Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for parents. Let us know if you still have any questions by sending us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are some new specific details that parents should be aware of around online/virtual classes being offered this year (2020-21) by Sunday School due to ongoing COVID-19 crisis?
We are offering online/virtual classes for the first semester (Sep thru Dec 2020) and possibly the whole academic year (2020-21, until the end of May 2021) due to the ongoing pandemic. Our first day of classes will be on September 13th, 2020. The first semester fee is $50 per student. This is a flat tuition fee per student for first semester (Sep thru Dec 2020). There are no additional fees (registration or supply fees) for first semester. There is no discount either, as we have greatly reduced the tuition fee & abolished all other fees for first semester. The online/virtual class timing for all levels will be such that 1st class will be from 10:30am to 11:15am, then a 15 mins break from 11:15am to 11:30am & then 2nd class will be from 11:30am to 12:15pm. We will not have an in-person registration day this year. We plan to digitize lesson plans & class assignments. We will communicate next steps and all major milestones thru emails to parents. Students will receive all communications in their online classes.
How can I find out more info about your Sunday School, how its operated, its policies and other relevant details?
A detailed overview of our Sunday School along with its policies is available at: IALFM Sunday School Overview
How can I access your Code of Conduct, Liability Waiver and Medical Release Form that I need to sign?
All those documents are available here: IALFM_Sunday_School_CoC_LW_MRF (PDF) – This PDF contains IALFM Sunday School Code of Conduct, Liability Waiver & Medical Release forms. Please complete these forms (one copy per family for all children) with required details, sign & date them, and bring them with you to submit in our office on your child’s first day of school. These forms are required for student registration.
What are the policies around drop-off at school start time (10:30 am) and end time (1:30 pm)?
IALFM Sunday School starts at 10:30 am, please make sure you plan for timely drop-off. We take attendance once after the start of the first period and then once again after the start of second period. In case of delayed arrival or early leave, student will not be awarded full attendance. Delayed arrivals also affect the class discipline and make it harder for teachers to maintain class decorum during lesson delivery.
IMPORTANT: Our late pick-up policy is especially very important for parents to follow, as it relates to the safety of our children.
a. Sunday School ends at 1:30 pm, parents should be in the parking lot at that time (at 1:30 pm), no exceptions!
b. In case you are running late, we allow you to be there before 2 pm in all such cases (which gives you half an hour/30 mins to pick up your kids).
c. Running late beyond 2 pm is not acceptable and is treated as an exception, only for emergency reasons (read more about it below).
d. Administrators and others at Sunday School are all volunteers and will leave the masjid premises at 2pm.
e. In the special case when you are running late for more than 30 mins (beyond 2pm), IF you want Administrators/others at Sunday School to still be there with your kids, you have the responsibility to notify the Administrators in advance by phone/text/email (whichever works best for you) about your situation so that necessary steps can be taken in that regard. (also note that you do not need to notify us, if you do not want us to remain there after 2 pm with your kids, in case you feel comfortable with your kids to be there on their own).
f. In this exceptional scenario, when parents are running late for more than half an hour (beyond 2pm), Administrator or anyone at the Sunday School is not responsible for the safety of your kids, if you do not notify us in advance.
We have had a significant number of such cases where multiple families/parents did not notify us in advance, while some others did notify in advance (which is much appreciated). Starting from next year (Aug. 2020), all such situations will result in a monetary fine for parents. We will devise a policy & notify parents about it before next school year starts in August 2020.
Why there is only one session now versus the two (morning & afternoon) in recent past?
IALFM Sunday School started back in 2001.
For 2001-2013 period, we had one single session of Sunday School and the timings were 11:00 am-2:00 pm, followed by a mandatory Dhuhr Salah for students.
During 2013-2018 period, we had to offer 2 sessions (morning and afternoon) to accommodate more students in limited available classroom space. Our enrollment at one point was 107 students, which could not be accommodated in the limited masjid space that we have. We had to cut short each session time, to accommodate 2 sessions and finish school before Dhuhr Salah.
This year (2018-19), we are expecting an enrollment of around 65-70 kids which we are able to accommodate in one session, and we also have to work with limited teaching & other volunteer resources, therefore we are going back to a single session model, ending at Dhuhr (1:30pm), to ensure all students can learn to pray Dhuhr Salah in Ja’mah, IA. Dhuhr Salah has always been mandatory for students but with two sessions in recent past, morning session students were not able to offer prayers with Ja’mah.
Starting in 2018, what changes have been made in the Sunday School curriculum which requires more teaching time in classes?
Starting in 2018-19 academic year, we have made changes to the Quranic Studies (Quran class) and are using ‘Easy Steps to Quran Recitation’ guide; where teachers in all levels can thoroughly practice Tajweed (proper rules for Quran’s recitation) with their students. In addition to this guide, we are also planning to utilize different multimedia resources to help teach our students, to capture their attention & make it interesting for them. Most of our Quran teachers have been learning and getting trained in Quran Tajweed class with Sr. Jehan Al-Aishat since March 2018.
In the Islamic Studies (Religion class), we are introducing ‘Fundamentals of Islam’ (Ibadah) in the curriculum. In addition to teaching from the assigned textbook for each level, we are asking our Religion teachers to review the 5 basic pillars of Islam with more emphasis on Salah, Duas and Adhkaar.
What is your policy for handling students with allergies?
We handle these situations based on requests from parents and availability of resources. Parents are requested to notify the Administrator in writing (send an email at email@example.com) about this situation with appropriate details at the time of registration. On specific days during allergy season, parents are also requested to send a note to teachers (copy to Administrators at above email address) requesting them to keep their child inside, when he/she is not supposed to go outside, be it during normal school hours or only during the break. Please take time to directly talk to the teachers and their assistants as well when you are dropping off your children. We need to work together to make this work for our children. Also, if the child himself/herself knows that he/she is not supposed to go outside on certain days/times, then that would be the best defense for him/her to avoid allergies, in case others are not around or forget it (due to momentary lapse).
What is your policy on student pictures or videos taken at an event or portraits at the end of school year?
All pictures & videos are taken by our assigned volunteer photographers and then shared with the parents thru an email after storing them securely in a shared album in our Office 365 based secured storage or in unlisted state (can only be viewed thru direct link, not available publicly on YouTube) thru our masjid’s YouTube account. The picture albums or videos are shared for 2 weeks only for viewing and download purposes (so that parents can view and/or download & save their children’s pictures/videos), within the same group of students, parents and volunteers with whom your child is attending our Sunday School. The picture album or video sharing is disabled after 2 weeks as that is deemed enough time for parents to view or download them. If you do not want any individual pictures or videos of your children to be taken and/or shared in an album, please notify the Administrator in advance in writing by sending an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Its not possible for us to exclude individual kids from group pictures or videos. If you wish so, please ask your kids to not participate in group pictures and videos, that’d be the best way to ensure they are not captured in pictures or videos at all. We will try our best to take appropriate steps to respect your request on individual picture/video sharing. Also, its best to talk to teachers, assistants and administrators about it on the day of event when pictures are being taken, to remind them about your request to ensure appropriate steps are taken. We are a volunteer-run school so cooperation from parents is always requested to help us operate it in the best possible ways.
Do you have any resources to work with children with special needs?
Sorry, we do not have any trained teachers in our Sunday School who can teach and take care of children with special needs.
Note: This is a living document. We will keep adding new info for parents on this page.