Accredited By
Home About Us Admissions Academics Governance Faculty & Staff Campus Life PTO Calendar Contact Us
About Us
Mission and Vision Statements
Core Values
Middle States Accreditation
Employment Opportunities
About Us

Middle States Accreditation


MSA News: May 2, 2016

Congratulations RSA for Receiving Middle States Accreditation

Congratulations to Rising Star Academy for achieving Middle States Association (MSA) accreditation.  In an oral report issued by the MSA evaluation team, who spent April 25 - April 28 on site evaluating our school, RSA is officially recommended for accreditation. 
After reviewing  hundreds  of documents, interviewing multiple groups of students, staff, faculty, parents, board members and administrators, the Middle States evaluation team announced on April 28th that Rising Star Academy met all of the Middle States Standards established for accreditation. Takbeer! The oral report was presented to school faculty, parents and students  by the MSA team chair Dr. Kalle Gerritz and MSA Team members, Ms. Marilyn Larkin and Ms. Katie Vogt (Ms. Tayaabah Qazi from Al-Rahmah of Baltimore, Maryland was not present due to commute) who acknowledged in their remarks that Rising Star Academy is moving forward in a strong direction of academic excellence.
RSA's tradition and legacy of excellence in education was highlighted in all areas including mission, leadership, faculty, climate, curriculum, organization, and most importantly, student services and life, and resulted in the stellar findings outlined in the report. 

The internal team led by Sr. Ahlam Yassin and Sr. Fatima Abedrabbo along with the planning team members spent the past two years preparing for the evaluation and site visit. Congratulations to RSA board, administration and faculty on this outstanding achievement.
Testimonies from the MSA visiting team: 

"We arrived on Monday  knowing from your self-study that the staff had made a significant commitment to the Middle States accreditation process; when we left yesterday, we knew that the school was indeed poised for success in the future.  There are challenges ahead, but the strength of the RSA community--staff, students and parents alike--will make success inevitable!  MANY thanks for all that you and your staff did to make the team feel not just welcome, but a part of the Rising Star Academy family! "  

..Dr.    Kalle Gerritz,   Executive Director The  Gramon School 

"You have a treasure in your staff members and your own hard work / leadership is evident in every aspect of your school life.  You have a dedicated and supportive parent community as well as amazing and respectful students."
Tayaabah Qazi, 
Al-Rahmah School, 
Elementary School Director
" The faculty, staff, students and parents of RSA are truly dedicated to the mission of the school and I wish nothing but continued growth and success. May you continue to be a light in your community for many years to come. Thank you for being such gracious hosts."
..Katie Vogt, Chapel School (The) Bronxville, NY
"Thank you for all the care and effort taken to make our visit such a pleasure. As a member of the team, I have come away enriched by the experience of having spent three days at your amazing school and hope that  our time there was worthwhile for you as well." 
Marilyn Larkin, The Village School, Waldick, NJ  


MSA News: April 12th, 2016

Accreditation Visit: The Countdown Begins!

Assalamu'Alaikum Dear Parents, Students and our entire RSA Community,
It is truly with the blessings of Allah (swt) that we are almost to the finish line of this very arduous accreditation process.  The site team is scheduled to visit RSA beginning April 25 for 3.5 days.  They will be in the building interviewing board members, staff, students and parents. They will be observing our classes and assessing the binders we've compiled on all  12 MSA Standards  in order to confirm that all of the information provided in our self-study is accurate.  
They will arrive at school on Monday April 25 after school hours to acquaint themselves with the building, and begin their first full day on Tuesday April 26. Tuesday and Wednesday will be spent assessing our daily school activities.  Thursday, which  will be a half-day for students , is the day the site chair will have a small ceremony reflecting on their visit and announcing  inshallah  our recommendation for accreditation. Parents and RSA stakeholders are invited to attend; more information will be sent out the week of the event. 
This has truly been a learning experience for all of us.  We've been able to highlight our strengths and focus on our areas in need of improvement.  We would not have been able to come this far without your continuous support, Jazakum Allah Khair! 
Please keep us in your duaa as we move closer to the visitation dates. 
Your RSA Accreditation Team 

MSA News: January 14th, 2016

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.  RSA's accreditation team is very excited to update our supportive partners with our official MSA school wide objectives.

