Our school’s philosophy is based on the “Developmental Approach” and “Traditional Skill Based Program,” which is teaching skills appropriate to the developmental age of each child. We believe that learning such skills is best accomplished in an active learning program that involves experimentation, exploration, and discovery. We also believe that academic excellence is best achieved through critical thinking, problem solving, discussion, and communication skills. Growth in social skills through positive peer and adult interaction, with emphasis on Islamic values, will help our children develop a positive self-image and an Islamic identity.
At New Horizon School Westside we have adopted a curriculum that integrates core knowledge and skill development with social and moral development. The curriculum is primarily based on the instructional strategies and the California framework and content standards as approved by the California State Board of Education (SBE). It is further enhanced and periodically updated to reflect the advances made in the field of education research. Such content is derived from various sources like the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) guidelines and recommendations. One example is the introduction of the Common Core State Standards in every classroom. These standards focus on learning expectations for students. Based on the findings that today’s jobs require different skills, these standards prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in college and the workplace.
The core curriculum consists of classes in Math, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies. The School uses annual Educational Records Bureau (ERB) Tests to assess the level of student achievement and as a diagnostic tool. The core curriculum is creatively designed with projects, learning centers, reports, skits, field trips, and other exciting learning opportunities that students enjoy.
VALUE BASED CHARACTER EDUCATION
New Horizon School Westside bases its teachings on the universal, moral values of Islam. Our basic Islamic values are emphasized across our curriculum, in Religious Studies classes, and during school assemblies and events. There are ten monthly values that make up the core of our character education program. Our students are encouraged to apply these values in the classroom, on the playground, in sports competitions, on field trips, and in the community.
An important part of student life at New Horizon Westside is community outreach and real-life applications of faith. Our students are actively involved in annual events such as Feeding the Homeless, Big Sunday on campus, and Ramadan Food and Toy Drive. Every Friday, Kindergarten through Fifth grade students have the opportunity to participate in Jum’a prayer and listen to a sermon by an invited guest (Khatib). Periodically, the school organizes a field trip to the local mosque so the students can participate in group prayers and stay in touch with the community.