American Diploma

General Information

This educational system – which combines the national orientation of the state with the global trends – will not only prepare the student for admission to prestigious universities both nationally and internationally but will also ensure the students’ good conduct in these universities by introducing good learning habits and providing them with knowledge and necessary skills needed for life and the market.
The system recognizes the student’s cumulative grades from grade 9 until graduation so the student will grow familiar with continuous learning, and perseverance rather than a culture of reliance on the last month’s test, and the seasonal study.
It also takes into account the requirements of local universities in terms of capacity tests, achievement tests, TOEFL, and SAT tests. Therefore, the student does not graduate unless he achieves the required credit hours and the capacity tests and SAT.
One of the starting points of this system is that it is based on the mission of “Dar Al-Fikr Schools” in building the student’s thinking according to the vocabulary of the Arabic language and its structures: the language of the Holy Quran and basing the student’s life on the enlightened Islamic culture and then the curriculum of science, mathematics, and English Level taught in the state California. 
Therefore, the system took into consideration the requirements of the national curriculum in Arabic, Islamic education, social and the subjects of American secondary education, as well as providing a number of necessary enrichment materials to enable our students to compete honestly with their peers in international schools.
The number of credit hours provided by the system (30) hours and the student is not considered a successful student unless all the subjects are passed by scoring more than 60 out of 100 each subject.
For students who “fail”: students who fail to achieve success (not passing, the school provides them with several types of assistance. The summer program is the most important assistance to enable students to graduate with their colleagues. If he fails again, the student will be late for at least one semester.
The summer course provided by schools provides an opportunity for 11th graders who achieve more than 80% of the basic subjects and want to graduate at the end of the first semester in grade 12 to enroll in foreign universities.
Grade 12 students are directed to specialized courses that are appropriate to their orientation and the wishes of their parents in light of their academic performance through academic guidance in schools. And talented students are committed to these specialized courses in science and mathematics, which qualify them to test final talent.

Study System

  • Courses system: The academic year is divided into 3 equal parts, each of which is called a semester (semester 1, semester 2, semester 3)
  • The duration of the semester is 16 weeks … 14 weeks of study, plus a week of tests and evaluation.
  • The courses are distributed equally and independently.
  • The final grade of the semester is calculated.
  • The minimum credit to graduate is 31.5 and the maximum credit is 32.5. 

Graduation Project

Overview

The Graduation Project is a requirement for graduation in high school. Students can start working on their projects as early as grade eleven, and they deliver the presentations in grade twelve. Each graduation project is student-designed, self-directed, and research-based. The primary objective of the Graduation Project is to help students master the skills necessary to move from high school into continued education and/or the workplace. Students learn how to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information. They encounter difficulties along the way and learn the skills needed to overcome them. They learn that commitment, integrity, and work ethics are essential life skills.

Components

The graduation program is taught as a standalone course over the course of two terms. A graduation project handbook is developed to ensure that students are well-informed and well-prepared before embarking on their projects. The project consists of four components; an idea generated by the student and approved by the Graduation Project Committee, a proposal, a research paper (journal included), and an oral presentation.

Grading

Grading of the Graduation Project is based on continuous assessment from the start of the project until the final oral presentation. All aspects of the Graduation Project are marked using a rubric scoring system. Students can achieve up to 70 points upon the completion of the first three components. The external judges, selected from the wider community, can award each presentation a maximum of thirty points. The total for all four components is 100 grades.

Oral Presentation

An orientation session is given to all judges thirty minutes before the presentations to familiarize them with the process. During the orientation session, judges are provided with background information about the graduates and their projects. They are also asked to skim through each presenter’s proposal, research paper, and journal.

Characterization of Subjects

Islamic Studies

Includes selected parts of the Quran for memorization and recitation, in addition to the approved curriculum (4 credit hours in four years).

