I have been at the school for a few years now. the previous principal was phenomenal and really tried to improve the school and make great changes. However, since her departure last year things truly began to fall through the cracks. 8 teachers followed suit and the school was in a rush to hire teachers (a few were good, the rest average). A new principal was not hired until May of 2015 so the school was running under two vice principals. The vice principals were good but hands were tied by the board. They were very micromanaged. Every little decision had to go through the board. Slowly the school began to deteriorate in all aspects of the word. The extracurricular activities like model UN were no more. The hygiene and sanitation became atrocious. I attended two town hall meetings where parents demanded answers. They both started off as cordial but slowly turned into a screaming fest. Parents left with false promises that have yet to be fulfilled such as revising and abiding by board bylaws and expanding the board. All hope and promises that I and several other parents had for the school fell through the cracks. In May they hired a head of school who shows promise but again, if micromanaged and constantly questioned, will not last. Many teachers are leaving. Many parents are leaving as well. It is unfortunate that parents are being forced to go to public school because they are not getting their money's worth. I hope that I am wrong and that the school can make a come back. May God help the school back on its feet.
I feel that generally the teachers are good but unfortunately are not enabled to do their very best. They are severely underpaid and over worked. They are not encouraged to attend workshops and no enrichment programs are underway. Teacher retention is a huge problem because the good teachers leave for better opportunities. The teachers have no voice and when they do speak up are reprimanded.
I cannot understand the nice posts at all because the school is not only disorganized especially during field day where I volunteered as a parent and there was chaos but the dirty nature of the office, bathrooms and seeing mice and roaches a few times. There is still no principal in the school and the turn over staff rate especially in the elementary department is astonishing, the textbooks are old and computer lab also. I don't think it is worth it for the money.
The nice posts of Darul Arqam are from people that either don't know what is really going on in the school, administrators that want to save their jobs or other people that have political interests. Many of my friends took their children out and I also decided just recently to take my children out after seeing so many problems when comparing them to other "proper" schools that actually do and say as they promote. Teachers leave this school left and right due to these problems and please do read the posts objectively while others feel not much has really changed especially with the principal leaving and six months later not being replaced. People please compare them to other schools that have been around for just as long (almost 15 years) and see the difference! Just look at the homework site which is never updated like all other good schools by the teachers and that says enough!
This school is top notch! Qualified and dedicated staff. Administrators that care and have an open door policy. PTO that is very active. Happy and proud students who achieve every day in competitions and who are constantly involved in community service. What more could you ask for in a school?
We enrolled our daughter last year for Kindergarten and now at the end of the session we are quite satisfied with the teaching pattern, no school is perfect and their is always some room for improvement and i think as a parent we too had our set of concerns, but we were told that the management is already working towards improving the facilities. Principal is a good leader indeed, regular mailers are sent to us with all the updates, issues are discussed, feedback is taken, any negative feedback or shortcomings are accepted gracefully. Parent teacher interaction is very good, teachers are always ready to listen to our issues and take immediate action to fix it, we never had to wait for the PTM to discuss the smallest of concerns, the teachers were always ready to help us and it really helped. Needless to say, we have decided to keep our child enrolled for 1st grade too and expect that going forward this school is surely going to be a more improved teaching institution Insha allah.
My daughter is enrolled in Darul Arqam and I have to say despite much skepticism and many bad things that I have heard about the school, I am very happy with my decision to enroll her. I was told that the school was in bad condition, which I realized that in actually its not, and where it is, there are major construction projects in the works to make improvements. I was told the teachers are unqualified, and discovered that many are certified and the few who are not, have many years of experience teaching the subject matter they were assigned. The principal is also continuously evaluating each teacher and all programs in the school to ensure all of our kids, including her own children, are receiving the best possible academic and Islamic education. I know the school has made tremendous improvements from a few years ago and have faith that they will continue to do so.
I disagree with the comment about underqualified teachers. Most of the staff are either state certified or currently seeking certification in a graduate program. I have three children in the school. It is by far the best Islamic school around. Down to earth, welcoming, environment!