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  • The Renaissance

  • Our Objectives

  • Our Approach

  • Milestones

The "Renaissance" in Renaissance Academy

The word Renaissance implies many things, including both great progress in all intellectual and academic pursuits but also reviving something lost from the past. A Renaissance implies something comprehensive in which learning and inquiry is not limited to just one or two fields of study but includes all areas of academics, religion, sports and the arts. The adoption of the word Renaissance for a school implies this comprehensive understanding of life and the belief that a school is an important institution in the overall development and progress of society.

 

As an Islamic School, the revival aspect of the word Renaissance brings back memories of the 8th to 16th Century when the Islamic World contributed greatly to the arts, agriculture, economics, industry, law, literature, navigation, philosophy, sciences, sociology, and technology. A period during which Islam was understood as demanding that Muslims work hard and progress in all fields of science and inquiry while being open-minded and tolerant of peoples and ideas from throughout the world. At Renaissance Academy we want to bring back this spirit of Islam so that our students can progress academically, exhibit the highest standards of moral excellence, and have the skills and motivation to contribute to the betterment of society.

The Renaissance Academy school community works together to ensure that our students will graduate with:

  • A strong identity that reflects pride in Islam and a clear sense of mission
  • Character, values, and morals that are aligned with the teachings of Islam
  • The ability and desire to properly perform their spiritual duties of prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage
  • High academic skills that exceed state educational standards in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies
  • Arabic language proficiency
  • Strong research and study skills and the perseverance that enables them to gather information and analyze and present quality research results
  • Strong technology skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Well-developed critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • The leadership skills that will prepare them for future academic and social roles
  • A strong sense of physical well-being and the practice of healthy habits
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    The Renaissance Way

    Alhamdulillah, Renaissance is one of multiple organizations that Allah (swt) has blessed to serve this community. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you the Renaissance story and the unprecedented successes that came about solely through the Sheer Mercy of Allah swt. Several of you supported this project enabling Renaissance Academy to become a beacon in the community.

     

    When the Renaissance Education Foundation conceived the idea of establishing an Islamic School in North Austin, we sought community input through holding a community-wide survey which found extensive support for a school and helped the board focus on the location in which the school would best serve community needs and desires. The Foundation followed up on the survey with a number of public forums, the first of which was held in February of 2007 and was attended by approximately 400 people. That open forum sought community input and proved extremely useful in helping the Foundation finalize its plans. The exchange of ideas during that forum provided useful data, which - in addition to the survey responses - played an important role in establishing the school’s initial mission statement and school objectives.

     

    An Advisory Council was established in which key community members and potential parents were provided a structured framework in which they could voice their opinion directly to the Board. The extensive outreach to the community helped Renaissance Academy open in the Fall of 2007 with 140 students.

     

    Traditional Approach

    Traditionally, Muslim non-profit educational organizations follow the approach of purchasing the land, developing it and then start constructing to render a school facility.

    Renaissance Academy Approach

    However, Renaissance took a different approach. As there was a dire need for an Islamic school to serve the Muslim community in a specific demography, Renaissance Education Foundation adopted a strategic approach by right away purchasing the school facility on a lease to own model (Islamic financing) to launch Renaissance Academy. This approach satisfied the immediate need for an Islamic school and also delivered Return on Investment (ROI) for the community from day one; resulting in prudent use of community resources towards this noble project. Normally projects similar to Renaissance Academy take at least 3 years to get launched.


    Building Purchase Factoids

    Renaissance Education Foundation (REF) purchased its school building in June, 2007 and started Renaissance Academy. REF determined from the first day to ensure that all donations were immediately put to productive use by starting with a school building rather than going through the process of constructing a new building which would take 2 to 3 years of fund-raising before donations could start being productive.


    Owner

    Renaissance Education Foundation (will be waqf once building is paid off)

     

    Location

    IH-35 @ Wells Branch; 14401 Owen Tech Blvd., Austin, TX 78728

    Area

    18500 sq. ft carpet area on a 3 acre fully developed lot

    Cost of Purchase

    $1.85 M (Travis County tax appraised assessed value is $2.3M)

    Mode of Purchase

     

    Ijara wa iqtana "Rent to own" model; partnered with Islamic financial institution

    Monthly Payment

    $13,085.00 per month towards rent plus ownership

    Paid off

    $395,055

     

    Please click here for details about this story and the milestones and success that have been achieved in just two years.  

