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City of Knowledge Islamic School of California

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The logo of City of Knowledge Islamic School

City of Knowledge School is a private school[1] and community located in Pomona, CA, which provides elementary, middle and high school for Muslim students. It was founded by a group of Muslim families in California and is managed by them who believe that the public school system in the area does not offer the environment or education they wanted for their children.


The school was founded in 1994 by a group of Muslim parents who wanted their children to receive not only a sound academic education, but also proper grounding in the precepts of the Muslim religion.[2] They felt that the public school system did not offer the environment or education they wanted for their children. Since then, it operates as a community.[3]

Following the consequences of terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the City of Knowledge lost 40% of its students. Parents were afraid the school could be target of retaliation.[4] Though, City of Knowledge attained full accreditation in 2001 by The Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) for six years, the longest period of time allowed by the Association. In 2007, accreditation was renewed for the maximum period as well. During WASC's second visit in 2007, the visiting committee reported their continued satisfaction for City of Knowledge's vast community network, high expectations for academic excellence, and as well as noted the improvements made to the school since their initial visit in 2001.[5]


The mission of the City is to create an environment in which the intellectual and spiritual principles of human beings blossom. In order to nourish a garden of children who grow into responsible, knowledgeable adults.[6]

Its vision is Inspired by the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and the tradition of the Holy Prophet (s) and Ahl al-Bayt (a) it will continually strive to deliver the highest quality academic education within the most ethical and moral Islamic atmosphere.[7]

Teaching and Text-Books

A school class in City of Knowledge.

The central text in the school's educational process is the Qur'an. The foundation for its centrality is established as early as kindergarten, which focuses on reading and writing both English and Arabic. The teaching of Arabic to all students irrespective of ethnic background is done so that the students can read and understand the Qur'an.

In the higher grades of 9th through 12th students participate in an ethics class where Qur'an and the writings of the Shi'a Imams are studied for learning Islamic values and moral instruction. The curriculum was designed and instructed based on the Ja'fari School, a Shi'ite school of law.

In the 9th grade classes two books are used: the first is called Simplified Islamic Laws for Youth and Young Adults: According to the Fatwa of Hadrat Ayatullah AlUzma As-Sayyid Al-Hajj Ali Al-Husaini as-Seestani (1999). The second text is A Divine Perspective on Rights by Imam al-Sajjad (a).

In the 10th through 12th grades, they focus on the works of Imam 'Ali (a) in the highly influential Nahj al-Balagha. The student engages the words of Imam 'Ali (a) and absorbs views on practices that are foundational to a Shi'ite identity.[8]


The City of Knowledge School operates in a building which was once used as a bowling alley that sits on a lot exceeding four acres. The property was acquired and renovated for the beginning of the 1997–1998 school year. At the present time only a fraction of the building is used. It is comprised of 16 classrooms, Pre-school through Grade 12. There is also a science laboratory, computer laboratory, library, prayer hall, multi-purpose auditorium, lunch patio, basketball courts, playground, and soccer field. There are some games painted on the blacktop for elementary age children.

The school has policies which are aimed at ensuring the safety of all students and others on campus. To that end, all safety regulations are followed. Students are trained and regularly practice response to drills, and parents are kept informed about safety regulations.[9]


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