MCC Academy News
October  2017


Monday, October 2 - October 13 - MAPS Testing - Students in 2nd-8th grade will take MAPS testing during this time period  (see Vice Principal Mrs. Mujtaba's note below for more information)

Monday, October 2, 8:30am-10am - First day of "Purifying the Heart" course for sisters. Meets at Morton Grove campus. To register, please stop by office or attend first day of class. 

Monday, October 2, 4-5pm - First day of Elementary Sports Club - Meets Mondays and Wednesdays through the end of October at Skokie campus. 

Monday, October 2, 4-5pm - First day of Quran Reading & Tajweed Full Year After School Program - Meets every Monday-Thursday, from 4-5pm, at Skokie campus. $450 for each child. 

Tuesday, October 3, 4-4:30pm - First day of Nasheed Club - Students will meet every Tuesday in Mrs. Sheikh's classroom to practice nasheed songs to perform throughout the year at special events for the school. Open to MCCA boys and girls in grades 1st-5th. 

Wednesday, October 4 - Fall Picture Day -  Students at both campuses should come to school dressed in proper school uniform for this picture day as this is the photo that will appear in our annual yearbook. 

Wednesday, October 4 - First day of Drama Club - Students in grades 3-6th will meet every Wednesday from 4-5pm at Skokie campus 

Thursday, October 26 - Early Dismissal Day - Please make sure to pick your child up on time on Early Dismissal Day. There is no after school care or activities on Early Dismissal days. Please note early dismissal timing:
Pres, Prek, Kg: 1:15-1:30pm
1st-8th grades: 1:30-1:45pm

SAVE THE DATE: November 17-19 - IFANCA Halal Convention - MCCA families, plan to attend the fun-filled and educational Halal Convention weekend event featuring amazing speakers, fun family activities and lots of halal food! Tickets available at



A Note from MCCA Council Chairman M. Sarwar Nasir

Assalamualaikum MCCA Families,

Welcome back to MCC Academy for the 2017-18 school year! As the new MCCA council  chairman, I look forward to getting reacquainted with the school and helping to make a positive impact on school policies and procedures. 

You may already know me as having held the position of MCC president for the last four years. I was recently nominated by the Muslim Community Center (MCC) board to the position of MCCA  chairman following Sister Musarrath Khan, who completed her tenure as chairperson in June 2017. Sister Musarrath Khan worked hard in cooperation with other council members and school administration in building a strong bond between different entities of the academy. It will be a challenge to fill her position with the same zeal, but rest assured that I will try my best InshAllah.

Four years ago, I held the position of  chairmanof MCCA, so I am not entirely new to this role. During that time, we bought the new Skokie building that houses the early childhood and elementary school classes. We also modified the name of MCC Full-time School to MCC Academy. I am sure  in four years many things have changed, but I can assure you that my administrative work as the MCC president did not distract me from my love of education and my interest in MCCA proceedings.

We have a very vibrant school principal and staff. InshAllah, with the help of the school council, I will try to come up to your expectations in leading the school to the next level while supplementing and collaborating with the administration. Feel free to email, text or call me if you have any questions. Throughout the school year, we look forward to meeting with all of you, our parents, teachers and staff, in a collaborative manner for the betterment of our students' education.

I wish you a happy new academic year. May Allah (SWT) bless you with the best of eemaan, health, prosperity, and taqwa.

M. Sarwar Nasir

Message from Vice Principal Mrs. Mujtaba

Assalamualaikum MCCA Families,
I hope that all of you had a restful summer and were able to spend time with family. MCC Academy is in full swing with academic as well as after-school activities. Routine and procedures are well established, as well as academic and behavior expectations as we move closer to the end of the first quarter on November 10, 2017. 