Alhamduallah, it's time to celebrate!   Our school wide objectives have been approved by our accrediting agency.  A complete technical review was conducted and our goals are in line with data that was collected on both student and organization goals. 

Our objectives are four in total, and we've prioritized our goals according to the feedback received on the 2014-2015 MSA survey taken by our stakeholders.  We have two student based objectives as well as two organizational goals.

Please take a moment and review the entire  RSA MSA Objectives   document, it's quite impressive, mashallah! In this document, you will  find our school wide objectives.  In addition to the objectives you will find the baseline data which was used to  determine the essential areas for school improvement.

Save the Dates! 

April 25-28

The  Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools  will arrive at Rising Star Academy on Monday, April 25 and conduct an in-depth evaluation of the school until Thursday, April 28.  During this time, they will observe our classroom instruction, speak with our students, staff and stakeholders to determine our overall school culture and climate.

A Sincere Thank You!  

May Allah (Swt) reward you for your support! 

From all of us at Rising Star Academy, Jazakum Allah Khair for your continuous support in not only this endeavor but your continuous support year after year.  Rest assured that we are all working very hard to care for the trust you've placed in our hands.


MSA News: August 11th, 2015

Assalamu'Alaikum RSA family,

Inshallah you are enjoying a relaxing summer with your loved ones!  Behind the scenes at RSA,there is always something going on (even during summer vacation!)  The RSA accreditation team would like to update you on where we are in the process and also get your input on our RSA Graduate Profile.


What have we accomplished so far?

Alhamduallah RSA staff has been working diligently to complete the self-study phase.  This includes making sure all of the MSA's 12 standards of excellence  are addressed before the site visit (scheduled for  April 25-28, 2016 ).  This has not been easy, as the Middle States Association for Colleges and Schools is the only Accreditation Organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and their standards are very detail oriented. 

As the 2015-2016 begins, RSA staff will be working hard to complete the self-study phase which will include all teachers revamping their curriculum to make sure it is aligned with our mission and the Common Core Standards.  The school will be undergoing structural improvements as well.  As always, your Duaa is appreciated during this journey!  

Foundation Document - RSA Graduate Profile

  What is it?  The graduate profile is ultimately what we expect our ideal RSA graduate to carry with her/him upon leaving the halls of Rising Star Academy. Basically, what type of person are we sending into the world?

Please read the RSA Graduate Profile below, which was compiled from the thoughts of ALL RSA staff and high school students.  Your input is needed!  


Rising Star Academy's Graduate Profile 

Open to Growth

Upon high school graduation, RSA students are expected to be conscious critical thinkers. RSA graduates use their Islamic values and education in making sound decisions in all areas of their lives. Our graduates will possess the academic knowledge and life skills necessary to pursue productive lives and contribute to society in a meaningful manner.

Intellectual Competency Rooted in Islam

RSA graduates have mastered the Arabic language in order to read and understand the wisdom in the Quran. Students will understand and implement core Islamic beliefs of character (integrity, honesty, diligence) and worship found within the Quran. Students leave with a steadfast ability to uphold their religious obligations of prayer, fasting, and remembrance of Allah (SWT). They also strive to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Upon setting this standard, they have developed a habit of constant reflection of one's actions, and their contribution to their community. They view mistakes as opportunities to grow and experiences that make them wiser in achieving better, long-term outcomes.

