ISLA Leadership Retreat 2018

Beyond Academics:

The Unspoken Challenges Facing Students Today

December 14-16, 2018

Parrish, FL

Retreat 2018 Goals: 

  1. Identify and explore the challenges students face in the 21st century
  2. Develop strategies to respond to the needs of diverse learners
  3. Explore social and emotional aspects of students’ development; understand mental health needs and methods of support
  4. Implement mindfulness techniques for students and educators
Beyond Academics: ISLA 2018 Retreat theme

2018 Theme Description

Today’s students face a range of challenges, from struggles with mental health to Islamophobia. Are Islamic schools successfully meeting these challenges?  The main objective of our schools twenty years ago was to create schools that prepared Muslim youth for the academic rigor of college. A good school was judged based on how many students got accepted into prestigious universities and colleges.  While this is still important, we can no longer ignore the dire needs that Muslim American youth are facing daily.


In addition to internationalizing Islamophobia, Muslim American youth face the same social and emotional challenges that non-Muslim youth feel. There is a rise in Muslim youth suicides, addictions and other social ills.  Muslim Americans are facing an identity crisis. What are Islamic schools doing to successfully meet these challenges? How are we preparing our teachers, administrators, parents, and students to face these growing problems?


This leadership retreat will focus on identifying the challenges students face in today’s world.  We will work collaboratively on developing strategies to respond to these challenges to meet the social and emotional needs of students’ development and mental well-being, while also implementing mindfulness techniques in our professional practices.


On the last day of the retreat, participants will create an action plan that they can take back to their schools to implement the new knowledge and insights they have gained from their weekend-long professional development. Bonfires, canoeing, and other planned activities will also help build necessary professional networks amongst the participants.


“I am going back with a lot of motivation and ideas for my school. I was too caught up in day to day admin work and was losing the spiritual aspect. The program was vey well balanced. Not only did we find out what others were doing, but we also identified what we are doing right and celebrated this.”

I love that the retreat was not only lectures. The interactive activities are a great way to help us retain what we are learning, insha’allah.” 

I very much enjoy the intimate structure of the program, the opportunity to network, get ideas from people who do the same work, and share what we do in our schools. It gives an opportunity to make us, as principals, feel that we are not alone, providing us with resources and people to go to when needed.”

The professional attitude by ISLA has been outstanding. The colleagues who joined me in different workshops are dedicated, talented and motivated to make a difference within their schools. May Allah bring ajr to their industrious output for our community. JazakAllah for an outstanding retreat.”

©2018 Islamic Schools League of America

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