I look forward to connecting with all of you regularly in our monthly school newsletter. This month since students in grades 2nd-8th will be taking the MAPS Test between October 2 to 13, I thought it would be a good time for me to review with all of you some general questions regarding MAP Testing:
  1. What is MAP?  MAP , or the Measure of Academic Progress, is a computerized adaptive test which means every student gets a unique set of test questions based on responses to previous questions. As the student answers correctly, questions get harder. If the student answers incorrectly, the questions get easier.  MAP covers reading, language usage, and math.
  2. What is a RIT score? When students finish, they receive a score - a number - called a RIT score. This score represents a student's achievement level at a given moment in the school year. A RIT score also shows a student's instructional level of a subject (Reading, Math, Language Usage, and Science). Taken over time, the scores can compute a student's academic growth.
  3. How long is the MAP test? Most students take less than an hour to complete a MAP test. However, MAP is not timed, and students may take as much time as they need to complete them.
  4. How often will my child take the MAP test? At MCC Academy, students take the MAP test twice in one school year; in the fall (in October) and then again in Spring (in May).
  5. Is MAP a standardized test? How is it different from 'IOWA' or state tests? IOWA and state tests are designed to measure what students already know, based on what is expected at their grade level, as a way to measure grade-level proficiency. MAP is designed to measure student achievement in the moment, and growth over time, regardless of grade level. Another difference is the timeliness of the results. While state tests return information much later, MAP gives quick feedback to teachers, administrators, students and parents. Teachers receive immediate results with MAP that show what students know and what they are ready to learn. The results of the fall test provide a growth projection for each student. The test in the spring provides information whether the student met their academic growth projection. These results are then used to help personalize lessons at the appropriate level for the students. The content of the MAP is aligned to state standards.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about MAP Testing or any other topic, my door is always open. Please drop by the Skokie office or call to make an appointment with me. 

Mrs. Arshi Mujtaba
MCCA Vice Principal

PSG Update

New PSG Board
The 2017-18 school year started with a new PSG Board. Board members are as follow:
President- Belinda Tibayan
Vice-President- Tahani Taweil-Awwad
Treasurer- Shafaq Anees Qureshi
Correspondence Secretary-  Shabnam Mahmood
Recording Secretary- Amira Kashif Puthawala
PSG Rep to Council- Thazneem Faiz
Past President- Khaula Chaudry

EPI Kits
PSG was pleased to help so many parents complete their children's school supply shopping in a most easy and convenient manner with our EPI school supply program. Parents ordered the school supply kits last May-June 2017 and our PSG team processed and received these orders, making sure the kits were delivered to each student's classroom for the start of the school year.  Many thanks to the PSG members who helped facilitate this annual program.  

Meet & Greet Parent Breakfast
PSG welcomed Skokie campus parents to breakfast on Friday, September 22, and Morton Grove campus parents on Friday, September 29. Our aim was to introduce the new Board and discuss upcoming PSG events. MCCA Principal, Habeeb Quadri, discussed various upcoming events, especially the new Coffee With The Principal program, in which he will highlight academic goals set for Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School programs. 

Key Dates
October 6th & 20th : PSG Meeting (Skokie Campus)
October 31st: Family Fall Fest....stay tuned for more information

For questions, concerns, or further information regarding any of these programs please email:

Girls Basketball Season Kicks Off their Season

The MCCA Girls basketball team opened their season against IFS with a win. MCCA defeated IFS by a score of 14-11, with Nusaybah Quadri and Zunaira Ansari leading the team in scoring. We have played three games thus far. Last weekend, we hosted Universal and CPSA at home, but unfortunately lost both games. The girls have had practice every day after school this week to prepare for the upcoming home game against AQSA school. Our thanks to Medina Skenderi and Ameerah Alkhatib, both MCCA alumni, for coaching the girls basketball team this year, keeping them inspired and working hard.