Core Areas of Knowledge

In addition to the Islamic education received at RSA, students will have a preliminary mastery of the secular subjects including the physical and social sciences. The elementary level will work as a preparatory stepping stone into middle school and then into our secondary school. Upon arrival at the secondary level, students have chosen from a variety of classes with an emphasis on the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum. Each milestone at RSA helps foster the development of our Stars for the next level in their educational journey.

Productive Lives

Upon graduation RSA students should be able to use the experiences and knowledge gained to pose thought-provoking questions when needed, and offer dynamic solutions to challenges. They should feel comfortable carrying themselves as Ambassadors of Islam. In using their strong oratory and written skills, RSA graduates can communicate ideas regarding their faith to non-Muslims. They are confident leaders who tackle difficult situations with an open-mind and heart, constantly seeking to contribute to their global community in a positive manner. Above all, RSA graduates understand that they have just begun to unravel their potential. They are ready to meet their post-secondary experience, first and foremost, with a trust in Allah (SWT) and secondly, a confidence of self.


Contribute Your Ideas!  

As parents, and general community members - what else would you like to see on our Graduate Profile?  Share your thoughts with a simple email to .  


MSA News: April 24th, 2015


Dear RSA Community,

There is plenty of exciting accreditation news to share!  Our MSA site visit will begin  April 25, 2016  and conclude on  April 28, 2016 . These are the days when we will welcome a team of experts into our school to assess our overall educational system.

Alhamdulillah, our staff is working diligently to complete the self-study phase.  Recently, our Principal Dr. Hala Shehadeh served as a site member at a public NJ high school, reviewing their policies for re-accreditation.  This experience will definitely come in handy as we prepare for our site visit!

Sr. Ahlam Yassin also attended a workshop at MSA headquarters in Philadelphia on creating our 7 year objectives.  These objectives will be split into two categories: academic and organizational.  The objectives will be based on data collected through the MSA surveys completed at the beginning of the school year and their respective comments, as well as testing data collected via Terra Nova, PSAT, and SAT results.  

Jazakum Allah Khair for your continued support during this process!


Your RSA Accreditation Team

P.S. Look forward to another email where you'll be asked for your input on our school's mission statement and graduate profile.


MSA News: March 7th, 2015

With the grace and guidance of Allah (swt),  it has been a very eventful school year, Alhamdulillah. In addition to everyday learning, school events and activities happening in the forefront, RSA staff and stakeholders are bustling behind the scenes working hard to make RSA one of the leading Islamic academic institutions in our area, Insha'Allah.

Our MSA parent survey results have been received and analyzed. Jazakum Allah Khair to   every single parent   who took the time and effort to complete the survey.  You spoke and we listened.  The data was graphed for your convenience in the following chart.


According to the results:


Your top concerns and areas that need improvement are in the following standards:


Facilities, Health and Safety, and School Improvement Planning.  


Your best expectations and satisfactions are met in the following standards:


Educational Program, School Organization, Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning.


As we move through the self-study and transition to planning for our future, your concerns will be priority.  As we create our organizational goals, these concerns will be at the forefront of our planning. 




What’s the point of accreditation?

Yes, it’s true.  We can continue to operate without receiving the seal of accreditation.  However, accreditation helps guarantee your child is receiving the best possible education, on an international level.


  • An accredited school believes and works hard for its mission

  • Is constantly growing and improving through self-evaluation

  • Accreditation does not stop once we are approved, it is a continuous process of self-assessment in order to maintain the level of excellence we are aiming to achieve


Why use international standards? 

There are several accreditation agencies to choose from, however, RSA has chosen the path of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools because this organization is one that has one of the highest standards of excellence  among accrediting agencies.


What is RSA’s status with the MSA (Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges)?

  • We are now a candidate school

  • You can search the MSA website  and RSA


How can you help?

Just as we aim to foster a positive learning environment for your children, we would like to develop a positive working relationship between school and home.  We are a non-profit organization so we depend not only on your financial support, but also your constructive feedback.


Who do I contact if I have any questions?