Granada Islamic School (GIS) educates children with a strong focus on academic subjects along with the traditions and teachings of Islam. Since its inception, GIS has dedicated its efforts towards inspiring and preparing students to be life-long learners and realize the importance of striving for the best in this life and the hereafter. With a humble beginning of 25 students, GIS today is honored to educate about 500 students. GIS adopted the Common Core Standards in ELA and Math in 2014-2015. With expansion comes the challenge of maintaining quality, and GIS takes this challenge very seriously.
Established by the Muslim Community Association (MCA) in 1988, Granada Islamic School (GIS) has provided the children of the Muslim community of the San Francisco Bay Area with the opportunity to learn in an Islamic environment. With just 25 students in the first year, the MCA members wondered if they would ever need the entire building. Now, with Silicon Valley drawing high-tech workers from a myriad of world cultures, the school has grown manifold and is expected to grow in the years to come. Historically, Granada has dedicated its efforts towards a holistic educational program that meets the needs of the students, both Islamically and academically.
The school is located in Santa Clara, in the heart of Silicon Valley and occupies one half of the Muslim Community Association building, a 3-acre site with convenient freeway access. In addition to its high-tech reputation, Santa Clara is noted for its pleasant climate and beautiful surroundings. A one-hour drive to the north is the city of San Francisco. Less than one hour to the west is the beautiful coast of Santa Cruz. A 4-hour drive to the east is the scenic mountains of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, with popular summer and winter resort activities. There are also many well-known universities in the area, such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, Santa Clara and San Jose State University. A new addition in the list of neighboring world-renowned institutions is Zaytuna College, the first accredited Muslim college in America.
The school consists of 20 classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, a library, three teacher rooms, four offices, the Daycare, Arabic language lab, a tutoring room and a multi-purpose room. There is a cafeteria-style restaurant on site. The current facility is undergoing an expansion of our High School for 2016-2017 to add more classrooms to its program, including lab and study rooms. We believe, this will enable GIS to add ten-thousand square feet (10K SF) in the next 2-3 years and provide service to almost 800 students by 2020 (doubling our capacity from last year), in-sha-Allah, including a full High-school. Outdoor facilities include a playground, a grass area, a basketball court and an asphalt parking lot. Access to one of the parking lots is blocked off during school hours and used as part of the children’s play area.
The Leadership Team
GIS has an administrative team led by the school principal who reports to the seven-member School Board of elected and appointed community members. The School Board reports to the MCA Board, the elected governing board of the MCA.
The Academic Year
The academic year begins in the middle of August and ends in mid-June. It is divided into three trimester grading periods for elementary grade levels and semester grading periods for middle/high school grade levels. The day starts at 8:00 am and ends at 3:15 pm, except on Wednesdays – the day starts at 8:00 am and ends at 2:00 pm. A typical day is broken into eight 45-minute periods. GIS holidays are aligned with major U.S. holidays as well as Muslim holidays.
The GIS Bylaws can be found here.