Islamic Schools League of America

Leadership Retreat 2016


December 9th - 11th

Islamic School Leaders Advancing Literary and Creative Arts Curricula

Time:          Friday 3:00p to Sunday 2:00p

Date:          December 9th - 11th  2016

Location:     DaySpring Conference Center
                   8411 25th Street East
                   Parrish, FL 34219




“Islamic School Leaders Advancing Literary and Creative Arts Curricula”

The annual ISLA Leadership Retreat 2016 will examine ways to advance literary and creative arts curricula, an often hidden treasure in Islamic Schools where leaders frequently face challenges incorporating the arts into school curricula. Leaders in schools face the popular culture within the community as they strive to guide children toward a basic understanding of living as a Muslim in western society when much of the contemporary art revolves around human figures, music, negative lyrics, and performance of temptation.  

Muslim children have a rich heritage to draw upon through the great Muslim men and women in Islamic civilization whose creative legacy was based upon recitation of Quran, calligraphy, creativity, visual art, literature, architecture, geometry, mathematics, music, science, and more. How surprising is it that the nature of the nib or pen tip lays out the Quran in such an artistic script? Or imagine in your mind geometric designs you’ve seen on buildings with a wide array of color that derives from the use of a sphere or triangle offering unbelievable visual art experience or an architectural design that echoes the sounds of the call to prayer without modern microphones to be heard a long distance.

The Islamic world has long been known for book making, especially since the 8th century when Muslims knew paper making and began to write down everything from science experiments to a record of intellectual activities, and elite discussions of studies that took place where note-takers recorded the outcomes of the discourse and scribes turned those results into literary works. There is more, and this retreat sets out to explore it and guide leaders to create action plans to return to school and use.

Where do leaders of Islamic schools look to balance the issues and guide teachers, parents and students to assess the issues?  When do leaders get time to do some critical thinking that can provide leadership for students in their lives as Muslim in the western society?

This retreat is crafted upon the ISLA model of ‘personal and professional reflection’ with rejuvenating activities, walks to contemplate and reflect as well as speakers and displays that offer “opportunities for leaders to create their own action plan” to use when they return to their schools.   (The 2016 Program Guide will be posted here soon.)



Guest Speaker is Anse Tamara Gray!

Anse Tamara Gray has studied a full curriculum of Islamic sacred texts, some including jusrisprudence, Islamic theology, Quranic sciences, Arabic grammar. She is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction, and works in the field of education, focusing on instruction, curriculum design and implementation, administration, and teacher training. Anse Gray is also the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change, and is the author of many publications. 

School leaders will be involved throughout the retreat in activities to reflect upon and discuss questions such as these:

1.     How can we focus our schools to maintain morality at the core with unwavering focus on critical thinking while implementing teaching through literature and the creative arts?

2.     What can we learn from the Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) teaching methodology, the modern day teaching methodology and other successful learning strategies to build even stronger schools?

3.     What can we learn from the historical perspectives in Islamic civilizations that can guide our Creative arts curricula?

4.     What are the resources from our historical past that we can access, which will guide leaders toward a stronger implementation of creative arts around the recitation of Quran, architecture, calligraphy, creativity, geometry, literature, mathematics, music, science, visual art, and more?                                      

Participants will also:

1.     Share their experiences and learn from fellow school leaders about the role that literary and creative arts curricula can provide.

2.     Participate in contemplation, reflective walks and outdoor activities to rejuvenate spirituality, and focus on the role that the creative arts can generate in academic achievement.

3.     Discuss ways for leaders to guide teachers, parents and students in increased leaning modalities through literary and creative arts curricula.

4.     Create an action plan for implementing ideas from the retreat in their school upon returning.


Natural Setting

The Retreat is located in a natural setting so that you can relax and enjoy the outdoors and nature while working with fellow school leaders. It also give you time to reconnect with the spiritual and emotional connection you have with Islamic education. We all know that this is a labor of love and not a pursuit of financial gain; therefore, we want to offer you an opportunity to strengthen that feeling of dedication.


Small Groups

The Retreat is intended for a small group, much smaller than the conferences you might have experienced. This allows school leadership to focus and maximize their personal learning experiences. Small groups also increase the opportunity to experience in-depth discussions that are often lost in the hurry of large conferences.


Program Guide

To see our program guide, please click here  (The 2016 Program Guide will be posted here soon.)



Last Updated Tuesday, January 03 2017 @ 12:33 PM EST    
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