Arabic

Based on the importance of the Arabic language as the language of the Holy Quran and our first language, Dar Al Fikr schools are especially focused on developing the skills of the different students in the Arabic language by providing a variety of enriching curricula which, through their progress with the ministerial curricula approved for each stage which will, in turn, give the student the ability to have creativity in his language as well.
Accordingly, the Department of Arabic at the primary, intermediate and secondary levels have adopted the following approach:

First: Ministerial Curriculum
The ministry’s Arabic language curriculum is taught for all stages.

Second: Complimentary Reading
It is a special course for Dar Al Fikr schools, in which we seek to develop the student’s reading, and analytical reading skills by selecting books suitable for students’ age group, orientation, and interests.
Intensive reading is offered to primary students throughout the school year while limiting it to the first semester of the middle and secondary school stages.

Third: Expressive Writing
It is a special course for Dar Al Fikr schools, offering students the correct expressive writing techniques in different writing forms and ways (such as narration and storytelling)
This course is given to primary students throughout the academic year, while it is given to middle and high school students only during the second semester.

Fourth: Integrative Curriculum
This course is specific to Dar Al Fikr schools and is offered to intermediate and secondary students. It aims to develop the skills of the entire Arabic language by presenting various texts to be read, and analyzed, and applying grammatical and spelling skills to it.

Math

Dar Alfikr School Math program is based on and incorporates the Common Core State Standards, USA, and is the core curriculum for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. We are currently using materials published by Pearson. At Dar Alfikr School, Math is taught in English language by experienced and qualified Math teachers.
The Math curriculum is designed to meet the individual needs of the students. We use a wide variety of teaching strategies to implement mental Math skills that are used to solve mathematical problems
Curriculum Domains:

  • Number and Quantities
    • Seeing Structure in Expressions
    • Arithmetic with Polynomials and Rational Expressions
    • Creating Equations
    • Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities
  • Functions
    • Congruence
    • Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry
    • Circles
    • Expressing Geometric Properties with Equations
    • Geometric Measurement and Dimension
    • Modeling with Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

Science

Dar Alfikr School Science program is based on and incorporates the Common Core State Standards, USA, and it is the core curriculum for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12
Science subjects are taught in English, through interactive and digital learning.

Subject domains:

  1. Engineering Science and Technology
  2. Biology
  3. Earth and Space science
  4. Physics and Chemistry
Objectives:
Encourage the student’s curiosity to explore, obtain appropriate interpretations, link what he has learned to life, and explain and evaluate his learning products.

After learning the methods used, students complete their course of study, while we use the above-mentioned curricula and add new preparatory stages using the new generation criteria in science. We offer compulsory and optional courses covering physics, chemistry, biology, and health. Where their choices indicate their own desires and interests. Also, students are directed and prepared well for the achievement test. Topics are explored through discussions, clarifications, laboratory experiments, videos, computer activities, and projects. The courses use skills such as scientific observation, information gathering, graphic building, scientific clarifications, group work, pre-university skills, and pre-school skills. Laboratory investigations are primarily considered as a skill in writing an appropriate laboratory report.

Note: Grade 9 students study (Biology) in the first semester, and (Chemistry) in the second semester.

English

The English program seeks to integrate writing, speaking, listening and research skills through close reading and text analysis of complex, rich, and authentic texts (including media as texts) to prepare students for college reading. Through this work with texts, students are exposed to a range of reading and writing techniques they can employ in other subject areas and are introduced to fundamental skills in literacy. The materials are closely aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
In addition to the set course books, the digital platform incorporated in the course extends the reading and writing practice through a blend of media, audio, and visual resources that resonate with young learners, allowing them to consolidate learning at a pace that suits individual needs. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is implemented at the school, and this gives learners instant access at all times, making technology an integral part of the classroom and giving learners more autonomy in their learning.

Academic Writing

The Effective Academic Writing course is offered in middle and high school to equip students with the skills needed for writing at the college level. It is intended to help students break out of writing five-paragraph themes into writing analytical, research-based papers. Students learn the skills of citing and quoting and referencing source material to convey a breadth of research. By grade eleven, students will have learned the necessary skills to write a 5000-word research paper using the American Psychological Association (APA) and/or Modern Language Association (MLA) formatting methods.

