Klingenstein Reflections
by Dr. Dina Eletreby, Head of School

I had an amazing experience at Columbia
University, New York attending the Heads
Program as a Klingenstein Fellow! There
were a total of 21 Heads of School from
around the world – 8 of which were from
international schools and 13 from across
the U.S.  New Horizon was the only
Islamic school represented among the 21
schools – and when I asked the program
coordinator if there had ever been an
Islamic school in previous years, she said
that she believed New Horizon is the first
one.  I feel humbled and blessed to have
had an opportunity to represent New
Horizon, specifically, and an American
Muslim perspective, generally, to the
professors and other heads.  Considering
the current socio-political climate,
everyone seemed keen to know how our
community, in particular, has been
effected.  Many of the other heads seem to
be struggling, as is the nation, with
divisiveness among faculty, among
parents, and among students within their
school communities – and I hope offering
our community’s voice to the conversation
may not only deepen their understanding
but provide them with some concrete
examples to share with others.

continued on the next page....

Habit #4: Think Win-Win
I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what
others want. When conflicts arise, I look for a win-win solution.
by Dr. Dina Eletreby, Head of School

The Klingenstein Heads Program was a full-emersion experience with very little free time since we had
reading and writing assignments every day, including weekends.  One of the courses was specifically
focused on each of us researching our topic of interest.  Since New Horizon is primed to open the Upper
School Campus in the Fall of 2018, my research focused on two-campus school models and how this
configuration impacts students, faculty, and administrators.  The good news is that the research points
to only positives as it relates to students.  Here are just a few of those benefits:

·      Limited scope encouraged a focused school vision and climate related to the needs of the age
grouping.  For example, in our current Preschool through 6th grade model, there are a total of
8 grade levels served on a single campus.  Once New Horizon moves to a Preschool – 3rd on the
current campus and 4th - 8th grade on the upper campus, the span will be only 5 grade levels on
each campus.

·      Administrators and faculty have a narrower focus and can fine tune the curriculum with
greater continuity. The environment and program on each campus, in a two-campus model,
are more suitable and specialized to the level of the group it serves. One research indicated
that two-campus models consistently provided significantly higher-quality programs and had
better student academic performance as compared to single campus models in the same

·      With a smaller span of grade levels, younger students have a stronger sense of belonging and
security since the oldest students on campus are not that much older than them.  Conversely,
older students get to experience leadership at a younger age and have more leadership
opportunities in general. For example, in a Preschool through 3rd grade campus, students in
2nd and 3rd grade may be responsible for prayer and being school executive representatives.  In
our current model, these roles are reserved more so for the 5th and 6th graders.

With regards to negatives, there is the obvious
additional cost that comes with running two
campuses versus one.  In addition, the research
indicated that a two-campus model requires a high
level of collaboration between campuses and
across grade levels to ensure alignment in
mission, curriculum, communication, and teacher
development so that students and families have a
seamless experience going from one campus to
the next.  Also noted was to give special
consideration and develop creative scheduling for
those faculty and administrators who may have
responsibilities on both campuses to minimize
the natural fatigue that may come from having to
work in two environments. Alhamdullilah,
knowing these potential negatives in advance
allows us to be more thoughtful and clear in
planning to minimize these as much as possible.

