History of CPSA in Lombard

College Preparatory School of America is a private school serving grades K-12, and located in the western Chicagoland suburb of Lombard, Illinois. CPSA, a religiously affiliated school originally established as an Islamic private high school, now serves preschool through twelfth grade and is open to students from all faiths and backgrounds. CPSA is located at 331 W Madison St, on the site of the former Green Valley School in Lombard’s District 44.

CPSA is one of the Lilac Village’s only two high schools, and is situated near Madison Elementary (District 44) and Glenbard East (District 87). We are proud to be a part of Lombard’s rich legacy of commitment to education, and brings nationwide name recognition to Lombard as the spotlight shines on our students and their accomplishments. We are grateful for the continuous help and cooperation that the village has extended to our school as we work to realize our vision of graduating the finest high school graduates that we culture and prepare to become the future leaders of tomorrow in a broad spectrum of fields in varying professions and sectors.

CPSA first moved to its permanent home in Lombard in 1991, after outgrowing its original temporary home in Bridgeview, IL, renting out the facilities formerly occupied by Green Valley Elementary School, which the District 44 voted to close in 1988 as part of a reorganization of Lombard’s elementary schools in an attempt to optimize classroom usage and allocations. Lombard School District 44 was established in 1927 to address the educational needs of a growing community, and Green Valley Elementary School was constructed in 1928 as the second school building established by the fledgling SD44, after the construction of Hammerschmidt School in 1927.

During the Great Depression, Lombard’s Green Valley School shuttered its doors for an extended period of time, but reopened thereafter and saw subsequent additions and expansions in 1950, 1953, 1955, and in 1956 to keep up with the growing population. Quite a number of other elementary schools in the area were also opened during the same timeframe, which led to issues with classroom allocation and student body count, ultimately leading to the 1988 SD44 decision to permanently close Lombard’s oldest two of seven extant schools, Green Valley and Hammerschmidt, effective August 1990. This confluence of events led to the availability of the site of the former Green Valley School for lease, which drew CPSA’s founder, Dr Saleem Abdulrahman, to choose Lombard as the location for CPSA’s new home in 1991.

From 1991 to 1996, CPSA (then CPSI, or College Preparatory School of Illinois) leased the Madison location from the district for $50,000 a year and grew from 30 students to 139 by the will and grace of Allah SWT, as families around the country heard about Dr Saleem’s mission to establish a premier Islamic institution of learning, dedicated entirely to raising the next generation of leaders. Already its results began to speak for itself, sending its first batch of graduates to top schools across the nation from University of Chicago, Northwestern University, UC San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, and the University of Maryland.

In 1994, SD44 made the decision to sell the aging site of the former Green Valley two-story school building rather than continue to maintain and lease it, and put it up for auction with an opening bid of $950,000 but failed to attract any buyers. In 1996, the Lombard School District attempted to sell the property once more, this time with an opening bid of only $400,000, in an action held at Madison Elementary up the street from the Green Valley location on October 23, 1996 at 7:30pm. Patrons of CPSI, who had previously offered the district $800,000 in a private offer take over the property, scraped together to arrange for the $30,000 buy-in to attend the auction and bid on the property in an attempt to secure a permanent home for CPSA, as the school was now called.

At the October 1996 auction, by the grace of Allah SWT, representatives of College Preparatory School of America were able to secure the winning bid for $745,000, a price they hadn’t dared believe possible given the rejection of the previous offer for $800,000. With only 30 days to submit payment or lose the $30,000 auction buy-in security deposit and chiefly via the efforts and contributions of parents and members of the CPSA community, CPSA was able to make good on the auction agreement and even received a 10% discount in exchange for paying in cash and in acknowledgement for their years of leasing the school from the district.

Since then, CPSA has proudly been proud to call Lombard its permanent home and is thankful for the support of the village, the district, and our neighbors and community. We have invited parents from around the country to tour CPSA and consider relocating their family to Lombard and DuPage County as they picked CPSA as the institution to help nourish and nurture their children and bring them into their own. CPSA has continued to blossom and grow since those early years, and quickly reached its maximum capacity of around 425 students, constrained by the number of classrooms that even many subsequent renovations and the cleverest of classroom schedules and allocations could maximally utilize, and in 2009 received unanimous approval from the Lombard Village Board to embark on expansion featuring a new building erected adjacent to the existing facility.

With the financial downturn in 2008, it took some years for the school to raise the needed funds to guarantee timely completion of the project, but in 2017 CPSA broke ground on the construction of its new building, and is now set to insha’Allah finish construction in June of 2020 and open its doors for new students in August of the same year in time for the 2020-2021 school year.