North West Islamic School traces its history to a humble beginning in 2002. The School (NWIS)started as a rudimentary weekend class in 2002, with an enrollment of six children (ages 5-9 yrs.) in Ranchlands, Calgary Alberta. The initial focus was to teach children of all ages, how to read Quran and this was done by one teacher for two hours.
In one year, the enrolment increased to 15 students and curriculum was expanded to Quran and Hadith. In 2004, it was decided to launch a proper weekend Islamic School in the local Mussallah. The curriculum from Iqra international educational foundation Chicago was adopted as means of teaching. Volunteer teachers were engaged to teach for three hours every Saturday. The enrolment increased to 40 students and a dedicated team of 5-6 teachers were engaged to teach three subjects namely Quran, Life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Islamic Faith and Aqeedah.
In 2006, with rapid expansion of Muslim community in NW Calgary, the school expanded to 100 students and more administrative resources were dedicated. The position of principal, teacher coordinator, administrator, facilities director, finance director and IT director were created. The school became the hub for creative learning through projects, debate competitions, sports day, field trips and video seminars. In 2007, proper NWIS website was launched (www.nwislamicschool.com), which provided interactive environment for parents to monitor the progress of their child learning activities and administration and teachers to connect with families and students. A successful annual event of “NWIS Calendar Competition”, providing opportunity for students to express their ideas around a theme allied to Islamic believes and relates to Canadian values was introduced. The school has its first graduation ceremony. The graduate students were provided opportunity to be intern with the program, which ultimately lead to assistant teacher volunteer opportunity with NWIS.
During 2008-2014 NWIS experienced phenomenal growth to almost total enrolment of 250 students in 16 classes (8 boys and 8 girls). In 2014 NWIS parent council was created to engage more parents in planning and operation of school. During the same time, space constraint forced to seek additional space for growing needs and Ranchlands Community center was rented as girl’s NWIS campus.
NWIS is looking forward to moving to 20 acre NW Islamic Centre, at its inception in coming years.