I want to thank all our board, staff, and parents
who supported my participation in this amazing program. 
Although several weeks have passed since my participation in the Klingenstein’s Heads Program, I am
still inspired by the professors and other heads I met and by the coursework taken there. I could not
have stepped away for my responsibilities for three-weeks without each and every one of you!
Fundraising Focus
We are revving up our engines for this
year’s annual gala. The 2017 Spring The Campaign for
Gala will be on Saturday April New Horizon
15th at the Marconi Automotive
Museum in Tustin, CA. Irvine’s Upper
School Campus
Set amongst some incredible historical,
exotic and classic cars, this year’s gala
will be a night of fine dining, games, and
This February, New
the potential to walk home with some Horizon parents Faizan
unbelievable auction items. and Firasat Bakali
hosted 2017’s first
Join us at this year’s Gala!
Tables of 8 are $1200, and capital campaign event.
individual tickets are going for The Bakalis welcomed
$125. New Horizon guests
into their home to
Tables, tickets, auction items and
sponsorship opportunities can all be speak about the Firasat and Faizan
Bakali graciously
Horizon guests int welcomed New
found on our gala website http:// importance and impact o their home to sh
are in their
enthusiasm for the
nhgala2017.gesture.com of the future Upper future Upper Scho
ol Campus
We would like to take a moment and
School Campus and
thank you all for the amazing effort in community center.
sponsoring our teachers. We are happy Speaking from the heart, Faizan and Firasat shared their love for
to announce that within two days each New Horizon and the pride they feel to have their eldest daughter,
and every teacher was sponsored. It is a
testament to the dedication of our Alina, enrolled. DemonstraKng their enthusiasm, the Bakali’s
families and the amazing love we have generously donated to the campaign and became the newest
for our teachers. members of the Capital Campaign Founder’s Circle.
A special thank you to our current Board Chair, Motasem Benothman, followed the Bakalis with a
sponsors who have already committed compelling vision for the power of a community center.
to supporting New Horizon at this
year’s gala: “I go to different community centers --- there are JCCs and the
Chinese Cultural Center next door --- and I think, why not us? We
Mr. and Dr. Hossam Saleh need a place to bring our community together - a place to be
Eletreby Foundation proud of. New Horizon is that place for us,” he shared. Head of
Dr. and Mrs. Burak Ozgur School, Dr. Dina Eletreby, thanked the Bakalis for hosKng and
reiterated Benothman’s enthusiasm for what is possible. She
Dr. and Mrs. Ahmed Elbershawi shared progress to date and next steps in the process.
Mr. Khalil Farhat
Dr. Nabil Eletreby
Throughout the aOernoon, guests gathered and enthusiasKcally
IRA Capital spoke about the several renderings of the future campus. A model
Markah Legal of the campus was debuted and all enjoyed seeing a mini-version
ARZ Engineering of what the future holds for their families and children. Event
Spectrum Construction Group INC
guests shared in the enthusiasm also enjoyed delicious food,
Community ambient live music, a lovely home, and perfect Southern California
Camp Izza weather.
Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI)
Islamic Relief USA New Horizon thanks our gracious hosts, the Bakalis, and looks
Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) forward to future campaign events. To learn more about the
Pillars Academy
capital campaign, please visit the website at hRp://
We are so excited to see you all there newhorizonirvine.org/capital-campaign/upper-school-campus-
and let the bidding begin!! project/ or call the Development Office at 949-552-5411 ext. 205.
Top 25 Teachers of OC & Important Dates

Catalina Island Overnight (5th

Parent-Teacher Conferences
(No School)

Movie Night

Spring Break

New Horizon School, Irvine tools, and techniques as well 15th
congratulates Mona Hijazi for as learn critical 21st century Spring Gala
being selected as a 2017 skills such as creativity and
Parenting OC Magazine’s Top innovation, problem solving, CTP4 Testing Week
25 Teachers of Orange County! decision making, and working
collaboratively with others.
Mona Hijazi is one of the best one of 25 Top teachers selected
regarded teachers at New Mrs. Hijazi’s work-ethic and by Parenting OC Magazine and
Horizon School, Irvine - a dedication to New Horizon will be featured in its March 2017
testament to her 8 years of School, Irvine and her students is special issue honoring the award
dedicated service to the students exceptional. She can be relied on recipients. Mrs. Hijazi was also
and families not only as the art to assist the faculty on a invited to an awards ceremony
teacher, but also the librarian moment’s notice and is a teacher by Parenting OC magazine, where
and yearbook coordinator. favorite among her colleagues. she and the other top teachers
Mrs. Hijazi has a unique position Her positive energy combined were recognized.
on campus, where because of her with her helpful ways motivates To announce her selection, Mrs.
passion for art and teaching, she her students on a daily basis. Uzma Said, in coordination with
touches the lives of every student When the opportunity was the NHPA, surprised Mrs. Hijazi
in Kindergarten through Sixth presented to nominate a top with the announcement during a
Grade during her weekly art teacher to Parenting OC, the New routine fire drill! Mrs. Hijazi was
classes. Being a contemporary
Horizon Parents’ Association tricked into dressing up that day,
artist, she offers a true artist’s
chose Mrs. Hijazi– an incredible thinking that she would be
perspective as she leads the
honor considering the videotaped for a project. Instead
students into lessons which
exceptional team of teachers at she won Parenting OC’s award!
incorporate an understanding of
New Horizon. This annual Congratulations to Mrs. Hijazi on
techniques as well as exposure to
nomination by the NHPA is based this amazing honor! We are
the study of art and artists from
on longevity and impact on the blessed to have her as part of the
around the world. Students in
her classes engage in the creative school community. Out of 130 New Horizon family of amazing
process through various media, submissions by schools across staff members.
Orange County, Mrs. Hijazi was
Razan Duella is a passionate and driven student, inspired by her own life
experiences and committed to improving the state of healthcare in
developing nations. Duella is a member of New Horizon, Irvine’s class of
2006, and cites her New Horizon education as a primary reason for her
commitment to improving the world.
Since graduating from New Horizon, Duella has developed a passion for
medicine through volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Orange County
(CHOC), and later through employment. She currently has been working
as an EMT/Emergency Room Technician for the past three years as well as
attending the University of California, Los Angeles where she majors in
Human Biology and Society. She has recently received employee of the
month at CHOC Children’s. Duella is currently conducting research with
Razan Duella
faculty from UCLA at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human
New Horizon Class of 2006
Behavior. Her research focus is on the psychiatric population of Los
UCLA Class of 2017
Angeles county and how socio economic status interferes with mental
As a student at New Horizon, Duella says the holistic approach to
education allowed her to develop a strong foundation in her morals and
develop a sense of responsibility for her community. Duella remains
confident in her identity as an American Muslim. In addition, the rigorous
academic curriculum of New Horizon placed Duella a year ahead of her
peers in public school. The habits and values she developed at New
Horizon prepared her well for a transition to public school, college, and
eventually graduate school.