Middle School Students are Eager to Get in the "House" Spirit 

MCCA Middle School House competitions take place each quarter throughout the school year. The purpose of our House competitions is to encourage students to work together and to do good deeds. Students are split into "Houses" in mixed grade levels, 6th-8th. Each of our core middle school teachers lead a house, coaching them and cheering them on throughout the year. Students stay with their House throughout the year and work each quarter to earn points for their house by doing good deeds.   At the end of each quarter, the winning house receives a week packed with prizes and rewards, such as homework passes for the house members, an ice cream social, and an honorary lunch.
Students can earn points for his/her house by:
  1. Doing good throughout the week - recognized on Fridays
  2. Participating in the morning dua
  3. Is present when it is his/her turn to lead the school in the morning dua and the pledge
  4. Showing school spirit during assemblies and wearing house colors
  5. Hifdh students can earn points for their house by memorizing Juz'
  6. Trying his/her best to accomplish house competitions
  7. Receiving the highest points for Accelerated Reading in Mrs. Gomaa's class
  8. Winning the Spelling Bee in Mrs. Elmasri's class
  9. Memorizing surahs and Juz in Mrs. Musleh's class and from the Hifz department
  10. Impressing his/her teachers with intellectual comments, questions, and behavior
  11. Sending Ms. Basith a picture of when he/she does community service
  12. Sending Ms. Basith a receipt after attending family restaurant nights
  13. Winning the science fair in Mrs. Saleh's class
How house points can be deducted:
  1. Improper behavior during salah time
  2. Absent and not participating in morning assembly
  3. Improper behavior during service days and general assemblies
  4. Improper behavior during house activities
Project Rizq is coming up on  October 26th, so students will have the  opportunity to earn house points by bringing in items needed to make the meals for the homeless as part of this service project.  Stay tuned for more information.

Welcome to our New Girls Hifdh Program Teacher

MCCA is pleased to welcome Mrs. Hafidha Saba Amatul Qadeer as the new full-time Girls Hifdh Program Teacher. After completing her secular education in pharmacy back home in India, Hafidha Saba immigrated to the US in 2011. She began her journey of hifdh at As-Suffah Academy under the guidance of her teacher, Sadia Baji. She later went on to complete her hifdh in the year 2015.

In her own words, Hafidha Saba shares her journey in coming to teach here at MCCA:
 "As my connection to this beloved Book of Allah (SWT) grew, I started teaching hifdh part time in my home whilst substituting for my teacher. When I was offered the position at MCC Academy, it was like a dream come true. The masjid I brought my kids to every other day is now my second home, Alhamdulillah! Working at MCC Academy makes me feel spiritually satisfied and connected to my Creator. The girls here bring the same adrenaline rush and joy that I felt when I was memorizing the Quran. I am reliving the same phases of my memorization, so I know how to best manage the girls, which student needs what, and when they need support, a nudge or enlightenment. Every student here is so different and yet the same, different because they are different ages and have different personalities, yet also the same because their end goal is exactly like mine."

We are thankful to have Hafidh Saba amongst our team here at MCCA and we pray for her great success in leading our girls hifdh program.   
A Message from School Nurse Mrs. Plummer

As Salamu Alakum,

This first month of school, I took the time to visit every class at Skokie campus to introduce myself to our students and review reasons why they should come to the health office during the school year.  During most of these visits, I also performed lice checks.   Alhumdulilah, this is a standard and very important practice here at MCCA and most schools throughout the country.  I thank all the parents that checked their child(ren) and treated if needed before the start of school. As a result of this check, we only needed to send home less than a handful of kids, alhumdilAllah. These are very numbers. 

Please continue to check your child's hair throughout the year, at least every weekend, preferably when their hair is wet.  If you find nits or lice, please let me know so I may check the entire grade.

Check out the Nurse page on the new website for the following:
  • How to check and recognize lice and nits, under "Links" tab
  • Sick Child Guidelines
  • Monthly Themes - September was "Fruits and Veggies" month
  • Medical Requirements
  • Medication 
I look forward to serving your child(ten) this school year.  May Allah (SWT) keep them healthy.

Mrs. Plummer
Physical Education - Ms. Zeenat Umar

To start off the new school year in P.E.,  students took part in a fitness-related icebreaker game called "Find Someone Who," for which they had to find different classmates who fit various descriptions. Students got to learn new facts about their classmates, move around and exercise! We also discussed what health and fitness means to us and learned more about the five components of fitness. Students completed posters to assess their understanding of why the components are so important in P.E. and to personal development. The first and second graders are getting to learn the daily routine of warming up and stretching as well as playing fitness team-building games to help them move and still have fun! The focus on current and upcoming lessons will be completing the first quarter fitness assessments and alternating the soccer unit with playing a different team-building fitness game every week inshaAllah.

