry and Pre-calculus, Individual and Team awards at MIST (Muslim Interscholastic Tournament),  at the Illinois Junior academy of Science Fair we achieved Individual Best Project in more than one area of Science and Best Women’s Project in Chemistry. Thirty -five percent of our students are Illinois State Scholars and over 20 students again achieved recognition as AP Scholars with the highest ACT test score this year being 35 out of 36, with the top 25% of students achieving an average score of 32.

2017: 1st place school in WYSE sectional competition, 1st school in many categories at the Annual Mathletics Competition, Individual and Team awards at MIST (Muslim Interscholastic Tournament), at the Illinois Junior academy of Science Fair we achieved Individual Best Project in more than one area of Science. Thirty -eight percent of our students are Illinois State Scholars and over 20 students again achieved recognition as AP Scholars with the highest ACT test score this year being 34 out of 36.

2016: 1st place school in WYSE sectional competition, 1st school in many categories at the Annual Mathletics Competition, Individual and Team awards at MIST (Muslim Interscholastic Tournament), at the Illinois Junior academy of Science Fair we achieved Individual Best Project in more than one area of Science, Best in Category in more than one area and best project in Chemistry for Women. Our students achieved Best Rookie Team in Lego Robotics, and are the champion team in more than one IHSA conference sport. Thirty-Five percent of our students were Illinois State Scholars, 21 AP scholars and the highest ACT score is 35 out of 36, with the top 25% of students achieving an average score of 29.

2015: 1st place school in WYSE regional and sectional, at the Illinois Junior academy of Science Fair we achieved Individual Best Project in more than one area of Science, Best in Category. Our students achieved Best Rookie Team in Lego Robotics, Best Team in Mathletics and are the champion team in more than one IHSA conference sport. Forty percent of our students were Illinois State Scholars, 30 AP scholars and the highest ACT score is 35 out of 36, with the top 25% of students achieving an average score of 32.

Extra Recognitions

  • 2020: 1st Place Sectional and State Wyse Competition, Highest ACT 35 out of 36 and ranked 24th on Niche from all Illinois Schools.  Average ACT of Top 25% of Students is a 29, with overall school average 25 and 31 AP Scholars, and 8 of the 31 recognized as AP scholars with Distinction, and 1 as a National AP Scholar. 2019 1st Place Sectional Wyse Competition, Highest ACT 35 out of 36 and ranked 24th  on Niche from all Illinois Schools. Average ACT of Top 25% of Students is a 29, with overall school average 25 and 23 AP Scholars, and 5 of the 23 recognized as AP scholars with Distinction, and 1 as a National AP Scholar We also are pleased to announce that — student (s) received the nationally acclaimed Quest Bridge Scholarship and are attending  University.
  • 2018: 1st Place State Wyse Competition, Highest ACT 35 out of 36 and ranked 22nd on Niche from all Illinois Schools.
  • 2016: Average ACT of Top 25% of Students is a 29, with overall school average 25 and 21 AP Scholars. Quest Bridge Scholar to University of Chicago.
  • 2015: Average ACT of Top 25% of Students is a 32, and 30 AP scholars with honors and distinction a high academic honor. Quest Bridge Scholar to University of Chicago, Meridian Scholar, Full Scholarship to SIUE.

TAKING THE LEAD: Universal School is known as a pioneer in taking bold steps toward establishing and refining North Americas’ Islamic schools’ movement. Some of our unique endeavors include: Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment Programs with the local community college, giving our students an extra edge and college credits in addition to the AP college credits they achieve. Universal School is also the first Islamic School in Illinois to offer the Illinois Seal of Biliteracy, a prestigious recognition from the State of Illinois, giving our students another push to succeed in college and 8 credits towards College Arabic. We have written, published and utilize an Islamic Studies curriculum as well as textbooks for the elementary grades; we also have a Positive Behavior Management System that inherently is an Islamic character education program; Universal also runs a quarterly independent student newspaper, The Constellation; joining an official IHSA private high school basketball conference, Volleyball conference 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.  We also offer Middle School Sports Programs and work on developing skills and building confidence in our younger students.

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 quarterly during the school year.. 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.  We also open our doors seven days a week, offering a Saturday School Arabic and Islamic Studies program to the community and are home to the Sunday school program offered by the Mosque Foundation. Our students lead MAS (Muslim American Society) programs and have become Hafiths through a consistent and dedicated effort with MAS. We are also pleased to be involved in larger community efforts with MAS, MF, ZAKAT foundation, SANAD and as a great support and voice for local elections of Muslim officials.

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