Community Service: Snack Shop
SLC Sponsored Book Drive Updates:

To celebrate Read Across The SLC Snack
America, SLC called on the Shop has been in
students to bring in new or good business!
gently used books for this Students have been
year’s Book Drive! All books enjoying yummy
collected were donated to snacks while
Think Together, a non-profit supporting New
that distributes books to Horizon’s Tuition
schools, medical offices, and Adjustment
clinics, making reading Program. The SLC
accessible to all children. will be selling
Thank you to all those who popsicles and ice cream on
donated to our Book Drive! select Friday afternoons -
look out for specific date
Why is Outdoor Play Important?
Outdoor play is fun, but why is it so important? Outdoor play allows
children to learn about the world around them and gives an opportunity
to develop critical thinking through play. Children expand their
knowledge using nature, space, and materials while preschool teachers
at New Horizon use this outdoor environment to extend their classroom
learning. The indoor classroom and outdoor play environment connect
themes so that their learning links with real world observations and
In addition, outdoor time gives preschoolers a setting to expand their
imagination and pretend play which directly ties to what will later be
their reading comprehension skills.  When you think about reading
comprehension, all novels follow a similar structure: character
development, setting, plot, problem, and resolution.  When a child
dresses up for pretend play, they are developing a character, they create
a setting and plot with a friend which includes a problem, and together,
using their imagination, they come up with a resolution to the problem. 
By doing this over and over again, preschoolers are preparing
themselves to be successful readers in the future – where they can more
easily convert the words on a page into a picture in their heads. By
creating an indoor and outdoor space that encourages imaginative play,
New Horizon is preparing our youngest students for future academic
New Horizon’s outdoor play area is specifically designed to develop
gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. 
Development of gross motor skills by using bikes, scooters, and climbing
on the jungle gym will give students the physical coordination and
confidence they need to be able to engage in just about any social
environment to make friends and be part of a team.  A student who has
developed gross motor skills will not shy away from joining a group of
kids playing soccer on a field, from a group on the four-square court, or
from a group playing hopscotch or jump ropes. Strong gross motor skills
lead to confidence and strong social skills – both necessities for a future
leader.  The sandbox, finger-painting, and sensory basins are not only
fun and sparks a child’s imagination, but they also help to develop fine-
motor skills which are essential for proper pencil grip and eventually

Everything offered at New Horizon has gone through a careful thought
process to be sure that students are given the best environment using
the latest educational research to make learning a natural
developmental process.  Contrary to the rote and drill style of teaching
that many adults experienced in their educational settings, New
Horizon uses the natural curiosity of the students and a warm, play-
based setting to have students in a constant state of ‘discovery’. Seeing
the preschoolers light up with a sense of accomplishment and their
desire to share what they have learned with their teachers and parents
is a wonderful thing. A student coming out of a preschool environment
where they were nurtured to see themselves as capable and smart will
not hesitate to participate in class, to attempt to solve a math problem,
and will not mind reading out loud.  Whether it is crossing the monkey
bars, using the pedals on the tricycles, dressing up as a character, or
digging in the sand, each activity in New Horizon’s preschool is laying
the foundations for confidence, leadership, and future success in both
academic and social endeavors. 

CodeSpeak Labs

Smaili & Associates PLC

Amana Mutual Funds

WestBanc Corp

Spectrum Construction

Dr. Ahmed Elgazar

Markah Legal

Irvine Orthodontics

Event Blossom

Brain Balance Centers

Coastal Kids Pediatrics

NHPA General Meeting! YOUR NHPA
Our last NHPA General Parent meeting AT WORK
was held on February 22, 2017. We were

an k yo u for fortunate enough to watch a performance
T h by our 4th graders on demonstrating their JANUARY
joining us
understanding and use of the concept Catered lunch for all
“Think Win-Win”. Our guest speaker, Dr. Faculty and Staff
s Metra Azar Salem presented a very
n k y o u fo r joining u
Th a at informative workshop on “How to hold on
for Dinner . We
to Your Kids” - Why peer relationships
nd Chipotle have taken over our kids and made parent Catered brunch for all
Pieology a ing
rd to plann connection and influence with them Faculty and Staff
look forwa ents weaker”. It was interesting to hear the
e social ev
many mor llah. ways and tools we can use to form
t he fu t u re, inshaA and maintain a close bond to our
children so that we as parents Next NHPA
continue to be the most important
positive influence in their lives. meeting!
May 17th, 2017