Edmond has been chosen as the site for a new private school.
Mercy School will open its doors this fall, said Julie Sharif, administrative secretary.
"The school at Harvey and Memorial Road is 98 percent finished at a cost of more than $1 million," Sharif said. "We have built the school with donations from the Muslim community as well as other denominations."
The school is moving from an 11,000-square-foot building in Oklahoma City to the present site, a 36,000-square-foot building on 16 acres.
With enrollment more than doubling, the additional space will be well used by the more than 6,500 Muslims in the Oklahoma City-Edmond area.
"Last year during pre-enrollment 70 students had signed up," Sharif said. As of June 11, 150 students had signed up for the 2009-10 school year. Thirty teachers have been hired to teach the core classes as well as the electives.
The educational program of Mercy School follows the curriculum set by the State of Oklahoma. The Qur'an, Arabic and Islam are major academic subjects and are presented in sequential manner beginning in preschool up through all grade levels.
Sharif said the school is listed as an A+ school, which is a program sponsored by the University of Central Oklahoma.
Last year the students scored 13+ (college level) on the Iowa standardized test given to students in private schools, and on core subjects they scored in the 98th percentile, Sharif said.
"Our students scored anywhere from 65 to 70 percent better than the national average."
Sharif said what is amazing is the 3- and 4-year-old children are learning and memorizing Arabic.
Ninth-grade has been added to the pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade offerings and two students are enrolled in the 11th-grade.
"The two juniors are partnering with Astec Virtual for 11th-grade core subjects, but their electives including Qur'an class, Arabic class and Islamic Studies class will be done at Mercy School.
Future plans include the addition of 10th- through 12th-grades.
"Ten years ago (we) realized we needed a community that would teach the moral standards and ways of life of the Muslims," Sharif said. "He was concerned that children be raised to be committed, balanced Muslims and knowledgeable scholars as well as contributing citizens and community builders.
"He wanted to teach children to have moral standards and to be able to follow what we have been told by God and to go into the community and share with others in charity."
Sharif said the school is a "green school."
"We do a lot of recycling," Sharif said. "We recycle almost everything including water bottles."
Sharif added, "Our school has a lot to offer the community.
FOR MORE information, call 94-MERCY.