     

    REF is humbled to share how this institution has been adding value to our youth and the community at large. Please click for details. Alhamdulillah, in just two years, the school attained numerous academic achievements , gained exemplary status according to standards established by the state of Texas (with 67% of students earning commended status on the TAKS), and achieved full accreditation from AdvancEd/SACS CASI.

     

    Renaissance Academy currently serves over 200 students and has consistently grown since its inception and is being operated with a focused vision that makes it an exemplary institution. Click here to view the Renaissance Academy brochure.

    Below is a summary of milestones that show the pace at which Renaissance Academy has progressed. Alhamdulillah, school operations have been sustained mostly from tuition and other fees as well as donations for scholarships.

     

    Renaissance Education Foundation is humbled to introduce to you our local Islamic school "Renaissance Academy". Following are some of the major milestones that took place these past few years:

     

    September 2006

  • Established Renaissance Education Foundation, a parent organization for Renaissance Academy, with the vision of serving the needs of the community's youth.
  • Started planning for a school, conducted demographic surveys, established targeted areas for building location, developed business plan and started pursuing Islamic financing.
  • June 2007

  • Purchased an 18,500 sq. ft. building on a 3.2 acre fully-developed lot, located centrally and easily accessible for the majority of the Muslim population.
  • Building was acquired through Islamic Financing (rent to own model) for $1.85M with 20% initial ownership.
  • Remodeled building within two months and got the scool ready with 17 classrooms, cafeteria, offices, conference rooms and an indoor multi-purpose hall.
  • August 2007

  • Started school with 140 students from Pre-school through 8th grade with 20 full time staff.
  • May 2008

  • Successfully completed the first year.
  • Formed a very strong Parent Association.
  • Surpassed expectations with very high student achievements.
  • August 2008

  • Started second year with 180 students (over 20% growth) and additional staff and classrooms.
  • Added a high school grade with the target to graduate our first class in 2012 inshaAllah.
  • Applied for accreditation candidacy and got approved. This was a major accomplishment; normally school has to operate for at least three years to attain this level.
  • March 2009

  • Received accreditation from AdvancEd/SACS CASI, the largest accreditation body in the USA. This was a clear testament about the quality and academic standards of the school.
  • May 2009

  • Completed a trailblazing year with tremendous achievements and accreditation within its second year of operation. This was a morale booster for the whole community.
  • August 2009

  • Started another school year with a record enrollment of over 200 students.
  • Getting ready for another 5 year plan to accommodate unprecedented demand.
  • Working on facility improvements including a commercial grade playscape, improved labs and more technology oriented classrooms.
  • August 2010

  • Started another school year with a record enrollment of over 200 students.
  • Completed installation of commercial grade playscapes.
  • Working on facility improvements including improved science labs and basketball court.
  • Working on having the pre-school program accredited by Texas Rising Star in addition to the current SACS CASI accreditation.
  • February 2010

  • Started another school year with a record enrollment of over 200 students.
  • Getting ready for another 5 year plan to accommodate unprecedented demand.
  • Working on facility improvements including a commercial grade playscape, improved labs and more technology oriented classrooms.
  • All of the above took place through the sheer Mercy of Allah (swt) alone, we thank Him and we seek His forgiveness and pray that He will continue to bless Renaissance Academy and to make our graduates the ambassadors of our Deen and fulfill their mission in life as commanded by Allah (swt) and shown by our beloved prophet Mohammed (saw).

     
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    Renaissance Education Foundation

    Renaissance Education Foundation (REF) is an Austin based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to support youth activities that cater to the need of our community. REF's mission is to promote academic excellence, leadership skills, and distinguished moral principles in youth by providing infrastructural, operational and monetary support. Renaissance Academy is a REF initiative.

    Contact Details

    14401 Owen-Tech Blvd
    Austin, TX 78728

    Ph: 512-252-2277
    Fax: 512-252-2275


    e-mail: info@racademy.org