(SAT & PSAT)

PSAT and SAT preparation is integrated in the English courses in order to help students sharpen their exam preparation skills. Students will learn techniques to excel in the Reading and Writing sections of the SAT College Entrance Exam. The PSAT course is offered in middle school and the SAT preparation course is offered in high school

CS

Students study computer applications, programming, web design, networks, and page processing programs for publishing and texts, and all students must pass one credit hour.

Social and National Studies

Introduction:

  • The subject of social and national studies is taught at all primary, intermediate and secondary levels in a self-learning manner, which depends to a great extent on the student’s collection of various information from reliable sources through internet networks, visiting the school library, and learning and studying, Research, and the development of comprehension skills, critical thinking and problem solving; thus the student has the motivation and desire to learn and love knowledge.
  • Social studies are taught from grades 4 to 10.

Curriculum:

  • The schools of Dar Al-Fikr teach 50% of the planned ministerial curriculum for all stages.

Skills:
Schools add extra skills to students outside the ministerial curriculum, including:

  • Cartographic skills.
  • Graphic skills.
  • The skill of preparing lessons and writing reports.
  • The skill of writing questionnaires and analyzing results.

Social Studies (English)

Social studies contribute to the scientific, cultural and social development of students. Students acquire specialized knowledge and understanding of world history (from the Stone ages to modern history), thus developing their research and knowledge skills.

P.E

Physical education provides a positive and enjoyable experience for all students through a variety of exercises, cooperative games, individual sports (gymnastics, badminton, tennis, and expressive rhythms), and team sports (basketball, volleyball, handball, football ..) in closed or opened fields or stadiums.

The curriculum of physical education is designed to meet the student’s personal needs.

Main objectives:

  • Each student has the opportunity to grow, explore, and develop individual and group skills.
  • Encourages the student to demonstrate a sense of responsibility towards himself, and others in physical exercise.
  • Encourages students to participate in normal physical activities outside the school environment.
  • Enhances the importance of leisure time investment to the benefit of students.
  • The student will identify the type and quantity of the diet that supports physical activity.
  • The student will identify common injuries’ treatments, and first aid techniques.
  • It helps the student develop himself by learning the basic skills that help him to be a good trainee.
  • It helps the student develop himself by learning the basic skills that help him to be a good trainee.
  • It helps the student to be appreciative of the importance of physical activity, by introducing him/her to the laws and ethics required.
  • Allows students to participate in sports competitions, ensuring their fun and benefit.

Activities:

  • Athletics competitions.
  • Fitness competition.
  • Sports day contest.
  • Football matches.
  • Shooting with a bow, arrow, and karate (in the boys section).

Art Education and Techniques

Students are taught alternating art education, and techniques. In the ninth grade, students study drawing, painting, silk and ceramics, printing and Islamic decoration techniques. As well as electronics, electrical circuits, and renewable energy in a practical way through projects. All students must pass half an hour credit.

Supplementary Materials (Methodology)

Health

It is taught to students in English, which is important for the student in his life, where he raises his self-awareness and that of the environment around him, and also qualifies him to compete with his peers in international schools (half an hour).

Community Service

One of the school’s objectives in its mission:

Raising children to love giving, and to provide help to those in need, but giving is not limited to the materialistic field only. But by involving humanity in everything we do, including presenting ideas, contributing to work, and solidarity in feelings.

Dar Al Fikr Schools, therefore, decided to make community service a prerequisite for graduation in schools. It is a practical course in which students volunteer for social work or charity for 60 hours. Students are given half a credit hour upon completion of 60 volunteer hours.
When does it start
The student can obtain the number of hours required for social service (60 hours) during his studies from the ninth grade to the twelfth grade.

(For female students)
Where can a female student start social service:

  • Female students have the opportunity to volunteer within the school, such as helping organize school activities.
  • Volunteering outside the school, such as participating in voluntary activities.
  • Volunteer in activities organized by students such as graduation and other projects.