Weekly Character-building Exercise Fosters Self-Esteem and Harmony among Students

As part of our comprehensive character-building program, middle school teachers are taking the last 10 minutes of class time on Fridays to discuss the positives of each child in class. Students will learn from their peers and teachers how much they are valued with specific feedback on their positive traits and good behaviors. This positive feedback will help build students' self esteem and encourage them to think positively about one another, promoting a harmonious environment. 

Welcome to New School Counselors Dr. Samar Harfi and Mrs. Saadia Siddiqui 

I am pleased to join MCCA this year as one of your child's school counselors. My name is Dr. Samar. I'm a graduate of Clinical Psychology and a staff member at Khalil Center, an Islamic mental health center. Mrs. Saadia Siddiqui will be working with me this year as our intern counselor. We are excited to be MCCA's school counselors this year. We will be working with both elementary and middle school students. Our focus is to provide support to students through school-wide programing and activities that focus on developing social skills, academic competencies, and an overall sense of belonging and well-being in our school and broader communities. In addition, we plan to engage parents and teachers with educational and training activities throughout the year. Please feel free to contact me through the school with any questions or concerns. 

MCC Academy's Weekend Program for Children with Special Needs Enters its Second Year 

MCC Academy Strive Together Saturday Islamic class for kids with special needs is up and running again! The class provides each student with an individualized adapted-learning plan to teach them Arabic letters, various surahs, salah, and principles of Islam. If you would like more information about the program, or would like to volunteer, email 

Students Rocking Scientific Observations

Ms. Waseeya Barkat's middle school science classes have been having a blast doing their first labs of the school year! 6th grade started off as rock analysts, looking for clues and characteristics to classify rocks. Their rock star observations led to some great conclusions! As 7th grade learned about plant and animal cells, they had a chance to observe firsthand what a plant cell looks like under the microscope by prepping their own onion slides. And finally, 8th graders turned detectives and solved the break-in by analyzing the suspects and the evidence left behind at the crime scene. Calculating density for each metal was a must if they wanted to catch the thief!

Students Write to Local and National Political Leaders

In our world today, it is increasingly important that our students know how to engage in civic participation and actively participate in politics. Thus, in order to infuse this skill into our students, 7th and 8th grade students wrote letters to local and national politicians regarding various issues in order to effect political change. 

The Eighth grade classes have been studying the humanitarian crisis in Yemen being caused by Saudi Arabia and other coalition nations. After studying the crisis and the US role in it, students wrote letters to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky informing her of the direness of the situation, as well as urging her to bring the issue to her fellow colleagues in Congress. 

The Seventh grade section A  studentd studied about the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Myanmar. They learned about the different political facets of the conflict and the challenges presented. They wrote letters to Senator Durbin offering their gratitude for his Senate Resolution to aid the Rohingya and condemn Myanmar. Seventh grade section B students learned about two Illinois acts: the Illinois Trust Act and the creation of the Muslim Advisory Council. After learning about what these two actions entail, students wrote letters thanking Governor Rauner for passing these particular actions. 

In the course of this activity, students were able to practice their research skills, learn about the dynamics of local or federal politics, as well as actively engage their government officials. All the letters were mailed out and Insha'Allah the students are expecting responses from their officials. 

8th Grade Islamic Studies - Ms. Iram Shaikh

8th graders are getting reflective with Hadith. Each week, we translate and discuss a new saying of the Prophet (S) in order to work towards completing our 8th grade graduation requirements. As we learn the new Hadith of the week, students tap into their creative side by drawing out how they will implement the message of the hadith in their daily lives in addition to writing it out. Students realize that the sunnah isn't limited to reading and writing about it, but that they should work at bringing it to life. 

