Throughout its history, VALS was based on volunteerism.
The School started in 1979 by 12 families with twenty some students attending, as an initiative of the Egyptian Cultural Organization. The emphasis of the school was on the Arabic Language and culture. Three volunteer parents, including a professional Arabic language teacher, assumed the responsibilities for teaching and school administration, The school was hosted in the Vienna Community Center.
Within a year, the school's idea began to take firmer hold and the curricula started to focus more clearly on Islam and the Arabic language.
By 1982, the number of supporting families increased to 15 and participating students to 25. The nationalities of the families expanded to include Arab countries as well as non-Arab countries like Turkey and Pakistan. The number of classes increased to three taught by five volunteer parents. During that year the School's activities moved to Cunningham Elementary School in Vienna, where educational classeswere held.
By 1992 the school community had grown to 25 families involving more nationalities from the Arab world. 45 students enrolled in classes at four levels and the number of Volunteer parents/teachers increased to six. The school maintained its focus on teaching the principals of Islam and the Arabic Language. The need for more space and better premises prompted the School move to the AT&T building on Spring Hill Road in Tysons Corner.
By 2001, the school community has grown further to 61 families and the country representation has expanded as well. 106 students enrolled in classes at seven levels, and the number of teachers rose to 10. The increased complexity of managing the school necessitated the establishment of the board. The school curricula continued its focus on the principals of Islam and the Arabic language. Such expansion called for another move, this time to the Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, VA.
In 2009, due to renovations at Longfellow Middle School, we moved to Madison High School in Vienna, VA. In 2009 another change was introduced; responding to parent feedback, we are adding cultural activities to the curriculum. We maintain eight levels of Arabic and seven levels of Islam and have over 100 students enrolled. Read more about our curriculum, our board and the teachers who make up this great school