Graduation Project

The student, individually or through a team of not more than three students before graduation, will submit a project (scientific or field project) under the supervision of a teacher according to specific specifications. The student will have to present his/her project to the students and parents and will be discussed by a jury and will be given a grade accordingly. (Half an hour Credit).

Continuous Evaluation

Grading Criteria

Evaluation Tools

Academic Reports

Item Components
Class participation and learning habits

Classroom participation

  • Positive interaction within the classroom.

Readiness

  • Bring all learning tools for each subject.
  • Bringing the computer ready to use.
  • Enter the class on time.

Classroom manners

  • Adhering to the teacher’s instructions
  • Dealing with the teacher politely, respectfully, and fitfully
  • Dealing with peers politely, respectfully, and cooperatively.
  • Keep the seat, and the contents of the classroom clean and intact.
Homework

Written homework

  • Delivery on time.
  • Accuracy in homework performance.
  • Complete performance of the homework.
  • Plagiarism, and copying others’ work.

Oral recitation of the Holy Quran’s

  • Performance on schedule.
  • The full answer.
  • The correct answer
  • Good performance.
Projects, research, and working papers

Our practical activities or applications are carried out by students with the aim of achieving certain educational goals, serving the scientific purpose of the subject, and working to focus and memorize information. The projects are evaluated according to specific criteria that vary from one subject to another according to the nature of the subject:

  • Project theme.
  • Management of the project.
  • How to implement the project.
  • Presenting the project, and conducting a discussion.
Technical evaluation
Home tests, open-book tests, oral tests, practical and experimental, periodic, performance evaluations, etc.
The Final Exam
It is a test of the end of the subject and is one of two:

Oral Tests:

  • It is held a week before the written tests through continuous evaluation.
  • It is determined according to a schedule prepared by the administration.

Written tests

  • It is prepared three weeks before the start of the tests, which are determined according to a schedule prepared by the administration.
  • The final test is worth 30 Marks.
  • The start date is determined by the Ministry of Education’s timetable.
Test Type
Mark
Expected Test
Average
Passing Score
Notes
Class involvement & learning habits
10 10
Class involvement & learning habits are filed after each class
Homework
10 10
Homework will be filed after each submission
Module Project
10 Once for each semester 10 5
Each subject has its own criteria
Formative Assessment
20 Multiple quizzes
It can’t be redone
Mid-Term Exam
20 One Exam except for Math 20 10
  • The test can be repeated (retaken) in cases of illness, traveling, civil reasons, or in cases of funerals (God Forbids).
  • It will be announced with a pre-set schedule
Final Exam
30 One Exam 7.5
  • The test can be repeated (retaken) in cases of illness, traveling, civil reasons, or in cases of funerals (God Forbids).
  • It will be announced with a pre-set schedule

 

No
Evaluation Tools
Evaluation Mark
1 Class participation and learning habits 10
2 Homework 10
3 Projects, research, and working papers 5
4 Formative Assessment 30
5 Mid term Exam 20
6 The final Evaluation 25

** The teacher applies five tools of skills assessment – at least – during the semester
Educational and academic reports
Schools provide parents – each semester – with the following reports:

  1. Academic report delivered to the student every 6 weeks
  2. Academic report at the end of each semester.

Success and Suspension
Students are to be passed to the next grade if they meet the following success requirements:

  • A student passes the course if the final grade is not less than 60%.
  • The student with special needs is considered, based on the diagnostic reports issued by the School Care Center, as stipulated in the Ministry of Education’s assessment criteria.
  • The student will be tested for a supplementary test if he or she receives an average of less than 60% in one or more courses at the end of the first or second semester.
  • If the student does not meet the requirements for success in a course, or the final grade after the supplementary test is less than 60%, it will be transferred to the academic committee to relook at the student’s performance and determine the course of action through one of the following options:
    • Check out the file for the last year (if the parent has already signed a home support pledge)
    • Re-take the school year.