ISLA Leaders’ Cohort: 

Courageous Leadership in Times of Crisis

Support | Resources | Community

Courageous leadership flyer- image of Muslim educators in a professional development setting


The ISLA Leaders’ Cohort is designed to respond to the demands of school leadership amidst the current pandemic and beyond. It is deliberately limited in size (with no more than 20 leaders per cohort) in order to facilitate deep discussions centering around participants’ specific leadership concerns. Additionally, it is designed to provide a safe space so that leaders’ can share concerns within a network of supportive colleagues.  

The group is facilitated by experienced educators in the Islamic School arena. Access to the facilitators and cohort members will be both synchronous (via weekly live meetings) and asynchronous (via online discussions). Cohort members will also have access to resources exclusively selected to address their needs.  

Most importantly, we know that leadership, while incredibly rewarding, can also be a lonely job. That’s why this professional learning community is designed to run like a cohort where we will provide a safe and confidential space for leaders to explore issues pertinent to leading in times of crisis. Members will develop long-term professional relationships as they work together to address issues of the current time as well as look to the future.


  • Provide a supportive professional community that assists Islamic school leaders in the second half of the school year
  • Provide resources that help leaders respond to their current and future challenges
  • Cultivate long-term professional relationships 

Areas of Focus

  • Looking Ahead Beyond the pandemic, what’s here to stay
  • Strategies & Tips Transitioning learning modalities (from face to face to distance to hybrid)
  • Leadership Leading with clarity & focus
  • Enrollment Recruitment and retention in an uncertain economy
  • DEI Understanding and elevating the role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice concerns in the academic program and school culture 
  • Assessment Grading for Equity during a pandemic and beyond


  • Jan 27: Last Date for Registration & Payment
  • Week 0: Jan 25-Jan 30- Welcome & Introductions
  • Week 1-6: Feb 1- March 13- Weekly in-person & online discussion related to Areas of Focus


Cost includes access to all the resources, online discussions, and live weekly meeting spaces over the duration of all 6 weeks. 

  • Member: $200/participant
  • Non-Member: $300/participant

*Contact ISLA if support is needed allocating title funds towards this PD:


Rasha El-HagganRasha El-Haggan profile pic

Rasha El-Haggan is a board member of The ISLA, spearheading its first online professional development platform and course. Through this initiative, she trained over eighty Islamic school leaders and over 150 teachers on Hybrid Learning Design during the critical time of COVID-19.

In sum, Rasha has fifteen years of experience working in private, public, and international schools. As an advocate of student-centered classrooms, she dedicates a large portion of her time to training teachers and leading schools to design and implement transdisciplinary curricula that promote conceptual, inquiry-based methods.

Rasha has a diverse background working with students from all grades K-12.  She worked with various curricula from the Common Core State Standards to College Board’s Advanced Placement to all three programs within the International Baccalaureate (PYP, MYP, and DP). 

During her tenure with IB Schools, Rasha has been an MYP Teacher, an IB DP Coordinator, an Extended Essay Coordinator, and an IB PYP Coordinator. Rasha was the founding Head of School of the first K-6 International Baccalaureate IB World school in Howard County, MD. She is currently the Upper School Academic Dean at Sandy Springs Friends’ School, a large private school in MD. 

Rasha has a BA in English from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a MA in Education from Johns Hopkins and is pursuing a Masters Certificate in Independent School Leadership & Administration at Johns Hopkins. 

Yahya Van Rooy

Yahya Van RooyYahya Van Rooy is currently the academic coordinator for grades 4-12 at Jeddah Private International School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He has been in the field of education for the past 12 years, working in five countries: USA, Colombia, Guatemala, India, and Saudi Arabia.  His experience includes bilingual paraprofessional, lead teacher, assistant director, and academic coordinator. 

Yahya earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and Spanish from St. John’s University and is currently completing his Master’s Degree in international education with a concentration in curriculum development and supervision from Endicott College. His research interests include Islamic pedagogy, reading motivation and engagement, and social justice education.

Yahya Van Rooy also serves as ISLA’s Community Development Associate. He leads ISLA’s vPeer community engagement project to facilitate networking and the sharing of resources. He also facilitated ISLA’s Hybrid Design Courses for Islamic School Leaders & Teachers.

©2021 Islamic Schools League of America | PO Box 6198, Round Rock, TX 78663

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