Library Update from Mrs. Bergeson




Asalaamu alaikum, I am so excited fall is here! And we have many things to look forward to this fall at our MCC Academy Libraries!
BOOK CHECK-OUT and READING LEVELS: Students in 1st & 2nd will be checking out books in upcoming weeks that are appropriate for independent reading and comprehension based on their assigned reading teachers. Please help remind these young readers to bring back their library books on the days they have library class!  Students in 3rd- 5th grades will be checking out books related to their Lexile scores from their MAP testing last spring.  Please do not be alarmed if your student has a book that seems "too easy" for their grade level! As you know, comprehension is a critical part of reading, so we want to help the students develop their ability to grab the details of the stories they read. Students will be taking MAP tests again in October, so we will have new data to help gauge their new comprehension levels at that time. 
FALL SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR! November 3rd - 10th, 2017
Mark your calendars! The fall Scholastic Book Fair will be hosted at the Skokie Campus from Friday afternoon, November 3rd - Friday, November 10th. This will be a great opportunity to get new books for your Preschool - 8th grade student while supporting our campus library! (*The winter/spring book fair will be held at the Morton Grove Campus in early March!)
The MCC Academy Library for the Morton Grove campus is still the in the developing stages, but we have made progress behind the scenes, Alhamdulillah! Masha Allah, PSG raised $5,000 to designate for the development of this library, so we have chosen shelving, decided where to set them up, and are choosing books for our MG book collection. We greatly appreciate your patience and PLEASE take your students to their local public library to check out books in the meantime. Thank you! 
Please feel free to email me anytime with questions or concerns. My Library webpage has links and contact info on the school website:
Please check out my introductory video on youtube as well:
Happy Fall!
Mrs. Bergeson, Librarian

Computer Classes

Our computer coursework at the middle school level has gotten off to a great start this year. Students in "A" sections will take Computer Science first semester and "B" section students will take the course second semester.  Students learned how to create PowerPoint slides that they presented to the class. Sixth graders interviewed a person from their class then created a presentation about the person. Seventh and eighth grade students researched current events and created slides on their topics. 
In the process of creating their projects, students learned PowerPoint skills such as adding photos, visual effects, transition effects, animation, sound effects, templates, and formatting. They are now moving on to keyboarding skills and mastering Microsoft office. 8th graders will learn movie editing and then finish off the term with block coding. Our thanks to Teachers Asmaa Shafiq and Azam Tai for inspiring our students as they grow and expand their technology skills. 

5th Grade - Mrs. Ayesha Khan and Mrs. Salma Rahman

After a relaxing and enjoyable summer, the fifth graders showed enthusiasm and excitement to be back in school, Alhamdulillah!  In the first week of school, the fifth graders played many games to get to know one another and the teacher. They wrote letters to themselves for the future including a list of goals they want to achieve. They also completed a small project and presented it to their classmates by sharing their likes/dislikes.   Fifth graders have been in full swing into education by reading and comprehending the story of the week, learning about expository writing and differentiating between fiction and nonfictional texts, and also solving a ton of math problems by focusing on place values.   Take a look at what is happening in the fifth grade classroom!

3rd Grade Islamic Studies - Mrs. Farah Bozai

Students in 3rd grade Islamic Students learned about the virtues of making wudu the Prophetic way. I shared a replica of the cup Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to make wudu (called a 'madd'), and students then made their own wudu cups! It was beautiful to hear reflections on how good it felt to fulfill this sunnah and save water when making wudu. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Do not waste water, even if you perform wudu on the banks of an abundantly-flowing river." (Ibn Majah), and he (pbuh) used to make wudu using one 'madd' of water. (Bukhari and Muslim)

3rd Grade - Mrs. Rashida Patel, Mrs. Aisha Aqueel and Mrs. Tabinda Siddiqui

The 2017-2018 year has had an amazing start! Third grade teachers have really enjoyed getting to know all of our new students. We spent a big chunk of this first month making sure students understand all the rules and procedures of third grade. Alhumduillah, it looks like all the students have settled in and have gotten used to the routine.  In reading, we have already completed three of the stories from our textbook and began taking the weekly assessments. In math, we wrapped up Chapter 1 on understanding numbers to 10,000 and started our chapter on Mental Math and Estimation. We have also been taking our weekly multiplication tests and have been very happy with the progress our students are making! In science, third-graders have enjoyed learning about plants and animals. They even got a chance to plant their own seeds! In social studies, teachers have been emphasizing important map skills. Our third grade writing process has also began and we have been concentrating on narrative writing. Students published several pieces of their writing.  The third grade teachers feel blessed to be working with such supportive parents, alhumdulillah.

