The students come from Sacramento and other parts of California, and a few are from other states. They come from different backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures but share a common faith.
They are all Muslim, they all dress modestly, they all follow the same dietary rules, and about 1:15 in the afternoon, they all break from studies to face Mecca and pray.
Last month, the Catholic Diocese cited declining enrollment for the merging of two south Sacramento schools and the closure of Loretto High School. Al Arqam, which started 11 years ago, has added 40 students in the past two years and has a waiting list of about 50 students, mostly for the lower grades.
Al Arqam started its high school three years ago. Enrollment is small in the upper grades, but administrators see those numbers growing as the children in the primary grades get older.
Two weeks ago, Al Arqam was accepted into the academically rigorous International Baccalaureate program, believed to be the first private school in the Sacramento region to achieve that status.
Added: 3232 days ago by alsabeel
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