1st Grade - Ms. Deba Malik, Ms. Suad Abdeljaber and Ms. Anum Mustafa

First graders in 1-C are enjoying fun-filled morning assemblies with Mr. Quadri! They're also working hard in class to finish various reading and writing activities

Kindergarten - Mrs. Salma Shariff, Mrs. Ghazna Siddiqui, Mrs. Raabia Khawaja

Students learned each other's names by playing a name game on the rug at the beginning of the school year. They sat on the rug and sang " (students name) (students name) How do you do? Who's that sitting next to you?" Then, students looked next to them and tried to remember their name and repeated the song using their name. We went around in a circle repeating the song. 
Students took home an "All About Me" project where they were given a brown bag and were to bring it back with items that describe them. For example, if they like the color purple, they put a purple crayon/marker in the bag, if they like Peppa Pig they brought those characters in the bags, if they like to play with legos they brought legos in their bags, etc. The students then shared these "All About Me" bags with the class one at a time.   Students did an activity where they were given cut outs of letters of their names and they were to put them in order and glue them on a pencil template. They were able to count how many letters are in their names and put them in order. I n art, students created fall trees to welcome fall using paint and Q-tips! 

2nd Grade - Mrs. Silvat Sheikh, Mrs. Sanah Baig, Ms. Bisma Makda

The second graders are off to a wonderful start. We've been through all the rules and procedures and now the kids are well aware of what to expect.   Students started writing in the journals and are learning about topic sentence, details, and ending sentence. We wrote about all our favorite things.  In math, students played a tap and clap game where they had to listen to a pattern of claps and follow what they heard. They loved working together and using their hand coordination skills. 
In science, we're learning about how plants grow and change. Students gave examples of what living and non-livings things are and made science booklets. As fall is here, kids will be asked to collect leaves so they can do leaf-rubbing art!  Alhumdullilah for back to school and fun learning!

Preschool - Mrs. Saima Malik

Alhamdulilah, we had a great start to the school year. Parents and students enjoyed our Crayola Crayon Box Photo Booth. We also had a small Eid Party where the kids received gifts and ate some yummy treats. Students are enjoying being able to get to know each other. We've been playing a lot of games to remember what are our classroom friends' names are. The students are being introduced to all the different classroom activities, stations, toys, and rules. MashaAllah, they have all adjusted wonderfully. One of the biggest issues for incoming preschoolers is separation anxiety and one way we try to help them is by reading the story "The Kissing Hand". We also did many projects involving the story that the students took home to give to their parents.

PreK - Mrs. Emina Kurtovic and Mrs. Edisa Metovic

Assalamu Alaikum, we welcomed students by reading and doing different icebreaker activities with other Pre-k students. Students were super excited to share their thoughts and learn about the letter A and number 0. Keep up the great work Pre-k!

4th Grade - Mrs. Suhaima Patel and Mrs. Nida Iftekharuddin

Welcome to a new school year. Fourth grade is full of fun adventures and learning experiences. We are looking forward to a great year ahead with fractions, poetry pals, biographies, our Chicago unit and many more things lined up.  Students learned and discussed the idea of growth mindset by reading the book, "My Fantastic Elastic Brain." They discussed how challenges are a means to help them grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. Students then practiced turning fixed mindset phrases into growth mindset phrases.  InshaAllah, we started off with a great start in all our subjects. We hope and pray for a successful year ahead.  
Part-time Early Childhood - Mrs. Sabiha Patel 

Students in our part-time early childhood program enjoyed an introduction to concepts in early language skills: letters, words and sentences, real versus make-believe stories, author, illustrator and main character.